Greece Islands & Beaches
Pictures and Information
See the beaches and town of Skiathos, favoured by British visitors and our choice for a pure, lazy family beach holiday with varied fine beaches, a bit of walking and a lot of swimming.
Greek Beaches Guide | Map of Europe | Greece
The 228 inhabited islands of Greece are famously beautiful, good value, serve interesting food, have fast and efficient ferries, are invariably sunny in summertime and surrounded by mostly clear, warm waters washing onto sandy beaches or sculpted rocks.
Here are a few photo galleries of some of our favourite Greek Islands to help you make the right holiday choice, which is not necessarily to stay on one island.
Island Hopping is easy via good, fast ferries so you could easily visit two or three islands in a week. Journey time between the Cyclades islands, for example, is mostly less than an hour by fast cat. Stick to the same island group if you want it easy, for example the Ionian islands of Zakynthos, Cephalonia, and Corfu have a superb ambience and history though they're a bit less sunny due to their northwesterly location, while the Cyclades Islands in the south include monster must-sees such as Santorini, Mykonos, Paros and Naxos.
See the incredible views, town and stony beaches of Santorini, birthplace of the Atlantis legend?
Once just farmed for olive oil or used as a base for fishing, over the last 50 years the Greek islands have developed into Europe's best beach holiday destination, with a huge variety of natural tourist attractions from the soft bleached sands, and pine forests of Skiathos to the staggering volcanic views and red beaches of Santorini, the stylish party scenes in the hora (old town) and pebbly gathering places of Mykonos, the ancient cultures, sites, hikes and hot beige sands of Crete or Rhodes, the hiking routes and dunes of Naxos and the young and wild clubbing scenes of Ios where the beaches morph into recovery wards the morning after.
Greece offers massive variety at a minimal price. We haven't visited all the Greece islands but with our current knowledge we'd choose Skiathos for Brits who want good value beach holidays on soft sand and who don't have pollen allergies, Mykonos for stylish, sun-seekers and Santorini for its out-and-out bizarre looks and staggering views, but you'd have to tolerate well-cooked black sand beaches.
See the famously stylish Little Venice hora and beaches of Mykonos. And no, it's not all about gays, but it is about style. It'll be all white on the night!
See the high hills, old town and extensive beaches of Naxos, a favourite of German tourists.
See the cute little old town, cathedral and beaches of Paros.
See not much of Ios.
See the towns, ancient sites and beaches of Crete.
See the hora and beaches of Skopelos.
OK, well we're not very enthused about Skopelos but if you need a very quiet, traditional forested Greek island experience then Skopelos is easy to reach and encompasses a handful of good beaches.
See some of Sithonia's best beaches and towns.
The Sithonia peninsula in Halkidiki (Macedonia, north Greece) is not an island, but it might as well be as it possesses all the assets of great sand, warm water and comfortable life support systems. The main difference is you can drive there via Thessaloniki. Halkidiki is a popular German holiday destination though after the eurozone crisis it'll be interesting to see how Greeks react to German visitors.
Guide | Athens
Guide | Greek Beaches Guide | Greece