In Athens mid-August? Longing for a refreshing swim at a beach nearby? There are plenty of beaches along the Athens Riviera, along the whole regional unit of Attica, some of them organized and some free for all.
Free beaches have no sunbeds but some like in Glyfada (Blue Flag) and Palaio Faliro have a basic infrastructure such as sun-umbrellas, changing booths, showers and WC as wells a ramps for people with disabilities.
Organized beaches have infrastructure with sunbeds, sanitary facilities, some even a doctor, refreshments and food/snack facilities.
Entrance fee and sunbed prices vary heavily, however, depending on the services provided and the area. Prices go up on weekends and public holidays, such as August 15, but note that organized beaches usually offer entrance discounts for people over 65 and people with disabilities.
However, it should be noted that the total cost is much higher than in previous years.
Some indicative (source)
Blue Coast beach at Schinias, km from Athens in the East. On weekdays the entrance is free with a minimum consumption of 3 euros per person and the sunbed is charged 2 euros. On weekends and holidays, the entrance is 3 euros, for teenagers 1.5 euros, while the sunbed costs from 5 to 7 euros.
Beach in Alimos and Akti tou Hlios. General admission from Monday to Friday is 6 euros. Admission is reduced for the unemployed and the elderly as well as for children up to 12 years old. On weekends and holidays, the price for general admission rises to 8 euros. From there, the price of the sunbed depends on the spot and the shop in front of which one chooses to sit, as it can even reach 22 euros for 2 sunbeds and an umbrella.
Vouliagmeni Beach. General admission is 10 euros on weekdays and 15 euros on weekends. Admission is reduced for the unemployed and the elderly as well as for children up to 12 years old. At the same time, it is also possible to book a sunbed online, which provides free parking as well as storage of valuables. In such case prices go up further.
Varkiza Resort Beach on the coast of Varkiza, sunbeds are free on weekdays with general admission at 7.50 euros and reduced prices also for children up to 12 years old, seniors and students. At the weekend, however, the cost increases to 8.5 euros plus 10 euros for the sunbed set.
Eden Beach and Mavro Lithari. There is no entrance fee, however, the set, 2 sunbeds and 1 umbrella, on weekends starts at 25 euros. Those who have the possibility for an escape on weekdays, the price is 10 euros.
Asteras Vouliagmenis Beach: Entrance is free of charge at the entrance. However, for one umbrella and two sunbeds, visitors will pay 50 euros on weekdays and 80 euros on weekends and holidays. And in this case there is the possibility of online booking which costs around 70 euros on weekdays for a seat (not first row, directly at the shore) and 140 euros on weekends.
Grand Beach in Lagonisi: On weekdays the price reaches 80 euros and on weekends 130 euros. In addition to an umbrella and sunbeds, the amenities include two snacks and two bottled waters as well as extra services (Safety box, Waiter Button, Private area).
What is important to know before choosing a beach is the wind! For example in Faliro, south wind over 3 Beaufort blurs the sea, brings algen and trash from the islands and the sailing boats in the Saronic Gulf. North wind whatever its intensity provides crystal clear waters.
You can always check the wind intensity at meteo.gr “sailing maps” here.
Note that end of July, the Greek Health Ministry published a list of 12 beaches in Athens, Piraeus and Attica in general that are unsuitable for swimming.
PS As Athenian, I usually go for a quick swim to Palaio Faliro, for a medium-time available to one of the three beaches at Glyfada, and if plenty of time to the beach at Voula which has turned quite expensive though with entrance at 12 euros and sunbeds at 20 and 30 first row.