The best beaches in the Greek islands
10 amazing beaches to visit this summer!
Which are the must-see beaches in Greece? Well, there are around 6,000 islands and small islets in Greece, but let’s focus on the inhabited islands for now. So, we are left with 227 islands. Let’s assume that each island has 23 beaches on average. Speculating that around ¾ of those beaches are accessible to visitors and raising this number to the third power, while subtracting the value of Pi, we are left with … no idea! A gazillion amazing beaches!
Discover the 10 best Greek beaches for 2021 as chosen by Ferryhopper and book ferry tickets online to visit your favorite this summer!
Here are the top Greek-island beaches according to Ferryhopper:
Myrtos beach in Kefalonia
The large beach of Myrtos in Kefalonia is often selected as the top beach in Greece, and it also features among the top beaches in the world!
This multi-awarded beach is surrounded by lush vegetation and beautiful verdant cliffs. The coast is covered with small white pebbles and thin white sand, so it’s perfect for families. Don’t forget to walk to the small cave-like formation on the eastern part of the beach for amazing photos with your friends!
There usually are sun loungers and umbrellas at part of the beach, but we recommend you bring your own beach essentials, as there’s not much natural shade. You can find a small beach bar for snacks and drinks during high season.
As for parking and access, you can easily get to Myrtos by car or motorcycle and park right by the beach if you’re lucky enough to secure one of the popular beachfront spots.
You can get to Kefalonia by ferry from the port of Kyllini. Book your Kyllini - Kefalonia tickets on Ferryhopper in just 4 clicks.
Good to know: Surfing enthusiasts visit the beach in September as there are some nice waves ideal for water sports!
The heavenly Myrtos beach in Kefalonia
Seychelles beach in Ikaria
As the name suggests, Seychelles beach in Ikaria is one of the most impressive beaches in Greece, as its distinct landscape is not typical of the Aegean Sea.
The secluded bay is perfect for couples and friends who are after relaxing moments in a wonderful location. The coast is covered with white pebbles and the beach is surrounded by beautiful rock formations and small cliffs ideal for diving. It’s crystal-clear waters and remote location make up the perfect summer experience and this is what makes it one of the best Greek beaches for swimming in peace.
There are no visitor amenities on the beach, so make sure you bring snacks, water and a small tent or an umbrella. The beach is frequented by campers and young travelers, and it’s really peaceful in the early morning.
Ikaria is connected by ferry with the port of Piraeus in Athens. The Athens - Ikaria ferry route is in operation year-round and the trip duration is 6.5 hours on average.
Good to know: It’s quite challenging to get to Seychelles beach, as you need to walk down a steep path from the parking space and be strong enough to climb up the rocks on your return. Make sure you wear a hat and appropriate footwear.
The secluded Seychelles beach in Ikaria
Sarakiniko beach in Milos
Sarakiniko is one of the best Greek island beaches for couples. The famous beach on the island of Milos is popular with young travelers and it is one of the most unique coasts in Greece.
The lunar landscape of the beach and its turquoise waters create an amazing scenery. The greyish rocks are great for sunbathing all day long and they’re also great to make your friends back home jealous when showing them your photos! You can swim under natural arches and explore the secluded spots of the small bay.
The beach gets quite busy, so it’s better to visit in the early morning if you want to enjoy it in peace. You can drive to the free parking space close to the beach and follow the short path to the coast on foot. There are no visitor amenities, so make sure you bring plenty of water. Oh and don’t forget your summer hat!
You can get to Milos from Athens by ferry from the ports of Piraeus and Lavrio. There’s also an indirect ferry route from Rafina to Milos via Santorini or Mykonos. The best way to get to Milos is from the port of Piraeus. The Piraeus - Milos route is mostly serviced by high-speed ferries.
Impressive white rocks at Sarakiniko
Saint Paul's beach in Rhodes
Saint Paul’s in Rhodes is one of the best Greek beaches for families, as there are plenty of visitor amenities and a beautiful sandy coast with umbrellas. The beach is wind-protected and has a wonderful view to the historic Lindos Acropolis.
The sandy bay is surrounded by rocks and shrubs. You can join the popular part of the beach where the heart of the action is or walk along the shore to the small chapel for a more relaxing swim among the fishing boats. Moreover, kids can explore the wonderful seabed of the beach diving in the crystal-clear waters and adults can swim beyond the breakwater to explore the rocky shore.
Apart from beach amenities such as umbrellas, loungers and showers, there are also quite a few snack bars and local tavernes, where you can have lunch, enjoy a refreshing coffee or get some water. Access to Saint Paul’s beach is easy. You can get there by car or on foot from Lindos. There is ample parking space right next to the beach.
Ferries to Rhodes depart from the port of Piraeus in Athens year-round. There are 1-2 daily crossings with a duration of 13 hours with the fastest ferry from Piraeus to Rhodes.
Tip: The Acropolis of Lindos, visible from the beach, is one of the top historical sites in Rhodes.
View to the Acropolis of Lindos from Saint Paul’s bay
Porto Timoni beach in Corfu
Porto Timoni is one of the least explored beaches in Corfu, despite its amazing scenery and exceptional beauty. Lush greenery, relaxing atmosphere and two small sandy coasts make up a heavenly summer setting!
The beach is located on the northwestern part of the island, close to the village of Afionas. It is made up of two small bays covered with sand and surrounded by rocks. Its crystal-clear waters are ideal for underwater exploration and it’s one of the best Greek beaches for snorkeling. There’s also a small sea cave with reinvigorating waters.
As for shade, there are no trees, so make sure you bring an umbrella. The 20-minute hiking trail that leads to Porto Timoni starts from the Afionas parking lot and it’s quite the challenge. Make sure you wear proper footwear and have plenty of water with you. Alternatively, you can also approach the beach by boat.
You can book your ferry tickets to Corfu online on Ferryhopper. During the summer, there are up to 13 daily crossings from the port of Igoumenitsa in Western Greece to Corfu. The Igoumenitsa - Corfu route is serviced by high-speed ferries too.
Aerial view of the Porto Timoni beach in Corfu
Gidaki beach in Ithaca
Gidaki is a secluded beach with crystal-clear waters perfect for relaxation. The beautiful beach is considered the best beach on the Greek island of Ithaca and one of the top in the Ionian Sea.
The beach is covered with pebbles and it is surrounded by tall verdant rocks. Its remote location and challenging access make it one of the top choices for relaxation in an idyllic setting. The turquoise and deep blue waters, as well as the view to the neighboring islets create a fantastic landscape.
You can access the beach either via a challenging 35-minute hiking trail starting from Skinos beach or by boat. Most travelers get there by boat, but you can also try the trail if you’re an experienced hiker.
There’s a small beach café serving refreshments and snacks on the beach. They’re also renting out sun loungers and umbrellas. There are no more visitor amenities on the beach, so make sure you come prepared especially if you’re visiting off-season.
Ithaca is normally connected by ferry with the port of Astakos in Western Greece. There are also ferries from Kefalonia to Ithaka if you fancy an island-hopping trip in Greece. Book ferry tickets from Astakos to Ithaca and see all ferry routes on Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries.
Tip: Get inspiration for your upcoming holidays by having a look at some of the best Greek islands for relaxing.
Peaceful morning at Gidaki beach in Ithaca
Vlichada beach in Santorini
Vlichada is one of the most remote beaches in Santorini, famous for its breathtaking lunar landscape. Imposing rocks, dark pebbles and charcoal sand create a unique setting.
The beach is distinguished by its intricate volcanic rock formations, naturally carved over time, as well as its eerie, otherworldly feeling. It is a large beach with dark blue waters covered with sand and pebbles. It’s one of the best beaches to visit in Santorini, as it offers visitor amenities and peace.
There are sun loungers, umbrellas and a small beach canteen at one part of the beach, while the north side is more untouched and serene. You can try water sports, go horseback riding or simply relax at the beach café. There are more restaurants and tavernes at the nearby village. If you’re into sightseeing, you can visit the restored Tomato Industrial Museum located right by the beach.
You can travel by ferry to Santorini from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina. Ferries to Santorini arrive at the port of Athinios and there are daily ferry crossings. There are high-speed ferries serving both the Piraeus - Santorini route, as well as the connection from Rafina.
Tip: Did you know you can also go on a day trip from Santorini to Crete for amazing beaches?
The breathtaking rocks of Vlychada
Elafonissi beach in Crete
If you’re wondering which Greek island has the best beaches, many would say Crete! The beach of Elafonissi on the south coast of Chania is one of our favorite! Its pinkish sand and Carribean feeling are what makes it unique!
Elafonissi beach is made up of a narrow peninsula that connects the island of Crete with the small island of Elafonisi. You can actually walk to the island across the shallow waters, which make it one of the best Greek island beaches for families! The beach is covered with rose gold sand and it has clear turquoise waters.
The beach is one of the most popular in Greece and it gets quite busy during peak season. It is a favorite among families, groups of friends and couples, as it offers visitor amenities, wonderful views and many many opportunities for amazing photos!
There are some loungers and umbrellas, but no natural shade, so make sure you come prepared. Although there are parking lots around the beach, they tend to get full fast. As for food and drinks, there are quite a few options on the road to the beach, as well as some cafés and snack bars right above the coast.
You can travel by ferry from Athens to Chania in Crete 2-3 times per day during the summer months. Ferries from Athens arrive at the port of Souda, 7km from Chania and the fastest ferry from Athens to Crete (Chania) makes the crossing in just 6.5 hours!
Good to know: The beach of Elafonissi is located in the southern part of the region of Chania. The distance between the town of Chania and the beach of Elafonissi is 1.5 hours by car on average.
Amazing pinkish sand at Elafonissi beach in Crete
Plaka beach in Naxos
The beach of Plaka in Naxos is a wonderful sandy coast with visitor amenities in an unspoilt setting. It is one of the top beaches in the Greek islands, as it combines easy access, virgin nature, crystal-clear waters and several dining options.
Plaka is famous for its fine white sand, pretty sand dunes and large rock formations along the coast. The beach is family-friendly, perfect for relaxation away from the crowds of the neighboring Agia Anna and Agios Prokopios beaches. Part of it is also popular for travelers who are after clothing-optional coasts. The long coast means there are many spots for seclusion and serenity.
You can find sun loungers and umbrellas, as well as quite a few tavernes and cafés. This means you spend all day at the beach. There are also many hotels in the area if you want to be the first to get to the beach every morning!
You can get by ferry from Athens to Naxos year-round. During the summer months, there are frequent ferry crossings from 3 ports in Athens: Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrio. The most popular route is from Rafina to Naxos, as it is available 5 times per day. The Piraeus - Naxos ferry route is serviced with up to 3 daily ferry crossings.
Watching the captivating sunset at Plaka beach in Naxos
Elia beach in Mykonos
Elia is one of the best sandy beaches in the Greek islands. This large beach in Mykonos is perfect for relaxing moments by the sea. Despite its popularity, Elia is great to kick back and enjoy the sun.
The beach is covered with golden sand and it has clear blue waters. Apart from relaxing and enjoying the view to the cliff-built Cycladic houses, you can also dine at one of the seaside restaurants, enjoy a cocktail at your sun lounger or try water sports!
If you want even more peace and quiet, you can head to the rocky coast on the western edge of the beach. You should also know that some parts of the beach are nude-friendly.
You can get to Elia beach either by car or by a boat that takes passengers on a tour of Mykonos’ most popular beaches. If you want to secure a sun lounger and an umbrella, we recommend that you get there as early as possible.
Ferries from Athens to Mykonos are daily with at least 4 crossings. There are ferries departing from 2 ports in Athens: Piraeus and Rafina. The Piraeus - Mykonos ferry route is serviced both by standard and high-speed ferries, which make the crossing in 2.5 hours.
Tip: Check the latest 2022 Greek island ferry schedules to plan your trip.
Relaxation at the popular Elia beach in Mykonos
There are so many more exceptional beaches in the Greek islands! Discover the best Greek islands for beaches and swimming, see all ferry schedules for this year, find the best ferry tickets offers for 2023, and start planning your summer vacation with Ferryhopper.