Athens. The city with the most glorious history in the world, a city worshiped by gods and people, a magical city.
The enchanting capital of Greece has always been a birthplace for civilization. It is the city where democracy was born and most of the wise men of ancient times. The most important civilization of ancient world flourished in Athens and relives through some of the world’s most formidable edifices.
Who hasn’t heard of the Acropolis of Athens? Photos and history of the most famous archaeological monument in Europe have made the world tour causing feelings of admiration by thousands of people. Acropolis is nominated to be one of the 7 wonders of modern world. In fact the trademark of Athens is one of the favorites. The Holy Rock of Acropolis dates back to the 5th BC, the famous Golden Age of Periklis. Athens met times of bloom and decline, but still shines under the Attic sky gazing the future. Still sparkling like the marbles of Parthenon and the limpid white of Pentelic marble.
Athens is situated in the prefecture of Attica and extends to the peninsula that reaches up to Central Greece. It is surrounded by mountains Ymmytos, Pendeli and Parnitha, northwards and eastwards, and the Saronic gulf southwards and westwards. The sun is shining over Athens all year round. The climate is one of the best in Europe, with mild winters and very hot summers, ideal for tourism. It is located just a few kilometers from the port of Piraeus, the central commercial port of the capital, and the shores of southern Attica.
Athens is constantly inhabited since Neolithic Age. The 5th century was the time of its ultimate bloom, when moral values and civilization surpassed city limits and became the mother land of western civilization. In the centuries that followed, many conquerors tried to take over Athens. In 1834 Athens was chosen to be the capital of the newly established Greek State. The city that now hosts more than 4,5 million people, was constructed around the Acropolis walls. Today it is the political, social, cultural, financial and commercial center of Greece. Cheap flights make it affordable and easy to reach Athens for vacation or business.
Athens is a city of different aspects. A walk around the famous historic triangle (Plaka, Thission, Psyri) the old neighborhoods, reveal the coexistence of different eras. Old mansions, well-preserved ones and other worn down by time. Luxurious department stores and small intimate shops, fancy restaurants and traditional taverns. All have their place in this city.
The heart of Athens beats in Syntagma Square. Where Parliament and most of the Ministries are. Monastiraki, Kolonaki and Lycabettus Hill attract thousands of visitors all year round. A few kilometers from the historic center in Faliro, Glyfada, Voula and Vouliagmeni, you can enjoy the sea breeze. Or you can head up north and enjoy the fresh air at the more classy neighborhoods of Marousi, Melissia, Vrilissia and of course Kifisia.
The southern suburbs, located on the coast of the Saronic Gulf, a recreational and cultural park is being planned, comprising the existing sports facilities. They offer many opportunities to take a walk along the seaside, while you will also find many beautiful organized and free beaches, large shopping centers and nightclubs (especially during the summer). In the Maroussi suburb (north of the centre) are the facilities of the Olympic Athletic Centre of Athens, where the majority of the athletic events were held during the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Kifissia (north of Maroussi) is also worth a visit, with its beautiful villas and impressive mansions.
Moreover, if you wish to leave the centre behind you, you may visit, amongst others, the neighboring town of Piraeus, Greece’s main port (which nowadays forms one big conglomerate with Athens), the Daphni Monastery (11 km. west), one of the most significant Byzantine monuments of the country (12th c.) with unique mosaics, the Kaisariani Monastery (5 km. east), which was founded in the 2nd century, the Temple of Poseidon (5th c. B.C.) on Cape Sounion (58 km. south), following a wonderful route along the coast, the area of the battle of Marathon (490 B.C.) with the Tomb of Marathon, the archaeological sites of Eleusina (23 km. west), of Amphiareion (48 km. northeast), of Vravron (38 km. east) and Ramnous (close to Marathon), as well as the wonderful surrounding mountain massifs of Parnitha, Penteli and Hymettos, all suitable for hiking.