19 Best Beaches in Athens – An Insider’s Guide for Summer 2020

Best beaches in Athens
Best beaches in Athens

The best beaches in Athens are just a short drive or tram journey away from the city centre. Athens may not be known for its sandy beaches and azure waters but these places certainly do exist.

Best Beaches in Athens:
Something for Every Taste

Best beaches in Athens
The Athenian Riviera is home to some of the best beaches in Athens

The best beaches in Athens and Attica are plentiful and varied – there is something for everyone. Better yet? The water quality here is excellent. The spots highlighted in this post make for a perfect day trip from Athens

The Athenian Riviera is an area of upscale beach towns that awaits just thirty minutes away from Plaka and Syntagma. This is Greece’s very own Cote d’Azur. The beaches here may well not be as well known as those on the Greek islands, but they certainly make a worthy rival. 

Head to the north or the east of Athens and the ambiance of the coastline is different entirely. Here you will find rugged, secluded areas of paradise that makes you feel a million miles away from the chaotic Greek capital.

Best Beaches in Athens:
Exclusive Spots on the Athenian Riviera

The Athenian Riviera is the place to see and be seen in Athens. It is often referred to as being the “Hellenic Hamptons” and for good reason. The atmosphere here is as chic, sophisticated, and glamorous as the types of people that it attracts.

For the ultimate luxury beach day, venture to one of the private beach clubs in the regions of Glyfada, Voula, or Vouliagmeni. Sip cocktails, mocktails or Freddo espressos beneath your own private cabana, while your every whim is catered to. You can even book in a seaside massage!

Thalassea Beach

Where: Leof. Alkionidon 4, Voula 166 73, Greece

The crystal clear waters of Thalassea beach await in the upscale district of Voula. This is a private beach and entrance requires a €5 access fee. Sunbeds, umbrellas and equipment are available for rent. Beach parties and live music events often take place at Thalassea beach on summer evenings.

Getting There 

Thalassea beach is accessible by both bus and tram. You can either take the tram all the way down to Asklipio or take the metro to Elliniko station and then take the 122 bus. The tram moves slowly, so the metro may be the easiest option. 

Astir Beach, Vougliameni

Astir Beach, Vouliagmeni
Astir Beach, Vouliagmeni

Where: Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni 166 71, Greece

Astir Beach provides the ultimate exclusive beach club experiences. This Vouliagmeni hotspot is a favourite among the Athenian jet set and International go-getters. Astir Beach’s reputation precedes it.

Encapsulated by a pine tree forest, the translucent waters, and long, pristine coastline of the private Astir beach offers privacy and seclusion. It is possible to purchase a day pass here to enjoy lounging beneath the sun on private sunbeds or cabanas while being treated to complimentary beverages and waiter service.

You can reserve your perfect cabanas/beach chairs online in advance. Astir beach also boasts additional facilities such as beach volleyball courts, beach racquet courts, and a plethora of exquisite dining options at the onsite “Nice n Easy Seaside” restaurant.

Getting There

Astir beach is 20km away from downtown Athens. The 117 and 122 buses from Athens stop nearby.

Kavouri Beach

Where: Vouliagmeni 166 71, Greece

The Kavouri coastline is divided into two separate beaches: Megalo Kavouri and Mikro Kavouri. Strolling along the length of this seafront path is one of the most pleasant hikes in Athens. This pine-clad peninsula is filled with chic sprawling mansions and upscale eateries. 

Swim, snorkel and relax at Mikro Kavouri beach before having a spot of lunch at one of the excellent seafood restaurants nearby. Gialos Vouliagmeni and Garbi restaurant are both local favourites. 

Megalo Kavouri is filled with secret coves and secluded sections of sandy expanse that are perfect for a little R&R. 

Getting There 

Take the metro to Elliniko station and then take the 122 bus the remainder of the way to reach the beach. 

Balux Seaside Project

Best beaches in Athens
Best beaches in Athens

Where: Balux Seaside/House Project, Leof. Poseidonos 58, Glyfada 166 74, Greece

Glyfada’s Balux Seaside project is a favourite summer hangout among locals. The Glyfada area may be upscale and exclusive, but Balux has a delightfully laidback, casual atmosphere.

Admission to the private beach costs just 4 euros, and visitors can relax on sunbeds by the pool, by the sea, or close to the tiki themed outdoor bar.

Balux Seaside also boasts the “Balux house project” bar and restaurant – a unique spot that has been designed to look like a Hamptons style beach house. The menu showcases delectable eats from across the globe. Everything from Sicilian arancini balls, to fresh Greek salads, and Chinese entrees can be enjoyed here.

Getting There

You can take the tram from Athens to Balux. Get off at the Kolimbitrio stop in Glyfada.

Edem Beach

Where: Leof. Posidonos 73, Paleo Faliro 175 62

Edem beach is the closest beach to Athens. This is one of the easiest places to reach by public transport. However, the beach’s proximity to Athens means that it is often crowded – especially on a hot summer weekend. 

The palm tree lined promenade that runs alongside the beach is a great place to take a stroll, exercise, or sit and watch the sea with a freddo cappuccino in hand. 

Getting There

Take the tram from the city centre to the Edem stop in Paleo Faliro.

L’Amico Beach Club, Athenian Riviera

Where: Leof. Athinon Souniou 17, Anavissos 190 13, Greece

L’Amico, Athens Riviera

In the beating heart of the Athenian Riviera, L’Amico Beach Club is a spot that has it all. The exclusive club is situated in the upscale region of Anavyssos and is without a doubt one of the best beaches near Athens.

Despite being a private club, L’Amico has a casual feel with no air of pretension, making it a perfect place to enjoy a relaxed afternoon in a glamorous setting. Sunbeds are available for rent, as are covered gazebos for those who want a little more protection from the sun.

“Push for service” call buttons are in place at each of the gazebos, so that you can easily order up a mocktail, cocktail, or light snack without having to leave the comfort of your plush seating. As the name suggests, L’Amico boasts an Italian menu and the restaurant here offers some of the best Mediterranean cuisines in the area.

The authentic Italian pasta and pizza dishes are made from scratch and lovingly prepared with some of the freshest local ingredients.

Getting There

There is a KTEL bus that runs directly between Athens and Anavyssos. The journey takes approximately an hour and twenty minutes.

Asteras Glyfada

Where: AsterasLeof. Poseidonos 58, Glyfada 166 74, Greece

Best Beaches in Athens
Best Beaches in Athens

The beach at Asteras Glyfada is one of the easiest to reach from central Athens. Travellers can easily hop on board the number four tram that runs from Athens to Glyfada.

The private beach runs all along the Glyfada peninsula and sits adjacent to the Balux House Project. When you’re done with your beach time, the restaurants, coffee shops and boutique stores of downtown Glyfada are just a few minutes’ walk away.

Getting There

Board the tram from Athens to Glyfada. Get off at the Kolimbitrio stop.

Akti Vouliagmenis

Where: Leof. Posidonos, Alimos 175 44, Greece

Best Beaches in Athens
Best Beaches in Athens

With miles upon miles of perfect white sands and clear blue waters, the beach at Akti Vouliagmeni almost makes you forget that you are just a stone’s throw away from busy Athens. The sun loungers and umbrellas are decorated in the delightful Greek flag colours of light blue and white. From here, you feel almost transported to an idyllic, isolated Greek island paradise somewhere.

Admission to Akti Vouliagmeni costs just 5 euros in the peak summer season. Plenty of additional facilities are on offer at the beach, including tennis and volleyball courts.

When your stomach starts to rumble, venture into the wonderful Greek taverna on site. The traditional taverna menu serves all of the typical Greek classic dishes – including sumptuous marinated meats, fresh Greek salads, and seafood dishes prepared using the latest catches from the nearby waters.

Getting There

There is no direct link from Athens to Akti beach. The easiest route is to take the metro to Ellinikos station and then take the 117 or 122 bus.

Grand Beach Lagonissi

Grand Beach Lagonissi
Grand Beach Lagonissi

Where: 40th km Athens Sounion, Lagonissi, Attica

If luxury beach clubs are your forte, it doesn’t get much grander than the private beach at the Grand Beach Lagonissi resort. The hotel is widely regarded as being one of the most luxurious in the Athens region.

If your Athens itinerary allows it, it’s well worth staying here for a little relaxation and indulgence. Alternatively, it’s possible for non-hotel guests to purchase day access passes.

The beach at the Grand Beach Lagonissi resort sprawls over the entire Lagonissi peninsula and is an incredible place to watch the sunset. Day passes allow access to the private beach, the Grand Beach Lagonissi pool, and include a light meal and beverages. Frequent visitors can purchase annual passes.

Getting There

It is tricky to reach the Grand Beach Lagonissi unless you have access to a car. You can download the BEAT taxi app and take a cab from Athens for around €25.

Yabanaki Beach, Vari

Where: Yabanaki beach, Vari 166 72, Greece

Best Beaches Near to Athens
Best Beaches Near to Athens

Perched on the outskirts of upscale Vari, Yabanaki beach is the largest organised beach in the Athens area. The beach is known to attract a crowd of young, trendy Athenians.

For those who get restless by simply sitting in the sun, Yabanaki beach maybe just their cup of tea. The private beach is surrounded by exclusive bars, restaurants, and tavernas.

A beach massage parlor, and various watersports rental sites are scattered along the coastline. If you want to get active and try something new, Yabanaki beach is the place to go.

It should be noted that Yabanaki is known to get very crowded during the summer months, so while it’s a great place for people watching and socialising, those hoping for a peaceful ambiance should look elsewhere.

Getting There

The easiest way to reach Yabanaki beach is to take the tram to Nausikas. From Nausikas, you need to take the 117 bus to Vari.

Best Beaches in Athens:
Sounio Area

Asimakis Beach 

Where: Asimakis Beach, Kato Sounio, 195 00

Asimakis beach is located in Sounion. It is often overlooked in favour of the beaches that sit adjacent to the temple of Poseidon, but it is a nice, less crowded alternative. 

You can easily tie in a trip to Asimakis with an exploration of the nearby historical sights and Sounion National Park. The beach is not serviced, but there are many stores and restaurants nearby. 

Getting There

Asimakis beach is about two hours away from Athens. The best way to reach it is by car. 

You can also take the KTEL bus to Sounion from Pedion Areos in Athens. Get off at Sounion and then take a cab to Asimakis. 

Eden Beach Resort

Where: Eden Beach Resort Athens, Sounion Av, Anavissos 190 13, Greece

Eden Beach Resort, Athens
Eden Beach Resort, Athens

Perfectly situated between Sounio and Vari, the Eden Beach Resort hotel is one of the most breathtaking luxury accommodations on the Athenian Riviera, complete with its own majestic private beach. Fortunately, though, you don’t have to be a guest of the hotel to enjoy its sparkling coastline and white sandy beaches since those passing by the area have the option to purchase a day pass.

For those looking to escape the crowds of the public beaches in the area, the Eden beach resort is a nice choice. Sip cocktails as you dip your toes in Cerulean waters, and linger here until sunset when you can watch the sun fall behind the clouds over the Saronic Islands of Poros and Aegina in the distance.

K.A.P.E. Legraina

Where: KAPE beach, Keratea 195 00, Greece

best beaches in Athens
Best beaches in Athens area: Legraina

If you keep a watchful eye out on the drive from Athens to Sounio, you may be lucky enough to stumble across the secret beach at Legraina. Just before you reach the town of Legraina, you will see a sign that reads “property of Kape”. From here, turn and follow the dirt road.

At the end of the unsuspecting dirt path, the quaint little beach is hidden away among the rocks, tucked into a secluded little cove. Only locals that know about Legraina’s existence come here so you can rejoice at having this paradisiacal spot virtually entirely to yourself.  Venture down the stairway and enjoy a beautiful spot that makes you feel as though you are on a secluded Greek island.

The Cape of Sounio

Where: Sounion, EO91, Lavreotiki 195 00, Greece

best beaches in Athens

The Cape of Sounion is a picturesque spot that is well worthy of a day trip from Athens. The Temple of Poseidon alone is reason enough to venture here. A lesser-known draw to the area is the stunning coastline that surrounds the temple. Their sandy white beaches are a pleasant place for swimming, tanning, or simply relaxing in the sand.

After spending a few minutes here, you will realise that it’s not hard to see why the Ancient Greeks chose this beautiful spot to honor their ocean deity Poseidon.  Once you are tired of the beach shenanigans, duck inside one of the charming tavernas that line the seafront and which specialize in serving up fresh local seafood from the region.

Head back to the Temple of Poseidon site for when the sun begins to set and the sky is illuminated in hues of orange, pink, and red. On a clear day, you can see out to Aegina and the Peloponnese in the west, and Kea, Kythnos and Serifos in the Southeast. The spectacular views make a breathtaking backdrop to the gleaming white columns of the temple.

Getting There

Cape Sounion is a popular tourist destination and buses run here regularly. Take the KTEL Sounion bus from Pedio Areos in Athens and get off at the last stop.

Best Beaches in Athens:
Northern Attica Region

Venturing into the Northern Attica region greets travellers with a completely different beach experience compared the exclusive beach resorts of the Athenian Riviera. Those who enjoy getting back to nature and the peace and seclusion of hidden coves and “secret” beaches surrounded by craggy rock formations and dense woodlands will fall in love with the beaches in this region.

It should be noted that the Northern Attica beaches mentioned below are not serviced and therefore it is necessary to pack all of the snacks, towels, bottles of water and essentials that you will need for a beach day.

Dikastika Beach

Where: Judicial 190 07, Greece

Dikastika beach is one of the best beaches in Athens if you are seeking privacy and seclusion. 

The scenery here may be some of the most beautiful in Southern Greece. 

This unspoiled paradise sees few visitors. Here you can swim against a backdrop of forests and craggy rock formations. Dikastika provides true desert island vibes. 

This is a rocky beach, and access to Dikastika requires some climbing to get to. There is no sand to dip your toes into, but you can lay your towel down on the rocks. 

Getting There

It is tricky to reach Dikastika beach unless you rent a car. There is no direct public transport. 

You could take the KTEL bus to Marathon and then take a taxi from Marathon to Dikastika. Make sure that you have an offline map downloaded so that you can find the access points to the beach.  

Shinias Beach

Where: Marathon 190 07, Greece

Best beaches in Athens
Best beaches in Athens: The Northern Attica beaches have a different ambiance

Located 45 km North of Athens, Schinias beach is a popular haunt among the locals during the summer months. If you do not plan on renting your own transportation, Schinias beach is a good shout as it is easily reachable via public bus from Athens city centre.

The beach is lined with pine trees, offering a perfect natural shade if the Greek summer sun becomes a little too much. The sprawling coastline that constitutes Schinias beach is divided into sections. One small part of the beach is organised and requires payment of a small admission fee.

Getting There

There is no direct link from Athens to Schinias beach. You can take the bus from Athens to Marathon and then either walk or take a cab the rest of the way.

Kokkino Limanaki, Rafina

Where: Rafina 190 09, Greece

Best beaches in Athens
Best beaches in Athens: Rafina

If you decide to take a trip to some of the beautiful Cycladic islands after spending time in Athens, you may need to depart from Rafina port. Instead of twiddling your thumbs and waiting for your ferry to arrive, this is a perfect opportunity to feel the sand between your toes at one of the beaches that are situated just outside Rafina.

Arguably swimming and visiting the beaches here sounds odd, since you can literally see the ferries entering and exiting the ports from the coastline. You will be surprised by just how clean the waters here are, and how many locals love coming here to swim and cool down.

Getting There

Rafina is 32km away from downtown Athens. There is a direct KTEL Attikis bus that runs from Athens to Rafina. The journey takes an hour and fifteen minutes.

The Best Beaches in Athens:
Eastern Attica Region

Vraxos Beach Club

Where: Παραλία Κακής Θάλασσας, 19001 Keratéa, Attiki, Greece

Best beaches in Athens
Best beaches in Athens: Vraxos Beach Club

Vraxos Beach Club is a popular local spot that awaits on the eastern coast. The club is approximately an hour’s drive away from Porto Rafti.

Surrounded by the backdrop of craggy mountains, rocky coastlines, and lush green fields, a trip to the beach club places you in the midst of a completely different atmosphere. From here, it’s easy to forget that you are just an hour away from Athens!

Vraxos beach club provides visitors with all the amenities that they could possibly need during a day of rest and relaxation. The restaurant menu offers a diverse range of Greek and Western European dishes. During the summer months, beach parties with live DJs are often hosted here in the evenings.

Getting There

You really need a car to get from downtown Athens to Vraxos beach club. If there are several of you, you could also consider taking a cab.

Erotospilia Beach, Porto Rafti

Where: Apollonos 23, Porto Rafti 190 03, Greece

Best beaches in Athens
Best Beaches in Athens: Porto Rafti area

Located just outside the charming seaside resort town of Porto Rafti, the Erotospilia beach is a favourite among locals. The secluded, tree-lined cove is often lovingly referred to as being the “cave of love”. Though the beach can get very crowded during the summer months, it offers a beautiful backdrop for a spot of swimming or an outdoor picnic.

Getting There

It is not easy to get to Porto Rafti without access to your own transport. It takes 35 minutes to drive here. Alternatively, you could take the bus to Koropi and then take a cab the remainder of the way.

When to Visit Athens and its Coastal Regions

The best beaches in Athens can technically be visited all year round. However, an overview of what to expect when travelling during the various seasons is provided below.

Spring (March to May)

Though the Spring season in the Athens area starts off cool, temperatures vastly increase during the months of April and May. During these months, travellers can expect average temperatures of between 22-28 degrees Celsius.

For those whose aim is to simply enjoy the beach atmosphere and not work on their tans like rotisserie chickens, this is one of the best times to visit Greece.

Summer (June to August)

Temperatures in the Athens area are at their highest during the months of June to August. Visitors to Athens can expect temperatures of between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius during this time.

If you are able to travel in June, that is preferable, so as to miss the crowds of tourists that flock to Greece during the peak season of July and August.

Autumn (September to November)

The approach of September sees temperatures in southern Greece begin to drop. September and early October can still be pleasant times to visit the best beaches in Athens.

During September, temperatures in Southern Greece linger around the 25 degrees Celsius mark. Things do not begin to cool down in the area until late October.

Winter (December to February)

While it is possible to enjoy scenic strolls along the coastline in the Athenian Riviera during the winter months, it isn’t really a good time to visit the beaches near Athens.

Any mention of Greece conjures up the idea of a perpetually warm Mediterranean paradise, but the truth is that it can get very cold and windy during winter in Greece. Temperatures often drop as low as 7-8 degrees celsius with rainfalls becoming more common.

A Note About Winter Travel

A nice alternative if travelling during this time is to drive along the southern coastline and sip warm oinomelo (honey wine) at the quaint tavernas that run parallel to the seafront close to the towns of Vari, Voula, and Vouliagmeni. Many of these establishments are right next to the sea and often wonderful viewpoints as the waves crash against the rocks.  

Things to Know Before You Travel to Athens Beaches

A few additional things to consider when planning an Athens beach day are detailed below.

Public Transport

Athens boasts an excellent public transport network. Tram, bus and metro routes connect the city centre with the coastal regions of Alimos, Rafina, Vouliagmeni, Vari, and Glyfada.

Things to Take

It gets incredibly hot in southern Greece during the summer months. Always be sure to apply plenty of sunscreens and take bottled water with you when you head to the beaches near Athens. If you can, try and avoid being directly in the sun at midday when temperatures are at their highest.

Athens and the beaches that surround it are best enjoyed as part of a wider Greece itinerary.

Have any questions about travelling in Athens or Greece in general? I have lived here for the past three years and would be more than happy to assist with any queries or concerns you may have. Feel free to drop me an email or a comment below!


Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

2 thoughts on “19 Best Beaches in Athens – An Insider’s Guide for Summer 2020”

  1. hi we are looking to go to the beach for the day, but do not want to be on a loud beach, loud music or a bunch of kids. I know it sounds awful, but my life is so stressful at home that i really need a quiet break. what i have found so far is astir beach, would you recommend that beach or another?

    Reply
  2. I love this comprehensive list. As me and wife are planning a trip to Athens soon and she loves the beach. Your tips give us a full picture of the beaches available for us to enjoy. Can’t wait to see a few of them in person.

    Reply

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