Paradise next door
About 40 km east of the downtown, one of the most famous Athenian resorts, Porto Rafti, blends natural beauty, history, relaxation, entertainment and gastronomic delights. A region of strategic importance since antiquity, Porto Rafti or “Mesogea harbour”, was the gateway to Attica. As attested by archaeological finds in the area, as well as historical and mythological accounts, this was Athens’ substitute harbour when Piraeus was blockaded by enemy ships. Its prosperity however waned over the aeons and at the beginning of the 20th Century, Porto Rafti was just a small fishing village. Thanks to its glorious verdant scenery, it was however rediscovered by weekending Athenians in the post WW2 decades. Nowadays it is a bustling cosmopolitan resort with excellent Mediterranean restaurants, top-tier nightlife and many sightseeing options.
There is a beautifully crafted pebble-paved promenade that ends in a wooden deck on the west side of the harbour – an idyllic place for a stroll and people watching. The quaintness factor is enhanced by the ducks, geese and swans that swim nearby and the sight of the antique scenic chapels of Agios Nikolaos and Agios Spyridonas standing on opposite sides of the bay.
Beautiful shores with crystalline waters
Porto Rafti has its fair share of beautiful shores with crystalline waters. Avlaki, the well organised awarded municipal beach is the go-to spot for water sports lovers. For more privacy and seclusion, the small cove of Erotospilia features stunning scenery in green and blue and is a romantic couple’s favourite. Likewise, Kalos Gialos is an off the beaten path gem with flat rocks, fine sand and many spots to dive from and explore the majestic underwater life.