Swimming off the shores of Greece
Luring thousands of visitors a year, the sunny shores of the Grecian coast and islands are a dream-perfect destination for sun-lovers from around the world. Blessed with balmy breezes, gentle waves and clear turquoise waters, Greece’s magnificent beaches and secluded coves offer some of the clearest and most scenic swimming in Europe. Following are some of Greece’s best swimming spots, ranging from swanky see-and-be-seen party spots to pristine, private little havens.
Many of Greece’s most bewitching beaches are easily accessed only by boat, lending the magical ambience of a lost and lovely paradise. Framed by rugged mountains and picturesque inlets, the silken sands and crystalline waters of Crete’s Balos beach are most easily reached via a cruise out of Kissamos, though land access is available via a rock road or long footpath. Situated on the Ionian Sea island of Zakaynthos, bewitching Navagio beach can be reached only by boat, and features dramatic vertical cliffs, crystal clear waters and deep caverns ripe for snorkelling explorations. A decaying, half-buried shipwreck lies in the sand, lending an aura of mystery to this secluded paradise. Swim through towering arches carved by the sea at Lalaria Beach on Skiathos. Accessible only by boat, breathtaking Lalaria is named for its unique blindingly white pebbles.
Many of Greece’s most enchanting beaches are tucked away down windy dirt roads and steep seaside paths. Tiny Elafonisos in the southern Peloponnese lays claim to three of the sweetest swimming spots in the islands. Just a ten-minute ferry ride from Pounta, the beaches at Sarakiniko, Simos and Panagias Nissia are famous for their soft sand, sparkling blue-green waters and delicious lack of crowds.
Voted best beach in Greece, lovely Myrtos in Kefalonia boasts bright white pebbles and sun-sparkling water spread beneath soaring cliffs. Those looking to swim and sunbathe au naturel may want to venture to the heavenly coast of Kato Koufonisia, where sand and sculpted rock formations alternate along the scenic Aegean seascape between Finikas and Pori beach. Cliff-rimmed Vroulidia beach on Chios is one of many remotely lovely cove-embraced beaches on the island’s rocky coast, blessed with sparkly cool water and breathtaking scenery.
Swimmers and sun worshipers who love a festive atmosphere can find a wealth of easily accessed private and municipal beaches featuring such super conveniences as sun lounges, umbrellas, floats, bars and restaurants. Bewitchingly beautiful Paradise beach on Kos enchants with silken white sand and sculpted rocks framing luxuriously warm waters. Considered one of the best beaches in Greece, Paradise is also a haven for water sports, people-watching and late night revelry. Holiday-goers seeking a cooling respite from touring Nafplion’s ruins can easily head down for a dip at pretty little Arvanitia beach, with handy changing rooms and showers.
Whether you yearn for castaway-style seclusion or seaside excitement, summer in Greece holds countless enchanting opportunities set your inner mermaid free.