The Athenian Riviera is a lively summer spot, and nowhere more so than in the glamorous seaside suburb of Vouliagmeni. In a reachable distance from central Athens, this luxurious hangout is the ultimate place to cool off during the summer months. Even better, it’s enjoyable during the winter too. Read Culture Trip’s guide to enjoying Vouliagmeni.
Wherever you are in Athens, it’s easy to get down to Vouliagmeni from the centre of the city, the airport or port. A taxi is the most straightforward option from the centre. Usually, the ride will cost around €20–30, depending on where you are in the city. Download and use the Beat taxi app to make sure you get the best rates. The metro system in Athens is great, and it’s easy to get there by public transport too. Simply jump on line 2 of the metro to Elliniko, and then take a bus, or taxi, from the end of the line to Vouliagmeni. From the centre, the journey takes roughly 45 minutes, and it’s worth it when you’re there. Similar transport links exist from the airport and port.
Throughout the year, Vouliagmeni is an Athenian getaway and local hub, which means there’s no shortage of delicious places to eat. For a traditional Greek lunch, head to Zaxos Grill where you can enjoy souvlaki, grilled meats and hearty seasonal salads throughout the year. Across the road is the slightly more upmarket taverna Louizidis, which offers classic Greek dishes in a relaxed setting. For those who want to eat with a sea view, BlueFish is the place for you. Modern, minimal interiors serve as a perfect place to try local seafood. As it’s open throughout the day and into the evening, this is also a romantic dinner spot. On the other side of the bay, Testaccio is a lively place that serves delicious Italian food.
The main beach in Vouliagmeni is called Akti Beach, which sweeps along the main front. The shore becomes increasingly crowded as summer temperatures begin to swell, and it’s a fun hangout for watersports enthusiasts or if you want to practice your beach tennis game. Meanwhile, Astir Beach is a more boutique destination, with an entrance fee and decadent sunbeds. There is also Vouliagmeni Lake, which is open throughout the year and offers warm, swimmable temperatures and a spa so that you can make the most of the crystal-blue waters at any time. For a more solitary escape, you can also walk farther around Vouliagmeni Bay and swim off the rocks, though watch out for sea urchins.
As competition for tanning spots increases in the summer months, one clever Greek company has solved the agony of stressing out about a sunbed. The Plazz app allows you to book your spot on the beach before you arrive to ensure maximum relaxation during your beach getaway.
The Athenian Riviera has no shortage of luxurious hotels to stay in. Vouliagmeni Suites Grecotel near the lake is a stylish and friendly hotel with excellent service. The five-star Margi Hotel is a luxurious destination for those looking to enjoy Vouliagmeni to the max. Stay tuned for the new Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel too, which is opening later in 2018.