Paiania: Attica wine, good food and fascinating secret treasures…
just outside Athens!
Hidden treasures, rich history, incredible folk traditions, extraordinary sights and the blessed Mesogeia valley embracing the whole area: Paiania thrills visitors who decide to explore East Attica and experience its beauty and authenticity firsthand!
In the arms of Mount Hymettus, surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and many more tree species and cultivated plants, lies Paiania, birthplace of the world-famous orator Demosthenes. You will come here not only for the delicious food of the picturesque tavernas or the exquisite Attica wine of the modern wineries. You will wander in the town and marvel at the impressive Byzantine and Post-Byzantine monuments, you will tour around the stunning natural landscapes of the area and visit one of the most beautiful caves in Greece!
Paiania cave or Cave Koutouki is the biggest of the 60 caves found in Attica and the only one that is open to the public. It is located at an altitude of 510 m, at the east fringe of Mount Hymettus, approximately 35 km from Athens. The vast main chamber is 60 x 60 m and is divided into smaller rooms. The interior decoration of the cave is impressive, featuring tall columns that resemble stone waterfalls, astonishing stalactites and stalagmites, as well as colour combinations that create a majestic and imposing atmosphere. The initial natural entrance is located on the top of the cave, however today the cave is accessible through an artificial tunnel that is 17 m long, while the route that is followed by visitors is 350 m long. A visit to Cave Koutouki is simply an unforgettable experience!
Another important sight in Paiania is the extraordinary Vorres Museum, a cultural foundation that promotes and highlights Greek culture and art. The museum has been built in a land of 1.8 hectares and is famous for its active role through educational programmes for children and the organisation of exhibitions both in Greece and abroad. The surrounding garden features species mainly from the Mediterranean flora, and is considered one of the most magnificent gardens in Attica. The museum essentially comprises two distinctive museums, the Folklore and the Modern Greek Art museums, collectively showcasing 2,500 years of history through approximately 6,000 exhibits. Here you will have the chance to see furniture from Greek islands, relics, ceramics and items from people’s daily life. In the museum of Modern Greek Art you will marvel at unique sculptures and paintings by major Greek painters who flourished in the mid 20th century.
The list of sights worth visiting in Paiania continues. Vassileos Konstantinou square, in the centre of the town, features the imposing church of Zoodochos Pigi, one of the most significant monuments of religious painting created by the great Greek writer and painter Fotis Kontoglou. A few metres away, at Dimosthenous square, you will come across the famous Demosthenes Library. Through 6,000 books, visitors of the lending library have access to historical, folklore, religious and philosophical information, searching through comprehensive electronic databases.
Don’t forget to visit the historical Ecclesiastical Museum of Paiania “The Birth of Christ” that is housed in the old 2nd Elementary School and hosts remarkable ecclesiastical items, icons and books. Also worth visiting is the museum of History and Greek Costumes of the Lyceum Club of Greek Women that features authentic local costumes, jewellery, 25,000 items of a past era, copies of Minoan, Archaic and Byzantine costumes.
A tour at the wineries of east Attica will give a delicious note to your visit to Paiania, with memorable wine tastings organised by the producers themselves. Here you will savour the flavours of the landscape, the aromas of the land, the climate and vegetation, all the unique features of the Mesogeia valley and Attica’s vineyard, encompassed into a liquid and enclosed in a bottle. Here, in the land of Savatiano, you will get to know the traditions, the know-how, the human stories and the culture of the place. You will meet the winemakers who will offer you a firsthand initiation to the secrets of Attica’s wine. You will savour the unique products and the gastronomy of the Mesogeia valley and by the time you leave, you will have a deeper insight of Attica, transmitted to you in the most enjoyable way!
You will also taste the region’s quality wine at the famous tavernas of Paiania, combining it with delicious dishes of the traditional local cuisine, excellent meat and fresh vegetable from the land of Attica. Tavernas with beautiful, family atmosphere and open spaces looking out to the blessed Mesogeia land.
Useful information about Cave Koutouki is available here.