Just because we’ve all come back from our holidays it doesn’t mean we’ve packed away our carefree spirit and bathing suits. On the contrary, summer is still very much in the air, beckoning us for some spontaneous splashes, and mercifully without August’s gusty winds. So, here we offer you five delightful coastal spots not far from Athens to relish the sea all day long.


Mylokopi, Corinth

In the Corinthian region, head north of Perachora Loutraki to the Mylokopi beach. It’s only a breezy one and a half hours from the capital. Here, a tiny peninsula carves out two absolutely delightful little beaches that are, frankly, a sight to behold. But a word to the wise: you’ll want a car that can handle a rugged path, preferably a 4×4. Although the route might give your seatbelt a workout, it’s well worth it as you’ll be driving through a dense pine forest.

You could also approach it on foot, cutting across through the forest from the main road. It’s a modest distance, about 2 kilometres, but just remember: this beach doesn’t come with frills, so it’s a BYOE (Bring Your Own Everything) kind of place. Once there, you’ll find yourself on a beach possessing a raw beauty – rocks skirting its edges, even jutting out of the sea. Some plates on one side of the shore make entering the water a wee bit of a challenge. Behind it, the forest stretches out, and its rather isolated location gives it a somewhat wild persona, but it’s utterly captivating, nonetheless.

Karathonas, Argolida

A short jaunt from Nafplio lies the Karathona beach, one of the prime candidates for a day trip. It might be two hours from Athens, but it rewards you with an enticing golden sand, crystal-clear waters, and a backdrop lush with greenery, dotted with eucalyptus and palms all along. It’s well-appointed with beach bars, sun loungers, and umbrellas. Yet there’s plenty of room if you’re inclined to pop up your own little shade or lay out your straw mat. For those favouring natural shade, the trees are more than inviting. One of its standout features is the pathway made for individuals with mobility challenges, spacious changing rooms, and a large chemical toilet specially designed for wheelchairs.

Here, there’s not a whisker of chance you’ll twiddle your thumbs. Opportunities abound, from submerging into the deep with diving to slicing through the waves on a kayak. If you fancy a change of altitude, there’s rock climbing, or perhaps you’d care to bob around on inflatable water toys.

Then there’s the coastal trail leading to Arvanitia beach — a delight. A side trek to the chapel of St. Nicholas Krasoktistos is a splendid detour. Karathona caters wonderfully to families: its waters are pleasingly shallow. And after a beach romp, why not swing by the archaeological sites of Nemea or Mycenae?

Alykes Drosias, Chalkida

In the grand scheme of beaches a mere hour from Athens, Alykes Drosias ranks rather high on the list. Tucked not too far from the village of Drosia, it’s a mere 8 kilometres from Chalkida. Locals sometimes throw around the name ‘Hippocampus‘, harkening back to the first beach bar that opened its doors there years ago. An expansive sandy stretch, roughly a kilometre in length, lazily unfolds before you, punctuated with trendy and timeless sun loungers, beckoning you for a day of blissful sea lounging. It deepens gradually, starting off shallow — absolutely ace for families with tots. A decent collection of beach bars stand ready to cater to every whim, and should your belly grumble, there’s always the option of dining in their restaurant spaces, rather than the sandy shore.

Now, in addition to your standard seaside frolics – you know, those inflatable water toys and a smattering of water sports – there’s a space specifically sculpted for a bit of beach volleyball or perhaps some light-hearted racket play. But if you’re of the mind to simply melt into the sun, be our guest. The beach bars, faithful companions they are, keep their lanterns lit well into the night, for souls seeking a drink beyond Chalkida’s borders, with the sea breeze as their personal bartender. With a westward tilt to the place, do stick around till the sun dips its toes into the water. If you’re of the DIY-type and bring your own gear, there’s a little patch with your name on it, metaphorically speaking. Weekend warriors, be early birds, for the flock grows dense. But weekdays, especially now, are a more languid affair.

Heraion Bay, Corinth

Not much further — 100 kilometres, or say, an audiobook of 1.5 hours — lies a pocket of sand that’s well worth a detour: the beach of Heraion in Corinth. It nestles right under the archaeological site of Heraion. So, imagine lounging beneath the remnants of the Temple of Hera, a vintage structure dating back to the 6th century BC. Now, this isn’t your fancy resort spot: you won’t spot beach bars, loungers, or even umbrellas for shade. It’s also a BYOE kind of place: shade, water, beach mats, a good sandwich perhaps. Arriving bright and early might be wise, especially if you fancy a spot to set up your umbrella. Space here, you see, is on the limited side.

The waters, I kid you not, are as clear as my grandma’s crystal vase. And swimming with a backdrop of ancient temple ruins? That’s something for the memoirs. Toss a snorkeling mask into your beach bag; there’s a chance you might see some underwater remnants of yesteryears. And should you have a penchant for strolls, make your way to the Melagavi lighthouse, dated 1897. The view? Temple on one side, vast sea on the other. Goes without saying, after staking out your umbrella territory, you ought to visit the archaeological site. As for the next thing on the list… I believe the irresistibly inviting waters speak for themselves. On your way back, consider a pit stop to admire the lagoon of Vouliagmeni.

Korfos, Corinthia

Korfos paints the picture of a quintessential fishing village in the Corinthian region, a mere 1.5 hours from Athens central. Beyond the Isthmus, and past the towns of Kechries and the baths of Oraia Eleni in the direction of Epidaurus, you’ll take a left after Aghios Vlassis, and wind up hilly paths sprinkled with pines, strawberry trees, thyme, oregano, and olive groves. As you descend, you’ll see the village draped around a natural bay with waters you’d swear were stolen from paradise.

On one side, a cozy marina flanked by tavernas and beach bars, and on the other, pristine rocks beckon the more reclusive swimmers. This rocky stretch is dotted with sea urchins and pen shells. If you fancy collecting sea urchin shells, pack your snorkel. And even if these spiky treasures don’t tickle your fancy, snorkeling reveals a world of fish and octopuses below. Fresh fish? That’s a given here. The seafront tavernas practically have their tables in the waves, serving fish so fresh, it practically introduces itself.