A getaway to Vilia, the beautiful village at the foot of Mount Cithaeron
It is located in West Attica, just 56 km from the centre of Athens. It is known for its age-long history, the majestic nature and its delicious food. It combines the mountain with the sea, and is ideal destination for all seasons. It is the village of Vilia in Attica, and you have many reasons to discover it!
Built amphitheatrically at the foot of Mount Cithaeron, Vilia is a wonderful little village that stands at an altitude of 600 metres, embraced by tall pine trees. It used to be called Idyllia, probably due to its idyllic landscape that perfectly matches the mountain with the sea: on one side the mythical Cithaeron, calm and enchanting dominates the area, and on the other side the stunning seaport of Vilia, Porto Germeno, delights with its crystal blue waters.
Wander around and immerse into the beauty of this small village, which is only a 50 minute drive from Athens! Stroll down its quiet narrow streets with the well-tended houses and the neat front yards. Sit at the traditional cafes and shop in elegant little shops. Follow the scent of freshly baked bread that will take you straight to traditional bakeries with wood ovens. And indulge yourselves with delicious food, since Vilia is famous for the excellent local meat served in the tavernas of the village. Don’t miss out on the dairy products of the area, such as feta cheese and local yoghurt, as well as the donuts and famous syrup desserts.
At the main square of Vilia you will come across the imposing Byzantine church of Metamorphosis Sotiros, built in 1893 by Ernst Ziller. Next to the church stands the Post-Byzantine chapel of Pammegistoi Taxiarches (1637), where you will marvel at the old murals and the pebbled floor.
Every season of the year offers majestic sceneries and memorable experiences in Vilia. In winter you will savour hot beverages and delicious flavours by the fireplace, you will immerse into the otherworldly landscape of the mountain, and play with the snow. In the warm days of summer, you will enjoy the delightful briskness of Mount Cithaeron, away from the cement of the city, as well as the… crystal waters of the area’s beaches.
Vilia is an excellent starting point for excursions and exploration of the wider West Attica, from the wonderful beaches in Porto Germeno, Psatha and Alepochori, to the mythical Mount Cithaeron and the archaeological sites of the area, such as the Fortress of Eleftheres just outside the ancient town of Oinoi. Don’t forget to visit the Prophet Elijah monastery that is built in a lush green landscape just outside Vilia, or the ancient fortress of Aigosthena, in Porto Germeno.
On your way out of Vilia, just 1.5 km outside the village, you will see a sign to Cithaeron. After a few minute drive, at an altitude of 1,090 metres, you will reach the refuge of the Greek Mountaineering Club of Eleusis. Among fir trees and with breathtaking view of the entire mountain, the modern refuge offers spaces for picnics as well as organised trekking excursions and accommodation for those who wish to get closer to the mountain and nature.
The asphalt road that starts from the refuge continues to the top of the mountain. From here, 1,400 metres above sea level, the view is truly amazing! You can see the Saronic islands, the mountains of the Peloponnese and Central Greece, Mount Parnitha, Vardoussia mountains, Mount Parnassos and a lot more. The entire landscape is absolutely stunning! In this totally quiet scenery the soul is at peace.
Mount Cithaeron is rich in flora, fauna and… myths. This is where the infamous Lion of Cithaeron lived, bringing terror to the people of the area. Heracles managed to kill it with a club he made from a Cithaeron olive tree. Greek goddess of the hunt, Artemis, had chosen Mount Cithaeron as her retreat, while Oedipus was abandoned as an infant on this very mountain.
In Attica the charm of the mountain meets the pure beauty of the village and the salty breeze of the sea. In Vilia one minute you will stroll along picturesque narrow streets and immerse into the scents and flavours of an authentic village. The next minute you will find yourselves in beaches with crystal waters, archaeological sites, and lush green mountainous landscapes, ideal for picnics, hiking and mountain bike, before you reach the mountain top with the breathtaking panoramic view!
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