This is not only an extraordinary greek summer-in-the-city experience, but also a classic, all-time ctiy habit that goes on from generation to generation.
Open-air cinema have a nostalgic atmosphere, bringing the new, modern, metropolitan era close to its semi-urban past.
Large screens on yards, terraces, gardens all over Athens, surrounded by plants jasmines and nightflowers, comfortable chairs and tables spread for people to enjoy drinks and snacks while watching, cool night summer breeze....
All films come with greek subtitles and keep original voice/sound, so as long as you can speak/listen to english, you will have no problem watching most of them
tickets: €5-8 per person, depending on the day
Most interesting dowtown open-air cinemas :
1) Cine Thissio - Apostolou Pavlou 7, Thisio Tel: 210 3420864 http://cine-thisio.gr/
view to the Parthenon
2) Cine Paris - Kidathinaion 22, Plaka, Tel: 210 3222071 http://www.cineparis.gr/cine_uk.php - Athens; favourite terrace and wonderful movie poster collection
3) Dexameni, Dexameni Square, Kolonaki Tel: 210-3602363-210-3623942
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cine-Dexameni/127237247287870 -among the trees
4) Cine Psyrri Sarri 40-44, Psyrri, Athens 210 3247234 - plenty of seats and large bar for all!
5) Cine Riviera, Baltetsiou 46, Exarhia, Tel: 210 3837716 screen covered with jasmines, what a smell!
The artificial Lake of Marathon is a lake created to collect water for the supply of Athens. It's formed by the construction of Marathon Dam at the function of the streams Charadros and Barnabas and a few kilometers from the town of Marathon, Attica. The lake was the main water reserve for the supply of Athens since 1931, when it started to give water until 1959. In 1959 work began to supply connection from Yliki Lake, while since 1981 most of the water to irrigate the Greek capital comes from the artificial lake of Mornos. Today all water in Marathon's Lake wuld not be sufficient only for a few days in Athens water supply. The extent of the lake with water in the weir height is 2.45 tetr.kilometers (2450 acres) and its maximum dept is 54 meters. The lake collects water from an area called basin, 118 sq km extent km, with an average yield 14.400.000m3 per year with average annual rainfall of about 580 mm. The average volume of the lake is 12.000.000 m2, while the maximum volume (capacity) is 41.000.000 m3 (of which can be distilled 34 million). The dam's top is located at an altitude of 227 meters above sea level and the foot (base) at an altitude of 173 meters. However, the spilway lies at an altitude of 223 meters and this is the maximum altitude of the surface of the lake above the sea level. The spilway's provision is 520m3/sec . The dam was constructed by the American company ULEN (which kept under the contract ownership of water companies in the capital until 1974). The dam lasted from 1926 to 1929.
-Acropolis (Parthenon, the porch of the Caryatids, the museum, the theatre of Dionysos, and the theatre of Herodes Atticus) - old pretty spectacular ruins, great views.
-flea market-didnt think much of this at all, mainly people junk but i guess thats what a flea market is
-temple of zeus - aload of old ruins - i didnt pay to go in, just took pictures through the fence
-Panathenaic stadium-3 euro to get in, or just view it from the street, quite impressive ancient stadium refurb'd for the 1896 1st modern olympics and refurbed again to view now
-national gardens-pleasant gardens to walk around and avoid the city noise
-hadriens arch-right by temple of zeus - still in good condition, quite strange how it sits next to the busy modern road
-Filopappou hill-just south west of the Acropolis-worth the short walk up for great views of the city and acropolis and out to the aegean sea.
-Lykavittos hill-very strenuous walk in the heat but the rewards are great with 360 views of teh whole city and the acropolis. worth teh effort.
The Town of Marathon
Approximately 12 kms from Nea Makri we come to Marathonas.
Lovely Seafood restaurants, several traditional and cosy taverns and modern beach bars beautify the seafront in the town and just behind the crowded sandy beach stretches out for miles extending out to the beach of Schinias on the northern edge of the Bay backed by a famous strand of pine forest. In reality the whole of this coast along the Marathon Bay is basically one long beach. In some areas beach facilities are available for anyone who wants to use them but sun beds and umbrellas are quite expensive I can tell.
Orange KTEL buses run from Pedio of Areos (central Athens).
The cost is 3.70 euros and the trip lasts 90 minutes.
Links: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Patision 68, Kotsika 2, Athens 104 34, Fax 210 88 08 000
The Archaeological Museum of Marathon has a very interesting collection of ancient artifacts found in this general area including many relating to the 2490 BC Battle of Marathon. There are also some partly excavated burial chambers.
The Attica Zoo Park is in short distance (20 minutes drive) from Nea Makri and the hotel we stay.
I never expected it to be that big in the first place.
To be honest every time I hear of Zoos the picture I have in mind is of animals being captured and locked behind huge bars and cages and I have feelings of pity. In the past I have come across such zoos through my travels where I have seen animals suffering.
As we approach we see the Park from a distance and it really seems big. The Attica Zoological Park opened back in May 2000, initially as a Bird Park, hosting the 3rd largest bird collection in the world. Now that I see the park I begin to get anxious to pull into the parking lot and get inside. For seconds my heart beats like a child’s who cannot wait to get inside even though I have been to more than 15 different zoos all these years of travelling. The dolphins show is on in a few minutes and it is announced through loudspeakers as we lock the car doors and move towards the entrance to find parents and children waiting to pay the fee and get inside. There is excitement in the air, happy faces and huge smiles on kids’ faces.
I have a complimentary invitation and I show my VT Press Pass and we are soon inside. There is a pond of turtles on the right side of the entrance and just opposite, a pond with flamingos surrounded by blue grass, trees and bushes with several rabbits running and hiding behind rocks and wholes. The dolphin show is starting any moment and we don’t want to miss it. It is the Marine Mammals hour of educational presentation.
The show lasts approximately 30 minutes, and I cannot compare it of course to some other shows I have seen abroad especially the one in Port Elizabeth some years back which was amazing and it exceeded the 2 hours, but still this specific one did make the children happy and excited.
After the show we follow the map given to us at the entrance and spent the whole afternoon seeing the most amazing display of animals in their natural settings. They are ponds of fish and ducks surrounded by trees, plants and flowers and acres of large buildings with giant outdoor cages for the giraffes, zebras, and ostrich -some of them exceeding the size of a storey.
We are walking so close to parrots, eagles toucans, pelicans, storks and owls, ostriches, giraffes and zebras, see little penguins, wolves and big cats bears and giant turtles and so many more that for quite some time it was as if I was somewhere else but surely not in Attica. For more than 30 minutes I was walking on my own taking photos until my mobile rings. Walking is so pleasant and relaxing in this beautifully designed landscape with the pathways and alleys that you can forget where you really are.
Yianni wants to remind me that the gates will close shortly so I have to hurry. It was only after that phone call when I looked up and realized that I was not in another country but only in the midst of olive groves on the plains of Attica. I wished we could stay longer and I was a bit disappointed because I did not have the time to see it all.
It is a well run private zoo and the owner and curator is Mr. Jean-Jacques Lesueur. He and his wife are French and he is well known in Greece and I have seen him several times on TV. Today though he and his wife happen to be away and unfortunately I don’t have the chance to meet them.
His profound love for animals made him create a zoo where animals would be treated well. Since Greece was one probably the only European country without a proper zoo he set out on a mission that may one day make the Athens Zoological Park the yardstick to which all other zoos are measured when it comes to diversity and the humane treatment of the animals.
Being a private zoo it gets no funding from the Greek government but from the admission fees and the support of a few companies.
Through all these years of hard work the small zoo of those days has become by now Attica’s Zoological Park and it is a recognized member of EAZA –European Association of Zoos and Aquaria). The Park has established humane standards for keeping animals in captivity, their diet and health as well as the education of visitors and breeding programs for endangered species. It has become a place of entertainment and relaxation an oasis that meets demanding standards the standards and offers educational programmes and guided tours, thus creating awareness which is very important for the protection of the environment and animals in general.
Whether you have children or not the Attica Park is definitely worth a visit. It is a unique journey to the five continents through the lives of over 2.000 animals from 400 species.
Attica Zoological Park – Hours and Info
Park Hours: Everyday 9:00 to sunset
Entrance Fee: Adults: 15,00eu
Children 3-12: 11,00eu
Under 3: Free
Group over 25 people: 11,00eu
Nurseries - Play schools: 8,00eu
Primary - High schools: 9,00eu
Seniors (over 65): 11,00eu
Annual card for adults: 50,00eu
Annual card for children: 48,00eu
Location: At Yalou - Spata
Access By Bus: 319 from Doukissis Plakentias Metro Station or 319 from the Ministry of National Defense
From Attiki Odos: Exit 18 to Spata (From the Airport)
Exit 16P to Rafina (From Elefsina)
End of Attiki Odos towards Rafina (From Ymittos Ringroad)
Exhausted from your Greek adventures and facing a night-time layover at Athens airport?
Most people try to catch some shut-eye. But the seats in the downstairs part of the airport are metal and very uncomfortable. From personal experience, here is another suggestion: Go up to the second floor and stretch out on the comfy upholstered couches outside the restaurant (it closes down at night). When I was there, the whole upper floor was quiet and empty.
Before you doze off, visit the archaeology museum, also on the second floor. It is small but moderately interesting, and helps to put some of what you've seen in context. It is certainly better than sitting around twiddling your thumbs.
Mikrolimano is the second largest yacht marina and a very popular location in Piraeus famous for its seafood restaurants and tavernas. The restaurants in this area are not the cheapest though but the location is idyllic -probably this is what the restaurants take advantage of!!
Take the train or tram and come to Piraeus. From the train station take a taxi and go there as it is not a long ride.
From Passalimani one can come here by trolley and get off at Cavo Doro stop. They have to go down on foot though because the trolley does not get down the marina. The views are amazing and all this area under the hill of Kastella is full of numerous bars and cafeterias.
The coast of Vouliagmeni
There are a few beaches which are free here, but for the most beautiful and popular, beaches with umbrellas and sun beds there is an entrance fee. The cost seems expensive to me, however it is not if one plans to spend the entire day out there. Lots of water sports take place in the beautiful bay throughout the day even when summer is over. There are several sports clubs by the coast and it seems that the bay is always active.
There are many restaurants mostly serving sea food around, however don’t expect to find shops here. It is mostly restaurants and café bars.
Surfers are out when it is windy as usual, and it was truly windy and very cold the day we were there.
Two of the beaches worth mentioning are those of Laimos and Asteras which offer rooms and showers, eating facilities as well as beds and umbrellas. Both beaches have access for the disabled.
The Marina of Vouliagmeni is full of beautiful boats and yachts in the Gulf of Saronikos. It is located in the west part of Attica region and on the Laimos Peninsula.
It is just 2 kms from Vouliagmeni and south of Athens.
Its maximum depth is 5.5 metres and it remains open 24 hours the year round. It is only 20 Kms from Piraeus port and sailors here are available to offer their services and assist the boats upon request.
The day I came here it was very windy, but still it was so beautiful!
Kavouri is a few kms from Vouliagmeni, and it is one of the spots that I truly love.
It is a beautiful coast with pine trees for romantic walks the year round.
The beach is very popular in the summer months, and you can come here from Athens by bus.
On warm weekends many are those who come here to enjoy a day out, have lunch or dinner at the restaurant and enjoy a stroll.
Don’t miss visiting the Lake of Vouliagmeni when you come here. It is a natural lake in reality fed by underground caves and with a year-round temperature of 25 degrees Celsius.
The water in the lake is well known for its therapeutic properties in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism, gynecological ailments and neuralgia. The region took its name from the Lake and the word Vouliagmeni means “sunken area”. Some of the underground caves collapse and many of them connect with the sea. Corrosive solution of limestone by rainwater creates very easily karstic phenomena, exactly what has happened with the Lake of Vouliagmeni.
The Fethiye Mosque (Greek: Φετιχιέ τζαμί; Turkish: Fethiye Camii,
Since then it was used mostly as a storage place for various finds from the excavations in the Agora and the Acropolis of Athens.
The mosque has never undergone a restoration and has serious static problems
The Areios Pagos (the Hill of Ares or Curses) is one of the three hills of historic importance in Athens. This one is situated to the northwest of the Acropolis and it is where the high Court of Appeal for criminal and civil cases was located. There’s not a whole lot to see… when it stopped being a court, the hill was “visited” by Paul the Apostle, who is said to have preached there in 54 BC when in Athens (see the tablet commemorating his visit) and don’t miss the lines of Mycenaean tombs.
The Thissio neighbourhood in Athens is very interesting and pleasant to visit: it's located south-west of Monastiraki and it is famousfor it numerous cafés and bars. Moreover from there you can have excellent views over the Acropolis.
The best thing about this area is that it is not as touristy as the Plaka, and doesn't have shops selling tourist "crap"... the wonderful pedestrianised Apostolou Pavlou is only home to places where you can eat and drink, not shop - hence there's more locals than tourists.
I recommend this area for sightseeing, too - as you can find there a few interesting historical monuments: the ancient Agora, the National Observatory and the cemetery of Ancient Athens - as well as some interesting churches.
While visiting St. George on the Lycabettus hill, I dropped by the Saint Isidori little church with the cave and shrine.
It is the little church where we had our wedding ceremony years back and after so many years it was very touchy for me. People were gathering and the bell was ringing while I made my way up the little church in the cave.
This little church is very close to the large parking lot of the Lykabettus theatre. It was a concert night and people were gathering as I was walking towards it. There is a leading sign showing the way.
If out there, do drop by. It is worth visiting!
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