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Lavrion Destination Guide - The Silver Mine of Greece

The Greek town of Lavrion (also Lavrio or Laurium) sits in the southeastern part of the Attica region, 60 km southeast from the Greek capital of Athens. This coastal city sits in a wide bay overlooking the Makronisos island to the east. 

Historically, the region is most famous for its mining and coin production. The earliest evidence of mining dates back to 3200 BC, to the beginning of the Bronze Age. Lavrion was founded on the site of the ancient village of Thoricus and is named after the Mines of Laurium - the ancient silver mines in southern Attica. These mines directly linked Lavrion's history with that of Athens. Athens owned Lavrion's silver mines, and the coins minted in Lavrion funded the construction of the Athenian fleet leading to the Golden Age of Athens.  

As the centuries passed, the mine production slowed down, before being completely abandoned in the 6th century. They were again reopened in 1859, when the extraction of several raw materials, such as silver and lead, helped finance the newly formed country of Greece. The mines were entirely exhausted and finally closed in 1982. Today, you can visit the Mineralogical Museum of Lavrion and examine samples of minerals found in the region of Lavrion. 

In the last couple of years, the town of Lavrion has gone through an extensive transformation putting the city back on the map. The rebuilding of the port into a major ferry terminal to the Greek islands gave the town a new lease of life. New restaurants, shops and cafes have opened, while several sailboat charter companies relocated here attracting sailing enthusiasts and tourists alike.

Best time to visit Lavrion

The best time to visit if you are looking to avoid the heat is during May and October. You are most likely to experience good weather in that period with pleasant average temperatures sitting between 20 °C and 25 °C. Those looking to spend their holiday enjoying water activities or sailing should aim to visit during the summer months.

Top things to do in Lavrion

The city of Lavrion has a rich and long history, best explored by visiting the two most popular museums in town - the Mineralogical and Archaeological Museum. Here you can find out about the history of the town and region, and its significant impact on Greek history. 

Lavrion is also home to many ancient landmarks, most notably the theatre of Torikus, a 3,000-year-old amphitheatre offering panoramic views of the coastline. Another landmark worth visiting while in town is the Galikio Skala, a well-preserved 19th-century wharf used for loading ore onto ships.

If you are looking for an excursion, visit the nearby Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, located only 20 minutes away by car. This majestic monument dates back to the 5th century BC. It was built on the edge of Cape Sounion offering spectacular views of the Greek coast and nearby islands.  

The area around Lavrion houses many beautiful beaches, which have been attracting an increasing number of visitors lately. The number of restaurants, taverns and clubs in town has continuously been rising, offering delicious local seafood and traditional Greek cuisine. Warm weather and plenty of sunshine will ensure ideal conditions for an unforgettable summer holiday.

Our favourite places to stay in Lavrion

As the town of Lavrion started developing and focusing on tourism only recently, accommodation options in town are somewhat limited. There are no hotels, but there are several places like Nikolakakis Apartments and MK Apartments where you can stay. For those that wish to stay near the town centre, NJ Apartments is the best option as the building is located only 1.5 km from the Lavrion Technological and Cultural Park.

If you wish to stay in a hotel, your best choices are located outside the town, in Cape Sounion. Here you will find hotels like the 5-star Grecotel Exclusive Resort and the Aegeon Beach Hotel, located right on the seashore below the Temple of Poseidon. 

Beautiful beaches to visit around Lavrion

Despite being a port city, the beaches and the sea around the town of Lavrion are clean, and the sea is clear. Here you will find sandy beaches and rocky bays, perfect for spending a day under the sun enjoying the warm blue sea.

  • Nisaki Beach - Nisaki Beach is located in Lavrion, right by the newly constructed port. Despite the proximity of the port, the sea is clean here, making this black pebble beach ideal for sunbathing and a quick swim. 
  • Thoriko Beach - the beach of Thorikus, known for its ancient amphitheatre, is a long sandy beach, ideal for families with small children. You will find bathrooms and a restaurant in the nearby.
  • Oxygono Beach - this beach is located in a small bay, surrounded by golden cliffs. There are no attractions or services here, and the beach is more popular with locals than tourists. The beach is a perfect place to enjoy the beautiful sunset in peace.
  • Agia Marina Delenia - Agia Marina beach is located north of the town of Lavrion, and is a very peaceful place with few visitors. Here you will find soft sand and a beautiful turquoise sea.
  • Kalopigado Beach - this sand and pebble beach is suited for families with small children as the water is shallow and the sea is calm. You will find taverns and bars on the coast while lifeguards patrol the beach. 

Sample Lavrion nightlife

The clubbing scene in Lavrion is still in its early stages, with only a couple of spots in town suitable for late-night drinks or dancing. Sazerac is a cocktail bar located in the town centre, offering the best cocktails in town. Here you can grab a bite to eat as well, with a wide selection of hot and cold dishes.  

Located in the Olympic Marina of Lavrion, Bar Thalassa is a wine and cocktail bar that opened in the summer of 2017. It is a perfect place to sample local wines and enjoy traditional Greek dishes. Here you will find an open terrace, summer vibes, occasional live jazz performances and a stunning view over the Olympic marina.

Melodeion is a cultural centre dedicated to Greek music and an excellent way to discover the real Greek musical atmosphere. Themed events are organized here with plenty of food and drinks offered to last you the night. 

The Grande Piccolo is a vintage pub, playing rock music and attracting the "alternative "crowds. Here you can try a wide selection of beers and even grab a bite on the cosy terrace.

Try one of these lovely local Lavrion restaurants

Restaurants have started appearing in the last few years across the town of Lavrion. Most of them located near the town centre and the newly constructed port. 

  • Christos Grillhouse - a popular restaurant located near the Archaeological Museum of Lavrion. Here you can try the best and most popular Greek dishes like souvlaki and gyros. Its fresh food and low prices make the restaurant a favourite stop for both locals and tourists.
  • Garaz Burger - specializes in street food, offering delicious burgers in a friendly, garage-themed atmosphere. 
  • Vallis Gourmet Bistro - is situated in the centre of the town of Lavrion and is the perfect place to try Mediterranean and Greek cuisine. You can visit here at any time of the day as the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Pezodromos - is located near the waterfront and is one of the most popular restaurants in this part of Greece. Guests will be greeted with a friendly family atmosphere as they indulge in some delicious and fresh local seafood. 
  • Feggon Restaurant - is located near the Pezodromos restaurant and is yet another place to taste the Greek and Mediterranean delicacies.

Lavrion marinas to dock your yacht

The large harbour of Lavrion has gone through an extensive rebuild in the last few years and now consists of a ferry port, a commercial harbour, a fishing port and yacht harbour all at the same time. The harbour gets busier on weekends because of the increase in ferry traffic as well as the charter yachts.

Visitors can moor on the northwest corner of the pier and the southern side of the charter jetty. Usually, there are no mooring fees, but you should check to be sure before arriving. There are no sanitary facilities on site, but electricity and water are available. 

Located just 1 NM south from the port of Lavrion, sitting in a protected bay, is the impressive Olympic Marina. Here you will find berths for 680 yachts up to 30 m in length, a dry dock, various maintenance and repair services as well as 24-hour security. Additionally, there are more than 700 dry berths and additional 300 covered storage spots. The marina was awarded the coveted Blue Flag confirming the preserved natural beauty of the area. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, supermarket, bars, restaurants and cafes as well as a car, bike and scooter rental facility.

What to expect from the weather in Lavrion

Located in the southeastern part of the Attica peninsula, the town of Lavrion enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate. Winters are mild and wet here, while summers tend to get quite hot and dry. The coldest month is February with an average maximum temperature of 13°C, while July is the warmest month with an average maximum temperature of 31°C. Most of the precipitation occurs during the winter with December being the wettest month. Summers are usually hot and dry, with plenty of sunny days, creating ideal conditions for an uninterrupted summer vacation.

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