Travelling in Greece, Attica

Attica

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion)

The region of Attica is geographically divided into two main parts: the capital of Greece with its suburbs and the rest of Attica. Athens, the cultural and intellectual center of antiquity, stands out for its six thousand years of history. It is the birthplace of Democracy and Liberty, the city where thousands of scientists and philosophers have opened the eyes of other nations through their work and research and it is one of the cities that created Greek civilization. Its name comes from the goddess Athena (beloved daughter of Zeus), goddess of wisdom and protector of the city.

Attica is washed by the waters of the Euboean Gulf to the northeast, the Petalic Gulf to the east and the Sardonic Gulf to the south. In fact, it is an area of more than 3,800 square kilometers, connecting the Archipelago and the Balkan Peninsula. Its neighbors are the Peloponnesus and Megarida to the west and Boeotia to the north. In antiquity, Attica was called no other name than “coastal country”, which fully reflects its location on the shores of the three bays of the Aegean Sea.

Agios Nikolaos, Glyfada

Agios Nikolaos, Glyfada

Beaches of Attica

Local resorts delight their guests with well-kept beaches and a huge number of all kinds of entertainment. The majority of tourists, who want to fully enjoy their Greek summer, choose the hotels of the Athens Riviera as their place of beach “doing nothing”. The following resorts and towns of Attica are very popular among Russian tourists:

  • Lagonissi: lemon shady groves, golden sand, sunny aura, uplifting and clear sea water – what else do people crave for quality tan and pleasant memories. The resort is considered ideal for those who come to Greece with their family. Lagonissi has prepared for them cozy and inexpensive hotels, various fun options, all kinds of entertainment on the water.
  • Glyfada: It is a resort of Attica, aimed at tourists who prefer high-class European rest in luxury hotels. In Glyfada you will find long golf courses, numerous establishments that open their doors at night, luxury boutiques and luxurious restaurants. The infrastructure of the city is really high quality and very developed, so here, as a rule, are entertained the “cream” of European society and quite well-off tourists, who do not count the costs of their holiday in Attica.
  • Sounion: a Greek resort, famous primarily for fans of effective rejuvenation and recovery procedures. Local health resorts and hotel centers use the newest preparations from the field of cosmetology. They are created on the basis of flowers and herbs, gathered in Attica, seaweed and salts, and unique minerals, found only in this part of Greece. Perhaps Sunion has the most to offer to those who want to relax in the relaxing Jacuzzis and special pools with “water elixir” programs.
  • Loutraki: also a popular resort among fans of healthy lifestyles in Attica, on the territory of which there are a lot of hydropathic resorts. They use a variety of thermal waters – alkaline, chlorine containing in the required quantity, radon. The effect of thermal baths and therapeutic procedures is supplemented by magnificent natural landscapes and mild climate, maintained all year round. Your sanity and physical strength will be restored in no time at Lutraki!
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The Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion

Athens Hotels

The Athens Gate Hotel

The hotel is located in the historic district of Athens, right opposite the Temple of Zeus the Olympic and the Hadrian’s Arch. Read more

Book with an exclusive 5% discount from Grecomania

Hera Hotel Athens

The hotel is conveniently located right at the foot of the Acropolis, a stone’s throw from the New Museum and world-class archaeological sites. Learn more

Extra Discount from Grecomania

The Artist Athens Hotel

In the heart of Athens, in the Psirri district, an industrial building is transformed into an urban art hotel, The Artist Athens. Read more

Up to 25% hotel discount, plus 5% additional discount

Sightseeing

The lands here are full of legends and ancient myths, and they literally come alive before the admiring eyes of travelers. It’s not hard to travel around these sites and take your eyes and mind back to a time when Greece was ruled not by mortal men but by the mighty gods of antiquity. We’ll show you the best of Attica:

  • Temple of Poseidon: a unique structure on Cape Sounion, where in olden times Greeks offered sacrifices to the formidable and fickle in his mood god of the sea in an attempt to placate him. The sanctuary is striking with its slender columns framing the massive temple building. This combination of subtlety and power represents the union of sea and land.
  • Daphne Monastery: For many tourists, this is the main attraction of Attica, located about 11 kilometers from the city of Athens. The monastery was built on the site of the pagan sanctuary of Apollo of Daphne in the 6th century. At present Daphne Monastery has the status of a historical monument and is visited daily by thousands of visitors to Greece. Daphne is a small piece of land in the middle of the Sardonic Gulf with crystal-clear sea water and luxurious beaches. This island in Attica is known for the fact that more than 360 temples have been built on it. Now, of course, many of them are no longer standing, but the historical buildings are still there, which fully satisfy the aesthetic and cultural expectations of tourists who love antiquity. There is also the slightly mystical Paleochora, called “the ghost town”, which has not been inhabited for decades.
  • The Temple of Demeter (Museum): located in Eleusin, fascinates tourists with its special aura. Our guides will tell you all about the ancient rituals and the purposes for which they were performed.
  • Immitos mountain: What attracts travelers is not the mountain itself, but the monastery hidden on it. It is hidden from curious eyes by cypress forests, and very close to it flows a magical spring, which is considered therapeutic. To vacation in Attica and not visit this mountain is simply unreal. The island of Attica attracts hundreds of thousands of travelers who fall in love with it when they see its images on the pages of glossy magazines, printed just for the potential guests of the local resorts. It is not cheap to rest and relax here, Idra has long been considered an elite place, which the Greek nouveau riche took a fancy to.
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Athens Acropolis Monument to Socrates in front of the Academy of Sciences in Athens

And, of course, it is necessary to take enough time to see the main city of Attica, Athens, with its ultra-modern centers of commerce, ancient structures, ancient sculptures and other unusual things.

On the outskirts of Attica there are beautiful beaches: Lutzas, Nea Makri and Porto Rafti, Porto Hermeno, Loutraki and Psata, the picturesque Lake Vouliagmeni, charming cafes and restaurants with magnificent views.

To the northeast is the Penteli Cave, famous for its stalactites and marble (Pentelic marble), which was used to create the Parthenon.

Physical maps of Attica

Map of Athens - Piraeus district

Detailed physical map of Attica and Pireas Download as .pdf (6.1mb)

Map of downtown Athens

Detailed physical map of downtown Athens Download in .pdf (1.4mb)

Attica – getting to know the central region of Greece: climate, resorts, prices of holidays in Attica, how to get to the main sights and beaches

Attica is the real heart of Greece, the birthplace of the statehood and where the capital of the country, Athens, is located.

In ancient Greek Attica means “coastal country”. Attica is a peninsula with three sides of the Aegean Sea gulfs: the Evian Gulf in the north-east, the Petalic Gulf in the east and the Saronic Gulf in the south.

The area of Attica is approximately 3,800 km2. Despite the proximity of the sea, the climate of the region is quite dry and is perfect for tourists, who do not tolerate the heat.

The relief of Attica is predominantly mountainous, but there are many fertile valleys with olive, orange and lemon groves and vineyards. Administratively Attica includes four nomes: Athens, Piraeus, East Attica and West Attica.

Contents

Athens

One of the most important and popular cities in Greece

Athens is one of the world’s most fascinating cities, combining the business-like nature of the capital, the charm of a popular resort and the romance of a gray-haired past.

How much does it cost to travel:

  • By subway from the airport to the center of Athens, 8 euros;
  • By train: 6 euros;
  • By KTEL bus: 5 euros;
  • By cab – about 35 euros during the day and 50 euros at night.
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Nome Athens includes the city of the same name and its surroundings. Of all the Greek cities popular with tourists, Athens is probably the easiest to get to because it has the largest airport in Greece. Near the airport is a metro station.

In Athens, every stone is interesting. In the city there are about 250 museums. The greatest concentration of city sights is on the Acropolis, one of the two famous Athenian hills.

The Parthenon is one of Athens' best known sights

Here is the Parthenon. Another interesting hill is Lycabetus, on top of which is the Church of St. George.

Even for tourists who prefer to travel by rented car, we strongly recommend a visit to Athens Metro, many of whose stations are originally designed and turned into small museums, where archaeological finds discovered during the construction of tunnels are exhibited.

Very interesting and the old city – Plaka. In the center of Athens, on Syntagma (Constitution Square) rises the building of the Parliament. Nearby is the picturesque Zappio Park and a little further – the Arch of Hadrian and the ruins of the temple of Zeus the Olympic.

In the city center: a lot of stores selling souvenirs, antiques. You can buy clothes or shoes at reasonable prices in the shopping centers of Kifissia and Kolonaki. Experienced guides advise tourists not to go into the emigrant quarter of Omonia, located near the city center.

Athens is in season in late May

The temperature in Athens rarely drops below +5 0C at night and +12 0C during the day, even in January.

The average temperature of the sea water in January +17 0C. Bathing season begins in late May (water temperature +20 – +22 0C) and ends in November. During the peak season, in August, the sea warms up to +26 0C.

The air temperature in August is +33 – +35 0C. So after taking a look at the local beauty spots, it is very nice to swim in the sea.

The beaches around Athens – a huge variety. Many of them are free: Faliron, Rocket, Glyfada-1, Glyfada-2. The beach of Alimos is also popular. The beaches of Athens are landscaped.

The clearest lake in Greece is Vouliagmeni

At a distance of 21 km from the center of Athens is a thermal lake Vouliagmeni. The waters of the lake are curative. Many people come to the resort of Vouliagmeni for the treatment of joints, skin and gynecological diseases.

In addition to the hope of recovery, tourists are attracted to Vulyagmeni by the amazing beauty of the area. The lake is separated from the sea by a narrow strip of land about 100 meters wide.

That’s why if you want you can swim in the sea (the beach in Vulyagmeni is free) as well as in the lake. There are many local legends connected with the lake, and at the bottom there is a whole system of karst caves, which are of interest to divers.

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Glyfada is a luxurious tourist town

Another suburb of Greater Athens is the town of Glyfada. It is a true center of luxury, which is home to those who prefer to get the maximum comfort for a lot of money.

For the abundance of expensive villas and residences, Glyfada is called the Attic Riviera.

Glyfada has comfortable beaches, but many tourists come to buy in the expensive stores, or to visit the renowned restaurants and nightclubs in Glyfada. Glyfada also has yacht clubs, diving clubs and golf clubs.

Piraeus

Piraeus is one of the largest ports of the Mediterranean Sea. It is located just 10 km from Athens and is considered a satellite city of the capital. But like any port city, Piraeus has its own face.

You must visit it to see the big ships, the buzz of the port, to try the finest seafood in one of the many taverns.

Prices in Piraeus are much lower than in the capital: a dinner for two costs 5 – 15 euros. The climate in the city is the same as in Athens, but Piraeus has few beaches – the influence of the proximity to the port.

The only really clean and comfortable beach is the beach Votsalakia (free of charge) located between two bays of Pireas: Microlimano and Pasalimani (Zea Marina).

Holy Trinity Cathedral in Piraeus

Lovers of antiquity will surely be interested in the picturesque ruins of the ancient city, which are located in the basements of the cathedral of the Holy Trinity, as well as the archaeological museum and the nearby ancient theater of Zea.

It is also worth climbing one of the hills of the Kastella district of Piraeus for a view of Athens and the Saronic Gulf.

South of Piraeus, an hour away from Athens, on the impregnable Cape Sounion, stand the majestic ruins of the Temple of Poseidon.

According to the legend, it is here that King Aegeus threw himself into the sea. Tourists from all over the world gather at Sounion Cape: it is believed that if you make a wish at Poseidon’s temple at sunset, it will certainly come true.

Western Attica

Eleusin - Western Attica

The west coast of Attica offers many resorts, some of them in the suburbs of Athens: Peramatos, Peristeri, Moschato.

In 23 kilometers from Athens lies the large (by Greek standards) city of Eleusin. The city is very famous thanks to the Eleusinian tragedies that took place in the well preserved temple of Demeter (1 km. from it to Eleusine).

Not far from the temple, near the town of Peania, there is a cave of natural origin Koutouki with several halls where you can see the most beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.

Lagonissi - for the quiet holiday lovers

One of the most famous resorts of Western Attica is the city of Lagonissi, 40 km. from Athens and 20 km. from Athens International Airport.

The peninsula of Lagonissi is famous for being the holiday destination of choice for the discouraged and stressed-out Athenians.

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A holiday in Lagonissi is considered a prestigious resort. Here the water is surprisingly clear and the beaches are covered with silky golden sand. Look for noisy entertainment in Lagonissi as you can find it all in Athens.

The value of Lagonissi is that it allows you to enjoy the sea, the sun and the beautiful nature unhurriedly and comfortably.

On the beaches of Lagonissi, there are lots of amusements and diving centers. From Lagonissi it is very convenient to travel on excursions in southern Greece.

Eastern Attica

Porto Rafti - Eastern Attica

In eastern Attica there are also a number of resorts: Nea Makri, Mati, Porto Rafti, Rafina, Vrvarona and Loutraki.

Porto Rafti is convenient because it’s a 15-minute drive from Athens airport. The resorts of Mati and Nea Makri are located where the Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC (40 km from Athens).

The best beach in the area of Marathon is the sandy Schinias. Nea Makri is known for discos, entertainment venues and a vibrant nightlife. Mati is chosen by those who like a quiet family vacation in the lap of nature.

Rafina, the port of Greece

Rafina is the second largest port in Greece, after Piraeus. From Rafina, you can easily reach the island of Evia, which is connected to the mainland by a fifteen-meter wide drawbridge.

According to the legend, Zeus and Hera were once married on Evia. Tourists will be interested in the Euboean dolmens (Dragon’s House) and the fortress of the Venetian period.

Loutraki - Famous for its healing springs

Loutraki is a fairly young town in Greece. It owes its appearance to the fashion for mineral water in the 19th century.

The springs of Loutraki are really healing: their chemical composition is similar to the waters of the French Vichy.

The hydrotherapy center of Loutraki treats diseases: cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, liver failure, gynecology, eczema and psoriasis.

Loutraki is located on the shore of the Corinthian Gulf, 80 km from Athens. Loutraki boasts the largest casino on the entire Balkan Peninsula. Loutraki is also famous for its large number of nightclubs, taverns and restaurants.

Loutraki beaches are pebbly, the beach is flat. In Lutraki, you can choose a hotel for any taste: from five-star to inexpensive family-run hotels. From Loutraki you can easily go on excursions to Corinth and Delphi.

The best vacation for the whole family in Attica

To fall in love with Greece, you must visit Attica, with its mild climate, gentle sun and a rich history.

If you can’t afford to rest in the luxurious Glyfada, don’t worry: you can always find accommodation in more democratic Piraeus or located a little further Loutraki.

Daily accommodation for one person in a fairly comfortable hotel, depending on its location, will cost from 25 to 50 euros.

Moreover, couples with children, older people who prefer a quiet atmosphere and noisy and windy young people can have a great vacation in Attica.

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