There is a sense of change in the air, just 30 minutes away from Athens…..
Southern Athens is a fantastic multi – tasking destination for couples, families and business travellers seeking to unwind and experience “island magic” without having to step foot on a ferry. Easily accessible by car, bus or light rail, this “Athenian Riviera” is a “must-see” for anyone wanting to enjoy Athens to its fullest.
A magnificent terrace of city of Athens to the Saronic Gulf…..
The Athenian Riviera overlooks the Saronic Gulf lies at a coastline dotted with luxury hotels, beautiful beaches, waterfront boulevards and one of the fastest up-and-coming cultural areas in Attica……And all this overlooking a stunning seascape, sailing yachts and small islands on the horizon!
Where is the Athens Riviera?
The Athenian Riviera is delimited from Floisvos – at the end of Syggrou Avenue, from Alimos, Elliniko, Voula, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza, Agia Marina, Saronida, Anavyssos, Palea Fokea and Legrena areas – to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon. This beautiful location offers a number of opportunities: relaxing at one of many cafes or beach bars, enjoying the nightlife in open-air clubs, dining at international restaurants or local fish taverns, swimming in turquoise waters off sandy beaches, participating in water sports, walking along the seaside pedestrian walks or alongside the marinas, shopping at top brand shopping centres, treating oneself at deluxe spa centres, swimming in a natural thermal lake with healing properties or exploring museums and ancient monuments.
Beaches, recreation, and culture…
With island getaways (Saronic islands), city beaches and family-friendly shores perfect for tanning and sand-castle building, the Athenian Riviera promises a beach for every visitor!
For native Athenians, the blue-flag beaches are just part of daily life; but for those who come from colder climates, the sea that extends from the city is something to be appreciated daily. It’s not many cities where you can take a swim after putting in a full day at the office or sightseeing!
This is the Athenian Riviera. Starting from the port of Piraeus all the way to Cape Sounion along the coastal Poseidon’s Ave — named after who else, the god of the sea Poseidon — one can enjoy a fully-fledged holiday in Greece — sun, sea, glamour and all — without leaving the capital …
The Athenian Riviera boasts a large number of hotels which guarantee an unparalleled hospitality.
Athenian Riviera……Your Dream Wedding Destination! The magical atmosphere and idyllic beauty of Attica can offer you everything your heart desires! The ‘Athenian Riviera’, with its cosmopolitan and luxury hotels and numerous chic restaurants will offer you and your guests the finest in Greek and Mediterranean dining. Here you will also discover a wide range of modern nightclubs with music for all tastes, refreshing cocktails, gorgeous settings and an amazing view of the calm waters of the Argo-Saronic Gulf.
Catering and entertainment businesses dotting the Athenian Riviera promise unforgettable moments day and night, even for the most demanding visitors. From Flisvos Marina in the morning to the nightclubs late at night, the sounds of music and the sense of relaxation will make every visit unique.
Vouliagmeni Lake is at the centre of a wider region marked by an exceptional coastline, with beautiful beaches and hillsides hidden in the shadows of pine trees. It is where nature of the Mediterranean finds its best expression. Athens’ southern suburbs invite visitors to a unique tour.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL INTEREST
The Temple of Apollo Zoster in Asteras, the archaeological park of Kavouri, the Temple of Agios Nikolaos and of course the majestic Temple of Poseidon in Sounio are the places that are worth visiting.
Faliro Exhibition Centre, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center , Elliniko complex, Technological Park – Lavrio
Athenian Riviera has easy access to Piraeus Port and Lavrio Port, to Athens city-centre and to Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” via Vari-Koropi Avenue (the distance to the Airport varies of the location and ranges from 5 to 30km). The small city of Lavrio is just 10km away.
HOW TO GET THERE
Athens Riviera can be accessed by private car, TAXI, buses and TRAM line
By tram: Choose T1 line from Syntagma towards “Néo Faliro” (Peace and Friendship Stadium station) or T2 line towards Voula (Asklipio Voulas station). You can also board T3 line departing from Voula to Néo Faliro.
By bus: You can take the B3 route (Akadimia-Glyfada, through Vouliagmenis avenue) or the express bus number E22 (Akadimia-Saronida).
ATHENS RIVIERA – MUST SEE
– Paleo Faliro
Begin your morning with a stroll through Flisvos Marina in Palaio Faliro, not too far from Athens’ city center….. Here lies Greece’s most prestigious VIP mega-yacht parking lot. More than 200 gleaming luxury boats are berthed at the marina, and the impressive seaside redevelopment includes restaurants, cafés and shops. Pull up a chair in a waterfront café and take in the sights and sounds of the mega-yachts floating lazily in the morning hours while you enjoy your morning coffee.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC)
Along this very coast, one the country’s largest infrastructure projects, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, also behind the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, the 566 million euro Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is expected to open in 2016 and will house the Greek National Opera, a two-million-book National Library and the 170,000m2 Stavros Niarchos Park on the Faliro Bay shoreline. Further down the coast, the Maritime Tradition Park near Paleo Faliro’s Flisvos’ area hosts historical ships, with the Georgios Averof battleship taking center stage.
Olympic Tae Kwon Do Stadium
The Olympic Tae Kwon Do Stadium, also located in the Faliro Bay area had converted into a modern conference centre.
Peace and Friendship Stadium
The Peace and Friendship Stadium, commonly known by its acronym SEF is a multi-purpose arena in Piraeus, in the coastal zone of Athens. Built in the early 1980s by Greek construction companies, the stadium is easily accessible by bus, tram and metro lines. Resembling the famous Milano Arena, its auxiliary facilities include a first-aid centre, large car parks and a variety of food outlets. Thanks to its high-tech infrastructure, in addition to major sporting events, it also hosts exhibitions, conventions and other large-scale activities.
The town of Alimos, adjacent to Paleo Faliro, has the nearest developed—and clean—beach to Athens. The so-called “Beach of the Sun” extends over 60,000 square meters and has umbrellas and lounge chairs, beach bars, a couple of tavernas, and one mini-market.
The Alimos Marina
The Alimos marina has around 1000 docks for servicing cruise boats and yachts up to 40 meters long. The coastal road leading to the marina is strewn with lively beach bars and clubs. Alimos Marina is located South West of Athens 15 Km from the city center, 8 Km South of Piraeus port and 30 km from El. Venizelos International Airport. It is served by a dense transportation network of Trams, Buses and Taxis, with stations 500 meters from the Marina.
Elliniko is situated near the Saronic Gulf coast, 10 km south of Athens city centre. Many commercial exhibitions are hosted every year at Elliniko complex (former Olympic games complex and also former airport). In a total surface of 170 acres has 15.000sq.m accommodated exhibition space Elliniko complex also has attracted investors interest. Elliniko is well connected to the centre of Athens through a new line of the Athens metro (Elliniko station). The Athens Tram serves the coastal part of Elliniko.
Glyfada, one of the more elegant suburbs of Athens, borders the ex airport Hellinikon . The area, which is home to many of Greece’s millionaires, ministers and celebrities, stretches from the foot of the Hymettus Mountain to the Saronic Gulf. This fashion-conscious suburb is known for its cosmopolitan bars and clubs, stylish restaurants and a shopping area specializing in top brands. It features an 18-hole golf course, high end estates and looks on to the Saronic Gulf.
Glyfada has also been called “Knightsbridge-on-Sea”, “Hellenic Hamptons”, or the “Beverly Hills of Greece”.
Glyfada’s main retail artery of Metaxa St can appear soulless. Uncover more of the “real Glyfada” in the leafy side-streets where a wave of new start-ups is creating an energetic SoHo village vibe. The area around Laodikis, Esperidon Square and Kiprou in particular is loaded with edgy boutiques; cosy outdoor bars; inventive culinary ventures…..shopping malls and fast food giants.
Glyfada Golf Course
A place of sport, recreation, culture situated in an idyllic spot, with a gorgeous view of the sea and breathtaking sunsets. It is an 18-hole par 72 championship course , easily accessible from the city center ( 12 km ) by car, bus and tram; the perfect place to escape for the whole family . In conjunction with the famous market of Glyfada, rich in restaurants and cafes, and a step away from the beautiful Saronic Gulf, it is a memorable experience for everyone.
Just two miles south of Glyfada lies Voula, home to two amazing organized beaches and the Riviera’s biggest beach clubs. Enjoy during the day a colorful summer setting that brings to mind a real amusement park with modern beach bars, jet ski equipment, beach volleyball courts, a vibrant dance deck and exciting waterslides, whereas at night you can enjoy a cocktail in one of the district’s elegant clubs! Voula A’ beach has been awarded a blue flag this year, which makes it ideal (and safe!) for families as well. On Voula B’ beach disabled people can also enjoy a swim thanks to the special infrastructure that has been installed on the beach.
– Vouliagmeni – Jewel of the Riviera
Vouliagmeni is to Athens what Cannes is to the Cote d’Azur…
For lovers of glamour, jetsetters and sophisticated travelers alike, the suburb of Vouliagmeni constitutes the best part of the Athenian Riviera. It is located 25 km away from Athens city center and is endowed by nature with sunshine, beaches, green spaces and beautiful neighborhoods all of which will make you feel so far away, yet, at the same time actually so close to Athens city center. A marina, a palm tree-lined boulevard and a brace of private beaches are its trademarks whereas the picturesque harbour offers stunning views of the distant Saronic Gulf islands. The perfect Vouliagmeni day starts at Moorings in Marina Vouliagmenis. Skip breakfast Greek style and sit over an icy frappe while admiring the sweep of Vouliagmeni bay (and all those Russian oligarchs’ mighty vessels). Lunch is served opposite Lake Vouliagmeni, at a local institution for more than half a century thanks to its magnificent bay setting and nostalgic ambience. Go for simple classics such as grilled barbounia (red mullet), fresh calamari, mydopilafo (mussel rice) and horiatiki (the ever-present Greek salad), aided by a crisp Santorini white wine while you watch the yachts jig about on the crystalline seas. Walk off lunch with a gentle hike on the popular Mount Hymettus trail above Vouliagmeni’s cafe strip and be rewarded with hypnotic views of Athens and the Saronic islands. Astir beach on Apollonos street with its shallow, delicately turquoise water, smooth sand, excellent facilities and blue flag certification for cleanliness is one of Attica’s most luxurious and most popular beaches. Opposite Astir beach lies the public beach, which has no facilities and therefore no entry fee.
If we add the bustling nightlife, the elegant cafes and restaurants and the luxurious hotels, Vouliagmeni is definitely a summer hotspot that you cannot afford to miss!
Vouliagmeni Lake – Natural Spa Waters
An important Monument of Nature……
Before heading home, stop by the Vouliagmeni Lake Natural Spa Waters, just across the street for a refreshing dip in nature’s own spa. Vouliagmeni Lake, in the heart of the Athenian Riviera, is the hidden treasure of Attica’s nature.The natural beauty of this scenery offers the visitor true moments of relaxation. Its modern and quiet installations are environmental-friendly and are suitable for swimming and body exercise in the natural nursing springs. The café provides excellent service and is the place to enjoy the view of this ecological paradise. Free parking is also available. Vouliagméni Lake, only a five-minute walk from the little square in the centre of the town, lies “sunk” (Vouliagmeni meaning sunk) in the remains of a huge limestone cave fed by lukewarm springs welling from underground.
Vouliagmeni Lake, in the heart of the Athenian Riviera, is the hidden treasure of Attica’s nature. Situated on an idyllic landscape, this rare geological phenomenon is waiting to be discovered. The lake’s brackish waters which are continuously replenished both by the sea and the underground thermal springs offer a natural and unique thermal spa experience.
History: The Lake is recognized as an important Monument of Nature, because of its marvelous surroundings and its natural location. The Lake’s impressive shape was formed by geological changes that were unable to be chronologically specified. The scientific research came to the conclusion that where the Lake stands now, millions of years ago, a huge underground cave existed. The walls of the cave suffered erosion, because of the high temperature hot springs that were streaming inside, causing the roof to collapse and ending with the ground’s sinking.
The water: The water of the Lake gushes from its water springs located 50 to 100m underground. The water’s temperature remains stable between 21ο C and 27ο C. The level of the Lake’s water is half a meter above the sea level making it to move towards the sea, therefore, keeping its waters constantly renewed.
The Water’s Composition: The water of the Lake is brackish and has healing capacities due to its composition which among other minerals it consists of: Potassium, Natrium, Lithium, Ammonium, Calcium, Ferrum, Chloride, Iodine, and is slightly radioactive. All these elements provide relief in all kind of arthritis, dermatological and gynecological conditions, as well as, in backaches and sciatica.
Beyond Vouliagmeni lies the bustling little resort of Varkiza, where an outstanding seascape unfolds with impressive coves below the coastal road. You will have the chance to swim in free or organized beaches with azure waters, to exercise your favorite water sports or enjoy a delicious meal in a picturesque tavern by the sea while sipping a glass of ouzo which perfectly complements fresh seafood! Windsurfing enthusiasts will be thrilled to exercise their favourite sport in Varkiza since it is considered to offer the best windsurfing infrastructure!
– Agia Marina
A small beach between Varkiza and Lagonissi
The small sandy beach in front of the summer settlement of Saronida is situated at a distance of some 48 kilometers southeastern to the center of Athens. The beach is not organized and the sea is rather shallow.
Anavissos is one of the most known and beautiful beach resorts situated close to Cape Sounion. It is 2 km north of Palaia Fokea, 4 km east of Saronida, 10 km west of Lavrio and 34 km southeast of Athens city centre. The area is well-known for its clean and shallow waters, ideal mostly for the children who love activities in the water and the sand. The beach is surrounded by tall pine trees and a lush green environment that create a peaceful landscape in combination with the crystal clear waters. The beach is also one of the best windsurfing destinations.
– Palea Fokea
Palea Fokea next to Anavissos is a nice sandy beach southeast of Athens. A beautiful fishing port adds to the beach charm. Several restaurants on the beach offer what the local fishermen provide.
Legrena is the last beach before reaching Sounion, and the Templae of Poseidon lies a few meters further down the road. The beach is located 60 km southeast of Athens and 3km west of Sounion, and for many meters surrounded by a protected cove.This beach is totally disorganized, but one of the cleanest in Athens and quite unspoilt. There are many taverns and cafeterias in the wider region, where you can enjoy a coffee or a delicious meal by the sea. It can get a bit crowded on weekends but it’s perfect during the week days.
– Temple of Poseidon – Cape Sounio
A must-see for travelers to Athens
The coastal road continues through marvellous tourist resorts and ends at Cape Sounio, Attica’s southeastern tip. There you will find the impressive Temple of Poseidon – the last piece of the ancient Athenians’ homeland every time they sailed into the Aegean. Watching the sunset filling the sky with every shade of mauve and pink and making the sea glowing like a sapphire is an unforgettable experience that will weave a powerful spell over you.