When people think of the Greek Islands they think of beautiful beaches and crytal clear, azure water but what many people don’t realise is that some of the best locations are actually on the Mainland and in fact there are dozens of fantastic beaches in Athens.
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The sprawling city of Athens is bordered by the sea to the south and the east. The famous Athenian ‘Riviera’ starts at Flisvos Marina and Edem beach, just 15 minutes from the ancient center by car and easily accessible by public transport.
Check tram and bus timetables for more information.
On the east coast there are even more beaches right up along the coast of Attika and beyond. Many of these are quite close to the airport – a 10 to 15 minute taxi ride can get you to the coastal towns of Porto Rafti and Poria and numerous beaches, beach bars and even archaelogical sites.
Athens and the Riviera
Here you will find beach clubs, bars and restaurants to rival any you will find on the islands and a lot more on offer too. It’s a great spot to spend a few days especially on your way home, as it is only 20-30 minutes from the airport too.
Further reading: Top Athens Beach Clubs
Mpati is one of the easiest beaches to get to from Athens, so it is mainly visited by locals. Mpati Beach is a nice sandy beach with shallow waters that make it suitable for families with smaller children.
The beach is only partially organized as it has lifeguards, showers, and dressing cabins, but you cannot rent sunbeds and parasols. At Mpati Beach, you will find a fenced kids’ playground, a tennis court, and a beach volleyball field. There are taverns on the far-left side of the beach where you can enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner.
Parking can be challenging though – if you’re lucky you can pick something up along the main road.
Kalamaki Beach is located in Alimos, only eight kilometers from Athens. It’s a small beach with yellow-brown sand visited by different locals and travelers, which is why it gets crowded during the high season.
Kalamaki Beach has many amenities: a rental service of loungers and parasols, changing rooms, toilets, a lifeguard service, and beach restaurants. Around the beach, there are also great hotels you can stay in.
Kalamaki Beach is easily accessible, and a large parking spot is located directly on the beach side. It adjoins the even more popular beach of Akti Illiou
Further along from Kalamaki this larger beach starts with popular Bolivar Beach Bar – a year round destination, and ends with Nalu restaurant which adjoins Akanthus Summer Club. This whole stip is extremely popular in summer where Athens spend entire days enjoying the beach and staying well into the night.
On the other side of Nalu ( a collective development often referred to as ‘Blu’ by locals, is Alimos beach which is where Bikini Beach Bar is found. This is another of the most popular summer destinations for Athenians. At the southern end of the this beach are even more bars and Tavernas – Lafitis Dimitrios Kantina and Ellados Eikones among them.
This area is undergoing a huge transformation – the largest currently in Europe. Alimos used to be home to Athens Airport and that old site is being turned into the impressive and very aspirational Ellinikon Project including beautiful Ellinikon Experience Park.
Glyfada Beach is located along the coast southeast of Athens and tends to be very busy during the summer season. The beach is pebbly, and the clear waters are perfect for a refreshing swim.
Glyfada Beach is free to enter, and it is partially organized. You will find showers, changing rooms, toilets, a lifeguard service, and some parasols. However, remember that parasols are rented out quickly in the early morning. There are no restaurants and bars on Glyfada Beach, but you can find places to eat nearby.
Glyfada Beach is easily accessible by local bus and by car, but there are no parking lots available in the beach’s proximity.
Kavouri is another wonderful beach near Athens. Popular with locals and guests from nearby hotels, Kavouri beach is well-kept and organized with sunbeds, parasols, changing rooms, toilets, and a lifeguard service.
The crystal-clear waters and the soft golden sand make Kavouri beach ideal for families with children and groups of travelers who want to relax at the beach or do activities such as paddleboarding.
There are lots of traditional restaurants at Kavouri beach, which is also easily accessible and has a parking lot located less than 100 meters away.
Situated along the Athenian Riviera, 30 minutes from Athens, Astir Beach is an exclusive beach club in Greece open to the public for a significant entry fee.
Surrounded by pines, Astir Beach is a 400 meters long sandy beach with incredible high-level facilities: besides lounges and parasols, there are restaurants and bars, boutiques, spa treatments, and free Wi-Fi.
At Astir Beach, you will also find the Astir Ski Club, the Beach Volley Courts, and the Beach Racquets Area.
Make sure to book a sunbed online in advance if you would like to stay at Astir Beach. A big plus? Sunbeds come with towels and a bottle of water!
Less than an hour away from the center of Athens, Voula Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Riviera.
This sandy beach has pebbles on the periphery of the shore and in some spots into the water. However, the clear waters allow you to avoid the harder seabed.
Voula Beach offers several amenities: sunbeds and parasols to rent, a snack bar and restaurants, tennis and volleyball courts, water slides, and a children’s play area. You will also find toilets, changing rooms, and shower stalls. Voula Beach is public, so it’s free to enter.
You can easily get to Voula Beach by public bus, tram, or car, which you can park nearby.
Yabanaki Beach is famous for its soft sand and shallow waters. The beach is located in a wide bay, protecting it from strong winds and large waves, which makes it perfect for families with kids.
Yabanaki Beach is incredibly well-organized. Sunbeds and parasols are available for rent, and on the beach, you will also find toilets, showers, and changing rooms.
Sunbathing and swimming are only two of the countless activities you can do at Yabanaki Beach: play beach sports, such as volley, or water sports, like water skiing and windsurfing, to spend some fun time with your friends or family. There is also a kid playground with a train and a bouncy castle.
Yabanaki Beach is also full of food options, as you can decide among Greek, Italian, and fish restaurants.
Get to Yabanaki Beach by public bus or car (parking is available on-site).
Athens – East Coast
Greater Athens also has a large expanse of coastline that runs along the east coast. Just 10 minutes from the Airport you can find some decent beaches that stretch right up to Schinias National Park, a beautiful protected sanctuary and important wildlife habitat.
Vravona is a sandy beach located very close to the airport. Part of the beach has big rocks and there is a free beach as well as an organized section with umbrellas and sun loungers run by the big Dolce by Wyndham Hotel. It is also very close to the Archaeological site of Brauron, which is worth a look. Vravona Beach can get very crowded in July and August, given its proximity to Athens and Artemis’s center.
Artemidos is a nice sandy beach near the suburb of Artemida that is easily accessible by car and public bus.
The clear and shallow waters make Artemidos Beach ideal for families with children. However, it is windy at times, and the sea gets rough.
Artemidos Beach is organized with showers, toilets, beach cafès and restaurants from which you can rent parasols and sun loungers. There is plenty of parking available.
Marathona is a big beach close to Athens. The clear waters have usually waved as the area is quite windy.
Marathona Beach has sand and fine pebbles, and it’s only partially organized. A part of the beach is without amenities, and there is no natural shade. Another side is organized with sunbeds and parasols that you can rent from the nearby shop. There are also changing rooms and showers.
Around Marathona Beach, you will find many beach bars and seafood restaurants.
Schinias is a wonderful beach located in the bay of Marathon. The long strip of sand lined up by pine trees has a great reputation for crystal clear waters. The beach has a slight slope for safe entry into the water, which, paired with a few waves, makes it ideal for families with smaller children.
Schinias is a public beach, so it’s free to enter. You won’t find any facilities here: no sunbeds, parasols, toilets, or restaurants.
Karavi is a beach located near the historical city of Marathon. It covers 100 square meters, and this clean, sandy beach offers an incredible range of services.
You can rent sunbeds and parasols, but also play a wide variety of water sports and beach sports, besides relaxing in the sun. In Karavi Beach you will find four beach volleyball courts, a windsurfing school, and SUP boards to rent. It also has a lifeguard station, dressing rooms, showers, and Wi-Fi.
Karavi Beach is also awarded the Blue Flag, is free to enter, and has a beach bar and a restaurant on site.
There is private parking with a capacity for 1500 cars (under the shade).
Charakas and Cape
Charakas is one of the most beautiful and clean beaches in Athen’s region. Well organized with sun loungers and parasols, toilets, changing rooms, and showers, Charakas Beach also offers two beach bars.
With only a 10-minute walk, you can reach Cape Beach: surrounded by cliffs, there are stairs to get to the sea. Cape Beach consists of many small coves enclosed by rocks. The long beach has diverse characteristics: sandy parts, pebbled sections, and rocky spots.
The entire beach is unorganized and completely unspoiled.