This season, Greece invites you to experience the Athens Riviera, a gateway to the Grecian coastal lifestyle.

Extending from the southern suburbs of Athens to Cape Sounio at the southernmost tip of Attica, Athens Riviera is a must-visit stretch of destinations along the Saronic Gulf.

A mere thirty minutes from the centre of Athens, this breathtaking seaside expanse boasts pristine beaches and a wide variety of activities that will keep you entertained and amazed throughout your visit. 

As you explore this haven, a world brimming with possibilities unfolds. Dive into exhilarating water sports, bask on sun-drenched shores, and melt your stress away by dipping in a natural thermal pool. 

Once evening falls, immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of open-air cinemas, where classic films are screened under a star-studded sky.

Here are some of the top activities and places you need to seek out to get the most out of your Athens Riviera excursion:

Open-air cinema

As the scorching summer heat begins to wane and the lights dim, the projectors at the open-air cinemas flicker to life, drawing crowds eager to enjoy their favourite classics under the twinkling stars. 

These open-air theatres in Athens are as legendary as the films they screen, a tradition dating back to the early 20th century when cinemas were still talkies. 

Today, Athens boasts over 65 outdoor cinemas, with a few lovely options located in the Athens Riviera:

  • Cine Ria: Perfect for those seeking a retro ambiance, where you can enjoy new Hollywood releases with Greek subtitles in Varkiza.
  • Cine Akti A beloved spot in Vouliagmeni. Enjoy a sensory treat of a classic movie surrounded by bushels of orange blossoms.
  • Arian Urban Openair Cinema: A beloved spot in the Riviera. Sink into a bean bag with a tub of popcorn for an unparalleled movie-watching experience.

Perhaps the most relaxing way to unwind after exploring the city is to settle in under the stars with a tub of popcorn and watch movies until you drift off to sleep. 

For adrenaline chasers and adventure seekers

Serving as the heart of the Southern Suburbs, Glyfada stands out as one of the most popular destinations along the Riviera. 

Golf enthusiasts should make a beeline toward the Glyfada Golf Club, which boasts an 18-hole course built to international standards, which is also ideal for hosting events and family gatherings. 

For travellers looking for something more heart rate-raising, Glyfada also provides ample opportunities for scuba diving and various water sports with its proximity to the coast. Immerse yourself in the underwater marvels of this historic city by paying a visit to the esteemed Paterakis Diving Center, one of Athens’ premier destinations for deep water excursion.

Embark on a jetset adventure on and off the water

Luxury yachts cruising the Athens Riviera have a safe and comfortable home in Flisvos Marina in Faliro, Greece’s first exclusive marina catering to mega yachts.

Image © Shutterstock

Flisvos Marina observes the highest international standards for safety, privacy, and care, with space for up to 310 berths and yachts larger than 30 m in length. The marina also provides a helicopter landing area and round-the-clock security system and crew; it’s perfect for high rollers looking to park their rides.

Image © GNTO/Y.Skoulas

The rows of gleaming hulls are a sight to behold for both ship enthusiasts and casual strollers. Indeed, Flisvos Marina is a gorgeous spot to watch the sunset alongside the promenade. On any given weekend, you’ll find a mix of ship crews, couples, and families with kids perusing shops and grabbing a meal or coffee from one of the excellent cafes and restaurants within the marina.

The natural spa

Image © GNTO/Y.Skoulas

Surrounded by lush foliage and rugged rock formations, Vouliagmeni Lake is an enchanting oasis. Fed by underground channels coursing through Mount Hymettus, its mineral-rich waters. The water’s passage through deep, warm caves before reaching the lake, turns it into a natural spa pool that soothes away bodily aches and discomforts. 

Image © GNTO/Y.Skoulas

Along the lake’s border lie luxurious hotels, restaurants, and resorts that capitalize on the area’s natural allure. Among them, Ithaki shines as one of the most esteemed, offering authentic Greek delicacies by its seaside location. Diners can enjoy meals under a canopy of trees and gentle lamplight, immersing themselves in a serene ambiance.

You can kickstart your day at another nearby gem, Limanakia Beach, celebrated for its crystal-clear waters. The sea’s transparency is such that one can discern one’s own shadow on the sandy seabed several feet below.

To cap off your day, luxuriate in a refreshing swim in the comforting waters of Vouliagmeni Lake, embracing its rejuvenating properties and preparing for another unforgettable day on the Athens Riviera.

Bask in beach opulence

Image © GNTO/P.Merakos

Along the sprawling expanse of the Athens Riviera lies a treasure trove of pristine beaches and seaside indulgences, beckoning you to embark on a luxurious coastal escapade. 

Among these gems, Kavouri Beach stands out, nestled in the serene suburb of Voula. With its secluded coves and tranquil ambiance, it offers a coveted retreat from the crowds, promising an exclusive beach experience tailored to your desires. Meanwhile, Varkiza beach awaits, presenting a veritable paradise where every beachgoer’s desires are met, from plush sunbeds to thrilling water sports and delectable dining options. For the best sunset beach experience, visit Aegeon Beach situated at Cape Sounion. Distanced from the crowds and hustle of the city, set against the backdrop of the Aegean Sea and the Temple of Poseidon, your evening couldn’t get any more photogenic than this.

For those seeking an extra touch of sophistication, head to Astir Beach, a glamorous sun-and-sand stop in Vouliagmeni. Tucked amidst fragrant pine trees and offering sweeping vistas of azure waters, Astir Beach is a perfect spot for luxuriating in the gentle caress of the sun’s rays and achieving that enviable bronzed glow. 

Delight in the quintessential beach experience, indulging in seaside cuisine under a starlit sky, all while being serenaded by the soothing rhythm of waves gently caressing the shore.

A gorgeous sunset to end your evening

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The monument of the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio is the finest spot in the Athens Riviera to enjoy a stunning sunset amidst ancient ruins.

The ruins are believed to be remnants of a grander structure from 700 BC. Legend has it, ancient Athenian sailors would feel a wave of relief when they glimpsed Cape Sounio after long sea voyages, knowing they were finally home. The temple has stood as a timeless symbol of this comforting sight.

In present days, visitors can partake in this enduring sense of comfort and serenity. As evening approaches, journey to the temple, take a dip in the inviting waters of Sounio Beach as the sun sets. Feel the same warmth from the golden rays reflecting off the crystal-clear waters, just as those sailors did centuries ago.

Luxurious retreat

Indulge in a splendid staycation experience amidst the historical sites and cultural richness in Athens Riviera.

For those seeking a coastal retreat with the iconic backdrop of the Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounio beckons. Its villas, bungalows, and suites are tucked inside a small paradise of pristine pine hills with a clear view of the Aegean Sea, perfect for witnessing its legendary sunsets and full moons. The resort also facilitates seamless access to two beaches via tunnels—one sandy, the other pebbled. boasting exquisite dining options and private pools.

The Four Seasons Astir Palace, meanwhile, offers a sought-after high-end haven within the city and convenient proximity to various attractions. 

Image © Four Seasons Astir Palace/Kenseet

Guests luxuriate in beachfront accommodations complete with exclusive access to private beaches, a luxury spa, and bespoke packages featuring boat tours and sunset dining experiences.

Image © Athens Spa at Four Seasons Astir Palace/Kenseet

Another excellent option is The Margi, a luxury boutique hotel nestled in Vouliagmeni. Boasting effortless access to numerous iconic city spots, it embodies luxury across its diverse range of accommodations, including rooms, suites, and villas. The Margi also aims to nourish their guests inside and out, through their natural spa treatments and fine dining options with ingredients sourced from their organic farm.

The Grand Resort Lagonissi reigns supreme for those seeking a luxury hideaway. The sea-view rooms and private bungalows offer panoramic views of the Saronic Gulf, with access to private beaches. The 5-star resort also boasts multiple gourmet options from 7 restaurants and 3 bars, rejuvenating spa services, and yacht rental services catering to every whims and wishes.

Explore One&Only Aesthesis, an sumptuous retreat in Glyfada, inspired by the stays of 1960s in the Athenian Riviera. The exquisite architecture is hidden within a 21-hectare protected forest reserve, creating a little luxurious haven for pleasure seekers. Families or groups looking for an elevated vacation in a private enclave can opt to stay in their expanded residences or exclusive private homes, all set on the Glyfada shoreline. Bringing kids? They’ll love the pools, the fun activities at the KidsOnly club, and a marvellous insectarium on the resort ground.

Consider also the Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso for a comparable experience, boasting seafront rooms, outdoor pools, and exquisite dining options. The luxury establishment is particularly well-known for the wellness center; it’s the only place in Athens that offers the esteemed Thalassotherapy, with benefits that include improved circulation, better skin health, and stress relief.

The Athens Riviera is dotted with a variety of excellent accommodations to cater to its discerning guests. With an abundance of choices, indulge in what captivates you most and revel in a memorable staycation in one of the world’s finest coastal retreats.

How to reach the Athens Riviera?

Image © GNTO/P. Merakos

The two most popular transportation options for visitors are trams and buses. Depending on your starting point or the nearest tram route, you can hop on the tram to either the Peace and Friendship Stadium station or the Asklipio Voulas station. 

Alternatively, if you prefer taking the bus, you have the following options:

  • Α3 Bus Route: from Akadimia to Glyfada, passing through Vouliagmenis Avenue.
  • Express Bus E22: from Metro Station Elliniko to Saronida.
  • 171 Bus Route: from Metro Station Elliniko to Varkiza.

While both options are available, the tram is highly recommended for its scenic route along the coastline, providing breathtaking beach views.

If you arrive by bus and wish to experience the coastal charm, you can board the T3 tram line from Voula to Neo Faliro, offering a delightful beachside journey.

Image © GNTO/Th.Gravanis

No matter how you arrive, what truly matters is how deeply you embrace and immerse yourself in all that the Athens Riviera has to offer before bidding it farewell. Stepping into this magical destination is bound to weave another memorable tale, one that you and your companions will lovingly recount for years to come. 

So, cherish each moment while you’re here—dive into the azure lake, enjoy outdoor cinema, and embrace all that this vibrant stretch of destinations offers.

Featured image © GNTO/K.Filippini