I was lucky to visit Athens in June this year, a perfect time before the scorching heat of summer set in. Our first stop was the Acropolis and Parthenon. This breathtaking ancient citadel transports back you in time to 5BC – perched on top of a rocky hill, we made our way up on foot. The view from here is majestic over the city of Athens and in the summer, there are music concerts held in the amphitheatre at the foot of the Acropolis.
Next, we made our way to the Temple of Poseidon, a temple dedicated to the God of the Sea, situated at Cape Sounion rising high above the Aegean Sea. Beautiful! It was an early morning drive the following day to visit Delphi on the southern slopes of the Parnossos mountain to see the Temple of Apollo. It’s a truly magnificent site which was built in 7th century BC by two legendary architects, Trophonios and Agamedes.
There are countless Greek islands to visit of course, however the closest to Athens by ferry are Hydra, Aegina and Poros, each of them having their own distinct charm (45 minutes to one hour ferry ride). We decided to vegetate at a beautiful private bay on the island of Aegina sipping cocktails on the beach. Everything on Aegina is made with pistachio and I mean “everything” – butter, oil, ice-cream, dips, marinades, tapenades…you get the picture!
Athens isn’t just for history nerds or visiting ancient monuments. Despite the current economic crises, Athens is also home to a happening nightlife. There are chic bars and cafes between Syntagma Square and Monastiraki. Besides the Galaxy rooftop bar with a great view of the Acropolis and Alexander’s bar at Bretagne hotel, the Psarras Tavern is a definite must-do with the amazing food being favoured by Athenians themselves. The live Greek music makes the experience all the more fun. Situated on a picturesque cobbled street with wooden tables, this restaurant is always busy so book in advance. And do try the grilled sardines for sure!
By Diane Bilimoria, London