Cheap flights to Athens
Athens, what can you say about Athens: cradle of Western civilization, Europe’s oldest city, birthplace of democracy, and home to the iconic Parthenon.
Well, that’s just for starters, add to this that it is also a modern and sophisticated metropolis, one of the world’s greatest cultural centres and a city with a vibrant street and nightlife and you’re pretty close to the mark.
Whether you are coming to Athens for a city break, or just passing through on the way to one of Greece’s many islands, this capital city will not fail to impress.
The July referendum was not the first time the Greek people said NO (ohi). Their wartime leader refused to surrender to Mussolini's forces in 1940 and that Ohi Day is still celebrated as a national holiday with huge parades.
July and August see the peak of the annual Athens Epidaurus Festival, which takes place at various venues and includes theatrical, dance and musical performances from illustrious Greek and international artists. greekfestival.gr
Culminating in Kathari Deftera (Clean Monday) on 23 February, the pre-Lentern carnival known as Apokries in Greece involves plenty of merriment, dressing up and official parades and performances.
Monastiraki is a great place to hunt for souvenirs in the city's famous flea market or at the street stalls that line the fence to the ancient Agora (Avissynias Square).
As the weather brightens in March, it's fun to take a day trip by ferry or hydrofoil to the nearby island of Aegina, famous for its pistachio nuts and the imposing and well-preserved Temple of Aphaia.
A fine day trip from Athens is to Marathon, 26 miles (unsurprisingly) northeast of the city centre. Take a KTEL Attiki bus to the site of the battle when the Athenians defeated the Persians in 490BC and visit the museum and burial mounds.
Kaisariani Monastery, located on the lower slopes of Mount Hymmetos, at the eastern edge of the city, is an easily accessible spot to escape from the heat of the city. The Byzantine monastery itself is beautiful and the surrounding forest a joy. visitgreece.gr
At the very far western end of the city bus system in modern and industrial Elefsina, the ancient site of Eleusis is a quiet spot to reflect on the legendary Eleusinian Mysteries that people were initiated into here.