10 Attica destinations for… all-weather getaways
Mountain or sea? Winter or summer? Such dilemmas have no place in the discussion when it comes to Attica. Simply because here you will enjoy the perfect harmony between mountain and seaside landscapes, you will find your own favourite destinations for getaways that match your preferences and will immerse yourself into their beauty, all around the year… just outside a European metropolis! And this is something you don’t come across very often.
In Kalyvia you will walk on pine-covered paths, marvel at the traditional architecture of Mesogeia houses and experience authentic, age-old customs and traditions. You will visit the Nine Towers archaeological site with the perfectly preserved Byzantine temples, located only 2 km outside Kalyvia. You will savour delicious meat dishes at the famous tavernas of the area and if you crave the sea, you will drive down to Lagonissi, the best known seaside resort of Kalyvia.
Tour around the living-museum town of Attica that has been identified with the mining history of Greece, and dive in the waters of the stunning nearby beaches. Stroll along the promenade and then explore the centre of the town, which boasts architectural masterpieces and vast squares, before you head to the traditional little tavernas and ouzo bars in the fish market of Lavrio for delicious small dishes (mezedes). Don’t forget to visit the Lavrio Technological and Cultural Park (LTCP), as well as the nearby Cape Sounio and Sounio National Park.
Famous for the Athens Authentic Marathon that starts here and for its artificial lake, Marathon is one of the closest and most idyllic destinations in Attica, ready to welcome us in summer or winter. Enjoy your walks around the impressive dam of the lake and immerse yourselves into the beauty of the natural landscape. Don’t forget to visit the Tumulus and the Archaeological Museum of Marathon, and make sure you stop at the cafes and the tavernas of the area for coffee or a delicious meal.
Only 30 minutes away from Athens in West Attica, the picturesque fishing village of Pachi, opposite Salamina, is waiting to be discovered. Right by the water and the traditional fishing boats, we will savour fish fresh from the sea. We will climb up the stunning Agios Georgios hill with the namesake chapel, which offers breathtaking views of the two islets in front of the coast, Megara flatland, the Geraneia and Pateras mountain ranges, Salamina and Aegina at the back, the coast of the Peloponnese and the majestic sunset!
Just a stone’s throw away from Perama port, an island… inside Attica is expecting you! Ideal destination for a day-trip, Salamina boasts not only traces of great history and art scattered all around, but also vibrant life and energy, stunning landscapes and memorable flavours! The tavernas of the island will serve you fresh fish and seafood straight from the fishing boats and exceptional local meat. Don’t miss the traditional local delicacies, such as poupeki, pumpkin pie, carrot pie and donuts.
A lesser-known but stunning destination near Athens, Beletsi lake is located at the foothills of Mount Parnitha and astonishes those who discover it. It is an artificial lake rich in native flora and fauna, where you will be accompanied by ducks, swans, turtles and little frogs. Trekking trails and bike routes are ideal for the more… active visitors, while there is also a play area designed for children, for unforgettable moments with the whole family.
The Varympompi glade
Moving on with Attica’s lesser known destinations, which is hard to believe they are so close to Athens city centre, the Varympompi glade is a well kept secret among the unconventional day-trippers. Load the necessary “supplies” into the car, take the best position either at one of the pavilions or under the towering trees and enjoy nature in all its majesty. But even if you come here unprepared, there is no need to worry, since there is a canteen in the area.
A waterfall in Attica? It’s true! A stone’s throw away from the centre of Athens, Drafi or Valanaris waterfall is a small paradise where you can relax, have a picnic and enjoy nature with the whole family. It is 6 metres high and takes different forms, depending on the season: during the dry months, two smaller waterfalls are formed, while on rainy days the stream turns into a torrent. The lake never dries up, attracting wild animals. Especially on sunny days, the colour formations created by sunlight are extraordinary.
In everyone’s mind, islands are associated with summer excursions. This is half the truth, when it comes to Attica’s islands, Aegina in particular. Just a hop away from Piraeus port and with regular ferry service, Aegina is an island that is full of life 12 months a year, hospitable and enchanting. The picturesque harbour, the easy access to the sea, the history and gastronomy are some of its strong assets. You will come to Aegina to relax, live authentic experiences along with the hospitable locals, tour its ancient monuments and walk its paths.
Easily accessible either from Piraeus port or the coast of Troezen, Poros will enchant you summer or winter with the neoclassical elegance of its main town, the pine-covered hillsides and the tiny little bays. Here, the beauty of the landscape resembles a peaceful lagoon. Stroll along the promenade, and through the old neighbourhoods, the narrow streets and the town squares. Walk up the Clock Tower, built on the top of the hill, with panoramic views of the entire channel that separates the island from the coast of the Peloponnese, across the sea.