There are few places in the world that do beaches better than Greece. Framed by the Ionian Sea to the west and the Aegean to the east, the country boasts hundreds of uninhabited islands and thousands of miles of coastline that play host to an astonishing number of golden sandy beaches. The only issue with having so many beautiful beaches to choose from, is knowing which beach is best for you - which is where we come in. You might be after a beach that is perfect for youngsters looking to improve their swimming or a beach that buzzes with activity from bars and tavernas, or perhaps you fancy retreating from the world in a secluded cove. Whatever kind of beach day you are dreaming of, here is our pick of the best beaches in Greece that are guaranteed to suit every kind of beach-goer.
Agios Prokopios Beach
Travel three miles south of Naxos Town and you’ll find the golden sands of Agios Prokopios Beach. This long stretch of butter-coloured sand is considered one of the best beaches in the whole of Greece. Bright turquoise-coloured waters pour over the soft sand, while the beach buzzes with chatter from tavernas and cafes that you’ll find dotted along a section of the beach. Agios Prokopios is perfect for those looking for a beach that hums with life and anyone who fancies having a go at waters sports.
The Red Beach
Arguably one of Santorini’s most famous beaches, the Red Beach is aptly named after the fire-red rocks that enclose the dark blue waters, creating this stunning cove. The scenery is captivating, with a wild beauty that is best seen from the cliffs that surround the beach. Head southwest of Fira to Akrotiri Village, to find this iconic beach which can be reached by boat or on foot, walking down a steep downhill path. Being on the smaller side, the beach can get busy at peak times and you’ll want to stock up on all of your beach-day essentials before you get there, as there is little in the way of cafes or tavernas close by. It’s the perfect place for snoozing in the sun and snorkelling in the sea, discovering the interesting rock formations and rich marine life that surround the beach.
Located in Plastira Bay, in the north of Paros, Kolymbithres Beach is one of the most famous beaches on the island. Characterised by the huge granite boulders that frame small sandy coves dotted one-after-the-other along the coastline, you can see how the beach got its name; Kolymbithres means swimming pools. If you are lucky, you might be able to find a cove all to yourself, to enjoy the brightest of turquoise water, the softest of sand and the incredible cool-grey ancient granite boulders that have been weather-worn over the centuries. Depending on which cove you choose, this beach provides the best of both worlds with both hidden coves and buzzing beaches. You’ll find water sports facilities in some of the coves and beach bars and tavernas along the road that leads to the beach.
If you travel 14 miles northwest of Corfu Town you’ll find Paleokastritsa Beach, which separates the village of Paleokastritsa from the sparkling blue Mediterranean sea. One of the most famous villages in Corfu, Paleokastritsa literally means old fortress in reference to the Byzantine Monastery of the Virgin that dominates the village. The area is home to a few different beaches that are dotted along the coastline, with the main beach being the liveliest – surrounded by bars and tavernas. If a quiet snooze in the sun is more your style, hop on a boat to get to one of the more isolated beaches along the coastline, where you’ll find olive tree forests fringing sandy beaches and shimmering blue water.
Head to the southwest side of Crete and you’ll find Elafonisi Beach. This unique beach is situated on a small islet that is connected to the rest of Crete by a shallow reef, which can be crossed at low tide. Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, Elafonisi Beach feels more Caribbean than European, with crystalline waters rippling over white and pink coral sand. The water is warm and sheltered, making it the perfect spot for families with little ones who are learning to swim. Stunning and unique, Elafonisi Beach has to be included in any list of the best beaches in Greece.