Beaches in Greece

by Cristina on April 27, 2011

by Cristina | April 27th, 2011  

With 13,676 km of coastline, Greece is a country which has a lot of interesting beaches to offer. And since there are so many types of beaches to choose from, one will definitely suit your expectations. Long sandy beach and turquoise water, small, hidden beaches surrounded by cliffs, black beaches, red beaches… Greece has them all.

Greece is ranked by the Blue Flag Program among the top three countries with the best quality coasts thanks to its clean beaches. The Blue Flag Program is run by the independent non-profit organization Foundation for Environment Education. They rank beaches based on certain criteria which have to do with water quality, cleanness, facilities and other services. Most Greek Blue flag beaches are located in Halkidiki but beaches in Crete and on the Dodecanese islands also get high scores.

Beaches by Region

Mainland Beaches

The mainland is filled with spectacular beaches and most of them are easily accessible from the cities. There are beaches close to: Athens, Halkidiki, Pelion, Epidaurus, Ermioni, Nafpaktos, Parga, Nafplion and Porto Heli.

Alimos beach is located 11 km south of Athens . It is one of the most popular beaches in the area because it is located so close to the city center. Another beach that gets crowded during summer is Glyfada Beach, located 16 km south of the capital. In the town of Piraeus, you’ll find Votsalakia beach (10 km from Athens). It is a pebbled beach and it offers many facilities.

Crete Beaches

Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and also the link between Europe, Asia and Africa. Close to Heraklion, there are many beaches to choose from. Ammoudara is very long and sandy, well organized and very popular. It is located 5 km west of Heraklion. Agia Pelagia is a lovely fishing village which turns into a resort during summer. Located 24 km north of Heraklion, the beach is excellent for a family vacation. Paleokastro is a small, secluded beach, located 15 km north of Heraklion.

Cyclades Beaches

The Cyclades are definitely the most popular group of Greek islands. There are 220 islands which are part of the Cyclades, but the most popular are Mykonos , Santorini , Ios, Paros and Naxos.

Paradise Beach is one of the most famous beaches on Mykonos and is located 6 km from Chania. It typically attracts the young crowds thanks to the parties it is known for. Paraga is another popular beach on this island. If you are looking for a secluded place close to Chania, the southern part of the beach is exactly what you need. Platis Gialos is located 5 km from Chania is well organized, with sandy beach and clean water.

The Red Beach on Santorini is famous for the black and red pebbles and hot water. It is one of the popular beaches on the island and is located 12 km south of Fira. Perissa is a popular beach resort which gets crowded during summer. It has black sand and is located 10 km east of Fira. Perivolos is the longest black sand beach on Santorini. It is located 10 km south of Fira and is an organized tourist resort, with hotels, tavernas and other facilities.

Just 4 km south of Parikia (the second largest village on Paros), you’ll find Parasporos, a popular beach with many facilities. Pounda beach is very popular thanks to the beautiful surroundings and for being a gateway to Antiparos (there are frequent ferries to the near-by island). If you are looking for a small tourist resort, head to Logaras, 18 km from Parikia. The beach is sandy and the water is clean.

Dodecanese Beaches

The Dodecanese is a group of 12 large islands and 150 small ones, located in the Aegean Sea. The most popular of them are: Rhodes , Patmos , Kos and Karpathos .

Faliraki is the most popular beach on Rhodes. Ladiko is located close to Faliraki and is famous for its wild atmosphere. Both beaches get very crowded during summer. Afandou beach is very well organized and is a sandy beach. It is one of the most popular resorts on Rhodes.

Skala beach is the most popular beach on Patmos. It is pebbled and offers many tourist facilities. Only part of Kambos beach is organized. It is located 9 km from Chora, on the north side of the island. Another less organized beach on Patmos is Geranou, located 13 km from Chora. It gets quite crowded during summer.

Karpathos is known to have some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. Apella is beach is located in a lovely cove, in a picturesque setting. Kyra Panagia offers a wild atmosphere and soft sand, while Achata beach is blessed with superb green water. The beach is made up of white sand and pebbles.

Sporades Beaches

The Sporades are made up of three major islands: Alonissos, Skiathos and Skopelos. The islands are fertile, with pine forests and some of the best beaches in the Aegean Sea.

Skiathos is the most popular island in the group, home to some impressive beaches. Koukounaries is one of the largest and most popular beaches on the island. It is surrounded by a pine forest and is located 13 km south of Skiathos Town. Banana beach is known as a naturist beach on the island. Kanapitsa is an organized beach with fine sand. It is located 7 km south of Skiathos Town.

Ionian (Western Greek Islands) Beaches

In the Ionian Sea, along the west coast of Greece, you’ll find the Ionian Islands. The most popular Ionian Islands are: Corfu , Kefalonia and Zakinthos (Zante) .

Paleokastritsa is the most popular beach on Corfu, located 23 km north of Corfu Town. Green cliffs surround the beach and there are many caves near-by which can be visited by boat. Glyfada is another popular beach on the island. The fine sand is surrounded by huge green cliffs. Barbati is a secluded beach with pebbles and clean water. It is located 17 km north of Corfu Town.

Myrtos is the most popular beach on Kefalonia. It is blessed with white sand and turquoise water. Xi is another popular beach on the island. It is an organized beach with fine sand. Foki is a small beach located 48 km north of Argostoli. It is very picturesque with large stones and crystal water.

Navagio Beach is the most popular beach on Zante. The rocky surroundings along with the exotic water attract many tourists. Agios Nikolaos is well known for the water sports which can be practiced here. It is an excellent place for scuba diving. Porto Zoro gets very crowded during summer due to its natural beauty and location (17 km south of Zakynthos Town).

Eastern Aegean Beaches

Some of the most popular islands in this area are: Thassos , Lesvos and Ikaria.

Thassos offers some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. Golden Beach is well organized, with golden sand and crystal waters. It is surrounded by lush vegetation. Paradise Beach is also very popular among tourists, with soft, white sand and located 20 km south of Limenas. Potos is one of the most crowded beaches during summer. It is dotted with tourist facilities.

Saronic Beaches

The most popular Saronic Islands are: Aegina and Hydra .

The beaches on Hydra a mostly pebbled, but that doesn’t mean you have to avoid them. Just 1 km west of Hydra Town you’ll find Kaminia, a small pebbled beach. The fish tavernas are amazing.

On the other hand, the beaches on Aegina, although small, offer fine sand and many tourist facilities. Souvala, located 9 km north east of Aegina Town, is a picturesque beach which offers crystal water. The beach of Agia Marina offers fine sand, sub beds and umbrellas. Water sports can be practiced here.

You might also want to read about:

>> Top 5 Nude Beaches of Greece
>> Getting to Halkidiki – by road only from Thessaloniki
>> Nude Beach in Crete: Red Beach, Matala
>> Crete’s Only Official Nude Beach: Filaki Beach

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