The Peloponnese Peninsula has some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Greece. Located on the southern shores of mainland Greece, these beaches boast the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The Peloponnese proves that postcard-worthy beaches aren’t limited to the Greek islands.
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On each of its four peninsulas, the Peloponnese has endless stretches of untouched coastline and spectacular mountain views. With towering sand dunes and water in every shade of blue, there is something for everyone here. The best part? These beaches are far less crowded than the islands and often host more locals than tourists.
After scoping out the remarkably scenic regions, here are our top picks for the 10 best beaches in the Peloponnese. From Kalamata to Elafonissos, the Peloponnese has some of the most beautiful lesser-known beaches in Greece.
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10 Best Beaches in Peloponnese, Greece
Foneas Beach, Kardamili
This small beach in the Messenia region is the perfect place to explore. Foneas Beach is a pebble beach surrounded by rocky cliffs and sea caves. Despite its short 100-meter coastline, the beach is a popular spot among locals and is a hidden gem in Peloponnese.
The horseshoe beach sits in a protected cove about 1 hour away from Kalamata. Foneas Beach is known for the huge rock that sits in the water, where people like to dive and cliff jump. Visitors can spend the day splashing in the turquoise waters or head underwater to check out the magical sea caves.
Thanks to the area’s rugged landscape, there are many activities beyond swimming and sunbathing. Cliff jumping, snorkeling, and caving are just some of the ways to enjoy this picturesque beach.
For an even more special experience, go on a 4-hour sea kayaking tour of Kardamili’s sea caves. You’ll get to explore the unique rock formations and see the beautiful landscape from the water.
Foneas Beach doesn’t have services like other lounge chair-lined beaches in the Peloponnese. There are no sunbeds or umbrellas, so be sure to pack your own gear if you want shade. There is a small canteen on the beach serving local snacks and drinks, along with shower facilities and free parking. While it is a great destination for travelers of all ages, the water gets deep quickly, so it’s not the best swimming beach in Greece for kids.
Mavrovouni Beach, Gytheio
On the east coast of the Mani Peninsula is Mavrovouni Beach, another one of the largest beaches in the Peloponnese. This long sandy beach spans 6 km and has gorgeous sea views and a nearby mountain range.
Because of its size, Mavrovouni Beach can get busy without feeling crowded. It’s a Blue Flag beach, meaning the waters are immaculate and perfect for swimming. It’s a popular destination for those visiting the Gytheio area and is a favorite for windsurfers. The beach can get very windy, so you’ll see afternoons at Mavrovouni Beach full of bright-colored kites in the water.
One thing that makes this beach unique is the Loggerhead sea turtles that nest on its shores. Hundreds of endangered turtles lay their eggs yearly on Mavrovouni Beach, so keep your eyes peeled for baby turtles!
There are many hotels, tavernas, and bars along the shore to grab a drink and escape the sun for a while. The beach is close to Mavrovouni village, full of resorts offering beautiful mountain and sea views.
Simos Beach, Elafonissos
Elafonissos is home to some of the best beaches in Peloponnese and even the best beaches in Greece. This small island off the Laconia Peninsula is reachable by a short 10-minute ferry ride from Pounta. On the south shore of Elafonisos, you’ll find Simos Beach, a super soft sandy beach that is worth the journey.
Simos Beach is lined by white sand-covered dunes and crystal-clear turquoise waters. There is a split in the beach with two distinct bays with calm, shallow water perfect for swimming. Megalos Simos is the larger of the two beaches, while Mikros Simos is smaller but shares the same great soft sand.
With the sand dunes creating a nice shield from the wind, Simos Beach is a great Peloponnese beach for families. During the summer, there are sunbeds, umbrellas, and beach bars that get quite crowded. But, there is always room to spread out, and Simos is considered one of the best-organized beaches in Elafonisos.
There are a few bars and restaurants steps away from the beach that offer local cuisine and refreshing drinks. For the full experience, skip the hotel and try camping! Simos Camping offers tent pads and private bungalows just 50 meters away from the beach.
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Voidokilia Beach, Petrochori
Shaped like the Greek letter Omega, Voidokilia Beach is a favorite in the Peloponnese. Its crescent shape creates a panoramic view of the bay that is lined with rolling sand dunes. It’s one of Messenia’s most popular beaches and is an important habitat for migratory birds.
The beach is a protected area bordered by the Gialova Lagoon, which is home to hundreds of bird species. Aside from the neighboring wildlife, what makes Voidokilia special is the ancient Greek castle perched beside it. The Old Navarino Castle is from the 13th century and served as a lookout over the bay. Now, it’s a lovely place to go for a hike for sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Given that the beach is so tucked away, there aren’t many facilities around. Tourists can head to the nearby seaside villages of Petrochori or Romanos for lunch or to grab a quick bite at the Voidokilia snack bar. It can get jam-packed in the summer, so be sure to arrive early to find a nice spot!
Arvanitia Beach, Nafplio
On the northeast side of the Peloponnese, you’ll find Nafplio, a picturesque seaside town on the Argolic Gulf. Arvanitia Beach is the closest beach to Nafplio town and is an excellent swimming beach—with the Blue Flag to show it.
Pebbles line this beautiful beach that borders the calm, crystal-clear water of the gulf. The coastline is only 200 meters long but has become a favorite for Nafplio locals. There are sunbeds and umbrellas for rent and a great restaurant right on the beach.
Arvanitia Beach is more than one of the Peloponnese best beaches, it’s a part of Greece’s history. The neighboring Palamidi Fortress was used in the 18th century by the Venetians as a castle and a prison. Now, Palamidi promises one of the best views in the region…you just have to climb 1,000 stairs to get it.
Exploring Nafplio and its surrounding beaches is a great reason for a bike tour. You can explore and see all that Nafplio has to offer, with a little beach-hopping along the way.
Valtaki Beach, Gytheio
Possibly one of the most photographed beaches in the Peloponnese, Valtaki Beach is known for its abandoned shipwreck. The Dimitrios is a famous Greek shipwreck that has been living close to the shore of Valtaki Beach since the 1980s.
It’s said that the ship once transported illegal cigarettes between Turkey and Italy. No one knows for sure, but it’s no secret that the shipwreck has become an iconic sight to see.
Valtaki Beach is a popular Blue Flag beach for swimming. It’s located only 1 km from Gytheio city center, where you can find plenty of restaurants and cafés.
On the other side of the shipwreck is Selinitsa Beach, which often gets grouped in with Valtaki. Both have sandy shores with many beach services around, like bathrooms and showers. Selinitsa is also an important loggerhead sea turtle nesting site, so keep an eye on the sand if you’re walking at night!
Finikounda Beach, Finikounda
One of the most beautiful places in the southern Peloponnese is Finikounda. This seaside village is 40 km from Kalamata and has a stunning sandy beach with ocean and mountain views.
Finikounda Beach is a popular place to spend a day lounging on a sunbed. Across the way, you can see two small uninhabited islands that mark the deepest area in the Mediterranean Sea.
There is no shortage of options for beachside dining with the many restaurants and tavernas nearby. The beach also has a Blue Flag for cleanliness and hosts many families. Finikounda Beach is lined with hotels and gets quite busy in the summertime. With its vibrant waters and gorgeous views, it’s no question that Finikounda is one of the best beaches in the Peloponnese.
Kalogrias Beach, Stoupa
Nestled on the calm shores of the Messenian Gulf, Kalogrias Beach is a beautiful soft sand beach in Stoupa, Greece. It shares many similarities with Foneas Beach, with its rocky cliffs and gorgeous turquoise waters.
The powdery sand at Kalogrias Beach makes it a popular spot for beach volleyball tournaments. There are lots of sunbeds and umbrellas to rent, or you can seek some shade from the tamarisk trees that dot the shore.
Kalogrias Beach is a gateway to the many sea caves and rock formations that make the destinations so unique. Spend an afternoon on a kayak or journey to the Caves of Diros to see how magical the area really is. It’s worth spending a few days in the region, so staying at a boutique hotel in Stoupa is a great option. The Mythies villas will show you what beachside living on the Mani peninsula is all about.Stoupa has many shops, cafés, and restaurants to spend an afternoon. Kalogrias Beach has a few laidback bars that overlook the sea, or you can walk to Stoupa Beach for some more dining options.
Karathona Beach, Nafplio
Just 2 hours away from Athens is one of the most popular and beautiful beaches in Greece. Karathona Beach in Nafplio is a 4 km long stretch of sand with various hotels, tavernas, and restaurants. It’s always bustling with tourists seeking the warm sun and refreshing waters of the Mediterranean.
Unlike Arvanitia, Karathona Beach is in a rural area 2 km from Nafplio town. But being further out surely doesn’t make it less popular. It’s one of the best destinations in the Peloponnese for swimming, watersports, and even rock climbing.
The beach also has views of the Palamidi Fortress and is walkable from Nafplio town. Many locals enjoy how quickly the journey transitions from the city to a remote beach holiday. Once you arrive at the beach, you’re greeted by palm and eucalyptus trees and have stunning views of the small island in the bay.
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Visitors of Karathona Beach have plenty of options for cafés, bars, and local fish taverns to grab lunch or dinner. Most of the facilities are open from the early morning until late at night since the beach is such a popular spot. Karathona is also a great swimming beach in Peloponnese, awarded with a Blue Flag for cleanliness.
If it’s your first time in Nafplio, start the day with a walking tour of the city, where you’ll try some delicious local food. Or, have a guide show you what makes olive oil in Greece so special with a tour and tasting at an olive grove.
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Hidden Gems That Are Off the Beaten Path
With so many gorgeous beaches in Peloponnese, it was difficult to pare them down to this list. Ultimately, the best destination for you depends on preference, and there is a downside to visiting the best, most popular beaches – the crowds. If you would rather avoid the chaos of the well-known best beaches, Peloponnese has so many hidden gems to choose from.
One of the more remote beaches on the Mani Peninsula, Maramari Beach is famous for being peaceful and family-friendly. The sandy beach has a gradual decline into the warm water, which can get a bit wavy but is still relatively calm.
The village of Marmari is small and remote, but the sandy coastline is well organized, with umbrellas and sun lounges available for rent at the beach bar. For a more relaxing experience that’s a bit off the beaten path and away from the crowds, this is one of the best Peloponnese beaches.
Porto Kagio Beach
If you decide to visit Marmari Beach, the seaside village of Porto Kagio is on the opposite side of Mani Peninsula and just a 10-minute drive away. This pebbled beach is in a protected cove, and you can expect calm, clear water that is excellent for snorkeling.
Part of the beach is organized, and there are tavernas right on the shore that offer amazing, freshly caught seafood and Peloponnese specialties. History buffs and lighthouse enthusiasts will enjoy a hike to nearby Akrotiri Tenaro Lighthouse and the ancient ruins of a Hellenistic building.
About an hour north of Porto Kagio and Marmari is Dexameni Beach. One of the most beautiful and highly photographed coastlines in the Peloponnese, this stunning beach is lined with traditional stone houses and magnificent villas.
Not your typical beach, Dexameni is very rocky, and there are swim platforms for access to crystal-clear turquoise waters. Like Porto Kagio, Dexameni’s waters are perfect for snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Located around 3-km north of Dexameni Beach, Itilo Beach is famous for its natural beauty and excellent seafood from the nearby tavernas. Flanked by mountains that serve as a windbreak, this pebble beach has relatively calm waters, and amenities offered by the beach bar and seaside hotel make for a comfortable visit.
The mountains overlooking the beach are great for hiking, and there is a path that leads to the 13th-century Mani Castle, which is wonderfully restored, and visitors are welcome to explore the grounds.
Directly across the Mani peninsula from Itilo is Skoutari Beach, a quiet golden sand beach where you aren’t likely to encounter many tourists. While Skoutari is a relatively small beach, a taverna offers amenities, and there are other restaurants within a short walking distance. This hidden gem has wonderfully clean and clear water, with historic buildings and a restored 10th-century church in the background.
If you have the itch to explore, just 2 km northeast of Skoutari are the ruins of the Monastery of the Virgin of Kotroniotissa. Visitors are permitted to roam the grounds of the ancient monastery, which hasn’t been altered or restored since it was abandoned.