The wave energy potential in the Mediterranean has been estimated using numerical models. However, the veracity of these estimates in the nearshore, where wave energy harnessing is likely to take place, remains largely unknown. This paper compares measured wave data (AWAC/ADCP) with estimates of the third-generation spectral WAve Model (WAM), in Varkiza, Athens, a typical south facing nearshore Greek locale. Overall, good agreement in the mean wave power (Pmean) was found, but WAM overestimated the peak Pmax and had an overall error of ∼19° when estimating the mean wave direction (Mdir). The results are suggestive that WAM could act as a screening tool to identify nearshore wave energy hotspots and avoid areas with extreme sea states. Nonetheless, in-situ wave measurements are required to determine the wave energy power potential and the direction of wave propagation so as to select the appropriate conversion technology that better fits local conditions. Finally, it is suggested that existing wave energy technology should be, redesigned, downscaled and optimized to suit the milder Mediterranean wave regime, thus enacting wave energy development in Greece.