Thessaloniki’s beaches are an absolute pleasure for travelers of all ages to visit. Picture white-sand shores kissed by the brilliant azure waters of the Aegean Sea, backed by fragrant pines.
Mount Olympus, the mythological home of the Greek gods and goddesses, can be seen in the distance from a number of these sandy havens. Dolphins swim in these waters and can occasionally be seen from the shore, leaping through the waves.
Here are some of the best beaches near Thessaloniki to visit.
When they’re not cavorting around Mykonos or Santorini, fashionable jet-setters often make their way to Sani, one of the most atmospheric Thessaloniki beaches, an hour to the south in the Halkidiki region.
Sani may not be the closest to the city, but what it lacks in convenience, it more than makes up for in scenery.
From its sugary white sands to its unimpeded view of Mount Olympus above aquamarine waters, Sani is truly stunning. Make your way past the sea grass-crowned sand dunes and scruffy pines to set up camp for the day on the sand.
In contrast to some of the other coastal areas around Thessaloniki, the ambiance at Sani is decidedly more upscale.
A number of sophisticated eateries can be found within walking distance of the ocean, with cuisines ranging from Japanese to Peruvian to artful interpretations of Greek’s renowned seafood dishes. The settings here often feel reminiscent of the Balaerics, with photo-ready open-air dining rooms that would appear right at home on Formentera.
Situated a 40-minute drive from Thessaloniki and accessible by local taxi or bus, Nea Kallikratia is perfect for a low-key day by the sea. Unlike some Greek beaches, which cater more to a party crowd as the day winds down, this sandy expanse is great for travelers with kids.
Although the area certainly caters to international visitors, it’s every bit as popular with local families, many of whom have summer homes here. The beach has Blue Flag status, meaning the water quality is excellent.
One of the most iconic beaches within reach of Thessaloniki, Epanomi Beach is well-worth the 40-minute drive.
As with many of the more popular seashores, a city bus can also transport you to these sands, but the journey will be on the lengthy side. Taxis and ridesharing services are generally affordable here and can cut the travel time in half, which may be wise for visitors looking to maximize their day.
Epanomi Beach may not exactly be an under-the-radar gem, but there are good reasons why this is one of the most-loved and most heavily frequented beaches in the entire region. With its powder-soft sand that glitters in all directions for as far as the eye can see, this beach is a natural wonder.
The gin-clear waters of this Greek beach are great for swimming, and the lifeguards, parking spaces, and restrooms make Epanomi Beach a practical choice. While the Thermaic Gulf is reasonably placid in most areas, the deeper left end of the beach sometimes sees larger waves, perfect for kite and wind-surfing.
As difficult as it may be to tear yourself away from the beach itself, the town of Epanomi brims with charm.
With a history stretching back to the Neolithic period, the second-largest city in Macedonia has much for culture vultures to explore. Spend a few hours meandering along these ancient streets before pausing at a local café or taverna.
If you find yourself in need of a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, do as the Greeks do and order a frappé. This slushy beverage blends instant coffee, milk, sugar, and water into a marvelously refreshing hit of caffeine.
Should you find yourself craving something a little stronger, order up a glass of the classic Retsina, a dry white wine that owes its highly distinctive flavor profile to the sap of Aleppo pine trees.
To the uninitiated, Retsina can be something of an acquired taste. Those who love it, however, appreciate it for its fragrant, haunting undertones of pine, and a saline quality that makes one long for the seashore.
Sometimes referred to as Mykoniatika Beach, this sandy oasis in the Haldikini area has charm to spare. Adrenaline junkies and active travelers will want to check out the watersports center, which stocks a range of equipment for surfing, snorkeling, and other aquatic pursuits.
Geoponika Beach is located approximately a 40-minute drive from Thessaloniki. It’s a good option for wheelchair users, with access to the water and lifeguards in attendance.
One of the most popular beaches near Thessaloniki, Perea Beach boasts beautiful, honey-hued sand that extends for more than a mile.
Expect to see orderly, colorful sun loungers and umbrellas arrayed along the length of this popular shoreline. While the space and options are abundant, you may want to head here early in the day during high season in order to stake out the best spot.
Perea Beach happens to be one of the busier coastal spots in the area, with a lively selection of beach bars that dole out beats and cocktails as the afternoon winds down. Earlier in the day, the vibe is a little bit more relaxed.
Since this beach and the nearby town are well-developed, expect all of the necessary facilities, plus plenty of drinking and dining options. Situated only a half-hour drive from Thessaloniki, Perea Beach also is one of the most easily accessible options for a day trip.
If you’re looking for the perfect trophy Instagram shot from your Greek holiday, search no further than this beautiful beach near Epanomi.
The turquoise waters of the Thermaic Gulf that lap gently against Potamos Beach are nothing short of dazzling here. Expect to see plenty of fellow shutterbugs pointing their cameras at Mount Olympus, one of the best mountains in Greece, rising majestically in the distance.
Although there are a few pebbles here and there, Potamos Beach is mostly blessed with golden sand, which extends for nearly half a mile. The waters here are tranquil and largely free of powerful undercurrents or strong waves. It’s equally perfect for swimming or strolling with a cool drink in hand.
Potamos Beach is roughly a 50-minute drive from Thessaloniki, making it ideal for an easy day trip. City buses run from Thessaloniki during the high season.
Agia Triada Beach
If you’re slightly short on time but still longing for a moment of seaside bliss, the Agia Triada Beach has the advantage of being very easily accessible from Thessaloniki. While it’s possible to take a local bus to check out this beach, the easiest option by far is a 30-minute car ride.
As you might expect from a seashore located so close to a populous city, Agia Triada Beach can get a bit crowded, especially on weekends and public holidays. Nevertheless, it makes for a perfectly lovely day trip.
One of the advantages of this particular beach is that it has especially well-developed infrastructure. A series of informal bars, cafés, and eateries line the beach, meaning that it’s easy to spend an afternoon sipping Greek wine under a sun umbrella.
Neoi Epivates Beach
This mile-plus-long beach attached to Perea is located approximately a 40-minute drive from Thessaloniki.
Public buses are available, but a more enjoyable mode of public transportation here is the boat that leaves from the city once each day. Lifeguards keep a watchful eye over the water, which is calm enough to swim with peace of mind, and there are ample restrooms and other basic facilities.
Pine trees fringe the edges of the beach. As with many of the beaches in the area, seafood-forward eateries pouring up wine and raki are plentiful along the edge of this sandy shore.
Although a number of these bars stay open late, they never quite reach the decibel or energy levels of some of their neighbors down in the Perea area.
Agios Mamas Beach
Located roughly a 50-minute drive from Thessaloniki, Agios Mamas is a gorgeous, pebble-strewn expanse running along the cerulean waters of the Toroneos Gulf. The waters here are clean and shallow.
The beach and the adjacent village lie nestled between the peninsulas of Halkidiki, which means they’re sheltered from stronger waves. The facilities here are well-maintained and cover all of your beach-day needs.
You could easily spend the entire day at this modest-sized, but justifiably popular beach. Should you finish your paperback read or feel inclined to go for a stroll, the village itself is definitely worth a wander. A little farther away is the Olynthus archeological site, which features a number of relics from the Bronze Age.
With its crystal-clear waters and pebbly shore, Sozopolis Beach is a great option for travelers interested in checking out the Halkidiki area. Plan on spending around 40 minutes in a taxi in order to reach this spot. The available facilities are less developed than some beaches, but perfectly adequate.
Clustered along the edges of the beach are the usual assortment of informal tavernas, the unfussy Greek eateries that specialize in seafood, mezze, and salads, perfect for a day in the sunshine.
Order the classic Greek salad—which, unlike its iterations abroad, comes with a whole block of creamy feta—and grilled fish dripping with lemon and olive oil.
If you’re feeling bold, or simply need a digestive to wash it all down, order a Tsipouro for sipping. This distinctive form of brandy was invented by 14th-century Greek Orthodox monks.
Their somewhat enigmatic order still lives in relative seclusion on the slopes of Mount Athos, a holy site that is still largely closed off to visitors outside of the religious order. Fiery and complex, their elixir still makes for the perfect end of a meal.
Somewhat less crowded than Agia Triada Beach, but almost as easy to get to, this sandy stretch of coastline makes for a great alternative. For visitors who rent a car or take an Uber, the beach is about 40 minutes from the city itself. It is also accessible by local buses, although the journey takes more than twice as long.
Angelochori Beach is especially popular with watersports enthusiasts, who often venture here for surfing and kite-surfing. For travelers with little ones more inclined to a leisurely beach day, Angecholori Beach has shallow, placid waters safe for splashing around in for the afternoon.
While Angecholori Beach does not have quite as extensive facilities as some other nearby shorelines here, visitors will still find plenty of parking, clean restrooms, and sun loungers.
Dining options are somewhat limited, but Riviera Beach Bar, on a sandy point, has a breezy, beachy vibe. You’ll find Greek salads, steaks, fresh fish, and pasta on the menu here.
As a bonus, the place often hosts live music performances and other events. Another stretch of sand, Riviera Virgin Beach, extends beyond the bar.
Generations of sea-faring voyagers have sailed the coastline around Thessaloniki. To this day, one of the best ways to experience this beautiful place and its famous beaches is on a luxury cruise. Browse our luxury cruises to Thessaloniki and book your next adventure today.