Since ancient times, Athens has been considered the intellectual
and artistic center of Greece, and was the jewel of the ancient
world. It was the city where mankind’s most precious and most significant
moral values were founded. Philosophy, science, literature, art
and drama are just some of the concepts born in ancient Athens.
Democracy, freedom, justice and forward thinking are ideals conceived
in this great city, which are the core principles of western civilization.
Nowadays, Athens offers a unique combination of historic and modern
elements, developing into a modern European Metropolis and an ideal
city break destination. Surrounded by a lining of stunning seas
and mountains, Greece’s travel friendly capital is filled with gems
just waiting to be discovered: archeological sites; modern and classical
art museums & galleries; opera houses; spas; chic shops, restaurants
and bars; street markets and bazaars; outdoor cinemas can all be
enjoyed during more than 300 sun-drenched days in Athens!
Athens is an ideal year-round city travel destination. Helios, the
sun god in Greek mythology, smiles upon its streets over 300 days
a year affording visitors pleasant travel and sightseeing weather.
The summers (June-August) are hot but September is often considered
the ideal month for both urban activities and island escapes. The
Mediterranean climate makes for mild winters. In Athens, sunshine
and outdoor living is almost always a given; no matter what time
The city of Athens is the most vibrant and hospitable historical
city in Europe, offering countless activities for all types of visitors.
Its tourism identity over the last few years has been bolstered
considerably by new infrastructure, changes to its transportation
network, green spaces newly created by the City of Athens, as well
as the renewal of many of the city’s areas, the unification of archaeological
sites and its new museums.
The city features more than 166 hotels, 137 theatres, 64 cinemas,
44 museums, two concert halls, more than 150 bars and 73 clubs.
At the same time, there is an endless supply of temptations for
shopping, dining out, entertainment, leisure sports and fitness.
The geographical location of Athens is of strategic importance and
offers many alternatives for visits to outlying areas, as it is
surrounded by three mountains and has easy access to three more.
There are also nine smaller hills nearby, while visitors may easily
access more than 40 beaches and five nearby islands.
Walking in Athens
The “road” that every traveller must walk is the Unification of
Archaeological Sites route, which has transformed the area surrounding
the Acropolis into Europe’s largest archaeological park. The experience
of walking among some of the world’s most significant ancient treasures
in an archaeological park 4.7 km (3 miles) wide will move you. The
park extends from Dionissiou Areopagitou, Apostolou Pavlou, Adrianou,
Ermou and Vassilisis Olga streets. Southeast of the park are the
neighbourhoods and sites of Filopappou Hill, the Makrygianni district
and Koukaki. Northwest of the park is the graphic and historic neighbourhood
Athens has something to match any cultural interest. In Athens there
are numerous museums with fantastic artifacts and exhibits. For
the musical lovers, there are symphonies and concerts; broadway
shows, musicals, ballets and dance performances. All of the shows,
museums and galleries in the city are top of the line.
Sightseeing in Athens
A relatively small city, Athens takes the fuss out of sightseeing.
It is a user-friendly town thanks to the pleasant demeanor of the
English-speaking Athenians and the easy to use and manageable transportation
system. The fast and safe metro gets you to places in mere minutes.
Connections to the technologically most up-to-date buses, trams,
trolleys are also easy. Following are some highlights:
Archaeological Sites & Classical Greek Monuments: The Acropolis;
Ancient Agora, “Aerides,” The Roman Market; Kerameikos Cemetery;
Archeological Site of Olympeion; Ancient Olympic Stadium (Kallimarmaro);
Zappeion Gardens; Theatre of Dionysus; Odeon of Heroda Atticus;
Temple of Zeus.
Byzantine Monuments: The Old Metropolis; Ayios Georgios on Lycabettus
Hill. Ottoman Monuments: Turkish Baths; Muslim Seminary.
Historic Centers: Plaka; Monastiraki; Old Commerce Center; Psyrri;
Kerameikos; Gazi; Metaxourgeio; Syntagma; Lycabettus Hill; Omonia.
Museums: National Archaeological Museum; National Art Gallery; Byzantine
and Christian Museum; Acropolis Museum; Museum of Cycladic Art;
War Museum; Museum of the City of Athens; Benaki Museum; National
Historical Museum; The Museum of Greek Children’s Art (one of the
very few children’s art museums worldwide).
During the last decade, Athenian cuisine has experienced a gourmet
revolution. Ôhe Athenian landscape of 19th century neoclassical
buildings, ancient sites, artsy industrial and Mediterranean coastal
milieus have created a canvas for alluring interiors and exteriors.
Rooftop bar-restaurants can easily compete with some of the world’s
most renowned ones, but can they claim a view of the Acropolis?
Talented chefs and successful restaurateurs from the world’s food
Meccas have entered the kitchens and changed the Greek food setting
into one that can compete with many European urban centres. Culinary
aficionados are encouraged to delight their palates in the myriad
of sophisticated gourmet restaurants in Athens that boast tastes
and designs inspired by many cultures.
Á showcase for its traditional and modern culture and lifestyle,
shopping in Athens can be a fascinating and satisfying experience
for all. Amidst the many well-known and international name brands
and traditional Greek art and folk-art shops, there are hundreds
and hundreds of chic boutiques and specialty shops bursting with
great fashion finds for every taste and budget. The “new kids on
the block” are the glitzy department stores that have won the hearts
of the natives and visitors who shop there. The close proximity
of each shopping district means that a weekend in Athens can combine
a stroll along a cobblestone path amongst the locals buying fresh
produce at traditional markets and bazaars with browsing elegant
displays of haute couture, pret a porter clothing, shoes and accessories
by talented Greek and foreign designers that are sure to impress.
Like every other big city in Europe, Athens offers a choice in whatever
kind of entertainment for every age. The city is famous for its
vibrant nightlife. The choices are plenty and they appeal to all
tastes and lifestyles.
Everything from mainstream clubs, fashion mainstream, freestyle,
dance, alternative rock, classic rock, live rock, ethnic, disco,
Greek music and more, most of its entertainment halls have their
own personal style that gives a wide choice as to which place suits
you best for the evening.
Athens for the whole Family
Athens is a child-friendly city. It begins with the Athenians themselves
who have high regard for family, especially when it comes to children.
And there are many facilities in and around Athens that cater to
families travelling with children of all ages. Playgrounds, water
parks, zoos, adventure parks, fun parks and children’s museums are
all here for you to enjoy.
Recreational Sports in Athens
The birthplace of the Olympic Games has a tradition of athletics.
The great outdoors is what recreational sporting in Athens is all
about. Yachting. Sailing. Windsurfing. Beach Volleyball. Trekking.
Of course, the gorgeous summer weather is ideal for sea and sun
sport enthusiasts with crystal clear waters just minutes away from
Athens’ centre. But the fall and winter also have their sporting
charms: trekking, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking on
Mount Parnitha and Mount Ymittos and skiing and snowboarding on
Day trips from Athens
Athens is one of the few European cities where you can visit a museum
during the day and jet off to a nearby island at night. Athens is
the hub of Greece and its 3,000 islands, traditional villages, deluxe
spas and ski resorts.
While in Athens take the opportunity to visit the ancient theatre
of Epidavros and the ruins of Mycenae and Tiryns. Follow the aroma
of lush eucalyptus to nearby Nafplion, the first capital of modern
Greece. Try your luck at the casinos of Loutraki. Visit the site
of the famous Oracle of Delphi where ancient rulers sought political
and moral guidance. Sports fans should not miss Ancient Olympia
where it all began. En route, stop at local villages and taste their
traditional pies, yogurt or preserves. Beach lovers take the coastal
drive to Sounion and sip a cocktail overlooking the Temple of Poseidon.
Wine connoisseurs schedule an outing to Greek Wine country and sample
the new varieties that are making headlines worldwide. Skiers and
trekkers take to the mountains. Breathe the crisp, fresh mountain
air of Mt. Parnassos and indulge the slopes as did Apollo and Dionysos.
Islands of the Argosaronic Gulf provide easy island getaways. Holistic
travelers go to Evia for its therapeutic and invigorating thermal
springs, Aedipsos. Have a few days? Visit Delos and nearby Mykonos.
Wineries in Attica
The region of Attica, is one of the oldest winemaking areas of Greece.
This is where Dionysus, the God of Wine, introduced the culture
of wine to the Greeks.
Just a few kilometers outside Athens, there are several wineries
to be visited. A number of inspired winemakers have shown that the
region exhibits all of the necessary qualities for the production
of world class wines.
The new generation of wine enologists, agriculturists and viticulturists
have brought renewed inspiration to Attica’s vineyard, improving
the quality of the Attica wines making them highly competitive in
the worldwide market. In today’s wineries high quality wines are
being produced with modern wine-making methods and ideal ageing
conditions in their cellars.
The vineyards of Attica are spread extensively over the Attic basin
whose borders reach the mountains of Hymettus, Penteli, Parnitha,
Kitherona, Geraneia and Patera.
The total surface area of Attica’s vineyard is 538.500 hectares.
Native and foreign grape varieties coexist in this vineyard, the
largest in Greece today, with white varieties, Savatiano and Roditis,
prevailing. These varieties flourish in Attica’s environment capturing
80% of today’s vineyards. However, red varieties are also cultivated
with great success producing several of Greece’s best red wines.
By tradition Attica was the home of retsina – particularly in the
Mesogeia district. Retsina’s unique flavour makes it an excellent
accompaniment for Mediterranean cuisine.
Surrounded by sea, Attica’s mild winters and cool summers provide
ideal conditions for viticulture. Here the combination of vineyard
– soil – climate give us a favourable environment.
Athens by the sea
The Athenian Riviera boasts a series of high class restaurants,
cafes, exciting music venues and modern sports facilities, as well
as some of the best beaches and seaside destinations in the world!
During summer, spring and early fall, the coastal waters of Athens
are for swimmers, while its nightlife, fancy restaurants, shopping
streets, yacht marinas and natural beauties are to be enjoyed year-round!
Undoubtedly, this city with its vibrant urban landscape, boasts
some of the best beaches and seaside destinations in the world and
offers a riviera just 30 minutes away from the heart of the city.
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