Athenians and Greeks take clean beaches and clear water (so-called ‘blue-flag’ beaches) for granted; visitors often exclaim that “there are not many cities where you can take a swim after putting in a full day at the office or sightseeing”. Maybe it is true!
In the Athenian Riviera, there are plenty of sunny beaches anyway. Be jealous, they make for a fantastic lifestyle!
Heading out of central Athens towards the wine-dark sea you will quickly encounter the Marina of Flisvos, where luxurious yachts harbour all year round.
Head west and you arrive in Piraeus, always Athens’ commercial port, with its beautiful neighbourhoods of Kastela and Mikrolimano.
Head east through Paleo Faliro, Old Phaleron, where once triremes of war were pulled up on the beach. Now it is an up-market residential area, full of shops and seashore restaurants. The beautiful coastline stretches on, through Alimos, Kalamaki, Agios Kosmas, Elliniko, Glyfada and Voula.
All these towns are year-round seaside hotspots, for fun and shopping, an afternoon stroll by the sea, a swim if the weather permits or dinner and night out. If you are in the mood for a seaside snack or a drink, then the marina of Alimos is the place to choose.
Right after Voula is Vouliagmeni with its lake, another upscale seaside residential area, with hotels to suit all tastes and budgets.
If you enjoy driving then go on all the way through Varkiza, Saronida, Anavyssos, Lagonissi to Sounion. It is worth it – the views are great. At Anavyssos you will find many seaside tavernas popular with local residents, while Lagonissi has more luxurious hotels.
At legendary Cape Sounion, the Temple of Poseidon awaits.
You can’t travel around Athens without seeing it.