Greece has a large number of excellent beaches that regularly achieve Blue Flag status. Whether they are situated on the mainland or on one of the islands, some are so lovely that it is difficult to make a choice among them. If you plan on holidaying in Greece, here is a guide to some of the best beaches that are not to be missed.
Sarakiniko Beach – Milos
For those in search of peace and quiet, the island of Milos is a good choice. Sarakiniko Beach was formed by lava flow and the white rocks offer beautiful sand-free sunbathing. The beach is safe for children, snorkelling near the rocks is fascinating and the nearby shipwreck adds interest.
Panormos Beach – Skopelos
The island of Skopelos also offers unspoiled beaches such as Panormos with pristine golden sands and spectacular sunsets. A very popular and picturesque beach is Stafilos, which is surrounded by high cliffs. One part of it has sun beds, umbrellas and a beach bar, while the other part is quieter and offers more privacy.
Navagio Beach – Zakynthos
Navagio Beach (also known as Shipwreck Island) on the island of Zakynthos is one of the most photographed beaches in Greece. Travelling to it by taxi boat, you are struck by the shipwreck seemingly rising from the centre of the beach. White cliffs frame the creamy sands and crystal-clear water.
Paradise Beach – Mykonos
Mykonos Island has no fewer than 25 great beaches. Paradise Beach is the best known and is famous for its many parties that attract young people day and night. Super Paradise, right next door, is not as busy but still very popular, especially with same-sex couples.
Myrtos Beach – Kefalonia Island
Myrtos Beach on Kefalonia Island has no resort and is much quieter, which forms a major part of its charm. The beauty of its pebbly golden beach and white cliffs has resulted in its being voted as one of the top ten beaches in the world. Its claim to fame is that parts of the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was filmed here.
Perivolia – Crete
The island of Crete has many fine beaches, especially near the town of Rethymno, where the beaches are calm and the water clear. The beaches of Perivolia and Platanias are both within four kilometres of the town and have long stretches of golden sand. Agia Galini is 55 kilometres away and perfect for families.
Myrtiotissa – Corfu
Corfu is another of the islands with stunning beaches – 57 of them. The beach resort of Paleokastritsa is bordered by high cliffs covered in lush vegetation. The unorganised beach of Myrtiotissa is a nudist’s haven. Acharavi, on the northern tip of Corfu, is long and sandy and great for couples and families.
Agni Village – Corfu
Agni Village on Corfu has a small pebbly beach and offers diving courses for enthusiasts. Many cruise liners visit this beach and the three taverns have excellent food on offer for tourists. The traditional village of Sinarades has a lovely sandy beach, Gialiskari, where water sports are popular and it is not so crowded. Imerolia Kassiopi is very suitable for snorkelling and scuba diving.
Voidokilia – Pylos
On the mainland, the Peloponnese village of Pylos has a quaint fishermen’s harbour and a beach twelve kilometres away called Voidokilia. It is shaped in a perfect curve and is well protected from the wind. In the town the medieval castle of Palaioskastro, which overlooks the sea, is worth a visit.
The resort town of Loutraki is famous for its mineral waters, beaches, vibrant nightlife and casino. It has been awarded Blue Flag status continuously since 1987. The town offers many kinds of water sports in the open sea as well as in the lagoon and bungee jumping in the Corinth Canal.
Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece, has a number of exciting beaches. Katerini and Paralia are situated to the south west and are both Blue Flag beaches with shallow water and relatively cheap food and accommodation. The beaches at Halkidiki are varied and beautiful. At Kassandra you can do some beach camping, or camp for free along the Sithonia peninsula.
Vourvourou Beach on the Sithonia peninsula has one of the prettiest and most popular resorts in Halkidiki. Tourists can rent surf boards, sail boats and water bikes or take a ride on a boat to the island of Diaporos, which has many lovely little coves. Mount Itamos, near Vourvourou, has excellent walking trails and a beautiful view of the bay.
Can Souinio – Athens
There are a number of great beaches near Athens, particularly along the route to Cape Sounion, 65 kilometres from the city. Some of the beaches belong to hotels and tourists are charged to swim there, but there are many lovely public beaches accessible to all. At Can Souinio, the Temple of Poseidon dates from about 600 BC.
For those interested in windsurfing, the places to go are Saronida and Anavissos. The city beaches of Piraeus, especially Votsalakia, are very popular with tourists visiting Athens. Palaio Faliro, a suburb of the capital, is the closest beach to the city and has a yacht harbour to the south east
The Grande Resort Lagonissi offers luxurious accommodation, excellent beach amenities and sixteen sandy coves in the vicinity. Many public beaches near Athens, including Vouliagmeni and Varkiza, have changing cabins, restaurants and a number of beach rentals available.
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