The Best Beaches in the Cyclades
These are our favourite beaches following a five week island-hopping trip. A list of what we consider to be the best beaches in the Cyclades.
Although not a conventional beach, Gala is beautiful and has a stunning backdrop. It is surrounded by cliffs and you will need to do a bit of climbing to get down there but the views are worth it! Probably not worth spending a full day here but a good little adventure from Pori Beach.
A slightly scary climb through a man-made entrance carved into the rock and down a ladder brings you to this lovely little beach. The sea was quite wild on the day we visited but when it is calm apparently the water is beautiful. Definitely worth a visit even if only for the photo opportunities!
9. Paliorema Beach, Milos
We arrived at this beach via boat as road access is apparently extremely difficult, but saying that we did see a few old Fiat Panda’s in the car park!
This lovely small pebbled beach is the site of an abandoned sulphur mine which means there is lots to explore, you can even climb up the old mine train track if you’re brave enough.
Naxos has some great beaches but this one is definitely the best. Quite a long beach with beautiful sand and perfect still, blue water – excellent for swimming. We were fairly hungover when we got to this beach and the gorgeous sea and the nearby souvlaki takeaway was all we needed to sort our heads out!
It was really easy to get here on the local Naxos bus.
A long stretch of white sand and clear shallow waters, it is the epitome of what you would expect from a Greek beach.
There are two tavernas, and our tip would be to stick with Kalofego, which is behind the beach, for much better food and value for money.
You can sit in the shallow water here and watch the impressive kite surfers.
6. Livadi Beach, Iraklia
The sea here is absolutely perfect for swimming and some days it was completely still. It is largely a quiet beach owing to it being on a remote Greek island so it feels quite secluded.
Thalassa Taverna is just behind the beach and does good, cheap food for lunch. We spent days here swimming ourselves into exhaustion and then refuelling with a souvlaki and a Mythos for less than 10 Euros!
The far end of the beach is nudist if that’s what takes your fancy. There is allegedly a sea turtle called John who visits the beach in the Summer afternoons, unfortunately we didn’t get to meet him!
This is a small stony beach with amazing water again but the thing that makes this beach so picturesque is the small multi-coloured boat houses that line the shore. We discovered that these can actually be rented out for holiday accommodation – well worth looking into at just over £100 a night on airbnb.
If you like snorkelling, this is a great place to spot fish. The bay is quite big and the water is still so it’s safe to swim far out.
It got crazy busy here after about 1pm so make sure you come here early to enjoy the peace and quiet – it was just us and four other people at 9am.
Walking along the south coastal path of Ano Koufonisia brings you to so many beautiful beaches but this one was our favourite because it not only has calm, clear sea and soft sand with lots of trees for shade, but also has a great little place to have lunch for a decent price.
The water here is excellent and you can swim around the corner to a lovely little bay to snorkel – just watch out for sea urchins as the rocks are close to the surface!
The journey here is terrifying (especially in a 1990’s rental car with no horn and bald tyres), but it was definitely worth the drive.
The treacherous roads meant that it was really quiet for such a stunning beach. The white pebbles are beautiful and make the water crystal clear. There is also a spot to jump off the rocks into the sea.
We ate lunch at the newly opened beach bar which was delicious and cheap!
Only accessible by boat, this secluded beach offers all of the desirables; no crowds, fine sand, and a sheltered bay perfect for swimming.
We booked onto the Anemos boat trip to get here which was good value at only 15 Euros each and gave us two hours to spend here, although we would have liked to have been here all day.
There are no facilities here which adds to the tranquillity and an added bonus is the sunken WWII fighter plane that is within swimming distance from the shore.
Our absolute undisputed favourite and actually one of our favourite beaches in the world so far. The first time we came here we didn’t arrive until late morning and within an hour the beach was swarmed with people as it is a very small cove. The next day we got up and came here for around 8am and had a breakfast picnic on the beach (there are no facilities here) and had the beach to ourselves for over 2 hours which was amazing and worth the early wake up!
The beach itself is very small and shallow, there are loads of fish to see, especially early in the morning. The sea is unbelievably blue and so still.
So hire a quad bike, set your alarm and stock up on pastries – you won’t regret it. We can’t wait to come back.