Greece has plenty of spectacular beaches, but these white-sand beauties are the cream of the crop

  1. Koukounaries, Skiathos, Sporades

It’s young, fun and probably the only beach in Greece where you might run into a posse of white and black swans. The beach itself is sublime: a crescent of gently shelving silvery sand, backed by a nature reserve. Get there by 9am, via the island bus from Skiathos Town, if you want to claim a spot in the shade.


  1. Pori, Ano Koufonisi, Cyclades

You won’t believe the colours of the water are real here. Pori has rocky outcrops, two tavernas — and that’s it. It’s a flat three and a half kilometre walk from Chora (the one town), or grab one of the few taxis.


  1. Balos, Crete

Balos is a knockout — basking beneath sun baked cliffs, with pinky-white sand and an otherworldly lagoon. Take supplies for the day on a boat from Kissamos.

Amazing panorama of Balos Lagoon with magical turquoise waters, lagoons, tropical beaches of pure white sand and Gramvousa island on Crete, GreeceShutterstock Images

  1. Voutoumi, Antipaxos, Ionians

Embraced by cliffs frothing over with greenery, the exotic white sands of Voutoumi are bathed in a kaleidoscope of blues and greens. Get the best view up the 200 steps from the Bella Vista taverna. Taxi boats make the trip from Paxos, but you’ll need to stay in one of the island’s villas to linger later than 5pm.


  1. Voidokilia, Messinia, Peloponnese

The west coast of the Peloponnese is blessed with huge expanses of sand, but none match the geometric beauty of this sandy half circle embracing a shallow turquoise bay. Flamingos frequent the lagoon behind the beach. Hike up to the ruins of the 13th century castle high on the headland overlooking both.


  1. Myrtos, Kefalonia, Ionians

This spot, featured in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, is a snorkeller’s dream, with secret caves to explore and water so clear you can see forever. A switchback road makes the steep descent down — you’ll find a bar and brollies.