Greece beach holidays

Tour the archipelago and hit some of Europe’s best beaches

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Ronnie McCluskey

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert

Egremni beach

Soft, shifting sands; intensely blue water; memorable views of sun-baked cliffs, islands or ancient relics: there are indeed many factors that contribute to a good beach. Greece has plenty of them. In fact, it’s home to some of Europe’s very best – which is no surprise given it has the most coastline of any country on the continent. Secluded coves, picture-postcard stretches of golden sand, areas busy with bars and bathers; you’re sure to find a beach that suits you here. It’s during the summer months of June, July and August when the temperature on the Greek islands reaches its zenith, though a refreshing sea breeze whipping in from the north and north-west should keep you from burning to a crisp.

Beach locales in Greece are a dime a dozen, from the blinding white sands fringing the Ionian Islands to the contrasting black sands and pebble beaches of Santorini. Watersport devotees are catered for too. And though in the Med you won’t find the mammoth waves you seek if you’re all about surfing, it is possible to catch some good breaks. Got your beachwear at the ready? Read on for a breakdown of Greece’s top five seaside hotspots.


Top five destinations for beach holidays in Greece


Beach holidays in Greece: Crete Beach holidays in Greece: Crete

First things first, Crete is home to perhaps the greatest beach in all of Greece. Elafonissi Beach, residing on its own eponymous island off the southwestern corner of Crete, is a haven of clear, shallow waters and sparkling pink sand. Strap on a snorkel and you can observe fish weaving between the tiny rocky islands closeby; the beach itself includes facilities such as showers and food kiosks, while for 7 Euros you can rent a pair of lounge chairs and a parasol for the entire day. Elsewhere in Crete, Mpalos Beach, to the northwest of Chania, lies in a shallow bay formed in the peninsula of Gramvousa and is famous for its multiple shades of lapping blue water. Bali beach, and the glorious Falassarna, are also well worthy of your attention.

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 Beach holidays in Greece: Rhodes Beach holidays in Greece: Rhodes

The beaches of Rhodes, which sit way out in the Aegean Sea south of Marmaris, are numerous. That’s because the small coastal towns and villages of Rhodes are numerous, from Faliraki to Kremasti, Lindos and Pefkos to Afantou and Paradisi. Take the car and tour along the coastline, hitting the beaches as you go. Such is the beauty of St Paul’s Bay in Lindos, it’s become a favourite for couples wishing to say ‘I do’ on recent years; the enclosing limestone cliffs certainly lend the place something of an aura. For somewhere a little quieter, nip along to Afandou, 19km south of Rhodes Town; comprised of sand and pebbles, it’s one of Crete’s finest Blue Flag beaches. The twin sandy coves of Prassonissi, meanwhile, are popular with windsurfers.

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Beach holidays in Greece: Ionian Islands Beach holidays in Greece: Ionian Islands

In the best beach stakes, the Ionian Islands certainly hold their own against the rest of the archipelago. The islands are made up of Corfu, Paxos, Lefkas, Ithaca, Zante, Kefalonia and Cythera, so the beaches belonging to it are spread far and wide, from the stunning Porto Katsiki in Lefkas, whose wedge of golden sand lies in the shade of towering white cliffs, to the sublime Shipwreck Beach on the north-west shore of party hub Zante. You can only access this sand-and-pebble beach by boat, but boy is it worth it! In Kefalonia, meanwhile, Myrtos beach towers above the rest; sheltered by a pair of mountains either side, it’s also home to a low cave at the end of the beach that’s a joy to explore. Just watch out for the shelving sand if you go out for a swim; it gets deep pretty quickly.

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Beach holidays in Greece: Saronic Islands Beach holidays in Greece: Saronic Islands

The closest Greek islands to Athens, the Saronic chain are ideal for those making a flying visit to Greece. Spetses, Hydra, Agistra Poros and Aegina are their names, and their beaches are uniformly excellent. You won’t find an abundance of endless golden beaches here, but rather a preponderance of small, intimate coves. Love Bay beach in Poros is shaded by pine trees and truly Caribbean in feel; it can be reached via an hourly bus departing from Poros Town. Neorio Beach, also in Poros, is perhaps the most commercial you’ll find; golden sands, transparent waters, it’s home to a centre for water sports. Agia Marina, meanwhile, is the pick of the bunch in Spetses; it’s surrounded by pines and cypresses and overlooked by a small pink and white chapel.

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Beach holidays in Greece: Aegean Islands Beach holidays in Greece: Aegean Islands

The Aegean Islands describes a vast number of Greek islands, the most northern of which lie along the country’s east coast, and whose largest and most populous member, in the south, is Crete. There’s a diverse mix of things to do depending on which island you alight on, of course, but as far as beaches go, the options are limitless. Paradise beach in Kos is a popular choice, particularly with the young crowd, while there is no shortage of world-class beaches in Ikaria, Lesvos, Samos and Psara, all of which lie just off the coast of Turkey. There’s also a lovely clean pebble beach in Santorini named Perissa, and a further ‘Red Beach’, near Akrotiri, which is backed by dramatic volcanic red rocks.  

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Holiday Rentals in Greece

Villa Ponti *Free Car/Transfer offer*

*Free Car or Transfer offer available on next 10 bookings – see Solmar Villas site for details* Villa Ponti commands a truly awe-inspiring position on the hillside of the fantastic seaside village of Vasiliki. Having such a special location means ...

Villa Melissi *Free Car/Transfer offer*

*Free Car or Transfer offer available on next 10 bookings – see Solmar Villas site for details* One bedroomed villas with private swimming pools are extremely uncommon, especially those located a mere few minutes’ walk from a fabulous beach and a ...

Villa DIAMOND - Sunset & Sea Views - Swimming pool & Private outdoor heated Spa

Villa “DIAMOND” at “OIA SUNSET VILLAS” is part of a complex of six traditional houses, elegantly decorated. The villa is located in the north of Santorini Island in the traditional settlement of Oia (Ia) village. It is just 400 m. from the villag...

Villa Otza Sleeps 6

Villa Otza is only a stone's throw away from the sea, and secluded beaches are only a short swim away Villa Otza is situated close to the bay of Otzias, a popular residential settlement of traditional stone villas on Kea island. It is part of a b...

Villa Derra Sleeps 7

Its cliffside location makes for some stunning and dramatic views Villa Derra stands on the caldera cliffs half way between the villages of Imerovigli and Oia. Its architectural design showcases the best in Santorini’s traditional architecture, b...

Greece Europe United States World Corfu Ionian Islands Crete Dodecanese Rodhes Cyclades Santorini Hydra Patra Athens Mykonos Aegean Islands Skiathos Calcidia Thasos

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