Written by Isabella Zampetaki
Late spring is an excellent time to visit Athens. The mild sunny weather is ideal for outdoor experiences both in the centre of the city and on its Riviera.
A perfect place to lose yourself in Athens is among the winding paths of the National Gardens. Covering 15 hectares, this tranquil space is home to more than 500 varieties of plants and trees.
Or for a more cultural experience, follow Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, along the perimeter of the Acropolis’ hill. This wide, stone-paved pedestrian precinct offers scenic views of the Parthenon, the ancient Agora, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. It is also the Athenians’ favourite promenade and can be traversed on foot, by horse buggy, bicycle, or even by an amusing all-family quadricycle.
Also nearby is Athens Was Hotel, one of the city’s newest design accommodations, featuring Greek marble and walnut-wood interiors with a modern twist. Excellent places to savour creative interpretations of traditional Greek cuisine in the wider downtown area are Spondi, Hytra, Funky Gourmet, and Cookoovaya.
South of Athens lies a scenic coast that stretches for miles and includes a number of seaside promenades. Amongst them is the picturesque harbour of Mikrolimano, where you can enjoy seafood as you watch yachts sail off from the nearby Yacht Club of Greece and make their way among colourful fishing boats moored in the bay. Papaioannou is an excellent choice for classic fish dishes, whereas Varoulko features Michelin-starred marine cuisine.
If you’re in the mood for a whole day by the sea, you can drive 60km along a coastline of azure beaches all the way to Cape Sounio, where you can visit the ancient temple of Poseidon. On a clear day, you can even see some of the islands of the Aegean.
A day cruise in the Saronic Gulf
Embark at Piraeus or Palaio Faliro and take a day cruise to Hydra, Poros, and Aegina island, only a few miles off the coast. Hydra is a car-free island with a picturesque port dotted with stone-built mansions. Aegina and Poros boast neoclassical architecture and are equally peaceful. You can join an organised cruise or charter a yacht to visit the islands of your choice.
Distance: 2,973 km
Flight Time: 5 hours, 5 minutes
Frequency: 3 flights a day