The ancient city of Athens – capital of Greece – is known as the birthplace of modern civilisation, and once the historical capital of Europe and the birthplace of democracy. On Athens holidays, you’ll discover the enthralling history that courses through UNESCO World Heritage Sites dating back thousands of years.
Shrouded in myth and mystery, the ruined ancient world is all around you during holidays to Athens. Rising high above the city is the Acropolis, with its famed Parthenon and temples, where, according to legend, Athena and Poseidon held a contest to see who would possess control of Athens. Poseidon created a saltwater spring by throwing down his trident; Athena created an olive tree.
In recent years, the city has been infused with new life and a vibrant arts hub has sprung up in the shadow of the Acropolis. Filled with galleries, cafés, hip shops and start-ups, Kerameikos-Metaxourgeio is well worth exploring if you get the chance during your holiday to Athens.
The site of Olympia should also be at the top of your list of places to visit. This medieval town has an important role in Greek history and played host to the world’s first ever Olympic Games. But there’s also plenty of time on our holidays in Athens to explore the city’s forests, mountains and picturesque coastline, where you can get closer to the native wildlife and nature or swim in a deserted cove. And don’t forget to make time for visiting one of the traditional Greek tavernas on your holiday to Athens to sample the local ouzo and mezze.
Holidays to Athens
8 DaysfromCAD 2,379
Guided Group (Incl. Taxes)
Discover Evia with walks through coastal paths, forests and gorges
Visit The Acropolis: Known as the ‘Sacred Rock’, The Acropolis is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world and in Greek history. This is a must-see destination on any holiday to Athens as it takes you on a journey back in time to the 5th century BC. At the heart of the Acropolis stands the Parthenon, which was once a Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. Looming over the city of Athens, the Acropolis is an iconic landmark and an architectural wonder that played a significant role in Greek history.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus: Built circa 520 BC, the Temple of Olympian Zeus is one of the biggest Doric temples in Greece and the most important building in Olympia. This magnificent structure was erected in honour of the Greek god, Zeus, and is twice as big as the Parthenon. Originally, it comprised 104 marble columns but following a storm in the mid-19th century, only 15 remain today. The monument can be found fringed by trees inside an archaeological park at the centre of the city. To see this ancient site rubbing shoulders with the modern-day capital is quite an experience on our holidays to Athens.
Soak up the Views from Filopappou Hill: Away from the hustle and bustle of the capital, Filopappou Hill, also called the ‘Hill of the Muses’, is a green oasis believed to be the mythical battleground of Theseus and the Amazons. Linked by old stone paths, you can explore this ancient site on foot. At its summit is the Filopappou Monument and mausoleum, and you can enjoy immense views over Athens and the Acropolis from here. Walk to the foot of the hill and you’ll find a beautiful 16th-century church with timber roof, marble floors and an 18th-century fresco of St Dimitrios.
Experience the Greek Culture: If you want to take some time out from exploring the ancient sites on your holiday to Athens, the city has a vibrant cultural scene where you can hang out among the locals. You’ll find plenty of cafes where people spill out onto the pavements and they’re perfect for watching the world go by. Or why not visit the Monastiraki flea market where local traders sell a range of second-hand goods? Athens also has an impressive art scene with a good selection of galleries where you can while away a couple of hours.
Visit the Panathenaic Stadium: Another ancient site you should try and see during Athens holidays is the Panathenaic Stadium. Built entirely out of marble in the 4th century BC, and restored in the late 19th century, the stadium hosted the Panathenaic Games and was later used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896. Legend has it that at the time of Hadrian’s inauguration in 120 AD, 1000 animals were sacrificed here. As you stand amid the sprawling rows of marble seats, you can almost hear the excitement and noise of the crowd from times gone by.
This trip should be marketed as culinary delights of Evia! A lovely location and a very easy and relaxed week being expertly guided and looked after by Thanos and his connections on the island.
According to the group, the trip exceeded all expectations. The terrain was more difficult than expected, but this was due to the age of the heritage sights. Take walking poles just in case. The tour leader was excellent at reminding us to watch our step. Accommodation was better than expected, including a sea view in beautiful Pylos. We all wish we could’ve stayed in Pylos for an extra night. Personal highlight: Incredible experience being able to run on the track at Olympia and to stand next to the temple of Zeus.
Thanos was an excellent guide and host. He could not have been more helpful. My only complaint was the showers in the Galaxy Hotel. Very dated with clinging shower curtain, leaky shower head and variable hot water. You will never be far from the nearest barking dog on your walks.