Vouliagmeni (Greek: Βουλιαγμένη) is a municipality 20 km south of Athens. Its population is about 4,000. It sits on the southwestern part of the Hymettus mountain range. Its exact location is around 38.8° or 38°48′ N and around 23.83° or 23°50′ E.
Vouliagmeni is bisected by Athinas Avenue, which runs parallel to the seashore and continues southwards. The part east of the main road is rocky and the bulk of the town is built there. The western half is covered with pine trees, and consists of two peninsulas, Megalo and Mikro Kavouri ("Big Crab" and "Little Crab"). The two Kavouria feature beautiful and very popular sandy and pebble beaches in between rocky shores, several luxury hotels including the Astir Hotel which occupies most of Mikro Kavouri, two marinas, a nautical club (swimming, finswimming, waterpolo, skiing, sailing), a sports club (football, basketball, volleyball, tennis) and several luxurious seaside restaurants, taverns and cafeterias. The Kavouria are the most expensive pieces of housing real estate in Greece. Zoning is enforced strictly.
The Vouliagmeni beaches are consistently awarded the coveted EU blue flags for environmental excellence.
Vouliagmeni Satellite image
Ruins of the temple of Apollo Zoster have been excavated and can be seen inside the public Astir Hotel beach. According to the legend, when Leto was about to give birth to Apollo and Artemis, she fled writhing in pain to Delos. During her flight she discarded her girdle, which fell on the Mikro Kavouri peninsula. When her son, the god Apollo, was born, he picked up the discarded girdle and girdled himself in honor of his mother, hence he was named "Zoster" (Girt). Other remnants of early human habitation found in Vouliagmeni include Neolithic and Bronze Age building foundations and a 5th century BC outpost. During classical times the area was the deme of Aixonides Halai (Greek: Αιξωνίδες Αλαί), i.e. the Saltfields of Aixone (modern day Glyfada).
Immediately to the south of the town and very close to the sea there is a rare geophysical formation that gave the suburb its modern name: Lake Vouliagmeni (Sunken Lake), a fresh-water lake fed by underwater currents seeping through the mass of Mount Hymettus. It used to be a large cavern that collapsed after an earthquake, probably during the early Middle Ages. The outline of the collapsed cavern can be clearly discerned from a distance. The lake stands at 40 cm elevation and its water has a constant 24 degrees Celsius temperature year-round. It continues deep inside the mountain in an underwater cave which has never been explored completely as it seems to proceed endlessly. Many underwater expeditions have been carried out in order to chart it, and a few amateur divers have drowned trying.