Looking for the best beaches in Athens? This article has got you covered.
Although the chaotic, gritty Greek capital is probably not the sort of place that you would associate with paradisical beaches, there is actually an abundance of gorgeous beaches near Athens. While it would be difficult to compete with the natural beauty of the coastlines on some of the Greek islands, many of the best beaches in Athens are almost as stunning.
This article has been written by someone who has lived in Athens for close to five years and is well-versed in all of the beaches and coastal towns in the area.
There is something for every type of traveller here too. Whether you are looking for hidden secluded coves that make you feel like Tom Hanks in Castaway or serviced beaches with all the amenities.
You will find what you are looking for at one of the beaches near Athens.
Best Beaches in Athens
It is worth noting that while Athens sits beside the Aegean Sea, there are very few beaches within downtown Athens itself. The Athenian neighborhoods of Palaio Faliro and Moschato are on the coast, although they only offer ports and coastal walking trails, rather than sandy beaches.
The closest beach to Athens is Kalamaki Beach in Alimos. Then there is Votsalakia beach in Piraeus, just one kilometer away from the port.
However, it isn’t particularly beautiful and is perhaps best reserved only for instances where you are waiting for a ferry or you are spending time in Piraeus and want to cool down in the sea. From here, you can see the islet of Koumoundouros across the water.
The best beaches in Athens, if you are looking for exclusive beach clubs, or public beaches close to tavernas, cafes, and nightlife options, are the beaches found along the Athens Riviera.
This is a district just south of the city centre that consists of the beach towns of Glyfada, Voula, Vari, and Vouliagmeni.
The further you go from Athens, the less crowded the beaches are. This is worth noting, especially if you are visiting Greece in the summer months or you are hoping to find a peaceful spot.
Keep in mind that you do need a car to visit some of the best beaches near Athens. Some of the less visited beaches are found in leafy Northern Attica, or between Sounion and Porto Rafti.
Best Beaches in Athens along the Athenian Riviera
The Athenian Riviera is an upscale stretch of coastline just south of Athens city centre. It runs from Glyfada, down to Varkiza beach.
This area is often affectionately referred to as ¨the Hellenic Hamptons¨ or the Greek Cote d’Azur on account of its exclusive ambiance and the well-heeled crowd it attracts. Prior to the 1950s, this region was little more than just a beautiful stretch of undeveloped coastline that looked out to the Saronic Gulf islands.
Several local Greek businessmen discussed their ideas for establishing hotels and restaurants that would encourage luxury tourism in the area. They definitely succeeded and in the decades that followed, the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren, and Brigitte Bardot are among those who would love to spend their vacations in the area.
Some of the private beach clubs in this region are among the most exclusive (and expensive) in all of Greece. However, sometimes you may well find that you have a Greek celebrity, politician, or model in your midst!
Then, there are other privatised beaches that are just a couple of euros to enter, though that means that you can then enjoy the use of a sunbed and umbrella for the day. The public beaches here serve a purpose if you are just looking for some sun and to be close to the sea, but they do fill up very quickly on weekends between June and September.
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 the 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.
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
Where: Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni 166 71, Greece
Astir Beach Athens provides the ultimate exclusive beach club experience. This Vouliagmeni hotspot is a favourite among the Athenian jet-set and international celebrities.
Astir Beach Athens’ reputation precedes it. Encapsulated by a pine tree forest, the translucent waters, and the long, pristine coastline of the private Astir beach offer 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 Athens 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. Reservations are not required to eat but it does get busy at weekends.
Astir Beach Athens is 20km away from downtown Athens. The 117 and 122 buses from Athens stop nearby.
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 restaurants 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.
Take the metro to Elliniko station and then take the 122 bus the remainder of the way to reach the 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.
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 Beach Club is a spot in the beating heart of the Athenian Riviera 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. This makes 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 a mocktail, cocktail, or light Greek street food snacks 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. You couldn’t find tastier margarita pizzas at a pizzeria in Naples!
There is a KTEL bus that runs directly between Athens and Anavyssos. The journey takes approximately an hour and twenty minutes.
Where: AsterasLeof. Poseidonos 58, Glyfada 166 74, Greece
The beach at Asteras Glyfada is one of the easiest to reach from central Athens.
The private beach runs all along the Glyfada peninsula. 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.
Board the tram from Athens to Glyfada. Then, get off at the Kolimbitrio stop.
Where: Leof. Posidonos, Alimos 175 44, Greece
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 the bustling city of Athens. The sun loungers and umbrellas are decorated in light blue and white like the Greek flag.
From here, you feel almost transported to an idyllic, isolated Greek island paradise somewhere. Admission to Akti Vouliagmeni costs just €5 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. For instance, sumptuous marinated meats, fresh Greek salads, and seafood dishes prepared using the latest catches from the nearby waters.
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
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. It is also 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, and the Grand Beach Lagonissi pool, and include a light meal and beverages. Frequent
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
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 may be 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, if you are seeking a peaceful, relaxing ambiance you should look elsewhere.
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:
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.
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
Perfectly situated between Sounio and Vari, the Eden Beach Resort hotel is one of the most breathtaking luxury accommodations on the Athenian Riviera. It is 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. 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 Hydra in the distance.
Where: KAPE beach, Keratea 195 00, Greece
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
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 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.
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 to the exclusive beach resorts of the Athenian Riviera. If you enjoy getting back to nature and the peace and seclusion of hidden coves and “secret” beaches surrounded by craggy rock formations and dense woodlands, you will fall in love with the beaches in this region.
It should be noted that the Northern Attica beaches mentioned below are not serviced. So, therefore it is necessary to pack all of the snacks, towels, bottles of water, and essentials that you will need for a beach day.
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.
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.
Where: Marathon 190 07, Greece
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Erotospilia, located just outside the charming seaside resort town of Porto Rafti 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.
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.
FAQs on Finding the Best Beaches in Athens
Do you have any further questions or concerns about finding the best beaches in Athens Greece and the surrounding area? A selection of frequently asked questions is detailed below.
Hopefully, you will find the answer you are looking for there. Otherwise, you are more than welcome to reach out!
What is the best beach near Athens?
Choosing the absolute best beach near Athens is somewhat subjective. If you want a secluded, quiet spot, you may think that K.A.P.E. Legraina is the best beach near Athens.
If you want a private beach club, Astir beach may be the indulgent experience you are looking for.
Are the beaches nice in Athens?
There are some lovely beaches in and around Athens. To name a few of the best, you should consider stopping by Kavouri and Mikro Kavouri beaches if you want beaches close to Athens backed by nature and pine trees. Visit Astir beach if you are looking for an exclusive beach club and visit K.A.P.E. Legraina if you want a hidden spot that most tourists aren’t aware of.
Is it worth going to the beach in Athens?
Yes. Going to the beaches near Athens can really enrich your Athens itinerary.
If you have a couple of days to spend in Athens, you can dedicate one to exploring the coastal areas to the south of the city. Go for brunch in Glyfada, explore the beaches of Vouliagmeni, walk along the seafront, and spend the evening having cocktails at Lake Vouliagmeni.
Can you swim at Athens beaches?
Yes, you can swim at Athens beaches and the waters are generally pretty calm and clear at all of them. Athens beaches are consistently given Blue Flag status for their excellent water conditions and cleanliness.
Are Athens beaches free?
There are hundreds and beaches and coves close to Athens that are completely free to access. There are just a handful of exclusive beach clubs that you have to pay to enter.
Where do Athenians go to the beach?
Athenians go to many of the beaches near Athens but Vouliagmeni beach and Glyfada beach are particularly popular. For beach clubs, Asteras Glyfada and Astir beach are two of the most popular spots.
Is the water warm in Athens?
It is technically warm enough to swim in Athenian waters all year round. (Winters in Athens are not hot, but they are relatively mild compared to a lot of other European countries). You will even see some brave souls swimming off the coast of Vouliagmeni even in January and February in Greece!
That being said, May through to mid-October sees the best conditions and water temperatures. (Or even late April sometimes!)
The water temperature in Athens averages out at about 26.3°C/79.3°F in August, and around 22.6°C / 72.7°F in June. In January, it is around 15.4°C / 59.7°F.
What to take to the beaches near Athens
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.
A reusable water bottle like those offered by lifestraw reduces your plastic waste and keeps your water cold throughout the day. If you can, try and avoid being directly in the sun at midday when temperatures are at their highest.
Final thoughts on visiting the best beaches near Athens
Athens and the beaches that surround it are best enjoyed as part of a wider Greece itinerary.
I have lived in Athens since 2017 and would be more than happy to assist with any queries or concerns you may have. If this is your first time visiting Greece, you may also like reading this guide on planning a trip to Greece.
Feel free to drop me an email if you need anything! Melissa xo