Greece is a country full of history, culture, and natural beauty. From ancient ruins to picturesque villages, there’s plenty to see and explore. But for those seeking a relaxing getaway, Greece’s beaches are some of the best in the world. From mainland Greece to the Greek islands, there are countless beaches to choose from. In this guide, we’ll highlight the top beaches that should be on your list for a Greek beach vacation in 2023.
Why Greece Should Be Your Next Beach Destination
Before we dive into the top beaches, let’s take a moment to appreciate why Greece is the perfect destination for a beach vacation. First and foremost, Greece’s beaches offer a unique combination of rich history and stunning natural beauty that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Rich History and Culture
Greece is known for its rich history and culture, and this is evident in the country’s beach destinations as well. Many beaches have ancient ruins or historic monuments nearby, allowing visitors to soak up the country’s history while enjoying the sun and sand. For example, Navagio Beach in Zakynthos is home to the famous “Shipwreck Beach,” where a rusted ship sits on the shore as a reminder of a bygone era.
Another beach that showcases Greece’s rich history is Balos Beach in Crete. This beach is located near the ancient city of Falassarna, which was once a major port and commercial center for the Minoan civilization. Visitors can explore the ruins and learn about the ancient history of the area before taking a dip in the crystal-clear waters of Balos Beach.
Stunning Natural Beauty
Greece’s beaches are also known for their stunning natural beauty. Crystal-clear waters, pristine sandy shores, and rugged cliff formations create a dramatic backdrop for a day at the beach. And because Greece has so many beaches to choose from, you can find a beach that fits your ideal natural setting. From secluded coves to lively beach clubs, there’s something for everyone.
One beach that stands out for its natural beauty is Porto Katsiki in Lefkada. This beach is surrounded by towering cliffs and can only be accessed by a steep staircase, adding to its secluded and exclusive feel. The turquoise waters and soft sand make it a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing, and the stunning views are worth the effort it takes to get there.
Delicious Greek Cuisine
No beach vacation is complete without delicious food, and Greece doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Greek cuisine is known for its fresh seafood, flavorful meats, and healthy Mediterranean diet. Many beach destinations have local tavernas or restaurants that serve up traditional Greek dishes, allowing visitors to fuel up on delicious food after a day in the sun.
One beach town that is particularly known for its food is Nafplio, located on the Peloponnese peninsula. This town has a bustling waterfront filled with seafood restaurants serving up fresh catches of the day. Visitors can enjoy classic dishes like grilled octopus and saganaki (fried cheese), as well as local specialties like horta (wild greens) and fava (a type of bean dip).
Top 5 Beaches in Mainland Greece
When it comes to beaches, Greece is a country that has plenty to offer. From the picturesque islands to the stunning mainland, Greece has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Here are five of the best beaches in mainland Greece that you should definitely add to your travel itinerary:
Located in the southwestern tip of Crete, Elafonisi Beach is a stunning natural wonder that is not to be missed. The beach has golden sand, crystal-clear waters, and a unique pink hue thanks to the tiny shell particles that wash up on the shore. The beach is also surrounded by dunes and cedar trees, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers. Visitors can also explore the nearby Elafonisi Island, which is accessible by foot during low tide. The island has a beautiful lagoon and is home to many rare plant species.
Located on the island of Zakynthos, Navagio Beach is one of the most photographed beaches in Greece. Its crystal-clear waters, white sand, and dramatic cliff formations create a breathtaking backdrop for a day at the beach. The beach is also known as Shipwreck Beach, as it is home to the wreck of a smuggler’s ship that ran aground in 1980. Visitors can take a boat tour to explore the shipwreck and the surrounding cliffs, or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun.
Located on the island of Kefalonia, Myrtos Beach is known for its dramatic cliff backdrop and turquoise waters. The beach has been voted as one of the best beaches in Greece, and it’s not hard to see why. Visitors can relax on the pebbled shoreline or explore the nearby caves. The beach is also a popular spot for water sports such as kayaking and windsurfing. If you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, you can simply enjoy the stunning views and take a leisurely stroll along the beach.
Sarakiniko Beach is located on the island of Milos and is known for its unique lunar landscape. The beach has white rock formations that resemble a moonscape, and the crystal-clear waters are inviting for a refreshing swim. Visitors can also explore the nearby caves and rock formations, which are perfect for a bit of adventure. The beach is also a popular spot for snorkeling, as the waters are home to many colorful fish and other marine life.
Located in the Peloponnese region, Voidokilia Beach is a hidden gem that is worth the trip. The beach has white sand and turquoise waters, and is located in a horseshoe-shaped bay. The surrounding greenery creates a stunning contrast against the blue waters, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers. Visitors can also explore the nearby Gialova Lagoon, which is a favorite spot for birdwatching. The beach is also a popular spot for camping, as there are many campsites nearby that offer stunning views of the beach and the surrounding landscape.
These five beaches are just a few of the many stunning beaches that Greece has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day at the beach or an adventure-filled trip, Greece has something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to explore the beautiful beaches of mainland Greece!
Best Beaches in the Greek Islands
The Greek islands are known for their postcard-worthy beaches, and these five are some of the best:
Santorini’s Red Beach
Santorini’s Red Beach gets its name from the unique red sand that covers the shoreline. The beach is located at the foot of towering red cliffs, creating a dramatic backdrop against the crystal-clear waters. Visitors can also explore nearby ancient ruins and traditional villages.
One of the most popular activities on Santorini is watching the sunset over the Aegean Sea. The island is known for its stunning sunsets, and there are few better places to watch the sun go down than from the shores of Red Beach. Visitors can enjoy a glass of local wine while taking in the breathtaking views.
Mykonos’ Super Paradise Beach
Mykonos’ Super Paradise Beach is known for its lively party scene and crystal-clear waters. The beach is home to some of the island’s best beach clubs and restaurants, making it a hotspot for visitors looking for a fun day in the sun.
Mykonos is also known for its vibrant nightlife, and Super Paradise Beach is no exception. Visitors can dance the night away at one of the beach clubs or enjoy a cocktail at one of the beachfront bars. The party atmosphere is contagious and is sure to make for a memorable night.
Crete’s Balos Lagoon
Located in the northwest corner of Crete, Balos Lagoon is a stunning natural wonder. The lagoon has turquoise waters and is surrounded by white sand and towering cliffs. Visitors can explore the nearby Gramvousa Island, which is home to ancient ruins and stunning hiking trails.
For those looking for a more active day at the beach, Balos Lagoon is the perfect destination. Visitors can rent kayaks or paddleboards to explore the crystal-clear waters or take a hike on one of the nearby trails. The area is also home to a variety of wildlife, including sea turtles and dolphins.
Zakynthos’ Gerakas Beach
Zakynthos’ Gerakas Beach is a favorite among families thanks to its shallow waters and soft sand. The beach is surrounded by cliffs and greenery, creating a tropical paradise. Visitors can also explore the nearby Keri Caves, which are a must-see attraction on the island.
Gerakas Beach is also a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. The area is home to a variety of marine life, including colorful fish and sea turtles. Visitors can rent equipment from one of the nearby shops and explore the underwater world.
Milos’ Tsigrado Beach
Milos’ Tsigrado Beach is a secluded cove with crystal-clear waters and soft sand. The beach is only accessible by climbing down a steep staircase, but the effort is well worth it. The beach is surrounded by dramatic cliffs and rock formations, creating a unique and unforgettable setting.
For those looking for a more relaxing day at the beach, Tsigrado Beach is the perfect destination. The secluded cove offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the more popular beaches. Visitors can soak up the sun and enjoy the tranquility of the beautiful surroundings.
Greece truly has some of the best beaches in the world, and it’s easy to see why they continue to attract visitors from all over the globe. Whether you choose to explore the mainland or venture out to the islands, Greece’s beaches promise to deliver a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and delicious food. So pack your sunscreen and swimsuit, and get ready for an unforgettable beach vacation in Greece in 2023!