A bus ride down the picturesque Attic coast, the temple of Poseidon crowning the cliffs at Cape Sounion is one of the most beautiful sights in Greece. The man-made grace of the white marble temple is in perfect contrast to the craggy cliffs and blue, blue sea below. Go in time to catch the sunset and you won't be disappointed.
Catch the bus from the square near the Archaeological museum.
A small fishing village at the extreme eastern end of the Gulf of Corinth, about two hours’ drive from the city (in normal traffic conditions) it is possibly the most beautiful spot a day out at the beach in the vicinity of Athens. There is an imposing bay, with steep, pine-forested mountains sloping down to the sea, with the spectacular ruins of ancient Aigosthena immediately behind the largest beach.
The Psaropoula fish tavern has excellent food, and is far cheaper than a comparable fish tavern in Athens would be. If you feel like staying over night, there is the somewhat run down but beautifully located Hotel Egosthenion and a number of rooms for rent, but if you have a car it is easy enough to go back to the city at the end of the day. There seem to be buses that will get you there too, but I do not know their schedules.
Hotel Egosthenion, tel: 0263/41 226
Bright, fresh and sleek, this hotel is a cool retreat from the Athens heat. Downtown in the heart of the city, it's a stylish, urban resort with unconventional atmosphere and thoughtful service. With simple lines and vivid colours, the hotel surrounds guests in absolute calm.
26 Sofokleous & Klisthenous Street, 105 52 Athens, Greece email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel +30 210 5248511, fax +30 210 5248517
You don't need a car to visit Hymettos. In fact it is probably easier without one. Simply take the bus from the central terminus on Panepistimiou to Kaisariani. Stay on all the way to the other end, then get off at the Kaisariani cemetery, about 20 minutes away, and follow the main road up to get across the ring road. The mountain is the big rock ahead of you. Can't miss it, guv.
If you are lucky to know a local, or daring enough to drive yourself, it's definitely worth visiting Hymettos mountain, particularly its north-east side (drive up from the Katehaki or Papagou exits of the ring road - Attiki odos). Discover a Byzantine church, a traditional monastery and other archaeological sites of interest, have a drink in a cafe nearly hidden between the trees, enjoy some of the greatest panoramic views of Athens, do the bike or footpaths, or check for events/activities taking place throughout the year. Hymettos is also renowned for its marble and thyme honey, as well as for being Greece's most crazy mountain, (ie "trelos" or "trelovouno" in Greek) probably because of its propensity to change colour under shifting sunlight.
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