Greek Island Beach Holidays

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So many Greek islands, so little time.

When traveling to Greece on vacation, you are spoiled for choice not only in the number of islands to spend your holidays but the sheer number of beaches that are available to you. Whether you want a party atmosphere or a more secluded environment, there is a Greek island that can suit your fancy. Take your pick from beaches ranging from remote pebble beaches to sprawling beaches with white, golden or dark sand.

  1. Mykonos

    • A mainstay of the Greek tourist circuit, the island of Mykonos is part of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea with picture-postcard attractions that include whitewashed churches and windmills overlooking navy-blue waters. While the large number of high quality villas and hotels make this destination an expensive one, there are budget accommodations in addition to an abundance of restaurants and plenty of daytime recreational options such as snorkeling, parasailing and jet skiing. Nightlife can be wild, although the emphasis is on bars rather than clubs.

    Santorini

    • Also known as Thera, Santorini is part of a small, circular archipelago of volcanic islands located to the southeast of mainland Greece. With a vibrant nightlife and a central lagoon bordered by 300-meter sheer cliffs on three sides, Santorini provides a dramatic setting to a holiday vacation. Beaches here boast black sand as a result of volcanic eruptions from 3,500 years ago. Major beach resorts include Fira, Oia, Emporio and Kamari. Perissa is a black sand beach sheltered from the Aegean winds and can be crowded. But not all the sand in Santorini is black: Akrotiri beach on Santorini covered in red sand.

    Naxos

    • For hikers, mountainous Naxos might be a good bet. As the largest island of the Cyclades, with beautiful beaches such as Agia Anna, Agios Prokopios, Alikos, Kastraki, Mikri Vigla, Plaka and Agios Georgios in close proximity to the capital city of Hora, Naxos offers ample opportunities for beach recreation like yachting and snorkeling. In addition, the island boasts 6,000 years of history with archeological attractions of ancient Byzantine ruins. Given its size, it might be practical to explore different regions of the island on separate days. The touring infrastructure is well-established on Naxos and can provide a variety of accommodations, including studios and apartments for rent.

    Sporades Islands

    • For sheer quantity of beaches, you may want to head to Skiathos, one of the islands of the Sporades, which are an archipelago along the east coast of Greece in the Aegean, where you will have 65 beaches to choose from. Koukounaries is half a mile long with pine trees, fine yellow sand, taverns and watersports facilities. Other beaches include the smaller Banana Beach, or Krassus, with the adjoining nudist beach, Spartacus. Lalaria beach along the northeast coast may be reached only by boat and has fewer activities and pebble sand. Other isolated beaches include Elias and Mandraki, which are also nudist.

    Ionian Islands

    • Corfu and Zante are two islands within a group of seven main islands west of Greece in the Ionian Sea with beach vacationing potential. Corfu offers a large bay and golden sand on the northwestern coast, and fishing villages with neighboring beaches Kassiopi and Agios Stefanos in the northeast. A clean and quiet beach south of Agios Stefanos is Kerasia. Zante draws tourists for its Shipwreck Beach, but its other beaches, Vasilikos boasts secluded coves, and Mavratzis, St. Nicolas and Mare Beach, offer watersports opportunities.

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