Athens is more than just a short-break destination

Μετάφραση Greek Version

Athens is more than just a short-break destination

We all know Athens is the cradel of the modern western civilisation and a venue of many architectural masterpieces which are standing here from eternity, waiting for you to be explored. You can take your time to stroll the slopes of Acropolis or Ancient Agora, taking in the unique and special aura this town is swaddled into – whether it is the historical events of past centuries or the masterpieces of the famous philosophers, all having left their magnificent imprint on the ancient architectural heritage and the local atmosphere. A promise for adventure seems to be woven into the breath of the city. Even the sun, holding its everlasting presence over the town and blessing it with its warmth and light, seems to be enhanced with the glory and splendor of the footprint of the ancient philosophers and is generously and abundantly beaming it on everybody.

Enjoying a walk under the columns of the ancient temples, in the Ancient and Roman Agoras, in Hadrians library, in the Temple of Olympian Zeus or strolling the roads of Kerameikos, imagining yourself taking part in these ancient processions or the festival of Panathenaia, can overwhelm you with a perception of yourself as if being part of these bygone times.

The masterpieces of architecture, as well as the ruins which are left of them, are like embodiments of the divine spirit being reflected in the magnificence of these man-made structures. Words seem to be feeble describing the joy of witnessing the materialization of this sacred spark of creativity in the grandeur of all around you.

And if you are done with the temples and columns or tired of the crowds, which depending on the season can easily happen, you might feel a wish to turn to Mother Nature.

And Athens has plenty of possibilities for that – even without the necessity to leave the city center. For example strolling from the Ancient Agora towards Filiopappou hill, passing the souvenir stalls and Herakleion – the museum of Ancient Greek technology, you might turn left and move onwards and enjoy a short walk under the pine trees with a marvellous view over Acropolis. You can climb the slopes of the hill on your right hand side and take in some empowering sunrays before continuing your walk.

After that I would recommend you to visit the Filopappou hill, just five minutes from there.

The hill got its name in honour of Julius Filopappos, a famous Roman administrator. You can follow the marble-paved path which leads to the Shrine of the Muses or you can turn to the natural forest path, leading your way under the shady olive trees and taking you right to the top of the hill. In past times the area was a battle field where Theseus and the Amazons were fighting. The defensive fortifications, such as the Themistoclean wall and the Diateichisma, extended over the hill, give evidence of that.

On top of the hill you can admire the view of the Acropolis hill and Parthenon on one side and the Saronic gulf on the other. It is possible to stroll even on the hill and find your way aaway from the crowds.

Another hill I would recommend to go, is Lycabettus hill, usually with a lot of visitors enjoying the view on top and taking their photos. But if you would prefer a small hike just by yourself, you should take the road down from the side of the cable car, find your way in the natural paths under the pine trees and get overwhelmed by the beauty of the small gorges you see around. You can sit on the bench and admire the views over the city and the endless coastline. Descending there is another nice experience of a perception as if hiking in a countryside yet being just in a city center.