The Best Beaches in Greece – A Guide

SantoriniDave.com – Updated September, 2014

The 19 Best Beaches in Greece

It’s difficult to choose the best beaches in Greece. What’s the best beach for kids? What’s the best beach for swimming? What’s the best beach for partying?

Everyone is looking for a great beach, but they all have different criteria. Add to that the fact that many islands have upwards of 20 different beaches.

Here are my personal favorites.

Elafonisi, Crete

Elafonisi on Crete.
The best beach in Greece: Elafonisi beach on the south coast of Crete. There isn’t much else nearby besides a few small hotels so most people do a day trip from Chania. Recommended Hotels: Elafonisi Resort by Kalomirakis Family • The wonderful town of Paleochora is a one hour boat ride away. Recommended Paleochora Hotels: Caravella Luxury Apartments (moderate) • Aris Hotel (budget)

Mylopotas Beach, Ios

Milopotamos Beach on Ios in the Cyclades.
Wonderful sand and quick drop-off for people who like to get out and swim. Stay at either Mylopotas Beach or in the fun Chora (main town). Recommended Hotels: Ios Palace Hotel & Spa (moderate) • Nissos Ios (budget) • Rita’s Place Hotel

Red Beach, Santorini

Red Beach on Santorini.
Santorini has some of the most unique beaches in Greece. They aren’t of the soft white sand variety. Most are composed of volcanic sand and are red, black, or grey. Nearby Akrotiri has hotels for all budgets but most people stay in Fira and make a day trip by bus. Recommended Hotels in Akrotiri: Astarte Suites (luxury) • Apanemo (moderate)

Perissa Beach, Santorini

Perissa Beach on Santorini.
The nicest beach and sand on Santorini. Nearby Kamari beach is almost as good but has more restaurants and nightlife. A boat connects the two beaches. Recommend Hotels in Perissa: Anastasia Princess (moderate) • Recommended Hotels in Kamari: Santorini Kastelli Resort (luxury) • Tamarix Del Mar Suites (luxury) • Aegean Plaza Hotel (moderate)

Plaka Beach, Naxos

Plaka Beach on Naxos.
Naxos has many great beaches and if you’re looking for an island with a large variety of beaches it should be at the top of your list. Naxos Town is wonderfully charming and St George beach (a short walk away) is a great town beach. But down the southwest coast there are many others that are even better: Agia Anna, Agios Prokopios, Mikri Vigla, Pyrgaki – and perhaps the best of the lot, Plaka beach. I recommend staying in Naxos Town and taking the frequent buses to the beaches down the coast. Recommended Hotels: Nissaki Beach Hotel (luxury) • Naxos Resort Beach Hotel (moderate) • Xenia Hotel (budget)

Logaras Beach, Paros

Logaras Beach on Paros.
Paros has many great beaches – some of them like Pounda and Piso Livadi are a bit too popular. Logaras is located away from the main towns and thus never overly crowded. I suggest staying in Parikia and making a day trip to Logaras by bus. Recommended Hotels in Parikia: Argonauta Hotel (moderate) • Captain Manolis (budget)

Paradise Beach, Mykonos

Paradise Beach on Mykonos. Beautiful through the day, then turns into a party beach in the late afternoon and evening. There are plenty of hotels and restaurants here or you can commute from Mykonos Town. Recommended Hotels: Paradise View Hotel (moderate) • Mykonos View Hotel (moderate, in Mykonos Town)

Ornos Beach, Mykonos

Ornos Beach on Mykonos.
The most family friendly beach on Mykonos. Great sand and calm relaxing water with a shallow slope. It’s 10 minutes by bus from Mykonos Town. Recommended Hotels: Kivotos Luxury Boutique Hotel (luxury – great for honeymoons) • Santa Marina Resort & Villas (luxury – great for families) • Mykonos View Hotel (moderate, in Mykonos Town)

Mytros Beach, Kefalonia

Myrtos beach on Kefalonia. Myrtos beach on Kefalonia. Recommended Hotels: Odyssey Villas (moderate – great place but you do need a rental car)

Paleokastritsa, Corfu

Paleokastritsa on Corfu.
Paleokastritsa is a series of bays on beautiful Corfu. Recommended Hotels: Zefiros Traditional Hotel (moderate)

Sarakiniko, Mylos

Sarakiniko on Mylos.
Is this a beach? Who knows, who cares. Mylos has a many great little coves for swimming and sunning. Sarakiniko is one of the best spots to swim and relax. Recommended Hotels: Giannis Hotel Apartments (budget) • Semiramis Hotel (budget)

Stafylo Beach, Skopelos

Stafylo Beach on Skopelos. Stafylo is one of the many great beaches on Skopelos. Recommended Hotels: Skopelos Village (moderate) • Denise Hotel (budget)

Kamares Beach, Sifnos

Kamares Beach on Sifnos in the Cyclades.
Sifnos – a quiet island in the western Cyclades – is loaded with great beaches and Kamares is on of the best. The water is shallow and perfect for kids and there are many tavernas and hotels nearby. Recommended Hotels: Delfini (moderate) • Morpheas Pension Rooms & Apartments (budget)

Koukounaries Beach, Skiathos

Koukounaries Beach on Skiathos island.
Koukounaries Beach on Skiathos. Absolutely beautiful. Recommended Hotels: Skiathos Palace Hotel (moderate) • Golden Beach (budget) • Meltemi Hotel (budget – in Skiathos Town)

St Paul’s Bay, Rhodes

St Paul's Bay near Lindos on Rhodes.
A great little swimming spot near the castle at Lindos. The east coast of Rhodes is loaded with great beaches (including Faliraki and Lindos), but anything west of Rhodes Town will be very windy. I love staying in beautiful Rhodes Town and busing to the beaches through the day. Recommended Hotels: Atrium Palace Thalasso Spa Resort And Villas (luxury – near Lindos) • Spirit Of The Knights Boutique Hotel (luxury – Rhodes Old Town) •

Matala Beach, Crete

Matala Beach on Crete.
A great little town. The cliff at the end of the beach is filled with caves that you can explore. Recommended Hotels: Matala View (budget)

Shipwreck Beach, Zakynthos

Shipwreck Beach on Zakynthos.
Accessible by boat on a day trip. Take one of the smaller operators out to the beach and you’ll be able to explore some caves. The beach is always busy but the magical setting makes it all worthwhile. Recommended Hotels in Laganas: Castelli Hotel (moderate)

Vai Beach, Crete

Vai Beach on the Greek Island of Crete
The best beach in eastern Crete and backed by a unique palm forest (the only one in Europe). Vai is a good day trip from Sitia. Recommended Hotels: Petras Beach (budget)

Vouliagmeni Beach, Athens

Vouliagmeni Beach near Athens.
The best beach near Athens and about an hour’s trip by bus from the city center. Recommended Hotels on the Coast: The Westin Athens, Astir Palace Beach Resort • Recommended Hotels in Athens: Electra Palace Hotel Athens

Q. What are the best beaches for kids in Greece?

Agios Gordios Beach on Naxos is wonderful for kids. It’s a short walk from the island’s wonderful main town and port.  A shallow shelf extends well out into the sea and the calm protected waters are perfect for children. Many places to eat and stay are in the immediate area. There are several other (quieter) beaches on Naxos that are also great for kids. As you move south away from the main town the beaches grow quieter and less developed – though almost all of them have at least 1 or 2 tavernas. The nearby islands of Paros and Antiparos have many kid-friendly beaches.

Read: The Best Islands in Greece for Families

Q. What is the best beach for partying?

Paradise Beach on Mykonos is not for everyone. The category was Party Beach and this defines Paradise. Water sports, young people, sand, sun, and drinks wherever you look. Punda Beach on Paros has an equally established reputation for partying.

Q. What is the best beach for quiet and solitude (on a popular island)?

Ambelas Beach, Paros is fantastic. There are quieter beaches on less popular islands, but considering it’s on Paros, Ambelas is downright tranquil. There are enough restaurants and hotels in the area so you don’t feel totally isolated. Visit outside of July and August and you could have the beach to yourself.

Q. What is the best beach close to Athens?

Vouligmeni Beach is great for swimming and less than an hour from Athens. It can get very busy on the weekend but if you’re stuck in the heat of Athens you won’t complain once you’re here.

Q. When is the best time to visit Greece?

Late May to Early October are perfect beach weather everywhere in Greece. July and August are the hottest and busiest months. June and September are nearly perfect with one small difference between them being that the sea is warmer in the fall while the countryside is greener in spring. Early May and Late October can still see warm weather and sunny days but you should be prepared for the possibility of rain and cloud – and pack a sweater for coolish nights. On the southern coast of Crete it’s not unheard of to be swimming into the first weeks of November.

What are the Best Greek Islands?

  • The Best Beaches: Crete, Naxos, Milos, Paros
  • The Best for Natural Beauty: Santorini, Crete
  • The Most Romantic: Santorini
  • The Best for College-Aged Partying: Ios
  • The Best for 20 to 30-Something Partying: Mykonos
  • The Best for Families: Naxos
  • The Best for Outdoor Activities and Historical Sites: Crete, Santorini
  • The Best for Quiet, Untouristy Beaches: Antiparos

When Is the Best Time to Visit the Greek Islands?

You’ll get great beach weather from late May until mid-October when the skies are blue most days and you’ll see very little rain. July and August are the hottest but also sees the largest crowds and the highest prices. By favorite time to visit is September and early October when the weather is still consistently hot and the sea is at its warmest. Swimming and sunbathing are possible in early May and late October but you are taking a bit of a risk if you visit at these times with the intention of hitting the beach – but they’re great times if you’re here to hike, sight-see, and wine and dine.

I Only Have 1 Week in Greece, Where Should I Go?

I would spend 5 days in Santorini and 2 days in one of the less touristy islands. Probably Naxos, Milos, or Folegandros. (Or if you wanted a few nights to party and dance then Mykonos or Paros.)

I Have 2 Weeks in Greece, Where Should I Go?

I would still spend 5 days on Santorini. Then 3 days each on 3 of the following islands: Naxos (beaches, hikes, traditional villages), Paros (beaches, partying), Antiparos (beaches, tranquility), Mykonos (beaches, partying, beautiful port town) Folegandros (hikes, beaches, non-touristy island) and Milos (beaches, full-day boat tours, unique scenery).

Finding Hotels on the Greek Islands

As you can tell from the comments below, I get more questions on hotels than any other topic. From late June to early September islands are packed and hotels often full. Book early.

  • Book your hotel before your ferry – The large conventional ferries rarely sell out even in the peak summer season. Hotels, on the other hand, fill up weeks and months before the date. Buying ferry tickets just a few days in advance from your current location in Greece is usually always enough time to secure a basic economy ticket. Some people buy ferry tickets first and then can’t find a hotel they like and have to compromise. Hotel first, then worry about the ferry.
  • Booking.com/Greece is the best website for finding hotels in Greece. It has the best selection and I love it because you can book and cancel rooms without any charges. This allows you to reserve multiple hotels, finalize your plans, then cancel the rooms you don’t need.
  • As ferries arrive at an island port there will usually be owners of small hotels and private rooms there to greet passengers. If you don’t have a hotel booked this can be an easy way to get a cheap room. The downside is that the rentals are usually located far out of the way (that’s why they come to meet the ferries). But it sure beats sleeping on the beach.
  • When to book hotels in Greece? The popular islands get fully booked in the summer months. Try to book hotels at least 3 to 8 weeks in advance. In the last decade Greece has gone from a popular summer vacation destination to a very very popular summer vacation destination. Every year it gets harder to find hotels by just showing up and hoping for the best.
  • The larger your group the farther in advance you should book. A single backpacker might able to find a hotel in Corfu with little notice. A family of 5 will have a very hard time if they haven’t booked well in advance.
  • Flipkey.com is great for finding villas and house rentals on the Greek islands.
  • For many islands you don’t need to book in advance for travel outside of July and August. When you arrive on the ferry there will likely be a handful of hotel owners waiting for you. This works well for single or couple backpackers. Not so well for families, groups, or luxury travelers looking for the best hotels.
  • Santorini – Book hotels well in advance for June to September
  • Athens – Book hotels well in advance for April to October
  • Mykonos, Rhodes, Corfu, Crete – Book hotels well in advance for late June until early September
  • Naxos, Paros, Milos, Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Kefalonia – Book hotels well in advance for July and August

I hope that helps. Good luck.

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94 questions and comments

  1. Wedding in July

    Hey Dave,

    Big fan of your site -thanks for all the information you post here! I’m looking for a possible wedding venue at the moment and considering Greece. The wedding would be in July 2016 -hot I know but we have no choice as we need to accommodate guests who only have school holidays.

    We are looking to have a simple wedding on a sandy beach, within walking distance to the reception venue (could be a beach bar or a resort), close to a nice beachside town. We want to avoid Mykonos and Santorini. We were at a friend’s wedding in Paros this September and we really liked the town of Naoussa -that’s the feel we are going for, and we would love a place with a variety of restaurants and hotels, to suit our guests’ different needs and budgets.

    Have you been to Naoussa? Do you know any places (island or mainland) with a similar feel? We’ve been looking at Crete, Corfu, Chios and Chalkidiki -but it’s hard to know how the towns are there.

    Thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I’m not sure I would recommend the beaches of Santorini for a wedding location. The beaches here are not the typical white-sand beaches found throughout Greece. They are composed of dark volcanic sand. It makes for incredibly clear and refreshing swimming and it’s an unique setting but some might be disappointed by it. It also gets incredibly hot to walk on. Yes, I’ve been to Naoussa. It’s an enchanting and wonderful town. Hard to find something similar. Naxos Town comes to mind. Great island, great town, and a very good nearby beach (and better the farther from town you go). Antiparos has a pedestrian only main town and great beaches. It’s quieter than Naxos though most places will be busy in July. Rethymno, Chania, and Paleochora are all great towns on Crete. Lesvos, Ikaria, and Karpathos are other good candidates. There are many great islands. Not sure I was much help but there you go.

      Reply
      1. Alison

        Thanks Dave, I really appreciate it! I’ve looked at Rethymno but hadn’t heard of those other ones, will check them out. Have a great weekend!

        Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Greece is an underrated winter destination. There’s lots to do as long as you don’t want to hit the beach or go swimming (too cold). The buses and ferries (for the islands) are on winter schedules so getting around and between the islands is more difficult. The only islands I would recommend visiting in the winter are Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, and Naxos. But even those will be very quiet.

      The mainland is likely where you’ll want to spend your time. The historical sites of Athens along with the Meteora, Delphi, Mycenae, Olympia, Kalambaka, and the idyllic small town of Nafplio are all great destinations. Athens in particular is great around the holiday season – all decked out in Christmas decorations and quite festive. You’ll often have the ancient sites all to yourself – great for pictures and having a more intimate visit.

      It can be very cold during in December so bring warm clothes.

      Reply
  2. Where to go in Greece

    Hi Dave,

    My husband and I are finally going on our honeymoon. My dad is Greek and I have been a few times. I really want to see Kefalonia, Rhodes and Santorini. Maybe throw in another island (Naxos) if time allows. We are planning on going for two weeks, maybe two and a half. Can you recommend an itinerary for me. Definitely want to see acropolis in Athens when we get there. Also can you recommend hotels in the islands I mentioned or a website.

    Thanks so much,
    Angela

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Kefalonia, Rhodes, and Santorini are all wonderful islands – the problem is they are in 3 separate and distant areas of Greece. It would take a lot of time (or a full day of flying) to get from Kefalonia to Santorini or Kefalonia to Rhodes or even Santorini to Rhodes. So, to start, I would pick 2 of those 3 islands and focus on them. Depending on the time of year there are sometimes direct ferries from Santorini to Rhodes (but not always, and sometimes you’ll need to go via Syros or Crete). If you fly you’ll still need to go through Athens as there are no direct flights between any of those islands. Naxos is great too and it’s an easy stop from Athens to Santorini so I’d consider adding that to the mix.

      For finding hotels use Booking.com/Greece-Hotels.

      Reply
    2. Feras

      Hi Dave,

      Thank you so much for the information. My wife and I are planning to go to Mykonos on end of September early October. I personally have experienced Mykonos few years back on July and it was beautiful. I realized from some people on few forums that it would be very different in Sep/Oct. I understand it would not be completely dead. However it will be good to know how quite and to what extend? and what’s available in terms of restaurants, bars, lounges, shops, etc (general speaking). Will there be any beach parties or at least any music on the beach during day/night time? We are afraid that it could be boring! That what people on some forums sound like, and some people recommend not to go at this time! We are mainly going for the beach but we also want to enjoy some music and good food. Any suggestions beside Mykonos? We have around 7-12 days.

      Thanks

      Reply
      1. Dave Post author

        The final beach parties will take place in early September on Mykonos. After that it will be quieter – but still lots of places to have a good time. Perhaps not the “scene” you’re looking for. Santorini will definitely have plenty of nightlife into October. (I’ve been there in November and had a blast.)

        Reply
  3. Where to go in March?

    Can you please recommend the best islands to visit in March? We are planning a trip for next March and look forward to minimal crowds. Santorini seems like a must! What other Two islands would you recommend? Where is the best place to stay that is open in the off season? Any recommended activities would be greatly appreciated too!
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      March is a very quiet time on the Greek Islands. This can be good as there are few tourists. The challenge is getting between the islands as there are not many ferries running. The two islands I would recommend would be Santorini and Crete. Santorini is quiet in March but will have a modest amount of restaurants and hotels open. Crete has a large resident population (especially the towns of Heraklion, Rethymno, and Chania) so it won’t feel dead and deserted like some of the Cyclades will in March. Crete also has the warmest weather of any Greek island though you won’t be swimming in the sea in March. Both Santorini and Crete have lots of non-beach activities and attractions so you won’t be at a loss for things to do. There will likely be 2 ferries a week between Santorini and Crete in March but the schedule is not out yet so keep checking at gtp.gr for the days they will run and plan accordingly. If you’re looking for another island in the Cyclades rather than making the journey to Crete then Syros is a good choice: great capital town, large local population, lots of activity outside of tourist season.

      Reply
  4. Beach and Night Life

    Hello,

    Looking to visit the Greek Islands next July for 3 weeks. We are 2 mid 20′s couples from Canada looking to set up shop on one or 2 islands during our stay and live the “beach bum” life. We are hoping for an amazing beach somewhere close to shops/restaurants/bars for great night activities. Hopefully you can help steer us in the right direction. Cheers.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Paros, Ios, and Mykonos should be at the top of your search. Naousa on Paros is a great mix of beaches, hip restaurants, and great nightlife. Mykonos has a bunch of lively party beaches. Ios has one of the best beaches (Mylopotas) in Greece and a fun party scene.

      Reply
  5. Richard

    We’ve travelled to San Stefanos (or Aghios Stefanos North if you prefer) on Corfu for the last 3 years, but we’re looking for somewhere different with a safe sandy beach for us and our 5 year old. Ideally we want somewhere with a few restaurants, shops and evening entertainment but not noisy or obnoxious. I keep seeing Naxos and Skiathos on your blog; would you say they’re the best option and can we fly direct to there from the UK?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      They are both great islands with fantastic beaches (but there are many that have those attributes). Naxos does not have direct flights from Europe (you have to go through Athens, Mykonos, or Santorini). Skiathos does.

      Reply
  6. Greece 2015

    First, I would like to thank you for this amazing site- really great info! We are planning a trip for next summer- family of 5(mom, dad, 3 girls- ages, 21, 19 and 19). We were in Greece in 2004 and visited Santorini, Crete and Athens. Would like to see a few more islands and cant imagine not going back to Santorini(maybe 2 nights). We are interested in relaxing, beautiful beaches and shopping. Hoping to keep the trip to 12-14 days, including 1 night in Athens before we fly home. Which islands do you suggest?

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Paros, Santorini, and Mykonos have the best shopping in the Cyclades. Naxos, Milos, Paros, Mykonos all have great beaches (and many others). So maybe a mix of those.

      Reply
  7. What Islands Do You Recommend

    Hi Dave, My wife and I are traveling to Greece from August 25- September 4. We’re going to spend 1-2 days in Athens and then would like to see a couple of islands. How many islands would you recommend in this time frame? We’re thinking 2, maybe 3 max? What islands would you recommend? We would love to see beautiful beaches and have a lot to do during the day (site-see, hike, etc). Night life isn’t a HUGE concern, but would love to have lots of good cuisine choices. I was thinking 2 days in Santorini, 2 days in Folegrandos and 2 days in Milos. What are your recommendations? Thank you for your help!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Those are all great islands. Folegandros has some great walks, Milos has great beaches, Santorini has some fun stuff to see and do – a great walk along the caldera and boat tours of the volcano. Naxos is also a wonderful island that has a lot of what you’re looking for so I’d put that near the top of my list. For any island 2 nights minimum but better to have 3 nights.

      Reply
  8. Corfu or Zante

    Hi I’m wanting to go to an island on the west of Greece and have it down to corfu or zakynthos. I am after a bit of a party scene but at the same time able to enjoy the beauty as I will be traveling alone. ( nothing like Mykonos’ party scene) if I could only choose one which would you recommend for a 2/3 day stay? Also is Zante easy to get to Athens from?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I would recommend Corfu – beautiful island and Corfu Town is wonderful. From Athens to Zante requires a 4 hour bus ride and 1 hour ferry ride.

      Reply
  9. Which Island in Greece?

    Hi – I was wondering if anyone could help me or offer an advice.
    We are looking to holiday on a Greek island next year ( sad I know but we are self employed and have to book holidays very early !)
    We like very rural – access to sandy beaches, and would like to hire a boat for a few days to explore.
    Last year my husband and I went to a Kefalonia and stayed in an amazing villa 10 mins out of Fiskardo which was idyllic !!
    Kids want sandy beaches!! Any ideas? We were looking at Skiathos but became worried that the reviews of Skiathos town was a bit disco/lively – we want more harbour, taverna.
    Probably being a bit fussy but we get one week away a year so want it to be good.

    Reply
  10. Sue Ross re Budget trip for Mom and Two 23yr olds

    Your Blog is so great ! My Daughter and her boyfriend are currently travelling around Europe,and have asked me if I would like to meet them in Greece for her Birthday . They will be in Patras around June 3- and are Pretty open to where we should go. I would be flying from Vancouver. What would you recommend? I have found some o.k. flights to both Athens ,and Mykonos- ( They have train Passes ) Where else has international airports ? We would like to be able to cook, and hang on the beach. Any help is so appreciated !

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Patras is an easy train connection from Athens (and the train goes over the Corinth Canal which is cool). So you could meet up in either city. From Athens go to Cyclades (Naxos, Paros, Ios). You could also meet in Mykonos though this is one of the most expensive islands – not that you have to stay there long. If you meet in Patras then go to the Ionian Islands of Zakynthos, Corfu, or Kefalonia. All of the islands I’ve mentioned have great beaches.

      Reply
  11. Sweet C and M

    Love your input!
    I am the mom and planning on taking my 14 yr old daughter for a trip to Greece this June. I just decided to go and can get a round trip flight into Athens and want some culture, great food and lodging and all around great memories in the making without too much stress. Will we feel safe traveling around? Thinking of going for
    9 days and love authentic experiences but don’t want to go far off course. I don’t like crowds and loud parties..any ideas would be great! Also would you suggest renting a car once we arrive at these great islands?Mylos sound great but want more ideas?
    I don’t see myself spending more than 2 days in Athens, the islands sound like my style !

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Naxos (lots to do) and Antiparos (more quiet) are 2 great islands that are easy to get to from Athens. Both have great beaches. No, I would not recommend renting a car on the islands – no need, most have good bus service. Mylos is a wonderful island too. You almost can’t go wrong so just relax and have fun. Greece is very safe – Athens has a few sketchier spots but most places that any tourist will end up will be safe through the day. At night stay in the Plaka area and you’ll be fine. Good luck.

      Reply
  12. Renee R

    Hi David,

    My partner and I are travelling from Australia and looking to go to Greece in May 2015 and are wanting to spend 8 days on a Greek Island. I am hoping you can help point me in the right direction as we were thinking of going to Rhodes or Crete but I have now read so much on the Cyclades that I am not sure the best option for us. We both love beaches and great food. We aren’t into partying but do enjoy quirkiness and unique spots and also a couple of good wines. I also love Greek mythology so would like to visit a few sites during my visit. Thanks in advance
    RR

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Yes, the Cyclades are great. Lots of great islands that are a short ferry ride from each other. My favorites are Santorini, Mylos, Naxos, Paros, and Folegandros – but they all have their charms and you can’t really go wrong with your island choices. Delos (a day trip from Mykonos) is the best historical site in the Cyclades. No inhabitants so you can’t stay the night. Mylos, Naxos and Mykonos have the best beaches.

      Reply
  13. Angela M

    Hi

    We are organising a girls holiday to a Greek island in September. We want a beautiful beach, not sure if we want a hotel, villa or an apartment but it must be in walking distance of a small town with bars and restaurants. We’re not looking for party central just somewhere with a bit of life. Already been to Mykonos ands Rhodes so would like to try somewhere different….. Any suggestions welcome!!

    Reply
  14. Daniela

    Hi David, your advises are great for us who don’t know the Greek islands from inside ! I thank you in advance for your precious suggestions !! I’d like to spend 5/7 days in Greece at the end of June. I am not looking for crowded places and nightlife I am looking for nice views, beaches and enjoying a typical Greek island atmosphere. My search focused on two islands, Milos and Mykonos. Am I doing a good job ? What would you suggest ? I am also planning to visit by boat an other island for a day trip. Should I share my time between two different island instead ? Daniela

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Milos has incredible beaches – maybe the best in Greece. Mykonos has very nice beaches but they’re busier and the island has a definite party vibe. With 5 to 7 days you could easily do 2 islands – and that’s what I’d recommend. Nearby islands from Milos good for day trips (or a longer visit) would be Sifnos and Folegandros – both wonderful islands. Be sure to do a boat tour around the island of Milos that visits some of the island’s remote and very unique beaches. Good luck.

      Reply
  15. Kyle

    Hello,

    My wife and I are thinking of going to Greece in early October for 12 days, what islands would you recommend this time of year ? Warm enough for the beaches ?
    Thanks !
    Kyle

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The best islands for October tend to be the ones farther south: Rhodes, Karpathos, Santorini, Crete (especially the south coast of Crete). Every year is different but in general early October will be great for the beaches, mid-October the weather will be getting cooler and you could have some rainy/cloudy days. By the end of the month beach weather is a 50/50 proposition on most islands. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  16. Kathryn

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! For the amazing site, I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent on it…awesome. Thanks for sharing.
    If you have a moment to respond, I would love your input:
    We are going to Crete for 10 days in June (me, husband, two kids and an infant). We need family friendly beaches, but I’m a history lover so I would like to see Knossos and maybe Phaestos. The beaches I’m considering are: Georgiopouli, Paleochora(w/Elafonissi), and Matala. We want some major relax-beach time, but want to see a little of the city (Rethymno?) so we can walk the markets, etc. Any input on how I can make all, or most, of this work? I’m frustrated with trying to figure out a route where we’re not backtracking too much, and REALLY want to minimize road time (infant traveler and all.) Thanks in advance for any input you are able to give!!
    Kathryn

    forgot to add, we fly into Chania.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      The trouble with getting around Crete – as you may have figured out – is there are few roads along the south coast of the island. So, to visit multiple places on the south coast you need to jackknife back to the north, move east or west a little ways, and then return to the south. If you’re renting a car and driving yourself the roads that run north to south are tricky to drive and precarious in spots. Getting along the north coast is very simple and quick, so a drive from Rethymno to Heraklion, for example, is on good road and takes just over an hour. A good way to skirt some of this inconvenience is to take a ferry between some of the south coast towns like Hora Sfakion, Loutro, Paleochora, and Elafonisi – which will save you from long drives. Matala is a good deal out of the way from the other places you want to visit so I would strike it and focus on Chania, Rethymno, Knossos, Paleochora, and Elafonisi – which would make for a great 10 day itinerary. Buses are modern and reliable and you should be able to show up at the bus station, buy a ticket, and be on your way within an hour (depending on the schedule, of course). Paleochora, Rethymno, and Chania are my favorite towns in Crete. Elafonisi is my favorite beach (though there are many good ones).

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
      1. Kathryn

        Yes, the north-south roads are few and far between! Thank you for your reply, now I am deep in the planning stages! I want to take your advice and ferry-hop from perhaps Chora Sfakion to Paleochora..but the schedules are hard to read and I fear we may be ferrying all day long. Would you recommend taking a bus back to Chania (from Reythmnon) and then down to Paleochora? Thanks again!!

        Reply
      2. Crete and Santorini

        Hi Dave, your site is just PHENOMENAL!!!! So much info!!!

        Like Kathryn, my BF & I will be visiting Greece from 29aug-06sep.

        Our itinerary: Chania Crete 3ngts, Santorini 3ngts & Athens 2ngts.
        We’re thinking of booking our hotel in Chania (center) and visit the old city rtc and also visit different beaches: Balos (by bus), Elafonissi (ferry day trip).
        Or do you suggest something else to keep our trip simple?
        In Santorini, stay in Fira and walk around, then maybe visit Red Beach or Mamari beach. What do you think?
        I may have the opportunity to add another day, would you suggest I add to Chania and do another beach or add to Santorini???

        Thank you :)

        Reply
        1. Dave Post author

          That sounds good. I assume you’re getting the high speed ferry from Heraklion to Santorini. If so, a day (or half-day) there to see Knossos would be worthwhile. Rethymno is also a great little town. If you’re keen on beaches then the added day would be best used on Crete. If you’re more into sightseeing, the volcano, wineries, views then add that day to Santorini. Fira is a fun town and the most efficient base to explore the island (it’s in the center and is the hub of all bus routes).

          Reply
  17. jj

    Hello again David
    Thanks for the advice
    We are looking to book Naxos and decided that for our 2 island we would go back to Crete-Chania. However, we are having trouble trying to find flights to and from. After a lil research I know that olympic seems to be the only airline from athens to Naxos, but I cant find a flight from Naxos to Crete. Could use transportation suggestions (would prefer flights.) Should I rethink the destinations?

    Thanks again
    jj

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      There are no direct flights from Naxos to Crete. Some years there are flights from Santorini to Crete with SkyExpress and MinoanAir – but they are seasonal schedules so you won’t see anything yet. If such a flight runs you could ferry from Naxos to Santorini and then fly to Crete – though then the benefit of flying is far less. Also some flights from Ikaria to Crete, so that might be an option too.

      Reply
  18. JJ

    I really enjoyed your website and advise.
    My husband & I will be traveling to Barcelona mid july for 4 nights.(could use beach tips if you have any in Barcelona) and make our way to Greece. We’ve been to greece many times and usually go to a different islands. However this time I cant seem to decided where to go and could use some advise. I was thinking: Naxos, Amorgos, Andros, Ikaria, Hydra and Speteses. We love beautiful landscape, crystal clean water but would prefer a beaches that aren’t too crowed but organized. Naxos is at the top of my list. Could also use some advise on where to stay, though we usually rent a car to get around, I would like to know what part of the island has better beaches north or south. side note: our stay in greece will be a total of 13 days, Would like to do 5/6 nights in one island and the remainder somewhere else. So maybe if you could suggest other island if the above choices arent “too great.”
    places visited thus far:
    santorini
    paros
    patmos
    corfu
    cephalonia
    rhodes
    crete: chania & rethemno
    skiathos
    zakynthos
    lefkada
    milos
    thessaloniki
    kalamata
    elafonisos

    thank
    JJ

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Naxos is a great choice and one of my favorite islands. Base yourself in Naxos Town (the Hora) – or just to the south of it around St George’s beach, then you can walk into town at night and be close to the beach. The rest of the Naxos’s best beaches stretch from St George to the south, but are not walking distance to the main town. Good luck.

      Reply
  19. Ram Rohatgi

    We are coming to Greece for our honeymoon and have 9 days 9 nights. I know to truly get the full feeling of what Crete is like, we would need months, but such is life. We would like to see 3 places on our trip and it would be spread like this.

    Crete for 4 days (over May 3rd night to May 7th/8th) spending one day at Elafonisi beach and surrounding area, 1 day hiking in Samaria Gorge, 1 day at palace of Knossos. And 1 day will probably just be consumed in moving around these places. I know this plan seems like we are leaving out so much, but these are the things we would like to see. My proposed itenerary consists of this. We wouldn’t mind renting a car (but due to the road closures feel worried about driving on the coastal roads). But I need someone to say this is impossible, since my heart was set on seeing these things after much research.

    Day 1 (Friday) Evening: Hania airport arrival, make it to hotel, enjoy dinner and walk around the city

    Day 2 (Sat) Morning – rent car/taxi to leave to elafonisi beach, spend the day there, and stay at a hotel near there

    Day 3 (Easter Sunday) Morning – use rental car or bus to make it to Samaria gorge, hike all day, stay there or make it back to Hania

    Day 4 (Monday)Take Bus or drive to Heraklion to see palace of Knossos, maybe some of wine country

    Day 5 (Tuesday) afternoon Ferry off to Santorini

    I know this is a hectic schedule, but my main issue is understanding how to get around Crete. When looking at the Buses, many of them say “not on the weekends” and this is during Greek Easter. Secondly, if not the bus, renting a car seems to be trickier due to the road closures. With all these things in mind, though my heart is set on seeing at least a glimpse of Crete, I am starting to feel that this is impossible and I should instead go to another island in the Cyclades though after seeing all the sights, nothing seems to compare to Crete.

    Is it possible to land on Crete and there is a tour group that goes to these locations? Thanks for all your help and your time. Hope all is well!

    -Ram

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Your itinerary sounds fine but I have a few suggestions:

      You could easily get a cool or cloudy day in early May that would not allow for swimming – it’s a long trip if you don’t even get to swim.

      Don’t take a rental car to Samaria Gorge. This only adds the hassle of returning to the start of the trail to retrieve your rental car instead of going directly on to Chania. I’d take a boat from Ayia Roumeli (at the end of the Gorge) to Paleochora (a great little town on the south coast of Crete) and spend the night there. There are lots of buses from Paleochora to Chania. Use a KTEL bus to get to the Gorge (25 miles from Chania). In summer it can be better to buy a tour from Chania to the Gorge to ensure a return seat on the bus but in May it shouldn’t be an issue – and if you go to Paleochora won’t be a concern anyways.

      The bus from Chania to Heraklion is easy and takes about 2.5 hours. Start early so you have time to visit Knossos on the same afternoon. Knossos is about 3 miles south of Heraklion so easy to get to. A taxi from Heraklion to Knossos will cost €12 and Knossos is open 8am to 8pm (from April to mid-October) so you should be able to swing it.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  20. Keaton

    Hi David,

    I’m planning a 14 – 17 day honeymoon in mid-June and we are looking for an island (or islands) with a mixture of good semi-secluded beaches, historical sites, fun activities (sailing, snorkeling, maybe a bit of diving), and great food. I have some Hilton points socked away and their hotel on Kos appears to be quite nice. What are your thoughts on Kos, Rhodes, and Kalimnos? I was thinking we might spend 2 – 3 days in and around Athens, 5 nights on Kos, and the remainder between other islands and possibly Bodrum, Turkey.

    Thanks,

    Keaton

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      That sounds great. I’d suggest doing a loop through Turkey so you wouldn’t have to retrace your steps (and waste time). So take the Kos–Bodrum ferry spend 1 to 3 days in Turkey and return to Greece on the Marmaris – Rhodes ferry. One note: the ferry from Kos or Rhodes to Athens is a long one, plan accordingly as you can fly one or both ways. Good luck.

      Reply
  21. Lucas

    Hello David, thank you very much for giving us this kind of information! It’s really helpful!
    I’m going to Greece this summer, june to july, and I’m looking for a really quite beach, with white sand and really crystal water. I’ve been looking a lot of islands, because I don’t have too much money to change places, so I want to find an island and stay there, doing some camping. I saw Karpathos, Naxos, Ikaria, Lefkada, Antipaxos, but what would you recomend me? The beach has to be very quiet, with the less number of people… I really hope you can help me, thank you very much.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      All of those are great choices. Naxos is the busiest of those but even it has some quiet beaches as you move south from the main town. June will be much more quieter than July (and very quiet on Ikaria and Antiparos). Good luck.

      Reply
  22. Jackie

    Hi David,
    My husband and 3 kids have come across a great offer at Aphrodite Beach Resort, at Kalafatis Beach.. Do you know anything about this beach or hotel?
    Regards
    Jackie

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I don’t know the hotel but it’s a nice beach. Not the typical suntanning beach – more of an active/watersport beach with jetskis and windsurfing geear to rent. It’s a fair distance from the Mykonos Town so if you wanted to be eating and shopping there very often you might get tired of the drive.

      Reply
  23. Radha

    Hi David,

    My fiance and I are looking for a Greek island to honeymoon at after spending a few days in Italy. We are looking for a place with soft white sand beaches and beautiful blue waters, where we can sunbathe and swim. We’re planning to go in mid-September. What would you consider to be an undiscovered gem in the Greek isles, relatively easy to get to?

    Thank you so much! Your blog is awesome.

    Reply
  24. Rebecca

    Hi, great photos and reviews. My husband I are planning to go to the Greek Isles with our two boys (5 and 3) in mid June for about 6 nights. We really want to have a nice family friendly beach vacation so I am looking at Mykonos, Naxos and Paros since they are close together (and we don’t want to be spending our afternoons on a ferry). We do want to see Santorini since it is such a “must see” place in Greece, however it looks quite far from the other islands on a ferry. How would you plan a 6 night stay with two very active energetic boys who love the beach? Should we just forgo Santorini? Or in the case we do not make it back to Greece again, is it really a MUST SEE as everyone seems to think? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Rebecca. Santorini is pretty unique. Naxos, Paros, and Antiparos would be my top pics for islands in the Cyclades – so definitely base yourself at one of those. Most years there are day trips to Santorini from Naxos and Paros (one boat stops at both islands). Don’t try to book in advance (too difficult) as you can easily get tickets once you’re there. It’s a full day however and might be too much for a 5 and 3 year old. You could also fly into to or out of Santorini (at the beginning or end of your trip) so in that regard you could visit Santorini and only spend one night there. Santorini has the most flights of almost any island to and from Athens and other big cities in Europe.

      Hope that helps. Good luck.

      Reply
  25. eduardo

    hi david,
    my g´friend and i will be going to the dodecanese islands on sept 22nd for 9 days, and would highly appreciate your suggestions about these islands of the mediterranean since it seems they have not been mentioned on your website as must see islands.
    i m from barcelona but live in istanbul and we just want to relax in white powdered sandy beaches and swimming in turquoise waters. is this possible in this part of the mediterranean (kos, kalymnos, karpathos… or would be better off to change our plans and head for milos, paros, naxos…?
    we´d also like to spend some of our time in hotsprings and have read that kos, chios and lesvos have really nice ones.
    thanks for your website, it is the best i ve found. i believe you are the most competent authority regarding greek islands!!
    take care
    ed

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Kos, Kalymnos, and Karpathos all have great beaches so you could have a great vacation there. From Kalymnos or Kos to Karpathos will take more than 8 hours to get to by ferry (via Rhodes) as there are no direct ferries from Kos. (Milos, Naxos, and Paros are all quite close to each other.)

      Reply
  26. sebastian

    David,
    Your blogs is the most helpful I’ve found!!
    Planning a romantic vacation with my GF, were both in late 20′s, but NOT looking to party. The vacation is getting out of NYC for 12 days.

    Neither of us have been to Greece. Of course we’d like to see as much as possible, but the main purpose of this trip is vacation…

    What are the islands we MUST see as a first time trip to greece islands with the intentions to getaway from NYC’s non stop environment..

    Dates going are septemeber 14-27th.

    Thanks,
    Seb

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Sebastian. I think most people would say Santorini is the one must-see island. Unfortunately it’s very busy and a little hectic (though those terms are relative) so if you’re looking to get-away-from-it-all then maybe not the best choice. Then again it’s easy to get from Santorini to some other islands that should be pretty quiet by late September.

      After all my rambling, I’d suggest flying one way Athens to Santorini and then island hop back to Athens for your flight home. So you could spend 2 or 3 nights on 3 or 4 different islands. There are good ferry connections along the western Cyclade islands of Folegandros, Milos, Sifnos, and Serifos making it an easy route all the way back to Athens. And all 4 of those islands are great in very different ways. Serifos and Folegandros known for their hikes and rugged beauty. Sifnos for its traditional Greek culture. And Milos for the moonscape landscape, incredible beaches, and a few hot springs.

      Hope that helps. Good luck.

      Reply
  27. Sithonia

    I very much prefer the sandy beaches of the Sithonia peninsula in Halkidiki, Northern Greece. The waters are amazing (as they are all over in Greece), the sand beaches are gorgeous, and best of all – not overcrowded. My favourite beach would be Agios Ioannis by Nikiti, or Kriaritsi beach by Sykia.

    Reply
  28. Love2Dance

    I am planning a five to six night trip to Greece sometime in the next week (short turn around time!). I am alone, looking for beautiful sandy beaches where I can take long walks, but be close enough to some activities that I don’t feel isolated. Based on everything I read, I am thinking Chania in Crete.

    My flight would get into Heraklion about 8:00 p.m., so am thinking it might be a good idea to spend the evening there, rent a car and set out to Chania in the morning. Maybe day trips to Sougia and Elafonissi (although based on what I read, the drive to Elafonissi sounds a little harrowing!). Is five full days in Chania too much? I am basically looking for a little get away, want to keep it simple, and be someplace where there might be some other things to do, if I am in the mood.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      I think 5 days in Chania with a few side trips would be perfect. I’d suggest using Crete’s excellent bus lines that will get you from Heraklion to Chania in just a few hours. Driving in Greece is stressful. It would also make getting to Elafonissi easier if you weren’t worried about driving yourself. And the bus is cheap too.

      Reply
  29. Phytos

    Favorite Beaches:

    Porto Katsiki (Lefkada)
    Myrtos Beach (Kefalonia)
    Platys Gialos – Makris Gialos (Kefalonia)
    Antisamos (Kefalonia)
    Bella Vraka (Syvota)

    Reply
  30. Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort

    Mykonos Island has indeed some the best beaches of Greece. Ayios Yiannis, where our hotel is located, is also known as the Shirley Valentine beach and definitely offers the best sunset – as seen in the movie – behind the sacred island of Delos. To ensure a peaceful and relaxing environment, no water sports are organized at the beach. Hotel beach attendants cater to guests’ needs with towels and cooling amenities.

    Reply
  31. Alice

    Can you recommend a website to search for hotels for Oia and Fira, Santorini? We’d like to stay a few nights in both towns if it works out. Thank you.

    Reply
  32. Jeb

    David,
    Great Blog! I’m planning a trip with my wife and 2 boys (ages 7 and 4) to Greece for 12 days. I could use a little input on my itinerary. We’ll arrive in Athens on May 4th. My plan was to fly directly to Crete (Hania) for 5 days (where we’ll rent a car), then depart Iraklio via ferry to Santorini for 2 nights then Naxos for 2 nights. Then 2 1/2 days in Athens before flying back to the States. We’re not huge beach people and the weather will probably be a bit cold. I was thinking about hitting Rhodes as well – but that seemed to be too much. How does that sound?
    thanks
    ps: drop in for a homebrew if you’re ever in Wenatchee!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Jeb. Thanks. That sounds like a great itinerary. I wouldn’t add Rhodes myself. You’ll already be a little stretched to do justice to the islands you’re visiting and Rhodes is a long way off this route. Stick with these plans. And yes the weather could be a bit chilly (and maybe some rain) but it could also be fantastic – so you’ll have to pack for a wide range of weather. Have fun!

      Reply
  33. Sarah

    Hello! Two questions. We arrive in Santorini at 7:30pm on a Wednesday and leave Mykonos at 12:30pm on Monday. With 5 nights is it best to do two nights in Santorini and 3 in Mykonos or the reverse? I am concerned that one full day and a half in Santorini is not enough time to see everything in a relaxed manner. But if we do three nights in Santorini, will we feel frustrated having only Saturday afternoon til Monday midday in Mykonos?

    Also, not island related but if you happen to know i am grateful for your input….if our flight lands at 12:50pm in Athens and leaves for Santorini at 6:30pm, is there time to race to the Parthenon and back?

    Thanks so much in advance for your thoughts.

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Not sure what time of year you’ll be there. If it’s in the summer months when you can swim I’d probably err on the side of Mykonos. Otherwise Santorini has a pretty cool vibe in the off or shoulder seasons. As for Athens, I think you’ll probably be able to swing it though undoubtedly it will be tight. Taxis between the airport and downtown Athens can take between 30 and 80 minutes. It will be in the middle of rush hour on your way back to the airport so you’ll probably need to leave Athens by 4:00 or 4:20 at the latest. So with a bit of luck you should have 2 hours to make a quick run up the Acropolis to the Parthenon. I think it’s worth a try. If you miss your flight just head straight to Piraeus and grab a night ferry to Santorini :)

      Good luck.

      Reply
  34. Sam

    Livadia Beach in Armenistis on Ikaria. Completely deserted and the most amazing aquamarine blues ive ever seen. Limnos has some really nice beaches to, especially Platy and the little bays around towards Thanos. Love Greece! Wish i never left….

    Reply
  35. Rose from London

    The best beaches in Greece are in Skiathos, Corfu, and Mykonos. For quiet beaches I like the ones in Ikaria. For party beaches I’d say the ones in Ios are great. In July I will be in Milos for the first time and hope they are as good. Everyone has told me they are fantastic.

    Reply
  36. Tina

    My friend and I are heading to Greece in a few weeks. We plan on going to Mykonos, Paros (Naoussa),Santorini,
    Rhodes and Crete.
    Which would be the best island to rent a vehicle and tour the entire island?
    Thanks guys!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Hi Tina. Crete — as the largest Greek Island — certainly has the most to offer. You can visit Knossos and some great little villages — not that far from Iraklion — do the Samaria Gorge, check out some of the great beach towns along the south coast and finish off in either Hania or Rethymno (both really cool small cities). So if you’re looking for what island has the most to do, then Crete is it.

      If you’re looking for an island that suits one day of driving then Rhodes or Santorini are probably better choices to splurge on a rental car. The tour through Crete that I recommend would take at least 3 or 4 days. The other islands you could get around in one long day of driving and sightseeing.

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
  37. Hank

    One year on Mykonos couldn’t find a hotel – the whole island fully booked. Had to sleep on some guys, some shop’s roof. It was great. Really great. Seeing the stars. Had a few drinks that night. Mighta helped a little. Got kids now, so not planning on that. but looking forward to getting back there. The Greek people are great and friendly, even in the tourist islands. This time will probably visit Mykonos and Santorini (for my wife) and then 1 or 2 quieter ones. Cheers!

    Reply
  38. Nell from New York City, USA!

    Zante and Mykonos have the best beaches in Greece that I’ve visited. I still have a lot more to see. I went 8 years in a roe, but have missed the last 2 summers. I’m hoping September of next year (2015) will get me back there. September is great if you’re island hopping because you don’t have to worry about hotels and reservations so much or at all.

    Reply
  39. Ja from California

    If I could go to only one island in Greece it would be Milos. You need to rent a car to get around to all the isolated beaches. And it seemed a bit more expensive than the other islands (cheaper than the hotels in Santorini mind you) but it’s worth it. A different world than the other cyclade islands. For culture, history, tourist sightseeing do Crete and Santorini, for a landscape and beaches do Milos.

    Reply
  40. Dunn

    Sitting on the ferry deck in the sun, tanning, watching the water and islands pass by, that was my favourite beach.

    Reply
  41. U.K. from Atlanta

    Almost all the islands have a few great beaches. The question is which island. I like Lesvos, Samos and Folegandros. Some of the best islands take a bit of time and effort to get to but that makes it so only the people that “really” want to get there visit it. It’s a trade off, but I think the quiet and solitude are worth it.

    Reply
  42. Thim

    Mykonos had the best beaches of our short tour through the Greek Islands. We rented a car and toured around the entire island (with our 2 kids). Get the cheapest hotel you can and spend the whole day at the beach.

    Reply
  43. Ninna

    I’ve been to Greece about 5 or 6 times so have seen a number of beaches. Most of the great. And the ones that aren’t postcard worthy they tend to be pretty quiet. I’ve had a couple of pebble beaches on Mykonos, Folegandros and Corfu all to myself (with my husband of course). Great for swimming.

    The best? probably Koukounaries on Skiathos, Balos and Vai on Crete, some on Naxos that I did on my first trip but haven’t been back to. I’ve really liked a few beaches on Santorini too. I’ve been to probably 20 islands so I could go on and on. The beaches on Milos have probably the most striking setting. Kefallonia island has some really nice ones – Myrtos probably the best. And the Halkidiki has whole stretches of almost deserted beachs. That’s where we went the last time with our daughter – first time to Greece with children – and it was wonderful. Salonika is much nicer to go through than Athens.

    You really can’t go wrong – unless you ferry over to Turkey ha ha – I’m sure it has great spots and cities but the beaches that we visited were really packed with holiday package tourists.

    Reply
  44. tony

    I’m going in July and August! Totaly excited. This looks great! My parents took me when I was a kid and I don’t remember a thing. and I was 16! not like a toddler or anyting. We fly to Athens (of course) then ferry with my friends. Got 2 weeks! Mykonos here we come!

    Reply
  45. The Islands

    I flew from London to Crete last summer then took the ferry north through Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos and the beaches just kept getting better and better. It was amazing. I’ve been to Spain, Portugal, France but this was a whole nother level (maybe I hit the wrong beaches there but still … Greece = Glorious). We actually went to one more island but for the life of me I can’t figure out which one it was, I had so many island names surfing around in my head I guess it just swam through. Folegandros, Sikinos, Sifnos, Andros everyone I read about I think this was it but can’t remember for sure. Hilarious! We flew from London back to Paris and then home. I recommend Greece to anyone. Like your photos too. Thanks.

    Reply
  46. Best Beaches

    Corfu is my favorite island but the cyclades have the best beaches.Naxos has a whole string of beaches that are amazing. I thought anyways. Paradise beach on Mykonos was a lot fun but I’ve seen nicer beaches. A little too busy for me. Too much of a party scene.

    Reply
  47. Don

    I can’t remember any of the names, besides Mylopotas because I just read it, but my favorites were on Ios, Paros and Milos. Also visited Mykonos (nice beaches), Santorini (didn’t go to the beach) and some on northern Krete that were ok.

    Oddly the ones on Krete I thought would be the best as our hotel was right on the beach, and was planning to end my 2 week trip with some major chill time, but was a little disappointed.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  48. Anna

    Mylopotas beach is beautiful. Really love the beaches in Rhodes too. Fantastic. And over all like Rhodes more than Ios. (Also went to Santorini but wasn’t so wowed by the beaches there.) Lots of things to do in Rhodes beside the beach. The old town is great and the other city with the castle (can’t remember the name), was great too.

    The rest of my family started in Mykonos and said the beaches there were great.

    Anna

    Reply
  49. What Island Besides Santorini?

    hello David,
    my fiance & I went to Greece last summer & we fell in love with greece. We only got to visit Athens & Mykonos (loved the beaches in Mykonos). I thought going back to Greece would be the perfect destination for our honeymoon this summer.

    My fiance & I both love traveling, siteseeing, old towns with lots of character & I especially love great beaches. We are definitely going to visit Santorini for 4-5 days. Do you have hotel recommendations that would be great for a honeymoon that are moderately priced in Santorini?

    Also, I am looking for another Island that has a beautiful beach, we’re NOT big party people. looking for more quiet and picturesque beach with white powdered sand & clear turquoise water! I am thinking Naxos or Rhodes, do you have other recommendations that would great for honeymoon?

    thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Dave Post author

      Naxos and Rhodes would be great. Honestly, I don’t know any islands that would be bad for a honeymoon. Folegandros is an awesome island that for some reason comes to mind just now as having some appeal if you’re looking for a quieter island for a few days. Great for walking. Milos has awesome beaches and a very unique geography – sort of Santorini but with great beaches.

      Good luck.

      Reply

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