The Ultimate Guide to the Best Beach Holidays in Greece
The Ultimate Guide to the Best Beach Holidays in Greece
With over 6,000 islands and endless coastline, Greece is a dream destination for a beach holiday. Azure waters lap against golden sand beaches framed by whitewashed villages. From luxurious resorts to secluded coves, Greece serves up endless options for sun-soaked adventures.
The very best Greece beach holidays let you immerse in island life while exploring ancient sites, feasting on Mediterranean cuisine, and sailing across the Aegean Sea. Follow this Greece travel guide to pick the perfect islands and beaches for your style and budget.
When to Visit the Greek Islands
With hot, dry summers and mild winters, Greece sees tourists from Spring through Fall. July and August are the most popular and crowded months. For smaller crowds, lower prices, and mild weather, target May/June or September/October. The sea remains swimmable into November.
The Greek mainland and Crete have milder winters than the northern isles. But the trade-off is also cooler water. For reliable beach weather, stick to the islands from May to October.
Top Greek Islands for Beach Holidays
Santorini – Dramatic cliffs and volcano views
Known for its iconic whitewashed villages perched on volcanic cliffs, Santorini flows with stellar wine, sunsets, and romance. Red and black sand beaches add drama. Stay in lively Fira or more peaceful Oia.
Mykonos – Glamour and nightlife
Mykonos brings the party with its glossy resorts and throbbing nightclubs. Family-friendly beaches dot the south coast while Platis Gialos and Psarou attract a stylish crowd.
Crete – Mountain hikes and culture
Crete, Greece’s largest island, has excellent beaches on its north and south coasts. Samaria Gorge offers epic hiking. Knossos Palace provides a dose of culture.
Corfu – Lush scenery and Venetian charm
Lush Corfu has turquoise bays flanked by mountains. The famous Canal d’Amour is perfect for couples. Historic Corfu Town charms with Venetian and French influences.
Zakynthos – Sheltered coves and shipwreck views
Boat tours take you to famous Shipwreck Beach and Blue Caves on Zakynthos. Kalamaki Beach and Agios Nikolaos have family-friendly shallow waters.
Naxos – Windsurfing and hilltop villages
Naxos, the largest Cycladic isle, attracts windsurfers to its west coast. Hike to the summit of Mount Zeus. Explore charming hilltop villages like Halki.
Rhodes – Medieval castles and long sandy beaches
Walk the cobblestone streets of Rhodes’ medieval Old Town before relaxing on Prassonisi’s sandy peninsula. Kallithea’s ruined spa is great for photos.
Lefkada – Breathtaking cliffs and lagoons
Pristine beaches like Porto Katsiki and Egremni dazzle with white cliffs and turquoise waters. Visit quaint harbor village Nidri. Cape Lefkata has a skydiving scene.
The Peloponnese – Ancient sites and island hopping
Mainland Greece’s Peloponnese peninsula combines awesome coastline with history. Visit ancient Olympia, the Temple of Poseidon, and the theater of Epidaurus.
Best Beaches in Greece
Navagio Beach, Zakynthos
Shipwreck Cove on Zakynthos has iconic views of a smuggler’s ship buried in white sand. Reach it only by boat.
Balos Lagoon, Crete
This gorgeous stretch of pink coral sand and turquoise waters regularly tops Best Beach lists. Hike or take a boat tour to reach it.
Elafonisi Beach, Crete
Known for its pink coral sand and shallow, crystal clear lagoon, this islet beach has a Caribbean vibe. It gets busy in high season.
Kleftiko Beach, Milos
Accessible only by boat, Kleftiko is beloved for its rocky cliffs, crystal clear waters, and underwater caves to explore.
Kalamaki Beach, Zakynthos
One of Zakynthos’ top beaches has fine white sand, shallow warm waters, and the isle’s famous sea turtles.
Platis Gialos, Mykonos
This family-friendly sandy beach with small hotels and tavernas offers great swimming and people watching.
Psarou Beach, Mykonos
Trendy Psarou attracts yachts and the see-and-be-seen crowd with loungers, restaurants, and energetic vibes.
Red Beach, Santorini
The volcanic cliffs of Santorini create this stunning beach with red sand and pebbles leading to azure water.
Koukounaries Beach, Skiathos
Skiathos claims some of Greece’s top beaches like this gorgeous stretch of golden sand and lush pine forest.
Voutoumi Beach, Antipaxos
Antipaxos yields secluded coves like Voutoumi lined with white pebbles, blinding turquoise waters, and sea caves.
Insider Tips for the Perfect Greece Beach Holiday
Avoid July/August crowds by traveling in shoulder season. September still sees sunny weather and warm swimming.
Look into hotel packages that include transfers and ferry tickets—it saves hassle planning logistics.
Rent cars on islands to discover hidden coves and beaches beyond the tourist track.
Pack reef shoes to access pebble and rock beaches while protecting your feet.
Try island hopping on ferries to hit different vibes and scenery across the Aegean.
Soak up Greek island life by timing your visit around local religious festivals and events.
Consider splurging on a catamaran cruise to access the best swimming spots around an island.
Don’t shy away from non-beach activities like wine tasting, village hopping, and temple tours.
Pack light clothes, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and swim gear—you’ll live in them on the islands!
Escape crowded beaches by visiting earlier in the day when crowds are thinner.
With endless breathtaking shores, Greece sets the gold standard for beach holidays. Follow this guide to design your own sun-soaked Greek island hopping adventure!
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