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Greece's Most Beautiful Beach Towns

Port of Preveza, Epirus
Port of Preveza, Epirus | © Γιάννης Χουβαρδάς / WikiCommons
If you are fond of exploring rural areas rather than towns, you are in luck. Greece is home to a plethora of beautiful towns and thanks to its extensive coastline, many of them are located by the sea. These coastal towns will seduce you with their traditional character and peaceful aura. Here are some of Greece’s most beautiful beach towns.

Molyvos, Lesbos

Molyvos, also called Mithymna, is the capital of the island of Lesbos. With a rich history, Lesbos offers visitors plenty of things to see and do, but the crown jewel is certainly Molyvos. This picturesque town, with its brown stone houses built amphitheatrically on a hillside, has a pretty harbor lined with colorful fishing boats. Cafés, restaurants and small shops sit beside private homes along the meandering streets.

Climb up to the Byzantine castle after lunch and enjoy breathtaking views over the bay. After dusk, head along the beach for a drink at one (or more) of the many clubs.

Preveza, Epirus

Located at the mouth of the Ambracian (Ambrakikos) Gulf, Preveza is a small town in Epirus, which has a stunning old quarter worth a thousand pictures. Its strategic position by the sea makes it a pleasant place to explore, to enjoy evening strolls along the waterfront and experience Epiriot cuisine in its many tavernas. On hot summer days, the many surrounding beaches offer a refreshing respite from the heat. The nearby site of ancient Nicopolis will satisfy any history-hungry visitor.

Old town, Preveza © Spyridon Kagkas / Flickr

Symi town, Symi

This far-flung island in the Dodecanese may not be a popular destination among visitors, but this is probably why its main town, Symi, has retained its authentic charm. Built on the hillside, Symi town was once a center for shipbuilding and sponging. Explore the narrow streets, lined with colorful neoclassical mansions, and take a break at a hidden square before reaching the medieval castle overlooking the city. Those looking for seclusion will revel in the beauty of its rugged shores and forgotten coves, while hiking aficionados shouldn’t hesitate to explore the island’s many trails.

Agios Nikolaos, Crete

Agios Nikolaos, located on the north-eastern shores of Crete, is certainly a beautiful town. Planted on a bay packed with shops, bars and restaurants, the town faces the sea on three sides, with several waterfronts. Visitors will surely enjoy the picturesque lagoon of Voulismeni, a body of deep water connected to the sea through an inlet, which is said to be bottomless. The surrounding beaches and the infamous island of Spinalonga, where a leper colony was set until 1957, complete this pretty picture.

View of Agios Nikolaos, Crete © Gervasio Varela / Flickr

Mykonos town, Mykonos

The main town of the popular party destination in the Cyclades is known for its stunning alleys closed to traffic. Perfect for strolling, the town offers a variety of bars, cafes, restaurants and boutiques, while traditional Cycladic architecture charms passers-by. Besides the vibrant party scene, Mykonos has stunning beaches, picturesque landscapes with windmills and is the gateway to the magnificent island of Delos, the sacred sanctuary of ancient times.

View of Little Venice, Mykonos © EvanRoss / Pixabay

Naxos town, Naxos

Less touristy than its famous neighbors Mykonos and Santorini, Naxos is one of the largest islands in the Cyclades and is home to a beautiful town with traditional charm. Naxos town, with its main harbor, is the first sight you will see once you arrive nearby. Protected by an impressive Venetian castle, the town is connected to the islet of Palatia through a long paved road, where visitors will find the unfinished Temple of Apollo and the Portara, the trademark of the island.

Galaxidi, Central Greece

Situated on the northern shores of the Corinthian Gulf in central Greece, the lovely town of Galaxidi was once home to a busy port. It has succeeded in preserving much of the previous glory, which you can discover in the town’s Nautical Museum. Now a famous yachting destination, Galaxidi features a vast waterfront with colorful streets lined with two-story houses, cozy cafés and tavernas. The town attracts thousands of visitors every year for its colored flour fight, held at the end of the Carnival season.

Coastal town of Galaxidi, Central Greece © Pixabay

Kardamyli, Mani

Located in the rugged region of Mani, in Peloponnese, Kardamyli is a beautiful sight. Between the Messinian Gulf and the Taÿgetos Mountains, the bright blue waters contrast with the dark green forests. The upper part of the town, where the old town lies, is the most picturesque thanks to its imposing stone tower houses, its medieval castle and the impressive church of Agios Spyridonas. An ideal base for hikers wanting to explore the Vyros Gorge, Kardamyli is an excellent excuse to skip the islands and explore this long-forgotten region of Peloponnese.

Kardamyli, Mani, Peloponnese © karol m / Flickr

Parikia, Paros

Parikia is another example of Greece’s beautiful towns. The largest town of the island of Paros, Parikia was built around the harbor, and though it is often a quick stopover on the way to Santorini, Parikia has many charming features. The town is flat, making it perfect for strolling and bike riding. Quaint boutiques, cute coffee shops and traditional restaurants populate the town. We are pretty sure you will stop at every corner to photograph a small cat sleeping on a blue doorstep, or the bougainvillea-covered facades of the traditional houses.

Strolling around Parikia, Paros © b3n3gab / Flickr

Nafpaktos, Central Greece

Nafpaktos, in the Corinthian Gulf, is largely unknown to foreign visitors, but Greeks know it as one of the prettiest coastal towns in the country. Combining mountains and sea, it is a popular weekend destination for Athenians. The town has managed to preserve its traditional character throughout the centuries. Blessed with an interesting history (it was there that the battle of Lepanto took place), from the imposing castle you can enjoy beautiful vistas over the gulf, traditional neoclassical houses and the nearby beaches, which offer a much-appreciated break on hot summer days.

View of the castle of Nafpaktos, from the port Sykia Corinthias / Flickr