Courtesy: Manos Chatzikonstantis

No matter what time of year you visit upscale Vouliagmeni, chances are you’ll feel like you’re on a summer holiday.

Sitting pretty on the south-western foot of Mount Ymittos, about 40 minutes from the city, this luxe resort town has a year-round tropical vibe and is to Athens what Cannes is to the Cote d'Azur. There’s next to no graffiti. Palm trees, fountains and sunny beds of marigolds line Athinas Avenue, heralding your arrival at this most self-aware of southern suburbs whose main game is leisure. Kostis Georgiou’s bright zoomorphic sculpture Equus accentuates the near constant blue of the sky and the sweep of Vouliagmeni Bay, with its luxury yachts and members-only nautical clubs and marinas.

Fashionable types from Kolonaki and Kifissia once turned up their noses at this “remote backwater where one only went to dip one’s toes in the water”. Vouliagmeni still falls rather short on culture and shopping, but it does flaunt Athens’ comeliest free and paid beaches and finest seaside dining. Along Fleming Street (the area’s Millionaire’s Row) and in verdant Kavouri you’ll find some of the capital’s priciest real estate. On summer weekends, when this coastal enclave swells with tourists and townies seeking a city reprieve, locals have learned to avoid their own beaches and artisan ice cream parlours.

Vouliagmeni Lake

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Swimming in Vouliagmeni

Grab a seaside perch at Sardelaki on Vouliagmeni Bay and watch the boats roll in.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Hit the trail above Vouliagmeni Lake to clock this view.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Old Vouliagmeni—The Classics

You never know who'll be dining next to you at Ithaki.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Big Crab and Little Crab—Kavouri

Take the plunge at one of Kavouri's unspoiled free swimming coves.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Treat yourself to a slice of Mykonos at Krabo by the Sea.

Courtesy: Krabo by the Sea

Outdoor Cinema

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis