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May 2016

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Saronikos gulf is one of the most important seas in Greece. First of all it is the sea where not only Classical Athens but also Corinth established their kingdoms- or democracies …. And history does not stop here. Elefsis, Aigina, Salamis and modern Hydra, Spetses, Poros are located in Saronikos.

Saronikos is famous for those who love yachting in Athens. The islands are easily accessible by Piraeus, so if you have the time to experience a sea cruise, please do so. Each island has a different identity, natural environment, you definitely can visit each one every year for your holidays.

 

Next to Plaka art walking area, Areopagitou pedestrian street is one of the oldest streets of Athens. Before it becomes a pedestrian street, it was a roadway. Today it connects Thisseio metro station (via Apostolou Pavlou Str.) with Acropolis metro and of course Plaka.

The project of uniting the ancient roads of Athens, was a vision of Melina Merkouri, a visionary Minister of Culture, few decades ago.

 

Do you wonder how Areopagitou was before?

And it was not only Areopagitou, but also the part of Apostolou Pavlou, an area with many foreign institutions.

You can see many interesting points while walking it, go to Pnyx, Herodeion, for food, drink, and get really calm there…

In the middle of Areopagitou, remains of philosopher Proclus were found and today is the church of Agia Sophia. During ancient time there was an Athena temple. It is the perfect walk to feel ancient Athenian.

Monastiraki streetfood

Welcome to Monastiraki square

Monastiraki. Named after Pantanassa– the church of 11th century that is still there, one of the hotspots of Athens. Today every newbie in Athens gets his first step there, at the paved square. Also, the view from A-for-Athens terrace is another famous spot of the city.

So, what else you can do there?

  1. Enjoy an A for Athens drink-view- experience
  2. Experience your bargains talent with local merchants at the Flea market. How good are you?
  3. Explore local street-fruit
  4. Explore the Ottoman Mosque opposite the metro station- today a museum
  5. Get lost at Plaka following Pandrosou or Psirri area

Amazing Bargain Tips in Athens Flea Market

Outside the station there is Athens Flea Market. It may seem a bit primitive compared to a pure urban “western” market, looks maybe even “arabic” style (like the coffee) but don’t forget: please don’t be rude with people there and don’t show over-confident. Nobody likes to be behaved with arrogance, especially people who work all day…. Enjoy your bargain walk in Athens. 

Also take advantage of the fact that fruits there is fresh, so dont be hesitant to try.

Most important: Be careful of people who are too “warm” to help you….. There are many bad incidents that took place.

You can read also about taxis here and more Athens tips here. 

Well, which is the best period to visit Athens?

Actually Athens is an all-year-l destination, the weather is fine always except rare occasions during the winter! Bad weather conditions for Athens and Greece of course cannot be compared with what happens in the rest of the world, it’s much more mild.

Athens at Summer

You can visit Athens in August, when most of the Athenians are in Aegean or Saronikos islands for holidays, and is empty and you can really enjoy city’s choices. Never forget the August moon at Athens. Also before Christmas in November you can arrange your company’s meeting in Athens, in one of the top city hotels. A big event only for Plaka is Orthodox Easter, which it maybe be combined with the Catholic Easter vacations. Moreover, a special Plaka period is also during Apocrea celebrations in February. 

Athens and taxis

Many things are told for Athens taxi drivers, and some times is unfortunately the truth. Generally speaking, avoiding troubles while travelling is a must. So regarding taxis today there are many apps you can use in Athens in order to have a safe trip and keep away from trouble and potential dangers in Athens. Especially for Plaka area, taxis are mostly looking for trips to hotels at Glyfada (near the beach) or the airport or Piraeus port, where they can have more benefit than for routes closer to the center of the city.

Taxi Tips

If you can, download apps to your mobile, and the best is beat.

When you don’t want to use your mobile, if you are at a tourist area, agree on the price of the route with the taxi driver.

If you are at the street, ask the taxi driver to turn on the tariff meter. Also you can check the GPS app that most of the taxis today use.

You can find available vehicles opposite the Olympian Zeus temple, or ask your hotel reception to help you.

Planning your tours with a taxi

Moving around Athens is cheap and easy with a cab. Also you can use a taxi to make a tour around Attica monuments, either the medieval, or visit the east Attica beach, or the mountains and enjoy the city view from Penteli, Parnitha or Immitos. Believe us, it worth visiting, and its easier than somebody thinks. Most distances are around 30 minutes from Athens center.

Of course it is better to have an experienced driver in order to save time and money. If you want to make daily trip, it is much better to ask for a transfer service with a taxi or a van. Send us an email for that and we would be glad to help you enjoy Athens.

Athens photo options are limitless. There are so many places for a person that wants to keep in mind. But what are the best?

  1. Acropolis view (best during August moon). Everybody wants a photo of the Parthenon, even President Obama.
  2. All of Athens hills, known and also unknown.
  3. Ancient & Roman Agora
  4. Anafiotika, Plaka
  5. Authentic Marathon, near real Marathon

Photography Travel Tips

Athens is almost always under an amazing and clear sun. Use him and try to capture pics early morning.

Try to take pictures on Sundays that air pollution is minimum.

During August the air pollution is minimum as well, since all Athenians are on vacation far away from Athens. Don’t forget that some museums are closed during August.

We have seen Anafiotika, Acropolis, Plaka Stairs, we need unexplored locations!!!! Do your best!!! for example there are many excavations around Athens, with many monuments that are well hidden. Find them!

A nice time for photos is during orthodox festivals and celebrations, like Apocrea and Easter.

Also Plaka streets like Tripodon, Kydathineon, Adrianou give opportunities for nice shots, as well as the seven hills of Athens.

Some churches offer nice photo opportunities as well, like Ragavas church at Plaka, on March 25, celebrating Athens liberation from the Ottomans. Also saint Catherine has a nice garden and trees, and Anafiotika churches are like Aegean churches- small and white-washed.

Dont forget the 24/7 open Athens monuments.

Athens is a photo miracle since there are ancient ruins, flowers, sun, with modern buildings next to neoclassical ones. No city can combine all the above.

You can try taking pictures of some statues in Zappeion and National Garden as well, like the one of Lord Byron.

Read a very nice article also here 

Athena Archegetis temple at Roman Agora

Athens by night

Athens by night is a famous quote across the Mediterranean, describing the night life of Athens. When we talk about entertainment, Athens is the epicenter of the quality of nightlife. Lights, music, drinks and….. respect.

But what about today? Plaka was “silenced” as a nightlife area recently (during 1970’s) and became a shopping and food destination mostly. But still the question remains: where can someone enjoy a drink or a night out?

Best mountains of the world

Did you know that Athens is surrounded not by one but – by three big mountains, and hills are everywhere in the city? Well its time to learn some basic information regarding them!

More or less, Attica is known for Athens and Acropolis, Sounio and maybe Marathon as well. But Athens is surrounded by mountains, that have their own history and natural environment, offering some really interesting options for someone to visit.

Amazing mountain tips

Do you have enough time and a car? Try Dekeleia fortress at Parnitha. More time? Go to Ntavelis Cave at Penteli. Even more? Climb at Immitos top and view Athens. Moreover there are medieval monuments, monasteries that are everywhere on these mountains.

Do you have enough time and good shoes? Walk around all Athens hills- it’s really not THAT long.

Parnitha was the connection of Athens to Thebes and its northern borders, that is why fortress of Dekeleia is there. Even today Dekelias is the avenue that passes via Sea Filadelfia suburb. Penteli on the contrary, was used since antiquity as a marble source, so that Parthenon was build with Pentelic marble – bianco di penteli– is its name. Today an excavation at Pentelis Avenue 133 (among the streets Parnithos, Messinias and Lakonias and in distance about 80 meters from Halandri river) gives us details regarding the techniques used to carry the marble to Acropolis.

As for Immitos or Hymmetus, it was a famous mountain for its honey. Also, Kaisariani Monastery still stands there and its easily accessible by car. All mountains have unknown history and secrets that are waiting all of us to discover them. What you can also enjoy is the view to the sea of Saronikos from everywhere.

 

Everyone wants to explore Parthenon, Acropolis, Olympian Zeus temple, and Greece’s archeological treasures. But Greece is quite known for its Orthodox religion and around the city there are around 40 churches (!!!).

Plaka is a basis of this byzantine legacy buildings, most of them being dated around 11th century, the last period of Byzantine (Roman actually) empire’s glory.