Who said you need to go to one of the expensive and token tourist islands in Greece to experience the beauty that Greece has to offer? Just a short 45-minute drive southeast from the center of Athens, or a 20-minute drive from Athens International Airport is the beachside town of Porto Rafti.
Forget about the expensive islands, packed ferry rides and dealing with travel days. From hikes to authentic Greek food, Porto Rafti has it all, without the crowds. This is a beautiful Greek little town where we spent 2 months house sitting, so here are some of our recommendations for when you visit.
Things to do in Porto Rafti
Relax on the beach
The main beach in Porto Rafti is Paralia. It is an uncrowded beach with beautiful views out to sea and the many islands plotted just off the coast. Down at the beach, you will find locals sunbathing and socializing.
It is a very quiet, low-key beach. Perfect for a lazy holiday soaking up the Greek sun and taking in the local food and wine. This beach is very calm and great for snorkeling, floating, or ocean swimming.
You will see lots of locals tanning and groups of elders passing the time together. A great way to make new friends and learn a little about the local life.
For those looking for a little bit more, take the short walk around to the Old Porto Rafti lighthouse. Aside from the cool lighthouse, you will find lots of little rock pools, small cliffs to jump off, and lots of sea life to check out.
Check out the local food
Porto Rafti is home to dozens of seaside restaurants, but the biggest appeal here is how quiet and nontouristic they are. Porto Rafti is not a traditional travel location for foreigners so it’s a great spot to head out for an authentic Greek long lunch or dinner.
In Porto Rafti you can find everything from Gyros, fresh Feta, local olive oil, and olives. It’s a foodie haven. The must-hit spots include:
Christos Ο Χρήστος – Best Gyros in town.
Taverna O Dimitris Ταβέρνα ο Δημήτρης – Authentic Greek Taverna
Fyki-Fyki Φύκι-Φύκι – Best spot to have a long lunch and watch the world go by
Ντελένιας, Ιχθυοπωλεία – Local fresh fish shop. Cant get much fresher than this!
On the Dock – Best restaurant to watch the fishing port.
Watch the Fishing Boats come in
A good way to pass a hot day is to hang out down at Saint Nicola’s boat harbor. Here you will see the local fishermen going about their day. It’s a beautiful relaxing spot where you can see the fishermen unloading their catch, transporting to the local restaurants, and hanging their catch of squid out to dry. Sit back with a glass of local wine and take in the day-to-day life of the locals.
Most of the fishermen do not speak much English but if you are lucky you might be able to Google translate your way into buying some of their fresh catch.
Go for a Hike and take in the breathtaking views
There are several great hikes around Porto Rafti. These range from easy relaxing walks around the coastline to intermediate-style hikes with breathtaking views towards Athens and the ocean. Something you must do when in Porto Rafti.
Hiking in the Nikolas Memorial Square is a must-do. This is a large hiking area with tracks up to the top of the hill. From the top of the hill you will get some of the best views around. I Recommend making the effort to do this for sunset or sunrise. It’s phenomenal. The hike is easy/intermediate and suited to most people.
When hiking in Greece remember it is very hot, it is recommended that you take snacks, lots of water, and sun protection!
Take a Boat Tour
There are a plethora of boat tours that leave from the port in Porto Rafti. This is a great opportunity to see the area from a different perspective. It also allows you to get to a few secret little beaches that are only accessible by boat.
If boats are not quite your thing, don’t worry there are also kayak & SUP rentals available. This is a great option for those looking to get active while on holiday. The ocean is super flat and warm in Port Rafti – rent a kayak or a SUP then find yourself a little private picnic spot to hang out for the day. You won’t regret it.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
It wouldn’t be a holiday to Greece without checking out the sea life under the water. Greece has some of the most stunningly clear oceans and beaches anywhere in the world. It is also full of wonderful sea life to check out. From colorful fish to octopus, you will be amazed at what you see!
For those looking for a bit more of an adrenalin rush Blue Yard Hub offers snorkeling and diving tours. For those looking to gain some qualifications while in Greece they also run a PADI dive course. What better place to set your dive tickets!
Where to Stay in Porto Rafti
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