It is well-known the fact that Greeks are one of the most hospitable and full of life nations in the world; however, the tumult, the rhythm and the spirit of locals in Athens and across the region can become overwhelming at a time. Athens is a popular tourist destination because of its fascinating and rich ancient history and, in addition, for its boundless dynamism, becoming one of the most spectacular cities to visit in the Mediterranean region. Do you usually go to Greece to enjoy the dolce far niente on the islands? No one will blame you, but do not avoid the Greek capital. And if you feel you need a break from the hype and bustle of the city, you have a few suggestions for day trips in Athens, that will spare you the chaos and agitation. So this is what you can do during your stay there:
Aegina Island – is a favorite escape for locals and probably will become the same for you. The streets of the island are full of small restaurants and shops, while one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean is only a stone’s throw from this area. Nearby there is a water park, so the trip is great for little ones as well.
Epidavros – although it is one of the most modern cities of Greece, here you will find the most beautiful archaeological sites throughout the region, including Ancient Theater of Epidaurus. This place is a small port city, famous for its orange groves.
Hydra – easily reached from Athens, this beautiful island is worth visiting, as well as worth exploring everything it has to offer. The trip by ferry from Piraeus to Hydra lasts for about two hours, so it would be better to dedicate a full day to this trip. Since its arrival here, you will immediately notice the many taxis pulled by donkeys waiting for tourists who have just descend from the ferry.
Marathon – although locals do not see this destination as one of the most popular, it is still a good choice, being close to Athens, and it is very quiet and peaceful. Marathon is where Greece won the war against the Persian Empire, so it has a historical significance, besides the mythical link to the famous race of Pheidippides, who was sent to Athens to announce victory. For a relaxing afternoon, visit the dam and the lake that represents the main water supply of the city of Athens. In addition, there are small restaurants just down the road in the village of Oropos.
Lake Vouliagmeni- within an hour’s drive from Athens, there is the community around Lake Vouliagmeni, which offers some of the best beaches in the region and an excellent spa. Here are some restaurants where you can best serve huge delicious platters of seafood in the area. Nearby, there are the ruins of the Temple of Apollo. In addition, there are many buses circulating throughout the day all around Athens.
So, even if you have just one day, if you take our piece of advice and organize yourself wisely, you will cover most of the important sites of Athens.
Photo source: Picture 1: lonelyplanet.com; Picture 2: athensguide.com; Picture 3: mcsmith.blogs.com; Picture 4: evermorecruises.com; Picture 5: greece.greekreporter.com; Picture 6: intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com; Picture 7: holidaygreece.eu