Greece

There are somewhere between a thousand and 6,000 Greek islands dotted around the Aegean and Ionian Seas. Although we are not quite sure why no one has managed to count these we do know this provides us with a mind-boggling number of beaches to choose from. It would take a lifetime to visit all these beaches on your own; so whilst that sounds a pretty good way to spend your life we've down some of the donkey work for you.

The good news is, to quote the old cliche, there really is something for everyone. If you want remote coves with weird and wonderful rock formations that are only accessible by boat, we have some of those. On the other hand if you are looking for a safe family beach that doesn't get overly crowded in the summer we've got some of those too.

Crystal clear, azure waters are pretty much a given for most of Greece's beaches so the beaches here all have something special to offer. For many it is their stunning natural beauty alone, for some it is incredible features that set them apart as the best beaches Greece has to offer.

  • Egremni beach, Lefkada, Greece Milan Baloun / 123RF

    Egremni Beach // Lefkada

    There is little doubt that Egremni beach is one of the finest on the island of Lefkada, which by default makes it one of the best in Greece. It is a beautiful spot with the long white sand beach backed by high limestone cliffs. However, it is the water colour that sets Egremni apart, a fantastic milky blue yet crystal clear. The 325 steps down to... read more »

  • Red beach, Matala naturist beach

    Red Beach // Crete

    Red beach, so named because of the pinkish hue of the sand, is located just south of the better known beach of Matala. Both were firm favourites on the 1960s and 70s hippy trail and whilst Matala may have gone mainstream, Red beach still retains some of its laid back credentials.
    It's a lovely little beach set at the base of arid hillsides and... read more »

  • Balos beach, Crete Pavel Timofeev / 123RF

    Balos Beach // Crete

    Located on the north-western tip of Crete, Balos beach is a strip of sand and lagoon stretching between the Gramvousa Peninsula and the headland of Cape Tigani. The landscape of Balos is stunning with white / pink sand interspersed with turquoise pools all dominated by the bulk of cape Tigani. Despite the beach here being immensely popular there... read more »

  • Kathisma beach, Lefkada Alf van Beem

    Kathisma Beach // Lefkada

    On an island sometimes referred to as the Caribbean of Greece a beach needs to be pretty special to stand out. Kathisma, with its long stretch of white sand and turquoise waters is such a beach. Set on the "wilder" western coast of Lefkada the beach here is backed by rugged mountainous terrain and features some interesting rock formations to one... read more »

  • Myrtos beach, Greece Panagiotis Karapanagiotis / 123RF

    Myrtos Beach // Kefalonia

    Set on the north-west of the island of Kefalonia is the spectacular Myrtos Beach. The landscape here is one of lush, verdant hills rising steeply from the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. The mile long Myrtos beach sits in a natural amphitheatre at the foot of two mountains with a steep, winding road leading down to it. Often cited as the best... read more »

  • Navigio beach shipwreck, Zakynthos

    Navagio Beach // Zakynthos

    The island of Zakynthos is home to one of Greece's finest and most easily recognisable beaches. It is not just the beach of Navagio itself that is unique but the fact that it is home to a shipwreck. The ship in question was the Panagiotis and it is believed that it was a smugglers ship that ran aground in stormy weather whilst trying to elude the... read more »

  • Falassarna beach, Crete Milan Baloun / 123RF

    Falassarna Beach // Crete

    The island of Crete is famed for its great beaches, particularly in the north west. Falassarna beach is among the very best of these with its fine white sand and crystal-clear, azure waters. Set in a long sweeping bay backed by agricultural land Falasarna rarely feels crowded owing to its size. Visitors are well catered for with several bars and... read more »

  • Lalaria beach, Skiathos, Greece Balint Roxana / 123RF

    Lalaria beach // Skiathos

    The beach of Lalaria is situated on the remote north coast of Skiathos. It is named after the round, white pebbles that make up the beach and give the waters here their aquamarine hue. There is little shelter from the sun here to which the sheer, sun-bleached limestone cliffs are testimony.

    What makes Lalaria one of the most photographed... read more »

  • Paradise beach, Mykonos, Greece Prayuth Chiarakul / 123RF

    Paradise Beach // Mykonos

    The person who named Paradise beach was probably inspired by the soft golden sand and warm crystalline waters. Straw umbrellas and loungers adorn the waterside and there are plenty of beach-side cafes and bars. Possibly not the best family beach in the area but the nightlife is very lively.

  • St Paul's Bay - Rhodes, Greece Oliver Taylor

    St Paul's Bay // Rhodes

    Despite its diminutive size, Saint Paul's Bay is one of the most popular beaches on the Greek island of Rhodes. Located on the edge of the historic village of Lindos, St Paul's Bay is almost entirely enclosed by rocks on all sides with just the smallest of gaps for boats to come in and out of. This spectacular setting is further enhanced by a... read more »

  • Elafonisi beach, Crete, Greece Halina Jasińska

    Elafonisi Beach // Crete

    The beach here is a strip of sand that just connects the tiny island of Elafonisi off the far western coast of Crete. This area has a wild, unspoilt feel to it and development has been restricted leaving the pristine beaches a beautiful spot to unwind. Whilst the sand at Elafonisi appears white at first glance you may notice a pink hue. This is... read more »

  • Vai Beach, Crete Karapas

    Vai Beach // Crete

    Vai beach sits at the foot of the Vai palm forest, the largest of its sort in Europe. There are various stories of how the palm trees came to be here ranging from Arab pirates spitting date stones ashore to Phoenician traders planting them. The truth is though, they were always here and as a protected site will hopefully remain. Such a backdrop... read more »

  • Matala beach, Crete

    Matala Beach // Crete

    The fishing village of Matala was just that until the 1960s. However, since then, like many other things, it hasn't been quite the same! It was then that Matala became a popular destination for hippy travellers attracting the likes of Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Joni Mitchell (who even wrote a song about it) in its heyday. Many of these hippies... read more »

  • Plaka beach, Naxos

    Plaka beach // Naxos

    Generally regarded as the best beach on Naxos, Plaka is a huge stretch of fine white sand backed by low sand dunes. The waters of the bay at Plaka are calm and clear with a definite green tint. Whilst there are areas of the beach with the familiar straw umbrellas and sun-beds, much of the beach still retains a relatively wild feel and is largely... read more »