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Greek beaches among Europe's best

Four fabulous Greek Island beaches have made it into the top dozen beaches list for Europe, according to the website European Best Destinations.

The site runs up a list of top European holiday beaches every year but this is the first time Greek beaches have snapped up a third of the places in 2016.

And one place in the list has been handed to a whole island as the Ionian island of Zante takes a whole beach award for itself.

The following Greek beaches are considered as among the dozen most beautiful beaches in Europe for 2016, according to the European Best Destinations.

Kalamitsi Beach, Lefkas

Also called Kavalikefta, Kalamitsi is one of the prettiest beaches on the Ionian island of Lefkas and found about 15 km south-west of the central town of Lefkada.

Crystal waters and white sand make the beach ideal for swimming and sunbathing while rock formations close to the shore offer variety and give a wild aspect to the beach.

Lefkas is known for its white sand beaches and small coves lined with picturesque fishing villages.

Sailing and yachting are big on Lefkas and the modern marina in the town of Lefkada berths up to 620 vessels,

With some lovely islands such as Meganissi nearby and with countless beach coves, many consider Lefkas a Greek Island paradise.

Apela Beach, Karpathos

Slightly off the usual tourist trail the island of Karpathos is found in the most south part of Dodecanese complex, between Crete and Rhodes.

Karpathos is a mountainous island with the highest peak at Kali Limni reaching 1,214 metres.

The island brims with fresh water springs, forests of pines, vineyards, olives and citrus groves.

Pristine waters in the many rock caves are home to the endangered Mediterranean seal species ╬ťonachus monachus.

It's quite a large island covering more than 300 square kilometres and with a 106-kilometre long coastline. But with only 6,500 inhabitants it's one of the less populated Greek islands: a place for peace and quiet.

Kokkari Beach, Samos

Kokkari is a former fishing harbour on Samos, which has grown into a major tourist centre.

Samos sits in the north east Aegean, just off the coast of Turkey, a large mountainous island with a great variety of landscape.

Despite the tourist influx of recent years, Kokkari preserves its traditional fishing village feel, with small houses and narrow lanes full of flowers.

The beach lines on a small peninsula which climbs to the top of a hill with a small harbour on one side and a long pebble beach on the other.

Backed by forested mountains Kokkari is one of the several coastal villages with nearby Platanakia and Staurinides connected by narrow lanes and or small paths.

In fact, Samos is covered in hiking trails that lead all over the island to hidden pebble beaches, such as Tsamadou, Tsambou, and Lemonakia.

Zakynthos Island

Well, it's not often that a whole Greek island gets beach award but Zante has so any beaches of such varied character that the website seems unable to distinguish any of them.

This green Ionian island is endowed with fertile valleys and a temperate climate where heavy winter rains ensure greenery is abundance throughout the hot summers.

Sandy beaches lie in secluded coves on the island's southeastern shore while the west coast boasts rugged cliffs and deep caves.

Other top European beaches that make the list are Stiniva Beach on Vis Island, Croatia; Tossa de Mar on the Costa Brava in Spain; The Concha at San Sebastian in Spain; Berlanga Island in Portugal; Cala Acciarino on Lavezzi Island in Corsica; Armaçao de Pera Beach in the Algarve, Portugal; Santa Maria Dell' Isola in Calabria, Italy and beaches on the Ksamil Islands off Albania.

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