DESTINATIONS WITH THE BEST BEACHES IN GREECE

 

 

 

The Greek coastline has a length of about 16.000 km -including mainland and all islands- and is world famous for its diversity, sandy beaches, pebbly shores, numerous caves, steep rocks, dark sand and crystal waters.

There are more than two thousand islands in Greece. Of those, 170 are inhabited, home to no more than 10 percent of the country’s total population. That string of pearls, the Cyclades, with their barren, rocky hills and blinding white houses; the fertile Sporades, with their endless stretches of golden sand; the Argosaronic islands, with their rich maritime history; the Northeastern Aegean islands, with their ancient mystical origins; the Dodecanese with its aristocrat, Rhodes, and the devout Patmos; the Ionian islands, with their European culture echoing with serenades; timeless Crete with its fascinating contrasts.

 

 

Cephalonia | Ionian Islands

 

Of Cephalonia’s beaches, Myrtos is exceptional, with its white sand and the view of it from the cliffside village of Ano Mera is superb. Another impressive sight is the Drogarati cave with its numerous stalactites and stalagmites, as well as the remarkable Meli­ssani cave, more than 3 km in length. In the section where the vault has collapsed, a kaleidoscope of colours is created during the early afternoon hours, when the sun is reflected in the waters of its underground lake

 

 

 

 

 

Lefkada | Ionian Islands

 

Lefkada is connected to the mainland by two bridges which cross the narrow channel separating them. It is a mainly mountainous island, with a great deal of natural beauty, areas abounding with plane trees, historical and archaeological sites, as well as beautiful, verdant islets opposite the cosmopolitan port Nydri.

These include the famous Skorpios, the property of the late shipping magnate, Aristotle Onassis, Madouri, with the mansion of writer Aristotelis Valaoritis, and Meganissi, with its three caves. In one of these, the Papanikolis cave, the famous submarine of the same name concealed itself during World War II.

The island has pretty villages, like Agios Nikitas, and outstanding beaches, including the popular Porto Katsiki, with its white sand and turquoise waters, and Egremnous, where, although the beach is difficult to get to (250 steps), the sea is superb.

 

 

Zakynthos | Ionian Islands

 

A fertile island, the home of great Greek poets and of melodious serenades, it has a population of 40,000, traditional villages, old monasteries and beautiful churches. In a horse-drawn carriage, explore the coastal road, the Strada Marina and the town’s narrow streets, whose buildings were rebuilt in the Renaissance style of those destroyed in the powerful 1953 earthquake. Visit the Solomos Museum, with material relating to the poet, Dionysios Solomos, as well as prominent Zakynthian personalities, located in Agios Markos square. In Solomos Square, you’ll also find the Byzantine Museum and the Renaissance church of Agios Nikolaos. On the southern end of the harbour is the church of Agios Dionysios, with its wonderful frescoes and the relics of the saint. Zakynthos has some outstanding beaches, like the much-photographed  Navagio or Shipwreak bay also called, in Agios Georgios Kremon, and Gerakas, which hosts the eggs of the endangered sea turtle, caretta-caretta. Not to be missed is a boat excursion to the Galazies Spilies (Blue Caves), near Volimes, to see one of nature’s marvels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mykonos | Cyclades

 

The beaches of Mykonos rank among the best in the Aegean, in Greece, and perhaps in the world. July and August are surely the worst time to visit them, but in June and September, you’ll find the weather better and the crowds reduced. Some may even be deserted. Most of the best beaches are on the south coast, sheltered from the prevailing northerly winds, the “meltemia”.

 

 

 

 

Chania | Crete

 

 

The greater area of Chania has to a great extent preserved its authenticity, with a wealth of natural beauty and is known for its exotic beaches of Falasarna and Elafonissos.

 

 

 

 

 

Sithonia, Chalkidiki  | Macedonia

Sithonia’s scen­ery is of ex­cep­tion­al nat­u­ral beau­ty — pine fo­rests, superb sandy beach­es in iso­lat­ed bays and de­sert­ed coves, deep fjords, with steep cliff­sides, sharp­ly in­dent­ing the rugged coast which is ideal for spear-fishing.  Ka­vou­ro­trypes is one of Greece’s most stun­ning beach­es. The clear, blue wa­ters, rem­i­nis­cent of the Car­ib­be­an, and the rocks, which seem to have been sculpt­ed by an art­ist, make it quite unique. There are many beau­ti­ful beach­es. And if you search, you’ll find more.

 

 

 

Milos | Cyclades

 

The best beaches in Milos are at Agios Giannis and the coves just to the north of it, but they are hard to reach. More interesting are Kleftiko with its surrealistically shaped rocks, a watery “Meteora”, and the grotto of Papafranga near Fylakopi.

 

 

 

 

Skiathos | Sporades

 

Skiathos is famed for its 62 beaches. Some are sophisticated and organized, some quiet and solitary but nearly all are extraordinary.

Organized beaches are on the south side, where most people go, but on the north side they are untouched —except for a couple of canteens— and wonderful for bathing when it isn’t too windy. Koukounaries is one of Greece’s best and best-known beaches, 1 km long. A protected ecosystem and a uniquely beautiful combination of thick-growing Aleppo pines, the lagoon of Strofylia connected to the sea by a channel, golden sands and translucent sea. It attracts crowds, especially in August and is organized with water sports, umbrellas and a snack bar. Another, spectacular beach in Skiathos is Lalaria,  with smooth boulders, striking rock formations like the enormous Petra with its centre arch and blue-green waters. Access is by boat only, from the harbour or in your own.

 

 

 

 

 

Ikaria | Northern Aegean

The is­land took its name from Ik­ar­os, who plunged into the sea when his wax wings start­ed to melt af­ter flying too near the sun. It was known in an­tiq­ui­ty for its min­er­al springs (spas at Agios Ky­ri­kos and Ther­ma) and for its wines. In re­cent years more and more vis­i­tors are dis­cov­er­ing the is­land’s for­mid­able beau­ty and crys­tal­line seas. In some of the moun­tain vil­lag­es, one must adapt to the lo­cal rhythms of every­day life, since the is­land­ers seem to sleep most of the day and stay up all night. Agios Ky­ri­kos, the is­land’s cap­i­tal and main port, is with­in walk­ing dis­tance of many beach­es apart from the good town beach, while oth­ers are ac­cess­ible by caique. The sec­ond port, Ev­di­los, on the north coast, is built on a prom­on­to­ry and has nar­row al­ley­ways and bloom­ing court­yards. Up on the moun­tain are the vil­lag­es of Mes­sar­ia: Ak­a­ma­tra, Daf­ni, Ste­li and Pet­ro­pou­li, with won­der­ful views over the Ik­ar­ian sea. See the Byz­an­tine cas­tle of Nik­ar­ia in the vil­lage of Ko­si­ki and vis­it the lush moun­tain vil­lag­es of Mav­ra­to, Ox­ea and Mil­e­o­po. There are oth­er love­ly vil­lag­es to be seen on the Rahes pla­teau as you con­tin­ue on to the fish­ing port of Ar­me­nis­ti. Pret­ty beach­es line the coast; among them de­light­ful Na with its riv­er and its ruins and Me­sak­ti. In or­der to en­joy the swim­ming even more, you can es­cape on a caique to quiet­er beach­es. It is al­so worth tak­ing a short trip to the is­land clus­ter of Four­ni, about an hour from Agios Ky­ri­kos, where there are oth­er good beach­es.

 

For useful safety information and licensed water sports centers please visit Safe Water Sports

 

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