Want to enjoy the sun-soaked Athenian Riviera at its best? Monday through Friday is the time to go!

Want to enjoy the sun-soaked Athenian Riviera at its best?

Monday through Friday is the time to go!

If you are visiting Athens for a few days, between May and late September, and you love the idea of swimming and sunbathing in the Aegean Sea, the Athenian Riviera is a must.

The Athenian Riviera coastline is fringed with beautiful sandy beaches all along its 50km length, but for the ultimate full-day beach experience - Monday through Friday - Cape Sounion beach tops the list.

Cape Sounion
Temple of Poseidon
Ideal visiting time
Prime Location
Full day experience

Cape Sounion Beach

As mentioned in a previous blog, the Athenian Riviera boasts a wealth of fantastic beaches with enticing crystal-clear waters and sandy shores. The fairest of them all, in my opinion, is Cape Sounion, thanks to the sheer beauty of the seascape that fans out beneath the spectacular temple of Poseidon. A photogenic one-hour drive from the city, Cape Sounion is the ideal choice for an unforgettable weekday excursion to experience the glamorous Athenian Riviera.

The temple of Poseidon

You won’t only get to enjoy the marvellous beach there; you’ll also get to tick off one of Athens’ most dramatic ancient marvels, the Temple of Poseidon, erected during the Golden Age of Pericles (around 440 BC) and perched nearly 60 metres above the brilliant blue sea. This landmark location offers visitors a simply breath-taking view over the Aegean Sea and some of the islands of the Cyclades (Kea, Kythnos are among the closest; weather permitting, you may also spy the islands of Serifos, Hydra and the Peloponnese). Right below the temple is a small, well-protected bay where many sailing boats and cruisers drop anchor overnight to savour the tranquillity of moonlit summer nights under Poseidon’s watch. This very special spot is located 69km from the Athens city centre and 46km from the Athens International Airport.

Ideal visiting time

As you might expect during weekends - and in August – Sounion is jammed with Athenians. Some book into the local hotels or have holiday homes there; while others head down for the day to swim and unwind from the city beat, without having to get on a ferry. The beach in front of the Aegeon Beach Hotel in Sounion is an ideal swimming spot, but do plan your trip for a weekday if possible, especially in July, August and early September. If you cannot avoid going during August and the weekends, your best bet would be to get there around 08:30 in the morning in order to secure an umbrella and a sunbed (even then, it can sometimes be quite crowded).

Prime Location

That’s because the Aegeon Beach Hotel enjoys an absolutely prime location, smack bang in the centre of the Bay of Sounion, and offers an amazing view: the endless blue of the Aegean, ships setting sail for those nearby islands, and seagulls wheeling against the (Makronissos, Kea, Kythnos, Serifos) and Saronic (Hydra) Islands, Peloponnese (Methana, Poros) the sacred pillars of Poseidon’s lofty temple. During weekdays, you can spend a whole day relaxing on your comfortable sunbed between dips and soaking up the view (making this one of the best value beaches on the Athenian Riviera). From the hotel canteen, you can grab a coffee, water, juice or snack; if you are hungry, you can linger over a Mediterreanean meal at Aegeon’s taverna (or stay right where you are and enjoy it under your umbrella, with the sea as your side-dish). That’s the way I love it!

Full day experience

If you are a beach lover, I suggest you settle back and spend the whole day on this gorgeous beach! The priceless combination of sandy beach, crystal clear seawater in every shade of blue, and that epic view of Poseidon’s temple soaring high over the Aegean Sea never gets old; no matter how many times I visit, and I really can’t find anything to fault about this beach from Monday through Friday. I also love counting the ships as they pass by and guessing which islands are on their itinerary! In the broader area around Sounion there are plenty of great dining choices to extend your Athenian Riviera adventure. The best time of the day for taking pictures - as you’ll probably guess - is just before sunset: The colours of the temple and the sky as the sun dives into the sea are truly magnificent. For an exquisite taste of the Athenian Riviera, it’s hard to beat the Aegeon Hotel beach from Monday through Friday. It’s well worth adding an extra day to your Athens stay to capture some Greek island-style magic at Cape Sounion while you’re in town.

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