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Places

Explore Athens Riviera

Athens is blessed with a glittering coastline that easily makes other European capitals jealous. A 30-minute tram ride from Syntagma Square is all that’s required to gaze out over the crystal waters of the Saronic Gulf and feel the warm sand against the soles of your feet.

From the port of Piraeus, Athens boasts over 60km of seafront until you reach Cape Sounion. Along the way you have everything from city beaches, premium resorts and luxury beach bars to unspoiled bays and secluded little coves.

The Riviera is home to a number of distinct neighborhoods with their own identities and cultural offerings. Starting with the chic art spaces and open-air cinemas in Piraeus, head south to Faliro, with its sprawling arts complex at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre.

The Glyfada Beach at the Riviera. Photo: Shutterstock.

Glyfada is the first true Riviera suburb. Here you’ll find well-dressed locals kicking back in a relaxed and luxurious neighborhood that has echoes of Miami’s beachside vibes. Here you’ll find good dining and plenty of companionship if you just want to party the night away.

The tram will take you as far as Voula, where you can continue by bus – or bike, as many Athenians do every weekend. The elegant Vouliagmenis is home to ancient ruins, fine dining on the waterfront and some of Greece’s oldest and most prestigious resorts. After the superb fish tavernas of Varkiza, it all gets a bit more rugged until the journey ends at the mighty Poseidon’s Temple.

Paleo Wine Store

Paleo is situated in a lovingly-refurbished warehouse with a wooden roof. Here they pair Greek cheeses and tapas with a curated selection of Mediterranean wines. Be sure to check out the neighboring Rodeo Gallery and nearby Pireé art space.

Paleo Wine Store

Polidefkous 39, Pireas

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Open Thursday – Saturday 6:30pm–1:30am

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre

Italian architect Renzo Piano’s sprawling masterpiece has truly transformed this section of the coastline. The complex boasts world-class art, theatre and music, and hosts the National Library and National Opera Ballet. If you’re in town in June, the free events in the gardens for the Summer Nostos Festival are not to be missed.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre

Leof. Andrea Siggrou 364, Kallithea

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Open daily

Photo: Shutterstock

Vouliagmenis Lake

The idyllic Vouliagmenis Lake is a true geological marvel. A natural spring, it’s kept at a comfortable swimming temperature all year around and the healing waters are constantly refreshed by natural underground currents.

Vouliagmenis Lake

Vouliagmeni Lake, Vouliagmeni

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Open daily: 7:30am–8pm

Benaki Toy Museum

If it’s not a day to hit the beach, the Kouloura House, a turreted neo-Gothic mansion, houses a museum showcasing 3,000 toys, books and items of clothing, some dating back as far as the 3-4th Century BC. A short walk away, the Floating Naval Museum Battleship Averof was once the Greek flagship and boasts a storied history.

Benaki Toy Museum

Leof. Poseidonos 14 &, Tritonos 1, Paleo Faliro

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Open Thursday – Sunday 10:00-18:00

Photo: Cristina Gottardi / Unsplash

Poseidon’s Temple at Cape Sounion

There are few places more spectacular to watch the sunset than over Poseidon’s Temple at Cape Sounion. Built in 444BC, with the same Doric-style columns and construction year as the Parthenon, it can feel like the end of the known world and has welcomed sailors home for centuries.

Poseidon’s Temple

Cape Sounio, Sounio

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Open daily: 9am–8:30pm

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