16 Best Beaches in Peloponnese

16 Best Beaches in Peloponnese

The best beaches in the Peloponnese vie with the beaches of the Greek islands as the most beautiful in Greece. In this region-based Peloponnese beach guide, I cover the 16 most amazing beaches and all the practical info you need to visit these gorgeous beaches including where to eat near each beach, and the perfect places to stay.

The Peloponnese Region of Greece: things to know before you go

The Peloponnese is one of the most revered regions of Greece – it’s where the ancient Greek magic happened and where contemporary Greek history started.

And it’s where Athenians go to experience “the real Greece” in July and August when the island crowds become unbearable.

Unspoilt beaches and waters of the Peloponnese, Greece
Unspoiled beaches and waters of the Peloponnese, Greece

It is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque regions of Europe with unique food, landscapes, architecture, and some spectacularly beautiful beaches.

Things to know before traveling to the Peloponnese, Greece

The Peloponnese region is a large peninsula in the south of Greece, several hours’ drive from Athens. Besides being historically and culturally the heart of the Greek nation and state, it is also a very big region.

Peloponnese Map
Peloponnese Map

Conveniently shaped like a palm, the Peloponnese is easy to grasp. The main regions are Nafplio and the Argolis peninsula, Laconia peninsula, Mani region, Messinia, and finally, the landlocked mainland called Arcadia. 

Photo of a deserted beach along the rugged Mani coastline, Greece
A deserted beach along the rugged Mani coastline, Peloponnese, Greece

Expect mountainous villages and seaside fishing communities, cosmopolitan cities and sleepy towns, dense forests and barren cliffs and rocks, and ski resorts just kilometers away from the summer holiday destinations!

Phot of the Corinth canal, a wonder of ancient Greek engineering, int he Peloponnese region of Greece
The Corinth canal, a wonder of ancient Greek engineering, in the Peloponnese region of Greece

Peloponnese is separated from mainland Greece by the Corinth Canal on the eastern side and connected to it by the Rio-Antirio Bridge on the northern side.

Getting to Peloponnese is easy and the options are many – Kalamata city has its own airport and this is the best option for those visiting the Mani region.

Ancient theatre in Epidauros, Peloponnese, Greece
Ancient theatre in Epidauros, Peloponnese, Greece

Driving from Athens is spectacularly easy as the highway is new and well maintained, and the best for those visiting Nafplio and Argolida region. Even suburban trains from Athens (proastiakos) go deep into the Peloponnese.  

The Lion Gate in Mycenae UNESCO World Heritage site, Peloponnese region, Greece

Peloponnese is dotted with UNESCO World Heritage sites, Byzantine churches, fortresses, and cities, ancient stadiums and theaters with summer festivals, and magical sea caves.

Make sure to check various points of interest close to your favorite beaches, as the Peloponnese is the epicenter of history and civilization.   

The 16 Best Beaches of the Peloponnese

Map of the Best Beaches in the Peloponnese, Greece

1. Arvanitia Beach – Nafplio

Before Athens, Nafplio served as the first capital of modern Greece. Its downtown is a maze of colorful houses and bougainvillea flowers. There is even a castle above it and an islet fortress in front of it.

Lovely square and colorful houses in central Nafplio in the late afternoon sun, Greece
Downtown Nafplio, Greece

At the back of the city hill, a city beach Arvanitia is located. Small, with pebbles and very clear waters, it is great for a quick morning swim. Since no natural shade is provided, grab a lounger in one of the beach bars.

Photo of people in summer on Lovely Arvanitia Beach, Nafplio, Greece
Lovely Arvanitia Beach, Nafplio, Greece

This article may contain compensated links. Please read the disclaimer for more info.

TIP: A pathway leads from the city to the beach, where you can admire the rocky cliffs (even walk through some stone passageways). Picturesque experience with great sea views.

Where to eat:

Blublanc for beachside snacks and refreshments. Great sea and castle views.

Where to stay:

For where to stay in Nafplio city, read Things to See in Nafplio Greece

2. Karathonas Beach – Nafplio

South of Nafplio, some 10 minutes drive away lies the wide bay of Karathonas, with a crystal clear sandy beach facing west.

Photo of Paralia Karathonas Beach near Nafplio city, Greece
Paralia Karathonas Beach near Nafplio city, Greece

It is a big, child-friendly beach with plenty of space for you to spread out with your inflatables or play “raketes” – the favorite Greek beach pastime of paddleball played with a tennis ball and no net.

TIP: Karathona Beach is connected to Arvanitia Beach and Nafplio via a wonderful seaside Palamidi path.

Dragon lair-like cliffs, pine trees, prickly pears, small protected cove beaches for a quick dip, and stunning sea views await. Even better when you cycle the path.

Where to eat:

Big Fish for bohemian vibe drinks and snacks, Karathonas for Greek beachside taverna.

Where to stay:

For where to stay in Nafplio city, read Things to see in Nafplio Greece

3. Tolo Beach – Nafplio

Among nearby seaside villages, Tolo Beach is just 10 miles out of Nafplio and its long sandy beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Argolida. It’s a stunning beach and hard not to put up in the top few beaches on the Greek mainland.

Photo of Tolo Beach near Nafplio, Peloponnese region, Greece
Tolo Beach near Nafplio, Peloponnese region, Greece

With a shallow entry, it is also popular with families and tends to get busy during the summer. All sorts of entertainment and sports are available on Tolo Beach. One of the largest beaches along this sandy coastline.

TIP: Rent a small boat and visit the surrounding islets of Koronisi (Byzantine castle ruins) and Romvi (cliffside chapel) to get away from the crowds.  

Where to eat:

Pitogyro for Greek after-the-beach favorite snacks – souvlaki or gyros.  

Where to stay:

For where to stay in Nafplio city, read Things to See in Nafplio Greece

4. Portello Beach – Monemvasia

Monemvasia, just off the shores of Laconia, is a monumental castle town overlooking the open waters of this dream-like sea rock.

Photo of Monemvasia island taken from the Greek mainland, Peloponnese, Greece
Monemvasia island seen from the Greek mainland, Peloponnese, Greece

Its history as a pirate hideout and Byzantine urban center is surpassed only by its formation – it is entirely carved into the cliffs of the rock.

Its walled community provided shelter and safe haven for more than a thousand years and nowadays it is topping the list of the most unique places in Greece.

Portello (from Italian meaning small door) is the city beach of Monemvasia. It is small, and reachable only via a narrow gate in the walls, but it is formed out of a mesmerizing black rock.

Phot of the Portello, a natural swimming hole below the castle of Monemvasia, Greece
The Portello, a natural swimming hole below the castle of Monemvasia, Greece

Access to the waters is a bit challenging and done only by cliff jumping or via a small ladder. However, once in, swim backstroke or float and you will be rewarded with the most amazing sight of a medieval town appearing before your eyes.  

Where to eat:

Malvasia Café for the best views and refreshing drinks, and Marianthi for hearty Greek cuisine.

Where to stay

Well, you have to stay in the castle! Try the wildly popular Malvasia Traditional Hotel, or charming and historic Ardamis, and walk to the Portello for a swim off the rocks!

5. Simos Beach – Elafonisos

One of the most photographed beaches in Greece, and for a good reason, is Simos Beach on a small island called Elafonisos, just off the southern tip of Laconia.

Aerial photo of Simos beach in Elafonisos, southern  Peloponnese, Greece
Simos beach in Elafonisos, southern Peloponnese, Greece

Divided into two beaches, a small and large Simos beach, this place is the closest one can get to Caribbean-style shores in Greece.

Fine white sand with pink shades, rolling soft sand dunes, and crazy clear turquoise waters make Simos beach a must-visit after a stop in Monemvasia.

TIP: Ferry crossings are regular from a mainland place called Punta, but can get crowded during the summer.

Where to eat:

Beach tavernas and bars that rent loungers on the powder-soft sand of Simos beach are the perfect option for lunch!

Where to stay:

The small Elafonisis Resort is only a few minutes’ walk from cafes and restaurants but is quiet with a lovely warm pool and a great breakfast.

6. Mavrovouni Beach – Gytheio

Gytheio is a regional town surrounded by nice beaches. The longest one is Mavrovouni Beach, a blue flag beach with soft sand and pebbles in the sea that stretches for 4 miles.

Photo of man fishing by the dock in Gytheio, Peloponnese, Greece
Gytheio, Peloponnese, Greece

Although it is a favorite beach of the locals (only a mile from the Gytheio city center), due to its size and length, it never gets busy.

Photo of umbrella on Mavrovouni Beach, Gytheio, Greece
Mavrovouni Beach, Gytheio, Greece

Great for beach sports (especially surfing in the afternoon, as that is the time the winds hit) and for bringing your pets along.   

Where to eat:

Taki’s Tavern, right on the Mavrovouni beach with delicious Greek food.

Where to stay:

Las Hotel and Spa for a 4-star resort experience, or Dimani Suites for a 3-star suites hotel with pool, 300 m from the beach, and an average guest rating of 9.7.

7. Valtaki Beach – Gytheio

Just north of the town lies sandy Valtaki beach famous for its shipwreck “Dimitrios”, standing there stranded since 1981. Since half of it sits on the shore’s sandbed, you can walk to it and have a chance to take spectacular photographs.

Phot of Valtaki beach and the half-sunken and decayed shipwreck, Gytheio, Greece
Valtaki Beach, Gytheio, Greece

As the ship is fully decayed, be careful not to swim next to it. Also, be mindful of the Caretta Caretta sea turtles that regularly use this beautiful beach for laying eggs.

TIP: Best photos of the whole shipwreck scenery are from the road above this stunning beach (where this pic was taken).

Where to eat:

Tavern O Nikos on the high road, for local fresh Greek cuisine.

Where to stay:

100 Rizes Seaside Resort- Small Luxury Hotels of the World – only 5 years old with a private beach area and sparkling pool.

8. Alypa Beach – Mani

This gorgeous large-pebbled beach is hidden in a tiny east coast cove. It’s the best introduction possible to the fabulous Mani peninsula.

It is surrounded by typical Maniatic stone houses, rugged terrain, and insanely clear waters.

Photo of Alypa beach, tavern and boats on the white pebble beach with clear green water, Mani Peninsula, Greece
Alypa Beach, Mani Peninsula, Greece

A great choice for a more secluded beach time, as it offers limited amenities.

Alypa gives you a sense of bygone Greek beach life – a tavern on the shore to sit and enjoy drinks, and occasionally having a swim before doing it all again. One of my personal favorites on the Peloponnese.  

TIP: White pebbles look amazing, but can prove challenging when entering the sea. Bring your reef shoes along.  

Parts of the 1982 movie “The Tempest” (based on the Shakespeare play) were shot on Alypa beach.

Where to eat:

There is only one tavern on the beach (conveniently called “Alypa”) and it is great!

Where to stay:

No luxurious hotels around Alypa. Stay in private bungalows or in the rooms above the tavern.

9. Skoutari Beach – Mani

Skoutari is a lovely little gem, excellent for those days you want to get away from it all. With no beach bars and organized watersports, it tends to be quite peaceful, even in the high season.

Photo of Skoutari Beach from the water, Mani, Greece
Skoutari Beach from the water, Mani, Greece

Sandy beach with pebbles around the entrance to the clear blue waters. A picturesque beach too, made so much better by the excellent taverna (Kalamakia tavern) – an old whitewashed building full of charm.

Where to stay:

There aren’t any good hotels around Alypa. Stay in private bungalows or in the rooms above the tavern.

10. Cape Tainaron Beach (Kokkinogia) – Mani

This is the second southernmost tip of continental Europe, an area of fantastic atmosphere and ancient ruins (it is believed that the entrance to the mythical ancient Greek underworld – the Gates of Hades – is located here).

It also has a working lighthouse (named Matapas), sea caves, a second-to-none walking trail along the south shore, and excellent beaches.

Phot of Cape Tainaron, Mani, Greece, with a donkey on the road that leads to the shore
Cape Tainaron, Mani, Greece

The very approach is thrilling by itself, following the paved road you realize that the end of it is the end of continental Greece and the European continent.

Phot of Cape Tainaron beach (Kokkinogia) – Mani, Greece
Cape Tainaron beach (Kokkinogia) – Mani, Greece

Such a place deserves a dip in refreshing clear waters in a series of cove-like beaches.

TIP: This is a place where the Mediterranean Sea starts, so be mindful of the currents. Also, there’s no shade, it is southern Greece – so, plan your visit in the late afternoon hours.

Where to eat:

Akron Tenaro offers snacks and refreshments on the spot.

Where to stay:

Stay elsewhere on Mani and visit this area during a road trip along the peninsula.

11. Marmari Beach – Mani

Driving northbound from Cape Tainaron, make a stop on your left to enjoy a rare sandy beach on the west side of Mani. With shallow fine sand waters, a beach bar, sun loungers, and other amenities it is an easy choice when you are with kids.

Phot of the view down to Marmari Beach, Mani, Greece
Marmari Beach, Mani, Greece

Being on the sunset side of the peninsula, you can enjoy longer beach days here.

TIP: Admire the bare hills all around and the contrast they make to the deep blue of the sea.

Where to eat:

Marmari Paradise Resort offers all you need on the beach.

Where to stay:

Marmari Paradise Resort. – somehow only rated as a 3-star resort – modern stone-walled rooms with sea-view balconies, private beach, bar among the rocks – absolutely superb gem!

12. Mezapos (Chalikia) Beach – Mani

Ex-pirate cove and settlement, this place is a real gem.

Photo of the green waters of Mezapos (Chalikia) beach, Mani, Greece
Mezapos (Chalikia) beach, Mani, Greece

Drive through olive groves to reach a sleepy fishermen’s village, only to be amazed by the scenery of two beaches on site. One is accessible from the land, while for the second (a more dramatic one), you need to jump from a pier and swim a bit.

Where to eat:

Local taverna marked on GMaps as “Sea Food” offers superb fried fish, fresh seafood, and cold refreshments.

Where to stay:

Ippola Boutique Hotel – Mani has fantastic value hotels! This is a 4-star limestone mansion with all modern comforts and an average guest rating of 9.6!

13. Limeni Beach – Mani

The crown jewel of Mani beaches, Limeni is both a historical village port from where the supplies for the Greek War of Independence were traded and the most spectacular turquoise waters coming all the way to the rocky courtyards of houses, now turned into restaurants, bars, and cafés.

Photo of the clear waters of Limeni Beach, Mani, Peloponnese, Greece
Limeni Beach, Mani, Peloponnese, Greece

This is where sea turtles come to play with swimmers. Rocky platforms for leaving your towels, but the sands of the sea bottom here are things made of dreams. A must when visiting the Peloponnese.

Where to eat:

Thodora’s Place – Greek food and cold beers next to the sea at its best.

Photo of a bowl containign Dakos salad at Thodora's Place, Mani, Greece
Dakos salad at Thodora’s Place, Mani, Greece

Where to stay:

I’m yet to find a bad hotel in Limeni. I love the dramatic stone tower and winding pool area of 4-star Pirgos Mavromichali, but I also love the rooms, bar, views, terrace, and room service (!) of the Trapela Limeni Luxury Suites.

14. Foneas Beach – Mani

Foneas is the most interesting beach in the Kardamili area due to the presence of a monolith – a huge rock just a few meters from the shoreline. It also has pebbles, azure waters, and a landscape of sheer natural beauty.

Photo of Foenas Beach, Foneas, Greece
Foenas Beach, Foneas, Greece

A canteen on the beach makes longer stays possible, as there are no beach bars, beach umbrellas, or sun loungers to rent. Tends to get very busy during August.

TIP: Visit a nearby mansion of Patrick and Joan Leigh Fermor that now belongs to Benaki Museum of Athens. Superb beachside villa turned cultural center.

Photo of the exterior and garden of the Patrick and Joan Leigh Fermor house, Foneas, Greece
Patrick and Joan Leigh Fermor house, Foneas, Greece

Where to eat:

Foneas Canteen.

Where to stay:

Stay in Kardamili, my choice is either Diapori Suites Hotel which is only 150 meters from the beach and has an average guest rating of 9.6 for this 4-star property with sea-view rooms and a lovely pool area, or for a romantic stay, the discreet luxury Katikies Manis which is beautifully decorated and within a large landscaped estate, at a very reasonable price.

15. Kalogria Beach – Mani

Kalogria is the best-known large and organized beach in Mani of a postcard natural beauty.

Picture by a drone of Kalogria beach, Mani, Greece
Kalogria Beach, Mani, Greece

Full of taverns, bars, cafes, and watersports spread out around a long stretch of fine soft sand, this place is great for an active beach day and for watching the sunset. One of the most visited beaches in the area.  

Where to stay:

Wonderful Petras Gi – 4-star stone houses 90 meters from the beach, and the Kolokotronis Hotel & Spa with individual stone houses, on-site bar and restaurant, and only 350 meters away from Kalogria beach.

16. Voidokilia Beach and Gialova Lagoon – Pylos Region

A star of Peloponnese unusual seashores, this place is topping the list of the world’s best beaches. It is shaped like the Greek letter Omega (Ω) and in its narrowest part, its white sand-covered dunes almost touch the sweet waters of Gialova lagoon.

Photo at sunset of Voidokilia Beach and Gialova Lagoon, Pylos Region, Greece
Voidokilia Beach and Gialova Lagoon, Pylos Region, Greece

Sandy beach ends in hills on both sides, forming a natural gate-like landscape that is one of the most instagrammable places in Greece. The ruined castle, thyme, sage, oregano and bay leaf bushes that rise above the beach together make this scene mesmerizing.

TIP: Free parking. Drive carefully to Voidokilia as the road is good, but not paved.

Where to eat:

Bring your own supplies, as no amenities on the beach

Where to stay:

Spectacular Costa Navarino Resort. Pricey, but one of the most luxurious resorts in Greece, and the first Mandarin Oriental property in Greece.

A Final Few Stunning Beaches

I hope I’ve helped you narrow down where you might like to base yourself in the Peloponnese for your next holiday. Peloponnese is so huge, that you could spend a decade-worth of summers and still not explore all of its charms and beautiful beaches. If on a longer trip, visit these best Peloponnese beaches too:

  • Itilo beach – (Neon Oitylo), Stoupa
  • Selinitsa beach – Selinitsa beach is in Gytheio
  • Foinikounta beach – near Kalamata