Summer’s here and the mercury is rising in Athens – but that’s no reason to avoid this amazing, cosmopolitan city. Plant yourself in Athens and enjoy everything the city has to offer, chill out in the shade of a streetside cafe, enjoying the cool wet air the misters provide as you nurse a Greek iced coffee or freddo, explore the Acropolis early in the morning and a breezy sunset in the late afternoon from the top of Mount Lykavittos. Mid day, enjoy the cool air conditioned comfort of Athens many fine museums, or work on your suntan like a true Athenian – head to a nearby beach or outdoor pool.
Where to swim in and around Athens?
Attica is surrounded by water, and while there are many, many beaches lining the seashore, only 4 have been awarded the “Blue Flag” designation for clean, clearly waters, litter free beachfronts in an organized atmosphere. All four of the following beaches fit this criteria and are also handicapped accessible:
Pounta Zeza in the municipality of Lavrio (eastern Attica). This quiet sandy beach has no motorized watersports – enjoy your afternoon in peace. You can catch a KTEL bus from Pedion Areos in front of Green Park in downtown Athens.
Votsalakia, in Piraeus, is surrounded by a large park with organized water sports and beach volleyball. Easily reached from Athens by metro or tram.
Voula “A”, Vari/Voula, mostly sandy with patches of small pebbles, the south suburbs best beach offers water sports,
beach volleyball, soccer courts and also even archery for the closet Robin Hood!
Zefyros Beach, on the island of Salamia, this fine pebble beach has an organized beach bar and hotel nearby. Frequent ferry service operates from the port of Piraeus for the quick trip to this island.
Public Indoor and Outdoor Swimming Pools
The Athens Hilton has an amazing outdoor pool, popular with Athenian families during the summertime. For 35 euro per person (weekdays) and 55 euro per person (weekends) you can relax by the pool while the kids splash around and make new Greek friends. The admission includes a clothes locker and pool towels.
The Divani Caravel hotel, at 2, Vas. Alexandrou Avenue, just up the street from the Hilton, has a rooftop pool so you can enjoy the views while cooling off in the pool. Admission is 40 euro/weekdays, 50 euro/weekends – admission includes soft drinks to keep you hydrated as well as pool towels.