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Live it up on the Athenian riviera

With so many Greek islands to visit, Athens’ spectacular coastline often gets overlooked. Studded with glorious stretches of beach and cute villages a major facelift look set to let the secret out that those in-the-know have kept quiet for years. Full of great hotels to suit every budget, here are some insider favorites on the Athenian Riviera.

There has never been a better time to explore the Athenian Riviera, which stretches 70km from the mighty port of Piraeus to Sounio and the Temple of Poseidon. The entire coastline is undergoing an extensive project to recover and revitalize the seafront. Today, you can see the early stages have already come to fruition – Mikrolimano has received a facelift of its old port, fish tavernas and thumping bars, while the transformation of Athens’ former airport and disused venues from the 2004 Olympic Games has created the Ellinikon Experience Park.

Photo: Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel

Luxury for all seasons

The Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel is one of the most historic lodgings in Greece and occupies an enviable position on the Lemos Peninsula – a picturesque, pine-tree covered idyll that stretches out into the sea from Vouliagmenis. Since opening as the Astir Palace in 1958, it has welcomed the great and the good, from Jackie Kennedy and John Wayne to Lady Gaga and Barack Obama. In 2020, it reopened after a major refurbishment undertaken by the Four Seasons. Complete with the very latest facilities you would expect from a five-star hotel, what might come as a surprise is that it’s also consistently mentioned among the most kids and family-friendly hotels in Athens.

Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel

Fine dining in chic surroundings

For couples in search of a romantic, coastline getaway and for whom money is no object, The Margi in Vouliagmenis is for you. The hotel has been an icon of luxury ever since opening in the early 1960s but has very much kept pace with the times. The chic poolside area is perfect for a candlelit date night and there are all the wellness and spa options you would expect from a luxury boutique hotel. It’s also a fine dining destination in its own right, with exceptional organic food at the restaurant. Some of the produce is even grown at the Margi’s own farm nearby, where you can enjoy authentic farm-to-table experiences and learn about Greek cuisine.

The Margi

11 Litous, Vouliagmeni

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Photo: Athenian Riviera Hotel & Suites

Romance on a budget

For couples who want the full romantic experience without the price tag, Athenian Riviera Hotel & Suites will get the heart fluttering. Located in Vouliagmenis, there’s a lively town full of elegant restaurants and bars to be enjoyed – if you ever leave the room. Secluded for privacy, the interior is sufficiently stylish for even the most aesthetically minded couples and each room has a marble balcony, wooden floors and chic and black and white décor. The wicker chairs hanging around the concept pool are perfect for getting cozy.

Athenian Riviera Hotel & Suites

A forest getaway for all the family

Nestled in the midst of a pine forest a short walk away from the beach in Anavysos, EverEden Beach Resort Hotel is ideal for both couples and families. It boasts a wide range of activities to entice all kinds of guest, from scuba diving for the most active, to spa and wellness for those who just want to relax. When it comes to food there’s a diverse range of culinary options that ensure you’ll never need to leave the resort – from the classy Edenaki Beach Restaurant to the Hokyo Sushi Bar and Cacti Mexican Resto.

EverEden Beach Resort Hotel

We’ll always have… somewhere

For travelers who choose where to stay based on how great it’ll look in their Instagram feed, Somewhere Boutique Hotel is for you. Targeted squarely toward couples rather than families, it’s tucked away behind a wall of pine trees in well-heeled Vouliagmenis. If you want to wine and dine without leaving the hotel, the in-house Bistro Lutetia serves up poolside bites, crafty cocktails and candlelit fine dining. The intimate pool area is perfect for late-night swims or al-fresco breakfasts each morning.

Somewhere Boutique Hotel

Photo: Plaza Resort Hotel

Make a splash

If you want to take the family well away from the city, Plaza Resort Hotel is an ideal destination – particularly if the kids are into watersports. Located in sleepy Anavyssos, 45km from Athens’ city center, the opulent pool spills right onto the beach. The area is particularly popular with windsurfers and the hotel’s own well-regarded Watersports Club also offers water skiing, parasailing, scuba diving, wakeboarding and more. Stop by on Sundays for a great brunch menu, featuring generous mimosas, and in summer for outdoor movie screenings on the lawn.

Plaza Resort Hotel

Photo: Divani

The healing power of the sea

This elegant hospitality institution in Kavouri has something to offer for everyone. It’s popular with families, has conference facilities for business travelers and has a saltwater pool and thalassotherapy spa for those who want to pamper themselves. While the coastal road separates it from the beach, the Divani Apollon Palace has its own private beach which can be accessed via an underground tunnel beneath the street. Pleasing extras include abundant breakfasts and a regular free shuttle service that runs to nearby Glyfada and Syntagma Square in the center of Athens.

Divani Apollon Palace Thalasso

Photo: Shutterstock

In Poseidon’s shadow

This great value hotel offers a five-star experience for the price of three-stars and is about as far as you can get from Athens without running out of land and ending up in the sea. The major attraction is a fantastic view out over the ancient Temple of Poseidon, which has charmed everyone who’s seen it, including Lord Byron. For couples and families who enjoy the outdoors, it’s easy to walk into the Sounion National Park for scenic hiking. For those who would rather not lift a finger, you can relax on the sun-loungers on the wooden deck and settle in for one of the most majestic sunsets anywhere in Greece, as the sun disappears behind the ancient ruins and into the sea.

Aegeon Beach Hotel

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