26/02/2021 Athens is an ideal destination for a city trip; nice weather, tasty food, a relaxing atmosphere, and tons of things to see and do. Being the capital of Greece, it’s also home to many myths and a long history. When you are staying more days in Athens and already ticked the Acropolis and other highlights from your list, you may wonder what to do next. Our suggestion: go and explore the diverse surroundings of Athens! Here’s a list of the 5 best day trips from Athens.
Delphi is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most famous sites of Greece. Here the oracle of Apollo spoke and attracted pilgrims from all over the Greek world. As a religious center and symbol of unity, Delphi had an enormous impact in ancient times.Photo: The view from the archaeological site of Delphi
ON THE WAY
In comparison to the urban surroundings of Athens, a day trip to Delphi is a complete change of scene. On the way to Delphi, you have the chance to see the diverse countryside of Greece with ever-changing landscapes. You pass villages, lakes, valleys, winter sports towns, and the end destination is situated in the mountains.
WHAT TO SEE
The archaeological site is located on the hillside of Mount Parnassos. Walk the sacred way and pass some of the remaining treasuries. Halfway up you can experience Delphi’s ancient reputation as the navel of the universe at the temple of Apollo. A bit higher you may marvel at the theater of Delphi, and the brave ones can climb even further to have a look at the stadium. The most beautiful finds can be seen in the museum which is situated outside of the archaeological site on the left side.Photo: The Temple of Apollo at Delphi
How far? 185 km How to get there? By car (ca. 2.5 hours). Be aware that this route contains tolls. | By KTEL bus How much time do I need? Schedule a full day (8-10 hours) Best time to visit? Spring or Fall Don't miss: Superb landscape with mountain view Private Tour: Delphi Tour
Cape Sounio is situated at the most southern point of Attica. Here the marble temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea, dramatically stands at the cliffs where the sea hits the rocks. Surrounded on three sides by the sea, you can actually feel why the ancient Greeks honored their sea god at this point.Photo: Sunset at the Temple of Poseidon in Sounion
ON THE WAY
The coastal road to Sounio is one of the most stunning routes in Attica. The Athens Riviera offers beaches with lots of beach bars. After leaving Varkiza you feel that you really left Athens when you drive right next to the sea for another ca. 40 kilometers, just taking in the Greek blue sea. This coastline has uncountable small beaches, many (fish) taverns, and small villages suitable for a coffee or some ice cream in summer.
WHAT TO SEE
Arrived at Cape Sounio, visit the archaeological site with the Temple of Poseidon. This iconic place has inspired mythology, history, and even the poet Lord Byron, who wrote his name in one of the columns. Wander around the remains of the ancient city including city walls, settlement remains, and ship sheds. Take a stand on the rocks of Cape Sounio and marvel at some islands in the Aegean Sea.Photo: The Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion
How far? 65 km How to get there? By car (ca. 1 hour). Beautiful coastal road. Just know that Athenians like to go to the wonderful beaches along the coast too and it may be busy in the weekends | By KTEL bus, departs from Athens city center How much time do I need?Full day when you also go for a swim and lunch/ dinner Best time to visit? For a romantic afternoon, visit Sounio just before sunset Don't miss: Enjoy the sunset
After the Acropolis in Athens, Epidaurus is the most visited archaeological site on the Greek mainland. In this UNESCO World Heritage Site the sanctuary of Asklepios, the god of healing, developed and became a noteworthy testimony of the healing cults. Epidaurus is a most unique place, where the healing of body and mind were treated simultaneously in one of the most complex Greek sanctuaries of antiquity.Photo: The Ancient Stadium of Epidaurus
ON THE WAY
In comparison to Athens, Epidaurus is situated on the opposite side of the Saronic Gulf. Leaving buzzy Athens for rustic Epidaurus, you have a chance to see part of the mythical Peloponnese. A trip to Epidaurus may be combined with a stop at the canal of Corinth or a visit to Nafplio.
WHAT TO SEE
Epidaurus is most famous for its wonderfully preserved ancient theatre. Experience the amazing acoustics during an ancient Greek play performed in this theater. Wander around the archaeological site and marvel at the remains of the sanctuary of Asklepios, the tholos, the temple of Asklepios, and a stadium. The most beautiful statues and artifacts from Epidaurus can be seen in the museum.Photo: The Ancient Theater of Epidaurus
How far? 140 km How to get there? By car (ca. 2 hours). Be aware that this route contains tolls. | By KTEL bus How much time do I need? Schedule a full day (8-10 hours) Best time to visit? Summer Don't miss: A performance by national and international artists in the ancient theater - Athens & Epidaurus festival -
The Marathon race is a well-known annual event in many cities all around the globe. Its origin comes from the town Marathon on the coast of Attica. Admire the remains of the famous battle of Marathon against the Persians and experience that this fight was crucial in European history. The valley of Marathon provides a unique opportunity for a journey into the remote past.Photo: Tumulus of Marathon
ON THE WAY
Marathon lies on the eastern coast of Attica. Leaving the suburbs of Athens you drive part of the authentic Marathon Race. Pass the coastal port town of Rafina where you can take the ferry to several Cycladic islands. Rafina or coastal town Nea Makri are excellent choices for a fish or seafood lunch when sniffing up the salty sea air.