5 Top Beaches of Greek Islands

By | Saturday, Apr 14, 2012

The current top Greek islands will perhaps always stay on top of peoples vacation choices. A Greece holiday is a safe choice when it comes to promising the best weather, experiences and of course: beaches! Greece crystal clear water at the beaches (gorgeous turquoise!) and very often with perfect sand is unbeatable.

When it comes to beaches in Europe, Spain is said to be the leading country, but in my eyes Greece shares this place with Spain because of the gorgeous crystal clear Mediterranean water surrounding the Greek islands.

There are some island beaches that I have heard mentioned more often than others, so I assume that they are among the top beaches even for others too. I did choose them because it’s the beaches I have or have wanted to visit (some of them are high up on our travel wishlist to go).

1. Elafonisi Beach, Crete Island

Greece, Crete: Elafonisi beach
Photo by Fiore S. Barbato, Flickr.com of Elafonisi Beach, June 2006

No wonder that our own absolute favorite beach abroad (so far!) is at the Greek island Crete. In the southwest corner lays Crete’s best beach without doubt: Elafonisi beach. There isn’t much in the neighborhood though, so I suggest to take your own picnic basket with you. The Elafonisi beach area are actually several beaches with pink colored sand from the corals and crystal clear, shallow glimmering turquoise waters making it truly understandable why it’s called both the pink beach and sometimes the Caribbean of Crete.

That water is the most crystal clear we have seen so far and together with the absolutely perfect sand floor, it’s the most gorgeous bathing place we have ever visited! It can’t be more perfect, so clear that you can see the whole bottom all the time – and it takes time walking out to be able to swim. You can actually walk out to the island when the water is low.

Crete, Greece: Elafonisi beach satellite view
Satellite view of the unique Elafonisi Beach, Crete

Many loves Elafonisi beach as much as we do, so my guess is that it might be over crowded in the summer – we were there in the beginning of September and it were just a perfect amount of people at the beaches. We spent our honeymoon at Crete island in 2004, but at another beach: Almyrida beach (in the Chania direction), which is a blue flag beach, but we still did prefer Elafonisi. Next time we will go there we will check if it’s still the same!

2. Navagio Beach, Zante (Zakynthos) island

Greek Island Zakynthos or Zante: Navagio Beach, The Shipwreck beach
Photo by jP (meulenjp), Flickr.com of Navagio Beach, Holiday 2009

The beach of Navagio in the eastern part of the island, must be the most photographed beach ever. I have seen numerous amazing pictures of this famous white sand beach surrounded by big rocks and cliffs with it’s history: there was a shipwreck there in 1983 that transported illegal cigarettes which gave it’s name to the beach, you can see the remaining of it on the beach. Perhaps it’s because you arrive there by boat from the port of Porto Vromi that many find it so enchanting – you get to see the beach from the waterside first and we all know how important that the first impression is!

3. Gerakas Beach, Zante (Zakynthos)

Greece, Zakynthos or Zante: Gerakas Protected Turtle Beach
Photo by Live Zakynthos, Flickr.com, Flickr.com of Gerakas Beach, Zante (Zakynthos) in 2009

A more natural and perhaps not so very crowded choice would be the long sandy beach of Gerakas (near Vassilikos), with equally crystal clear turquoise waters. There are sunbeds, but no watersport, bars, restaurant or hotels in sight in the bay, only a rocky formation which protects you from the wind.

Greece, Zakynthos: Caretta Caretta turtle, Gerakas beach
Photo by Live Zakynthos of Caretta Caretta Sea Turtle, Gerakas in 2009

Gerekas beach is part of a national park and is protected because of the endangered sea turtle Caretta-Caretta. Maybe you’ll get lucky to see the Sea turtles even if they’re mostly there in the nights and that’s why no humans are allowed in the nights at the beach.

4. Porto Katsiki beach, Lefkada

Greece, Lefkada Island: Katsiki beach
Photo by june_godiva (littlebunny), Flickr.com in July 2007

Translation of the Porto Katsiki to English means "Port of the Goat", because earlier only goats could reach this beach area, near the Athani village. I did choose this beach because it has been voted as a Top European Beach of the Year several times and is a major tourist attraction in itself. The color of the water against the cliffs and the sandy beach, even though it’s a narrow beach strip, is a marvelous view.

It’s not that easy to reach, it’s a narrow, poor road to get there and if you are there in the high season I recommend you to not go there by car at all since the road are crowded, unless you go at very unusual hours. There is a long walk or rather like a climb to reach the beach too. Instead, take one of the daily cruises from Nydri or Vasiliki, but only if you go there to take photographs or simply just see the place. Don’t go there to sunbath at the beach, it’s too crowded in the high season.

5. Kastani beach, Skopelos island

Greece, Skopelos Island: Small red boat at Kastani beach
Photo by june_godiva in August 2008

Kastani beach is on the south west coast of the island, situated in the Aegean Sea. Perhaps most famous for being the main location in the popular film Mamma Mia from 2008, but that’s not my main reason for choosing this beach, no, it’s because this island seem to be more green, surrounded by pine trees (reminds me of the pine trees at Gaou, Provence) and more flowers, than many other islands. The Skopelos town also has been awarded as a Traditional Settlement of Outstanding Beauty in 1978. I do hope that is preserved since the fame from the movie have made the island invaded with too many tourists and we all know what happens then…

If you want the cheapest prices I recommend that you search for your Greek island holiday around either April, May or October – the best time to go if you’re not looking for only laying at the beach and swimming.

If you need a bit warmer water temperatures like we do, I recommend that you travel there in June or September. From July-August you get hot summer weather and water, but also the holiday crowds unfortunately….

©Lifecruiser Love Greek Beaches

 

Other Greece travel related posts at Lifecruiser:

Mediterranean Dream Cruises
Travel Sales Trend: Increased in Sweden
Driving in the mountains – scary experiences
Luxury Dream Cruises
5 Tip Top Beaches of Lifecruiser
Monday Memories Honeymoon
When hubby was rally Harry
Love Trips Snips
 

2 thoughts on “5 Top Beaches of Greek Islands

  1. Petro Neagu

    Beautiful post and very informative.
    Although I absolutely adore Spain, I also think Greece is much better than Spain when it comes to the beach department.

  2. Ginnie

    I’m not able to have much sun, LCT, because of being a redhead with fair skin…and skin cancer in the family. So I don’t normally choose beaches for vacation time. However, I do love the places where there are boats/harbors, so I’m still interested!

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