The Most Beautiful Beaches Within Easy Reach of Athens, Greece

The Greek island of Agkistri is easily accessible from Athens, and home to some stunning beaches
The Greek island of Agkistri is easily accessible from Athens, and home to some stunning beaches | © Ioannis Mantas / Alamy
Photo of Konstantina Pyrnokoki
Travel Writer15 September 2021

Athens is rarely associated with beautiful beaches and clear, emerald waters. Yet the city of rich ancient history, the Acropolis and the picturesque Plaka neighbourhood is also surprisingly close to a number of superb beaches well worth your visit.

Some in the Attiki region and others in the nearby Corinthian Bay or the Argo-Saronic Gulf, the following beaches guarantee a refreshing break away from the city. From Kape’s hidden, rocky paradise to Mylokopi’s exotic emerald waters, they lie no more than 90 minutes away from Athens.

Erotospilia

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Erotospilia beach in Greece at Porto Rafti against a colorful background of the sunset. H635H6
© Bill Anastasiou / Alamy

One of the most popular beaches in Attiki, Erotospilia stands out for its perfectly clear waters, semi-pebbled white sand and the feeling of exclusivity you get once you reach its short shoreline. Formed by a little cove, Erotospilia literally means “love cave” in Greek. The beach gets quite busy at the weekend, attracting all sorts of visitors along with couples, from spirited teenagers to families. A limited number of umbrellas and trees provide some much-need shade, while there is also a tiny beach bar. You can access the Porto Rafti area by KTEL (intercity) bus – about a one-hour ride from the centre of Athens – and take a taxi to Erotospilia.

Kape Beach

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Beach in Legrena - CWF980
© George Atsametakis / Alamy

Kape Beach, located in the village of Legrena in Sounio Cape – a 90-minute ride from Athens by KTEL – remains one of the best well-kept secrets, beach-wise, among Athenians. The beach’s astonishingly turquoise waters might make you feel like you’re vacationing on a secluded Greek island. Grab a snack from the canteen at the top of Kape’s cliff before following the numerous steps that will lead you all the way down to the beach. The area’s rugged landscape is also great for cliff jumps from the other side of the beach. Kape is best avoided on the weekends when it’s super busy, while you should bring an umbrella as there is practically no shade.

Schinias beach

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2C61508 Marathon, Greece - Oct 01, 2016: The beautiful Schinias sandy beach, one from most popular beach in Attica
© Oleg Znamenskiy / Alamy

What if you could swim in tranquil waters right next to a lush pine forest? Schinias beach, in the historic town of Marathon, invites visitors to unwind on its verdant terrain before taking a dive in shallow, crystalline waters. Just an hour’s drive from Athens – or a little over an hour by KTEL – Schinias feels nothing like the city. And while the unspoiled part of the beach is ideal for relaxation or endless hikes among the trees, Schinias’s long shoreline also boasts hotels, beach bars and a variety of water-sport activities to choose from.

Kakia Thalassa

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Scenic View Of Sea Against Clear Blue Sky
© EyeEm / Alamy Stock Photo

About an hour away from the city centre by car or by KTEL, Kakia Thalassa – meaning “bad sea” in Greek – is actually one of the best beaches in the Attiki region. It’s partly organised, with sunbeds and umbrellas, changing rooms and a canteen, while the other half allows visitors to lie freely on the sand by the beach’s milky emerald waters. Kakia Thalassa is perfect for families or beach-volleyball and beach-paddleball enthusiasts who don’t mind the loud music. During the weekend, it is extremely busy so get your spot early.

Mylokopi

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Mylokopi Beach in Corinthia, Greece DW8TP4
© Constantinos Iliopoulos / Alamy

The exotic Mylokopi isn’t easy to get to, but it’s well worth the effort. About 90 minutes away from Athens, in the Corinthian Bay, the beach can only be accessed by car. You can either drive there or get to the town of Loutraki by KTEL, and then rent a car or take a taxi for the rest of the ride. The dirt road that leads to the beach is very bumpy, so it may be best to park in the nearby forest and walk to the shore. The sage on the surrounding rocks, along with the spectacular green-blue colour of its waters, give Mylokopi a tropical look. The beach doesn’t have any sunbeds or beach bars, so remember to come fully prepared with your own umbrella and water or snacks, or stop by Loutraki town to get everything you need.

Avlaki

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Avlaki Beach, Corfu, Greece C09TWT
© Robert John / Alamy Stock photo

Known for its broad shoreline, its light blue waters and white, smooth sand surrounded by abundant nature, the beach of Avlaki is probably the most popular in the area of Porto Rafti. Avlaki has plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas, and a fully equipped beach bar. Be sure to arrive early, though, as it is frequented by people from all over Athens and those sunbeds go within the blink of an eye. But once you find that perfect spot, the beach’s laid-back vibe guarantees you won’t be leaving any time soon.

Althea beach (Skalakia)

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PNXPJD ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 19, 2016: People on the Althea beach in Vari, Athens, Greece .
© master2 / Alamy

The cosy beach of Althea, somewhere along the route to Marathon town – just a 40-minute drive from the city centre – emerges as a little oasis literally by the side of the road. If you’re getting there by car, turn right at the “Althea” sign and park at the beach’s small parking lot. Follow the steps down to the beach and you’ll suddenly find yourselves in a secret haven of clear waters and pure nature. Bus 122, available every 30 minutes, will also get you there if you opt for public transport instead. Althea doesn’t come with its own sets of umbrellas and sunbeds, but there is a canteen that’s usually open in the summer months.

Psatha beach

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Deserted Greek beach in winter at Psatha Attica Greece 2EKTAT7
© GreekPhotoImages / Alamy

With pristine, light-green waters and a seemingly infinite shoreline, the pebbled Psatha beach has to be the finest option in the Corinthian Bay, as far as dreamy, clean waters go. Primarily accessed by car, Psatha is bound to impress you with the serenity that emits from the pine forest, and its beauty that echoes that of an Aegean island. The beach comes fully equipped with sunbeds and beach bars, but there’s plenty of space for you to throw down a towel and lie on the pebbles instead. For food, grab a bite to eat at one of the nearby taverns.

Aponisos

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The small island Aponisos near Agistri island, Greece F9KMMN
© Constantinos Iliopoulos / Alamy

If you’re looking for a quick day trip away, the island of Agkistri in the Argo-Saronic Gulf is only a 60-minute ferry ride away from Athens’s main port, Piraeus. This tiny islet – just 14sqkm (5.4sqmi) in size – combines marvelous beaches with lush vegetation, a rare sight for an island so close to Athens. Its most precious jewel is the shingle beach of Aponisos, a peaceful paradise with pool-like waters. The beach is ideal for snorkelling and you can dive from the rocks, or go for a relaxing swim instead – taking in the majestic views of the pine trees and the gentle warmth of the sunrays.

These recommendations were updated on September 15, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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