Porto Rafti – Tranquility and quality of life, a breath From Athens
Porto Rafti (Greek: Πόρτο Ράφτη) is the favourite place and refuge of many Athenians. They may go there for a weekend, for three days, or even for their whole summer holidays. It is located at a distance of about 40 kilometres from Athens, only a 35 minute drive from the centre. We could say that it is the ideal place for those who seek the comforts that Athens can offer, but at the same time want some time away from the stressful rhythms of the bustling city. If you are a sea lover, then the location will not disappoint you as it stands out for its wonderful beaches, long coastline and natural beauty.
A few words about Porto Rafti
It stretches along the southern shores of the Southern Euboean Gulf and is otherwise called the Port of Mesogaia. The gulf in which it is enclosed includes 3 islets named Raftis, Raftopoula, and Kourouni and extends from the shores of Erotospilia to Avlaki. It is located approximately 7 kilometres from Markopoulo and 12 kilometres from Athens International Airport. It is part of the Municipality of Markopoulo.
Historically, there are indications that the area has been inhabited for several thousand years. Numerous archaeological findings from various historical periods demonstrate that it was an important centre and port in antiquity, and it is thought that from here the ships of the Athenians headed for the island of Delos. However, after the collapse of Byzantium, the area was deserted and until the 20th century it was a small fishing village.
Is it just a summer destination?
Porto Rafti has been a well-known beach resort for years. This results in some classifying it exclusively as a summer destination and summarily ruling out relocating there.
However, after the “Attiki Odos” highway, the area has become a popular suburb. Its relatively short distance from Athens gives it an advantageous position. It is no coincidence that more and more people choose to settle permanently. This particular area, together with Markopoulo, Keratea and Koropi, has seen a lot of residential development in recent years, specifically after the 2004 Olympics infrastructure and projects. While the area has many holiday homes, it has also become the permanent home of many. Most shops operate all year round and there is even traffic on weekends and public holidays as it is a nearby escape for many Athenians. The permanent (winter) population of Porto Rafti is estimated at 10 to 15 thousand.
Porto Rafti can satisfy all tastes and you can find activities to suit all ages. In the summer the list of activities is long and includes plenty of water sports and outdoor activities. You can rent a boat or a speed boat and explore the nearby beaches or turn to groups that undertake to show you the first steps and introduce you to the fascinating world of diving and underwater exploration. The beaches also offer plenty of diving, swimming and extreme sports such as jet skiing and water-skiing.
There is also an open sea sailing club in the area, which you can enjoy all months, as well as a windsurfing school. Anglers will also have the privilege of enjoying year-round fishing.
Throughout the year and outside of the busy summer season, you can turn to the multiple clubs for lessons in tennis, martial arts and other individual or team sports such as basketball, football. Also, at very close distances, you can find riding schools that will offer you their services. Finally, in the area there are several gyms which, in addition to the usual services, offer training programs such as crossfit, yoga, pilates, etc.
Porto Rafti also offers many options in tavernas, cafes and beach bars year-round. You can taste exquisite, locally caught seafood accompanied by local wines, as the wider area is famous for its 3 thousand year long wine producing heritage.
At a short distance from any settlement in the area, there are plenty of stores and shops including well-known large supermarkets and food chains.
But what about in the winter? What is it like to live in Porto Rafti permanently?
We won’t lie to you. If you are looking to have an abundance of options for going out, nightlife and lots of shopping, especially in the winter, within a stone’s throw from your house, then Porto Rafti may not be for you. The rhythms of the area drop significantly as we approach the heart of winter, and the population drops from more than 100,000 in August to less than 15,000 in January. Life in winter is decidedly calmer. To get a good idea, it is comparable to life in the suburbs of Athens, without the snow of course! As is the case with most suburbs of Athens, having a private means of transportation will greatly facilitate your life. However, there is a “KTEL” bus service in the area which is reliable.
If you have children, you will have the privilege of being a little more carefree than you would in the city centre with respect to danger and accidents. In the area there are schools for all levels of education and private nurseries. Also, you can find private schools, language tutors and high school after school study centres.
Living in Porto Rafti, consider that you will enjoy the privileges of the few. You will have the sea on your plate, the possibility to wake up to drinking your coffee with a view of the waves. Some things are priceless – traffic, endless hours of searching for parking, noise pollution will be something of the past. You will have your personal retreat where green meets blue.
Proximity to major communication hubs
Porto Rafti is located at a very short distance, a 15 minute drive from Athens Eleftherios Venizelos Airport, from which all international destinations are served. It is ideal for those who have a job that involves travelling abroad or to the islands.
Rafina, which is an important port of the country, is only 30 minutes away. From there, a number of domestic routes are served to most of the country’s islands, such as Evia, but also to popular Aegean islands such as Tinos, Andros, Syros, Mykonos. You can find itineraries to almost all the rest of the Cyclades islands for getaways even during the weekend.
Lavrio is at a distance of 40 km (30 minutes drive), through which one can go to Tzia and Kythnos as well as Limnos and Samothraki.
The large Porto Rafti Avenue directly connects Porto Rafti with the centre of Markopoulo at a distance of 7 – 10 kilometres. The roundabout in the centre of the city is the meeting point of the three major road junctions: Porto Rafti Avenue, G. Gregou Street and Avlakiou Avenue.
At the moment there is provision for the extension of the Attiki Odos highway to Rafina, which will facilitate access and reduce driving times to Porto Rafti, which is currently only served via Markopoulo.
Also, very soon Markopoulo will be connected to the metro line as it is included in the expansion plans of the Attica Metro.
What housing options do I have?
Porto Rafti can satisfy all requirements in terms of residence depending on the money someone wants to invest and what exactly they are looking for. The options range from small apartments in apartment buildings to maisonettes in residential complexes and entire luxury villas equipped with all modern comforts. The prices are determined according to the age of the building and the year of construction, the distance from the sea and whether or not there is an unobstructed view to it, easy access and more.
The available apartments cover a wide range. You can find small studio apartments or apartments with 1 or 2 or even more bedrooms to buy. Prices start at 60,000 euros for studios and can reach up to half a million for larger apartments that have unobstructed views and direct access to the sea. For those looking for a little more affordable luxury, there is the possibility to find available apartments in a residential complex or in an apartment building with additional amenities such as a shared pool or garden.
In the Greater area there are also many detached houses available for purchase. It is the ideal solution for those looking for privacy but also for their tranquillity and Porto Rafti is suitable for those who love the benefits of the city but also the advantages of the countryside. Detached houses range from 160,000 euros to as much as your pocket can afford. Porto Rafti is a popular place for the construction of luxury villas with many rooms and outdoor areas. Maisonettes and three-storey buildings are available. You can find houses surrounded by endless gardens, houses with an unobstructed view of the sea and direct access to it, swimming pools for cool dips and moments of relaxation and anything else you can imagine.
In addition, there is the option of buying a plot of land for those who want to build according to their own wishes and requirements. You can find plots a breath away from the sea, plots with unobstructed views. There are also plots available in the city centre for those who do not want to be far from the amenities that the center offers. The options offered can be said to be numerous.
Finally, there is the short-term rental option. One can easily come across real estate in the area on the popular platforms that offer short-term residential rentals. Very good choice for those who want to escape from the centre without travelling long distances. Perhaps, we could say at this point that Porto Rafti is an excellent investment opportunity.
If you are interested in the Porto Rafti real estate market and want to discuss it with the area’s experts, AS and U is at your disposal!