Ahhh, Greece. Beautiful sunsets. Ocean breezes. Gorgeous, lazy beach days with the cool blue Mediterranean lapping at your toes (if you’re into that sort of thing, you perv.) Sounds idyllic, and it is. But first you have to decide which island to visit. And with 6,000 to choose from (227 if you insist on one that’s inhabited), prepare for some hyperventilation and heavy drinking. Okay, heavier drinking. Before you mix up another saucy one, relax. Traveler Broads got you. We scoped out the two best beaches on two of Greece’s most popular islands — Santorini versus Mykonos — and here’s how they stack up.
Platys Gialos, Mykonos
Location: This bustling beach is a lengthy taxi ride — or much shorter water taxi ride — from the high season party epicenters of Paradise and Tropicana. Easy transit to Mykonos Town for nightlife.
Booze sitch: Cheap beers in freaking vending machines! A call button for the bartender on your sun shade. Expect to pay a premium for cocktails.
Crowds: Great people watching, because there are a lot of people. (The older ones might be naked). Prepare to claim adjacent sunbeds early and shoo away vendors.
To Do: Adventure sports like jet skis and those water boot things you have to be insane to try. Restaurants host “Greek dance nights” where they make you hold hands and opah! a lot.
Scenery: Beautiful bay, very calm water. Hotel development, but no mega resorts.
Great for: Epic birthday and bachelorette parties.
Tips: Stay at the Acrogiali. Great rooms with much needed blackout curtains and incredibly helpful staff. If you can’t stomach the cocktail prices, a handy little beachfront convienience store is a few doors down from the hotel.
Location: The laid back and lengthy stretch of beach is a simple bus ride from more touristy destinations like Kamari and Thira. It’s part of a walkable pair of beaches that includes Perissa.
Vibe: Low key bohemian. Backpackers and beach bums fit right in.
Booze sitch: Beach bars serving food and cheap beer (for the most part) run the length of Perivolos, but you have to get your own.
Crowds: In the shoulder season, you’ll feel like you have the beach to yourself.
To Do: We were too busy relaxing our faces off and posing for obnoxious pictures to check into extreme watersports or snorkeling tours, which are available.
Scenery: Striking black sand beach, calm water and sea views stretching on forever. (Well, technically until the island of Anafi.) Minimal, one-story development.
Great for: Peaceful beachgoers young enough to party but grown up enough to keep their shit together — most of the time.
Tips: In the high season, beach parties go until 2 a.m. Wet Stories (yeah, we’re not sure about the name either) is the “it” bar, serving up chic cocktails and loungey music.
We had a great time at both, because beach. But it never hurts to know what you’re getting into. Now, back to those saucy ones.