For 92-year-old Manolis and his fellow aqua-addicts of the Poseidon Winter Swimmers Club, the sea is life. Take the plunge and experience the endorphin rush and health benefits of winter swimming while you’re in Athens.

By Alex King

Experience the rush of winter swimming on the Athens Riviera.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

Beach tennis in winter. You'll have the court all to yourself.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

This is what winter looks like on the Athens Riviera.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

The sea is life to members of the Poseidon Winter Swimmers Club.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

Poseidon Winter Swimmers Club has members aged from 20 to 92.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

Vouliagmeni Lake
If you feel like putting in a few lengths, but don’t fancy the bracing temperatures, then Vouliagmeni Lake is for you. Warmed by natural thermal springs, the lowest recorded water temperature here is 18° C (although it usually ranges between 21-24° C). So it’s a perfect option for the faint-hearted. The lake is constantly refreshed by both the sea and underground natural currents that sweep through Mount Ymittos. As well as warming the water, this unique geological feature imbues it with positive health properties.

Stolidi, Alimos
Much closer to the city centre, Stolidi is a long, sandy beach, partially enclosed by trees. The beach is cleanest in the winter months, when you’ll often have it all to yourself. The left side of the beach is the domain of raketes (or beach tennis) fans, while the right is left for the swimmers. There are free showers and changing rooms and the option of picking up a snack from the beach bar if you get peckish after your dip. You can find the beach below the Kalamaki tram stop.

Asteras, Glyfada
Situated between Alimos and Vouliagmeni, the glam suburb of Glyfada has a number of beaches that are relatively lively throughout the winter months. The advantage of Asteras, however, is that the sand is maintained year-round by the staff of Balux Café, which makes it a more family-friendly option. Jump off at the Asteria bus stop or Kolymbitirio tram stop.