Porto Rafti, or named Limin Markopoulou in Greek, is a seaside resort town in East Attica, Greece. It is part of the municipality Markopoulo Mesogaias. Taking its name from Rafti island which is discernible just off the headland, the town encircles the Rafti Bay, which provides access to the Aegean Sea and is the largest naturally existing port after Piraeus. There are a few small islands dispersed within the bay, frequented by fishermen, sailors, stand up paddle boarders (SUP) and scuba divers in the summertime. Pine-covered hills and mountains, the tallest of which is Merenta, 613 m above sea level, frame Porto Rafti. It is home to many trekking and mountain-biking trails. The port was a major trading hub until the collapse of the Roman Empire. The bay was home to many ancient villages around the bay which include Steiria, Prasiai, and Koroni. Porto Rafti’s port is not used as a commercial harbor due to environmental reasons but is home to a marina where you can go boating on smaller vessels and visit seaside restaurants and cafes. Situated just 35 kilometers southeast of Athens, the small coastal town of Porto Rafti rests on the Aegean Sea and is filled with attractions from beaches to vineyards that are sure to amaze its visitors.
Porto Rafti is about twenty minutes by car from Eleftherios Venizelos, the International airport of Athens, and less than an hour from downtown Athens if you decide to go via the highway.
Things to see, things to do
Chill at the beaches
If you visit in the summer, you are surely here for the beaches! You can find beautiful beaches with varying levels of crowding. Doesn’t matter how you plan to spend the day, whether with the family or alone, and you can grab a coffee and sweets at one of the numerous coffee shops and bakeries, and go exploring for fun or peace and quiet easily. There are also private beaches where you can rent a lounge chair and bask in the sun. You have free beaches at St Spyridon, Erotospilia and Avlaki, and an organized municipal beach at Avlaki. Avlaki in particular is a blue flag beach, the star of this seaside resort. On the promenade, you will find a sandy beach strewn with pebbles and shallow waves with beach chairs and showers. Between the Avlaki beach and Erotospilia you can find several small coves and quieter stretches of beach suited for children. At the organized “Plaz” beach at the end of Avlaki, where you have to pay an entrance fee, there are several water sports facilities and you can play beach volleyball for than fun. There is also a beach bar for all your refreshment needs and overall it is an ideal beach for families with young children.
Vravrona is an ancient site, which was dedicated to goddess Artemis. Here you will see the ancient ruins of Artemidos temple resting in harmony with a 15th-century Christian church dedicated to Aghios Georgios. The only surviving part of the ancient temple is the podium, therefore it is not known how the original form of the early ancient Greek temple was. You can visit the small but notable museum, which is home to exhibits that were dug up not only in Vravrona but also in sites like Anavissos, Perati and other areas of Attica. Vravrona is also connected with Iphigeneia, daughter of Agamemnon. As stated by legend, when Iphigeneia came back from Tauris with Orestes with the xoanon (a revered iconic image) of Artemis, she remained in Vravrona, lived, and died here, becoming a priestess of the goddess. A trip to Vravrona is a pleasant drive, as you visit the significant archeological site nestled among the most beautiful areas of Attica. The lush green fields, vineyards, olive trees, peaks and the lovely coastline of Evoikos are a sight for sore eyes.
Rafti is the largest of the islands in the bay, the origin for the settlement’s name. Here is a land of mystery and legend. It is notable for the remains of a marble statue at the very top of Rafti dating back to the 2nd century AD. At over two meters tall and with a base covering an area of two meters, the statue is now known as the Colossus of Porto Rafti, eroded away by wind, salt and time. Local folklore ascertains this figure as the “Raftis”, which is the Greek word for tailor, also proposing that the statue at one time was holding a pair of golden scissors. Although much is unknown, the iconic statue remains striking on the top of the island. Out on a boat or paddle-trip to Rafti followed by a picnic and the spectacular view from the top of the island after a climb is a great way to spend the day.
Eat and drink
Here you can enjoy the Mediterranean cuisine. One place you definitely do not want to miss in Porto Rafti is the Kastro. This cafeteria is perched high up on the hillside looking over the town and sea, just like a castle. There are also other good restaurants by the sea where you can dine until late at night. Many restaurants serve fresh fish or typical Greek mezze seafood, made from fresh vegetables, olive oil, grains, fish, wine, and meat. You can also enjoy live music at some of the restaurants on the weekends. After dinner, you can go for summer cocktails at one of the chic beach bars along the promenade until the early morning.
Vacation rentals at Porto Rafti, Greece
Porto Rafti is gorgeous with the waves, sand, history and traditional Greek cuisine – why not stay for a while? You can find luxury villas, houses and more to rent for your vacation here with the help of CuddlyNest. Use our powerful search engine to narrow down your choices according to your requirements, and you will be sure to end up with the best vacation ever!