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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. 

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Shopping


Not many people associate Greece with skiing but the city's many mountains get plenty of snow between January and March, so it is easy to organise a trip to the nearest slopes at Mount Parnassos.

Sightseeing


The big parade to celebrate Ohi Day on 28 October, when Greek leader Ioannis Metaxas said no to Mussolini in 1940, is always an impressive affair, if a little overtly nationalistic and old-style militaristic.


If you are around for Orthodox Easter, which is not until 1 May this year, make sure you visit one of the big churches for the moving Epitaphios parade on Good Friday evening and lively celebration of the Resurrection on Saturday at midnight.


Apokries, Greece's main pre-Lentern carnival, is especially lively in Plaka, where people engage in horseplay with plastic clubs and streamers, while all the bars heave with above average crowds.

Key Areas


If you want to escape the summer heat and check out where all the action is, the stretch of coast road that runs through the southeastern suburbs of Glyfada, Voula and Vouliagmeni is lined with restaurants, cafés and clubs.

Day Trips


Autumn is a good time to take a tour of Attica's wine region to the east of the city, while the vines are laden and harvest is underway. A good place to start is the Wine Museum in Pallini.(tel 210 66 44 711)


Take a culturally rewarding day trip to the principal ancient sites of the Argolid, especially Mycenae, Titans and the magnificent theatre of Epidauros, where plays are still performed.


A good springtime day trip is to Corinth, on the other side of the impressive deep-cut canal. The modern town is mundane but the real reason to come is to see the important archaeological sites of Ancient Corinth and medieval Acrocorinth.

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*Prices shown are per person based on two people flying on the same booking. Fees & charges may apply. Min 4 seats available per flight, one way inc. taxes.