With over 400 blue-flag beaches and endless stretches of sand, pebbles, and turquoise waters, Greece is the perfect place for a sand-and-sea vacation. Although the Greek Islands offer some of the best beaches, even the mainland has its share of swimming hotspots. From the snorkeling haven of Voidokilia to the famous Balos Bay on Crete, every region of the country has a sandy stretch perfect for swimming, relaxing, or enjoying water sports.

Getting Oriented

Greece's picture-perfect beaches are ideal spots for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.

It's no surprise that Greece is one of Europe's best countries for a beach vacation. Nearly every region of the country offers some form of coastline dotted with pebbled coves or sandy stretches. Greece has some of the world's most scenic beaches, and the water is an ideal temperature to swim, snorkel, scuba dive, or enjoy watersports. You'll find secluded hot spots only accessible by boat, wild coasts with cliffs and trees, and picture-perfect golden sands with all the amenities you could need.

The Greek Islands, including Corfu and Crete, are a great place to start. You'll find the world-famous Balos Beach on Crete and discover the ideal swimming spots on Mykonos, Santorini, and Naxos. But even Greece's mainland offers idyllic beaches, including the snorkel and SUP haven of Voidokilia. And because Greece's environment is so diverse, you'll find beaches hugging rivers and alpine lakes to keep your adventures going! Learn more about island hopping in Greece and discover the best time of year to visit the country's beaches.

Best Beach Excursion on Crete

There are several beaches on Crete, but the best beach excursion on the island is the picturesque Balos Beach and the sands and shallow waters of Gramvoussa Island.

Balos & Gramvoussa Day Cruise

The idyllic landscape and clear waters of Balos Beach.

You'll find the world-famous pink-tinted sand of Crete on Balos Beach, an idyllic stretch with shallow water, allowing you to walk through the sea to the island on its coast. Nearby is the red rocky terrain and golden sand of Gramvoussa, a small islet to the north. The two beaches are some of the most popular in the country and are perfect for swimming. Starting from the port of Kissamos, you'll cruise to Gramvoussa and enjoy free time to explore on your own. Relax at the beach or hike the rocky red trail to the island's Venetian Castle. Then head to the scenic lagoon of Balos Bay to soak in the shallow turquoise waters. On your way back, you'll enjoy snacks and drinks aboard the boat. Read More

Best Beach Excursion on Corfu

Surprisingly, the Ionian Sea doesn't get as much beach-focused attention despite having some of the longest golden stretches of sand, especially on Corfu Island.

Car Rental: Self-Guided Tour of Corfu

Discover Corfu's long sandy stretches, pebbled coves, and ornate palaces.

Corfu has some of the most beautiful beaches and bays in the Ionian Sea, making the island the perfect place for a beach-chasing road trip! Grab your rental car and head out to discover a few sites before hitting the sand. Start at the ornate palace of Achilleion, then visit Kanoni to savor scenes of Pontikonissi Island. Next, explore some of the beaches! A few options include Mon Repos Beach and Benitses Beach for clear swimming (they're both pebbled) or Agios Gordios and Glyfada for sandy, kid-friendly stretches. You can also visit the rocks of Sidari, the sea caves of Canal d' Amour, Paleokastritsa Bay with the scenic Agios Spiridon Beach, or quieter spots like Alipa and Agios Petros beaches. Read More

Best Beach Excursions in the Cyclades Islands

The Cyclades Islands in the Aegean Sea offer some of Greece's best beaches, so you have endless options on where to find fluffy sand and where to swim, snorkel, sea kayak, and scuba dive.

Sea Kayak Discovery of Southern Santorini 

Enjoy the beaches of Santorini and discover hidden gems by kayak.

Santorini's idyllic cliffside villages draw some serious crowds. You can trade the tour groups for solitude along the island's scenic southern coast. One of the best ways to discover its hidden coves, secluded beaches, and rocky sea caves is on a kayak. After getting acquainted with your equipment, follow your guide and pass the unique volcanic coastline. Enjoy views of dramatic rock formations, colorful fishing harbors, and red and white sandy beaches. Make a stop at a beach or two for a refreshing swim and snacks before heading back. Read More

Mykonos Southern Beaches Cruise

The famous and sandy Agari Beach on Mykonos' southern coastline.

Mykonos beaches are world-famous, so no trip to Greece is truly complete without a little excursion to the island's southern side, where you'll find its best sand. And there's no better way to discover the island's coastline than by boat! You'll sail by several popular beaches, including Paradise, Psarou, Platys Gialos, Paraga, Agrari, and Elia. Make your first stop at the famous Super Paradise Beach for swimming and snorkeling. On the way back, your captain will take requests and stop at some of your favorite stretches of sand that you passed earlier. Enjoy a perfectly relaxing day as you swim, snorkel, and sunbathe, snacking on local delicacies onboard and pairing your lunch with regional wine and beer. Read More

Self-Guided Beach Day & Watersports on Naxos

Wild and quiet Aliko Beach on Naxos.

Greece's beaches provide much more than just a place to sunbathe and swim. If you want to ditch the crowds, discover wilder stretches, or enjoy watersports, head to Naxos. The beaches on this island are far less crowded than their Cycladic neighbors, and you'll find some quieter, off-the-beaten-path options like Mikri Vigla, Aliko, Panormos, Psili Ammos, and Moutsouna. For family-friendly sand and shallow waters, head to Plaka or Apollonas. And for amenities like beach chairs, restaurants, and watersports, you'll find adventures at Agia Anna, Agios Prokopios, and Agios Georgios. Read More

Best Beach Excursions on the Greek Mainland

Although most visitors head to the islands for a Greek beach vacation, you'll find numerous sandy stretches along the country's mainland. The most famous beach excursion is the picturesque crescent-shaped beach of Voidokilia or anywhere along the coast of the Peloponesse Peninsula.

SUP & Snorkeling at Voidokilia Beach

The incredible crescent-shaped Voidokiila Beach — photo by Antonioskp.

You may recognize this idyllic lagoon, as it has graced the cover of several travel publications and guide books for Greece. Voidokilia Beach is known for its calm turquoise bay, fine white sand, and powdery dunes. Because the water is clear and calm, one of the best ways to enjoy the beach is by paddleboard. Your guide will help you learn a few basic techniques and lead you around the cove, stopping at a less-crowded spot for sunbathing, snorkeling, and swimming. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the sand before heading back. Read More

Triple Swim on the Peloponnese: Waterfall, Alpine Lake, & the Sea

Take a dip in a beautiful alpine lake before heading to the beach on the Corinth Gulf.

One of the reasons why Greece's mainland offers excellent beaches is because you can combine different types of terrain. On this excursion, you'll swim in a waterfall, on the beach of an alpine lake, and in the sea, all in one day trip. Start with an easy trek upstream through a refreshing river in the Peloponnese near Mt. Helmos. You'll walk to the Styx Springs, famous for the legend of Achilles' heel. Swim in the waterfall at the spings, then continue by car to Lake Tsivlou. This alpine lake is surrounded by forests and is known for its turquoise hue. After lunch, you'll drive to the picturesque Pefkias Pine Forest on the coast and swim in the Gulf of Corinth. Afterward, enjoy a fresh, post-swim smoothie as you soak up the sun! Read More

How to Craft the Best Greece Beach Itinerary

Easily craft a Greek beach itinerary as you explore the country.

A beach vacation to Greece is probably one of the easiest excursions to plan, but with many options. To see a decent variety of beaches and landscapes, plan for at least one week and combine two or three regions. Some popular combos include Corfu and the Peloponnese, mainland Greece and the Cyclades, or the Cyclades and Crete. Mix and match to satisfy your interests, and learn how to make the most of your time in Greece. You can easily get between regions by domestic flight, car, or high-speed ferry. 

Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following trips that include a mix of beachy excursions: