Golden sand, rocky lagoons and pebble or shale or a combination of all of the above are available if you know where to go. Some beaches are free while others are organized with prices ranging from moderate to expensive.
Some few (see list below) are resorts unto themselves where in addition to merely paying for tickets for day admission, luxurious hotel and bungalow accommodations can be made as well.
All these beaches get busy in May, June and July and the expensive bungalows and resort hotels booked far in advance. The beaches of Attika are no well guarded secret known only to a few!
Athenians enjoy their beaches (paRe-Lee-es or plage) and frequent them every chance they get and particularly in June and July.
In August however its a different and easier story because the Athens area beaches are much less cluttered. Many Athenians and most other Europeans go on vacation in August. So if you are Greek island bound you will be rubbing shoulders with them on Cycladic and other type islands. Greeks and other Europeans that is!
When its business as usual, and the Athenians are in residence, getting to Athens beach in traffic can be a maddening and intensely hot experience. Depart early in the morning if you possibly can. Also remember on these long beach days that dusk is 9 pm in high summer and that sun burn can ruin your trip!
Fridays, all year long. those Athenians who can, depart by car to the Exo-hee or country side. Try to avoid the weekend rush - leave Thursday or Saturday return Monday instead of Sunday night. This advice holds for excursions to the Attika beaches as well.
During August, when many Athenians go on holiday elsewhere in Greece, these beaches are usually a quick, short hop enabling visits to more than one beach if so desired. With Athens new roads and tram lines built, this situation has improved. It cant get any worse and weekends are the most trying times for beach goers. If you can go during the week do it!
Sometimes called the Athens Rivera, Gold Coast or even Apollo Coast anyone spending more than a few days in Athens should consider a beach excursion.
Public transportation will get you to most of the beaches but a rental car will make your journey much quicker and flexible. The new Tram line from Syntagma Square is a good basic choice and you get a little tour of parts of Athens to boot. But it only goes to the nearest metro beaches. Starting in Phaliron where in ancient times the famed 200 strong Athenian triremes were beached.
Depending on wind conditions the closest beaches, such as Phaliron, a mere 15 minutes by car from the center, are usually quite clean. Greece has the cleanest waters in the EU. I have to admit that I have seen the inner beaches littered with floating plastic, paper. I have also encountered them spotless and clean.
GREECE'S BEACHES THE CLEANEST IN THE EU
Athens, 6 June 2003 (11:00 UTC+2)
Greece has the cleanest beaches in the EU, according to the annual report of the EU on the quality of swimming waters. Samples were taken from 1,914 beaches where swimming is allowed, regarding microbiological and chemical parameters. The EU report concluded that the average quality of coastline swimming waters continued improving. Our country won the most blue flags, with 97%, while according to the report, cities with more than 150,000 residents, have already started using refuse processing units.
Grand Beach Resort Lagonissi Hours 8am-9pm, Admission M-F: 8am-3pm is 7 Eu, 3pm to 9pm is 4.50 Eu. Weekends 10.50 Eu, children 1/2 off. Luxurious with many amenities including: floating bar, thai & shiatsu massage, reflexology, body painting, henna tattoo, sun beds, restaurant with food delivered to your sun bed. Volley Ball, para-sailing, water skiing, banana tubes an extreme games track with climbing wall, rappel and fly fox. 2 gourmet restaurants.
Asteria Seaside Glyfada. Hours 8am-9pm, Admission M-F: 8am-3pm is 7 Eu. Weekends 10 Eu, children 1/2 off. Admission: 10 Eu, weekends 13 Eu. Manicured gardens, beach bars, self service restaurant, golden sand, delivered food to your sun bed, all wooden children's playground, aqua park with inflatable constructions, 3 water trampolines, ice berg for scaling, sea saws, catapults and aqua volley. The water is kept clean by an ultra-modern filter net and scuba divers scour the sea bed daily. Separate, more private Ballux beach and all day club. New private summer units each with its own pool. Conference center, Nightclub.
Apollonies Aktes Voula. Beaches A & B, Hours 7am-9pm, Admission 3 Eu, children 1.50 Eu., 1 mo., 6 mo. and 12 mo. passes available. , Ex state run beaches now privately managed and popular due to proximity to center, sandy shore and shallow waters. Amenities: water-slides and water sports, bar, sun beds, umbrellas, playground, pool, open air concerts at night.
Asteria Vouligmenis & Resort Vouliagmeni. Hours 8:30am-6pm. Admission: M-F: 8 Eu, Children $Eu, Weekends: 11 Eu/5Eu. This is one of a complex of beaches occupying a tree covered private promontory with its own famous resort. Super models, sports and movie stars have all stayed here. Amenities: Golden sand, water sports, wind surfing, water skiing, motor boat excursions to islet of Fleves, modern wooden playground for the kids. Also contains ruins of the Temple of Apollo form the 5C BC. 3 different resort complexes are available for accommodation.
Akti Vouliagmeni Hours: 8am-8pm, Admission 3 Eu, Tel: 210-896-0906. Very popular recently up-graded beach close to the city with deep clean waters. Received EU Blue Flag for water cleanliness. Wooden sun beds, umbrellas, first aid center, new changing cabins, showers, new washrooms. Sport facilities up-coming.
Aghios Kosmas Beach, Aghios Kosmas. Hours: 8am until sunset. Admission 5 Eu, children 2 Eu. Tel: 210-985-2993. Smallish beach for 700 bathers, attractive brick buildings, snack bar, beach volley, racquets. Olympic sailing venue adjacent.
Lake Vouliagmenis, Vouliagmeni. Hours: 7:30 am - 7:30 pm, Admission 4.50 Eu, Tel: 210-896-2237. This is a therapeutic naturally heated spring/lake good for a variety of ailments and warm enough to swim in ALL YEAR LONG. Its waters are almost flush with the cliff face and surrounded by sheer rock and present a rather unique environment worth visiting. It attracts an older crowd, has a snack bar, sun beds, umbrellas, changing booths and hydrotherapy center. Famous seafood restaurant just across road opposite, swimming possible there as well!
Akti Varkiza, Varkiza. Hours 8am-8pm, Admission 3 Eu, children under 5 free. Tel: 210-897-2438. Half way to cape Sounion this beach is quite popular with shallow water and broad sands. Planes call for creation of playgrounds, outdoor evening cinemas and more.
The NAOBB Swimming & Sailing Club is just next door offering lessons in wind surfing, Optimist, Laser, Kayaking or swimming (Tel: 210-897-4305).
Basically, where ever there is sea and no entry gate you may swim conditions permitting. Where you see umbrellas and beach chairs the beach may still be free but if you lay on a chair or under an umbrella and attendant will soon arrive to charge you 3 to 4 Euros per chair or umbrella....good for the whole of your stay. These attendants usually hail from a nearby beach bar, cafe or taverna. Old pros bring their own umbrellas and folding chairs and set up in the un-organized/uncluttered section of the beach.
Phaliron is just at the end of Syngrou Ave! So departing the city center say using the tram from Syntagma Sq you can make good time. It is the closest beach and one of the most crowded. If the wind is right, the water is free of flotsam of which there is invariably some so close to the city. I have swam here and survived.
Kavouri has two free beaches which have shale and sand.
Vouliagmeni's small Cavouri beach the Neriadas is my favorite beach but parking can be tough. The 2nd cove along the coast where the Kantina is (Canteen).
Varkiza, Anavyssos & Sounion are two other decent free beaches to cool off on too.
As you drive along the windy road to Varkiza (go to the bakery in Varkiza - you cant miss it) half way to Cape Sounion (visit the cliff top Temple of Poseidon) from Vouliagmeni, your route will hug the cliff face (hopefully) and to your right will be the sea and many coves where aware people park at these abrupt opportunities and swim from the rocks. There are even at some few coves small illegal bars.
|Porto Rafti Beach||Nea Makri- Zoumperi|
|Kakia Thalassa||Nea Makri Beach|