For most travelers, Athens is just a one to two-day pitstop on the way to the Greek islands. Ask around in travel groups and you’ll hear that after the Acropolis, a gyro and maybe a light turn up at the club, there really isn’t much else to see or do in the city. Wrong!
The Athens Riviera has long been a hotspot with locals looking to escape the hectic city center life, but for many Black travelers, this coastal gem still remains largely undiscovered. One look at social media will have you thinking that all there is to Greece are islands with blue roofs and colorful dresses. But we’re about to change your mind.
Before you plan a trip to Greece (and your connecting flight to high tail it out of Athens), let us introduce you to this luxurious hideaway and show you how to get lost in the beauty of the Athens Riviera.
Day 1: Welcome to the Athens Riviera
Your long haul flight is over and you’re finally here – Athens, Greece! The journey to your seaside paradise is only a short 30-minute ride from Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (ATH). Taxi, Uber, bus or hotel cars are all quick and available options to transfer you to your home away from home for the next few days – The Four Seasons Astir Palace.
Cradled by the blue waters of the Aegean Sea, this luxury hotel is located a short drive from Athens’ city center, making it perfect for those looking to experience the best of both worlds. Choose from the relaxed bungalow rooms on the Arion side of the property or opt for a bit more grandeur and enjoy the suite life on the Nafsika side – either way, you can’t lose!
Spend your first day settling into your room and indulging in the amazing amenities the Four Seasons Astir Palace has to offer. From a decadent spa and tasty Latin-infused poolside lunch at Helios, to Greek dining at Taverna 37 and the most breathtaking sunset you’ll ever see, you couldn’t ask for a better welcome to Riviera life.
Day 2: Get The Blues
What’s a visit to the Athens Riviera without a day on the water. Skip the hotel pool, grab your towel and head down the street to the private Astir Beach for a day of tanning and maybe a bit of volleyball.
Not interested in a beach day? Enjoy a bespoke day trip island hopping the Peloponnese (no flight required!), strolling the streets of Hydra or discovering hidden coves and temples along Cape Sounio. You can even wash your cares (and pains) away in the natural thermal waters of Lake Vouliagmeni located just 5-minutes from the hotel.
Return to the resort for a quick refresh before heading out to one of the Rivera’s trendiest and hippest neighborhoods, Glyfada. Grab a traditional Italian dinner at Peccati di Gola (Fun Fact: Peccati is Greek family owned and operated), a fave among locals and visitors alike. Afterward, head to any of the area’s rocking bars and clubs for a nightlife scene that goes into the early morning.
Day 3: Get To Know Athens
Don’t worry, staying at the Athens Riviera doesn’t mean you’re “stuck” at the hotel. You can head into the city center at any time using the local tram or bus (fares start around $2 USD) or by simply taking a taxi. Discover a different side to the city by booking a tour (or three!) with Alternative Athens.
The local company offers a look at Athens through the eyes of locals and gives you a different perspective on everything you thought you knew about this travel hotspot. Enjoy a private tour of the Acropolis, nosh on yummy Greek cuisine on a food tour (Your guide Pavlina is super sweet and super knowledgeable) or get to know a few of Athens’ most popular urban artists on a street art tour (Nikos will show you the hot stuff) through its undiscovered neighborhoods. You might even make a few new friends along the way.