In the southern suburbs of Athens, spans a 48 kilometer coast lined with 5-star hotels, scenic promenades, and stylish cafés and nightclubs. Fairly so, this part of Attica has gained the nickname of Athens Riviera. Once you reach Paleo Faliro, the first in row area of the Athenian Riviera you’ll instantly notice that the scenery changes completely. Narrow alleys give way to wide avenues and pedestrianized streets with bikes lanes stretch along the coast.

Whether you’ll decide to stay in one of the Athenian Riviera’s resorts during your visit to the Greek capital or just spend a day at its sun-soaked beaches, this guide will help you to not miss a thing.

Top Things to Do in the Athenian Riviera

The open-air cinema in Flisvos Marina

Flisvos Marina in Paleo Faliro sets the scene for what you are about to see as you delve into the upscale atmosphere of the southwestern coast of Attica. Deluxe yachts gently swing at the docks while stylish cafés and restaurants occupy the promenade by the waterfront. Locals from different areas around Athens come to Flisvos for a Sunday stroll or an early evening cocktail. In summer the open air Flisvos Cinema opens its door welcoming cinephiles for a movie screening under the Athenian night sky.

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Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is located around 2 miles (3 kilometers) from Flisvos Marina. Inaugurated in 2017, the modern cultural center is the latest addition to the Athenian Riviera. The SNFCC houses the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera both of which are open to the public. It also features the 21-hectares (210,000 square-meter) Stavros Niarchos Park which is the first garden in the world designated to reflect the Mediterranean landscape. This beautiful park hosts several events, concerts and exhibitions all year round and is a great spot for a relaxed walk.

Shopping in Glyfada

As you head south from Faliro, the next area you’ll find yourself at is the cosmopolitan Glyfada. The neighborhood’s main square is home to numerous stylish clothing boutiques, shopping malls and beauty centers. That’s why Glyfada is considered the Athenian’s Riviera shopping hotspot. Fancy bars and nightclubs are scattered along the district’s seaside area offering a great view over the Saronic Gulf. During summertime, Glyfada’s beaches are buzzing with life all day and all night. Especially, Glyfada’s Public Beach Areas which don’t have an entry fee and they’re easy accessible by tram are jam-packed.

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The beaches in Voula

The southern you go to the Athenian Riviera, the better are the beaches. Once you get to Voula, you’ll notice that the crowd dwindles and so are the seaside clubs. You’ll still find some organized beaches offering loungers and umbrellas but there are also several quieter spots for those preferring to avoid the boisterous beach bars.

Vouliagmeni Lake

Adjacent to Voula lies Vouliagmeni, another posh area full of luxurious hotels and high-end restaurants. You’ll have to look hard to find a beach without an entry fee in Vouliagmeni. If however, you don’t mind paying a little extra in return for a comfy sunbed and a few meters of free space until the next umbrella, you’ll most certainly enjoy the area’s cerulean waters. The most popular beach is Akti Vouliagmenis and the entry fee is €5 euros. Vouliagmeni is also home to Astir Beach, the most glamorous beach in the Athenian Riviera. Keep in mind though that it’s also one of the most expensive. Booking a sunbed at Astir Beach during peak season costs €25 in the weekdays and €40 during the weekends. If you make all the way down to Vouliagmeni spend some time away from the sandy beaches and head to Vouliagmeni Lake. With warm water coming from underground springs, this lagoon is a natural thermal spa created after a cave collapsed around 2,000 years ago.

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The beaches in Varkiza, Lagonisi, Saronida, Anavyssos

The coast from Varkiza all the way to Anavyssos is my personal top choice when I want to escape the city center’s hot temperatures and spend a day at the beach. The only way to reach this part of the Athenian Riviera is by car (tram’s final stop is at Voula) so the beaches are less crowded and water is cleaner. There are both organized and public beaches as well as remote small bays to choose from. There are also plenty of beach bars and resorts along this part of the coast so if the mood for a refreshing beverage strikes you, head over to the thatched huts and get yourself an ice cold coffee.

The temple of Poseidon in Sounion

Whether you’ll decide to visit the Athenian Riviera or not, Cape Sounion should definitely be on your bucket list while visiting the Greek capital. On the tip of the rocky promontory at the southernmost part of Attica, stands the Temple of Poseidon. The ancient historical landmark that dates to the 5th century BC is nowadays one of the most popular attractions in Greece. Its location on the top of the cliff offers a spectacular view over the sea while the nearby beaches are ideal for a refreshing dive on a hot summer day.

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What to see in the Athenian Riviera photos courtesy of George Kokkinidis / Wikimedia Commons, Brian Solis / Flickr, s9-4pr / Flickr