The swimming: Lake Vouliagmeni
What A thermal lake in an enchanting cove surrounded by dramatic cliffs.
Go for A healing swim in mineral-laden waters continuously replenished by the sea and hot springs that stay a comfortable 23°C year-round. A beautifying bonus: colonies of Garra rufa fish feed on swimmers’ dead skin cells, so you emerge from the lake freshly exfoliated.
But don’t miss An exploration of the lagoon’s underwater cave, where 3,123m of tunnels have been charted. One runs 800m and is thought to be the longest in the world. The cave’s end, however, remains elusive.
See also For a glamorous alternative, take a dip in the Aegean then dry off on a four-poster sunbed at the newly reimagined Astir Palace. It’s been on the jet-set circuit – Jackie O was a fan – since the 1960s.
The hotel: The Margi
What An updated 1960s boutique hotel nestled within a vine-draped compound overlooking the Aegean.
Go for Airy rooms whose so blonde woods and clean lines produce a nirvana-inducing effect. Colour comes courtesy of olive tree- and bougainvillea-fringed vistas, while traditional handwoven rugs and curated antiques add warmth to the muted palette.
But don’t miss A candle-lit meal at poolside eatery Malabar; it serves as the place to see and be seen for the stylish Athens set who decamp to the Riviera for the summer months. Equally appetising? The Mediterranean dishes sourced from the hotel’s own organic farm, which guests can tour for a taste of Greek country living.
See also White Key Villas offers private rentals across the Athenian coast. The Modernist Villa Clytia near Vouliagmeni even boasts its own mini soccer field and beachfront access.
The restaurant: Blue Fish
What Chef George Economides’ contemporary interpretation of a seafood taverna so close to the water you can almost dip your toes in.
Go for A culinary coupling of East and West. Economides enhances classic Grecian seafood with Japanese cookery techniques – think goma-drizzled tuna tataki snug atop mounds of avocado cream, and delicate sea bream carpaccio drenched in olive oil and yuzukosho paste made from chili peppers and citrus peels.
But don’t miss The extensive wine list, much of which features Greek vintners, and the luscious desserts. A must-try? The custard-filled galaktoboureko, whose flaky, buttery shell complements the full-flavoured Attica-grown Mylonas white.
See also Butcher shop-cum-trendy steakhouse Drakoulis, located a stone’s throw away in the neighbouring enclave of Voula, turns its specialty meats like olive-fed Wagyu beef into decadent short rib burgers and Roquefort steaks.
The bar: Limanakia Beach Bar
What Beloved by locals, this bar housed in a wood shack above an aquamarine bay is only accessible by foot down a craggy hillside.
Go for A rustic experience: no signs, mains electricity or running water (it’s powered by a generator). Instead the all-day watering hole has sturdy precipices ideal for divers, and wooden decks and cold beers for sunbathers. Lantern-lit evenings are for ouzo shots under starry skies.
But don’t miss The bar’s full-moon parties keep going all night long.
The cultural venue: Temple of Poseidon
What A fifth-century BC temple honouring the Greek god of the sea.
Go for The fascinating history. Cape Sounion was the last piece of land ancient sailors saw when embarking on a voyage. They built this homage to Poseidon as insurance for safe passage. In Greek mythology, King Aegeus threw himself to a watery death from here after mistakenly thinking his son was dead, hence the Aegean Sea’s name.
But don’t miss A stroll along the less-crowded promontory, which offers unending sea vistas.
See also The Benaki Museum’s Vouliagmeni outpost, a shop-gallery at the new Four Seasons Astir Palace; it currently features a show of handblown glass inspired by ancient artefacts.