the best beach in Greece with crystal clear blue water in Antipaxos

How to pick the best beach each day?

Greece is famous for its beaches, with 6.000 islands and the mainland, surrounded by the most crystal-clear waters, it is one of the top summer holiday destinations in the world. But choosing where to go in a country that has over 15.000 km (9.000 miles) of coastline is not easy. So here is a trick from the Real Greeks, that will help you choose the best beach for each day you spend in this beautiful country.

The theory

Imagine a simple island…

Let’s assume you have decided to spend a week on the most simple island in Greece. It has four beaches. One north, one east, one south, and one west. They are all equally beautiful but besides that, the island has nothing else. You have arrived and the only thing you can do for the next 7 days is to go to one of these four beaches. How do you decide which one to go to?

Let the wind decide

Greeks have a technique that helps them pick out the best beach each day, they look where the wind comes from. If the wind is coming from the east, they will avoid the beaches on this side of the island, unless they are surfers. The Greeks will instead go to the beach on the west of the island. In the same way, a wind from the south will lead them to the beach on the north.

Why? Because the onshore wind, the wind coming over the sea towards the beach, will create waves. The offshore wind, however, will result in a calm sea, a sea that is like oil, is what the Greeks call this. The most stunning pictures of Greek beaches are taken with an offshore wind. And to be honest, there is nothing more relaxing than having a swim in the silent blue waters.

The practise

I am currently spending a lot of time around Nafplio, and here I have become a master on finding the best beach each day. With a south wind I stay in Kiveri. If the wind is coming from the east I visit Arvanitias, and when the wind comes from the north I go to Kastraki. Over time I even learned how the wind changes direction naturally during the day and where my swim will be most pleasant during the hour I planned to go swimming.

However, when you’re traveling somewhere you often don’t have the time to wait for the right wind conditions to visit all the beaches in the area. Still you can use this knowledge to improve your holiday beach experiences.

Wake up early

What might be good to remember, is that Greece in summer, usually has strong winds, the Meltemi Winds. These winds can be quite strong, but only start during the afternoon. In general, if you want to visit a big beach it is best to do this early in the morning before the wind picks up. The sea usually starts it’s day being calm, but gets more rough until sunset.

Avoid big open waters

If you want to be (90%) sure of visiting a paradise like beach, pick one that is located inside a bay. The sea here is protected from most wind and much calmer than it is on bigger beaches with open water. The smaller the bay, the more protected the water and the calmer your swim. Avoid big open waters like the northern coastline of Crete, or the coast in the south of Thrace.

Don’t expect perfection

Many influencers and travel bloggers know how to capture beaches at their most beautiful moments. They literally wake up between 5 and 6 to arrive when conditions are best. Golden hour, no people, and long before the wind picks up. But what is a holiday when you have to wake up this early?

What we see online is often not reality. When a place looks good on a travel blog, the sea might be full of seaweed, over crowded, or just really uncomfortable in reality. Lower your expectations when you travel and don’t chase the images you see online. A good tip is to check reviews of real people on Google. They will give you a much better idea of what to expect.


I must confess that for someone, not Greek, going to a Greek beach in the worst wind conditions will still result in an absolutely paradise-like sea experience in most cases. But if you wonder why one day there are no Greeks on a certain beach that is full the next day, or why a beach that was supposed to be paradise is not as beautiful as you hoped? The answer is often the wind.

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Girl traveling in Greece on small boat over blue water

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