"ATHENS RIVIERA includes so many suburbs but not all of them are ideal for a swim." We ask local EVA KOSMOS her tips on where to go and what to do on the sprawling coastline.




The ATHENS RIVIERA—running south-east from central ATHENS all the way to CAPE SOUNIO—is a long stretch of coastline with a lot going on. It is in the news and many travel magazines at the moment thanks to large-scale hotel construction projects bringing attention to the area.

With more and more people choosing to spend more than a couple days in ATHENS during peak summer months, we are always asked where to escape the heat for a swim. With so many beaches seemingly in relatively close proximity, we spoke with EVA KOSMOS about the area she grew up in -- the ATHENS RIVIERA.

There is a common misconception that the city of ATHENS is on the water. What is the ATHENS RIVIERA?

The ATHENS RIVIERA is the coastal area located on the south-side of ATHENS and it is one of the best places to spend the summer in Athens. It is comprised of many areas and extends all the way to the southernmost points of the Attica region. GLYFADA is less than 30 minutes away from the centre of Athens. Life is way more relaxed and laid back in areas like Glyfada, Voula, and Vouliagmeni. It feels like we live in a different city down south.


"I also go to a place that we call HR and it’s not a beach with sand -- it’s a rock beach. The water is so clear."

There are so many different beaches along the RIVIERA, it's so hard to know which one to go to. What are your favourites?

ATHENS RIVIERA includes so many suburbs but not all of them are ideal for a swim. I find VOULIAGMENI i to have the most beautiful beaches, and that’s where I go the most. KAVOURI has really beautiful spots and hidden gems. For example there’s a very small beach right next to Kavouri Beach that’s way cleaner and more quiet. I also go to a place that we call HR and it’s not a beach with sand, it's a rock beach -- but trust me you get the best view of Vouliagmeni, and the water is so clear. Only locals go there. For families, AKTI is really good cause there’s a small waterpark with inflatables and Lolos Ski Center for watersports right next to it. Lastly, ASTIR is always a good option but quite pricey. If you want to have some peace and be away from civilisation, head to areas like LAGONISI and SARONIDA -- it’s full of small beautiful beaches and less known by tourists.


"Life is way more relaxed and laid back in areas like GLYFADA, VOULA, and VOULIAGMENI."

How much is a beach bed at a popular spot like VOULIAGMENI? I have also hear other spots in the area can be expensive.

The beach beds can vary from 15€ to 80€, with ASTIR being the most expensive. KRABO beach is also very nice and it’s a beach bar too. Sunbeds are about 70€ there -- again, on the higher price point. ZEN beach is another beach bar right next to Krabo and it’s way more affordable. It’s great for a swim, lunch, cocktails -- you name it.

In terms of partying the most popular beach clubs are Bolivar in ALIMOS and Privilege in ASTIR that opens at night. Another option is Island Athens Riviera which feels like you’re quite literally on an island. It’s a bar-restaurant that turns into a nightclub. There is no actual beach there, but it’s right next to the water and the view is incredible. Definitely worth going and staying until the sunrise haha.

What is the easiest way to get to the beaches from central ATHENS? Does the trainline stretch all the way to Vouliagmeni?

The easiest way is car because it’s actually not ideal traveling from the city to the beaches near Vouliagmeni by public transport especially during the summer. The closest train stop is ELLINIKO which is the last stop of the metro line but it is still quite far from Vouliagmeni. To get to Vouliagmeni from Elliniko station you would then have to get the 117 or 122 bus which will take another 45 minutes.


"If you want to have some peace and be away from civilisation, head to areas like LAGONISI and SARONIDA."

What are your favourite tavernas or restaurants on the RIVIERA?

Honestly the options are limitless. I’ll start with brunch, my favourite brunch spot at the moment is OVEN in Glyfada. Best coffee, best granola bowls, best healthy sandwiches, best everything. For lunch and dinner you must go to SARDELAKI in Vouliagmeni. You get such a good value for money, the view is beautiful, the food is just amazing and very reasonably priced. For a fancy dinner date go to LAMPROS restaurant -- it’s one of the oldest restaurants in Vouliagmeni and the seafood is fresh.

And if you’re craving a good souvlaki go to TYLIXTO Greek Wrap; it has so many options and great food. Lastly, you can’t leave Vouliagmeni if you don’t go to WAFFLE HOUSE. It’s a few minutes walk from Tylixto and it’s hands down the best ice cream I’ve ever tried.

I am constantly trying to find the nicest beach closest to ATHENS and they can be hit and miss despite the fact they are on the same coastline. Some are rocky, some have rubbish -- which do you think is the best beach closest to central Athens and how far is it?

Ouuuuft, I’ll disappoint you but I would avoid going to any beaches close to Athens. The closer you can get to Vouliagmeni the better. If you’re desperate go to ALIMOS which is much closer to the city around, a 15 minute drive, but I personally would never go there for a swim.

I have seen there are water sports and boats to hire along the RIVIERA. What are some other activities to do in the area besides lounging and eating?

Yessss ! LOLOS SKI CENTRE is located in Vouliagmeni right next to Akti beach and the entrance is through En Plo cafe. There’s so much you can do: wakeboard, wakesurf, water ski, tubes, and many more. Another alternative for watersports is in Varkiza at YABANNAKI beach. Yabannaki is great because you have water sports and a beach bar all in one. It’s a nice beach and the sunbeds are more affordable. Suitable for anyone.

Other activities, one that I’ve tried and I really liked is paddleboarding. There’s a group that does yoga on the paddleboard, full moon paddling at night or at sunset. It’s so much fun.

If you feel like learning something new, there’s plenty of sailing schools in the south of Athens. Once you get your certificate you can sail all around Greece. Otherwise, you can always hire a small boat and go to ancient SOUNIO or KYTHNOS island. You do not need a license to hire one. It’s perfect for a day trip.


"For families, AKTI is really good cause there’s a small waterpark with inflatables and Lolos Ski Center for watersports right next to it."

Photographs by EVA KOSMOS. Cover image by TRAIANOS PAKIOUFAKIS.