Holidays In Vouliagmeni
Vouliagmeni Holidays at a Glance
Just ten miles south of the capital, Vouliagmeni is the Athenian’s choice for a few days’ relaxation in a tranquil coastal spot where eating and watching the world go by are top of the agenda. But, even though the attractions of historical Athens are just a short journey away, Vouliagmeni remains untroubled by sightseers. Only those in the know, content with sandy beaches and innumerable restaurants and tavernas have as yet cottoned on to the joy of holidaying in this lovely resort.
WHO HOLIDAYS HERE: Sun, sand, sea and the warm, reputedly restorative waters of a natural lake make for relaxing days and, with evenings centred on eating out, Vouliagmeni is perfect for couples of any age. Clean, sandy beaches make it a hit with young families, too.
Key Facts - Vouliagmeni
- Dialing Code00 30
- Time Difference+2 GMT
- Flight Duration4 hours (approx.)
The coastal town of Vouliagmeni has undergone a relatively rapid development over the last 70 or 80 years, from a simple string of beaches to the clean, calm resort it is today and, while it may lack the ancient world charm of other destinations, its growth has been careful and considered. Owned by the church, the land has been given over to residential buildings, villas and some top quality resort hotels set among palm-shaded, flowery pathways and soothing fountains. Its picturesque, harbour, overlooked by Mount Hymettus, is home to a collection of expensive-looking yachts rather than the more usual colourful cluster of fishing vessels.
The town sits between two small peninsulas, Kavouri and Lemos, both of which offer lovely beaches with good swimming, and protection from the urban sprawl surrounding Athens; many come to Vouliagmeni to enjoy the first clean seas and sands after leaving the city. In cooler months, winds create suitable conditions for watersports and an influx of visitors arrive to indulge their passion.
Vouliagmeni means ‘sunken’, a name which describes the famous lake a short walk from the town square. It is surrounded by the tall, limestone cliffs of a collapsed cavern and is fed by warm, subterranean springs which mingle with water from the sea. Protected on three sides, it maintains a constant 25c temperature and this, coupled with its composition of minerals and sea salt, bestows the waters with softness and a reputation for alleviating the pains of rheumatism or arthritis.
Around the bay, the choice of eateries is wide with sea-food restaurants, traditional tavernas, Italian trattorias, ice-cream parlours and pastry shops offering quick snacks or the pulse-slowing pleasure of people-watching over a languorous lunch in front of a glittering sea. In the town square is the popular Xaxos restaurant, famous for its fabulous chicken, served with fresh lemon juice and herbs. At the higher end, literally as well as metaphorically, Ithaki, perches on a cliff looking down over the beach, where the cuisine combines traditional Greek ingredients with a French or Italian twist. A coffee beneath the branches of a large tree, at the Playground Café opposite Vouliagmeni beach is the perfect way to end the day
Things to See:
Athens is a large city with a multitude of things to see and do. Activities are varied and cater for both adults and children. Below are just a few things you may want to discover while on holiday on Athens:-
The Acropolis: An absolute must-see, the Acropolis is a stunning, ancient citadel perched high above the city on a flat-topped, rocky outcrop towering 490 feet above sea level. Though Greece has many acropoli, only this splendid example, constructed by Pericles in the 5th century BC, is referred to by that name alone. It contains the remains of many ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon.
The Parthenon: This unique temple constructed of white marble is dedicated to the goddess Athena and is one of the most magnificent masterpieces of the ancient world, leaving a lasting impression on all who see it.
New Acropolis Museum: After 30 years of planning, construction and controversy, this ultra modern gallery finally opened its doors to the public in 2009. In the shadow of the Parthenon, it is a state-of-the-art museum and a sight worth seeing in itself. It was designed by internationally acclaimed architect Bernard Tschumi.
National Archaeological Museum: This museum has world renown for having one of the world's finest collections of artefacts from Classical Greece, including sculptures, jewellery, pottery and a 2000-year-old computer found among a shipwreck off the island of Antikythera.
The Temple Of Poseidon at Sounio : The site was once used to worship the God of Sea, Poseidon. The idyllic spot overlooks the sea at the tip of the Attiki Peninsula offering amazing sunset views of Santorini.
Things to do:
Attica Zoological Park: Situated in the suburb of Spata this is a modern zoo and the only one of its kind in Greece. It is home to a wide range of animals including lions, tigers, black pumas, monkeys and reptiles. Shows are put on daily demonstrating the activities of birds of prey and sea lions - a great day out for the whole family.
The National Gardens: Not just a feature of beauty to be admired, in the child-friendly gardens you’ll also discover a small zoo and a playground. Relax and admire your surroundings while the kids let off some steam.
Mount Likavitos: Take a ride in a cable car to the top of Mount Likavitos and admire the view on the way. Once at the peak, relax with refreshments at the café you’ll find there.
Sports: As you might imagine in the home city of the Olympics, Athens offers a wide range of sporting options. The beaches of Athens coast provide the opportunity for watersports, including waterskiing, windsurfing and jet-skiing. At Vouliagmeni, the Astir Beach Club has great facilities including showers, changing rooms with lockers, sun loungers and a volleyball court.
The Balux House Project: in the Athens suburb, Glyfada, is a great place to while away a day. It has a huge glass-fronted clubhouse furnished with squishy sofas, a library, gaming stations and board games. Children are welcome too, and for them there is a large playground both in and outdoors. There are sun loungers for hire on the beach, and an adults-only swimming pool at the original Balux next door. Enjoy hot chocolate and wood-fired pizzas while you relax. Entry and parking are free.
Open-air Cinema: The main one of these in the area is the Alpha Odeon, which puts on English-language screenings of mainstream films, with a first screening around dusk at 9pm and a second late showing at around 11pm. Don’t expect a reverent hush here though. The noisy locals will be chatting and making phone calls as usual!
Eating/Drinking During Vouliagmeni Holidays
Greece is hard to beat when it comes to fresh and flavoursome food. But the growth of tourism in this area is giving rise to great value, stylish new grill houses which bring a more up-to-the-minute feel to traditional cuisine. Springing up are modern american-style eateries and cosy bars, where fast food staples such as burgers can be found. Nonetheless, in Athens and the resorts further out from the city, the choice is wide, with fresh seafood restaurants, pastry and ice-cream parlours, traditional tavernas, and pizza and pasta places. There is something to suit every palate.
If you are self-catering on your holiday, or even if you’re not, a trip to the weekly market at Glyfada on a Thursday is a sensory experience not to be missed, with an array of aromas, textures and tastes to be sampled before you buy. You’ll find Greek specialities such as mountain tea, honey, olive oil, and equipment for making your own a dolmades at home.
Athens is a city awake around the clock and gives real meaning to the concept of nightlife. After a late dinner, live music is on offer at the clubs in Syngrou and Poseidonos Avenues. The area of Gazi is known for its many art cafes and trendy bars.
Getting Around on Vouliagmeni Holidays
Taxi: You can flag one down on most street corners. Taxi fares in Athens are quite cheap and so for getting around in a group, this can be a very a cost-effective option.
Train: To travel south from Athens, you will need to go to Peloponnese Stat, one of the two main train stations in the city. Fares are discounted for under 26s and foreign students (ID Required).
Athens Metro: When in town, it’s worthwhile taking a ride on the underground system here, if only to see the archaeological finds displayed at the exact spot they were discovered; other stops are decorated with work from well known Greek artists. Athens has 27 metro stations with 2 lines operating weekend services until 2am.
Blue Buses OASA: The blue bus network consists of more than 320 lines connecting the city centre with all the Athens suburbs and Piraeus. The buses run daily from 5am to 12:15am.
Thermal Buses (ETHEL): The ETHEL buses are the core lines connecting Athens and Piraeus city centre with the surrounding areas. There are several express bus routes to and from Athens International Airport. Thermal buses run from 5am to 11pm.
Trolley Buses: The old yellow trams of Athens past have now been replaced with cutting edge purple and yellow trolley buses with digital displays. These run daily from 5am to 12.30am.
Vouliagmeni Holidays Shopping
Athens holidays are hard to beat for the sheer joy of shopping, with a vast choice of tourist shops in the areas of Plaka and Monastiraki. The busiest shopping street is the pedestrianised Ermou, off Syntagma Square where souvenirs, clothing and accessories can be found, and more upmarket shops are to be found in Kolonaki where you'll be tempted by a wide range of designer boutiques. Having avoided the development of large shopping centres found in most other cities, strolling around the streets of Athens is still a pleasurable day of discovery.
Holidays in Vouliagmeni - Beaches
The best beaches in Athens are situated on the south-east coast, in Glyfada. Many of the beaches are private so you would have to pay to swim there. However, there are secluded rocky creeks which are less crowded than the main beaches.
Vouliagmeni Beach offers everything needed to enjoy a day out at the coast, with tennis and volleyball courts, water slide and children's play area.
Weather and climate information
Athens has a pleasant and sunny climate. Between March and May the weather is pleasant and mild, rising between June and August, and resulting in a very hot August. September can sometimes be as hot as the summer months but with occasional light rain. Most rain in the city falls between November and February, when Athens can be cold, windy and dull. The winter can offer sunny days though and any rain is often followed by sunshine.
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