What to see around Athens
In this post: What to see around ATHENS, the best places to visit near Athens, in one day round trip. On your own or with a private tour.
The city of Athens is a World Heritage Site thanks to its archaeological treasures that tell the story of Ancient Greece and all of Europe. However, the capital of the country should not be the only favorite destination for tourists, in the surroundings of Athens there are hidden places of natural beauty crossed with the creations of man that were part of Greek mythology.
In this article I show you the best places and attractions that, although they are not in the center of Athens, deserve the time and delight of visitors. Especially if you spend several days in Athens and want to see its surroundings.
For lovers of mountains full of green plants, rocks and refined buildings, they can visit Meteora (which means "rocks in the air"), in the Thessaly region.
This beautiful place is located 350 km from Athens and is considered a World Heritage Site, and no wonder, since its spectacular rocks are more than 30 million years old. These mountains were submerged under water in prehistoric times, but today they reveal an admirable panorama with 13 monasteries at the top of the hills, of which 6 can be visited.
If you want to get to Meteora from Athens, what you should do is take some means of transport such as the bus (with a duration of 6 hours), the train (with a duration of 4.5 hours) or hire a tour service to save time and walk by minibus through these lands.
You can book this interesting and comfortable one-day tour from Athens to visit Meteora (14 hours, in English, with a visit to 3 of the monasteries and the hermits' caves.
Delphi is a legacy of the Hellenistic period 180 km northwest of Athens. It was named as "center of the universe" during classical times. This place wrapped in legends and ancient mythology still transmits the ritual they were looking for in those times, because today the archaeological remains confirm that the positions of each rock in this place were looking to serve as a means to communicate with the God Apollo.
In ancient times there was a temple where the famous "Oracle of Delphi" was located, which was used as an intermediary tool between the fortune teller and God, in order to obtain answers to the questions that were consulted by citizens since the 8th century BC. c.
Currently, this small town is very picturesque and has an area and an archaeological museum for the enjoyment of visitors. The archaeological zone has the Temple of Apollo, discovered in 1892; a theater for 5000 spectators and the stadium where the Pythian Games were held, offered to Apollo. Likewise, the Archaeological Museum has a valuable collection, where the important bronze sculpture of 182 centimeters high, the Auriga de Delfos, made in the year 474 a. C.
This town is located on the southern slope of Mount Parnassus, so you can also have incomparable views of the valley and the sea.
To get to Delphi you can do it by land by car or bus. By private car you can take the E75 highway in the direction of Lamia, then go to Castro and continue through Levadia. Also, you can take the buses from Terminal B (260, Liossion Street) that work from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and last 3 hours to make the Athens-Delphi route.
You can also do a private tour in English, with bus, and lunch option. The best to visit Delphi comfortably from Athens and with a super convenient price.
Visit the OSIOU LOUKA MONASTERY
The Osiou Louka Monastery is located 35 kilometers southeast of Delphi. If you are visiting Delphi, you should not miss the opportunity to visit this attractive monastery dedicated to a Greek hermit who died in AD 953. C. In the crypt of the monastery said hermit is buried.
This place gives you a lot of spiritual peace. The welcome to the enclosure is given by a golden mosaic with the image of the saint, in order to continue to the Katholikon church, which in turn connects with another church called Theotokos, built between the years 997 and 1011, in honor of the Virgin Mary.
Visit the ISLAND OF HYDRA
This island is located south of Athens and belongs to the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea. This area is beautiful, with many houses with white or light facades and nice roof tiles. In addition, it has a nice pier where all kinds of boats arrive.
You can take a ferry to reach Hydra, and the round trip ticket will cost you approximately 60 euros. The ferries depart from the Piraeus Port of Athens and usually take between an hour and a half and two hours to reach the island.
This city is the cradle of the Olympic Games and is located on the peninsula of Greece, Peloponnese.
History tells us that 3,000 years ago the famous sports competitions began to be practiced in this place, turning Olympia into a curious and obligatory destination for tourists.
The Olympic Flame is lit from the stadium before the start of the games held every 4 years. And, the lighting is done with the sun's rays, as has been customary since its inception.
Attractions in Olympia:
Archaeological Area: this area transports you and leads you to imagine the first Olympic Games in history by stepping on the stadium and gym where the first athletes of this competition competed. You will also have the honor of being able to observe the remains of the Temple of Zeus and the workshop of the sculptor Phidias, where the imposing statue of Zeus was created.
Archaeological Museum: it has a collection of objects and sculptures that were located in the archaeological zone, such as the remains of the Temple of Zeus.
Museum of the Ancient Games: contains interesting objects, mosaics and paintings that belonged to the games of Ancient Greece.
To get to Olympia from Athens you can travel by car along the Corinth-Patras-Pyrgos routes, and it will take 3 hours and a half to cover the 350 km distance. Also, you can opt for the Corinto-Tripoli-Arcadia highways, where you will have to travel 320 km to reach your destination.
Likewise, if you don't want to drive, you can take the bus that leaves from Terminal A, Kifissou 100, in two shifts: at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. By bus it can take 5 hours and a half.
120 kilometers from Athens, in a southwesterly direction, is this historical place of Ancient Greece that was previously inhabited and protected with a wall that closed all this enclosure. Today, only the archaeological remains remain that inform us that between the years 1600 and 1100 B.C. C. the importance of the city was what originated what is known as the "Mycenaean Period".
Attractions to see in Mycenae:
Puerta de Los Leones is the city's most famous symbol, and it was ordered to be built in the year 1250 a. C. with a large opening of 3.75 x 3.5 meters. Two rock-carved lions are located above the arch of the door.
Treasury of Atreus: this place is also known as the "Tomb of Atreus" or "Tomb of Agamemnon". It is located on the Panagitsa hill, and has been in place since 1250 BC. c. approximately. Its discovery arose in 1874, thanks to the 19th century archaeologist, Schliemann.
Royal tombs: 19 human remains were found in another 6 tombs in the shape of a circle. These places had many gold treasures that are now exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Athens.
It is possible to reach Mycenae from Athens by private car or bus. Going by your own or rented car will take you two hours to complete the tour. You have to take the highway that takes you to Corinth, in the direction of Tripoli, then turn off towards Nafplio, to finally find the exit that takes you to Mycenae.
On the other hand, if you choose to take the bus that runs from Athens to Nafplio, you can stay in Mycenae. To get to the archaeological site you can do it by another bus or do it on foot. The terminal from where these vehicles leave is called Terminal A (Kifissou 100) and leaves between 7:30 and 19:30, every hour.
To the northeast of the Peloponnese peninsula, and 125 km from Athens, is located this small Greek city known for its most representative work: the great theater that still works to present different works.
The name of the great theater located in the city is "Ancient Theater of Epidaurus", and it was made in the 4th century BC. C. by the Greek architect of the classical period, Policleto the Younger.
The preservation of the theater and its good acoustics make it a great attraction at the Athens Summer Festival.
The characteristics of the theater: 20 meters in diameter; 55 rows of seats to hold up to 14,000 spectators.
Although the Epidaurus theater takes center stage in the city, it is not the only structure to see. Also, you can admire the:
Temple of Asklepios: Although today only a few columns of this temple are preserved, because in ancient times on this earth there was a great temple consecrated to Asklepio (son of Apollo), God of medicine and healing.
Tholos: the function that this structure played is still not clear, but it is clear that you can admire its circular shape of columns and white marble.
Stadium: games were held in this stadium in the 5th century BC. C.
Archaeological Museum: many archaeological remains found in this city now lie in this small museum that also has statues.
To get to Epidaurus we do not have public transport, but we can get to the city by private car, either rented or through a tour service.
The route to be taken is: highway towards Corinth, then turn off towards Epidaurus, to continue along the coast for an hour towards the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus.
By bus there is no direct route from Athens that will take you to the archaeological zone, but we can take the buses that arrive at the town and leave from Terminal A, only on Fridays and Sundays.
Once in the town of Epidauro, we can get on the bus that is destined for the archaeological zone.
Another option is to take the bus or train to Nauplia, from where buses leave directly to the archaeological zone, seven days a week, at different times.
The city of Corinth is located in the Periphery of Peloponnese, about 80 kilometers west of Athens.
The most famous thing about Corinth is its canal 6 kilometers long and 23 meters wide. This water channel is located between the Aegean Sea and the Ionian Sea, allowing the thousands of ships that transit this route to save 400 kilometers.
In the first century AD. C, the emperor Nero, was in charge of giving the order to begin excavation. But, it was not until 1881, that the excavation work was resumed to finally open it in 1893.
If what we want is to go into the city to learn more about its history, then Ancient Corinth is today in the archaeological zone, where we can enjoy the Temple of Apollo dating from the year 550 BC. C.
Likewise, Corinth has an Acropolis that served as a religious center and shelter hundreds of centuries ago.
It can take approximately two hours to cover this top from where you can have spectacular views.
You must bear in mind that the new city of Corinth is not the same as where the remains of the old city are located. Therefore, you must take a bus to the ancient city or the Corinth canal.
If you are going by private car, you can take the A75 motorway northbound, then take the detour towards Corinto. After 70 km, on this highway, you will reach the canal.
On the other hand, if you want to take the bus from Athens, they depart from Terminal A from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., every half hour. This trip lasts an hour and a half.
Also, you can arrive by train from Athens Airport. You would only have to transfer.
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