10 best islands to visit in Greece for amazing beaches

Secret beaches, ruins, fascinating history, good wine and delicious food all come together with the best islands to visit in Greece.

But from all 220 inhabited islands choosing the best ones might be a very challenging process.

All the Greek beaches are beautiful and unique, but some of them stand out because of their magnificent beaches.

In this article, I will tell you which are the best Greek islands to visit if you are searching for the best beaches in Europe.

Simos Beach Elafonisos Greek Beaches Best islands to visit in Greece
Simos Beach Elafonisos Greek Beaches Best islands to visit in Greece

I will tell you not just the name of the island but also which are the best beaches on each of the 10 islands mentioned above and where to stay for a complete and unique experience.

Most of these islands are very easy to reach by ferry or by plane, depending on how much time you want to spend on the road.

There are direct flights from Athens to these islands and during peak season there are charter flights from all major European cities.

The ferries have regular trips to the islands so planning an island-hopping holiday might be a great idea, especially if you want to visit more islands in a single trip.

Psara Island Chios Aegean Sea Greece Greek Islands
Psara Island Chios Aegean Sea Greece Greek Islands

You need at least 3 or 4 days on each of these islands to see the most important attractions and explore what they have to offer.

It is a pity to go there and not explore the beaches, the ancient ruins and the natural beauties.

Not to mention the culture, architecture and traditions which are still kept alive on most of these places.

I am a great fan of Greek islands and my plan is to visit them all, step by step, year after year, as all the Greek islands are amazing and have their own charm.

Best islands to visit in Greece

Naxos

Naxos is the biggest island in Greece in the Cyclades island group and is gradually getting a name for itself thanks to its low-key appeal and several of the best huge sandy beaches in Greece.

If you intend to remain close to the major town and also harbour then the sheltered crescent of Agios Georgios has everything you could ask for (and beautiful sundowns over Paros).

 

Naxos Island in Greece
Naxos Island in Greece

However, the big stars are the radiant colours of Prokopios, Agia Anna, and also Plaka which are just down the coastline.

If you’re prepared to explore deeper the island you’ll be rewarded with vacant coastlines, some of them wild and windy.

Where to sleep

My top choice for Naxos is Antony Suites (Adults Only), a cosy aparthotel located just 30 metres away from Agios Georgios beach and within 10 minutes walk from Naxos Chora city centre.

The aparthotel welcomes their guests in cosy and clean apartments with fully equipped kitchenette and a very comfortable living area.

Paros

The twin sibling island of Naxos resting straight to its west, pretty Paros also has many stunning beaches and is one of the best islands to visit in Greece for beaches.

Located right at the centre of the Cyclades, the island of Paros is a holiday destination cherished for its phenomenal beaches and cute Cycladic villages of snow-white houses.

Naoussa is just one of the most beautiful whitewashed communities in Greece and also is bordered by numerous great coastlines.

Paros Greek Islands Greece Island
Paros Greek Islands Greece Island

A few dozens of meters away liest the Kolymbithres with its sporting activities and white sands with uncommon rock formations.

You’ll discover watersports as well as dynamic bars at Santa Maria as well as an extra chilled ambience at Monastiri, whilst windsurfers flock to Chrissi Akti.

Paros is synonymous for the high-quality marble that was quarried here in ancient times, used for the Parthenon’s roof tiles and iconic sculptures like Nike of Samothrace and the Medici Venus.

The beaches on Paros are almost too good for words, bathed by shallow waters of shades ranging from turquoise to royal blue.

In the capital is an early-Christian wonder, the Panagia Ekatontapiliani church founded by St Helen 1,700 years ago.

Where to sleep

Overlooking Agia Irini Bay, Archipelagos Resort Villas is 6 km from both Paros Archaeological Museum and Panagia Ekatontapiliani, a Byzantine church complex.

This 5 stars boutique hotel is one of the finest of its kind from the whole island and welcomes its guests with 30 luxurious suites and 3 huge villas designed in the island’s architecture.

The quality of services is top-notch, while guests can try traditional and international cuisine at in house gourmet restaurant.

Mykonos

Mykonos draws people from all over the world for its nightlife however is additionally one of the very best Greek islands for beaches.

Paradise and also Super Paradise are the main party beaches on Mykonos with a large strip of sand and non-stop party.

If you’re searching for something more relaxed after so many hours of partying, head to Ornos and Platys Gialos.

Summer openair cafe in popular area in Mykonos Little Venice Greek Island Greece
Summer openair cafe in popular area in Mykonos Little Venice Greek Island Greece

These are 2 traditional resorts with calmer vibes and ideal for families and people looking to chill out on a beautiful beach.

And there is also Elia which has the lengthiest white sand beach on Mykonos. Fashionable little Psarrou is Mykonos’ most bijou beach, but also for privacy try Agrari, Lia or Fokos.

Where to sleep

One of the best islands to visit in Greece for beaches offers a large variety of hotels and apartments where you can set your camp and explore the island.

My favourite one is the Petinos Hotel, a beautiful resort located just a few steps from the famous long sandy beach of Platis Gialos and a short drive from Mykonos Town.

The recently revamped Petinos Hotel is an exclusive hideaway of relaxation, offering cosy suites and Apartments in modern Cycladic style, luxury facilities and high-quality services.

Corfu

Corfu, one of the most beautiful Ionian island is also one of the most famous and visited islands for a beach vacation thanks to its lavish environment-friendly surroundings and also countless Blue Flag beaches.

Every type of beach, from gold sands to pebbly coves can be found on this magnificent island.

Corfu Korfoe Greece Greek Island
Corfu Korfoe Greece Greek Island

One of the most beautiful coves and bays can be found around Paleokastritsa.

For traditional gold sands, water sporting activities and also tasty taverns head rather to Agios Georgios, Acharavi, Ipsos, Glyfada or Kalamaki.

Awards for the most Instagrammable coastlines most likely go to the rock formations at beautiful Longas or the Canal D’Amour at Sidari.

Where to sleep

The best place where you can stay while in Corfu is definitely Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort, Corfu - Adults Only, a historic property which has hosted celebrities like Jackie O, Maria Callas and an endless array of royals, film stars and VIPs.

Today, fully renovated to both echo past glory and surpass 21st-century traveller expectations, this adults-only Corfu hotel welcomes their guests with top-notch services, a Michelin star restaurant, an infinity pool and a high-end spa centre.

Skiathos

Skiathos, one of the best islands to visit in Greece for beaches, is an environmentally-friendly as well as stunning island part of the Sporades island chain.

The gold crescent of Koukounaries is just one of the most stunning in the Aegean.

Skiathos Beach Greece Blue Water
Skiathos Beach Greece Blue Water

Head south to Banana Beach for watersports and coastline bars or go to Lalaria where you can find some fascinating rock developments.

Agia Paraskevi and also Vromolimnos are also sensational organised sandy beaches backed by forest.

When planning your trip to Skiathos bear in mind that the north shore is best for nature and also naturists, while the rest of the island is more popular and modern.

Where to sleep

Located on a pine hill, in the southwest point of Skiathos, Skiathos Palace Hotel combines astonishing natural beauty together with creative hotel know-how and gives you a good reason to visit it!

The hotel offers breathtaking views over Koukounaries beach, one of the best in Sporades islands and overall Europe and is one of the best choices for those seeking to relax and chill.

Zakynthos

Zakynthos (also known as Zante) is recognized for 2 points:

  • the incredible Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach)– among the best and also absolutely most photographed beaches in the Mediterranean and
  • Caretta Caretta turtles.

Whilst you’ll certainly want to see Navagio, do not quit there as Zakynthos is just one of the very best Greek islands for coastlines (although several of the resorts can feel a bit soulless).

Navagio Beach Zakynthos Greece Beaches Greek Islands
Navagio Beach Zakynthos Greece Beaches Greek Islands

Similar to the nearby island of Kefalonia, the southside of Zante is sandy but very contemporary.

Some of the prominent beaches from the island are Agios Nikolaos, Tsilivi and also Vassilikos, Banana Beach as well as Alykes. Busy Laganas.

Zakynthos Greece Greek Island for families
Zakynthos Greece Greek Island for families

For those who like to party, although smaller sized, picturesque beaches can be found at Porto Vromi, Xigia, Porto Roma as well as Porto Roha.

Do not miss out on a boat trip to the extraordinary Turtle Island with its sandy spit when visiting Zante, one of the best islands to visit in Greece.

Where to sleep

From their hillside perch, the brand new Zante Maris Suites offers up incredible views of the Ionian Sea and the Tsilivi countryside.

This contemporary place only has a handful of suites, so expect an intimate feel.

There’s a modern, minimalist finish, with stark white and slate grey complemented by grainy-wood furniture.

The hilltop hotel is edged by olive groves and looks out over the Ionian Sea. It’s a 15-minute stroll to the beach in Tsilivi, and the village centre is even closer – it’ll take you less than 10 minutes to walk there.

Kefalonia

The beautiful beaches and turquoise waters of Kefalonia were made famous by the 2001 movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

Antisamos is the main shooting location if you intend to recreate the scenes from this incredible movie.

The other star destination is high cliff-flanked Myrtos which should be included on every adventure travel plan being the perfect destination for a day trip.

Kefalonia Greece Greek Island
Kefalonia Greece Greek Island

Beaches on the south coastline are sandy and in this part of the island, you’ll find locate the major resorts like Skala, Lourdas as well as Lassi.

The northern part of the island is for pebbly bays enjoyed by yachties and not that popular among beach lovers.

Where to sleep

At F Zeen you will find true peace and relaxation as well as amenities that allow you to delve into a healthy and luxurious lifestyle.

Showcasing culture and the relaxed island lifestyle, the retreat will give you a truly memorable experience.

From the moment you arrive, you will feel as though you have entered an oasis within Lourdas.

Crete

Crete, one of the best islands to visit in Greece, is one of the biggest islands in the Mediterranean so it’s not surprising that it has a few of its finest and charming beaches from the island.

The lagoons and pink sands of Elafonisi, as well as Balos, are a few of the most stunning coastlines in Greece.

Warmest greek island in October
Warmest greek island in October

Generally speaking, the north of the island is a lot more developed, whereas along the southern coastline you’ll discover much more rough and also remote beaches.

Matala and Vai are famous and well known for their hippie links and also unique landscapes.

Paleochora in the south-west is a leading area for windsurfing.

Stay safe abroad during COVID-19 pandemic

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After so many days at the beach, it’s time to explore the island a little bit and improve your knowledge about the ancient world.

The Palace of Knossos is one of the most well known historical sites from the island, the place where the Minoan civilization was born.

Ruins of knossos palace crete Greece Temple
Ruins of knossos palace crete Greece Temple

Besides the ancient ruins and the amazing beaches, Crete is full of impressive landscapes.

Samaria Gorge, the ghost island of Spinalonga, Psychro Cave and Kourtaliotiko Gorge are just a few examples of natural beauties which lie on this island.

Where to sleep

A place that feels welcoming and safe, our recommendation is Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, definitely a home away from home.

Stretching across 143 acres, the resort has no main building but it is surrounded by bungalows, suites & villas that are dotted around a gentle slope, leading to its impressive private beach and breathtaking bay.

All rooms open up to extended verandas, most of them with a private pool and all with beautiful views to the Aegean Sea and Spinalonga island.

The place amazes you with its view, quality of services and high-end facilities, being one of the best hotels from the island.

Samos

A laid back and also a fertile island with lush blue-green bays as well as amazing coastlines, the tiny island of Samos is not on the radar of many visitors (being a long way from Athens) but has a dedicated following.

The substantial sandy areas of Potami, Megalo Seitani, as well as Lemonakia, are called being the most lovely on the island.

Samos Kokkari Surf Greek Islands in Greece
Samos Kokkari Surf Greek Islands in Greece

The main town Pythagorion has a lengthy ordered beach called Potokaki, while captivating and also stunning Kokkari and also Tsamadou have small pebbly coastlines.

The most effective sand is probably located at Psili Ammos, one of the most popular places from the island.

Where to sleep

Proteas Blu Resort is a chic beachfront hotel, set on a secluded bay, 2 km from Samos Marina and 4 km from the Tunnel of Eupalinos, an aqueduct built in the 6th century BC.

Featuring minimalist decor with sea-inspired colours, the whitewashed rooms and suites include flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi and sea-view balconies.

All suites also come with sitting areas, and some have private pools where to relax and enjoy the Greek sun.

Rhodes

Ranked as one of the best islands to visit in Greece and the largest Dodecanese island, Rhodes is preferred by sun lovers mainly because of its long southeast shore which is composed of superb sandy beaches.

The largest beach from the island is found at Faliraki, a hot spot from the island.

 

Rhodes Greek Island Lindos
Rhodes Greek Island Lindos

 

The charming whitewashed town of Lindos is a prominent upmarket bijou location and has a number of amazing sandy beaches, of which St Paul’s Bay is the prettiest one.

Here in this area, you can also find many beach bars and restaurants where you can sip a cocktail and taste the traditional greek cuisine.

 

St Paul s Bay in Rhodes Greek Island in Greece
St Paul s Bay in Rhodes Greek Island in Greece

 

A few miles further, bordered by cliffs and pines, there is Anthony Quinn Bay, a popular and famous beach for those seeking sun and clear waters.

Best 5 Rhodes beaches for your summer holiday
Anthony Quinn beach Rhodes Greece

Low key resorts include Tsambika, Kolymbia, Pefkos and also Gennadi, while in the southernmost part of the island is the wild Prasonisi which is preferred with kitesurfers.

Where to sleep

Sentido Port Royal Villas and Spa offers exceptional service, elegant restaurants with delicious dishes, atmospheric bars and an inviting spa area for pure relaxation.

The hotel’s rooms and suites are comfortable and stylishly decorated, and if you want an active holiday, you can work out in the fitness room or take part in one of the activities arranged by the hosts.

The beachfront location and idyllic setting amidst olive trees combined with the hotel’s discrete luxury and authentic quality will ensure you have a pleasant and enjoyable holiday in a relaxed atmosphere.

These are the 10 best islands to visit in Greece for beaches and for a wonderful beach holiday!

All of them are beautiful and unique and hide many interesting attractions besides the beaches mentioned above!

Go ahead and plan a wonderful journey on these islands and let us know which is your favourite one and why you like it most!

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