What do you respond? If you're like most of us, you're too busy gazing at your mind's-eye image of a beautiful beach, picturesque rocky shore, teal blue Aegean waters, brilliant sunshine, a few sailboats carried along by the meltami breezes.
Enough of that. I'm here to tell you that Greek beaches are REALLY nothing more than picturesque rocky shores, teal blue Aegean waters, brilliant sunshine...wait a minute. Where's that line between fantasy and reality?
In most cases, that line is never drawn on a Greek beach. While beaches really do vary in quality, the vast majority are practically perfect. The key factors to be concerned about are crowds and whether or not the beach is clothing-optional.
The exceptions to that rule are some more remote beaches reachable only by boat, and those on some of the islands still not overrun by summer tourists. You can check out a few of these in my feature on the Small Cyclades: Dream Islands.
Should you avoid the beaches then? Absolutely not. Even jammed, they have their delights. But remember to take a few Euros -usually about 4-6 - for a beach chair and umbrella. Remote beaches won't have these amenities, so be sure to pack a towel or blanket. In a pinch, a sarong can double as either.If you're staying on a windy island or during a time when the winds are strong, ask at your hotel or among the locals which beaches are best during that specific type of wind. And on a windy day, the best Greek beach may be a pebble beach rather than a sandy one - the pebbles don't generally blow around.
Some of the Best Beaches in Greece"Best" is very personal - but here are some of the most renowned beaches in Greece.
- Paradise Beach, Mykonos
- Red Beach, Santorini
- Red Beach, Matala, Crete
- Sweetwater (Glyko Nero) Beach, Crete
- Banana Beach, Skiathos
I've also enjoyed Ornos Beach on Mykonos, an easily-accessible sand beach lined with tavernas and old concrete structures providing a perfect perch to watch the sea. Just slightly past the high-season, this beach was warm and inviting, and almost deserted.
Nude Beaches in Greece
Regarding nude beaches, these are abundant in Greece, but may not be publicized in the visitor pamphlets. Ask at any taverna catering to the younger tourist set. They will also usually know the more secluded beaches and who with a boat can get you there.
- How to Visit a Nude Beach in Greece
- Greek Islands with Nude Beaches
- How to NOT Visit a Nude Beach in Greece
The ever-informative folk at the Greek National Tourist Organization know the value of the beaches of Greece. They provide photos of each beach, describe whether or not it's sand or pebble, and give some indication of where they're located. Here's a few from the Cyclades and the Dodecanese islands.
GNTO Dodecanese Island Beaches
Enjoy your daydreaming about these abundant beaches...just save some sand for me!