A Guide to Greece’s Beaches: Sandy and Pebbly

Whether you prefer sandy or pebbled, these must-visit beaches in Greece will take you from the mainland to the islands and back
Whether you prefer sandy or pebbled, these must-visit beaches in Greece will take you from the mainland to the islands and back | © Calin Stan / Alamy Stock Photo
Culture Trip Travel Team

Greece is renowned for its beautiful beaches and clear waters. Every year, countless tourists make the journey here to enjoy them – although many are indeed pebbled. From pristine beaches on the Peloponnese to rocky coves in Kefalonia, we guide you through a small selection of the best sandy and pebble beaches in Greece.

Cruise between these picturesque beaches by hiring a yacht for the day through SamBoat, or book a week-long sailing holiday with Dream Yacht Charter.

Sandy beaches

1. Egremni Beach, Lefkada

Natural Feature

Aerial view of Egremni beach, Lefkada, on a sunny day with turquoise waters and beach umbrellas along the shore line
© Mountain Cubs / Alamy Stock Photo

For an off-the-beaten-track feel, head to the sandy shoreline of Lefkada where you’ll find Egremni Beach. This remote beach was inaccessible until the mid-90s and has still evaded mass development. Make your way down a flight of 350 steep steps, cut into the towering limestone cliffside and you’ll find yourself on this pristine stretch of sand. Alternatively, the easiest way to access this beach is by boat. Cool off by diving into the mesmerising turquoise water.

2. Navagio Beach, Zakynthos

Natural Feature

Steep cliffs wrap around a shipwreck on the secluded Navagio Beach on Zakynthos island
© Markus Mainka / Alamy Stock Photo

It wouldn’t be a great beach list if we didn’t include Navagio Beach on Zakynthos. You’ll no doubt recognise this as the famous Shipwreck Beach, framed by soaring white cliffs and fringed by impossibly blue water. Visitors flock here to marvel at the rusting hull sunk into the sand and sunbathe on its powdery shore. Travelling by boat is the only way to access this remote beach – make sure you stop at the Blue Caves on the way.

3. Voutoumi, Antipaxos

Natural Feature

People relaxing at Voutoumi Beach with sailing boats on the water in Antipaxos
© Joshua Windsor / Alamy Stock Photo

A swim at Voutoumi beach will make you feel as if you’re in tropical heaven. With its bright turquoise waters, white sand and verdant hills, this impressive beach on the unassuming island of Antipaxos will have you reaching for your camera. Head up to Bella Vista restaurant which, as the name suggests, boasts exquisite views over the bay; drink it all in while tucking into a tangled plate of seafood spaghetti, washed down with local white wine.

4. Sarakiniko, Elafonisos Island, Peloponnese

Natural Feature

A sandy strip separates two bodies of water to form the double beach of Simos in Elafonisos, Lakonia
© Hercules Milas / Alamy Stock Photo

Soft shimmering sand and magnificent turquoise waters are what make Megalos (big) Simos — also known as Sarakinikos — a must-see sight in Greece. The tiny island of Elafonisos is host to some of the best beaches in the Peloponnese, but Sarakiniko is definitely the finest. It converges with Mikros (small) Simos on this narrow peninsular, backed by sand dunes and cedar forest.

Pebbled beaches

5. Anthony Quinn Bay, Rhodes

Natural Feature

Overlooking the beautiful beach with blue umbrellas and people sunbathing at Anthony Quinn Bay, Rhodes
© Ian Woolcock / Alamy Stock Photo

This beautiful, secluded beach is known as Anthony Quinn Bay, as it gained popularity after appearing in the film The Guns of Navarone (1961) and actor Quinn tried – unsuccessfully – to buy the inlet. Despite its Hollywood status, however, this beach is one of the most tranquil spots on the island. Follow the stairway down to the rocky shoreline where you can lay out your towel and listen to the water lapping on the pebbles.

6. Chalikiada Beach, Agistri

Natural Feature

The beautiful sea and vacationers at the most popular nudist beach on the island of Agistri
© Dimitris / Alamy Stock Photo

Located only an hour away from the capital, Agistri is an easy place for a getaway from Athens. Despite its small size, the island is home to a number of secluded beaches, surrounded by lush pine forests. Chalikiada is one of them. From the village of Skala, head to the Agistri Club Hotel and follow a track through the forest to the clifftop above the bay. Not only is it a popular nudist beach, but it’s also a beautiful spot for camping.

7. Myrtos, Kefalonia

Natural Feature

Travellers line the shore at Myrtos beach, some swimming in the waters
© Georgios Tsichlis / Alamy Stock Photo

Myrtos is an old favourite for locals and tourists – for good reason. With its crystal clear water and white pebbles, the mile-and-a-half arc of shimmering pebbles in western Kefalonia is a sight to behold. Admire the view from the steep cliffs above. For all the cinephiles out there, the beach served as a filming location in the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001).

8. Seychelles Beach, Icaria

Natural Feature

An empty Seychelles Beach in Ikaria has a craggy coastline and clear waters
© Ioannis Mantas / Alamy Stock Photo

It’s easy to see why this beach was named after the exotic Indian Ocean archipelago. Large sandy boulders and white pebbles are lapped by crystalline water on the south coast of Icaria, due east of Mykonos. It can get crowded here so arrive early – by boat is best because the hike down requires a bit of scrambling. Make sure you bring a picnic and plenty of water as there are no facilities here.

Discover these Greek beaches and more by hiring a boat through SamBoat for the day. Alternatively, make it a week-long sailing holiday with Dream Yacht Charter – no experience necessary.

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