Slowly, very, very slowly we are dragging from summer into September. I took it easy this summer and enjoyed a few beaches around Athens in August whilst everyone was away on the islands. Along with all the wonderful summer fruit, from apricots to peaches and figs, I have been enjoying veggies a lot. I went crazy on courgettes recently. There is my favourite courgette bruschettas recipe from chef Aria Pouliou below, I couldn’t stop eating it. I still cannot to be honest.
Head straight to the recipe.
There is a saying going around among Athenians every summer, especially during August:we say the luckiest people are those who stay behind and get to enjoy the capital when it’s empty and traffic free. Well, this is true enough, you can drive through the city like a breeze but soaring temperatures of +35°C can make Athens a mini furnace. Of course there is an easy escape, Attica coast line.
There are many beaches close to Athens you can go. The immediately available ones, like P. Faliron, Alimos and all the way to Glyfada is all good to catch the sun, perhaps a quick dive in the sea but it’s not the go to place. Attica beaches start to get interesting from Vouliagmeni onwards. There is a choice of organised and free beaches: sandy organised beaches with shallow water in Vouliagmeni and Varkiza and a wealth of choice between sandy coasts and small secluded bays in between starting from Vouliagmeni and all the way to Sounio.
If you are a list person and first time around Athens in need to cool off, this is my list of organised beaches you will enjoy fuss free. You will not be disappointed on food choices, although these areas are a bit more quite the further you leave Athens behind. The plus is that you can get there on a bus: 122! You can catch this from Elliniko, its starting point.
For the adventurers and if you love some peace and quiet, I would suggest renting a motorbike or car and go a little further down, to Legraina. There is ample choice of small bays you can chill and the coast starts to get more quiet as you get to Sounio. Just remember to get some water and an umbrella for the beach, most of the good beaches towards Sounio are not organised. I spent a good amount of time out there with Sifis, my inflatable crocodile.
When me and Sifis were not on the beach we savoured a lot of courgette bruschettas. If you love courgette and perhaps flirt with raw recipes this little appetizer is a winner. I discovered them at Berlin Raki and I’m very happy Aria shared this delicious recipe with me. You get to taste courgettes at their best, fragrant herbs and uplifting lemon. I have been making these bruschettas for lunches and light dinners and devouring them without giving any to Sifis.
Here is what you need:
Ingredients (for 10-12 bruschettas):
a recipe by chef Aria Pouliou
- 2 medium courgettes,
- 1 lemon
- 5-6 stalks of mint
- 3-4 stalks of parsley
- 1 tin of smoked mackerel
- a bit of olive oil
- a wonderful loaf of bread
What to do:
- Grate the courgettes coarsely and squeeze out the moisture
- Juice the lemon and finely chop the herbs.
- Place the grated courgette in a tab along with the lemon juice, herbs and olive oil.
- Leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- Slice your bread, you can warm it up for a bit if you like.
- When ready to serve, spoon out the courgette and herb mixture leaving in the tab the oil & lemon juice.
- Place a bit of smoked mackerel on top and enjoy!
from Athens with love,
Notes for travellers:
Here is the route of 122, from Elliniko metro station to Saronidaby