best beaches in athens

Looking to spend a day by the sea at some of the best beaches in Athens? In this blog, we’ll guide you through the finest coastal spots in the Athens Riviera and beyond!

While Athens is renowned for its rich history and iconic ancient sites, leaving the center, you will encounter dramatic cliffs, pristine Aegean waters, and stretches of golden sand. This beach paradise has long been a favorite among those looking to soak up the sun and enjoy the sea.

Contrary to what some might think, this slice of heaven is not far from the urban center; it stretches along the southern and western coast of Athens, offering a quick escape to Mediterranean bliss. Discovering the best beach destinations in Athens is an adventure in itself, promising unforgettable seaside experiences just a stone’s throw from the city’s buzz!

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1 – Edem, Palaio Faliro

Edem, Palaio Faliro, Athens

Just a 30-minute journey from Syntagma Square, Edem beach in Palaio Faliro stands out not only as one best public beaches near the center of Athens but also as one of its most beloved and frequented. It welcomes visitors of all ages, offering free entry and the perfect setting for a post-swim stroll along its shores, especially as the sun begins to set.

You can combine your day at the beach with visiting the Hellenic Maritime Museum, the Submarine Monument and the municipal botanical garden. If you’re looking for a unique evening experience, head over to Flisvos and the outdoor cinema, where you can unwind by the marina with a cocktail in hand under the stars.

2 – Akti tou Iliou, Alimos

Akti tou Iliou, Alimos, Athens

At the northern tip of the Athens Riviera in Alimos lies Akti tou Iliou, or the Coast of the Sun, renowned as one of the best beaches in Athens. It’s a hit with families and can be easily reached by tram, bus, or car from the heart of Athens.

Fringed with shady palm trees and lush green patches, the white sandy beach creates an enchanting setting for those looking to unwind on cozy sun loungers or indulge in water sports.

Akti tou Iliou is one of the best organized beaches in Attica, complete with changing rooms, toilets, cafés, and a beach bar, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable day out for families. Plus, the Toy Museum in Palaio Faliro is just a short distance away, offering a perfect follow-up activity after a day spent splashing in the waves.

3 – Asteras Glyfadas

Asteras Glyfadas, Athens

A true gem in the southern suburb of Glyfada, Asteras has long been a favorite beach for Athenians, offering a wide variety of options. Although there is an entrance fee, visitors have access to sunbeds and umbrellas, along with playgrounds, storage lockers and activities for children, making it ideal for families.

After basking in the sun and enjoying the shallow, crystal-clear clean waters, the Asteras complex invites you to elevate your beach day experience. There, you can indulge in refreshing cocktails, savory snacks, and traditional Greek dishes to charge your batteries and add a vibrant pulse to your leisurely day by the sea.

4 – Agios Kosmas, Elliniko

Agios Kosmas, Elliniko, Athens

Located just 13 km from Syntagma Square, Agios Kosmas beach in Elliniko combines ease of access with the natural beauty of the Athenian coastline. Situated right after the sports facilities that share its name, this sandy retreat is open to the public free of charge and can be reached effortlessly by both bus and car.

Agios Kosmas caters to a variety of preferences with its partially organized setting. For those seeking comfort and amenities, one side of the beach offers a beach bar, sun loungers, and umbrellas, providing everything needed for a relaxing day by the sea. On the other hand, its more secluded areas offer a peaceful haven for visitors in search of quiet and solitude.

5 – Mikro Kavouri

Mikro Kavouri, Athens

Traveling further down the Athens coastline, beyond Voula, you’ll arrive at Mikro Kavouri, aptly named “small crab” for its charming coastal features. The calm, shallow waters are popular with families and swimmers looking for a safe, enjoyable dip in the sea, with abundant trees on the beachfront providing much-needed shade.

What’s more, the entrance to Mikro Kavouri is completely free, striking a perfect balance between convenience and the natural beauty of the Athenian Riviera. If you are seeking a bit of adventure, Mikro Kavouri also presents opportunities for water sports, to test your skills on the waves.

6 – Megalo Kavouri

Megalo Kavouri, Athens

After Mikro Kavouri, the coastline unfolds into the expansive Megalo Kavouri beach, the “big crab” with a more generous stretch of sand. This larger beach is great for lounging, swimming, and enjoying the scenic views well into the evening, making it a prime spot for couples looking for a romantic walk under the stars or a late-night dip.

Just across from the beach lies Kavouronisi, or “crab island,” an easily accessible islet that promises an extra adventure for those willing to explore on foot. Megalo Kavouri is not only larger in size but also caters excellently to families. With a dedicated playground for children, a bicycle path, and beach bars for snacks and drinks, it provides a well-rounded beach experience for visitors of all ages.

7 – Asteras Vouliagmenis

Asteras Vouliagmenis, Athens

Asteras Vouliagmenis is the epitome of beachside luxury. Known for its recent upscale transformation, Astir Beach welcomes guests with top-notch services, modern facilities, and a calendar packed with entertaining events, ensuring your time is filled with fun against a backdrop of crystal-clear waters and lush pine trees.

It’s a place where the day stretches effortlessly into night, highlighted by breathtaking sunsets with the Athens Riviera as a backdrop. Beyond the allure of relaxation under the Mediterranean sun, Asteras offers a vibrant blend of live music, water sports, and wellness activities, with something for everyone!

8 – Vouliagmenis Lake

Vouliagmenis Lake, Athens

Lake Vouliagmenis is a natural wonder that offers a unique blend of relaxation and adventure, only a short drive from the city center. Renowned for its therapeutic mineral waters and surrounded by towering cliffs, the lake invites you to bask in its serene, lukewarm embrace.

It’s a perfect spot for those seeking a peaceful retreat or an invigorating dip in nature’s own spa, making every visit a memorable experience against the backdrop of Athens’ stunning landscape.

9 – Akti Vouliagmenis

Akti Vouliagmenis, Athens

Akti Vouliagmenis Beach, located in the heart of the Athenian Riviera, is a standout destination for those looking to enjoy the best of Athens’ coastline. This beach is celebrated by locals and tourists for its clear, turquoise waters and golden sand.

This slice of paradise is an ideal spot for families, friends, and solo travelers alike, with a wide array of amenities, including sun loungers, umbrellas, and water sports for the adventurous at heart. The beachfront is lined with trendy cafés and you will find nearby restaurants to savor delicious Greek cuisine or enjoy a refreshing drink with a view of the sea.

10 – Limanakia

Limanakia, Athens
Just past Vouliagmeni, along the sun-kissed Athens Riviera, lies the iconic Limanakia, a favorite spot among the youth for its vibrant atmosphere and breathtaking natural beauty. Limanakia stands out for its dazzling, turquoise waters and the rocky formations that jut into the sea, tempting diving enthusiasts and thrill-seekers to leap into the clear depths below.

This beach has a minimalist approach to amenities, so make sure to bring along any essentials you might need for the day, such as water, snacks, and sun protection. For those in search of a more liberated beach experience, Limanakia also offers secluded coves where nudism is practiced, providing a sense of freedom and connection to nature that’s hard to find elsewhere.

11 – Varkiza Resort Yabanaki Βeach

Varkiza Resort Yabanaki Βeach, Athens

A short drive along the coastal road from Athens, Varkiza Resort Yabanaki Beach offers a lively and welcoming destination for beachgoers of all ages. Known for its soft sand and crystal-clear waters, this well-organized beach resort caters to every visitor’s needs, making it a perfect spot for a day of sun and sea!

The resort is equipped with chic beach bars, traditional tavernas serving delicious Greek food, and playgrounds for the little ones, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable visit. Its accessible location and comprehensive facilities make Varkiza Resort Yabanaki Beach a favorite among families, groups of friends, and solo travelers alike.

12 – Grand Resort Lagonisi

Grand Resort Lagonisi, Athens
credit to Grand Resort Lagonisi

The Grand Resort Lagonisi beach, situated along the picturesque coast of Athens, stands as a pinnacle of luxury and serene beauty, offering a slice of paradise with its private sandy beaches, embraced by the azure waters of the Aegean Sea.

Ideal for those seeking a blend of relaxation and opulence, the Grand Resort Lagonisi caters to every desire with its world-class amenities and impeccable service. You can unwind in the sun on plush sunbeds, take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear sea, or indulge in a variety of water sports under the Mediterranean sun.

13 – Lagonisi Gulf

Lagonisi, Greece

Tucked away in Lagonisi, the Lagonissi Gulf beach is one of the best beaches in Athens, if you are willing to venture off the beaten path. The journey to discover Lagonisi Gulf beach is an adventure in itself, as there are no direct signs leading the way, making the arrival feel like you’ve uncovered a secret haven.

The beach’s landscape is marked by its coarse sand, which, together with the pebbly seabed, creates a stunning contrast against the backdrop of crystal-clear waters. This natural beauty spot showcases an untouched charm, appealing to visitors looking for a genuine connection with nature.

Since the beach at Lagonisi Gulf is unspoiled, it’s important to come prepared with essentials such as water, snacks, sun protection, and perhaps a beach umbrella for a comfortable and enjoyable day on the beach.

14 – Saronida

Saronida, Athens

Saronida Beach is a popular destination for both locals and visitors looking to soak up the sun and enjoy the sea. This beautiful beach is known for its golden sand and clear, inviting crystalline waters, making it an ideal spot for swimming and relaxation.

The beach is well-organized, featuring sun loungers and umbrellas for those who prefer a bit of comfort during their beach day. Surrounding Saronida Beach, you’ll find a delightful selection of cafes and tavernas serving mouthwatering Greek dishes and stunning views of the Aegean Sea!

15 – Agios Nikolaos, Anavyssos

Agios Nikolaos, Anavyssos, Athens
Agios Nikolaos Beach in Anavyssos offers a quintessential Greek beach experience. This picturesque spot is renowned for its wide stretch of golden sand and crystal-clear waters, offering an idyllic setting for swimming, sunbathing, and leisurely days under the sun.

The welcoming atmosphere of Agios Nikolaos makes it perfect for families, couples, and groups of friends looking for a mix of relaxation and activity. The beach is also a hit with water sports enthusiasts, offering great opportunities for windsurfing, paddleboarding, and other aquatic adventures.

16 – Legrena Beach

Legrena Beach, Athens

Further down the coastal highway from Athens, lies the peaceful beach at Legrena, easily reached by car and welcoming visitors without an entrance fee. This serene oasis, with its mesmerizing light-blue waters and golden sands, is a true slice of paradise that feels remarkably untouched.

As a favorite, Legrean can get busy on weekends, however it truly shines during the week, when it takes on the feel of a private escape, reminiscent of a secluded island in the Aegean. This sense of solitude makes Legrena an ideal beach destination if you are in search of quiet moments away from the busier spots along the Riviera.

Whether planning a leisurely picnic by the sea or simply wishing to bask in the sun’s warmth, Legrena beach provides the perfect backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation!

17 – Thymari

Thymari, Athens

Taking its name after the thyme bushes on the cliffs that extend down to the sea, Thymari is one of the more secluded beaches in Attica. As you drive past Lagonisi, Saronida, and Anavyssos, Thymari welcomes you with a mix of organized and free areas, with something for everyone!

Adventure seekers and keen explorers can find small, hidden coves along the coast, perfect for diving and enjoying a sense of freedom away from the crowds. And if you are looking for comfort and services, the beach bar offers a stylish spot to enjoy a swim and refreshments, staying open for swims until late in the evening.

Hot tip: Seafood lovers should also check out the family-run tavernas for the full ‘summer on a Greek island’ experience!

18 – Harakas

Harakas, Athens

On the edge of Athens’ southern suburbs, just before you reach Cape Sounio, lies the hidden, laid-back coastal treasure of Harakas. The beach is rather expansive, with ample space to spread out, soak in the breathtaking views and enjoy activities like racquetball without feeling crowded.

And if you want to get the party going, head over to the two beach bars. There, you will find everything from cool drinks to relax with under the sun to lively tunes that set the mood for an unforgettable beach outing. As the day unfolds, staying until the evening will reward you with a spectacular sunset, casting a magical glow over the sea and making for a truly magical end to the day.

19 – Akti Asimaki

Cape Sounio, Greece

The public beach Akti Asimaki, situated in the majestic Cape Sounion, is a family-friendly haven that offers a perfect day out by the sea. Located just a short distance past the historic Temple of Poseidon, a right turn leads you straight to this coastal gem.

With its shallow waters, Akti Asimaki allows for safe swimming and a variety of water games, while the sandy beach is perfect for sports and playful activities under the sun. It’s an excellent spot for building sandcastles, playing beach volleyball, or simply relaxing and soaking up the serene atmosphere.

For those interested in adding a bit of adventure to their beach day, the nearby Sounion National Park offers fantastic hiking trails.

Bonus tip: To learn more about the myths and history of this part of the Athens Riviera, why not book a day trip to Cape Sounio from Athens?

20 – Zoumperi, Nea Makri

Zoumperi, Nea Makri, Athens

Zoumperi, situated on the western coast of Attica near Nea Makri, has long been a popular spot for a quick getaway from the city’s hustle over the weekends. This charming sandy and pebbly beach is especially beloved by locals for its natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere.

With no entrance fee and a laid-back vibe, it’s a place where you can truly unwind and enjoy the simple pleasures of a day by the sea. For those who enjoy active leisure, Zoumperi features a special section dedicated to racquetball enthusiasts.

21 – Avlaki

Avlaki, Athens

The beach at Avlaki, awarded the prestigious Blue Flag for its crystal-clear waters and pristine conditions, is a beautifully organized spot located near Porto Rafti and Markopoulo. With an entrance fee that grants access to a range of amenities, including sunbeds, umbrellas, showers, and toilets, Avlaki is the perfect choice for those looking for a day of seaside luxury and relaxation.

Beyond the sun and sand, Avlaki is also a hub for water sports enthusiasts. If scuba diving is your thing, the nearby diving club offers guided tours of the underwater world and its marine life.

22 – Karavi

Karavi, Schinias beach, Athens

Karavi at Schinias, located near the historic area of Marathon, boasts a generous 100 meters of sandy shore, making it one of the most popular beaches in Athens. The well-organized beach is free to access and hosts restaurants, beach bars and sports facilities.

The sandy beach itself is equipped with umbrellas and sun loungers, ensuring a comfortable spot for everyone to relax and enjoy the sun. For beachgoers seeking a bit more excitement, a range of sports is available, from windsurfing to beach volleyball, making it easy to take advantage of the beach’s beautiful, clear waters.

23 – Dikastika

Dikastika, Schinias beach, Athens

If you are looking for a more rugged beach experience, then Dikastika, in the bay of Schinias near Marathon, offers a unique seaside experience with its rocky landscape and crystal-clear waters.

This beach has no entrance fee and is a haven for those who prefer a more natural and untouched environment, free from the trappings of more commercialized beaches. Keep in mind that certain secluded areas of Dikastika are popular with nudists.

Dikastika is also a popular spot for divers, as the rocky seabed and clear waters create a perfect setting for both snorkeling and scuba diving, offering a glimpse into life under the waves in the Aegean Sea.

24 – Psatha

Psatha, Athens

With its crystal-clear waters and pebbled shore, Psatha offers the perfect setting for children to play and families to enjoy a day out by the sea. The beach’s free entrance makes it an accessible option for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of the Athenian coastline.

After enjoying the waves in the Aegean, a walk down the beach to the left will lead to the historic castle of Aigosthena, offering a fantastic view and an opportunity to delve into the area’s rich history. The castle’s vantage point offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the sea, adding a touch of adventure to your beach visit.

25 – Erotospilia, Porto Rafti

Erotospilia, Porto Rafti, Athens

Erotospilia, which means ‘Love Cave’ in Greek, is a romantic hideaway near the coastal town of Porto Rafti. This charming small bay, protected from the wind and shaded by lush trees, offers a secluded spot for those seeking a serene and intimate beach experience.

The calm atmosphere of Erotospilia makes it an ideal setting for swimming and diving, away from the crowds. This hidden treasure’s intimate vibe and picturesque scenery make it a favorite among couples looking for a peaceful retreat by the sea.

How to get to the beaches?

Most of the beaches in Athens can be accessed by car, bus and tram. Tickets for the OASA public transportation network in Athens are uniform, so you can use the same ticket for buses, trams, trolleys and the metro. Standard tickets have a duration of 90 minutes and cost €1.20, however there are also special multi-day travel cards that can come in handy if you want to explore more of Athens.

Some of the more remote beaches near Athens, especially on the western coast of Attica, are primarily accessible by car or the long-distance KTEL Attikis buses.

Alternatively, you can also visit multiple beaches – including some true hidden gems – by booking a shore excursion in Athens.  Similarly, private boat tours in Athens allow you to take the reigns of your day out at sea in luxury and style.

Where to go next?

After checking out the beaches, you can get the full Aegean experience by visiting some of the best Greek islands near Athens. Alternatively, if you want to truly discover how the city ticks, rest assured that the best walking tours of Athens will not leave any stone unturned.

To add a dash of culture to your stay in Greece, you can’t go wrong with visiting the best museums in Athens. And since all that exploration can work up an appetite, consider dipping into Greek gastronomy by joining some of the best food tours in Athens!

Final thoughts

Exploring the best beaches near Athens adds a splash of sun-soaked adventure to the myriad of things to do in Athens. From the popular and luxurious seaside oases on the Athens Riviera to the hidden coves and tried and tested family-friendly shores of the West Coast, each beach offers its own unique charm, promising unforgettable days by the Aegean Sea.

So pack your sunscreen, grab your towel, and get ready to discover the stunning beaches that make Athens not just a city of ancient ruins, but a haven for beach lovers too! The perfect beach day awaits!

Ioannis (or Yannis, he insists) is a Content Writer and Editor at TourScanner hailing from Athens, Greece, where the fantastical worlds of comics, music and film fueled his dreams and love for travel. While his childhood ambition to claim the moon as his own remains unfulfilled (for now), he channeled his curiosity into a decade-long academic adventure in England. With over ten years of experience as a journalist and wordsmith translator, he aims to craft stories that bridge cultures and perspectives. His passion for narratives isn’t confined to the written word, though, and you’ll often find him rummaging through record shops, showcasing his sweetest dance moves at live gigs, or absorbed in cinematic masterpieces. And yes, he's still keeping an eye on the stars.