By Briana Seftel
What comes to mind when you think of Greece? If it's "beautiful beaches," you're absolutely right! Greece boasts hundreds of gorgeous beaches, from the party shores of Mykonos to lesser-known Milos. With a mild Mediterranean climate, you can do a Greek beach vacation any time of year. Discover 10 of the best beaches in Greece that are totally worth the plane ticket alone.
Myrtos Beach • Kefalonia
Consistently hailed as the best beach in Greece, Myrtos has a lot to live up to. Luckily, it delivers on all fronts! Located between Assos and Argostoli, the beach is backed by steep limestone cliffs and faces the deep turquoise Ionian Sea. Dig your toes into the soft white sand and let the serenity of this picture-perfect beach wash over you.
Elafonissi Beach • Crete
Situated at the southwesternmost tip of Crete, Elafonissi Beach screams "Instagram worthy." It's actually an island, separated by a shallow lagoon and sandbar. And no, your eyes aren't fooling you - the sand is tinged pink due to millions of crushed coral and shells! Since it's Crete's most famous beach, expect crowds in the summer months. September and October are the best months to visit if you want this pretty pink beach all to yourself.
Porto Katsiki Beach • Lefkada
Set against the magnificent backdrop of steep cliffs, Porto Katsiki Beach will leave you breathless (literally). Accessible only by 80 steep steps descending along the cliff, this beach is well worth the effort. Once you reach the sand, you'll be rewarded with lush vegetation and crystal clear water as far as the eye can see. Its name, which translates to "goat port," is said to have been derived by the dubious fact that only goats could access the beach.
Red Beach • Santorini
Santorini is known for its cobblestone old town and sunsets, not for beaches. But there's one beach worth seeking out if you find yourself on Greece's most romantic island: Red Beach. Named for its red and black volcanic stone and sand, this beach one of Greece's most unique! While better for photos than sunbathing, a visit to Red Beach is essential to understanding the volcanic nature of Santorini.
Voidokilia Beach • Peloponnese
Located in Messinia, about two hours from Athens, Voidokilia Beach is famous for its circular shape in the form of the Greek letter omega. Boasting golden sand and clear calm water, this sheltered beach is referenced in Homer's Odyssey and archaeologists believe it was used by King Nestor as a port in ancient times. Hike to the top of the cliffs above Voidokilia Beach for magnificent views!
Shipwreck Bay (Navagio) Beach • Zakynthos
Arguably Greece's most photographed beach, Shipwreck Beach on the island of Zakynthos is like something out of a dream! Formerly a smuggler's cove, the beach gets its name from a boat that was shipwrecked in 1982. Protected by limestone cliffs on three sides, the beach feels like a secluded paradise, although expect crowds in the high season. Keep in mind the beach is only accessible by boat or a strenuous climb. If you choose to climb, you'll be rewarded with amazing views of the beach below!
Super Paradise Beach • Mykonos
We'll give it to Mykonos - they sure know how to name a beach! Famed for its nightlife and thumping EDM, Mykonos has plenty of beaches that are perfect for nursing that hangover. Located approximately 3.5 miles from Mykonos Town, Super Paradise is total relaxation by day and party by night. With a lifeguard on duty, restaurant and boutique, you'll have all the conveniences without the hustle and bustle of the beaches closer to town.
St Paul’s Bay • Rhodes
Located just south of Lindos on the southeast coast of Rhodes is St Paul's Bay. According to legend, St Paul arrived in 51 AD to preach Christianity to the Rhodians. Today, it's one of Rhodes' best beaches enclosed by rocks and featuring two stretches of sand. Relax under the shade of an umbrella, grab a bite to eat at one of the tavernas or snorkel in the calm water. The tiny chapel in the cove is a popular setting for a Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Balos Beach • Crete
With astonishing views of Gramvousa Island, Balos Beach Lagoon in western Crete is unlike any other beach in Greece. While reaching the beach requires time and patience (you can arrive by a dirt road on a 4x4 from Chania Town or via a ferry from Kissamos), seeing this natural wonder is totally worth the trek. Swim in the clear lagoon which feels more like a pool then the sea, admire the pink-hued sand and explore the Venetian castle that sits atop the island.
Sarakiniko Beach • Milos
The dazzling white volcanic rock formations of Sarakiniko Beach look more lunar than Greek. Contrasting beautifully with the sapphire sea, this beach on the island of Milos feels like a fresh discovery. Easily reached by car, the beach makes for a relaxing yet adventurous day trip on this little-known Greek island.