When we think about Greece, the first thing that comes to everybody’s minds is those beautiful beaches in one of the many beautiful islands across the country, away from the continent.
But we completely forget the fact that Athens is located on the coast of Greece, offering many beautiful beaches in the Athens Riviera, so we don’t need to make all the way to an island, to really appreciate a turquoise sea.
Visiting the Greek islands can be very expensive and can’t be done as a day trip, a good alternative is to visit the beaches near Athens, that is not so touristy but still keep their scenic views.
Another option if you want to get to the Athens beaches or travel around Greece, is to rent a car, you should check this guide to rent a car in Greece.
Athens Beaches: What to visit in the Athenian Riviera
Some of the beaches near Athens are like clubs, known as private or organized beaches, and you must pay a fee to enjoy its facilities, but others are completely free.
In both cases, it worths a visit, however, here in this post, let’s take into consideration the best and cheapest beaches in the Athens Riviera.
How to get to the Athens Beaches
If you are in the capital, why not have a look in the Athens Riviera, the coastal side of Athens, just a few minutes away from the city center. To get there you can take a tram or a bus.
From the center of Athens, it takes about 15 minutes to get to the nearest beaches in Athens. It really worths a visit to the beaches, at least you will be able to enjoy a Greek beach, without spending all the money and time going to one of the famous islands.
Check here the best white sand beaches in Europe.
To get to the Athenian Riviera, you can take the tram, which runs from Syntagma Square to Glyfada Beach. It is certainly the slowest option to get to the beaches, but it is a nice ride for those who have time.
If you prefer to go by bus, there are several options that make the route from the center to the beaches near Athens.
Bus number 040 runs from Syntagma Square to Piraeus, number 049 leaves Omonia to Piraeus. From Piraeus, you can take the A1 from Piraeus to Voula beach, or the B1 from Piraeus to Glyfada beach.
From Glyfada, you can also take bus 122 to Vouliagmeni.
Going from the center of Athens to the Athenian beaches yet, you can take the A2, A3 B3 or E2 buses that leave from the Academy, the University of Athens building complex. Any of these buses go to Vouliagmeni.
Hop on Hop off Bus
Definitely my favorite option though, and what I really recommend doing is taking the Hop on Hop off bus tour, as besides the Greek ruins in Athens, it also has a route that brings you to Piraeus and the Athenian beaches, everything leaving from Athens city center.
It is way more comfortable and easier, so you don’t need to worry about buses timetable, nor run after the buses!
They leave right from the main tourist points in Athens and you don’t need to worry about anything, just sit ad enjoy your tour!
Best beaches in Athens
Faliro is a coastal district of Athens, it is a very modern part of the city and offers a great infrastructure. If you are going to Athens essentially to enjoy your time on the beach, this is a good location to stay in.
Faliro has a variety of hotels to choose from, and for all budgets, most of them are way cheaper than those in more central areas of Athens.
Honestly, though, Athens offers better beaches than Faliro, and although beautiful, it is not considered as a good destination for swimming.
The coast is also quite small and there are few sand stripes. However, it is a great place to relax. In Faliro you will also find a Marina and the Floating Naval Museum.
If you are looking for a beach in this area, try to avoid those nearby the marina. The further you go, the better.
Private Beach Fee: €8
Distance of Athens: 8 km – 10 to 15 minutes by car
Agios Kosmas Beach
It is another option if you want to combine the beach environment with the comfort of the city. Agios Kosmas beach is located right next to the city and also offers good infrastructure if you are thinking about booking a hotel on the coast side.
The beach has a large sand stripe and is organized with beach umbrellas and sunbeds, the beach is completely free and offers a number of free services.
Distance of Athens: 9 km – 10 to 15 minutes by car
Glyfada is one of the most popular districts in Athens and the favorite to many Athenian, it offers hundreds of meters of sandy beaches most of them, completely free, perfect for sunbathing, making this area the first option for those looking for nice beaches in the Athens Riviera.
During the summer season, the public beaches here can get crowded, but for a small fee, you can stay in one of the many private beaches in the area.
Despite being so famous, the beaches in Glyfada don’t have the best quality in sand and water due to the marina nearby.
So the tip to choose a beach in this area is to skip the first two beaches and walk away from the marina area.
The good point in staying in a Glyfada beach is that besides the fact that you don’t really need to spend a penny to sunbathe in one of the many public beaches.
This area is full of nice cafes and restaurants, so you will have all the comfort nearby.
Distance of Athens: 15 km – 20 to 25 minutes by car.
Although it is not a beach but a lake. I will be mentioning the Vouliagmeni lake here because it is one of my favorite spots in the Athens Riviera, and well, I feel like mentioning it anyways.
For some reason, I only heard about this place, when I got a tourist pamphlet, once I arrived at my hotel. This place is amazing and I don’t know why it doesn’t receive the attention it deserves.
The Vouliagmeni lake is famous for being a mineral spa. Its thermal water is considered as having healing properties. It is believed to be beneficial curing dermatological diseases, neuralgia, disfiguring arthritis, and the list goes on.
Besides all the minerals in the water, it is filled with Doctor fishes. If you are planning a trip to Greece you probably have heard that there are spas that offer therapies with this kind of fish.
The Vouliagmeni lake is located in the middle of nowhere, next to a rock formation that gives charm to the place.
Its thermal water is home of those small fishes, known as Doctorfishes. They clean your skin and help in your blood circulation. The thermal water of the lake is considered medicinal and offers many benefits.
The lake is a kind of club so you must pay to visit. But it has a nice infrastructure, worth the price.
Distance of Athens: 21 km – 30 to 35 minutes by car
There are two Vouliagmeni Beaches near Vouliagmeni Lake. One of them is an organized beach with a long sand stripe, the price for using its facilities is 5 euros.
The other option, which is my favorite, is a small beach right in front of the entrance of Vouliagmeni Lake. Although this is a pretty small beach, it is one of my favorites in Athens.
The water is so clear, and the atmosphere of this place makes you feel like spending your whole day here.
Sometimes it is completely empty. However, sometimes you will find yourself surrounded by families playing and enjoying their time. The water is really calm and you can see small fishes swimming all over it.
Private Beach Fee: €5
Distance of Athens: 21 km – 30 to 35 minutes by car
Kavouri Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the Athens Riviera. It mixes a beautiful blue sea with a green of the landscape around.
Perfect if you are looking for a scenic view to take nice photos, or just to enjoy the moment.
Although the beach is completely free, you do have the option of renting a sunbed, which depending on where you are, might be a good option.
The beach is almost 2 km long, however just a small part of it is sand, the rest of it is rather pebbly, so if you are looking for comfort, a towel may not do the job here.
Among its facilities in Kavouri beach are many cafes by the sea. This beach is also located close to the city.
It is perfect for swimming, sunbathing and to practice some sport such as volleyball. The sea is really calm and completely safe for kids.
Private Beach Fee (renting a sunbed): €3
Distance of Athens: 25 km – 35 to 40 minutes by car