ATHENS a beautiful journey
Welcome to Athens, the historical capital of Europe. Welcome to the birthplace of democracy, arts, science and philosophy of western civilisation. Home of Plato, Socrates, Pericles, Euripides, Sophocles, Aeschylus. Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities. It’s recorded history spanning around 3.400 years and it is being inhabited since the 11th millennium B.C. E. Today, under the shadow of Parthenon, the contemporary urban scenery of the sprawling city reflects its exciting history, its multi- cultural modern personality as well as the infrastructure and facilities. The perfect Mediterranean climate with the legendary greek sunlight, the unique combination of glorious history with modern, urban innovation, the coexistence of great culture with astonishing natural beauty, the high standard hotel accommodation, modern means of transportation such as the cutting edge modern metro, the vibrant rhythm of life, the wide choice of opportunities for shopping, dining and night life and of course the warmth of the Athenians people feature Athens as the ideal all year round city break destination. The city of Parthenon is an open air museum. A large part of the town’s historic center has been converted into a 3 km pedestrian zone, one of the largest in Europe. It leads to the major archaeological sites (“archaeological park”), reconstructing – to a large degree – the ancient landscape. Either on foot or by bike, the ‘’Grande Promenade’’ around Acropolis is an unforgettable journey through history.
What is? When you think of Athens, you think of these ancient buildings. You’d struggle to name a more iconic sight in any part of the world. Perched on top of a rocky outcrop for 2,500 years, they’ve now been absorbed into a sprawling modern metropolis, but you’ll still be dazzled.
Why go? The monuments here are considered the greatest architectural feats of Greek antiquity. The Parthenon temple, dedicated to the goddess Athena, is perfecly proportioned and considered the world’s finest Doric masterpiece (and there are many).
TEMPLE OF POSEIDON
What is? Athens isn’t short on treats for fans of Greek mythology. This is the temple you should visit first.
Why go? He may be the god of oceans, but Poseidon’s palace stands 60 metres above sea level on Cape Sounio. This marble temple was first built by ancient Athenians to honour Poseidon and guide sailors safely home. All that remains now is a series of towering columns which don’t half look beautiful against a glorious Greek sunset.
What is? Monastiraki is one of the oldest and busiest areas of the capital, packed with rooftop bars, ancient sights and huge markets.
Why go? The Monastiraki metro station is right off the picturesque main square (which also has brilliant views of the Acropolis). Go shopping at the Monastiraki flea market, squeeze your way through thronging pedestrian alleys, and peruse shops filled with antiques, handmade jewellery and Greek handicrafts.
NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
What is? The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is the largest archaeological museum in Greece and one of the most important museums in the world devoted to ancient Greek art. It was founded at the end of the 19th century to house and protect antiquities from all over Greece, thus displaying their historical, cultural and artistic value.
Why go? The museum contains a number of images connected with Greek Mythology, including carvings and statues. Perhaps pride of place is the incredible bronze statue known as The Artemision Bronze.
BYZANTINE AND CHRISTIAN MUSEUM
What is? It is one of the most important museums in the world in Byzantine Art. It was founded in 1914, and houses more than 25,000 exhibits with rare collections of pictures, scriptures, frescoes, pottery, fabrics, manuscripts, and copies of artifacts from the 3rd century AD to the Late Middle Ages.
Why go? For the largest collection of Byzantine art. Rare 13th Century icons and the museum’s building and surrounding courtyard.
MUSEUM OF CYCLADIC ART
What is? A lavish museum that’s home to more than 3,000 artefacts of Cycladic, ancient Greek and Cypriot origin.
Why go? To see the distinctly shaped slender marble figurines and statues that date back to the Bronze Age. Or one of the 150 objects from the ancient Greek art collections, including vases, figurines and weapons grouped by the themes ‘Gods and heroes’, ‘Eros’, ‘the world of women’ and ‘the Underworld’.