Every time you visit Athens over summer, a very important part is knowing where to cool down when temperatures soar! One of our favourite spots to swim in the Greek capital is Limanakia Vouliagmenis, where you will come across tiny coves and bays boasting crystal clear waters.
Just 30 minutes from Athens’ centre and set between the coastal suburbs of Varkiza and Vouliagmeni, you can dive off the rocks into what seems like your own private cove. Known as Limanakia, or ‘small ports’, these rocky beaches with striking waters are most popular among locals (and in the know) international visitors who are looking for a secluded and peaceful place to swim.
Location of Limanakia Vouliagmenis
You will find the beach inlet of Limanakia along the coast road to Vouliagmeni; explore the small coves and deep blue waters reached by walking down rocky paths. After departing from the more well-known organised beaches and beach bars of the famous Athenian Riviera neighbourhood, you will follow the coastal highway towards Varkiza. Firstly, you will come across Lake Vouliagmeni and then other small beaches and tiny coves that are known as Limanakia.
Surrounded by white rocks, don’t expect to find many signs for the coves and bays but look out for people walking back up from a swim; and after parking your car follow the short paths crossing through Mediterranean scrub. Most are easy walks and once you reach the coves and discover the deep blue waters and the stunning views of the Saronic Gulf and nearby islands- you will realise it’s worth the effort.
All these spots are unorganised, so don’t expect to find any umbrellas, sunbeds or shops but the water is crystal clear and ideal for relaxation, diving and scuba-diving.
Limanakia Beach Bar
By day, you can swim off the rocks and at night you can enjoy a drink as you sit back and take in the stunning views of Athens Riviera at this cool seaside wooden bar nestled in the largest of the bays. As you listen to the latest summer beats, you can order a drink and watch the sunset. There are no official opening hours but over summer the bar is pretty much open 24 hours.
How to Get There
The area of Limanakia is about a 30-45 minute drive from Athens centre and it is located in between Vouliagmeni and Varkiza. After passing Vouliagmeni Lake, you will find Limanakia around 2 km away, driving along Posidonos Avenue. On the right-hand side, you will find a parking space where you can leave your car and start walking to the beach. If you don’t have a car, you can also catch a bus which regularly departs from Syntagma Square, in the city centre.
Tips for Visiting Limanakia Vouliagmenis
-All beaches, bays and coves are only accessible on foot, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes to get there.
-There are no organised areas, so make sure to take a hat and sunscreen and keep in mind there is not much shade until later in the afternoon.
-When diving, watch out for sea urchins- as it can very be painful if you step on one.
-If you want a completely quiet swim avoid heading to Limanakia Beach Bar, as it is the most crowded area. Instead, head to the right and find a more quiet spot.