Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Six Incredible Reasons To Visit Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary

Islands such as Santorini and Mykonos have mostly taken the shine when it comes to Greek travel in recent years. However, with its historical abundance, hidden pockets of meandering streets and buzzing city life, Athens has always been a popular tourist hotspot for many. And while millions visit Greece's capital each year, the authenticity of the city, which was once a powerful civilisation, dating back from 5th Century BC, has proved hard to wane.

My mum, brother, and I decided upon Athens as a holiday destination a mere few weeks before departure. I thought it wouldn't disappoint. Athens would have a story, an intrigue, an importance, activity and adventure. For my mother, I presumed it would have a nice, slow pace, it would have sunshine and a few days of escapism. And we were not let down.

Here are six reasons why you NEED to make Athens your next holiday destination.

HISTORY
Athens is the place to go to step back in time. Dating back nearly 6000 years, the history offers a unique magic to the city. If you haven't heard of the Acropolis, you must have been hiding under a rock. The ancient citadel contains many historical remains of ancient and important temples including the influential, Parthenon.Visiting the Acropolis is quite simply, jaw-dropping. You can certainly feel the magnitude and the importance of the architecture, which was constructed during the Golden Age Of Athens (5th Century BC). Even if you aren't a historical buff (like my mum) the Acropolis can be enjoyed for its architectural magnitude, as well as some sensational views over Athens.

Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary

Top Tip: Definitely buy your ticket. Don't do what we did and go on World Heritage Day due to the lure of free entry. It felt like everyone in the city had exactly the same idea as us, and it was packed to the brim with (very aggressive!) people. The 20 euro entry fee is well worth a slightly less crowded visit to one of the most famous ancient sites in the world.

Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
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Meanwhile, another wow moment for me was visiting the Panathenaic Stadium - the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble in 4th Century BC. It holds huge historical significance, in that it was the site of the first Olympic Games in 1896. Going when it was relatively quite (cue photoshoot), it was simply staggering to imagine the place at its 70,000 people capacity. And I mean, what better place for your morning run?

Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary

EPIC SUNSETS
Top Tip: Have a good look at the weather forecast. If there's a torrential downpour, which is set to clear during the evening, make your way to the Temple Of Poseidon. The rain will scare off extensive tourist crowds from making the one hour journey from Athens to Sounion - the southernmost tip of Attica. There, you'll be greeted by an immense, and incredibly peaceful (!) sunset perched nearly 60 metres about the Aegean Sea. Book in with a tour group (sunset departure), and make an incredible half-day out of it. If you come an hour or two early, there is a great restaurant for coffee and food, and plenty of hidden picture spots. The Temple of Poseiden is relentless in providing you with the best possible angles for pictures. No regrets.

Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary

TOP UP YOUR TAN
Lake Vougliagmeni is one of the most famous places to go for a 'fish spa'. Forego your traditional holistic experience, and spend some time at this rare geological find. The thermal waters are rich in salts and minerals, and you cannot enter the pool without coming in contact with the Garra Rufa fish nibbling away at your feet - adding to the wellness experience. Even if you don't want to go for a scenic swim, you can take in the rugged, lush green, mountainous view from the comfort of a sunbed, or shaded seating area. Top Tip: Definitely enjoy some food and beverages at the Lake. We ordered a few brunch dishes, and it was simply delicious!

Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary

FOOD
Speaking of food, it is incredible. With Greek cuisine, you can't really go wrong. Especially if you love cheese, you're in for a real treat, as you'll be hard pressed to find a dining experience which caters without it. Top Tip: While at a restaurant, order a lot of little starters, tapas style. You'll really get a taste of a wide range of dishes, and I'm 100% sure you'll love all of your choices. Some of the most famous dishes, which we found at pretty much every place, were tiropita (cheese pie) and Spanakopita (spinach pie). All, of course, with a side of Greek salad.

Ps. Having worked up a HUGE appetite before each meal, I focused solely on eating, rather than taking snaps. Sorry, for the lack of pictures!

ISLAND HOPPING
Greece is made up of a whopping 6,000 islands, with only 227 of them inhabited. Three of the easiest, and scenic islands to travel to are Hydra, Poros and Aegina. With many cruise lines and companies offering this one day island hopping extravaganza, with VIP upgrades and other added luxuries if you so wish to indulge in, you'll be hard-pressed to not enjoy this day out on sea.

Yes, the early morning start was a bit of a struggle, but once we commenced voyage atop glistening waters, with the sun beaming down, it was complete bliss. We had enough time to explore each three islands, sunbathed out on deck, were fed a scrumptious lunch buffet on board, and provided some fabulous entertainment.

Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary

VIEWS FROM THE TOP
Greece is one of the most incredible places so far, when it comes to sauntering your way to a viewpoint and being met with the staggering view of the city from above. Definitely make your way to Lycabettus Hill. You can either walk up and down (which I so desperately wanted to do, but my mother convinced me otherwise), or you can get a cable car up. Top Tip: Don't spend too much money on food and drinks at the top (it wasn't the best). But the view of Athens, certainly was the best.

Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary
Athens, Greece Holiday Itinerary




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2 comments

  1. Beautiful Post! Athens is truly a traveler’s paradise. My Family has been thinking of visiting since last two months. And finally we have got our Greece Visa Appointment materialized. Acropolis Athens, Santorini, Rhodes & Corfu Town are on the top of our bucket-list for this trip.

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  2. Oh, it's absolutely stunning! You'll have an incredible time. So much stunning scenery & history!

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