We all love beautiful rocky beaches, but sometimes when you’re at the beach you just want to feel warm (soft) sand against your feet! Here are our picks for the best sandy beaches in Greece for a fantastic Greek beach trip (no swimming shoes required)!
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The Best Sandy Beaches in Greece
While you certainly won’t have time to visit all ten of these beaches during your trip, make sure to put at least one or two on your Greek itinerary (especially if you come here during the summer). Listed in no particular order…
Mylopotas Beach, Ios
The island of Ios is incredibly beautiful and accommodating. It’s biggest highlight is Mylopotas Beach. Gorgeous and picturesque, it’s a long stretch of perfect golden sand that’s very close to Chora, the main town of the island. It features cafes, restaurants, and perfect views, and it also has a vibrant and colorful nightlife scene. Everything is also within walking distance, which is one of the best things about this beach.
Plaka Beach, Naxos
What used to be an exclusively nudist beach is now an excellent tourist attraction with golden sands that stretch for a few kilometers. It’s a considerably long beach at 4 kilometers, and it’s also quite wide. It has plenty of accommodations nearby, which are mostly family-owned units, but there are also a few hotels.
This beach also features a few taverns with excellent meals, although it’s not that close to a town. This makes it one of the best places to simply relax and get away from it all!
Platis Gialos, Mykonos
This is one of the most popular beaches on Mykonos, and there are thousands of tourists in the summer enjoying its golden sands and turquoise waters. The beach is incredibly well organized, with sunbeds, umbrellas, restaurants, cafes, and watersports all available for everyone at any time.
There are also quite a few hotels on this beach, each within walking distance, and it’s really well-connected to the capital by bus.
Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia
This is definitely one of the most famous, popular beaches in all of Greece as it’s been featured on many travel magazines, and must-visit lists. It’s a semi-circular beach surrounded with steep verdant hills, rocky cliffs, and lush vegetation from three sides.
The scenery around this beach is incredibly stunning, especially as you’re descending downwards to the beach. It’s also really well connected, and it features a few bars and plenty of facilities.
Shipwreck Beach, Zakynthos
The original name of this beach is Agios Georgios, but it was changed after a boat that transported illegal cigarettes sank in its waters. The beach is gorgeous and scenic, and it’s one of the most photographed spots in the entire country.
Since it’s been decades that the ship sank, large parts of the beach seemingly grow around the ship. The waters are clear and crystalline, and it’s easily reachable with a boat ride from Porto Vromi.
Koukounaries Beach, Skiathos
Considered as the most unspoiled and natural beach in the entire Mediterranean, this is definitely the most popular beach of Skiathos.
It has really fine white sand, and it’s surrounded by fragrant pine woods, which are the namesake of the region. The waters are a delight to swim in, and there are plenty of facilities for watersports as well as a lot of bars, taverns, and restaurants.
Balos Beach, Crete
An unusually beautiful beach, the thing that truly separates this beach from the rest is the fact that it appears to be a lagoon. It’s incredibly picturesque, especially if you’re looking at it from high above, which is when the beach appears like a lagoon the most.
Otherwise, it’s a beautiful beach with perfect crystalline waters. There is also a rocky island opposite the beach, which has a beautiful Venetian castle.
Elafonisi Beach, Crete
This is a beach that truly feels like a solitary spot. It’s quite far from the main town of Crete, although it is connected. What makes it stand apart, however, is that this beach is actually an islet that’s connected to the rest of Crete. It’s an impossibly gorgeous spot, which feels like a paradise on Earth. There are barely any accommodations or taverns here, but you can camp, which makes it feel magical.
A beach of legendary status, this is a favorite spot of lovers of history. It’s directly referenced in Homer’s Odyssey, and it’s said that this place used to be an ancient trading port. The beach itself is magnificent, and it’s surrounded by sand dunes, which almost hide the magic of the beach. It features fine white sand and amazing waters perfect for swimming and fishing.
Golden Beach, Paros
This one is arguably the most popular beach on the island of Paros, although it’s not a typical beach. It’s relatively short at 700 meters, but due to its location and size, it’s the perfect spot for windsurfers. It’s a windy beach, but it’s very famous for its annual Professional Windsurfing Cup in August. There are plenty of accommodations nearby, as well as facilities of all kinds.
What to Bring with You for a Greece Beach Trip
We have several Greece packing lists to help you decide what to bring with you to Greece, Rhodes, and Crete (with more on the way)! But here are five things you want to bring with you to any Greek beach vacation!
A Guidebook – While travel blogs are great, we also definitely see the benefit of having a good paper guidebook in hand to refer to in your on-the-ground travel. We own and recommend the Lonely Planet Greece for a great guidebook on the ground.
Sunscreen: Yes, you will want sunscreen in Greece, no matter the time of year. While you can buy it here, I suggest you buy the good stuff from recognizable brands or better yet, buy it online in advance. I love this solid Neutrogena sunscreen. Who doesn’t love a good solid for liquid swap? Great to keep in your bag without worrying about sunscreen explosions.
Motion sickness pills: Great for ferry rides and bus rides especially on winding roads – I buy these non-drowsy ones. You can also try these natural motion sickness bands which use acupressure to reduce nausea – they actually work pretty well.
A water bottle with a filter. While often, the tap water in Greece is drinkable, there are places where it isn’t. Always ask before drinking the water.
We generally recommend using a water bottle with a purifying filter to reduce your plastic consumption and ensure you won’t drink any bad water that could make your trip unpleasant! We recommend the GRAYL water bottle – it filters water perfectly (literally – 99.999% free of viruses, bacteria, etc.) in an instant so that you can even drink from lakes, bad taps, etc. – basically everything but the sea itself.
Travel safety items. We think Greece is very safe to travel, but at the same time, it never hurts to be prepared! Some people like to carry money belts, but neither Allison or I use these.
Instead, we both carry the same PacSafe anti-theft backpack. It has locking zippers, slash-proof construction with metal mesh hidden in the fabric, and tons of other smart security features — all while being cute and stylish enough to be our everyday bag. We recommend it highly for both male and female travelers, as it’s neutral enough to be unisex. We also recommend travel insurance! Our recommendation is at the bottom of the post.
Where to Stay in Greece
We are still working on guides to where to stay in many Greek cities. We currently have guides to:
- Where to Stay in Athens
- The Best Athens Hotels with Acropolis Views
- Where to Stay in Rethymnon, Crete
- Where to Stay in Lindos, Rhodes
If you’re looking for where to stay in a city we haven’t covered yet, we personally like to use Booking.com. Make sure to book as early as possible. Greece is a popular beach destination, so rooms can sell-out earlier than expected.
More Greece Travel Resources
Headed to Greece? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip.
First read our guide to planning a trip to Greece, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more.
Next, you’ll want to read our all-season Greece packing list.
If you’ll be spending time in Athens, check out our Athens Instagram guide, the best Athens day trips, and our complete Athens hotel guide. We also have Athens safety tips so your trip can be hassle-free. We are currently working on our mega-post of things to do in Athens as well as our itineraries, so stay tuned!
We publish new content about the Balkans almost every day! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our Greece and Balkan travel pages so you can find out what’s new before your trip.
Finally, Make Sure You Come to Greece with Travel Insurance
I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a good idea to have travel insurance for traveling in Greece or anywhere in the world! This is especially true on a beach trip, where you’ll be outdoors and in nature more than back home.
Allison and I have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.
While Greece is very safe, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel like theft or injury, so it’s better to play it safe.
Pin this guide to the Best Sandy Beaches in Greece for Your Trip!
Stephanie has been living in and traveling around the Balkans for the past three years. She’s written for National Geographic Online, appeared on CNN Arabic and in the New York Times, and ridden more Balkan buses than is good for a person.