I’ve added an update about booking hotels in Greece to the end of this post.
What are the best beaches in Greece?
It’s difficult to answer because it can take so many different forms. What’s the best beach for kids? What’s the best beach for swimming? What’s the best beach for partying?
You get the idea. Everyone is looking for a great beach, but they all have different criteria. Add to that the fact that most islands have upwards of 20 different beaches. Here are my personal favorites and a couple others that get great reviews from travelers that report back to me.
What is the best beach for kids in Greece?
Agios Gordios Beach on Naxos is wonderful for kids. A short walk from the islands capital village Agios Gordios is the family-friendly champion of Greece. A shallow shelf extends well out into the sea and the calm protected waters are perfect for children. Many places to eat and stay are in the immediate area. Nearby Antiparos island has many kid friendly beaches and nearly all Greek islands have one or two beaches that suit the needs of families.
What is the best beach for Partying?
Paradise Beach on Mykonos is not for everyone. The category was Party Beach and this defines Paradise. Water sports, young people, sand, sun, and drinks wherever you look.
What is the best beach for quiet and solitude (on a popular island)?
Ambelas Beach, Paros is fantastic. There are quieter beaches on less popular islands, but considering it’s on Paros, Ambelas is downright tranquil. There are enough restaurants and hotels in the area so you don’t feel totally isolated. Visit outside of July and August and you could have the beach to yourself.
What is the best beach close to Athens?
Vouligmeni Beach is great for swimming and less than an hour from Athens. It can get very busy on the weekend but if you’re stuck in the heat of Athens you won’t complain once you’re here.
What’s the most unique Beach?
Red Beach on Santorini is covered with red and black sand (that can be blazingly hot in the mid-day heat) and backed by slabs of red and black volcanic rock Red Beach is a one of kind destination. Perhaps not the best for swimming (though the snorkeling is good) the beach makes a good early morning destination. The island of Milos is loaded with unique and incredible beaches that are good for swimming.
What is my personal favorite?
Elafonisi Beach on Crete is as perfect as beaches get. Shallow waters lead out to a little island and postcard-perfect scenes of sand and sea. Elafonisi can get very busy with day trippers from Chania but if you stay overnight in one of the nearby hotels you can wake up early and have the entire beach to yourself. Avoid the crowded and chaotic buses from Chania and instead take the daily boat to and from the delightful town of Paleochora. The boat leaves Paleochora in the morning and returns in the late afternoon. You can take it one-way or both.
What is the best time to get great weather in Greece?
June through September are perfect beach weather. July and August are the hottest. June and September are nearly perfect with one small difference between them being that the sea is warmer in the fall while the countryside is greener in spring. May and October can still see warm weather and sunny days but one should be prepared for the possibility of a little rain and cloud. And bring a sweater for coolish nights. On the southern coast of Crete it’s not unheard of to be swimming into the first weeks of November.
These are the Best Beaches on the Greek Islands.
Update: How to book hotels in Greece
As you can tell from the comments below, I get more questions on hotels than almost any other topic.
- hotelscombined.com/Greece is the best website for finding hotels in Greece.
- For most islands you don’t need to book in advance for travel outside of July and August. When you arrive on the ferry there will likely be a handful of hotel owners waiting for you. On most islands the town is immediately adjacent to the port so it’s easy to walk around and check out the hotels.
Websites for hotels at the most popular destinations
- Santorini Hotels (book in advance for June to September)
- Athens Hotels (book in advance for April to October)
- Mykonos Hotels, Rhodes Hotels, Corfu Hotels and Crete Hotels (book in advance for late June until early September)
- Naxos Hotels, Paros Hotels, and Milos Hotels (book in advance for July and August)
Also, the larger your group the more an advanced reservation is worthwhile. A single backpacker might able to find a hotel in Corfu with little notice. A family of 5 will have a very hard time if they haven’t booked well in advance.
If you’re traveling to Santorini then check out this article for more detailed information:
I hope that helps. Good luck.
[Photos by: culturalcurator, daniela.bartosova, robertpaulyoung, anjči, miemo, Horia Varlan, dags1974, Random_fotos, Wolfgang Staudt, sub_lime79, N_Creatures, hozinja, Abeeeer, SNappa2006, shadiworks, jenny-bee, Jacopo Della Porta, kaysb80, GOC53, CaptGorgeous, kdask, hammershaug, clurr, MattSims, plusgood, ctsnow, KassandraBay, lostajy, ufoncz, Signe Karin, Paul Mannix, Jörg Weingrill, El Mostrito]