‘Gorgeous’ is the perfect word to describe Greece. However, when thinking of the Greek capital, sandy Athenian beaches, and cerulean waters may not be the image that springs to mind. Yet, like so many things about this diverse city, it is one of the many delights Athens has to offer.
Where is the Athens Riviera?
Athens Riviera - credits: Sven_Hansche/Shutterstock.com
Athens Riviera covers the beautiful Athens coast between Pirata and Cap Sounion, which is where the temple of Poseidonia stands. The Athens Coast is a coastal resort dotted with many southern suburbs in Athens.
All of the cliffsides and beachside areas are inviting. There are plenty of beautiful places to stay in Attica Riviera, just a short drive from central Athens, that you can stay if you want to go on a romantic vacation in Greece.
The South-East coastline of the Athens peninsula is home to a myriad of beaches, coves, marinas, and parks, each with its own quirks and charms. The advent of the tram, which goes from Syntagma square to Voula, has made much of Athens Riviera completely accessible on foot.
However, the more secluded areas are still best accessed by car or Athens taxi.
The number of beaches to choose from is perhaps overwhelmingly extensive, but, fortunately, there are apps like Keeano that will help you find the beach that is absolutely right for you.
Don’t want to scramble for a sunbed? Apps like Summerize let you pre-book your sunbed, umbrella, and even a few drinks ready to sip for when you arrive!
Survive summer in Athens by seeking shelter on the magical coastline of Athens.
The main areas going from north to south along the Athens Riviera are Piraeus, Faliro, Glyfada, Voula, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza, Lagonissi, Saronida, and Anavyssos.
Depending on what you’re after, and if you're visiting Greece in winter or summer, each has its own appeal and, to be perfectly honest, if you have the time, it’s worth visiting them all!
With its eclectic mix of humble fishing harbors, exclusive nightclubs, organized beaches, water sports clubs, secluded coves, fresh fish restaurants, and even golf clubs and outdoor cinemas, this coastline certainly has something for every mood and every taste.
Piraeus port, Athens Riviera - credits: Aerial-motion/Shutterstock.com
The bustling ports at Piraeus should no longer be regarded as simply a place from where you are just meant to jump on the ferries for the Greek Islands.
Located at the beginning of the Athens coastline, Piraeus is a south suburb that counts as the first stop of Athens riviera. Even if it's not the most glamorous suburb of the Greek capital, it offers a warm welcome to Athens' visitors.
In Piraeus, you can expect a wide selection of relaxed cafes and stunning harbor views. Piraeus also hosts the luxurious hilltop neighborhood, Kastella, a small fortress above and over the tiny port of Mikrolimano.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre - credits: Milan Gonda/Shutterstock.com
Stavros Niarchos is a Greek billionaire maritime mogul whose foundation is a leading public international charitable organization in all fields of art education, education, health and sport, and social welfare.
In 2017, the Foundation began its biggest project in the past: the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre (SNFCC), located on Athens Riviera. It covers 51 acres and houses the National Library, the Greek National Opera, and the Greek National Theatre.
A stop in SNFCC is a great idea during your exploration of Athens Riviera as it will culturally enhance your stay in Athens in the most wonderful and fun way.
Paleo Faliro, Marina Flisovos - credits: Ptik/hutterstock.com
The neighborhood of Paleo Faliro is the first stop in the Athens Riviera and is just 15 minutes from Acropolis.
Paleo Faliro has modern apartments and shops and is considered a popular place by locals, as it boasts several free beaches you can swim and sunbathe in.
Legend has it that apostle Paul arrived in Faliro in 50AD on a boat to reach Athens and preach Jesus'new religion.
All along the coastline, Athens has some pretty impressive marinas. One of these is undoubtedly Marina Flisvos, a haunt for the 'yachties.' This is the place to go if you want to marvel at floating "palaces" and sip exotic cocktails on the waterfront.
Lively during the day and vibrant at night, the collection of modern-style bars, boutique shops, and decadent ice cream parlors are consistently popular with locals and visitors alike.
Right next to Marina Flisvos is the gorgeous Flisvos park, a perfect spot for bike rides and leisurely strolls. It’s a great place for families as well, with playgrounds and cafes nearby, and even an open-air cinema in Athens!
Bolivar beach, Athens Riviera - credits: JoyTV.gr
A little further along the coast are some beach bars that are not to be missed if you love music and you’re after that beach party vibe. Bolivar Beach Bar regularly hosts international DJs and has a very Tahitian style with its straw beach huts and extravagantly colored cocktails!
Mikrolimano - credits: Milan_Gonda/Shutterstock.com
Alimos stands next to Paleo Faliro and provides another wonderful spot to explore the seas.
Alimos marina is home to numerous luxury yachts. It is always busy at the boating scene. In the summer, the boats sail onto the islands.
Alimos Marina is one of Athens' most known local ports. 1080 boats are available, and 600 are stored at its docks. The marina is able to hold yachts ranging from 40m long.
Legrena beach, Attica - credits: PitK/Shutterstock.com
Agios Kosmas Marina is 2.5 miles from Marina Alimos. There is a big sports center at Agios Kosmas which offers a running track and jogging.
From there, you can witness some wonderful sunrises during your trip to Athens in a more authentic and offbeat way than most visitors. It's a calm spot ideal for relaxing next to the sea.
Hellinikon or Elliniko
Elliniko had previously occupied the old international Athens Airport until 2001, when it was abandoned when Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport opened at Spata.
The region of Elliniko will undergo re-development in the coming years with a large plan to transform Elliniko into a recreational area with casinos, hotels, and other excellent tourist facilities and amenities.
Glyfada and its sandy beaches
Sunset of Saronic gulf. Athens Riviera - credits: imagIN.gr photography/Shutterstock.com
Perhaps one of the most elegant districts in Athens Riviera, Glyfada hosts many stylish restaurants and hangouts that offer international cuisine and Greek and fusion foods. With Athens' sizable shopping area, an esplanade of palm trees, and luxuriously designed beach clubs, this is truly the best place to go if you want to feel pampered!
There is the Glyfada golf club for golf enthusiasts, and if you’ve still got work to do while in Athens, The Ark coffee shop is a must.
Where else would you find a beach club with a library and computers available to work from? Checking your emails might not be so terrible if you can sip a Greek coffee, like Freddo Cappuccino, while you do so and cool off in the sea afterward!
Voula and its beach bars
Voula beach, Athens Riviera - credits: Aerial-motion/ Shutterstock.com
Voula has two long, organized, sandy beaches with beautiful clear waters, awarded the European blue flag for coastline cleanliness. No swimming pool could ever compete with this Greek beach.
If you’re in the mood for a sporty afternoon, there are plenty of activities at Voula beach, such as beach volleyball, basketball, and water sports.
There are waterslides and inflatable obstacle courses to have hours of fun on for the young- and the young at heart. After that activity, choose from many enticing cafes and restaurants to refuel and unwind.
Vouliagmeni Lake; better than any swimming pool
This stretch of coastline, only half an hour from Athens' city center, deserves a special mention. As well as beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters, Lake Vouliagmeni is only 5 mins walk from the main square in the center of town.
Visually striking, it is a deep turquoise aquatic paradise surrounded by a sheer rock face, Mother Nature’s very own spa. With a focus on fitness and wellness activities (and with mineral waters that are said to be healing), it is the perfect place to recalibrate and switch off from all of life’s pressures. The lake also has an elegant café and restaurant and is nothing short of magical come nightfall.
However, Vouliagmeni’s hidden treasures do not end there. A well-kept secret by local Athenians is Limanakia Beach Bar. Perched on a rock face, Limanakia has simple wooden decks adorned with comfy bean bags to lie on.
Take around five steps from the bar, dive into pristine waters, and swim to your heart's content. At night, it comes alive with locals visiting for sundowners and moonlit swims.
Varkiza and Varkiza beach
Varkiza beach, Athens Riviera - credits: Nou Pou
A little further from Athens, but still easily accessible by bus, lies the area of Varkiza and its beach, and it is absolutely worth the trip.
The beaches there are less crowded yet still offer plenty of facilities, including volleyball courts, play areas, and many restaurants and cafes. For anyone who’s addicted to windsurfing, this is the one for you.
Lagonisi at Sunset , Athens Riviera- credits: KOSTAS_TSEK/ Shutterstock.com
The Grand Beach at Lagonissi really does live up to its name.
Not only can you relax on the sweeping sands of this organized beach on the Athens Riviera, but there are also sporting facilities, changing rooms, showers, an open-air cinema, and a jetty bar with impressive views and a menu of cocktails and fresh juices to match.
Our country is famed for its delicious Greek cuisine, especially when it comes to seafood, so experiencing one of Lagonissi’s authentic fish tavernas and restaurants that serve local catches daily is a must.
Pair a dish of all-time favorite Shrimp Saganaki with a glass of ouzo, and enjoy! There are also quite a few scuba diving centers here and every water sport that you can imagine, so why not try out something new in the idyllic blues of the Aegean?
Sunset at Saronida, Athens Riviera - credits: Jorgos-Loukianos/ Shutterstock.com
For those who like to escape to the wilder parts during their stay in Athens, Saronida beach may be the choice for you. With its sandy coastline, clean and clear waters, and easy access, it is a perfect setting for a Sunday afternoon.
However, when you’re ready to return from serenity, the beach is conveniently close to Saronida Village, with plenty of shops and eateries on offer. There is also a beach playground that will keep your little ones busy for hours!
Lake Vouliagmeni, Athens Riviera - credits: Greens_and_Blues/Shutterstock.com
If there was ever such a thing as a sandy Garden of Eden. This might be it.
Surrounded by lush green pine trees with golden sands that reach the crystal blue waters of the Aegean, Anavyssos is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy Greece's beautiful country.
Flanked by enticing tavernas serving fresh Greek food and also specializing in cuisines from around the world, you will certainly be spoilt for choice.
Islet of Agios Nikolaos, Anavyssos, Athens Riviera - credits: Aerial-motion/ Shutterstock.com
From Anavyssos, the coastal road continues to the southern tip of Cape Sounio.
Here stands the imposing Temple of Poseidon, a humbling site, particularly at sunrise and sunset when the rays of sunlight shine through between the towering columns.
The very last sight of our ancient Athenians as they sailed into the Aegean in search of adventure.
For an evening full of history, dining in an unbeatable setting that Lord Bryon famously adored, and even a sunset swim, join us on a trip to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon.
Enjoy a trip back in history at one of the best ancient Greek temples and a refreshing swim on the beautiful beach of Sounio. Watching the sunset behind the temple is a sight you can’t miss!
Aerial view of high-speed roadS in Athens Riviera - credits: Ververidis Vasilis/Shutterstock.som
Is the Athens Riviera worth visiting?
Yes, 100%! It is a fantastic spot to visit whether you're traveling alone, as a couple, or with your family, as it boasts incredible beaches and striking views you wouldn't expect from a European capital.
Along the coast, you can also find cafes, restaurants, and playgrounds that will make your trip a delight!
How do you get to the Athens Riviera?
You can reach Athens Riviera with one of our tours or private transfers. Alternatively, you can use public transport, which would be a much cheaper but much more tiring option.
With the tram, you can take the T1 line between Syntagma and Neo Faliro or the T2 line between Syntagma and Voula.
Busses also service the whole Athens Riviera, that vary depending on where your starting point and desired destination are.
Are Athens beaches nice?
Athens has the largest coastline of all the major European capital cities, and its beaches consistently receive the Blue Flag award for their exceptional water quality and clean air.
Summer and swimming are sacred rituals in Greece, so you should expect nothing less!
Our tours along Athens Riviera
Temple of Poseidon - credits: sborisov/Depositphotos.com
Discover Athens Riviera in style with one of our sailing trips. Make the most of your vacation in Athens by sailing along the Athenian coastline, with plenty of stops for swimming, snorkeling, and a hearty BBQ meal!
Alternatively, you can join our Sounio day trip, which will take you to the striking Temple of Poseidon while making a stop at Vouliagmeni Lake for a refreshing swim.
Lagonissi Beach, Athens Riviera - credits: Aerial-motion/Shutterstock.com
Exploring Athens Riviera will give you a totally different outlook of Athens and what you thought the Greek capital is like.
Yes, it might not look out to the Aegean sea. However, its beaches are great, and the Saronic Gulf is a sight to behold.
For more tips on what to do during your vacation in Athens, check our blog for ideas, suggestions, and tips.