Discover Greece: 10 Reasons to Love Athens this Summer

Posted: July 1, 2014 by ACE of Greece in Uncategorized
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Many has been the love affair kindled under the Aegean sun. But this summer is without doubt the summer of love for Athens. Forbes, the opinion-making American magazine, set the tone recently when it published its ‘10 Reasons to love Athens this summer’. And to judge by the number of tourists exploring the streets of the capital, Athens has emerged as a summer destination in its own right. To celebrate, the official Discover Greece has put together its own Top 10 of things to love about the capital.

1. An afternoon stroll along Dionysiou Areopagitou St
The pedestrianised street, which runs alongside the Acropolis and the ancient Agora and ends near Philoppapos Hill, offers walkers a sense of eternity. Not just for the ancient wonders that surround it, but for the calming effect of its cobblestones. Losing yourself has never been more rewarding.
2. Rooftop cocktails 
You’ve walked past the Acropolis during the daytime. Now it’s time to experience it by night, cocktail in hand. Scan the view from the rooftop bar of your hotel. Aside from the lit-up Parthenon, there’s Lycabettus Hill, also illuminated against the Athens backdrop.
3. The summer full moon 
But if you’re looking to be truly lovestruck, there’s no matching the effects of the summer full moon. The first real taste of it will come on July 12 and it reaches its full spleandour on August 10, usually accompanied by the free night-time opening up of Athens’ archaeological sites. Resistance is futile.
4. Discovering the Athens Riviera
Daytime brings with it a whole new impression of Athens. And if you’re looking for something you never knew existed, head down the southern coast to one of the blue flag-awarded beaches along the Athens Riviera. Summer holidays a stone’s throw from the city centre.
5. A cruise around the Saronic Gulf
Now you’ve got a taste for the sea, why not go a step further and head back up the coast to the Flisvos Marina or Piraeus Port and take a cruise to one of the Saronic Gulf islands. Aegina, Hydra, Poros or Spetses. Or perhaps
a combination of the four.
6. A touch of culture
So much for island life but no visit to Athens would be complete without a slice of culture. And summer means the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, running from May to October. Now into is 56th year, it continues to feature internationally renowned artists, as well as prominent local talent. This year’s festival includes talent as varied as Nana Mouskouri’s Birthday Tour and the Martha Graham Dance Company.
7. Rockwave Festival & James
For a change of beat, why not attend the annual Rockwave Festival on July 11-12, featuring the likes of renowned European DJ Timo Maas and Arizona-based Indie rock band Calexico. Or perhaps cult Manchester rock band James on July 15 at the atmospheric Vracho Theatre.
8. Open-air flicks
If you’ve got an evening free and are looking for an authentic experience, look no further than one of the many open-air cinemas dotted in and around Athens: AigliZappeiou, Cine Paris, Thisseio or Psyrri, Dexameni… Picture it: the star-lit Attica night sky above you, the occasional sound of cicadas wafting through the air and a retro classic on a large screen. Cinema heaven.
9. Technopolis and Gazi: Young at heart
Just two stops from Syntagma along the blue line of the Athens metro is Kerameikos. Alight here for a taste of the nightlife as enjoyed by young Athenians. Street-wise Technopolis and urban cool Gazi, surrounded as it is by the old Athens gasworks, are tastes of the authentic Athens bar scene.
10. The alfresco yoga experience
Something completely different to end with. Whether it’s in the National Gardens or on the beach, take your daily stretch to new dimensions by enjoying true yoga freedom. It’s a growing trend and it’s absolutely free.

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