A Guide To Attica Greece – History & What To See & Do In Attica
One of the most historically rich and culturally vibrant regions in Greece, Attica is a gorgeous area surrounding Athens. From Athens, the birthplace of philosophy and democracy, to the stunning beaches with the unfathomable blue of Sounion, Attica is a destination that has something to offer everyone.
Our Attica guide will take a deep dive into the must-see attractions, hidden gems, local experiences, and pristine coves that will make your visit to Attica unforgettable.
Whether you’re a history buff, a food enthusiast, or just looking for sun and relaxation, this comprehensive guide has everything you need to plan your perfect trip to this magnificent region. So, pick up a glass of Ouzo and start exploring the wonders of Attica!
A Brief Introduction To Attica Greece
Attica is one of the oldest settlements in Greece that had significant importance during the golden age of Athens. Although the modern Attica region encompasses a large portion of southern Greece, the historical Attica region was much smaller. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato determined the boundaries of Attica by the Isthmus and the Asopus river.
Geographically, Attica is a triangular peninsula with diverse landscapes. The magnificent mountain ranges of Parnes surround Attica from the north, while the Saronic Gulf encloses the region with its turquoise waters and golden beaches.
The Athens Riviera forms the western coastline, while the mountains of Hymettus, Parnitha, Aigaleo, and Penteli separate the plains of Pedias, Mesogeia, and the Thriasian. The Athens urban area spreads across the hilly plateau, marked by semi-continuous hills such as Tourkovounia, Lykavittos, the Acropolis of Athens, and Philopappou.
The region is home to forests of pine and fir trees, with the Synngrou Estate on the foothills of Mount Penteli being the only remaining natural forest in the Athenian plain. The Kifisos is the longest river in Attica, starting from the foothills of Mount Parnitha and emptying into the delta of Faliro east of the port of Piraeus.
How To Get To Attica Greece
You can get to Attica by train, airplane, bus, or car. Although the fastest way to arrive at the region is by plane, you may take a bus or train from neighboring cities to follow a more scenic route. Here are some of the most preferred ways to get to Attica:
You can take trains from Paris, a Deutsche Bahn train from German cities and neighboring Balkan countries.
The majestic Orient Express: Taking off from major European countries, such as France, Italy, Germany, and Austria, the Orient Express offers a scenic route through the Balkans to Attica.
If you’re traveling from Italy, you can take a ferry from ports such as Brindisi, Ancona, or Bari to Greece.
If you want a more flexible trip and discover the beauties of the Balkans, traveling to Attica by car can be a great adventure every you can travel to Attica by car.
If you cannot wait to see Attica and prefer a quick and comfortable trip, you can find flights to Athens and other Attican cities from most European cities.
Things To Do In Attica Greece
The Attica region is well-known for its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and numerous attractions. This stunning land was home to many civilizations throughout history; the area hosts some of the most spectacular historical and natural monuments today. From the attractive old towns of Greece to magnificent mountains, Attica is a wonderland that has a lot to offer for travelers.
Acropolis Of Athens
The Acropolis of Athens is one of Greece’s most recognizable sights, with a rich history extending back thousands of years. The ancient stronghold, perched on a rocky outcrop above Athens, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding terrain and houses several historic buildings of considerable architectural significance, including the world-famous Parthenon.
During ancient times, the Acropolis was the Athenian symbol of power and wealth, and it has since become one of the country’s most prominent tourist destinations. Despite the damage inflicted upon it over the centuries, the Acropolis remains a testament to the remarkable accomplishments of ancient Greek architecture and engineering and a must-visit site for anyone interested in the history and culture of Greece.
Athens Old Town
Plaka is a historic neighborhood in the center of Athens, encircled by the Acropolis’ northern and eastern slopes. Plaka, often known as the “Neighborhood of the Gods,” was built atop ancient Athens’ residential neighborhoods and is home to various archaeological artifacts.
Plaka is divided into two sections: Ano Plaka, which is beneath the Acropolis, and Kato Plaka, located between Syntagma and Monastiraki square. Plaka was known as the “Turkish neighborhood of Athens” during the Ottoman occupation. A fire in 1884 destroyed much of the neighborhood, prompting excavations in the Roman Market and Hadrian’s Library that have lasted since the nineteenth century.
A neighborhood in Athens’s old town, Anafiotika is a lovely and scenic suburb every traveler should visit. The settlement was established in the era of King Otto when workers from the island of Anafi came to Athens to renovate the King’s Palace. Workers from other Cycladic islands arrived over time, adding to the neighborhood’s population and architectural style.
Only 45 buildings of the old settlement survive today, many of which retain their typical Cycladic architecture, with white walls and cubic constructions placed amongst narrow lanes leading to terraces with stunning views of the city.
Psyri is a historic neighborhood in the center of Athens. Psyri, once renowned for its bad image, has transformed recently and is now regarded as one of the city’s most fashionable and trendiest places. The central area, known as Heroes Square, is called by the streets leading to it, named after Greek Revolutionary War heroes. Lord Byron lived in Psyri and penned the poem “Maid of Athens.” Furthermore, for almost 20 years, the great Greek writer Alexandros Papadiamantis lived in the region. Psyri is the ideal blend of history and modern charm, whether you’re seeking a unique location to stay, entertainment, or delicious food.
The Volcano Of Methana
The Methana volcano in Attica is a unique site for environment and history buffs. Volcanic activity in the area began a million years ago and lasted intermittently until 300 years ago, with the most recent eruptions occurring in 1700 at an underwater volcano.
Despite its picturesque scenery, Methana is also a seismically active place due to the numerous tectonic faults that run through the town. The region has been inhabited since 10,000 BC, with ancient settlements, an acropolis, and farm sites like the Mycenaean hamlet and sanctuary near Methana and the Geometric temple near Kounoupitsa.
The Thermal Lake Vouliagmenis
Famed for its towering granite formations, thermal waters, and lush flora, Lake Vouliagmeni is a must-see for nature enthusiasts. The lake formed after the roof of an underwater cave collapsed due to high-temperature water erosion.
The underwater cave system at the lake is a maze of tunnels, the longest of which is 800 meters long. The lake also has a diverse environment with sea anemones, sponges, and mollusks.
Visitors of Vouligameni can also enjoy the therapeutic effects of the Doctor Fish in the lake’s waters. Lake Vouliagmeni is the starting point for experiencing the Athenian Riviera’s natural, archaeological, and cultural attractions.
Coast Of Attica
Surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Aegean, the coast of Attica is the perfect destination for a summer holiday.
The Athenian Riviera, located on the western coast of Attica, including the Saronic Gulf, is home to the most beautiful holiday resorts and pristine coves. Many restaurants, hotels, and monuments in this majestic area allow visitors to experience the local culture and cuisine.
The Saronic Gulf in Attica, Greece, is a stunning natural wonder steeped in history. The Saronic Islands, including Poros, Hydra, Aegina, and Kythira, played a significant role in Greek history.
With its stunning beaches, from Poros to Kythira, and the bustling port of Piraeus, the Saronic Gulf is a popular destination for tourists visiting Athens.
Aegina, a beautiful Greek island in the Saronic Gulf, is a dream destination for those looking for the perfect getaway. Aegina offers a sense of Greek life and culture with its gorgeous beaches, crystal-clear waters, and attractive villages. Plus, local cuisine served at restaurants, taverns, and eateries allow visitors to try Mediterranean cuisine.
Lush forests and orchards covering the island, rolling hills rising to the skies, and pristine beaches serving as a hideout to escape from the crowd of the urban life, Poros is the true gem of the Aegean. Nestled in the picturesque Saronic Gulf of Attica, the island is a destination unlike any other.
The crystal-clear waters of Poros are a paradise for snorkelers and divers, with a stunning underwater world filled with rich marine life and spectacular coral formations. Taking a stroll along the avenues with traditional whitewashed houses and lush greenery is an outstanding experience.
Known for its stunning crystal-clear waters, rugged coastline, and charming cobblestone streets, Hydra is a true gem of the Saronic Gulf. The island’s distinctive architecture, with its white-colored cottages and bougainvillea-draped doors, makes it one of Greece’s most photographed sites.
Hydra has a history as an important port and naval base for the Athenian fleet during the Peloponnesian War. The island is now ideal for individuals who enjoy outdoor activities and exploration.
Kythira is a stunning island in the Saronic Gulf that every nature-lover should visit. This picturesque island boasts scenic beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a rich history dating back to ancient times.
Surrounded by turquoise waters and lush vegetation, the island’s pristine beaches are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling.
If you’re seeking a peaceful, relaxing, and authentic Greek island experience, Kythira is the perfect choice with its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and tranquil atmosphere.
Cape Sounion, located in the heart of the Attic peninsula, is a stunning example of East Attica’s natural beauty. With its breathtaking views and rich cultural heritage, Cape Sounion is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Greece.
However, the true jewel of Cape Sounion is the Temple of Poseidon, one of Athens’ most important structures from the Golden Age. This ancient temple is positioned on a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea on three sides, providing tourists with a stunning view of the surrounding waters. The temple’s ruins are a tribute to ancient Greece’s rich history and a symbol of its cultural legacy.