Did you know that approximately ten miles from Athens city centre you can experience the Athens Riviera, where summer never ends?
Leaving the urban landscape behind, the Athenian coastline from Piraeus to Sounion, offers a wide range of choices. Organised beaches, rocky spots for divers, chic cocktails bars, fine restaurants and classy resorts, alongside cultural landmarks and ideal weather; allows travellers to realise they don’t need to go far in order to get a real taste of Greek summer!
If you find yourself in Piraeus, pay a visit to the Hellenic Maritime Museum, which is located at the entrance of Marina Zea. Greece’s maritime history and tradition comes to life and it’s a really interesting ‘trip’ for you to experience!
Piraeus may be known for its port, as it’s the main one in Athens and the connection to the majority of the Greek islands, but still, there are many areas for you to discover. In Pasalimani there are many cafes and restaurants and to the other side is Piraiki- maybe the best place to enjoy fresh fish with a magnificent view. Moreover, Kastela and Mikrolimano offer very good Greek food as well.
The reason I’m including Kallithea on this list is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, a new state- of- the- art facility and a landmark of cultural exhibitions within the city. The Centre is built by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the project was designed by Renzo Piano. It includes the brand new facilities of the National Library, the National Opera and a Park that hosts various performances and events.
Taking the tram from Syntagma, which connects the centre with the south suburbs and reaches Voula as the final destination, means you can make stops and explore the main areas of the Athens Riviera. Or, of course, you can cycle across ‘Paraliaki’ (the main coast road), which is really enjoyable and rejuvenating!
Located only six kilometers from the centre, Flisvos Marina is an ideal place for recreation. You can either causally stroll around- or to enjoy a beverage in a café, Flisvos is the best option. Moreover, here you will find one of the most beautiful open air cinemas of Athens and you can arrange (if you like) a sailing day exploring the Saronic Gulf.
Alimos offers various choices. You can enjoy a dive in one of the organised beaches and have coffee or drinks at the Nalu café or Bolivar beach bar. Often, Nalu and Bolivar host concerts with well-known artists, which gives the feeling that you are in an island far, far away.
You should definitely visit Balux Seaside Café, in order to enjoy a drink during sunset. The pillows on the sand, by the sea, create an incredible scenery. Nevertheless, Glyfada area offers many options for drinks, food and is ideal for shopping as well- with a long strip of boutiques catering to all fashionistas!
This is one of the most expensive areas of the Athens peninsula, due to its idyll location. Visit ‘Asteras’ for swimming (with a fee of around 20 euros- keep in mind Astir resort is being renovated throughout 2017) or the main Vouliagmeni beach (with a fee of around 5 euros). As dinner time rolls around, you can eat at Matsuhisa restaurant (the best Japanese food in Athens) known worldwide as Nobu- or at Sardelaki, where you can enjoy seafood at reasonable prices. Lastly, if you feel indulgent- try some delicious waffles and ice cream at ‘Waffle House’.
Vouliagmeni is also known for the rocky parts (Limanakia). Choose your favourite spot and dive off the rocks! Furthermore, you should definitely visit Vouliagmeni Lake, with its natural hot springs.
Moving on, Varkiza is a beautiful area and many Athenians hold their beach houses here. ‘Island’ is one of the most famous cafés and bars where you will find celebrities and socialites from around the world mingling. This area also offers a variety of good eateries as well.
A visit to Sounion can be a lot more than just a daily excursion. Most importantly, there lies the Temple of Poseidon, at the top of the cliff, and it is one of the most significant monuments of Ancient Greece and a cornerstone of history. Visiting this place, especially with a full moon scenery, your soul will be filled with its magical and positive energy!
To sum it →
Athens coastline and Athens Riviera: Cosmopolitan locations, some of the best eateries, many beaches and cultural landmarks. As you can see, sometimes, you don’t have to travel far in order to find beauty- you just have to open your eyes!