This Google map shows the Saronic Gulf and the Apollo Coast southeast of Athens. The red circle in the center of the map shows the approximate location, just south of Vouliagmeni, where we stopped to take the photos illustrating this post. Click on the image to view a larger map.
Scenic spots to avoid crowds & sunbathe nude
During our scenic tour, our friends also drew our attention to numerous cars parked on the shoulder of the road, particularly along stretches of the Apollo Coast highway between Vouliagmeni and Varkiza. They explained that, dozens of meters below the road and completely out of sight of the passing traffic, were numerous coves, inlets and rocky shoreline areas where local residents and some in-the-know visitors would swim and sunbathe and enjoy the great scenery and solitude — often in the nude, out of sight of the couples, groups and families crowding the organized beaches elsewhere along the coast.
Our hosts pulled off the road at several lookout spots so we could get out of the car to see for ourselves. Sure enough, far below the highway, we saw adult sunbathers of both sexes scattered across the rugged shoreline, as well as a few people swimming in the sparkling sea. Most were completely nude, obviously working on their all-over tans. There weren’t any soft sand beaches, just long stretches of rock outcroppings and smoother stone ledges; nevertheless, these coastal areas looked much more relaxing and inviting than the busy beaches we checked out during our sightseeing drive. Getting to them, however, would require hiking down steep trails and dirt footpaths — followed by a thigh-burning climb back up at the end of the afternoon.
Below are more photos and a videoclip of some of the coves on the Apollo coast. There’s also a link to our Apollo Coast/Athens Riviera Flickr album which contains dozens more photos of the Athens Riviera, including some of the public and organized beach areas.
The Apollo Coast highway offers great views of the Saronic Gulf
Looking south along the Apollo Coast, from a highway lookout point a few kilometers south of Vouliagmeni
The Saronic Gulf coastline is peppered with coves and quiet rocky areas where sunbathers and swimmers can enjoy the scenery away from crowds
The shoreline is accessed by dirt trails, like the one visible at left, that wind down the hillside below the main highway
Looking toward a rocky point popular with nude sunbathers
Some sunbathers sit or lay on towels on the rocks, while others erect canopies to provide shade from the blazing sun
Orange and white canopies that other nude sunbathers set up on the shore
The rocky coastline extends for several miles between the municipalities of Vouliagmeni and Varkiza
If you don’t like sunbathing on rocks and prefer wading into the sea from a beach of soft sand, you won’t like the seashore here. Stick to the public and private beaches along the coast instead.
Only a handful of people were enjoying this quiet area with smooth white rocks and beautiful turquoise sea
Part of the coastline on the peninsula south of Vouliagmeni
A nude sunbather has a long ledge entirely to himself
The Athens to Sounion highway, and the seashore below it, offered good views of a regatta being held by a sailing club in Varkiza
A cargo ship heads toward Piraeus while sailboats skim across the Saronic Gulf in the direction of Varkiza
These sailboats are passing close to Fleves island
This particular regatta took place on May 25 2013
A brief videoclip showing the Apollo coast between Varkiza and Vouliagmeni
This is a link to The Apollo Coast/Athens Riviera album on MyGreeceTravelBlog’s Flickr page. The album contains full-size versions of the pictures in this post along with dozens more photos shot between Glyfada and Varkiza on the Apollo Coast. Click the image once to view a slideshow, or click twice to open the album so you can view individual photos in full-size format.