Athens with its rich history must be visited at least once in a lifetime. But the attraction of the Greek capital is not only in its heritage. It is a convenient starting point for day trips to nearby attractions. What to see in the vicinity of Athens and not spend a lot of time on the road?
Eleusis is a city with an ancient history dating back to the Neolithic era. In 1882, archaeological excavations were carried out here, which turned it into an interesting site to visit. On the territory of Eleusis you can see:
- Many architectural monuments: ruins of sanctuaries, megaron, necropolis, public buildings, propylaea;
- Remains of the sacred road that led from Eleusis to Athens . A procession of the Eleusinian mysteries walked along it;
- Ancient Roman buildings, including a temple and triumphal arches.
Unlike Athens, Eleusis rarely has crowds of tourists. Here you can safely walk and touch the past. You should definitely visit the Eleusis Museum. It has a rich collection of archaeological finds, including ceramics, sculptures, bas-reliefs, sarcophagi.
Location: 20 km from Athens
How to get there: by buses A16 and B16 from Plateia Eleftherias or 876 from the metro stations "Egaleo" and "Agia Marina", as well as by buses 845 and 871 from Piraeus. Or by car, the journey takes only 20 minutes
Important information: the archaeological area is open daily (except Tuesday) from 8:30 to 16:00
Due to its healing properties, Vouliagmeni Lake has received the status of a protected natural landmark. Located in an idyllic location surrounded by rocks, it is fed by natural springs 50-100 m deep and is connected to the sea, so the water in the lake is salty and constantly renewed. In the past, Vouliagmeni was attracted mainly by the older generation of Greeks suffering from joint diseases. Today, everything is different: here you can meet people of different generations who want to relax surrounded by natural beauties with benefits for the whole body, because Vouliagmeni water is rich in potassium, iron, iodine and sodium. The beach around Vouliagmeni is well organized with sun loungers and umbrellas. Taverns work here, hydrotherapy services are available.
Location: 25 km from Athens
How to get there: by buses No. 115, 117 and 122 or by intercity bus KTEL to Sounio (get off at the Limni stop)
The city of Acharnes is not the most obvious and popular destination for a short trip from Athens. But still there are several interesting sights:
- Museum of Folk Art, founded in 1977 by the local climbing society. It contains archaeological, historical and folklore collections;
- Archaeological Museum of Acharnes, founded by order of Melina Mercouri. It operates in the central square of the city and is housed in a neoclassical building (former town hall);
- An ancient Mycenaean tomb discovered by German archaeologists in 1879;
- The monastery of St. Paraskeva is a place of pilgrimage for believers, founded in 1935.
Location: 15 km from Athens
How to get there: by train from Athens railway station
Parnita National Park
A trip to Acharnes can be combined with a visit to Parnita National Park. This idyllic area attracts those who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital, get some fresh air and admire the untouched landscapes of pine forests. In summer, you can go trekking, climbing and canyoning, have a picnic or go cycling. In winter, go skiing. In addition to nature, Parnita attracts with its historical heritage: it is worth visiting the cave of Pan, the fortress of Fili, the monastery of St. Cyprian and Justina.
Location: 40 km from Athens
How to get there: by train to Acharnes and then by rental car, bus or taxi
In ancient times, Marathon was part of the union of four cities, in history it became famous for the Battle of Marathon (one of the largest land battles), and in mythology for the marathon bull that Theseus killed. Today it is a small picturesque town where you can visit the Plateian Hill with a park, mounds and an archaeological museum. It exhibits interesting finds discovered at the site of the Battle of Marathon. Lovers of natural beauty will appreciate the artificial lake - an ideal place for walking, outdoor recreation and picnics. The lake is located 8 km from the city center.
Location: 47 km from Athens
How to get there: by intercity bus from Mavromateon street, which leaves every hour. Buses run from 6:00 to 22:00. Travel time - 90 minutes, ticket price - 3.40 euros. By car - much easier, choose your option in the car rental aggregator and go on a trip without time reference to buses.
When thinking about what to see around Athens, one should not forget about the islands. One of them is Salamis, quite popular with the Athenians, but retaining the traditional provincial spirit. This is a great destination for a relaxing holiday with access to any infrastructure. Of the attractions on Salamis, you need to have time to visit the Museum of Folk Art, the Faneromeni Monastery of the 17th century, the cave and theater of Euripides, as well as the Archaeological Museum with a rich collection of artifacts.
Location: 40 minutes by sea from Athens
How to get there: by ferry from the port of Piraeus every day (except Sunday)
Important information: you can combine a trip to Salamis with a visit to Aegina. Ferries run frequently between the two islands during the summer.
Glyfada is one of the most picturesque suburbs of Athens and a place of attraction for many famous Greeks. It is worth coming here for the pristine beaches that have earned the Blue Flag, excellent taverns and a relaxed atmosphere. Of the attractions in Glyfada, you can visit the Church of St. Constantine and Helena, laid out of white stone and keeping rare icons, the Blender Gallery with a collection of works by contemporary artists, the Exoni Theater and the ruins of an early Christian basilica.
Location: 12 km from Athens
How to get there: from Syntagma by bus X96 or by tram, reminiscent of a mini train
Important information: in Glyfada there is a well-known golf club in Greece. Here you can improve your skills or take lessons from professionals.
Monastery of Daphne
Resting in Athens, there is an opportunity to visit one of the best preserved Byzantine monasteries in Greece - Daphne. It was built in the 6th century on the site of the sanctuary of Apollo, from which a single Ionic column has survived. The main cross-domed temple appeared later - in the 11th century, and magnificent mosaics - in the 12th. Judging by the quality of the mosaic paintings, they were made on the orders of the emperor himself by highly skilled artisans who were sent from Constantinople. For its historical and cultural value, the monastery of Daphni is included in the UNESCO heritage list.
Location: 9 km from Athens
How to get there: better by car, because otherwise you need several transfers: take the metro to the Agia Marina station, and then transfer to bus number 866 to the monastery or take a taxi. Distance from the station - 3.5 km
Important information: the monastery is open only on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:00 to 14:00, admission is free.
Although you can get to all these places by public transport, the journey can take a long time due to waiting and transfers. Often you need to take an additional taxi from the stop or walk a lot. It is much easier and faster to move around Athens in your car. Car rental in Athens is a service that will make your trip easy. Look at real photos of cars and choose a car at the best price!