Updated August 7th, 2022 by Travel the Greek Way

Vravrona Archaeological Site in Athens
Temple of Artemis, Vravrona

Vravrona Archaeological Site or more precisely, the Sanctuary of goddess Artemis in Vravrona is one of my favorite sites in Attika. And why is that? Because Vravrona site is in a fantastic shape, in a beautiful natural environment and can be easily combined with a visit to the nearby sea and a meal in a seafront tavern :).

Vravrona is a lesser-visited Athens site, probably because it is not well known and Acropolis Hill takes all the attention, being the star- site of Athens. However, ancient Athenians considered Artemis’ sanctuary a very important one. To show their piety and respect for the goddess, they created a smaller shrine dedicated to Artemis in the Acropolis of Athens, the religious center of the once-powerful city-state.

Vravrona Archaeological Site in Athens, entrance
Arriving at Vravrona

Vravrona area is near the Athens International airport, the small port of Rafina where you can get to Greek islands like Mykonos or Andros. It has also beautiful beaches and several seafront taverns with fresh fish. In other words, a day trip to Vravrona is ideal for a getaway from Athens.

I went to Vravrona in spring this year, here’s what I did and some tips for planning your own trip to this beautiful corner of Vravrona Archaeological site.

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Quick Facts about Visiting Vravrona

Vravrona archaeological site Map
Get your Vravrona Interactive Map here.

Where is Vravrona in Athens?

The Vravrona Archaeological Site (also known as Brauron, Brauronia) is located in the eastern Attika. Vravrona is the natural continuation of the Athens Riviera set between the seaside resort of Artemida and Porto Rafti. Vravrona is a great base if you are taking the ferries (Check FerryScanner or FerryHopper for routes from Rafina port to Andros or Mykonos).

Tickets and Operation Hours for Vravrona

The ticket between April and October is €6 and November-March is €3. It is open every day between 8:30 am – 15:30 pm, except Tuesdays.

Where Best to Stay in Vravrona

Vravrona Archaeological Site in Athens, Dolce hotel
Hotel Dolce Athens Attica Riviera

The best hotel in Vravrona is the Dolce Athens Attica Riviera (doubles from €145, Β&Β). If you prefer apartments check out the seafront Vravrona Beach Apartments (from €61, self-catering), both located near Athens airport and restaurants.

How to get to Vravrona: Day trip from Athens

Vravrona is only 38 km from Athens and it is very doable to go there if you only have a day. There are a number of different day tours to Vravrona that can show you the best of the town and the site.

Here are two of the top-rated tours you can take from Athens to Vravrona, both of which will pick you up and drop you off right at your hotel.

Who was Artemis Brauronia goddess

Ancient marble plaque about Artemis in Vravrona
Artemis goddess accepting offerings

Artemis, daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo, was the virgin goddess of wild animals, hunt, vegetation, and chastity. In Vravrona, Artemis Brauronia was also the protectress of pregnant women approaching childbirth, women who had recently given birth, and children. For this reason, women dedicated their expected baby to her, and later also their clothing.

The clothes of women who died in childbirth were dedicated to Iphigenia. But who was Iphigenia?

Iphigenia: Trojan War Sacrifice

Vravrona Archaeological Site ,Greek mythology Achilles Agamemnon Iphigenia
The Anger of Achilles by Jacques-Louis David

According to Greek Mythology, during the Greek army preparations in Avlida city against Troy, the goddess Artemis demanded the sacrifice of Iphigenia to let the Mycenean fleet sail. Iphigenia was Agamemnon’s daughter, the Greek General of the whole army.

Vravrona Archaeological Site in Athens, Iphigenia's tomb
Iphigenia’s tomb on the Vravrona site

Agamemnon, torn between his love for his daughter and his responsibility as a general, lied to his wife that she should send Iphigenia from Mycenae to Avlis to marry her to Achilles. When Achilles realized that he was used and that Iphigenia was going to be sacrificed, he was furious against Agamemnon. However, a little before the actual sacrifice, Artemis decided to spare Iphigenia’s life, and according to Euripides, she became a priestess of Artemis.

Vravrona Archaeological Site: what to see

Artemis worship in Vravrona dates from the 8th century BC and her sanctuary was built in the 6th c BC. The Artemis Sancturay stopped operating around 3rd c BC when it was buried in mud after heavy floods and the area was generally abandoned.

In heavy rainfalls, the site might get slightly flooded today as well!

Vravrona Archaeological Site in Athens, Doric Stoa
Doric Stoa

The most important ancient ruins that you can see today in Vravrona are:

  • The big Doric stoa
  • The Doric temple of Artemis
  • The temple or heroon of Iphigenia
  • The sacred spring, the bridge over the Erasinos river
  • The palaestra and the gymnasium.

Visit the Greek Orthodox Churches in the Sanctuary

Vravrona site, church of Agios Georgios
Vravrona church of Saint Georgios

As you enter the site on your left side and on a low hill you will find the few remains of an ancient Christian basilica of the 5th century, and a small lovely church dedicated to Saint Georgios from the 15th c.

The landscape around the Vravrona site

The church is completely renovated and in really lovely condition. You can circle the church and end up in the back at a small stream of water full of flowers. This is a nice place to take your camera out if you haven’t done it already and start making memories.

Vravrona Archaeological Museum

One of the chambers of the Vravrona Museum

The museum is small but quite remarkable in the sense that it houses magnificent exhibits that were found not only in Vravrona but also in Anavissos, Perati, and other parts of Attica.

Marble children, devoted to Artemis

Among the most exquisite exhibits are the marble heads of girls, statuettes of sitting boys and their toys testify to how they spent their free time in ancient Athens.

With my sister looking at the amazing exhibits

If you need a customized itinerary for a private tour in Vravrona or elsewhere in Greece please send your inquiry here for a quote. Thanks!

Vravrona Wetland and Natural Environment

Vravrona wetland and low hills on the background
Vravrona wetland and surrounding hills

Vravrona is ideally located in a close-by wetland ecosystem and the Erasinos river, the valuable source of the wetland’s rich biodiversity. Several species of fish, terrapins, snakes, eel, and frogs live in its waters while its reedbeds are nesting sites for 176 local and migrating bird species.

As expected, it attracts bird-watchers, thankfully not too many to destroy the peacefulness of the place. Some of the all-year-round breeding species include the long-legged Buzzard, Little Owl, and Sardinian Warbler.

Things to Do in Vravrona

Hike Vravrona Bay

The easiest way to hike the area is by starting from the Museum of Vravrona and walking either towards the coast and the Erasinos estuary or to the archaeological site and the main part of the wetland.

Vravrona Greece wetland with trees and small forest hill
Vravrona wetland

After the visit to the Archaeological Site of Vravrona and the adjacent wetland, you continue the dirt road by the sea towards Chamolia. At about 1.3 km the dirt road becomes a trail that ends up in the small settlement of Nea Vravrona.

In Nea Vravrona you walk for 1,5 km on the main road and you find Chamolia’s beach. If you walk the trail during an off-season period, it will be just you, the birds flying high, the odd brave swimmer, and the occasional car or bike passing you by. Blissfully quiet.

Vravrona Archaeological Site in Athens, Chamolia beach
Chamolia beach

The total round-trip is 8 km, an easy level with only 100 m elevation gain if you visit the nearby hills right across the seaside.

Where Best to Swim in Vravrona

Vravrona Beach

After our stroll to the archaeological site of Vravrona, sister Eleni and I drove the 2-3 km distance to the public Vravrona beach. This is a beautiful protected bay right where Dolce Athens Attica Riviera hotel is located.

I knew that the hotel is amazing but I grabbed the opportunity to walk around and I was very pleased with what I saw. I even bought a Freddo cappuccino, which was delicious and reasonably priced. Dolce is a fantastic hotel if you would like to stay nearby the Athens International airport or take the ferry to the Greek islands.

Views from our swimming spot

We really enjoyed the sea there, it was crystal clear, with trees where we hid underneath, I don’t like to be under the sun for longer than 5 minutes.

Discover Porto Rafti

Vravrona Archaeological Site in Athens, porto rafti beach
Porto Rafti Beach

From Vravrona you can take short trips around the area and do some sightseeing. Porto Rafti is a beautiful coastal resort in Attica, just over 6 km from Vravrona with a sandy beach and many fish taverns. The beach gets very popular in summer (too crowdy at weekends) but still, it is a great settlement to visit even briefly.

Go to the Frankish Tower of Vravrona

Vravrona Archaeological Site in Athens, FrankishTower

The Frankish tower is one of the five still-standing Attica towers which date from the 12th/13th century. It was built by the Franks in the period when the Burgundian family of De LaRoche was the ruler of the Duchy of Athens, in the 13th century.

The Villa Vravrona Tower & Suites is located less than 100 m from the Vravrona Tower with garden and pool suites overlooking the Tower. Check it out on Booking.com here

Explore the impressive Cave Koutouki Paiania

Vravrona Archaeological Site in Athens, Paiania cave
Cave Koutouki in Paiania

Cave Koutouki, which is at least 2 million years old, is the most imposing cave of Athens Attica with a richness of stalactites and stalagmites formation. It can be found in the Paiania Athens area on the Hymettus mountain at 510 m height and it is a half an hour drive from Vravrona Tower. Paiania was the birthplace of the philosopher Socrates.

The cave was first discovered in 1926 when a wandering sheep fell into the cave from a ground opening. The shepherd had to ask for help to bring the adventurous sheep back to the ground, and by digging for the entrance the imposing cave was first discovered. According to the local stories, the sheep rescue digging team was astonished by the spectacular cave formations.

Vravrona Archaeological Site in Athens, Koutouki cave in Paiania
Koutouki Cave

The cave features a single huge central chamber, measuring 60 x 60 m., and a passageway of around 350 m. The temperature inside is around 17C.

Today the visit is made from an artificial entrance that was built to facilitate access. It is open Monday to Sunday 8.00-15.00. Guided tours from 8.30 every hour until 14:30. Entrance ticket €4.

How to get to the cave: Better use your own transport as the public bus leaves you 4,5 km far from the cave.

Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon beautiful sunset
Sounion Cape and the Temple of Poseidon Sunset

FAQ about Vravrona Greece

Here are some commonly asked questions about the archaeological site of Vravrona near Athens.

Were there any festivals to celebrate the goddess Artemis?

Yes, the festival of Artemis Brauronia and the festival of Artemis Orthia.

Where exactly is the Shrine of Artemis in Acropolis?

acropolis model by university of texas
Acropolis model by University of Texas

The ruins of the Sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia, are behind the Propylaea in Acropolis Hill. Other important sanctuaries of Ancient Greece are: Delos, Delphi, Olympia, Bassae, Eleusis, Epidaurus, and many more, see map below.

Map of ancient greek sanctuaries
Greek Ancient Sanctuaries

Would you want to visit Vravrona?

Would you go? Let me know in the comments what you think of this beautiful Vravrona archaeological site and corner of Athens.

If you need a customized itinerary for a private tour in Vravrona or elsewhere in Greece please send your inquiry here for a quote. Thanks!

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Hi! I am an Athens-based Greek obsessed with exploring Greece and bringing you the best travel experience ever!

2 Responses

  1. Fred

    Not very far from Rafina where I’ve been several times for ferries to Andros. And I had no idea there was so much to do around there!

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