The Best Places of East Attica, Greece
The East coast of Attica stretches from the port of Lavrio in the south to Marathon in the north. The area is not as touristy as the west coast, however, this has its advantages. Picturesque holiday villages, green mountains, small secluded beaches, and rocky bays will enchant you. It should be noted, that prices on the East coast of Attica are lower than on the Athenian Riviera, so take a closer look at this area. We have prepared this Best Places of East Attica Travel Guide for you.
1. The port of Lavrion, East Attica
The beautiful port of Lavrion has located 60 km from the center of Athens. The modern city was built on the place of the ancient settlement of Torikos.
Silver and other minerals were mined here since ancient times and almost until the beginning of the 20th century. The Mineralogical Museum of Lavrion contains unique samples of minerals from this region. North to Lavrio, you can see the remains of the ancient theatre of Torikos, dating back to the 5th century BC. It is considered the oldest theatre in Greece, however, only a few people know about it. The entrance is free.
Stroll along with the port of Lavrion. Have lunch in one of the fish taverns with a sea view. But if you prefer meat, head towards the central square.
Olympic Marina in Lavrion
Olympic Marina is conveniently located just 20 minutes from Athens International Airport. This is the second most important marina in Attica for mooring motor sailing yachts and catamarans. Moreover, the Cyclades islands can easily be reached from Marina Lavrion.
Ferries from port Lavrion to Greek islands
Port Lavrion is the smallest of the 3 ports in Attica. From the port of Lavrio, you can travel to the following islands:
- Cyclades Islands: Kea (Tzia), Kythnos, Syros, Tinos, Andros, Kimolos, Milos, Naxos
- Aegean Islands: Ag.Efstathiou, Limnos, Chios, and the port of Kavala in Northern Greece
You can check ferry schedules from Lavrion port and buy tickets here.
How to get to Lavrion from Athens
An intercity bus (KTEL) runs from Athens to Lavrion. The bus terminal is next to the Nomizmatokopeio metro station. The ticket price is € 6 for a one-way trip. Check the bus schedule here.
2. Porto Rafti, East Attica
Porto Rafti of course is one of the most beautiful seaside resort towns on the East coast of Attica. It is located in a picturesque bay, surrounded by green hills and mountains, at a distance of 45 km from the center of Athens. The view from the shore of the three islets in the middle of the bay, colorful fishing boats, and snow-white yachts is breathtaking.
Porto Rafti Beaches
Porto Rafti is best known for its beaches. Especially popular are Erotospilia and Avlaki. Erotospilia, a small cove, with pebbles and a sandy beach is most popular with young people. Unlike, Avlaki is very popular with families with children, because of its sandy beach with a gentle entrance into the sea.
Taverns and Cafes in Porto Rafti
The long 2 km promenade in Porto Rafti is full of plenty of taverns, restaurants, and cafes for every taste.
On a hill above the town, stands a medieval fortress with a massive arched entrance and ancient interiors. But it only seems old. In fact, it’s the taverna-café Kastro, built just 30 years ago. The view from here is amazing, you can see the whole town and the bay with the islands.
If you walk along the embankment, you will see a black swan and two white geese swimming near the shore.
How to get to Porto Rafti from Athens
An intercity bus (KTEL) connects Athens with Porto Rafti. The bus terminal is next to the Nomizmatokopeio metro station. The ticket price is € 4 for a one-way trip. Check the bus schedule here.
3. Ancient Brauron, East Attica
Nearby is the ancient Brauron (Vravrona). Here, among the hills and olive groves, was the sanctuary of the goddess Artemis of the 6th century BC, together with a gallery where priestesses performed a ritual bear dance.
There are almost no tourists here. You can wander alone among the ancient columns and admire the bas-reliefs of the legendary altar and other finds in the museum.
Brauron opening hours
- 09:00 – 16:00 (summer season)
- 08:30 – 15:30 (winter season)
Brauron is closed
- Every Tuesday
- January 1, March 25, May 1, Sunday Easter, December 25 and 26.
Brauron free admission days
On several days throughout the year, all archaeological sites in Greece can be visited for free:
- 06.03 – Melina Mercouri Memorial Day
- 18.04 – International Monuments Day
- 18.05 – International Museums Day
- The last weekend of September – European Heritage days
- 28 October – National Holiday Ohi Day
- Every first Sunday of the month from the 1st of November to the 31st of March
Brauron Ticket Price
- From 01.04 – 31.10 – € 6 (children under 5 years are free, from 6 to 25 years – € 3)
- From 01.11 – 31.03 – € 3 (children under 5 are free)
Brauron Tour to Brauron from Athens
You can book a private Brauron tour in English, German, French, Russian, or any other language.
4. Artemida – Loutsa, East Attica
Another popular seaside resort Artemida, also known as Loutsa, is only 10 km from Athens International airport and 30 km from the center of Athens/ Porto Rafti. The beaches here are beautiful with white sand and shallow waters. Most of them are organized. There are many holiday houses as well as apartments in this area. The famous hotel Dolce by Wyndham Athens Attica Riviera is also located here.
How to get to Artemida from Athens
Bus 304 from Nomismatokopeio metro station (€ 1.2 one-way ticket, can be used for metro and bus together, max 90 minutes)
5. The port of Rafina, East Attica
Rafina is the closest port to the Athens Airport and is the second-largest port in Attica. Nowadays, after many renovations, Rafina has become a modern port. Rafina Port is much smaller than the port of Piraeus, that’s why it is more convenient.
The promenade of Rafina is famous for its excellent fish taverns. Sit in one of the taverns and watch the busy life of the port city. There are also many shops with fresh fish and seafood.
Ferries from Rafina Port to the Islands
Ferries depart from Rafina all year round to the Cyclades islands of Andros, Tinos, and Mykonos. Also, in the summer months, routes are added to other Cyclades: Paros, Naxos, Ios, Santorini, and even Crete.
Moreover, for the many Cyclades, the ferry from Rafina is faster than from Piraeus and about 20% cheaper.
To check ferry schedules from Rafina port and buy tickets you can here.
The ferry to the port of Marmari on the island of Evia departs only from Rafina. Tickets can be bought directly at the port.
How to get to Rafina Port from Athens
An intercity bus (KTEL) runs from Athens to Rafina. The bus terminal is next to the Nomizmatokopeio metro station. The ticket price is €3 for a one-way trip. Check the bus schedule here.
How to get to Rafina Port from Athens Airport
Take the intercity bus (KTEL) from the Airport to the port of Rafina. The line departs from the Arrivals Level, opposite the airport hotel (Sofitel). The ticket can be purchased from the bus driver. The ticket price is € 4 for a one-way trip.
The hotel in Rafina
If it is not possible to connect your arrival or departure in Athens with a ferry to the islands, then you have to stay overnight in Rafina. In this case, we recommend you the Avra 4* hotel, which is located a few minutes walk from the port. The hotel has a shuttle bus and provides free transfers to/from the airport for its guests.
6. Nea Makri, East Attica
Nea Makri is a charming resort on the east coast of Attica, just 32 km from Athens. Due to its proximity to Athens together with its developed infrastructure, the resort is popular with both locals and foreign tourists. There are several hotels as well as numerous villas, holiday homes, and apartments for rent.
Shops and restaurants in Nea Makri
Along the long, wide promenade of Nea Makri, there are numerous fish and meat taverns, cafés, bars, and children’s playgrounds.
There are big supermarket chains in the town and a variety of different shops for clothing and accessories. The area is known for its bio-organic vegetables, fruits, and milk products that can be bought at the market and on local farms.
The Marina of Nea Makri
In the center of the promenade is a small picturesque harbor of Nea Makri. Fishing boats and yachts of residents dock here. Fishermen sell freshly caught fish every morning. There is also a children’s sailing school.
In fact, for a company of 4-8 people, you can rent an inexpensive fishing boat here. It’s a great opportunity to spend a whole day cruising along the Gulf of Euboea to the uninhabited islets of Petalia – diving in the crystal clear waters, sunbathing, and fishing. If you are lucky you will see dolphins.
The beaches of Nea Makri
The beaches in Nea Makri and its surroundings are sandy, somewhere with pebbles and stones.
Right in the center, next to the marina and Marathon Beach hotel, located a free semi-organized beach with umbrellas, douche, and changing cabin but without sunbeds.
The beach near the tavern Argo is equipped with special bathing facilities for people with disabilities. The beach of Brexiza which is about 1.5 km north of the center awarded Blue Flag. It is pleasant to walk here along the green promenade, in the shade of date palms and pine trees. There are 2 beach bars with sun loungers and umbrellas.
Zuberi beach is preferred by young people. It is located 2 km south of the town center. Here you will find a beach bar La Costa, a taverna, and sports fields. The sunbeds at La Costa are provided free of charge if you pay for drinks and food.
Monastery of Saint Ephraim, Nea Makri
On the outskirts of Nea Makri is located the Monastery of St. Ephraim. The monastery is one of the oldest in Attica, it was founded in the 10th century. The history of the monastery is connected with the life and martyrdom of Saint Ephraim, who became a monk very young, at the beginning of the 15th century. In 1425 the Turks attacked the monastery. They destroyed the monastery, tortured Ephraim for several months, and finally killed him. Sister Macaria discovered the relics of the saint in this place in 1950, during the restoration of the monastery. The tomb with the relics is now in the church of the monastery.
Sanctuary of Egyptian Gods, Nea Makri
On the seashore, near Brexiza Beach, there are ruins of the sanctuary of the Egyptian gods.
Dedicated to Isis and her husband Serapion, it was founded by Herodes Atticus in about 160 AD. The great orator, philosopher, and benefactor was born in Marathon. Most importantly, Herodes became famous for his social activities and funding of the famous Odeon under the Acropolis, the Panathenaean Stadium, and the theatre at Corinth.
In his estate, Herodes built a sanctuary modeled after the Serapion in Nile Delta. Now there are ruins and several copies of statues of Egyptian gods.
- Opening hours: from 8:30 to 15:30, close on Tuesdays
- The entrance is free
All-inclusive hotel in Nea Makri
For those who prefer an “all-inclusive” system vacation, there are a couple of hotels in Attica. One of them is the wonderful hotel Golden Coast 4*. The hotel has a private beach and is located in a large green area, 2 km from the center of Nea Makri. Please send us a request for the best price.
How to get to Nea Makri
An intercity bus (KTEL) runs from Athens to Nea Makri. The bus terminal is next to the Nomizmatokopeio metro station. The ticket price is € 3 for a one-way trip. Check the bus schedule here.
7. Historical Marathonas, East Attica
Despite the fact, that Marathonas is a small village, its name is known all over the world. It is located 40 km from Athens and 7 km from Nea Makri.
From the western side, Marathonas and the whole Marathon Valley are cut off from the winds by the Pendeli mountains. All the famous temples of Athens, including the Parthenon of Acropolis, were built of snow-white marble of Pendeli.
A little over 2500 years ago, in 490 BC, the famous Battle of Marathon took place here. The Greeks won a remarkable victory over the much-exceeded Persian army.
The Athens Authentic Marathon
The most famous legend about the Battle of Marathon says that the warrior of the Greek army Phidippides run non-stop to Athens to bring news of victory. Once he reached the city, he shouted “We have won” and dropped dead. Today’s marathon runners run from the Marathon to Athens in 2 hours and 10 minutes (a record) or longer.
In 2014, the marathon changed its name from the Athens Classic Marathon to the Athens Authentic Marathon. That was done by the Greek authorities to emphasize the uniqueness of the race from the Marathon to the Kalimarmaro Stadium in the center of Athens. The Athens Marathon is held every year on the 2nd Sunday in November. Those, who are not ready for the traditional marathon distance of 42 km 195 m, can run 5 km or 10 km.
The Marathon Tomb
The burial tomb of 9 meters high and 50 meters in diameter reminds us of ancient events at Marathonas. 192 Athenians who died in battle against the Persians are buried here. To honor the bravery of the dead, cremations and burials were held on the battlefield.
- Opening hours: from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, close on Tuesdays.
- Entrance fee: general – 6 €, reduced – 3 €. The ticket is also valid for admission to the Marathon Archeological Museum.
The Archeological Museum of Marathon
The Archeological Museum is a gem of the historical heritage of the Marathon. It is interesting the story of its origin. In 1969, one of the residents, searching for water in his plot, found an ancient tomb at a depth of five meters. The find was reported to the famous archaeologist Spyridon Marinatos. During the excavations, which lasted about three years, the archaeologists discovered rare findings. Marathon suddenly became the center of interest. One of the visitors, who came here, was the Greek American Eugenios Panagopoulos. He was so impressed by the findings that he paid for the construction of a small archaeological museum.
Nowadays, visitors can see rare findings from the Neolithic period, from the Cave of Pan to the Classical period, from other areas. Marble busts and statues of Herodes Atticus; originals of statues from the sanctuary of the Egyptian gods; part of the trophy column in 490 BC.
- Opening hours: from 8:30 to 15:30, close on Tuesday.
- Entrance fee: general – 6 €, reduced – 3 €. The ticket is also valid for admission to the site of the Marathon Tomb.
The Marathon Run Museum
More than 3000 exhibits show the history of the Marathon area from 1896 to the present day. Unique sports collectibles that can’t be found anywhere else but in the homeland of the Marathon.
The exhibit is divided into two parts: a journey through the history of the Olympic marathon and the promotion of the marathon around the world. It’s all here, from the 1896 red cap of Olympian Spyros Luis to the medal Washington Marathon, recently donated to the museum by Barack Obama.
Opening hours are subject to change, so check before you visit.
The Marathon Lake & Dam
The artificial lake of Marathon was created in 1926-31 and has long been used as the main source of water supply in Athens.
The Marathon Dam is the only one in the world built of marble. The lake is very picturesque and many people come here to admire the scenery and drink a cup of coffee at a local cafe.
The Schinias National Park
The old pine forest that saw the battle of the Marathon, a magnificent sandy beach, a freshwater spring of Macarius, a picturesque swamp, an Olympic rowing canal, and the green peninsula of Kinosura. All this is a part of the most important ecosystem of Attica – Schinias National Park. The area of the park is about 14 square kilometers and water plays the main role here. The area is part of the Natura 2000 network and includes 19 habitat types, 115 bird species, as well as endangered species of freshwater fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, hares, reptiles, turtles, and frogs can be found here. The park attracts thousands of visitors who come here to swim, do water sports, watch birds, or simply admire nature.
The Olympic Rowing Centre of Schinias
The 2250-meter-long canal opened for the 2004 Olympic Games. It houses a Kayak Academy, a training center for the Greek national team, and also organizes cycling, triathlon, and swimming competitions.
On weekends the gate is usually open to everyone and many visitors come here to run or cycle around the canal. It is part of the Schinias National Park and a lot of birds stop here during migration times.
The Schinias Beach
The long sandy beach of Schinias is located in a pine forest. The sea here is very shallow, it warms up well, the sand is very fine, and besides, there are almost no waves. The beach is ideal for families with children, but remember there are no organized beaches, so you need to bring umbrellas and towels with you. Besides that, cars are not allowed inside the forest, so you have to leave your car quite far from the beach and walk through the forest.
Those who want a more comfortable stay can use the organized beaches of Karavi, Moraitis, and Santa Kruz, where there are also water sports. They are located before the entrance to the pine forest but on the same beach.
How to get to Marathon from Athens
An intercity bus (KTEL) runs from Athens to Marathon and Schinias beach. The bus terminal is next to the Nomizmatokopeio metro station. The ticket price is € 4,5 for a one-way trip. Check the bus schedule here.
Rental villas and apartments on the East Coast of Attica
Staying on the east coast of Attica, you can easily combine a great beach holiday with antique sightseeing, shopping, and traditional Greek cuisine. We offer a large selection of villas, holiday houses, and apartments here. And keep in mind that prices here are lower here than on the Athens Riviera.
Book a villa or an apartment for holidays on the East Coast of Attica in 2023 right now. Remember that booking in advance allows you to choose a property according to your specific requirements, such as a beachfront, or private pool. Also, you can find early booking deals and discounts which could bring the price of your holiday down.
Book a hotel on the East Coast of Attica
Looking for a hotel to stay in on the East Coast of Attica? Check the best options at great rates and choose the hotel that suits you.
How to get to East Attica
Flight to Athens
To get to any resort on the East Coast of Attica you should take a flight from your country to Athens International airport. We suggest you use JETRADAR which is one of the largest online search engines for flights all over the world. This service helps to compare airfares from hundreds of airlines and dozens of travel agencies and systems and book the cheapest tickets available.
Transfer from Athens Airport to East Attica
Arriving in another country, it is important to see a person, who is waiting especially for you upon arrival at the airport. It gives you confidence that you will reach your destination, avoiding all troubles, long waits in the taxi queue, and possible overcharges. Our prices include all fares, VAT, and any lawful charge; therefore, you know that what you pay is the final price for your transfer. Comfort and safety will be provided, which is especially important if you are traveling with children. That’s why we offer transfer services with professional drivers and a modern car fleet. All cars and minivans are equipped with air conditioning and drinking water.
Athens Airport car rental
You can rent a car from the Athens airport office. To find the perfect car for your trip, we recommend checking DISCOVER CARS. It is a leader in online car rental reservations. It compares car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. Many other websites hide fees and extra costs from you. Discover Cars includes all mandatory fees, taxes, and extras in the quoted price so there won’t be any surprises when you arrive at the rental desk.
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Updated: March 2023