Athens, the birthplace of civilisation and democracy, is a vibrant and exciting city packed with museums, monuments, parks, and squares, crammed with tavernas, restaurants, bars and cafes. Named after Greek goddess, Athena, it is a city full of culture and simply brimming with buildings of archaeological and historic significance. Athens holidays, whether short or long stay are a fantastic way to see part of this magnificent country.
As Rome is Eternal, so Athens is Immortal. Situated in the Attica province and surrounded by the Hymettos, Pendeli and Parnitha mountains, the Greek capital is a modern city combined with a glorious past encapsulating mythology and history, and is the birthplace of democracy. Athens is home to some of the most important heritage sites of Greek civilisation from antiquity through the Middle Ages to modern times. Although visitors will want to explore its culture and history, the city also offers a vibrant nightlife with a multitude of restaurants, tavernas, bars and clubs. With a wealth of sites to see, holidays or even city breaks in Athens will keep your itinerary filled with things to do. There are numerous direct flights from the UK and it is an ideal year round destination boasting mild winters and hot summers.
Ancient & Modern
As an historic European capital with a fascinating past that reached its zenith in the Golden Age of Pericles during the 5th century BC, Athens, mooting the idea of equality and freedom, is attributed as the birthplace of democracy. Named after the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena, and built around the rocky outcrop of The Acropolis, Athens flourished under Pericles and during following centuries an array of conquerors occupied the city resulting in a multitude of splendid monuments.
Today, this sprawling vibrant city is home to over 4 million people and historical and cultural buildings abound including the Parthenon which sits majestically atop The Acropolis. Most attractions are sited within the city centre and, mainly attributed to the hosting of the 2004 Olympic Games, there’s a good train and tram network, with many pedestrianised roads around the major archaeological sites. This is an extremely helpful asset for those on holidays to Athens, allowing visitors to easily travel around the sites and across the city.
The historic triangle includes the districts of Plaka, Thission and Psyrri where neoclassical mansions and modern architecture, fashionable department stores and small artisan shops, sophisticated restaurants and traditional tavernas, happily co-exist. The modern city encompasses Monasiraki Square with its interesting market, vibrant Omonia Square, and Syntagma (Constitution) Square, home to the Parliament and some of the city’s most luxurious hotels. Athens city breaks are ideal for discerning travellers who are looking for a glimpse of the part, alongside all the comforts of the modern world.
The Acropolis & Agora
All visitors to Athens will wish to visit The Acropolis. It is the very symbol of the capital and home to one of the world’s most famous buildings, the Parthenon. An architectural masterpiece of white marble dedicated to goddess Athena, the Parthenon is a formidable sight, especially by night when illuminated. Additional monuments atop The Acropolis include the grand entrance of Propylaea with its imposing columns, the small temple of Athena Nike, built to commemorate the victory over the Persians, and the Erechtheion on the site where Athena planted an olive tree, her sacred symbol.
Another recommendation and a popular site to visit on Athens holidays is the contemporary New Acropolis Museum which lies at the foot of The Acropolis. This impressive building which upper glass gallery affords tremendous views of the Parthenon and the lower glass floors allow visitors to view the remains of the old city uncovered during the excavations. The Agora, which became the centre of government under Peisistratus in the 6th century BC, boasts some very good remains of the ancient city of Athens, and of the two buildings that dominate the site, the Temple of Hephaistos and the Stoa of Attalos, the latter has been immaculately restored as a small museum housing a quirky collection of artefacts.
Holidays in Athens are the perfect way to see this enchanting and exciting city. With such a vibrant and mesmerising country, Classic Collection Holidays are pleased to be able to offer guests the option of a twin-centre holiday to a range of other Greek regions and resorts.