The Greek sovereign land includes 6,000 islands and islets scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Seas, of which only 227 islands are inhabited. You’ll find pristine beaches stretching over many kilometers, sheltered bays and coves, sandy beaches with dunes, pebble beaches, coastal caves with steep rocks and dark colored sand typical of volcanic soil and coastal wetlands.

With 392 of these beaches having been awarded the blue flag – Greece is second, after Spain to hold the highest number of beaches recognized under Blue Flag Program.

The Blue Flag program for beaches and marinas is run by the international, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education). Started in France in 1985, the Blue Flag program promotes sustainable development in freshwater and marine areas. It challenges local authorities and beach operators to achieve high standards in the four categories of: water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety. Over the years, the Blue Flag has become a highly respected and world-renowned eco-label trusted by millions around the globe.

Central to the ideals of the Blue Flag program is the aim of connecting the public with their surroundings and encouraging them to learn more about their environment.

In order to qualify for this prestigious award, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety-related and access-related criteria must be met and maintained.  Criteria include environmental education activities on site, conservation of marine protected areas and coastal zone ecosystems, informing visitors and complying with the stringent waste-water regulations and bathing water quality standards, along with promoting sustainable tourism in the area.

These are some of the lesser known but truly stunning blue flag beaches in Greece.


Myrtos beach in Kefalonia


Photo: Courtesy of VisitGreece

Falassarna beach in Crete

Falassarna. Greece, Crete-Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho via Flickr

Photo: Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho via Flickr

Faliraki beach in Rodou

Greece-Rodou-Faliraki Beach-Luigi Rosa via Flickr

Photo: Luigi Rosa via Flickr

Rethymno beach in Crete

Greece-Crete-Rethymno-Thomas Münter via flickr

Photo: Thomas Münter via flickr

Matala beach in Crete

Greece-Crete-Matala beach-Robert Young via Flickr - 1024 x 750

Photo: Robert Young via Flickr

Stavros beach in Corfu

Kurt Bauschardt via Flickr

Photo: Kurt Bauschardt via Flickr

Ouranopolis beach in Chalkidiki

Greece-Ouranopolis Beach, Chalkidiki-Gabriel via Flickr

Photo: Gabriel via Flickr

Varkiza beach in Attiki

Greece-Attiki-Varkiza Beach-Voyages etc via Flickr

Photo: Voyages etc via Flickr

Vai beach in Crete

Greece-Crete-Vai-Bojan Cekrlic via flickr

Photo: Bojan Cekrlic via Flickr

Sykia beach in Sithonias


Photo: Dmitry Artyukhov via Flickr

Hersonissos beach in Crete

Greece-Crete-Hersonissos-Olivier Duquesne via flickr -

Photo: Olivier Duquesne via Flickr

Bali beach in Rethymno

Greece-Bali in Rethymno-Madalina Ungur via Flickr

Photo: Madalina Ungur via Flickr

Strand beach in Chalkidiki

Greece-Strand beach-Chalkidiki-Marcus via Flickr - 1024 x 683

Photo: Marcus via Flickr

Tsilivi beach in Zakynthos

Greece-Tsilivi Beach, Zakynthos-Connor Burton via Flickr -

Photo: Connor Burton via Flickr

Asprovalta beach in Thessaloniki

Asprovalta Beach, Thessaloniki. Greece-Mr Hicks46 via Flickr

Photo: Mr Hicks46 via Flickr

Galissas beach in Kyklades

Greece-Kyklades-Galissas Beach-jeremy avnet via Flickr

Photo: jeremy avnet via Flickr