The city offers a wide range of enchanting experiences, seldom found in other metropolises, which will meet all tastes and preferences. Athens’ landform is unique by nature; a landscape with mountains and fertile plains (home to vineyards) as well as its seascapes compose the beloved Athenian scenery with its unique features and characteristics. Go sailing, cycling, enjoy an Athenian summer night by watching a movie in an open-air cinema, savour the wines produced in wineries nearby and drink in the spectacular views of the city while dining.
An escape to the Saronic Islands, the Argolic Gulf and the nearby Cyclades
Are you visiting Athens and searching for a fun, relaxing, “once-in-a-lifetime” experience? If sailing is your thing or you are open to new challenges, sailing around Athens will satisfy your demands for a safe trip in calm waters. In close proximity to Athens there are some wonderful sailing routes that offer ideal sailing conditions, clean and calm waters, splendid mainland coasts and different islands to explore; the Saronic Islands of Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Spetses and Methana which are the most popular sailing destinations, along with the east coast of the Peloponnese and the nearest Cycladic islands of Kea (Tzia) and Kythnos. In the Argosaronic gulf and along the east coast of the Peloponnese you can make use of superb sailing and well-organised port facilities in the historical cities of Nafplion and Tolo, and marinas in Porto Heli, Astros and Leonidio. What’s more, sailing around Attica is not only a summer activity. Winter and spring sailing is also a richy rewarding experience you shouldn’t miss. During the Halcyon Days (Alkyonides in Greek), the so-called “short summer” in the middle of January, you can enjoy sailing while exploring the beauty of stunning seascapes, picturesque villages on the islands and the coasts, archaeological sites, and wonderful pine-clad landscapes. In the serene atmosphere of the islands you will see what real Greece is all about while you mingle with the locals in tavernas and kafeneia (traditional cafés). Feel free to create your own itinerary; certainly sailing is THE way to get away from it all! Don’t you agree?
An essential characteristic of Athenian summer nights is the love for open-air cinemas (also known as summer cinemas). If you happen to be in Athens between May and the end of September, don’t miss the opportunity to spend an evening in a true summer Athenian style and enjoy a film in one of the numerous summer open-air cinemas in the city centre. Most of them are small gardens with jasmine trees and bougainvilleas around, a real treat for hot summer nights. The atmosphere is absolutely dazzling! Relax, sip on your cold drink and enjoy the movie under the Athenian sky! Each open-air cinema has its own distinctive character, with Cine Thision being among the top 10 of the world’s most enjoyable movie theaters, according to CNN.
You can also attend the open-air film festival from June to September, when some of the most breathtaking locations around the city of Athens are instantly transformed into open-air movie theaters. The Athens Open-Air Film Festival infuses the city with film screenings and other cultural events against a unique urban backdrop: Athens’ most characteristic monuments!
Athens, with the joys of the mountain and the pleasures of the sea, can really thrill bike lovers. Ride your bicycle and discover the hidden areas and beauties of Athens. It’s an exciting activity for the young, for families and for the young at heart. There are lots of parks and cycle lanes where you can make the most of your spare time with fitness. Enjoy a ride in the Environmental Awareness Park “Antonis Tritsis” located at Pyrgos Vassilissis (Ilion), the pristine Syggrou estate in Kifissia, the Forest of Tatoi- the ex royal Estate- and the Technical University’s park in Zografou. Note that many Municipalities around Athens provide cycle lanes such as Kifissia, Chalandri and Moschato (Tavros) to just name a few. What’s more, cycling has recently become a very popular way to discover the city’s long history and its picturesque backstreets. Take a ride along the pedestrian walkway of Dionysiou Areopagitou, keep on through Apostolou Pavlou Street up to Thiseio, Monastiraki and Assomaton Square Find Ermou Street where you can go as far as the neighbourhoods of Gazi and Plaka. While cycling, feel the energy of the surroundings: Incomparable monuments of Greek cultural heritage set the backdrop for an unforgettable ride. Pass by the Hadrian’s Arch (or Hadrian’s Gate), the Acropolis Hill and the Acropolis Museum, the Theater of Dionysos, the Stoa of Eumenes, the Odeion of Herodes Atticus, the Ancient Agora and the Temple of Hephaestus, the Roman Agora and Kerameikos, the Ancient Cemetery of Athens. A bicycle ride is definitely one of the things to do in this part of the city. You will certainly see Athens from another point of view, which will be an unforgettable experience!
If you have cycled around the city centre but are eager for more, take your bike on the tramway and head for the coastal area of Athens’ Southern suburbs. There are different routes to explore; from the “Floisvos” marina to the Eden beach and Alimos marina, from Faliro to Glyfada. You can continue your journey by the sea as far as you feel, heading to Kavouri and Vouliagmeni. Don’t forget to enjoy some ouzo and Greek tidbits after your ride. While in Athens, you can also experience unforgettable mountain biking moments. The outskirts of the city are famous among mountain bikers. The national park of Parnitha on Mt Parnitha will thrill and revitalise you! The very well-marked trails will satisfy the demands of all levels, fitness and stamina. In the eastern part of Athens, Mt Ymittos is another option with many trails that run into the forest. Take advantage of a visit to the Monastery of Kaisariani (11th century) on the slopes, while the top of the mountain boasts panoramic views of the city. Remember that if you don’t have a bike yourself, you can always hire one in Athens, while some of the agents also offer rides guided by experts.
One of the top 10 things to do when in Athens is to offer yourself the unique experience of a lunch or meal with fresh products and traditional Greek tastes at the Acropolis Museum restaurant. Go up and take a seat on the 2nd floor of the Acropolis Museum, where you can taste selected daily dishes inspired by local recipes and covering all regions of Greece. Most of them are renewed according to the season! You can also enjoy traditional Greek breakfast that is served every day until noon (except Mondays). Taste homemade jams, yoghurt with thyme honey, milk pie, fried eggs with traditional smoked ham, and many more delicious dishes, such as Greek pancakes with grape molasses and tahini, omelettes with Cretan gruyere, just to name just a few. The restaurant offers a variety of options catering to every need, including special affordable menus for children featuring sandwiches, a homemade cheese pie and many more. On Friday evenings the restaurant stays open until midnight, on all other days it operates during the museum’s opening hours. The place undoubtedly offers one of the most panoramic views of the of the historic hills of Athens. Also note that despite the view and the good service, prices are more than reasonable.