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There are quite a number of reasons why Greece has become the premier destination in the entire European continent. The country boasts such tranquil and crystal-clear waters that are deep blue and unbelievably transparent with water visibility up to 30 to 40 meters, so no wonder why snorkeling is Greece is simply a must when you are vacationing here. If water activities are high on your priority list, this Greece snorkeling guide will tell you what are the best places to visit!
Best time to go snorkeling in Greece
However Greece is a year-round vacation destination; you should know that the sea is not always nice and warm. The best water temperatures for snorkeling in Greece occur here from June through October. Your optimal weather for water activities is actually August which is this summer season, when the combinations of temperature, wind, and light are most ideal for snorkeling in these beautiful Mediterranean islands.
The air temps average between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (24-27C) at this time, while the sea is between 73-82F/23-28C. It is important to add that that sea temps vary depending on the region. The Aegean and Ionian Seas in the north are always a little colder than that Mediterranean Sea in the south, so remember this information when organizing your Greece snorkeling trip.
Greece’s best snorkeling places
The Greek coastline is huge at nearly 8,550 miles (13,676 kilometers) in total and the country provides visitors with choices of around 6,000 islands both large and small. Given this huge quantities of beautiful islands with their accompanying peninsulas and bays that all craft optimal snorkeling and diving environments, it might seem to be difficult to decide where to go, so here are the best places to start with!
The largest of Greek islands by far, Crete boasts many beaches that are ideal for water activities, especially the north coast which is far more inhabited and accessible. Lying immediately on the outskirts of Lefkogia village is Skinaria Beach, which delivers among the best snorkeling in Greece today. The beach is also referred to as Shinaria, but whatever name you call it by, it delivers a little stretch of powdery sand and also pebbles lapped by crystal blue Mediterranean waters.
The submarine flora and fauna here are simply incredible and begging to be explored. Besides the fantastic environment for snorkeling, there are also many tidal pools that appear on the shores. Kids are sure to love exploring and playing in these, making it an ideal family beach destination as well.
Hotel recommendation: Schoinaria Bay Apartment
As far as the seabed goes, you will likely swim with octopus, morays, and many kinds of fish and other sea life. It makes it one of the best Greece snorkeling places, so you should not be surprised that there are also bound to be many divers along the snorkeling trail. After your underwater adventure is over, the tavern concession on the beach provides good drinks and snacks as well as sun umbrellas and chase lounges.
Tip: Learn what other places are worth to visit from our Crete snorkeling guide!
Corfu is the most Italian cultured Greek island. It was ruled for hundreds of years by Venice, from the final tragic fall of Byzantium almost until the founding of the modern country of Greece. Many of the local inhabitants still speak fluent Italian as a result, and the island town of Corfu’s architecture is decidedly Italian to the core. This verdant gem of an island boasts a variety of beaches that provide superb snorkeling in Greece.
The best Corfu snorkeling spot is undoubtedly Avlaki Beach, there are also strong other contenders in Rodovani Beach (which is detracted by the fact it can only be accessed by boat), Bataria Beach, and Agios Georgios Beach (renowned for its excellent paddle boarding, windsurfing, and catamaran sailing besides snorkeling).
As far as Avlaki Beach goes, the sands are pebbly and the waterway is narrow. This little bay proves to be very popular with the local Corfu crowd who love that you can also hire a boat for your snorkeling adventure. Besides crystal clear views of the amazing marine life found here, you can also partake of a sailing lesson from this beach. Avlaki also boasts two excellent taverns overlooking the beach that provide fine lunch and dinner options. Our accommodation tip here is the Villa Breeze private holiday home.
The largest of the Ionian Islands has the most photographed beaches in whole Greece featuring lush pine forests and sparkling azure waters. If we need to highlight just one, it would be Foki Beach that is not only one of the best snorkeling spots in Kefalonia but ranks among the finest diving sites in the whole of the 6,000 Greek islands. The surroundings of cliffs and serene native woodlands create a private shelter for this beautiful beach, which does not front the open sea.
The downside of course is that so much perfect beauty draws in hordes of snorkelers, particularly the case in peak summer months. The trip out here is well worth it though to take in the exotic and beautiful flora and fauna that live here.
Tip: Make sure to check out the Melmar View Hotel if you are looking for a place to stay in the area!
Woody Zakynthos is one of the larger Greek islands and lies in the south of the Ionian Sea between Greece and Italy. It is famed for its stunning beaches that provide ample nesting sites to the endangered Caretta Sea Turtle. The island is extremely mountainous, providing dramatic backgrounds for pictures.
Zakynthos is covered by fertile grasslands that are now cultivated with vineyards, lemon trees, and olive groves. The coasts sandy beaches and rocky cliffs provide many marine caves that are wonderful for snorkelers to explore. Besides all of this and immaculately clear waters, you get a few great snorkeling sites around Laganas on the island’s south coast, but the best underwater landscape you get at Gerakas Beach which is the finest snorkeling beach on the island.
This most southerly lying stretch of sand is also the one with the lowest amount of artificial development. It makes it a prime nesting ground for the Caretta turtles from the months of May to October. This is the place to go if you want a chance to swim with turtles in Greece. By coming early in the morning, you can witness the incredible site of the baby hatchlings waddling their way across the sands to the freedom of the sea.
The beach remains an incredible home for all forms of marine life, making it the most idyllic snorkeling place of Zakynthos. Shallow and calm seas ensure that snorkelers of all skill levels can partake of the fun and beauty.
Tip: should you look for a traditionally-built holiday house here, the Porto Gerakas Villas is worth to check!
Paros is a lesser-known Greek island to many, but it still boasts a world-class snorkeling spot found in Kolymbithres Beach. This island is blessedly quiet and low on tourist crowds. The beach itself proves to be a group of secluded coves strung around the granite rock formations found here. Should you not like the first cove that you come to, you can undertake a short trek in order to find a better one. You are sure to be satisfied eventually.
After a hard afternoon spent snorkeling the beautiful, empty, crystalline waters, do not neglect to enjoy one of the lovely beach front restaurants found here. They could call their daily catch at these establishments the catch from several hours ago. The fish on offer here are so very fresh that you will hardly believe it.
Hotel tip on Paros: Saint Andrea Resort Hotel
Naxos is an incredible island above and below the water line. You could spend your entire trip out of the water and never grow bored between the incomparable ancient world archaeological sites, incredible beaches, and charming alleys and streets of the whitewashed island capital Chora. The sandy beach of Agios Prokopios is a great draw for tourists, but snorkelers are better served by the rocky beaches that deliver incredible visibility even in the busy summer season.
It is the west coast of Naxos that provides the best snorkeling opportunities. These are best to undertake at either Aliko Beach or Abram Beach that lie beyond the Apollonas village and near Grotta Beach. It is possible to see the ancient remains of the old Mycenaean city of Naxos beneath the water here.
For expert snorkelers, Grotta Beach is a delight. Be warned that the currents here prove to be very strong. On the eastern side of the island, you can go snorkeling at great spots like the aquamarine cove of Lionas. Azalas Beach is another great one that is encircled by rock formations. Finally, Moutsouna provides more of the finest snorkeling around Naxos waters that are so very clear that the boats above seem like they are floating atop the water.
This little island gem in the Cyclades became famous for its vivid nightlife and superb party scene, but it is a surprisingly good snorkeling destination too!
No matter what you look for, a close-to-center place with bars and restaurants around or a secluded spot, there are nice beaches here for everyone who wants to put on a mask and explore the clear waters and interesting marine life of the Aegean Sea. To learn what places we recommend to visit, read our Mykonos snorkeling article!
Tip: Another popular island in the Cyclades is Santorini that features impressive volcanic sandy beaches. If you are considering to visit this destination too, make sure to read our Santorini snorkeling guide!
Kos is actually a smaller island of the Dodecanese. Lying off the coast of Rhodes and Turkey, the beautiful Kos Town has a bus station from which you can easily catch a ride to their best snorkeling beaches. The one that you want is a rocky stretch found on the island’s south west. If you take the bus going to Therma and exit close to the Agios Fokas Beach Club, you will find the spot.
The waters here are perfectly clear but often cold. Currents are gentle. On this snorkel trail you will see many smaller fish and marine life. Farther out to sea, the fish get larger. You should be a confident and experienced swimmer and snorkeler to venture out more. The bus trip from Kos Town is only 15 minutes to your stop of this excellent Greece snorkeling beach.
Our hotel tip in Agios Fokas: Michelangelo Resort & Spa
Rhodes just could be the perfect island for any types of vacation and also one of the best Greek islands for snorkeling. It offers world-renowned walled cities in Rhodes Town and Lindos, stunning medieval crusader castles dotting the island’s coasts, ancient world ruins on the acropolis, and so much night life (over 600 bars and night clubs) that it has the most bars per capita anywhere in Greece if not all of Europe.
The second largest Greek island boasts a number of great snorkeling spots from which you can choose (or visit them all if you have a week here). Anthony Quinn Bay is among the finest snorkeling beaches on Rhodes. (Hint: the Atalanti Boutique Hotel is one of the best places to stay nearby) It lies right out of resort town Faliraki, a mere 10 miles (15 kilometers) from the town. Other good choices on the island (depending on which part of it you are staying on) include Kallithea, Haraki Beach, and St. Paul’s Bay Beach in Lindos on the island’s far southeast.
Thassos is the farthest north major Greek island lying in the north Aegean Sea. Those who are interested in snorkeling should not miss out visiting Aliki that consists of three different beaches. The best ones for snorkelers are Aliki Beach 2 and Aliki Beach 3. These are simply spectacular places.
The waters are stunningly clear with a depth amounting to from 10 to 20 or meters. Fans of this beach have called the underwater vista akin to something out of the Lord of the Rings cinematography. This landscape lies in a secluded outcrop of rocks in between Aliki 2 and 3 beaches, around 300 meters off the beach of Aliki 2. This supernatural looking underwater landscape is considered to be among the most beautiful and unique snorkeling in Greece.
Lodging tip near Aliki: Gorgona Rooms
For great snorkeling sites, Lefkada presents the cove surrounding Ammoussa Beach, which is protected by its longer sea walls that stop seasonal winds from stirring up the waters. A pebbled beach fronts the crystal clear blue Ionian Sea that is perfect for snorkeling adventures. After you finish your day in the water, a beach bar here provides food and drinks by way of refreshments.
There is also a concession renting umbrellas and chase loungers. This beach is somewhat remote lying 10 minutes away from the closest village. If this isolated spot is not quite empty enough for you, try Agiofili Beach.
Tip: our favorite accommodation near Ammoussa Beach is the Amarandos Villas!
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