Athens – The Perfect Greek City Break
Athens, a bustling metropolis which is great for a city break and is the gateway to the Greek islands. If you’re someone who loves a city break but is looking for the authentic Greek experience than look no further than the birthplace of democracy. In this article we’ll show you why Athens is perfect for those looking to get a taste of Greece over a long weekend or at the start or end of an island hop.
How to get there
You can fly directly to Athens from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Birmingham, Luton, Edinburgh, Manchester and Stansted as well as well as almost every domestic airport in Greece. Athens’ 3 ports; Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrion are the gateways to the Greek islands, especially the smaller ones, so it is perfect place to spend a few days at the start or end of your island-hopping trip as depending on your island choice, you will have to go through Athens to get there.
A Uniquely Greek Experience
Athens is unlike anywhere else in Greece, similar to how London is with England. It has a unique blend of history and modernity, managing to balance them perfectly without the scales tipping too much to either side. Because of this there is something for everyone there, and due to its size and narrow, winding streets you can immerse yourself in bustling markets or perhaps instead find a small quiet square where you can sit in the sun and enjoy a relaxing drink. Hotels and all buildings are now beginning to put their focus on rooftop bars, most of which have a view of Greece’s most famous monument – The Acropolis. And with the city not allowing buildings above a certain height you can always be sure to find somewhere with a spectacular view, day or night.
Come for the City, Stay for the Weather
With city breaks many people put the focus on exploring the city, the weather is just bonus. In Athens, you can get warm temperatures from April through till the middle of November. This gives you a larger window with which to explore the city even when temperatures at home have begun to drop. As the city traps heat well, it works both ways, becoming a heat trap in July and August, it stays warm well into autumn. Greece is a windy country, yet most of this is negated in Athens, the same buildings that retain heat also keep out the wind so you can explore the city, hidden from most of the wind.
A Historical Marvel
Athens is densely packed with ancient monuments, whether it be the world-famous Acropolis, the Agora or Hadrian’s Library. What makes this even more impressive is, you can be walking around the bustling markets of Plaka or Monasteraki and then turn the corner and find yourself in the middle of 2,500-year-old ruins. Most of the ruins are just columns and foundations, however considering their age, even this is still remarkable. Having the foundations present does allow visitors to see the layout of streets and entire areas and imagine how it would have looked. For those less imaginative, you can actually get virtual reality viewers which will do this for you. Most of the ancient monuments are grouped into 4 areas, entrance for which you can pay for individually or buy a ticket for all of them, depending on when you go it can be cheaper to do both.
The Gateway to the Islands
Athens has 3 ports, Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrion all of which sail to various Greek islands. Athens is the easiest place to begin an island hop especially if you’re going around the Argo-Saronics or the Cyclades. Piraeus is one of the largest passenger ports in Greece and runs ferries to over 50 destinations across Greece. Rafina and Lavrion are located on the other side of Attica, which gives them easy access to the northern Cyclades, the North East Aegeans and Sporades. Greece has many domestic air routes which you can fly into 18 destinations across Greece. With access via either airport or ferry, you can see Athens in a few nights at the start or end of your trip and then explore the islands easily.
We hope this has given you some insight into why Athens is a perfect place for a city break and can also be done at the start or end of an island hopping trip. To find out more about Greece visit our Greek site here and for the rest of the world, take a look around our website or call us on 01157843388. If you know where you’re looking to book, call us, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our contact form with what you’re looking for. Don't forget to follow us on social media to find out the next Destination of the Week and for all your Holiday needs. If you've been to Athens, where was your favourite place? What was the best thing you did, or do you think we missed anything? Let us know in the comments or on social media, just click the buttons below which take you to our social pages