Greece: a huge variety of beach holiday experiences
Seaside resort:
Greece
Map:

Greece in brief

 

Visit Greece for spectacular beaches, clear blue seas, water sports, ancient history, sumptuous cuisine, a buzzing nightlife and family attractions.

Location:

Southern Europe

Nearest airport:

Athens, Corfu, Heraklion, Kefalonia, Kos and Rhodes are some of the main airports in Greece

Key resorts & areas:

Peloponnese, Epirus, Halkidiki, Pelion, Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Kefalonia

Major sights & activities:

Diving, sailing, water skiing, hiking, ancient ruins, museums, markets, marine parks

Best time to go

June to September for most areas; July and August is the peak season and also the best time to visit northern Greece

Did you know?

Greece has over 15,000 km of coastline including its 3,000 islands - that’s a lot of beach holidays!

 

Beach holidays in Greece

 

Greece is one of the most popular beach holiday destinations in the world - and for good reason. Few other countries offer the ancient history and huge variety of beach experiences that Greece does, mainly thanks to its thousands of islands.

Visitors to Greece can enjoy amazing sandy beaches, lively nightlife in some locations and quieter evenings in others, fantastic food made with the freshest local ingredients, plenty of family-friendly attractions and more besides.

Greece’s beach destinations can be roughly divided up into the mainland and key island groups, including the following:

 

Mainland Greece

Mainland Greece has beaches along its Ionian and Aegean coastlines, ranging from large and lively resorts to smaller villages.

  • Thrace - The northernmost region of Greece has a coastline on the Aegean Sea lined with notable beaches like Avdira and Alexandroupoli, which is close to the Turkish border and offers a fascinating culture and history to explore as a result.
  • Macedonia - One of Greece’s most famous destinations, Thessaloniki, can be found in the Macedonia region (not to be confused with the country of Macedonia!) and offers beaches and history in spades. Another top beach destination, Halkidiki, can be found here and is famous for its nightlife.
  • Epirus - This region of western Greece has Parga and its picturesque bay as its main beach destination. There’s both a town beach that can get busy and smaller beaches nearby.
  • Thessaly - Located in eastern Greece, Thessaly has around 22 Blue Flag beaches, with most located in Volos and Larissa. Other destinations include South Pelion and Skiathos.
  • Central Greece - This region is home to Athens and beach destinations on the Ionian and Aegean seas, such as Patras and Messolonghi. Athens itself isn’t far from some popular beach resorts, although quieter parts of the coast might be more appealing.
  • Peloponnese - This peninsula in southern mainland Greece offers a huge range of beach holiday options. Beaches, mountains and caves combine to create a ruggedly gorgeous landscape packed with things to see and do. Highlights include Messinia, home to Kalamata (where you’ll find the delicious black olives of the same name) and lots of Blue Flag beaches, as well as other resorts like Kardamili and Stoupa.

 

Northeastern Aegean islands

The islands of the northeastern Aegean are ideal for a traditional Greek island holiday. Highlights include:

  • Ikaria - This is where Icarus is said to have started his journey into the sun and offers beautiful beaches, thermal springs and archaeological attractions. The north side of the island has the sandiest and most popular beaches, including Livadi and Messakti.
  • Lesvos - This fascinating island produces around half of the world’s supply of ouzo and is Greece’s third biggest island. Top destinations include Mytilini Town and Molyvos.
  • Samos - Samos is located close to the Turkish coast and has a semitropical climate. Some of the main beaches include Karlovassi, Psili Ammos and Kokari.

 

The Sporades

The Sporades can be found in the northwestern Aegean Sea and are known for their lush, green landscapes and relaxed atmosphere. Highlights include:

  • Skopelos - This shot to fame when Mamma Mia was filmed here. Skopelos is perfect for a quiet beach holiday, with notable destinations including Hovolos, Miliá and Panormos. 
  • Skiathos - Skiathos has 60 beaches, with Koukounariés and its nightlife being the most famous. Meyáli Ámmos is another beach worth visiting for its traditional tavernas and clear waters.
  • Alónissos - This is a laidback island with lots of scope for nature walks and general relaxations. Beaches include Meyálos Mourtiás, Stení Vála and Marpoúnta.

 

Evia

Evia is Greece’s second biggest island (even though it looks like it’s part of the mainland at first glance at a map!) and lies off the east coast in the Aegean Sea. It’s easily accessible from Athens.

  • Mourteri - This sand beach near Kymi is 4.5 km long and boasts warm, clear waters during the summer months.
  • Agia Anna - Located in northern Evia, Agia Anna is a long, wide sand beach and is popular with tourists.
  • Hiliadou - Situated just over an hour from Chalcis, Hiliadou is a pleasant shingle beach with plenty of seafood tavernas nearby.

 

Argo-Saronic Islands

The Argo-Saronic Islands can be found off the mainland south-west of Athens and are popular for their beaches.

  • Aegina - The closest island to Athens, Aegina has a notable historical site (the Aphea Temple) and beaches including Avra, Panagitsa and Loutra.
  • Hydra - This is a particularly romantic island to visit thanks to its traditional architecture and beaches such as Mandraki and the remote but beautiful Limnióniza.
  • Spetses - This small island is popular for luxurious beach holidays. Its beaches include Ayia Marina and lovely pine-lined Zogeriá.

 

Cyclades

The Cyclades contains some of Greece’s most popular island destinations, with highlights including:

  • Mykonos - This is the most popular island in the Cyclades thanks to its whitewashed buildings, azure seas and beaches. The best beaches are on the south shore and include Psarou, Platis Gialos and Paradise Beach.
  • Santorini - Santorini is a volcanic destination famous for its white, black and red sand beaches, including family-friendly Monolithos and popular Kamari.
  • Ios - Ios is a picturesque island with scenic traditional villages and historical sights. Its beaches include Mylopotas, Manganari and Yialos, which all hold Blue Flags.

 

Dodecanese

The sun-soaked Dodecanese Islands include more of Greece’s most popular beach destinations.

  • Rhodes - Rhodes is rich in lush green vegetation, history and - most importantly - beaches. Top destinations include Kallithéa, which incorporates Faliraki Beach, and Ialissós, which is also known as Triánda.
  • Kos - This scenic island is particularly popular with tourists. The most visited beach is the white sand Paradise Beach near Kefalos, with other highlights including Agios Stefanos and Tigaki.
  • Kalymnos - This quiet but beautiful island is a wonderful place to relax. The main resorts include Massouri and Vlichadia.

 

Crete

Greece’s largest island has something for everyone: amazing mountain views, gorgeous beaches and fantastic food.

  • Vai - Vai’s claim to fame is that the famous 1970s ad for Bounty chocolate bars was shot here. It’s also a beautiful golden sand beach lined with palm trees and ideal for a relaxing holiday.
  • Paleóhora - Located on the south-west coast, Paleóhora is a family-friendly beach with activities such as hiking and windsurfing available.
  • Mýrtos - This sheltered beach has a laidback, cosmopolitan atmosphere and the nearby town is good for shopping.

 

Ionian Islands

This group of islands boasts plenty of beaches, high mountains and a rich history. Highlights include:

  • Corfu - This green island is a haven for nature lovers. It has many beaches to choose from, including Agios Stefanos, Ermones and Glyfada.
  • Kefalonia - This island was the setting for Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and looks just as good in real life as on the big screen. Top beaches here include Myrtos, Petani and Skala.
  • Ithaca - The home of Odysseus, Ithaca is a quiet, relaxing island destination with lovely beaches including Lootsa, Filiatró and Sarakínniko.
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