Do you want to stay in Athens by the sea? The best neighborhoods of Athens Riviera are Flisvos, Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza, and Lagonissi!
Last updated: 4 Jan 2024
Apart from its world-famous attractions and delicious local food, many are drawn to Athens for one reason: to enjoy the unique beauty of the Aegean Sea.
Being a coastal city, Athens has many quality beaches, making it an ideal summer destination.
So, if your version of the perfect trip includes swimming in blue waters and practicing water sports, then consider staying in one of the areas of the Athens Riviera.
When we talk about the Athens Riviera, we refer to the coastline extending from Piraeus to Sounio. It includes some of the city’s most beautiful areas, such as Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, and Varkiza.
But the Riviera isn’t just about sand and sea.
It is also home to some of Athens’s best shops, cozy café-restaurants, seaside taverns, and nightclubs.
In the following guide, you will find the five best areas, along with their pros and cons.
Starting with Flisvos, the closest to the heart of Athens and the port of Piraeus, we will progressively move away, culminating in Lagonissi.
Below you can see where the areas are located on the map.
Athens Riviera Must-Know Tips
Before we move on, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- As a general rule: the closer you are to the city center, the more attractions you’ll have within reach. The farther you get from it, you’ll find more pristine beaches.
- The Athens Riviera is known for its high-end hotels. If you’re traveling on a budget, booking an apartment might be a more cost-effective option.
- Public transport in most areas is tricky. The tram line covers the area from Faliro to Voula, but beyond that, you’re at the mercy of the less predictable buses. Therefore, to save yourself from losing precious vacation hours on the road, I highly recommend renting a car with a reliable service like Rentalcars.com.
Now, let’s dive into the top five neighborhoods to stay in the Athens Riviera.
The 5 best areas to stay in the Athens Riviera by the sea
1) Where to Stay in Flisvos
It’s just 5 km (3 miles) from the city center and enjoys convenient access to public transport via tram.
In Flisvos, you’ll find the Flisvos Marina, a local favorite teeming with shops, restaurants, and cafes.
It’s a prime spot for seaside walks, both day and night.
Additionally, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is just a short distance away.
Ever since its opening, this center has been a magnet for visitors with its beautiful park and array of cultural activities throughout the year.
However, Flisvos’ close proximity to the city center does present a drawback.
While the area is coastal, you’ll need to venture a bit further out to find a suitable beach.
2) Where to Stay in Glyfada
Glyfada is not just one of the most picturesque suburbs to stay in the Athens Riviera – it’s a standout across the entire city.
It offers many quality restaurants, bustling cafes, upscale boutiques, sports activities, and so much more to enhance your visit.
Special mention should be made of the area’s seaside restaurants and cafes.
Their idyllic locations promise a dining experience by the sea that you’ll remember forever.
As you would expect, however, their prices tend to be above average due to the premium setting.
The neighborhood also offers beaches within walking distance.
However, for even better beaches, renting a car is recommended.
Likewise, having your vehicle is also the best option if you want to visit Athens’ city center.
Local’s Tip: If you choose to rent a car and visit the city center, it’s best not to drive all the way. To save time, drive to the nearest metro station, park there, and continue your journey by metro.
3) Where to Stay in Vouliagmeni
Without a doubt, Vouliagmeni stands out with its beauty and luxury.
It’s no coincidence that here is where you’ll find one of the finest hotels to stay on the Athenian Riviera and throughout Greece.
Naturally, I’m talking about the Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens. This glamorous hotel is in an ideal location, offering rooms and suites, three private beaches, world-class restaurants, a marina, and more.
But Astir Palace isn’t the only luxury accommodation in the area.
You’ll find a range of high-end establishments here, and the local shops, cafes, and bars certainly prioritize quality.
In Vouliagmeni, you can also taste the best ice cream in town, specifically at the Waffle House. Sample its many flavors for free and choose your favorites.
The lake, in particular, is a unique experience; its brackish waters are continuously replenished both by the sea and the underground thermal springs.
Thus, it offers a natural and unique thermal spa experience.
4) Where to Stay in Varkiza
Varkiza Beach holds a special place in my heart; it was our family’s go-to summer destination when I was a child. Additionally, Chrysavgi and I chose a beach bar here as the special setting for our wedding party.
Over the years, Varkiza has blossomed significantly. It’s evolved from a local’s resort area into a thriving part of the Athens Riviera.
Consequently, you’ll find numerous hotels in the neighborhood, most of which are budget-friendly.
The most famous beach in the area is Varkiza Resort – Yabanaki Beach, featuring sandy, shallow waters.
Inside the coast, you will find many shops, expensive restaurants, local fast-food chains, beach bars, a spa, and water sports.
To give you an idea, you can enjoy beach tennis, beach volleyball, aqua aerobics, windsurfing, water skiing, and much more.
However, amenities don’t come for free: there’s an entrance fee for the beach and additional charges for sunbeds.
Alternatively, right next to the organized beach is the Paralia Varkiza, which offers free access.
Just remember to bring your beach umbrella for shade or find a spot under the few trees.
Limanakia, another famous destination in the area, also provides free access and clear waters. However, there’s no sandy beach here, just rocks, and the waters are pretty deep.
Finally, if you’re staying in the area and are in the mood for a luxurious night out, don’t miss the Island Club.
This famous seaside nightclub has welcomed celebrities like Meryl Streep, Valentino, Hugh Jackman, Tommy Hilfiger, Bruce Willis, Moby, Ethan Hawke, etc.
5) Where to Stay in Lagonissi
Lagonissi is an excellent spot to stay on the Athens Riviera if all you want is to be near the sea.
Most lodging options around are either luxury hotels or villas. Consider it as a location for summer holiday homes, rather than a place for permanent residency.
Given that you are approximately 40 km (25 miles) away from the center of Athens, you will find some of the most pristine beaches in Attica.
And because of this distance, the beaches tend to be less crowded, especially during the weekdays.
Moreover, the area offers opportunities for diving and water sports.
On the other hand, here, more than anywhere else, renting a car is essential if you wish to visit other areas.
One nearby destination you won’t want to miss is Sounio, home to the world-famous Temple of Poseidon.
This ancient temple, built in the 5th century BC in favor of the god of the sea, will offer you the most breathtaking sunset of Athens.
Athens Riviera or City Center?
I hope this article helped you discover the best areas and hotels to stay in the Athenian Riviera.
If you think the city center might be a more suitable choice for you, check out Athens’ 10 best areas.
Do you have a question? Feel free to ask in the comments section below – I’m here to help!
Make Your Trip Easier
I always book my accommodation with a reliable service like Booking.com. Besides their price guarantee, you can rest assured that you will have 24/7 support in the event of any problems with your hotel. Always make sure you read reviews from other guests before booking.
If you want to get to and from Athens Airport with peace of mind, I recommend pre-booking your taxi with Welcome Pickups. Their flat rate is a few euros more expensive than random taxis, but they are totally worth it. They use local English-speaking drivers, wait for you at the arranged meeting point, even if your arrival is delayed, and introduce you to the city along the way.
Don’t forget to use Skyscanner before booking your flights as it compares different airlines to provide the cheapest and fastest solutions. Moreover, you can save a lot of money if you are flexible with your dates.
Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on a trip. However, these things can happen, so do not miss taking out travel insurance: SafetyWing is the one I use, as its plans are affordable and can save you a lot of trouble.
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