20 Best Greek Islands for Beaches

Hardly will you find a country that has been more praised for its beauty than Greece. Indeed, the unique charm it possesses surpasses any run-off-the-mill descriptions aimed at convincing us to visit it.

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Of course, Greece largely owes the aforementioned charm to its incredible beaches and it has them aplenty. With all the islands scattered around its coast, there are at least 20 best Greek islands for beaches to die for.

1.Crete

Limania beach on Crete is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island

Just one look at the map of the islands in Greece is enough to see that Crete is the biggest of the Greek islands. As such, it offers some spectacular beaches to suit every taste and with so many beaches at your disposal, it is, hands down, one of the best Greek islands for beaches. Golden stretches of coast really live up to their fame on Balos, Limania, and Falassarna, two of the most famous beaches on the island. Metala, Rodakino, and Plakias are just as lovely, with long stretches of white sand, pebbles, and crystalline water which make the trip to Greece nothing short of a fairytale.

2.Hydra

Beach on Hydra surrounded by lush forest

You can look but you surely can’t find an island more romantic than Hydra. This island is one of the rare islands where you can’t find any cars or motorcycles. The peacefulness and serenity of Hydra have the visitors coming back for more no matter what other islands they see. Hydra’s loveliness doesn’t end here, though. It is here that you can relax on the lovely beaches of Molos, Mandraki, Bisti, or the ever-so-quiet Limnioniza while leaving all your worries behind.

3.Kefalonia

Amazingly blue Myrtos beach on Kefalonia

The unspoiled jewel of the Ionian Sea is usually well off the tourist radar which means you can enjoy the beauty of the island without too many people around. A real show-stopper is undoubtedly the magnificent Myrtos beach whose beauty is hardly beatable. The rest of the island is just as lovely, with the most beautiful beaches situated along its southern shores. Those include Ammes, Avithos, and Ai Helis although you can find some captivating swimming spots in the northwest, too – Petani, Antisamos, and Platia Ammos being the most beautiful ones.

Read more: Best Honeymoon Spots in Greece

4.Zakynthos

The iconic Navagio beach

Without a shadow of a doubt, Zakynthos is one of the most popular islands in Greece. The iconic Shipwreck beach, also known as Navagio, represents one of the highlights of the island and for a good reason – the sea water here is so clean it seems almost surreal while the ship stranded ashore only adds the final touch to the beach’s appeal. Unlike Navagio which is only accessible by boat, Porto Vromi, Ksigia, Makris Gialos, and Gerakas are easy to reach and are just as captivating. Other than them there are at least 15 more beaches on Zakynthos to explore, making it a pretty diverse island with a lot to offer.

5.Lefkada

Turquoise sea on Porto Katsiki

This lovely islands located just off the mainland has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance in the past years because vacationers realized this island will have you spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches. The western side of the island is generally where all the impressive Lefkada beaches are located – including Egremni, Kathisma, Mylos, and Porto Katsiki beach. Unfortunately, Egremni beach is only accessible by boat at this moment although efforts are being put into the reparation of the road devasted in an earthquake a few years ago. In addition to this, Kefalonia and Ithaca are very close by so you can book ferry tickets and even hop to these two neighboring islands.

6.Milos

Formidable cliffs above Firiplaka beach in Milos

The unmistakable appeal of this island in the Aegean largely rests on its breath-taking sceneries and the most charming beaches. The emerald sea that hugs it on all sides carved the way to some of the most spectacular beaches, including Paliorema, Firiplaka, Agia Kyriaki, and the unbeatable Sarakiniko. What separates the beaches on Milos from all the other beaches in Greek archipelagos are the unique colorful rock formations you can find at every step and they only add the final touch to an already existing beauty of the island.

7.Corfu

Channel of Love in Corfu

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Corfu is a perfect mixture of nature, architecture, and astounding beaches. It is said to be one of the most laid-back islands in Greece and you can only imagine how relaxing it is to be around some of Corfu’s best beaches. Depending on your mood and personal preferences, you can unwind on the sand of Paleokastritsa, Glyfada, and Issos, or listen to the waves splash against the shore on Arillas, or admire the turquoise hues on Bataria Kassiopi, Myrtiotissa, or Agios Georgios Pagon. Corfu actually has more than 50 beaches so you won’t have a hard time finding your dream beach there.

8.Rhodes

Waves at a beach in Rhodes

Visiting Greece is like traveling back and time and visiting Rhodes is even more so. Not only will its ancient buildings evoke the sense of the by-gone times but its beaches will certainly leave you breathless. With over 40 beaches, Rhodes stands head above the rest when it comes to diversity – from those equipped with beach bars and restaurants such as Elli, Kolympia, and Haraki, to Limni, Pefkos, and Stegna which are ideal for simmering down and becoming one with nature.

9.Karpathos

The sea on Apella beach in Karpahos is crystal clear

Karpathos is a large island in the Aegean and it boasts some spectacular stretches of coast. Seeing as it’s fairly close to Rhodes and Crete, Karpathos is also ideal for island hopping around the Dodecanese. The most impressive beaches on Karpathos are Kyra Panagia, Apella, and Afoti and because of their beauty, they usually see a lot of tourists during summer. Still, if you want to get away from it all, head to the southernmost beach of Psoraris or Christou Pigadi southwest of Pigadia, the island’s capital.

10.Spetses

Turquoise water on the island of Spetses

Spetses is the most popular summer destination among Athenians as it’s easily reachable from Athens but you can also hop on it from Hydra which is in its close proximity. According to many, the most beautiful beach od the island is Agioi Anargiri, leading to one of the island’s biggest attractions – the Cave of Bekiri. Closer to the town of Spetses are equally beautiful Agia Marina and Xilokeriza.

11.Mykonos

Mykonos offers great beaches and tons of fun

People don’t necessarily go to the Greek Ibiza to party from dusk till dawn but they also head to this paradise to relax on some of the most amazing beaches on Mykonos. Real hedonists will surely be pleased to discover the Super Paradise beach and the inevitable Elia – beaches where enjoyment, sea, and fun perfectly blend together. On a totally different note, peace-seekers can head to Gaios Ioannis and the perfectly secluded Kapari beach where one can be in sync with nature.

12.Skiathos

A secluded beach on Skiathos

This modestly sized island in the Sporades doesn’t lack the attractions of any other island twice its size. In fact, Skiathos is largely famous precisely for the beaches which stretch for miles along its coast. By far, the most breath-taking of all is Lalaria, located on the northern side of the island. It is on the northern side that you can find several more beaches equally captivating and enjoyable – Glyfoneri, Aselinos, and Megas Gialos being the most notable ones.

13.Elafonissi

Transparent water on Elafonissi beach

The fact that Elafonissi is often dubbed the Greek Maldives speaks volumes about the beauty of this Mediterranean island. It owes this nickname to the heavenly beaches that sprawl along its turquoise shores and they come in all shapes and sizes. Compared to its neighboring Crete, Elafonissi looks like a tiny spot but it doesn’t fall behind in beauty. On the contrary, the beaches of Kedrodasos, Aspri Limni, and Simos. Technically speaking, Elafonissi is not an island but an oblong peninsula and it’s often considered a supplement to all the other Cretan beaches.

14.Thassos

A beautiful Golden beach in Thassos

Often overlooked, Thassos is actually brimming with great beaches to suit every taste. This northernmost Greek island provides visitors with great sandy beaches, such as the famous Scala, Paradise, and Golden beach. You will see that there is a variety of beaches surrounded by lush pines and greenery too, including Astris, Papalimani, and Metalia. Scuba-diving opportunities on Thassos are also aplenty so you can explore the underwater world on Trypiti, Pefkari, or Salonikios beach.

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15.Skyros

Transparent water on Skyros

The largest island of the North Sporades mesmerizes the visitors with its jagged mountain ranges, pine forests, picturesque creeks, and of course, beautiful fine sand beaches. The most popular beaches on Skyros are Magazia and Molos, both of which are at a stone’s throw from the Skyros Town. Nestled among lush vegetation are Atsitsa, Pefkos, and Agios Fokas which are ideal diving locations too.

Read more: Exploring the Nikiti Beach in Sithonia

16.Poros

A hidden beach on Poros in Greece

Together with Spetses, Hydra. Aegina, and Agistri, Poros belongs to the Saronic group of islands, characteristic for their unique charm and picturesque villages. The beaches on Poros predominantly comprise pebbles and gravel while the lush forests that hug them from all sides only add a unique note to their appeal. The Love Bay and Askeli are two of the island’s most famous beaches. If you want to stay away from the crowds, head north from Poros town and enjoy a relaxing swim in the seclusion of Vayionia or Kalavria.

17.Evia

A relaxing atmosphere on Pefki beach in Evia

As the second largest island after Crete, Evia offers a tremendous diversity of beaches. With over 700 kilometers of shore, the beaches on Evia range from sandy and pebbled ones to those with large rocks scattered around the shallows. The Pefki beach is the largest of them all, well organized and spacious. Following closely are the pebbled Limnionas, Vythouri and the iconic Kalamos. Kalamos is not the only beach embellished with peculiar rock formations and caves, though. Agios Dimitrios, Zarakes, and Chiliadou also boast some striking rocks perfect for exploration and snorkeling.

18.Kos

A secluded beach on Kos

Kos is one of the islands belonging to the group of Dodecanese, together with Rhodes and Karpathos. Swimming spots on Kos are abundant and they are predominantly located on the island’s southern side. Agios Stefanos, Marmari, and Lagades are beautiful sandy beaches south of Kos town while Kardamena and Lambi usually get pretty crowded in the high season due to their exquisite beauty. Apart from the superb beaches, Kos is also one of the culturally richest islands and offers spectacular sight-seeing opportunities so you can rest assured your vacation will be filled with lots of activities.

19.Naxos

A secluded little beach on Naxos

Along with Mykonos and Milos, Naxos is yet another island which belongs to the Cycladic islands in Greece. Still, the beaches on this island differ from the other Cyclades to a great extent. Unlike those beaches on Mykonos and Milos which usually tend to be tiny in size, Naxos has beaches that stretch for miles on end. Plaka is undoubtedly the winner and apart from its spectacular white sand and sand dunes, it offers a fantastic view of Paros. Agios Prokopios, Aliko, Orkos, and the endless Maragas stand next in line and they are just as captivating. There are over 20 beaches on the island of Naxos so you won’t have a hard time finding the one that will grow on you.

Read more: Kalogria Beach – the Jewel of Peloponnese

20.Andros

Strange rock formations on Andros island beach

Last but not least, the island of Andros located in the northernmost part of the Cyclades earns the spot on the list of the 20 best Greek islands for beaches. As you can guess, Andros has a variety of beaches to suit every taste – from remote to popular, organized or wild, it has the whole package. Chrissi Ammos, Batsi, and Agios Petros are situated on the island’s western side while those facing north are a bit harder to access but are captivating nonetheless. Vlychada, Agios Sostis, and Zorkos are the ones belonging to the latter group of beaches, characterized by the lack of crowds due to their remote positions. Still, if you want to take some extraordinary photos to take back home, you should head to Tis Grias beach just a kilometer north of Ormos town and see with your own eyes why this is the most photographed beach on the island.