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Until recently, the so-called Athenian Riviera was frequented mostly by Athenians, looking to refresh from the summer heat. However, over the last years, more and more tourists are discovering nice and organized beaches. Most of them are easy to access from the city center, by bus or tram.
The development project of Hellinikon, the old airport of Athens, with luxurious resorts, residences, concert venues, a marina for yachts and a large park of 2 million sq.m., is expected to start in 2016 and give a cosmopolitan boost to the Athenian Riviera, that starts from Faliron and goes all the way down to Cape Sounion.
However, until this project finishes and gives new perspectives in Athens, let’s see which are the most beautiful beaches close to the city center to enjoy a swim during your visit to the Greek capital.
#Akti Vouliagmenis beach
Akti Vougliagmenis, or just Vouliagmeni beach as it is called, is the best-organized beach within the city limits of Athens. This is a large sandy beach organized with sunbeds, umbrellas, beach bars, changing rooms, showers and few small green spots, creating a relaxing place to swim and very safe for children.
Buses to this beach depart from Glyfada square (Bus 114 and 115). To go to Glyfada square from Syntagma, the center of Athens, you have to take the tram. There is an entrance fee for the beach Akti Vouliagmenis set at 4 euros for adults (2014), free entrance for children.
Glyfada beach is one of the most convenient Athens beaches, easy to access from Syntagma square by just taking the tram line (40 min ride). This beach is not organized but it gets very busy with locals. There is no entrance fee. Many tourists actually choose to stay in hotels in Glyfada so that they are close to the beach during their holidays in Athens.
As the tram goes from Faliro down to Voula quarter, along the Athenian Riviera, there are few small beaches in Alimos where people swim. Some of these Athens beaches are organized with lounges and beach bars, while others are not. Alimos beach is the central beach in the region, lined up with beach bars. Entrance fees apply to some organized beaches, but not to all.
The beach of Varkiza is located far from the city center. This is a nice, organized beach to enjoy a day under the sun. Lounges and beach bars line the beach, making it convenient and safe for all families. To go there, visitors have to take the bus or tram from Syntagma to Glyfada square and then another bus (Bus 149 and 170) from Glyfada square to Varkiza. There is an entrance fee to get in the organized beaches of Varkiza, although there are some small coves that do not have a fee.
Many other Athens beaches are found in a larger distance from the city center. Some even need a car to go there, as they are more secluded and can’t be accessed with public transportation. If you are interested, check our list with more beaches.