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Five Natural Pools on the Greek Islands to Discover This Summer

Greek islands natural pools
The Greek islands are full of beautiful natural pools, like this one at Sarakiniko Beach on Milos. Credit: dronepicr / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

For those heading to the Mediterranean this summer, there can be no better way to enjoy the glimmering azure waters than with a plunge into one of the many natural pools across the Greek islands.

These pools are typically formed by natural rock formations or cliffs and are filled with crystal-clear, turquoise waters. They are the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoy a few hours surrounded by natural beauty.

Each Greek island offers its own unique charm and enchantment, and the natural pools that have formed on many of them make the islands ideal destinations for those seeking a peaceful and scenic swimming experience.

Gala Beach, Ano Koufonissi

Gala Beach is a hidden gem on Greece’s Ano Koufonissi island in the Aegean Sea. The beach is comprised of a massive white-washed rock which the waters of the Aegean have sculpted into intriguing shapes throughout the centuries.

This natural rocky sculpture has created a tiny beach inside the very rock, creating a natural ”swimming pool” of sorts, which takes on some of the most spectacular colors, depending on the weather and the sunlight.

The waves which crash onto the outer side of the cliff manage somehow to come under it as well, and they flow through it to the other side, forming a pool full of seawater enclosed by the rocky ”walls” of the island’s terrain.

Due to the white sand of the area and the color of the rock, the water that comes into this natural pool sometimes takes on a shimmering, pearly tone which is also similar to the color of milk. This is why the beach is called Gala, since ”gala” (γάλα) in Greek means ”milk.”

Sarakiniko, Milos

Sarakiniko Beach, on the Greek island of Milos, is a favorite spot for photoshoots and videos, owing to the moon-like landscape created by its natural pools.

The incredible formations of the grayish-white volcanic rock are sculpted into remarkable shapes by the force of waves propelled by north winds.

Many people liken this area to a lunar landscape due to its striking resemblance. Unsurprisingly, it is one of the most photographed places in the Aegean.

Sarakiniko Beach
Sarakiniko BeachCredit: dronepicr / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Kalypso, Crete

Kalypso Beach is to be found in the southern part of Rethymno in Crete, Greece’s biggest island. Here, the waters of the Aegean have cut a narrow channel inland, forming a natural pool of clear blue water.

Kalypso was previously a popular hideout for pirates. Consequently, some of the locals refer to it as “Pirate’s Fjord”. There are no longer any pirates in the cove but there is plenty of marine life to admire.

The secluded spot is an excellent place to relax and unwind. For the more adventurous, there are opportunities to go snorkeling or enjoy a range of water sports.

Seitan Limania, Crete

As the largest of the Greek islands, Crete is home to several beaches with natural pools and coves. Seitan Limania is another impressive example, located on the northeast side of the Akrotiri peninsula in the western portion of the island.

The name of this particular beach is Turkish in origin and roughly translates to “Devil’s Port”. The name dates back to the Ottoman occupation of the island which ended in 1898.

Seitan Limania is certainly a destination for the more adventurous traveler. It is not an organized beach so visitors are advised to bring their own food, drinks, and other items for personal comfort. The goats will probably share your packed lunch.

Giola Lagoon, Thassos

Giola is a natural pool formed by rocky formations and can be found in the Astris area on the Greek island of Thassos.

The rocks surrounding the pool rise up to a height of 8 meters, providing an opportunity for confident swimmers to dive into the pristine and transparent waters.

Access to Giola requires a short drive along a dirt track followed by a hike down a rocky path, and it is recommended to wear appropriate footwear and exercise caution.

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