By Helen-Marie Joyce
It’s that time of the year when temperatures begin to rise and all you can think about it is lazy moments on a beach. Well, if you’ve got your eye on Greece, you are looking in the right direction. But you don’t need to lock yourself down on an island, as you may be surprised to know that Athens, the capital city, is mostly coastal, capable of offering guests a holiday that has it all; a cosmopolitan atmosphere, rooftop picnics with landmark views, cultural excursions, beach days, and a bit of sailing too. Sound interesting? Read on about how to spend amazing holiday moments during your Summer in Athens .
Urban Experiences & Things To Do:
Spending some time in Athens city during the Summer, will prove to be a fantastic decision. The dazzling Greek sun plays a game of shadows and reflections, as it bounces back from ancient landmarks, revealing all their glory. Especially when witnessing the Acropolis, Athens’ most iconic site, you are overwhelmed by how imposing it is. If you consider its age and what it stood for, your soul will be flooded with awe. For this reason alone, it is worth staying in a hotel that can offer you landmark views. The Foundry Hotel Athens, an urban boutique luxury hotel, is one of the latest additions to the Athenian hospitality sector. Housed in a historical building in the colorful neighborhood of Psyrri, it has been renovated in line with industrial stylistics that pay homage to its previous use as a font foundry and printing house. Its amazing rooftop provides a unique setting for a picnic, doused with panoramic views over the entire city.
As for really experiencing Athens city’s highlights, the historic center is easy to explore even by foot. Built around the Acropolis, you will find the areas of Koukaki, Thiseio, Monastiraki, Plaka and Anafiotika, in additional to the aforementioned Psyrri. Walking around the perimeter of the ancient rock is pretty enjoyable, if you avoid the hours from midday until about 5 pm, when it can get a bit unbearable if you are not used to the heat. During these hours however, you can be smart about touring, and take a professional guided tour that will sort out your transfers as well as provide you with skip the line Athens tours that will earn you more time to spend on actual touring rather than queuing.
Beach Time & Moments At Sea:
For a beach day in Athens, visitors have plenty of options provided they are willing to rent a car or don’t mind taking a taxi ride to the outskirts. The Athenian Riviera is actually pretty long; it is around 70 km in total from Piraeus, the main port, to the enchanting area of Sounion, where the Temple of Poseidon stands auspiciously, commanding your full attention. In the in between, the regions of Glyfada, Voula, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza offer beach-goers plenty of choice, if not too much choice, when it comes to choosing a spot to soak up the sun rays and cool off in the sea. There are many organized beaches that offer sunbeds, parasols and refreshments bars. However, if its a real beach party atmosphere you are looking for, Varkiza is the best for this type of situation. With two beach bars that play summer beats and serve delicious cocktails, as well as having many restaurants and watersports centers.
For those who seek more than a day under the sun, one of the major attributes of Athens is that it can be ...sailing-off point for some incredible sailing experiences. And there is really so many itineraries to choose from. The Saronic islands are the closest to Athens, namely, Spetses, Hydra and Poros, but you can probably visit these within a day or two. For combining a longer cruise that takes you to a handful of destinations that would be impossible to visit any other way, a classical Greece cruise covers 8 destinations, including both island and mainland locations that are brimming with history. All things considering, sailing is the fastest, most efficient way to explore the enormity of Greece’s diverse natural and cultural allure.
So you see, a ‘Summer In Athens’ need not be just a short stop. Enjoy what the city has to offer culture, delicious food and always, the sea.
Helen-Marie Joyce is an SEO and Creative Copywriter. She is a Greek-American who specializes in travel and destination marketing in Greece. Having traveled within Greece and abroad, she has gained many priceless experiences while discovering new cultures with visuals that will remain etched in the mind for years to come, She has a true passion for writing, to express her feelings, thoughts and reflections, as well as convey as vividly as possible, pictures made of words, of the places she considers worth visiting.