Athens: A phenomenal adventure
Anywhere I go I try to capture the true life experiences of that place. For me it’s always the people that make my trips memorable; whether it’s ‘Eyaggelos’ the friendly taxi driver that talked non-stop about football with us all the way to the airport, the wonderful Rania, our host on a catamaran cruise, or the sleepy man on the metro with me. Call it being friendly, or maybe nosey, but I love to get to know people and the story behind them. If there’s one thing I have taken away from Athens it’s the kind-hearted people; they were so welcoming and went out of their way to help make our visit memorable!
While I certainly don’t believe in making a list of things to ‘tick off’ when you travel to a new place, there are some things you just cannot miss if it’s your first visit to Athens. Need I even mention the Acropolis? At 12 euros an entry ticket, and just a short walk to the Parthenon from either The Acropolis or Monastiraki metro station, you would be a fool to miss it!
If there’s one thing I have taken away from Athens it’s the kind-hearted people
If you are able to head out of the city, I would highly recommend Lake Vouliagmeni, 35 minutes south of the centre. This spa is a true natural paradise and is known to have healing powers. On taking a dip in the crystal clear water, I was also able to have a little fish pedicure as it is home to thousands of Gaffa Ruffa fish that suck away your dead skin cells. This kind of fish pedicure is all the rage as a spa treatment, currently trending across the world.
For the foodies out there, take a stroll around the Central Market, where you’ll find a hive of activity and the buzz of people at work, offering prime cuts of meat, fresh seafood and wonderful cheeses. It was fascinating to wander around the local streets and take in the vivid Mediterranean colours popping out from the fruit and vegetable stalls.
To get some of the most unbelievable photos head to Mount Lycabettus for the ultimate view of Athens City and The Acropolis. We went there at dusk and were able to take some sensational photographs of scenes that will stay in the memory forever. Even with light cloud cover, we captured some incredible shots as the sun set over Piraeus Harbour.
If you like a little luxury, you must not miss the City Link. Five minutes from Syntagma Square, it is a stunning high end shopping complex which also boasts some swanky bars and is the perfect place to grab a glass of champagne after a hard day’s shopping in Gucci!
I must say that Athens is one of the easiest cities for transportation. An extremely reliable metro has trains almost every five minutes and for only 8 euros you can get into the city centre from the airport. You can also take the tram for beautiful sea views right down the coastline. Best of all are the cheap taxis, by far the most reasonably priced in Europe.
My first time in Athens was a phenomenal adventure, and I say ‘my first time’ because I will undoubtedly be returning soon. It’s so moreish that one day we decided to go for a little stroll and ended up walking over six miles, because you just can’t get enough of the stunning architecture and the photo opportunities are endless! My advice for anyone who is going to Athens is to allow time to wander around and find the hidden gems that will make your trip memorable. A great example of this for me is finding my favourite restaurant in Monastiraki. Traditional and family run, it served delicious Greek home-cooked food and kept us fully entertained all evening with a small acoustic band. An exquisite Greek evening with wonderful people wanting nothing more than to show us what Athens has to offer.