Beaches of Attica

When it comes to beach quality and safety, 387 Greek beaches and 9 marinas are deemed worthy of the coveted Blue Flag (2nd in European ranking). That’s why Greece ranks top in Europe, beach-wise. It is convenient that you don’t have to go to an island to find them. While the wider Athens area may not offer an equal amount of swimming pleasure in comparison to the Aegean Sea, it is true that it has dozens of nice beaches of every kind. Organised, isolated, lively and party-friendly, secret and quiet if you please.

Thirteen of them, located in Attica, have met the criteria to fly the Flag. Athenians tend to downplay them, but don’t take their word too seriously. It is the result of their urge to take the first boat to the islands.

You can visit Attica beaches by way of the excellent public transport. We suggest tram. It might be slow, but it offers you a great chance to have a general view of the much talked about Athens coastline. 

Bear in mind two negatives: it won’t be easy to find a parking slot if you go by car and that's why we suggest the tram. Secondly, many of the beaches within easy reach of Athens charge an admission fee (with or without extra charge for the use of deckchairs, showers and watersports facilities). The most basic ones charge €3-6, while at the most cosmopolitan resorts, they can charge more than €10/person during weekends. However, there are plenty of free places.

We have picked some of the best seaside retreats in Attica within easy reach from the city centre.

 

Head south

Alimos

Just 8 km from Syntagma sq. It attracts everybody: senior citizens, families and young crowds who can't afford higher admission fees. There is a playground and a waterslide for children while the nearby marina features amenities such as restaurants and bars, banks, pharmacy – even a hair salon. Check out also “Eden beach”  where you can spot Athens’ beach racket players at their best, wearing speedos and performing spectacular moves. 

Elliniko

The locals have campaigned hard to secure the public status of the beach. So get prepared to “fight” over the few free-of-charge umbrellas and deckchairs. A canteen is always stationed outside the resort selling food and beverages. 

Asteria Beach, Glyfada

This is a summer hotspot almost 20 km from the city centre. There is a beach bar, restaurants, a beach volley court and a sea park, ideal scenery for summer socialising and meeting new people. That’s the reason it is very popular among youngsters and every summer weekend it resembles  a 24h mega club.

Glyfada Free Beaches

The first shopping malls of Athens were developed here and a large American community used to live and work at the nearby military basis before it closed down.The marinas on the coast are a centre for sailing holidays and yacht charters. Posh café-bars cater to affluent citizens, from ship owners to footballers’ wives and there are four free beaches where you can lay your beach towel. To help you make it through the day, the nearby periptera (kiosks) sell a wide range of goods at reasonable prices.

Voula A&B

Right after Glyfada there are long stretches of sandy beach. They are equipped with various facilities; bars, restaurants, changing rooms, lifeguards, beach volley and football courts as well as “extreme” fun waterslides. Voula suburb is a quieter version of Glyfada. 

Kavouri

A long sandy beach and an islet within swimming distance. Really shallow water, mixed crowds and popular for night swimming because it’s not too far and can fulfill spontaneous decisions. There is also the nearby Mikro Kavouri, two picturesque sandy gulfs ideal for more private moments. Coffee bars and restaurants supply beach bums with iced frappé and crunchy kalamarakia (squid). 

Vouliagmeni Beach

Well organised “full” house beach offering watersports facilities, individual cabins and a restaurant. A regular “catwalk” for revealing bikini wearers, a playground for athletic spirits and, last but not least, one of the few Attica beaches with disabled access facilities.

Vouliagmeni Lake

Dive into the therapeutic waters of the so-called “Sunken Lake”  a once  large cavern that collapsed after an earthquake. All year round, the temperature of the lake is a steady 24°C. A spa that attracts large crowds of elderly locals whose colourful floral swim caps can be seen bobbing about in the water. (limnivouliagmenis.gr

Vouliagmeni Limanakia

Swim for free but forget the comforts of a velvet beach. Small coves and flat rocks form the so-called Limanakia, giving the opportunity to show off diving skills and swim in truly crystal clear waters. Keep in mind that these beaches have no shallow waters and therefore are unsuitable for small children. Furthermore, they are gay and nudist friendly. And be careful in the narrow turns of road: Greek drivers can get really reckless while showing off their questionable skills.

Asteras Vouliagmenis

The ultimate taste of cosmopolitan life in Athens by the sea. A magnet for rich and famous with fat wallets that can afford its luxurious facilities (famous restaurants, fashion boutiques etc.). Here what you pay is what you see.

Yabanaki

This is a beach park located at Varkiza (Greek version of Miami). A beach fun park is the right expression due to the range of water sports facilities –water skiing, windsurf, tubes and banana rides, wake board etc. Of course there are bars, restaurants and equipment  shops. “Yabanaki”  may sound Japanese, but  it’s Greek for “let’s go for a swim”. In case you  were wondering… 

Grand Resort Lagonissi

Grand indeed. A unique beachfront accompanied by one of the most luxurious resorts in Greece. Sandy beach coves nestle in the verdant Lagonissi peninsula. You don’t have to be a resident to enjoy the beach or the pool in the sea (yes, there is one). So go for it and spoil yourself, combining it with a meal or a coffee/cocktail.

 

Head west

Porto Germeno

60 km away from the city centre, it’s a spacious and picturesque beach located between the mountains Pateras and Kitheron by the Gulf of Corinth. You can enjoy a beautiful ride getting there and complement your swim with a typical Greek taverna meal. We suggest fish.

Psatha

One and a half hour drive from Athens you will enjoy 2,5km beach under the dense shade of pine trees. Families and young couples are the most frequent visitors of this friendly beach. There are fish tavernas literally on the seashore.

Alepochori

Almost adjacent to Psatha beach but with more amenities and bigger crowds. There’s a beach volley court, cafés and tavernas. If you can’t stand the heat, visit in the evening to see its magnificent sunset as the sun disappears behind the Alkyonides – a group of islets. 

Pachi

Well protected from northern winds, this bay is situated right in front of the Pachi village. Lots of tavernas serving delicious sea mezedes for ouzo and coffee bars make the place rather popular. 

 

Head east

Mavro Lithari, Anavyssos

Almost 40 km from the centre of Athens this is a popular beach, suitable for sunbathing and socialising. It provides opportunities for jet ski and crowd watching but if you want a proper swim you should head to the neighbouring little bay of Agios Nikolaos.

Thymari

Look for the sign “Thymari”  just after the fish tavernas of Palea Phokea. Turn right, park the car, lay the towel and enjoy one of the finest pebble beaches of east Attica. Refreshments and snacks can be bought from a nearby kiosk.

Harakas

On the way to Sounio, just between Keratea and Lavrio, be careful because if you miss the sign “Traditional settlement of Harakas” and don’t turn left, you might get lost. But do insist, as you’ll get rewarded with one of the least known and quiet beaches of Attica. Bring water, snacks and stuff like that, you won’t have the chance to buy them in a shop. That’s the price you pay for private sunbathing. 

Legrena

On weekdays it almost feels like a private beach. It’s situated in front of its namesake village, 60 km from Athens and some three km west of Sounio. It’s not easy to find, but it’s worth the effort because it’s very clean and usually offers charming crystal waters. 

Karavi (Schinias)

One of the most equipped beaches in the Marathonas area with a parking space for at least 1,500 cars. Sometimes though, during busy summer weekends, it might be difficult to find a slot.  It attracts large crowds due to its amenities: restaurants, beach bars, three beach volley courts. It has become a synonym to watersports. It also provides first aid, coastguards, wireless Internet access and even a meteorological station. Don’t expect quietness and much space for your towel.

Avlaki & Erotospilia (Porto Rafti)

These two are located south of the picturesque Porto Rafti peninsula and are well protected from northern and southern winds. The first one offers sun beds and umbrellas, basketball courts, and a wide choice of restaurants, tavernas and snack bars. The second one is the Greek word for “love cave” and used to be a secret mini bay for swimming loners. Now it’s popular. 

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