Kos

Arguably the best beach on the island of Kos is the aptly named Paradise Beach. The beach offers water sports and is popular with locals as well as tourists, so you can expect it to be busy whenever you pay a visit.

Another long sandy beach can be found at Marmari. This is an ideal choice for those wanting access to snack and refreshments. It also boasts sun loungers and umbrellas for hire.

Psalidi has a sandy beach offering nearby accommodation and many services and facilities. Close by is another beach called Agios Fokas, which offers sensational views from your chosen spot relaxing on the sand.

Lambi beach offers an impressive stretch of sand more than half a mile in length. It attracts people who tend to like more peace and quiet, although there is a coastal path that entices walkers and cyclists to the area as well.

If you want to head for a pebbly beach, Agios Theologos offers up a little secluded and stunning location to explore. There are several other smaller beaches aside from this one, all offering opportunities for exploration and relaxation.

Finally you can try Kefalos beach, which provides another sandy offering. The water here is cool but the views are wonderful and there are plenty of snack bars and services to take advantage of as well.

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Rhodes

Rhodes has lots of stunning beaches for holidaymakers to enjoy. The unusually named Anthony Quinn beach featured in The Guns of Navarone, hence the name, is also known as Vagies. It offers a mix of sandy areas as well as pebbly sections.

Elsewhere you can visit Prasonisi beach. This beach curves around and has views of the sea on both sides in many places. It provides good opportunities for windsurfers and a nice sandy stretch to sunbathe on as well, while the opposite side offers calmer waters.

Sand dunes will greet you if you venture out to Plimiri beach. It's sheltered and secluded, which makes it ideal for those wanting quiet relaxation.

If you require a highly organised but pebbly beach offering plenty of nearby accommodation, Ixia beach is perfect. The first strip of water beyond the beach is pebbly underfoot but it soon gives way to more sand. This beach is exposed and incredibly long but there are many facilities to use.

Lindos beach is one of the smaller offerings on the island of Rhodes. This is a sandy beach and it sits inside a bay, offering fine opportunities for calm swimming and bathing conditions. You can see the Acropolis from the beach too. Lindos beach is also able to provide a wealth of facilities to serve your needs.

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Corfu

There are several pebble beaches on the island of Corfu and Kerassia is one of them. Many believe it is one of the most appealing and stunning beaches in Corfu. It may not have sand but it does offer wonderful views of the Greek coasts.

Elsewhere on the island you can explore Kavos beach. It's highly organised and therefore popular with lots of tourists. It is also some five miles long and very sandy. The beach also has showering facilities and umbrellas, not to mention sun loungers. There are lots of places to eat and drink too.

One beach that is particularly popular with families is Acharavi beach. This is also nearly five miles long and provides lots of water sports to take part in. As you might expect of a beach this big, you will find lots of tavernas and food sources nearby too.

Agios Gordios beach provides a taste of real Greece, not to mention a more relaxed beach setting. There is a mix of sand and pebbles here, and the beach stretches over nearly a mile.

Nissaki offers another pebbly beach for you to consider. You’ll need to be brave to dip into the cold waters lapping on the beach, but it provides a nice spot to sunbathe in. The natural setting is another reason why many find it appealing.

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Kefalonia

One of the best organised beaches on Kefalonia is Platys Gyalos beach. This sandy beach holds the Blue Flag award and also provides shallow waters ideal for young children to paddle in.

Those looking for more peace and quiet should head for Foki beach. It is one of the least known of all the beaches in Kefalonia. This is a pebble beach and it's never busy, so it provides the chance to sit back and relax. There are several shady spots here as well.

Elsewhere, Gradakia beach offers a small amount of grey sand along with the chance to snorkel in the clear waters. The best option for sunbathing here is to sit on the rocks, which form an integral and eye catching part of the beach.

Lepeda beach offers golden sand and a small pleasant cove to sunbathe in. It provides the ideal choice if you enjoy beaches that offer superb scenery. It's well organised and is good for families as well as couples.

Assos beach is one of the most eye catching beaches in Kefalonia. This is a pebble beach and is quite small compared to many other beaches. The secluded nature of the area means the waters are calm and clear. Furthermore the sea bed is sandy, so it is easy on your feet when you wander into the water.

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Zante

Xygia beach provides a pleasant place for anyone wanting good opportunities to swim at their chosen beach on the island. It has therapeutic waters owing to the nearby sulphur springs. This is a sandy beach as well.

Elsewhere in Zante, you can visit Kalamaki beach. This is another popular sandy beach that stretches for nearly two miles. It is particularly popular among those who love to walk along the sands rather than relaxing on them.

Navagio beach is famous more for its shipwreck than the beach, although the pebbly beach is well worth a trip for other reasons too. The beach is accessible via the sea only and it provides a white pebbly surface underfoot.

Makris Gialos is a family friendly beach offering a mix of sand and pebbles underfoot. It's not as well organised as some beaches but it provides natural shelter thanks to the rocks that surround the beach. It also has a split personality, offering beach parties at night and family friendly appeal in the daytime.

Porto Koukla provides another potential place to visit for those wanting a smaller yet sandy beach. Its size belies its popularity since it offers an organised place to come for the day. Families enjoy coming here and it has a range of eateries by the beach that are affordable and pleasant to use.

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Thassos

There are many delightful sandy beaches in Thassos, and one of the best is Tripiti beach. The sand here is white and the beach curves around the lapping crystal like waters. The beach is bookended by beach bars.

Another example of a fine sandy beach is Golden Beach. It's a very popular location and can be very busy as well. Families enjoy the many perks it offers, including the greenery surrounding the beach and the many eateries along its length.

If you want to visit a calmer beach, head for the Scala Marion beach. This is situated in a bay so it isn’t very wide but goes back a fair distance from the water. It provides a calm place to swim too.

Giola beach is more suited to those who are seeking some peace and quiet. This is actually a lagoon and it boasts a series of terraced rocks that are ideal for exploring. The beach provides easy access to the water for swimming and you can sunbathe on the flat terraced rocks.

Another type of beach can be seen at Limenaria beach. There is a harbour here as well as a lovely stretch of sand to relax and sunbathe on. An added advantage is the presence of other beaches dotted around the nearby area, providing plenty of opportunities to explore.

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Skiathos

One of the best beaches Skiathos has to offer is also arguably among the best ones anywhere in the world. Known as Koukounaries beach, it is backed by a pine forest, and the trees provide a stunning backdrop to the golden sand.

Skiathos also offers a nudist beach known as Banana beach. It is popular among young people and as with the above beach it offers beautiful soft sands to walk on. It also has a nice shallow calm section of water to enjoy.

Not all beaches are busy on Skiathos. If you head for Kastro beach you can enjoy some peace and quiet away from the crowds. It's named after the castle that dominates the skyline above it. There are no services here but it is a much loved beach with superb waters.

Lalaria beach is one of several pebble beaches on the island. This one is white in appearance and can only be reached via a boat. It’s worth bearing in mind there is no shade here but it provides a stark contrast to the sandy beaches to be found elsewhere.

Finally there is Megali Ammos beach. This is a long sandy beach offering all the facilities you could want including umbrellas, sun loungers, accommodation and food and drink. The waters are also easily accessible for everyone to enjoy.

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Crete

Crete has many wonderful beaches, not least Elafonisi beach. This is a white sandy beach tinged with pink owing to the many shells broken down into the sand. It's a good choice for snorkelling in the clear waters beyond the beach itself.

Kedrodasos beach is so called because of the juniper trees that you’ll find on the beach itself. Kedrodasos actually means cedar forest. The beach is mostly comprised of white sand; although there are rocks too, albeit ones which are flat and smooth.

Agia Pelagia beach can be found near Heraklion and is highly developed with all the facilities you could want. It is sandy and has lots of water based activities to try too. The waters are welcoming for all ages and there are other beaches in the vicinity as well.

Tholos beach is perfect if you prefer a mix of pebbles as well as sand. The landscape is one of the reasons for the popularity of this beach. There is accommodation available close by and eateries as well. The sea also offers the ideal location for snorkelling.

Kouremenos beach is long and provides plenty of brown sand to relax on. This beach is well known among windsurfers; its location provides good wind conditions for them. There are eateries nearby and lots of room for everyone to stake out a spot.

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Halkidiki

Many families head for Chanioti beach in Halkidiki since it provides many family friendly features. The white sand is comfortable underfoot and the inviting blue waters are perfect for everyone. It also provides a good mix of facilities.

Ouranoupolis beach offers the best of everything — soft golden sand and perfect blue waters. It is easy to reach and you can enjoy a range of facilities and services too. It's commonly regarded as one of the highlights in Halkidiki.

Agios Nikolaos Fourka beach is perfect for those seeking peace and quiet. It does not offer much in the way of facilities, but there are some nearby at other resorts. The beach is sandy and the cove the beach is found in, means there are opportunities for swimming in calm waters too.

Kalithea beach is a sandy beach with beautiful blue waters lapping at its edge. It is popular because it's well organised with plenty of services, as well as being close to the village of the same name.

Those looking for a more unusual beach should try Vourvourou beach. It is smaller than some others in Halkidiki but it provides the perfect mix of sand and blue waters. The rocky surroundings are pleasant and worth exploring as well, not to mention the caves you can reach by boat if you want to.

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Peloponnese

There are some stunning beaches to be found here, including Voidokilia beach. This regularly comes in for recognition as one of the best in the world. It curves around a small inlet that guarantees calm and shallow waters beyond the curved sandy beach.

Elea beach is wide, flat and long, and although there is a small strip of pebbles near the water’s edge the rest of the beach is sandy. This provides the perfect mix of shallow waters, wonderful views and lots of room to sunbathe.

You could also visit Gythio Mavrovouni beach, which is over three and a half miles long. This sandy beach is exceptionally popular but since there is so much of it the crowds aren’t a problem. Its waters are wonderful to swim in and it is the holder of the Blue Flag award.

The beach at Porto Heli is well worth a visit too. The crystal clear water is a nice match for the soft sandy beach. It is a good bet for families but also for couples looking for a nice spot to relax in.

Selinitsa beach is a good pick in Gytheio. It is not that big but it is a Blue Flag beach and it has many services for beachgoers. It is clean and well maintained thanks to the caretta-caretta sea turtles which lay eggs on the beach.

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Mykonos

At first glance, Mykonos is that classic vision of Greece: a serene paradise island, home to picturesque windmills and sparkling, freshly painted little towns with narrow alleys, flower-bedecked balconies and colourful fishing boats and pleasure cruisers bobbing in the harbour. Second glances only improve on the image. Here the simplicity of the Cyclades meets the cosmopolitan world of luxury villas, boutique hotels and designer shops. If you like a busy little place full of comings and goings, noise and colour — last night's revellers rolling home at sunrise, the baker making his deliveries, the locals on their mopeds, and the day trippers from the cruise ships buying up the souvenirs and filling the tavernas — then this is for you.

The island is surrounded by superb pure sandy beaches such as Ornos or Plati Yialos on the southern coast, both ideal for families, with plenty of hotels and cafés along the shore, lines of reed beach umbrellas for some welcome shade, and all the usual water sports; or you can catch a water taxi and hop around the coast to any of the other lovely little southern beaches, which are well sheltered and good for sunbathing. If you're looking for somewhere quieter, try Panormos, Agios Sostis or Ftelia beaches on the northern coast – of course with no bus services they are harder to get to, but if you hire a vehicle your effort will be rewarded.

You can soak up the history and culture of the island in several museums in the capital, and visit the castle and the many little churches on the island. No visit is complete without tasting some of the island's culinary specialities. Find a friendly little restaurant and a sea view and have your own Aegean feast flavoured with peppers, oregano, almonds and honey.

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Santorini

Of all the Greek islands, Santorini has to be the most extraordinary sight as you approach: this half moon-shaped remnant of a volcanic crater rising out of the pure blue Aegean, the town of Thira perched on the edge of a cliff 400 metres above the lagoon. There are no cars on the island, which only adds to the peaceful atmosphere, but a cable car or zig-zagging donkey ride will take you from the port up to the town. Catch your breath and explore the charming tangle of flat roofed houses, cafés and tavernas and the domed churches, all a brilliant white against the deep blue sea and sky.

The main beaches are on the eastern and southern sides of the island where the land slopes more gently to the sea. Most of them, such as Karterados, Monolithos, Kanakari, Kamari or Perissa are made of black volcanic sand or pebbles. There are sunbeds and umbrellas and places to buy refreshments. Monolithos is the most popular beach with families as the water is shallow and there are lifeguards, restaurants, a playground and changing facilities. At Akrotiri, on the southern coast, a huge red cliff rises beside the town, from which Red Beach gets its name, a narrow strip of sand and pebbles scattered with huge red boulders that have fallen from the cliff face — typical of the dramatic scenery to be seen around every corner of the island.

The towns of Oia and Imeroviglion, perched on the edge of the caldera — the remnant of the volcanic crater — north of Thira, are perhaps the most popular amongst visitors. These little blue and white towns have a distinctive charm, particularly at sunset when the last light catching the houses on the edge of the cliff turns them to gold.

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