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Located in the southern suburbs of Athens, 22 kilometres from the center of the Greek capital and bathed by crystal waters of the Saronic Gulf, Varkiza is another splendid neighborhood of the Athenian Riviera.
From Vouliagmeni to Varkiza, you can choose to take the longer coastal drive to take in the vastness of the sea before your eyes, as opposed to the shorter version of the journey often opted for by many local residents who enjoy this view from their home balconies on a daily basis. Varkiza used to be a fishing area, as the sea there is excellent for such activities. You will often see random fishing boats either ‘parked’ near the shore or bobbing about, or windsurfers gliding on the surface. The main Varkiza bay is ideal for watersports and is the main attraction for the bathers there.
Although mainly a residential area, Varkiza is packed with eateries and restaurants, where you will find a plethora of choices for food you can eat on the go, to accommodate all the youngsters that fill the beaches in the summer. In the winter it is a popular location for lovers of meat as it is right next to Vari, which is renowned for its traditional meat cooking diners. In terms of nightlife, Varkiza is home to the most famous summer club in Athens, the “Island”, a venue built on the rock cliff, serving guests unsurpassable views and aura.
Varkiza Resort – YABANAKI Beach
“Yabanaki” is translated in English as “for having a little swim”. It might sound a bit funny in English but in Greek, it makes total sense! Yabanaki in Varkiza is a beach resort complex that accommodates different beach bars, restaurants, few boutique shops, a water sports kiosk, beach volley courts and is guarded by security and lifeguards. Depending on your taste you can choose which area of the beach you want to sit in, fancier, with loud music, somewhere a bit isolated, or near the playground. Two notable beach bars are Holy Spirit, which serves the biggest and most delicious cocktails, and Coyacan, a Peruvian restaurant bar with fancy decorations, arranges shishas and hosts popular sunset parties.
The entrance fee on weekdays is €6 with a free sunbed. During weekends entrance fee is €7.50 and + €5 for sunbeds. Children under 6 enter for free. Children 6-12 and people over 65 pay half price. (based on the 2020 price list).
For lovers of water sports, but also for those seeking some adventure, the Varkiza beach is a very popular destination for water sports, as the position of the beach and the depth of the waters create the perfect environment for such activities to take place.
Whether you are a professional water skier, an easy-jet ski-rider or simply enjoy getting your arms sore from holding on too hard onto the tube while bouncing off the waves, the SHARK Water Sports Varkiza is equipped to professionally assist you. Paddle-Boarding rentals are also available for those either seeking to get wet by falling into the waters of the Aegean Sea, or those who can actually stand on the board for longer than a minute.
During the early months of summer and the latest you probably will be able to secure a spot by just visiting the location, however during the high peak season of June-August, we recommend that you contact the kiosk ahead of your visit.
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Beach Activities & Leisure
In addition to water sports, Varkiza Resort also offers sports and activities for guests to enjoy on the shore. Such activities include beach tennis and beach volley courts, where tournaments take place every weekend during the summer season.
Workout sessions like yoga classes or Zumba courses also take place in the perfect venue: under the blue sunny sky and the sand serving as the dance floor.
This all-day beach restaurant & bar opened its doors in Varkiza in the summer of 2020 and became pretty loved by Athenians, becoming a very popular and hot destination in the city.
During the day guests can relax by the beach, where the decoration and the furnishing are inspired by a boho vibe. Lay on a sunbed with a refreshing smoothie, or perhaps a summer cocktail, while getting the perfect Meditteranean tan. Enjoy some Mexican food, inspired by Tulum cuisine, either in the comfort of your beach seating or in the chic restaurant, just a level above the beach. The establishment also provides massage services by professionals that are guaranteed to help your body and soul relax.
The real magic happens during the sunset hour when CoyoSunset live sessions featuring famous Djs with an experimental ethnic mood begin. The most famous party happens on Sunday when guests compete whose boho outfits will steal the scene and dance to the sound of the Dj till early morning hours.
The accurate translation of “The Vlaxika”, would perhaps be “The Bumpkins’ Place”, but in Greece, this word does not have the same weight as it does in English. “Ta Vlaxika” is actually a small region, main street, in the area of Vari, which is the continuation of Varkiza’s neighborhood. The appellation of the area is attributed to the Greek Tavernas that serve meat cooked in traditional ways, grilled “sta karvouna” or “stin souvla”- on the spit. The venues are rather famous during colder seasons where guests find warmth in enjoying the oily foods and the fireplace. However, during warmer seasons, the restaurants open their roofs and windows to allow some breeze in. Specialties include lamb ribs on the grill or on the spit, “kokoretsi” a Greek specialty consisting of lamb or goat intestines wrapped around seasoned offal, including sweetbreads, hearts, lungs, or kidneys typically grilled and other delicacies.
Whether you are a party animal or someone who appreciates luxury and fine vibes, Island Club and Restaurant is an ultimate must-go destination for those visiting the Athenian Riviera. Described as a piece of heaven in Athens, the establishment offers one of the best views and sceneries, any time of the day, either when the sun is setting or is rising. Inspired by the architecture of the Cycladic islands, the venue is surrounded by whitewashed walls, wrapped by rich greenery, and with a simple but rather chic indoor decoration. The oasis combines a clubbing area, a cocktail bar, a dining area, a private and VIP area, and a private house that is rented out for events. The club is also a famous wedding destination, as a small chapel and a special venue also make part of the resort.
The club has hosted celebrities from all over the world including Valentino, Mery Streep, Hugh Jackman, Ethan Hawke, and even Prince Albert of Monaco. It is no coincidence this single club has been visited by these personas before. Try it yourself and you will keep coming back for more!
A different but exciting experience for those who are visiting Greece is to visit an open-air fish market. Fishing has been a long-preserved tradition for Greeks. Independent fishermen depart from the shore with their little wooden caiques in the search for fine and fresh fish, so they can sell it in the marina during the fish market days. The smell is quite strong I have to admit, but Greeks love to visit these open-air markets and choose for themselves fresh fish and other seafood, like crabs and shrimps, to take home and cook a delightful meal. The main visitors of the markets are always the stray cats, who have a big love for fisherman, as they never leave them deprived.