Athens is Europe’s oldest continuously occupied capital city. For the past several millennia, Athens – lying strategically between three continents — has been destroyed, rebuilt, occupied and reinvented over and over by a succession of foreign invaders of different cultures, all of whom have left their imprint contributing to the city’s multi-layered personality.
As a result of the 2004 Athens Olympics, the city acquired a huge infrastructural facelift making it as easily accessible as any other world class European metropolis. Today foreigners fly in to the award winning Athens International Airport, or arrive by sea to Piraeus port, then transfer to Athens and go most anywhere with public transportation — metro, tram, train, bus and trolley.
Mountains, an enviable climate, the cleanest waters in the Mediterranean, 13 Blue Flag certified beaches, legendary ruins, wineries, over 80 museums, delicious food, drama and concerts, glamorous hotels and restaurants, pulsating night clubs all merge together in Athens, giving this city again the cosmopolitan glory of its past when it was the center of the world.
As one big playground, Greece’s capital city and its surrounding environs enable you and your friends or families or associates to vacation in Athens for multiple days and be entertained with diverse activities every moment of each day.
For many Athenians, Aegina is the number one island to escape to for a quick weekend getaway. It is close. It is charming. It is green. It has culture. And now travelers to Athens also have the opportunity to visit Aegina through tours provided by EcoAthens, either an active experience (hikes, biking, sea sports), a leisure experience (cooking class, soap making, pottery class) or a combination of the two. In less than a ten minute boat ride from Aegina, you can also explore two other islands, uninhabited Moni and laid-back Agistri. The most celebrated event in Aegina is the annual Pistachio Festival held in September. You can eat and drink all things pistachio as well as partake in local culture, live music and traditional Greek dancing. During your visit to Athens, we recommend you get a taste of island life by including Aegina in your holiday agenda.
Click open new tab Aegina map in Google maps
Athens sits in the middle of the Attica peninsula, a sprawling triangular land mass bordered on three sides by the Aegean Sea. It is blessed with an abundance of natural assets – mountains, rivers, lakes, beaches, forests, caves and flat plains. If we focus only on East Attica – the region east of Athens – we find all these examples of nature, as well as cultural riches, fine foods, award winning wines and a bounty of historical sites where Greek mythology flourished. East Attica’s diversity enables the traveler to indulge in a variety of Eco Experiences, such as, biking to the ancient Marathon battle field, wine tasting the Savatiano brand indigenous to Attica, admiring the largest collection of contemporary Greek art, sea kayaking to islets or strolling the grounds of the Temple of Artemis. We really mean it when we tell you East Attica is Athens’ best kept secret.
Click open new tab East Attica map in Google maps
Mt. Parnitha is the closest National Park to a European capital city. It’s remarkable — you can be at sea level in Athens playing volleyball on the beach and an hour’s drive later you can stand atop mountains over 1000 meters high soaking in alpine air. The park is lush with greenery, wildlife, gorges, caves, archaic towers, a 12th century chapel, springs, 75 hiking paths, rock climbing and bouldering sites, a royal cemetery, two overnight refuges, rivers, canyoning, mountain biking and, strangely enough, a casino in a luxury hotel. Residents of the Attica region are blessed to have such a vibrant recreational environment within their proximity. And if you come to Athens as a guest of EcoAthens, you, too, can access this marvelous playground. A daytime excursion in Parnitha National Park and back to Athens by evening for a candle lit dinner overlooking the Acropolis.
Click open new tab Parnitha Map in Google maps