For most people, Greece and the beach go hand in hand like Fred and Ginger. There are so many in fact that visitors are spoilt for choice, but which are the most beautiful? This is our list of the 37 best beaches in Greece to help you plan your next visit. Can you do them all!?
Best Mainland Greece beaches
While many visitors might think that the best beaches in Greece are on the islands the Mainland is also home to some truly stunning spots and many are far less crowded and very cheap and easy to visit too.
Beaches near Athens
Set in a beautiful bay before Mount Hymettus on the ‘Athenian Riviera” is a picturesque harbour offering stunning views of the distant Saronic Gulf islands. Astir beach on Apóllonos Street has shallow, turquoise water, smooth sand and excellent facilities.
Opposite Astir beach lies the public beach, which has no facilities and therefore no entry fee.
Vouliagmeni is a summer hotspot with a bustling nightlife, elegant cafes and restaurants and a number of luxurious hotels as well as Vouliagmeni Lake, only a five-minute walk from the little square in the centre of the town. The lake’s mineral and brackish waters are reportedly very good for rheumatism and arthritis!
Where to stay in Vouliagmeni
Many people visit Vouliagmeni from Athens but if you would like to stay a few days most of us book something in Glyfada which also has a lot of good shops and restaurants.
One of the most popular hotels in the area and considered one of the best in all of Greece is the Four Seasons Astir Palace hotel. We also recommend The Margi where we have stayed with our own family.
Further reading: Best Day Trips from Athens
South of Vouliagmeni is a beautiful beach-line peninsula where you will find Lagonissi.
Full of hidden coves, caves and a mixture of pebble and long sand beaches it is also home to the luxurious Grand Resort which has a great cafe at the end of a wooden pier on Grand Beach.
This beach town is especially is popular with Athenians, who come to enjoy the clear waters, trendy cafés, restaurants and lively bars and nightlife. There is also a charming small fishing port and a number of excellent shops.
You can catch the tram right down to Glyfada from Syntagma Square – a popular day trip for Athenians on the weekends.
Where to stay in Glyfada
One of the best kept secrets on the Athenian Riviera is Kape Beach, previously home to a centre for renewable energy. It is located at the southern tip of the Sounion Peninsula so its a great spot to explore when visiting the Temple of Poiseidon.
The area surrounding Kape is called Legrena and it is home to several pretty white pebble beaches and rocky coves with Kape being on the prettiest of all. There is a small car-park but no facilities. Be warned if you head west you may come across ‘2nd Kape Beach’ which is a nudist beach!
Where to stay in Legrena
Grecotel Cape Sounio is one of the best and most popular choices in the area as is Aegeon Beach Hotel. Closer to Kape beach check out Helen’s Sounio Apartments.
Best beaches Peloponnese
The Peloponnese is home to many gorgeous beaches, bays and coves and most are completely unspoilt and often deserted. The entire region is huge, diverse, fascinating and jam-packed with things to see and do. It is widely considered one of the best parts of Greece and is much favoured by the Greeks themselves.
Further reading: Peloponnese Holidays – experience the ‘real’ Greece
On the Western Peloponnese near Messinia is a unique-shaped beach that is definitely one of most beautiful beaches across the country. It consists of an almost perfectly round bay of fine sand in the shape of the Greek letter omega (Ω), surrounding crystal clear turquoise waters.
The curve of Voidokilia is hidden behind semicircular strips of sand dunes and lies beneath Paliokastro, an old Frankish castle and the cave of King Nestor, the ancient King of Pylos. Because of its archaeological interest the beach has remained relatively untouched by civilization.
Where to stay in Voidokilia
There are no hotels or houses around the beach ( which is a big part of its appeal) but it is possible to stay a few kilometres away.
Tolo is located in the north of the Peloponnese about 20 minutes east of Nafplion. It is a popular holiday town with a calm, shallow beach that is very safe for children and people with limited mobility.
It is lined with tavernas, cafes and small hotels and villas and is very central to the nearby attraction such as Epidavros, Nemea wine region and of course, Nafplion.
Where to stay in Tolo
Some may think this a strange choice as there is really no beach in Limeni in terms of sand or even pebbles. There is however stunning azure water that you can access from the swimming platforms, rocks and even right from the steps of the tavernas in this very small but pretty village.
Where to stay in Limeni
There are only a few places to stay in Limeni but the quality, like everything in the village, is very high.
Mavromichalai Historic Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel right on the waterfront in a converted stone mansion. Only metres away is Villa Limeni with its amazing sunset vistas and for budget travellers Limeni Village have nice rooms on the hill with great views as well.
Best beaches Halkadiki
Legend Beach – Athos
Athos is a peninsula in Greece, the so-called third finger of Chalkidiki. The peninsula is hilly, covered with dense forests, and in the southeastern part of the peninsula is over 2000 meters above sea level at Mount Athos.
The beaches of Babylon, Cuba, Totos, Balkonaki, Zoungla are located near Olympiada and are some of the best in Europe.
All of these beaches are well organized and sandy. One of the most beautiful is Legend, near Nea Roda.
Where to stay at Athos
There is quite a lot of accommodation on the Athos peninsula. The closest town to this beach, and one of the more popular, is Nea Roda.
Best Cyclades Islands beaches
The Cyclades is a group of islands south of Athens and probably the most visited and photographed.
Home to the iconic blue and white sugar-cube architecture that many people think of when they think of Greece and including the very popular islands of Santorini and Mykonos.
“Cyclades” refers to the islands forming a circle (the name in English means: “circular islands”) around the sacred island of Delos. According to the Greek mythology, Poseidon, God of the sea, furious at the Cyclades nymphs turned them into islands.
Best beaches in Mykonos
Further reading : Things to do in Mykonos
Super Paradise is located 6kms south-east from Mykonos town and is considered “the” party beach. It’s extremely popular with the hip, trendy, gay and celebrity crowds and is quite a people-watching experience !
Several beach bars and pool bars line the beach, which is a nice sandy beach with clear water and it is good for swimming.
Umbrellas and sunbeds are available for rent, albeit at some of the highest prices in all of Europe, and there are also showers on the beach.
The parties begin late afternoon when the whole beach becomes a dance club with plenty of alcohol ( and who knows what else) to go round.
There is no regular bus service to Super Paradise, but it can be reached by car or motorbike – the road downhill can get quite steep- and by boat from Platis Gialos beach or Ornos beach. We rented a car and had to park a long way away, again with a hefty fee!
Where to stay at Super Paradise Beach
There is a lot of accommodation on Mykonos and it covers everything from cheap hostels to some of the most luxurious, and expensive, in the world ! Hotels around Super Paradise beach tend to be very expensive. I would base myself in Mykonos Town and visit the various beaches as day trips.
Elias Beach – Mykonos
The largest of all the south beaches, Elia (meaning olive tree) is a golden sandy beach, quite cosmopolitan and loaded with accommodation and dining choices. Inviting a mixed crowd, at times predominantly gay, Elia beach is fully developed, with umbrellas and sunbeds for rent, bathrooms, and showers available, as well as a water sports centre at hand.
Elia also hosts many hotel units, family-oriented hotels and the island’s only water park at walking distance.
Certain sections of the beach closer to the right side facing the sea also allow nude bathing.
If you continue to the far right, over the rocks heading towards Agrari beach, you can find two little beaches that are very popular meeting spots for the gay crowd.
One of the most easily accessible beaches, Elia can be reached by normal bus service from Mykonos town and a regular boat service from Platis Gialos or Ornos.
Stay in a windmill on Mykonos!
One of the 5 famous Mykonos windmills has been converted into a stunning self-contained apartment and is available for rent through much of the year. For photos and prices click HERE.
Best Beaches in Milos
Further reading : A complete guide to Milos
Paleochori – Milos
The stunningly beautiful beach of Paleochori is considered one of the most popular beaches of Milos with sunbeds, restaurants, cafes and some lodgings. The cliffs are multicoloured with the various minerals that Milos is renowned for and the pebbles on the beach vary through black, red and white. There are also underwater mineral springs at the western end which are said to be very therapeutic.
It is the perfect place for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling and a variety of water sports. A wide array of water sports facilities are offered at the beach for the water sports fanatics.
Where to stay at Paleochori Milos
This beach is fairly isolated and there is only a handful of places to stay and to dine Artemis Deluxe Bungalows overlook the beach, have their own pool and restaurant and are gorgeous!
Resembling a magical moonscape this bone white rocky beach stands proud against the sapphire waters of the sea.
It is considered one of the best beaches on the island of Milos as well as one of the most photographed beaches in the entire Aegean Sea.
Formed by volcanic rocks filled with natural bubbled shaped hollows this unique beach nestled amidst the dramatic scenery is completely unorganized and it is ideal for sunbathing and snorkelling adventures near the sunken shipwreck.
Pollonia – Milos
We spent a lot of time on this beach on our last visit. It is calm and fairly protected with Kimolos island just offshore. The fine golden sand, the shallow waters and the playground along the shore make this beach a summer paradise for younger kids to enjoy.
The numerous tamarisks trees provide ample shade for bathers and there are a lot of cafes, restaurants and beach taverns offering local delicacies, especially seafood and amazing desserts.
Where to stay in Pollonia
Most people who visit Milos will either stay in the port town of Adamas, which is also near the Plaka, or at the far eastern part of the island in or near Pollonia. We chose Pollonia as it is a little quieter and doesn’t have budget hostels although there is a decent variety of accommodation.
Next time we visit Milos ( which we will!) we will likely stay there again. You do need to hire a car as all the many attractions of the island are quite spread out but the roads are good and the traffic is minimal.
Blue Sea House ( image: Airbnb)
Best Beaches on Naxos
Further reading: Things to do on Naxos
Agios Georgias – Naxos
Situated on the island about 300m south from the port. The long sandy beach and its variety of restaurants and cafes with tables right on the sand attracts a large number of visitors.
The beach is fully organized, protected by strong winds and offers shallow & warm waters that make it the ideal spot for children. It also provides a variety of accommodation choices and a sports club near its ending. In the evening there are many small tavernas along the shore and it is ideal for a romantic dinner or a drink on the beach.
Where to stay at Agios Georgias,Naxos
This wide, sandy beach is located 5 kilometres south of Agios Georgios and the main town.
Frequently ranked as one of the cleanest and most beautiful beaches in the world it is very popular with families as it is so safe and calm.
It is lined with sunbeds and umbrellas for rent and there are many tavernas and hotels alone the street behind it.
Where to stay in Agios Prokopios
Liana Beach Hotel and Spa is right across from the beach and great for families and couples alike. Erato Inn is also a lovely option to consider with warm, local family hospitality and great sea views.
Best Beaches in Paros
Further reading: Paros or Naxos?
There are a couple of sandy beaches in the small village of Ampelas, as well as traditional tavernas on the waterfront, with fresh fish and seafood, caught just for you by local fishermen.
Ampelas is accessible by car or motorbike. It also features a small port, where you could moor your boat.
To visit the beaches easily in the northern part of Paros I would stay in either Naoussa or Parikia, the main port, and hire a car.
Kolimbithres is an exotic sandy beach with crystal waters and bizarre rocks creating small “swimming pools”. Located in Naoussa’s bay, Kolimbithres is definitely worth a visit. It is well organized, with a very good taverna near by.
It is accessible by taxi-boat from the port of Naoussa or by car.
Lay on a sun bed on the sandy beach of Krios and enjoy the excellent view to the Parikia port, after swimming in its azure waters. There is organized camping there, as well as a beach volley court and other beach activities.
There are also plenty of tavernas and bars, making it ideal for one-day trips. It is easily accessible both by boat and by car.
Krios is walking distance to Akrotiri Hotel, which has affordable basic rooms but beautiful views and great service.
Golden beach (Chryssi Akti) is one of Paros most famous beaches. Around 22 km from Parikia and near the seaside village of Drios, Golden Beach is a long and sandy beach with light blue waters.
Golden Beach is very well organised with many water sports facilities and it is also the wind surfers’ paradise. In fact the Wind Surfing world titles are held there each year.
It is accessible by car or bus from Parikia.
Golden Beach is at the southern end of Paros and lovely place to stay is Poseidon of Paros which has amazing views and beautiful gardens.
Best Dodacannese Beaches
The Dodecanese islands are the most southeastern in Greece and very close to Turkey. Some of the islands are close enough for day-trips to the mainland.
There is considerable Ottoman influence felt across the islands particularly in the architecture and food.
Ferries from Pireaus take 15 hours to arrive in Rhodes although it also has an International airport.
Some of the islands have well-developed tourist infrastructure with fancy resorts and packed beaches while others are very quiet and even deserted.
Best Beaches on Rhodes
This beach is like a well-hidden heaven. Everybody goes to Kallithea for the fine Arabian remnants of the hot springs nearby and this is the place the locals refer to when they say “let’s go for a swim at Kalithea”.
Each of the little coves has sunbeds for hire, and its own small restaurant, which usually lends its name to the beach itself. However, the tiny bay nestles a well-protected sandy beach which is very quiet and secluded, especially after 4 pm.
There are several tiny inlets and coves with sculptured rocks and clear green water.
Where to stay at Kalithea
Rhodes is a big island and you may choose to stay in more than one place.
To be within walking distance of this beach you are best staying in the beachside suburb of Faliraki which has a wide range of otpions.
Saint Pauls Beach, Lindos
A popular and very beautiful spot. The view from the Ancient Acropolis is just breathtaking. This safe, protected bay with emerald sea and fine sand is equally mesmerizing! Hike all the way up to the spectacular ancient monument and then dive into the refreshing, cool waters.
There are numerous tavernas overlooking the bay for a meal of fresh fish and chilled local wine.
Where to stay at Saint Pauls Beach, Rhodes
There is quite a lot of accommodation in this area and something that covers all budgets and preferences. For a good list click HERE
Kounoupes – Astypalea
On the island of Kounoupes, just off Astypalea there is a lovely “double” beach where a relatively narrow strip of pebbles and sand joins the two parts of the islet forming a beautiful beach with crystal clear water, giving the impression that it is a shallow pool.
Access to the beach is only possible by boat. which you can catch from one of the operators on the pier in Pera Yalos. They depart each morning, weather permitting.
This is a great day trip from Astylapalea but there is no shade nor food or drink vendors, so be prepared.
Where to stay in Astypalea
Astypalea is a fairly quiet island but there are a number of decent places to stay in Astypalea Town.
Sporades Islands beaches
The Sporades are in the Northern Aegean and are known for their lush vegetation, clear blue water and rocky landscapes. They became quite busy after the movie Mama Mia was filmed there ( see Skopelos below) but several are still quite idyllic.
To get to the Sporades you can drive north from Athens to Volos which takes about 2 hours and then catch the ferry. There is also a domestic airport in Volos and and International one on Skiathos so its possible to fly right in from several countries.
Agia Eleni Beach – Skiathos
The beach of Agia Eleni is located on the western side of Skiathos,This is one of the most beautiful beaches of Skiathos and offers spectacular sunsets as the sun sets behind the nearby Pelion mountain.
It has crystal clear waters and beautiful pine trees right down to the sea.
To get there you will see the sign and the just before Koukounaries. If you want to go by bus you need to walk about 700 meters to Bus Stop 23.
Where to stay in Skiathos
Whilst this beach can easily be visited on a day trip a lot of people choose to stay in nearby Koukounaries.
Further reading: Things to do on Skiathos
Kastri – Skopelos
The church of Agios Ioannis Kastri on Skopelos is where scenes for Mamma Mia were filmed.
The small church of Agios Ioannis is located in the region of Kastri, about 7 km east of Glossa in northern Skopelos. This lovely church stands on top of a rock and provides an amazing view to the coasts of Skopelos and to Alonissos.
Its name actually means Saint John on the Castle, assuming that probably there was a small castle there in the past to protect the island from pirates and enemy invasions.
The impressive rock is linked to the rest of the island through a narrow path with 110 steps carved into the stone. A small beach is formed right beneath the rock and it gets pretty crowded in summer. The interior of the church has beautiful icons and old ecclesiastical items to see.
Where to stay on Skopelos
Skopelos is bigger than Skiathos but much less busy as it doesn’t have an airport.
Best Northern Aegean beaches
The North Aegean islands are a number of disconnected islands in the north Aegean Sea, belonging to Greece and Turkey. The islands do not form a physical chain or group, but are frequently grouped together for tourist or administrative purposes.
To the south are the Dodecanese islands ( see above).
Vroulidia – Chios
This beautiful, secluded beach is in the south of the island and very close to the amazing medieval village of Pyrgi , near Emporios.
It is a completely undeveloped beach with a small cafe at the top and thick sand and small pebbles. Small though it is its a lovely, quiet place to swim and the road means it is inaccessible to tour buses.
Where to stay on Chios
When we stay on Chios we stay in Karfas Beach which is a great base to explore much of the island as well as a calm, pleasant beach with some excellent tavernas and small shops.
Agios Ermogenis – Lesvos
A picturesque small beach named after the chapel that sits right above it. Saint Ermogenis is the patron Saint of the athletes.
The beach has beautiful green water that owes its amazing colour to the pine trees hanging above the sea and the shallow sandy bay. The beach is not organised, but there are showers and a good tavern with decent coffee. The idyllic scenery of this beach usually attracts families and couples.
Where to stay on Lesvos
Lesvos is a large island and in fact the 3rd largest in Greece. This beach is at the very southern end so it is best to stay in or near the capital of Mytilini.
Vroulidia Beach, Chios
Best Ionian islands beaches
Scattered along the western coastline of Central Greece, the Ionian Islands comprising twelve small and large islands whose total surface area comes to 2,200 square kilometres.
The Ionian Islands have been inhabited since Paleolithic times, have been through many invasions, and have received the influence of a variety of cultures.
The Ionian Islands were part of the Byzantine Empire until 1204 when the Franks took over Constantinople and the Ionian Islands were eventually ceded to the Venetians. Venetian influence is evident particularly in the architecture.
There are international airports on Corfu, Kefalonia and Zakynthos with some limited flights in Summer on Lefkada. Otherwise, it can be reached by ferry from the mainland towns of Patra, Igoumenitsa, Crete and even Athens.
Paleokastritsa – Corfu
Arguably the most picturesque village on Corfu located 25 km northwest of Corfu Town.
The word Paleokastritsa means ‘old castle’ as a fortress used to be high the hill where the Monastery of the Virgin now stands.
The village consists of six sandy and pebbled beaches surrounded by olive tree forests. One of the bays is a picturesque harbour where excursion boats depart for the nearby and isolated beaches or you can hire one yourself as we have done.
The main beach of Paleokastritsa is quite small but very popular and is considered one of the best beaches in the Greek islands. It is surrounded by a number of bars and taverns so can be busy during the day when tour buses come from Corfu town. At night, however, it is almost deserted!
Where to stay at Paleokastritsa
There are many places to stay in the general area, high in the hills along the many coves and bays but at the main beach itself, there are limited choices.
We had a wonderful week at the fairly basic but quite charming Apollon Annexe right across from the beach. I still remember the fat lazy bees buzzing around our honey at breakfast.
Further reading: Where to stay on Corfu
Best beaches in Kefalonia
Further reading: A complete guide to Kefalonia
Fiscardo , Zavalata Beach
This is Fiscardo’s town beach which offers easy access to the sea in Fiscardo village. This local beach is a small cove with shingle and stones.
Fiscardo is a lovely town with a number of very good waterfront tavernas and bars and some great little shops. It’s worth staying here a few days at least.
Where to stay in Fiscardo
Fiscardo Bay Hotel is a small hotel in a great location with fantastic service. You cant go wrong.
Myrtos beach is located on the west coast of Kefalonia 25km from Fiskardo and about 40km from Argostoli. You can reach the Myrtos beach by a winding road.
This much-photographed beach is surrounded by imposing rocks and is a symbol of Kefalonia and the Ionian islands. It is always at the top of any list of the most beautiful beaches of Greece and often, the world.
The beach is mostly pebble although in the middle and at the entrance to the sea there is white sand. On the left side, there is a small cave in the water that makes a beautiful shade in hot summer days. The wind often blows in the afternoon and creates great waves. The beach is not really suitable for young children due to the strong currents.
The beach does not have tavernas although f in summer there is a bar with showers and toilets, as well as umbrellas and sunbeds for rent.
There is a parking space near the top but it is small. You can also reach it by boat and a local bus that arrives from Argostoli.
Where to stay at Myrtos Beach
There is no accommodation on the beach itself. The nearest village is Divarata which has a couple of small options but they are quite isolated and a long walk to this beach.
We like to stay in Agia Evfimia which is a larger village on the other side of the island but only a 20 minute drive to Myrtos. It is also a good base to explore the neighbouring island of Ithaca.
Antisamos beach is also on the top of the list of the most beautiful beaches in the Ionians. It is a few kilometres southeast of the port town of Sami hidden at the foot of lush green hills.
It is wide and spacious with several large parking spaces, one of which is partially in a natural shade. The road to the beach is standard, winding and quite steep but well worth it.
There are several bars offering drinks, food, sunbeds, and umbrellas. It is covered with pearly white pebbles giving it an unusual shine and brightness but the water becomes very deep very suddenly so again not so great for families with small children. It’s also one of the better beaches on the island for snorkelling.
Antisamos beach is also known for being one of the locations where the movie Captain Correli’s Mandolin was filmed.
Where to stay at Antisamos
The port village of Sami has a number of good accommodation options and is only a 5-10 minute drive. You could walk but it is very steep and can get very hot!
MYRTOS BEACH, KEFALONIA
Best Beaches in Zakynthos
Probably the most photographed beach in all of Greece and regularly in the Top 10 in the world.
Navagio Beach can be found on the north-west coast of Zakynthos. Both Zakynthos and Navagio Beach are known by other names – Zante and Shipwreck Beach respectively and these names are used interchangeably depending on who you talk to.
The famous shipwreck lying in the middle of the beach is called Panagiotis and legend has it was a smugglers ship working on behalf of the Italian Mafia. The ship was smuggling cigarettes from Turkey, when it was chased by the Greek Navy and subsequently ran aground.
Despite Navagio Beach’s intense popularity all around the world, getting there can actually be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. Its very popular with backpackers and instagrammers so it may not be for everyone.
Zakynthos does has an airport and has some international flights especially in Summer.
Navagio Beach is locked in by the ocean and there is no way to scale down the cliff face. While it is possible to hire a helicopter, the most efficient (and normal) transport there is by boat.
There are numerous tour companies with boat tours out of Zakynthos Town which will probably include stops at other beautiful places off Zakynthos’ coast – like Blue Caves and Xygia Sulfur Beach. Try to go as early as possible to avoid the crowds!
Where to stay at Navagio Beach
Again there is nowhere to stay on or near the beach itself. There are some rooms for rent in the villages in the hills above the beach but most people will prefer to stay at one of the resort towns on the East Coast like Tsilivi which caters to every budget.
Xygia is a unique beach because of the sulphur springs in a nearby cave, producing a characteristic smell. People visit this one for its therapeutic waters.
The beach is sandy and surrounded by high vertical rocks. It is located 22 km from Zakynthos town to the north and it is easily accessible. There is also a parking space for cars and some taverns in the area.
NAVAGGIO BEACH, ZAKYNTHOS
Best Beaches in Crete
Further reading : A complete guide to Crete
Crete is the largest and most populated of the Greek islands and is the only one that is a stand-alone island and not part of a group. It sits across the southernmost part of the country and has a colourful history of occupation, war, invasion, myths and legends covering thousands of years.
It has 3 international airports and there are regular ferries from Athens and most of the neighbouring islands in the Cyclades, Dodecanese and the mainland area of the Peloponnese.
Falasarna is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Crete and in fact Europe. Thankfully it is not yet overcome by tourism and still feels peaceful and spread out, perhaps due to its size. It’s located at the very western tip of Crete, and an easy day trip from Chania town.
The view from the top of the cliff when driving down to the beach is stunning. There’s plenty of space on the beach and there’s a good breeze, which makes it an ideal escape on a hot day. The sea changes depending on the sun and the wind. Most of the time the water is calm and a beautiful turquoise-green colour.
Falasarna is a short drive from Chania town and you’ll find sunbeds and umbrellas on the beach as well as a handful of tavernas offering home-cooked meals and cold drinks. There is a great taverna up on the hill on the main road called Tavern Spilios where we had an amazing lunch of fresh fish and salad with incredible views!
There is also a boat service from Falasarna that does cruises around to Balos which takes 6 hours and cost 70 euro per person at the time of publication. You can find out more at www.falasarna-cruises.gr.
Where to stay at Falasarna
There are no hotels or accommodation on the beach which is quite isolated from the nearest village.
When we visited Falasarna we stayed a week at Stalos Beach at Marakas Beach Apartments.
This was a great base to explore all of North/West Crete including Chania and they are wonderful new, modern apartments right on the beach. There is an excellent authentic taverna right next door too!
Balos is located near the town of Kissamos which is less than an hour west of Chania.
There is a morning boat trip that leaves Kissamos for Balos will bring you back by early evening which includes a stopover at Gramvousa island. Many people prefer to hike on foot which can be quite strenuous on a hot day!
Balos is literally located in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by flora and fauna and sun-drenched swimming spots the beach is ideal for sunbathing and snorkelling, with soft white sand and light green water, framed by dramatic islets and mountains.
The sea close to the shore is protected by the wind and very shallow and warm, ideal for small children.
In many places, the sand has a lovely pinkish colour similar to Elafonissi beach. A little further out, the water is deeper and good for snorkelling.
The beach sits on a small circular bay with very calm waters protected from the wind, located at the foot of a mountain and next to a picturesque harbour.
Located about 30 minutes north of Chania and is famous for being the site where some of the film Zorba the Greek ( starring Anthony Quinn) was filmed. You can hike up to the cave where there was an explosion in the film which is quite visible from the beach.
The lagoon-like bay has white sand and shallow green water, and the contrast of the wild mountain with the peaceful beach makes Stavros a favourite swimming hole with Greeks and a handful of tourists in the know.
The beach tends to be very quiet during weekdays, but it can get more crowded on the weekends since it is a popular choice for the locals. There are plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas for everyone, and there are a couple of taverns and a beach cantina for a snack.
Where to stay at Stavros Beach
There are only a few hotels in Stavros Beach and our pick is Paradice Luxury Suites who also have a great taverna and beachfront sunbeds and umbrellas.
BALOS BEACH, CRETE