There’s a reason why millions of travellers flock to Greece every year — enchanted with its unique charm which graciously spreads across the myriad of islands dotting its historical land. Most stop in Athens for a short while, curious to get a glimpse into its magnificent past. For many, Athens is the final destination where they experience a glorious feeling right at home in this majestic capital. Athens is a city for all seasons and styles. Here are our reasons why the Attica region is so much more than a stop-over destination.
Discover Athens: 8 Top Things To Do on a Staycation in Attica
The trick to enjoying a staycation in Attica is making the most of your time by carefully planning your itinerary. The choice of activities and places of interest can seem overwhelming. Ancient temples, stunning scenery, breathtaking beaches, contemporary museums and world-class dining scene — are just a few of the reasons why Attica is a hotspot for 2018 travel. If this hasn’t convinced you yet, wait until you experience your first sunset.
1. Experience History & Culture
Travel back in time to one of the oldest cities in the world — Athens, with a colorful history dating back to more than 3,000 years.
The entire capital is a living museum from the imposing Acropolis a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which stands proudly reminding of the ancient Greek civilization, to the Ancient Agora a prominent cultural and religious centre of ancient Athens, and the Panathenaic Stadium, one of the oldest stadiums in the world where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. Athens is filled with historical monuments and sites around every corner. Spend hours wandering the labyrinthine streets, soaking in the neoclassical architecture or simply seek out the best spot to watch the crowds go by.
For a hands-on approach to art visit one of the numerous contemporary museums. The recent addition to the Athenian landscape is the National Museum of Modern Art (EMST), housed in an old brewery this spacious and modern space has taken Athens’ art scene to an elevated level.
Another wonderful experience is a visit to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center — with its expansive public park, art gallery and visitor’s center, it’s a new architectural gem of Athens.
2. Entertainment: Musical Festivals and Shows
The region of Attica offers an abundance of events which are held at iconic Athenian venues throughout the year. From renowned opera singers, to world’s best performers can be enjoyed under the starry Athenian sky at the ancient theatre of Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
Athens’ premier music hall Megaron hosts numerous world-class performances throughout the year. During the summer months visitors may also enjoy one of the leading cultural festivals in the world — the Athens and Epidaurus Festival which has been running for over 50 years.
3. Gastronomic Feast
Athens’ dynamic and fast-growing culinary scene is ready to cater to all tastes and ages. From traditional to funky, innovative and healthy, be sure to try the city’s diverse culinary offerings. A visit to the old Varvakios Agora will bring you into the heart of ancient stoas, historical buildings and lively stalls selling everything from spices, fruits, vegetables, meat and fish.
Some of the most traditional dishes are served up inside the market’s oldest restaurant where the interior feels like you are joining the locals for a hearty meal at home. If you fancy something more haute-cuisine, Athens offers a plethora of exceptional Michelin-starred restaurants which dot the city’s culinary scene. For a memorable meal by the sea head-out to the port of Piraeus where you will encounter numerous tavernas serving fresh catch of the day.
Witness the signature Athenian sunset over the Acropolis in one of the trendy rooftop bars serving refreshing and innovative cocktails where you can sit back, relax and marvel at the views of the floodlit Acropolis.
4. Wellness retreat
If you are looking to relax and rejuvenate, a wellness retreat in Attica comprises of great places to escape from your daily routine. From numerous hammam venues located in the heart of Athens, to luxurious spa resorts and natural springs — you will find everything you need for the most relaxing holiday in Greece.
One of the hidden gems of the Athenian Riviera is the Vouliagmeni Lake, an idyllic landscape with underwater tunnels and caves, one of the longest in the world.
5. Discover the Athenian Riviera
A short 20-minute drive from the centre of Athens will bring you to the scenic coast known as the Athenian Riviera lined with beautiful Blue Flag awarded beaches and world-class resorts. The coastal road with breathtaking views of the rocky cliffs and the Aegean Sea stops at the Temple of Poseidon, situated on the southernmost tip of the Attica region. Make sure to reach here by sunset to witness one of the most spectacular sites in the world. If you stay on the road driving a little further you will reach Lavrion, a coastal town known for its rich mining industry since the ancient times. The area’s fish market was one of the best in Athens, today most of it has been converted into small tavernas serving seafood, meze and ouzo.
6. Active holidays in Athens
Athens offers a plethora of active holiday opportunities. Discover the breathtaking views of Athens from above by hiking to one of the most scenic hilltops — Ymittos which features numerous hiking trails. Natural lovers might also like to explore the National Park of Parnitha, the highest mountain in Athens.
In late September the area is full of deer roaming the mountain peaks in small groups. Water-sports enthusiasts can enjoy plenty of adrenaline pumped activities in the coastal towns of the Athenian Riviera.
7. Island-hop to the nearby Saronic Islands
If you want to discover more of Greece during your staycation in Attica you can hop on a vessel and visit one of the nearby Saronic Islands. We recommend that you charter a luxury private yacht for the ultimate Greek sailing experience to Hydra, Poros and Aegina. On Hydra you will soak in the elegant beauty of the island which has long inspired artists and Hollywood movie stars, a picturesque Greek island known for its car-free policy. An island ruled by cats and donkeys is absolutely mesmerizing and full of charm.
8. Shopping in Athens: Boutiques and More
Athens shopping scene offers everything your heart desires, from high luxury brands like Hermès to small artisan shops selling unique Greek designs. Tucked between the streets of Plaka you will come across numerous shops selling everything from souvenirs, art, clothes to delicious gastronomic delights.
We hope that you enjoyed our guide to the 8 Top Things To Do on a Staycation in Attica. See you in Athens in 2018?