Imagine a city where a swim in the sea is just a short tram ride away. Where a neighborhood walk can make you feel like you are part of history. Where talented creatives embracing a laid-back lifestyle are rethinking art and design, and the most desirable souvenirs are those that you hear, taste, and remember for years.
Imagine Athens all over again, as if fallen from the deep blue sky.
Athens is home to some of the most recognizable historical monuments in the world, attractions that have been a magnet for visitors for thousands of years. And yet, somehow Athens feels undiscovered by the outside world, from its vibrant neighborhood life with their tavernas spilling joyfully into the street, to the dozens of secret beaches and five-star resorts along the Athens Riviera.
The Greek capital city is a prime destination for travel during all seasons of the year, with coastal waters wrapped around the city and beach weather lasting well into the autumn months. Swimming, windsurfing, and sailing are minutes from the city center and its famously buzzing food and nightlife.
Athens brings together cultural traditions from all regions of Greece along with a philosophy that makes dining under the stars feel natural all year. The food begins, as a strict rule, with fresh and seasonal ingredients. Local chefs explore the boundaries of Greek cuisine, reviving family tavernas and street food that are the sincere core of Athenian culture. Meanwhile, the recovery of ancient wine grapes that were once nearing extinction has helped put Athens on the global map for fine wines and varietals that are rarely exported.
A trip to Athens should be focused on each Athenian neighborhood, their unique personalities, and the urban spirit they help to create. The city’s web portal at www.thisisathens.org offers tips on how to explore the city without needing a detailed itinerary, as well as an events calendar curated with visitors in mind, and suggestions on how to experience Athens like a local.
As the world re-opens for tourism, travel destinations need to consider accessibility, safety, and sustainability. The City of Athens is investing in quality of life in all 129 neighborhoods, preparing the first major urban parks in generations and a network of “pocket parks” that add to the city’s green inventory in every neighborhood. This year, Athens will begin restoring several landmark sites, including the National Gardens and the popular walking paths to the top of Lycabettus Hill with its sweeping views of the city and the sea.