Athens is one of the best city break destinations in Europe. Between the incredible archaeological sites, the food and the nightlife, Athens is right up there. But that’s not all. The secret’s coming out on Athens’s other attraction: the sea. And while people may well be versed in the charms of Mikrolimano and Piraeus, maybe even the Athenian Riviera, few people know about the secret beaches of Athens, where access is limited to those in the know, or those with an acquaintance (classic Greece).
It’s not that Athens and its southern suburbs aren’t littered with superb beaches. They are. And therein lies the problem. If everyone knows them it means that on a hot weekend, getting there will be marred by the inevitable throng of beach goers such as yourself, and let me tell you, stuck in traffic on a hot humid, sticky day is not cool. During the weekends it seems as if the entire population of Athens descends onto Varkiza, Vouliagmeni and Kavouri, the three main beach districts. There’s nothing noble about slumming it with the rest of the have nots, or the know nots in this case. Because knowing is half the battle (Cobra commander don’t know). And if you know where to go, driving that extra half an hour will totally be worth it. Expect golden sand beaches, clearer waters and hardly anyone in sight. And seeing as this article is all about hidden spots we’ll go ahead and provide you with the coordinates to each one. Because we’re nice like that.
One of our favourite hidden beaches has to be Mikro Pilio, or Little Pelion, in reference to the homonymous mountain near Volos. It takes a little longer to get there, but really, when you’re not stuck in traffic that extra bit of car time will seem like its whizzed by.
Another favourite is the Asimaki coast. At 1 hour away from Athens center it is close enough but tucked away under a canopy of trees which is just great for you, as you won’t have to shell out for chaise longs and parasols. As you may imagine, people here are scarce, apart from a few bathers from the nearby hotel.
One of the closest ones to Athens is Harakas. It’s near Cape Sounio and at just under an hour by car it is absolutely mesmerizing in its size. To be clear, this is an organized beach, with beach bar and a tavern. Don’t get us wrong, we love exclusivity and being the sole proprietor of a stretch of sand is exhilarating, but so is chomping down on fried calamari by the sea. This is, after all, one of the joys of Greece.
Because everyone knows the typical beaches in Athens and the wider Attica region, and new ones keep getting Instagram-fied, it’s hard to get the real thing. Luckily for you, you’ll be in pole position to get it.