Many people head straight to the Greek islands, the Peloponnese or different regions of mainland Greece when they come for their vacation. But don’t overlook Greece’s capital city.

Here are some reasons why it’s worth considering Athens as either an initial stopover, or even for an extended weekend break.

Beyond the Parthenon: Areopagus – the Hill of Ares

Everyone knows of, and probably heads to, the Acropolis and Parthenon on their visit to Greece’s capital city.  But just below the Parthenon, ascend some metal or the rough, slippery steps carved out of the marble rock and join others to sit on the site where Ares, the God of War, was tried for the murder of one of Poseidon (the God of the Sea)’s sons.  Admire the 360-degree view of the capital and all the way down to the port of Piraeus and further still, the nearby islands.  At sunset it’s spectacular.  Best of all, it’s free.


Parthenon, Athens Parthenon, Athens

Anafiotika – an island within a city

Directly below the Acropolis on the north-eastern side in the Plaka district lies a neighbourhood built and designed to resemble the tiny Greek island of Anafi.  It came into being in 1832, when King Otto of Greece brought over to the mainland construction workers from this island to build his Palace and the workers built themselves a little village to remind them of the island they so missed. Today only 45 houses remain, and are lived in.   It’s like an island within the city and is so easy to get lost amongst the winding streets.  It’s a wonderful place to explore and find some peace and quiet.

Anafiotika, Athens, Greece Anafiotika, Athens, Greece

Stavros Niarchos Centre

This cultural centre near the Phaliron coast of Athens was completed in 2017. It houses the new National Library of Greece, the National Opera House as well as a 170,000 sq meter park.  Aside from booking to see one of many cultural shows or ballets, outdoor activities include yoga, dance classes and children’s activities such as face painting and in the summer, outdoor cinema showings.  Bicycles are available to hire to cycle around the grounds; the gardens are covered in lavender and olive trees or you can hire a boat to row around the canal.  An oasis from the city, it’s a place where one can spend all day and also marvel at the architectural magnificence of the building.  There’s an ever-green roof top green space and floor to ceiling glass inside the building that allows one to see right across to the Aegean sea.

Vouliagmenis Lake


About an hour away from Central Athens by public transport – you can feel your cares and stresses slip away and you gingerly dip into the brackish waters of this natural spa lake located along the Athens Riviera.  The lake was created after the roof of a cave fell in because of erosion caused by high temperatures of the running water.  The water is continuously replenished both by the sea and the underground thermal springs, offer a natural and unique thermal spa experience. The imposing rock, thermal waters, labyrinthine underwater tunnels and the lush vegetation create a unique geological phenomenon. It’s full of Garru Rufa fish – the tiny black fish you sometimes see in fish spas that exfoliate your skin.  It’s truly a unique Athenian experience to swim here.

Let’s not forget the café culture of the city, where you can sit in just about any neighbourhood with a frappe – a ‘coffee milkshake’ of ice cold coffee and condensed milk whisked to a froth and indicative to Greece – and while away the hours after sightseeing. Be sure to place Athens on your ‘To Visit’ list and spend time exploring the other side of this ancient capital.

Vouliagmenis Lake, Athens, Greece Vouliagmenis Lake, Athens, Greece
The Sunvil Family

By The Sunvil Family

21st June 2018



The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

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