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Athens. The city with the most glorious history in the world, a city worshipped 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.
The Jewel of Athens Greece: The Acropolis and Parthenon
The Acropolis and the Parthenon
dominate Athens, and the most sightseeing-weary traveler will catch an enticing glimpse and be scrambling toward it before they know it. Even if there were no Parthenon, the Acropolis is worth the visit just for the magnificent view of Athens and the surrounding temples below.
National Archaelogical Museum
This extensive collection is housed in the heart of Athens. Greece is rightly proud of its flagship museum. While even a brief visit is dazzling, the true museum junkie should allow 2-3 hours. Even then, you're speeding through millennia of Greek culture, starting with the Cycladic island civilization and the Minoans and Mycenaeans, and stretching toward the present.
Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon
This is one of those spots that is as much a favorite with the locals as it is with the tourists. It's a favorite sunset-viewing spot for everyone, and will give you a classically Greek moment against the ruined monument along with a terrific sea view. While it is possible to visit Sounion by public bus from Athens, most visitors prefer to drive or to take an organized tour.
Want to rise above it all, especially on a hot day when the thought of the stony outcrop of the Acropolis seems too warm and bright? Take the easy way up to the wooded top of Lycabettus Hill by using the tubular funicular rail car and escape the heat and, if you're lucky, some of the tourist crowds.
The Plaka and Other Neighborhoods in Athens
The Plaka is the area of winding streets around the Acropolis. It's renowned for its small shops, restaurants, and some good examples of local domestic architecture. The downside? Best strategy is to stop somewhere for a frappe (iced instant coffee) every few hundred feet, especially in summer. And it's likely you'll wander into Monastiraki or Thissio without even noticing you've left the Plaka
Also known as "Constitution Square", this is the heart of Athens in many ways. It's a large, open square which often hosts holiday events, it's the location of several of Athens' most renowned luxury hotels, it's an intense public transportation hub, and it actually has the Parliament building along one side of the square. Pedestrian-only Ermou Street leads off of it, providing access to some of Athens' better upscale shopping. And the daily «Changing of the Guard» a colorful photo opportunity.
This is one attraction that gets skipped, partly because it is readily confused with the Roman Agora and while you'd be falling over yourself to visit a Roman agora in Italy, well, this is Greece. (For the same reason, the very nice Egyptian antiquities collection at the National Archaeological Museum gets overlooked, too - except by Greeks.) But this spot offers an easy hour's wandering, with the almost-perfect temple of Hephaestus a rebuilt colonnade housing the museum, and many minor monuments. A multiple-site combo ticket makes it a particularly good bargain to combine a visit here with the Acropolis and other nearby sites.
One of the best-organized beaches offering all types of beach facilities. Tennis and volleyball courts, play area for children, water slide, individual cabins and a restaurant are some of the features that make the area quite famous among Athenians.
Sandy beach of Varkiza is pretty far from the city centre but you are guaranteed a pleasant trip. It is one of the less crowded beaches with all the beach facilities like volley courts, snack bars and a play area for the children. The beach is easily reachable by bus, directly from the town centre. The town of Varkiza is one of the most popular areas in the southern suburbs, quite lively during the summer season. It is extremely developed with plenty of cafes and nice restaurants lying around the coast. The biggest part of Varkiza includes beautiful complexes and newly built villas with a terrific view to the sea. It is a nice trip for most of the Athenians, especially during the weekends.
One of the most popular coastal resorts in Attica located 45 km north east of the city centre and close to Marathon. Schinias has a great reputation for its crystalline waters and the comfortable facilities. It is a wonderful long and pine curved beach. Its natural beauty receives is definitely one of the reasons why many Athenians visit especially during the weekends. It is well-known and appreciated among windsurfing lovers, since it s often affected by the strong winds. At the end of the beach there is a water sports center with nice equipment.
Trully an amazing site that should not be missed during your vacation in Athens. This splendid rocky promontory that rises out of the Aegean is one of the best sights in Athens carrying on at its highest point the Temple of Poseidon. The Temple was constructed around 600 BC, it was destroyed in 480 BC by the Persians and in 440 BC it was rebuilt by Pericles. If you look closely at the Doric columns rising above the coast, on one of them you will see the signature of Lord Byron who was so captured by its beauty and the grace of the temple that he included it in his paean to Greek independence in his poem "Isles of Greece".
One of the most beautiful coastal settlements in Attica, located 35km south east of the city centre.The beach gets very popular in summer, due to the numerous visitors taking a short break from the daily routine. The beach is well-protected from the strong winds due to the two rocky islands that block them. There are some umbrellas, sundecks and beach bars in Porto Rafti, where the young crowds gather. There is plenty of parking space but during the weekends there is serious traffic on the way there. The surrounding area offers plenty of cafeterias, night bars and excellent taverns. There is a small port close to the area for your boating holidays. You can even get to Artemida (Loutsa).
"Grande Bretagne" 5* Luxury Collection Hotel
With breathtaking views of the fabled Acropolis, regal Syntagma Square and the Parliament, lush Lycabettus Hill or the original Olympic Stadium, the multi-awarded 5 star Hotel Grande Bretagne offers an unrivalled perspective of Athens' mythical history.
Situated right in the heart of the city since 1874, the landmark hotel is within walking distance of exclusive shopping areas, museums and the business district.
"Astir Palace" 5* Luxury Collection Resort
Discover an exceptional hotel in Athens providing an unforgettable luxury resort experience. Guest rooms and suites delight the senses with creative touches. The most distinctive feature, the resort's welcoming Bungalows, offer the ultimate in privacy and privileged services.
"Coral" 4* Hotel
Coral sea view hotel in Paleo Faliro provides a relaxing getaway on the Athens Riviera for both leisure and business travelers. Idyllically situated near the Alimos Marina, the shopping district, the numerous beachfront bars and restaurants and only 15 minutes away from the city center and the port of Piraeus, this 4 star hotel in Athens offers the perfect starting point to explore the city and the breath-taking coastline.