My name is Maria and welcome to my post on the best Greek Islands for beach lovers! I was born and raised in the center of Athens, and went to an American university here. Then I did my Master’s degree at The London School of Economics in the UK. It seems like I’m just a travel blogger but in real life I’m also a professional working for a multinational company.
I lived in London for four years. Now, I’m back in Greece and travel often – either for work or leisure! My passion for traveling, or more accurately my addiction, started at a young age since my family used to travel a lot. We still have the “travel bug” and continue to organize trips together. My passion is to experience new cultures, taste good food and meet new people – hence why I travel so much. I can’t imagine my life without it.
My Favorite Greek Islands: Corfu & Sifnos
I have been to a total of 28 different Greek Islands over the years: Naxos, Sifnos, Tinos, Milos, Kimolos, Koufonisia, Folegandros, Mykonos, Santorini, Ios, Kythnos, Kea, Serifos, Syros, Paros, Antiparos, Kos, Rhodes, Skiathos, Corfu, Paxos, Antipaxos, Lefkada, Kythira, Zakynthos, Kasos, Karpathos and Armathia. Out of all the islands, I have two favorites. One is Corfu because I have family there and have visited it often since I was a baby.
I have so many beautiful memories that are associated with that place. Regardless of the family connection, I consider Corfu to be one of the most stunning Greek Islands due to its amazing beach life, romantic Old Town, picturesque villages, delicious food and cool vibe. My second favorite is Sifnos. It holds a dear place in my heart. I used to go every summer with my parents but also with my friends from all over the world.
Sifnos is an island that you either love or hate. To some it’s heaven, while for others it doesn’t click. But for me, the food is incredible and let’s not forget that it was the birthplace of Tselementes – one of the most important Greek chefs in history. Many consider the island to be a gastronomic destination. Sifnos also boasts different villages with epic views, and has the typical Cyclades aesthetic and atmosphere which I adore.
To me, there is no summer without the Cyclades. The white houses with blue doors and windows, the crystal clear waters, the exotic sandy beaches, the tasty Mediterranean food and the vibe is exactly what my definition of summer is. You can definitely find all of that in Sifnos while Corfu – located in the Ionian Sea – has a unique charm along with the other Ionian islands.
10 Best Greek Islands for Beach Lovers
I don’t want to sound biased but the beaches in the Greek Islands are definitely the best in the world. I have traveled to other exotic countries around the world, and seen some wonderful beaches, but ours in Greece are equally amazing if not better! The scenic landscapes, the crystal clear, shimmering and iridescent turquoise/blue waters, and the beautiful light dazzling sands, make the beaches of Greece the best on planet earth.
My top three Greek Islands for beach lovers are Paxos/Antipaxos, Milos and Naxos. Paxos/Antipaxos have emerald green/turquoise waters that look like you have applied an Instagram filter. Milos, on the other hand, has an extraordinary geology with volcanic landscapes that create very unique beaches. This island is a combination of exotic colors and volcanic rocks painted red, pink and orange. The rock formations are almost lunar-looking.
Finally, Naxos is a traditional Cyclades island that has so many beautiful beaches to offer with white/light yellow sand and perfect water to swim in. I recommend heading to any one of those three for a beach vacation in the Greek Islands and potentially combining them with other islands in the area. Below is my complete list of the best Greek Islands for beach lovers:
Why Voutoumi Beach is Number One
I think the ultimate beach in Greece is Voutoumi Beach in Antipaxos. You can only reach it by private boat or by taking a small boat from Gaiso Port in Paxos. The emerald, turquoise, light blue water and the white sand and rocks is a combination most people won’t be able to resist! The beach has a few sunbeds but doesn’t have umbrellas, which means visitors can relax without the natural environment being disturbed too much.
Picture this: you reach Voutoumi Beach by jumping on a small boat from Paxos. You relax at the beach all day with a cold coffee ordered from the local taverna behind the beach. You listen to your favorite summer songs with your small speaker playing next to you. Then you dive frequently – to swim and do some snorkeling – in almost transparent waters.
During the early afternoon, you head up to the seafood restaurant that has a panoramic view of the whole beach and of Antipaxos. You enjoy a delicious Greek salad and a shrimp/lobster pasta, accompanied with a glass of Greek white wine produced from the vineyards of Corfu. Afterwards, you head back down to the beach to enjoy the sunset. Sounds like a dream, right? For me, that is the perfect day at the beach in Greece.
Beach Accommodation in the Greek Islands
I don’t normally give recommendations for accommodation, mainly because every person has a different budget and a different style of accommodation that they like to book. However, if I had to suggest some of my personal favorite spots that are located right next to the beach (or just a few minutes walking), I would say the following places are great choices:
- Nos Hotel (Sifnos)
- Elies Resort (Sifnos)
- Tortuga Hotel (Naxos)
- Blue Sand Boutique Hotel (Folegandros)
Need to Know Before You Go
My number one piece of advice would be to book your holidays early! Greek Islands are a “hot” destination for many people worldwide. So book your accommodation and tickets even earlier than the month of May to secure better prices, have a greater variety of choices of places to stay, etc. Time is key when booking holidays in Greece. Get it all sorted well before June/July.
Secondly, manage your time wisely. I know many think that island-hopping is a great option and is a nice way of seeing different islands with limited time, however you end up spending most of your time between ports and boats – instead of relaxing and truly experiencing an island. Before you go to Greece, you just need to accept the fact that you will need to visit again!
Thirdly, Santorini and Mykonos are very popular destinations but there are so many more islands to visit with a more local character and less touristy vibe (if this is still possible). Try and visit other “less known islands” like the ones I mentioned in this article: Corfu, Sifnos, Paxos/Antipaxos, Milos, Naxos, Koufonisia, Karpathos, Folegandros, etc. Trust me, you won’t regret it!