Athens – History & Hedonism

Home to one of the world’s most ancient civilizations, inimitable Athens is a classic city with all the energy and dynamism of a young pretender. It boasts more classical ruins than you can shake a guidebook at, from the Parthenon to the Hill of Pnyx. Architectural wonders and ancient busts appear on street corners in Athens as regularly as ice cream vans in lesser cities.

Traditionally one of the most renowned harbours in the Mediterranean, it is a tempting destination to begin a yacht charter. For those attracted by its rich cultural heritage, the Parthenon, temple of the goddess Athena is an obligatory destination. For a godlike view across to the Acropolis, Mount Lycabettus and the Saronic Gulf, head to the monument and park on Philopappos Hill. The National Archaeological Museum houses historical treasures of Greek art including sculptures, pottery and jewellery dating from the Neolithic era. And then Athens turns your attention away from its past by luring you into exclusive boutiques, world-class restaurants and stellar nightclubs to rival any in Europe. Sit in one of the many pavement bars on tree-lined Kolonaki Square and indulge in some people watching, or head up to the roof of leftfield art space and music venue, Bios. Beyond the city walls, the sun blushed islands and bays of the surrounding coastline call itinerant sailors. Thessaloniki’s vibrant harbour town is renowned for its healing waters, pristine beaches and fantastic diving. Nearby Nafplion attracts a well-heeled crowd without being overrun, even in summer. The historic charm of its architecture pairs beautifully with its gorgeous surroundings. Despite its ruined state, Olympia, home of the Olympic Games, inspires awe in visitors.


When to go:

June – mid July to September

High season:

June – mid July

Highlights

1

Visit Fanourakis jewellery shop, where you can buy beautiful, delicate pieces of folded gold that are individually designed into unique creations

2

In the heart of Kolonaki find traditional home-cooking served on white linen at Filippou

3

Half Note Jazz Club is the most stylish jazz venue in Athens, playing host to an array of international musicians

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