The Ultimate Athens Rivera Travel Guide

Athens Riviera

Athens Riviera Athens

The Destination

The hotspot of the city not only during summer but all-year round, the Athenian Riviera is a diversified coastline that expands from areas in close proximity to the centre of the city, such as Glyfada and Voula, and stretches up to the eastern part of Attica’s region, Sounio, Lavrio and Porto Rafti.

Literally an endless coast, Athens Riviera is laced with thousands of beaches, organized or not, small coves and numerous resorts that host the summer vibe of the entire prefecture. Popular and beautiful, this is Athens’ most favourite spot for the citizens of the city as well as its foreign visitors from April to October.

Unparalleled beauty, pristine beaches, coastal settlements where you will find anything you may need, the Athenian Riviera is the crème de la crème of the city: a magical transportation from Athens’s ancient legacy to an insular bliss that is easily and quickly accessible by car, any time of the day.

Traverse its alluring charm with eyes on the horizon and the shimmering, endless sea. Dive in the distinctive ambience of each area and soothe your body and soul. Live the Athenian Riviera experience!

Highlights

Athenian Riviera Highlights

Glyfada

The most cosmopolitan area of southern Athens, Glyfada is an extraordinary resort only 30’ by car from the centre of the city boasting a remarkable commercial district, some of the most popular spots for gastronomical and drinking experiences and a remarkably beautiful neighbourhood with charming buildings, vast gardens, large roads and a hype ambience. Plus, it boasts numerous beaches for endless busking in the sun.

 

Vouliagmeni

Further to the south of Glyfada, Vouliagmeni is the elite region of Attica with a fairytale ambience drenched in lush vegetation, mansion-like houses and villas and a setting that combines the refreshing aura of the forest and the rejuvenating sea breeze. Its coastal part hosts multiple beaches and small coves and the popular Lake Vouliagmeni is also here: a beautiful setting nestled within the cliffs of the area and a tranquil ambience for a refreshing swim or a cup of coffee.

 

Varkiza

Next stop is Varkiza where the actual summer living begins. Perched by the homonymous bay with its shimmering waters, Varkiza is a charming resort with a vast non-organized beach and another large, organized coast with multiple bars, cafes and restaurants. Its smaller coves are perfect for snorkelling while, here, you will enjoy mouthwatering meals varying from meat creations to fish and seafood dishes.

Lagonissi

The renowned cosmopolitan resort of Attica with its sunkissed beaches and charming neighbourhoods. Lagonissi has been one of the most ancient municipalities in Attica and while it was abandoned for many decades, during the ‘60s Lagonissi was inhabited again both as a summer resort and a permanent residence area. Its crystal-clear waters, mostly sandy beaches and beautiful landscape along with the numerous beach bars and cozy restaurants have made it a must-visit for summer. Plus, its waters are ideal for snorkelling and diving.

 

Saronida

One of the Athenian’s most favourite summer resorts as most of them visit their summer homes here. A charming settlement right above the sea, with multiple eat & drink spots, supermarkets and, even, open air cinemas. Saronida is partially built on a slope and ascending its main road, away from the coast, will lead you in the highest area from where you will enjoy unbeatable views to the bays that come after Saronida.

 

Sounion

The most sacred, legendary area of Athens Riviera, Sounion was first mentioned by Homer as the “Holy Sounion”. The southernmost tip of Attica’s peninsula, Sounion boasts one of antiquity’s most precious monuments: the ancient Temple of Poseidon. The monument is built on the rim of a hill right above the sea and offers awe-inspiring panoramic views. About 70km from Athens centre, Sounion should be in any visitors’ touring list as it combines culture with summer bliss. Its beautiful beaches and pristine coves along with some of the top proposals for gastronomical delights.

 

Porto Rafti

On the southeastern part of Attica, you will find Porto Rafti, an insular-like resort built right above the coast. Another ancient settlement whose remains, Necropolis, are found till today including a large ancient public building and baths. Porto Rafti is surrounded by multiple beautiful beaches and boasts numerous cafes and restaurants right by the sea. Avlaki, one of the area’s coasts, is a beautiful sandy, organized beach and bursts with life especially during summer months.

 

Lavrio & Rafina

Lavrio is a region with deep ancient history as it has been one of the main ports of the prefecture since antiquity. Moreover, Lavrion was a thriving ancient industrial city with silver mining facilities and silver currency production for ancient Athens. Part of the modern settlement has been characterized as a traditional settlement while it is one of Eastern Attica’s most vibrant cities nowadays. Likewise, Rafina boasts an important ancient history as it has been inhabited since the prehistoric times and remnants of its past glory are still visited in various sites. Rafina is Attica’s second large port on the Eastern coast and, as such, it is a town bursting with life all year round. In both Lavrio and Rafina visitors will find large commercial districts and numerous choices for eat and drink.

 

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In Details

Starting a road trip from Athens’ southern suburbs, a world of summer bliss will unfold before your eyes creating the impression that you are on an island rather than Greece’s capital prefecture, Attica. An endless road starting from Glyfada, Voula and Vouliagmeni will take you to the unbeatable settings of the entire Athens Riviera extending to the southernmost part, Sounion.

Countless beaches, rocky or sandy, organized or unspoilt, small coves and bays offering total isolation and the ideal waters for plunging, diving and snorkelling, all scattered within the 100km of Attica’s coastal road that traverses the southern and eastern part of the peninsula. On your way you will find numerous settlements, all with their own distinctive character, abundant restaurants by the sea serving fish and sea food, countless beach bars perched above the coast or right on the beach and several private hideaways for enjoying a calm day by the sea.

The area of Athens Riviera also bursts with culture and history and hosts some of ancient Greece’s most treasured monuments and sightseeing spots. Walk through the streets of Lavrion and admire the traditional architecture; head to the Temple of Poseidon in Sounion and feel the awe of this ancient monument combined with the breathtaking panoramic views; have a good taste of summer living in Saronida and Porto Rafti; the options are endless for either a one-day excursion or your entire summer holiday. But one thing is for sure: this will be one of the most convenient, fun and carefree experiences you’ll have in Athens!

Best beaches at the Athens Riviera

Astir

One of Athens’ most cosmopolitan organized beaches, Astir Beach is found at the small peninsula of Vouliagmeni, Lemos, and it takes its name from the Astir Beach Hotel. Mesmerising golden sand, premium facilities and clean, soothing waters only 30’ from Athens centre. The place to be for the lovers of cosmopolitan living!

 

Vouliagmeni

Popular among youngsters and families with children, the organized beach of Vouliagmeni offers anything you have imagined: cabins, volley and tennis courts, water slides and a children’s play area are among the facilities of the beach. Here you will also find a restaurant while in the wider area there are numerous cafes, restaurants and pastry shops. A summer heaven only 23km from the centre of the city!

 

Vouliagmeni Lake

Encircled by lushly vegetated slopes, the lake of Vouliagmeni is popular among Athenians as its soothing, cold waters are the best alternative to the Saronic Sea that lies just a few steps away. A fairytale-like scenery with thermal waters, a labyrinth cave at the edge of the lake whose end has not yet been discovered, 14 cave tunnels, one being almost 800m long – the longest in the world, a huge stalagmite and a thriving aquatic flora and fauna are only a few of the lake’s highlights. An alternative experience for those who wish to explore new things!

 

Limanakia

Leaving Vouliagmeni and heading to Varkiza you will encounter multiple small coves scattered on the coastline right beneath the coastal road. Apart from the popular Limanakia cove where youngsters gather to plunge and dive, you will also find several other secluded bays by descending the rocky slope of the coastline. Leave your car on one of the parking lots on the main road and start your adventure; you’ll be instantly transferred to a setting where only the rocks and the sea exist! And the waters are incredible!

 

Varkiza

The Yabanaki organized coast is so much more than an organized beach; it is an actual seaside micro-settlement with countless facilities, restaurants and bars, water sports and a vast, sandy coast with crystal clear waters. Varkiza’s coast continues after Yabanaki with a large non-organized beach sharing the same setting and beautiful waters of the organized beach.

 

Lomvardas

Heading southern from Varkiza the Lomvardas beach right in front of the Mojito Bay beach bar awaits those who wish to combine party life with swimming. A graphic bay with emerald waters, partially organized, with small pebbles and coarse sand, Lomvardas is one of the most preferred beaches for Athenians due to its proximity to the city centre and its natural beauty.

 

Duni Island

Located at the wider area of Agia Marina, right before Lagonissi, Duni Island beach is a splendid coast with coarse, light-coloured sand and numerous smaller beaches and coves around it. Non organized and surrounded by steep verdant slopes, the coast of Duni island is what you need for the perfect day at the beach.

 

Althea

Almost next to Duni beach, Althea shares its magnificent setting and summer splendour featuring a large coast with small pebbles and sand, crystal clear waters and views to the horizon to die for. The beach is non-organized but during summer it may get crowded as it is located at the foot of the homonymous settlement.

 

Grand Beach Lagonissi

A fully organized beach part of the Grand Resort Lagonissi is accessible to non-hotel guests with an admission fee and boasts a stunning setting with multiple facilities, like the Grand Pier jetty-bar, a cinema, volleyball court, beach bar, changing rooms, the Poseidon tavern and many more. But the extraordinary part of Grand Beach Lagonissi is its natural setting! Forget the mainland; you are in a paradisial island less than an hour from Athens.

 

Saronida

The homonymous beach of the settlement, Saronida is a non-organized sandy coast with a few built-in umbrellas nestled within a graphic bay. Busy and crowded during summer, the beach is quite wide and long so even on those days you will find a place to lay your beach towel. At the back edge of the beach there are also tamarisk trees offering natural shade.

 

Mavro Lithari

A popular spot for young people during summer, Mavro Lithari comprises of a main beach and some smaller around it. A sandy coast with small pebbles and sandy seabed, Mavro Lithari is fully organized and features a few vibrant beach bars. The landmark of the beach is the large black stone (Mavro Lithari in Greek) and its pristine natural beauty makes it one of the most attractive beaches of the area.

 

Agios Nikolaos

A large coast with easy access and lots of parking spaces, Agios Nikolaos is a charming beach with coarse sand and pebbles, partially organized, and is one of Attica’s beaches offered for a whole day by the sea. Its picturesque setting with the homonymous chapel right at the hill on its left side and its convenient location, very near Anavyssos settlement, will make Agios Nikolaos your favourite spot. The beach also hosts a beach bar.

 

Anavyssos

The windsurfers’ paradise, Anavyssos beach is a very long and wide coast with numerous facilities, many beach bars and a vibrant ambience. Ideal for watersports, the beach is also the only coast in the area that features a special electrical ramp for people with disabilities. Small pebbles on the coast and in the sea, crystal-clear waters and ample parking spaces along with its proximity to Palea Fokea’s fish taverns promise a carefree, fun beach day.

 

Sounion

Right by the holy Temple of Poseidon the charming Sounion beach unfolds with a fully organized coast and all amenities to make your day as convenient as possible. Turquoise waters, non-organized parts for those who prefer more privacy and the views to the legendary monument are just among the highlights of the beach.

 

KAPE

The ultimate insular-like beach of Attica, KAPE is a small cove with large white pebbles and light turquoise waters nestled within the embrace of the high cliffs of the area. Its astonishing setting, overlooking the horizon, makes KAPE a unique coast, much different than any other in the entire prefecture. Only an hour’s drive from the city centre, KAPE can be quite crowded during weekends so mind visiting within any other weekday.

 

Erotospilia

The coastal highlight of the wider Porto Rafti area, Erotospilia (meaning “the cave of love” in Greek) is literally one of the most charming and romantic beaches in the area. A small wide but short coast with pebbles and crystal-like waters, this is one of the favourite spots for young people and couples due to its idyllic setting. The beach is not organized but you will find a small beach bar offering coffee and various snacks and beverages.

 

Avlaki

Avlaki is the ultimate destination for all tastes! The main organized beach is a hotspot during summer weekends with a beach bar and many beach facilities. For those who wish a calmer ambience, the adjacent small cove is non-organized while plunging lovers will find their spot in the Prasies area, right next to the cove. Its light sand and turquoise waters, its beautiful surroundings and its proximity to Athens (only 38km) make Avlaki quite attractive to crowds during weekends.

 

 

Location

How to get there

Athens Riviera starts from Glyfada, the southern suburbs of Greece and follows the long coastal road that reaches Sounion and continues to the eastern part of the prefecture. There are also buses whose itineraries include stops to various areas of the Athenian Riviera and they usually start from the centre of Athens or the southern areas of Athens. Depending on your final destination, you should consult online sources to find the best bus route although we suggest renting your own vehicle in order to enjoy your tour the fullest.

Accommodation

Where to Stay

The Athens Riviera bursts with summer resorts and charming settlements offering numerous options for accommodation. Luxurious private villas, holiday villas with pool for families or groups of friends, romantic private villas and many other options are available for long or short-term rental. The Greek Villas team, experts in villa holidays, will guide you through the best options and help you find your perfect luxury private villa!

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