What with all the museum visits and sightseeing at ancient sites, the shopping sprees in the city center and the long downtown coffee breaks, it’s easy to forget that Athens is as close to the sea as it is. Take a few hours out of your busy itinerary and spend them at the beach, lazing on a lounger or swimming in the clean waters off Athens’ southern coast.
Astir Beach (Tel. (+30) 890.1619, astir.gr), the queen of the Athens Riviera, has maintained its iconic status for 60-odd years. It boasts a long list of celebrities who have dipped a graceful toe in its sparkling waters. Chill out under your black-and-white striped umbrella, order whatever you like from the all-day menu of the 40Forty Day Night Bar Restaurant (using their clever beeper system) or book a table at Nice n’ Easy Seaside for a farm-to-table experience by the water. The amazing range of options includes pampering treatments at the Holmes Place Spa, as well as water sports and beach volleyball and paddle ball. Booking a lounger online is a great solution for a stress-free visit, unless you’re happy to be here before 11:00 to find a spot.
About a kilometer from Astir, the Blue Flag-awarded Akti Vouliagmenis Beach (Tel. (+30) 896.0697, vouliagmeni-akti.gr) is a more budget-friendly and low-key option. It has a lovely wide stretch of sand and is especially popular among families with small children because the waters are not deep. Apart from sun loungers and umbrellas, it’s also equipped with tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, as well as a bar with all the basics.
If you want more out of your day at the beach than lounging around and taking a swim, Yabanaki (Tel. (+30) 210.897.2414, yabanaki.gr) in Varkiza is, hands down, the beach facility with the most to offer in Attica. Thatched umbrellas provide ample shade during the scorching midday hours, there are all sorts of water sports and there’s also a range of food options, from Italian cuisine and Greek meze to burgers and souvlaki.
This text was first published as part of “Beat the Heat”, an article published in Greece Is Athens, Summer 2019 Edition.