Glyfada is a suburb of Athens, situated in the southern parts of the Athens Metropolitan Area. The area, which is home to many of Greece’s millionaires, ministers and celebrities, stretches out from the foot of the Hymettus mountain and reaches out to embrace the Saronic Gulf. It is the largest of Athens’ southern suburbs. This fashion-conscious suburb is known in Greece for its upmarket cafes, well-known restaurants, boutiques and cosmopolitan summer clubs; Glyfada has also been called “Knightsbridge-on-Sea”,”Hellenic Hamptons”, or the “Beverly Hills of Greece”.
The town hall is located at the center of the municipality; nearby, Glyfada’s shopping district has one of the most vibrant and diversified commercial centres of Athens’ neighbourhoods, with a collection ranging across specialist and designer boutiques. Its proximity to a succession of beaches and a concentrated seaside club scene also greatly increases the number of visitors during the summer months. The area’s shopping district runs across Metaxa Avenue and Grigoriou Labraki Street while both the offices of major businesses and shopping areas also dot the Avenues Voyliagmenis, Goynari and Gennitika.
Northwest is the forested wooded golf course of Athens, the Glyfada Golf Club, located south of the old Airport of Athens. To the east and northeast is an urban sprawl which spreads over the southwest shoulder of Mt. Hymettus and its rocky landscape. The roads are lined and curved to nearly NW at a 90 degree angle, and it also encompasses a marina and a popular beach, while its beaches are located in the western part of the municipality.
Glyfada is connected to central Athens via two major avenues (Posidonos and Vouliagmenis) and a tram line which goes across the seaside next to Posidonos Avenue. On the quay at Glyfada is a rescue and rehabilitation centre for sea turtles, run by ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece. The staff there provide free educational tours of the facilities and treatments for visitors.
Voula – Vouliagmeni
Voula – Vouliagmeni (3) Coordinates: 37°51′N 23°45′E
Voula is a southern suburb of Athens. It is located about 20 km south of Athens centre, SW of the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, NW of Cape Sounio and south of the Hymettus mountain. Poseidonos Avenue (GR-91) links Voula with the centre of Athens. The Northern part is linked with Athens by the Terminal station of Athens Tram. An organized beach lies to the West and one of the largest Athens hospitals, “Asklipieio”, lies to the North.
The population was rural until the 1960s, at which time suburban housing began to emerge, and Voula later became part of the Athens Metropolitan Area. It is now a suburban residential area, characterised by high real estate prices and its proximity to the commercial area of Glyfada. It borders the municipal units of Vari and Vouliagmeni.
Vouliagmeni (meaning “sunken”) is a seaside town and former municipality 20 km south of Athens. Vouliagmeni sits on the southwestern foot of the Hymettus mountain range. It is bisected by a palm tree lined boulevard, Athinas Avenue, which arrives from Athens as Vouliagmenis Avenue, then runs parallel to the seashore and continues southwards. The area east of the main road is the rocky slope of a foothill of Mount Hymettus, and the bulk of the town is built there.
The western half, located between Athinas Avenue and the sea, is covered with pine trees and consists of two peninsulas, Megalo and Mikro Kavouri (“Big Crab” and “Little Crab”) that feature sandy and pebble beaches in between rocky shores, luxury hotels (including the Astir Palace Hotel occupying most of Mikro Kavouri), the local high school, the picturesque chapel of “St. George of the crab”, two marinas, an aquatic sports club (the “Nautical Club of Vouliagmeni”, see below), a sports club (football, basketball, volleyball, tennis) and upscale restaurants, taverns and cafeterias on the waterfront.
The Mikro Kavouri is connected to the mainland with a narrow, sandy isthmus commonly referred to as “Laimos” (“Neck”), flanked by one public beach one one side and Astir Palace beach on the other side. The Megalo Kavouri is land largely owned by the Church of Greece, which maintains an enclosed, protected pine forest and an orphanage. An air force camp is also located there. Dotted with lavish villas, the two Kavouri areas are among the most expensive pieces of housing real estate in Greece.
The Vouliagmeni beaches are consistently awarded the coveted EU blue flags for environmental excellence. The triathlon competition for the 2004 Summer Olympics took place in this area. The small, rocky islet of Fleves lies off shore.