5 days in Athens program
Start from the bustling center of Athens, Syntagma Square, where the Parliament stands. Watch the changing of the guards, the Evzones dressed in traditional costumes. See the National Gardens, an oasis of greenery and calm in the middle of the city. See the Presidential Palace, the neo-classical building Zappeion that hosts a Congress center and the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games took place. Visit the Temple of Zeus, once the biggest temple in Antiquity and Hadrian’s arch. Stroll in picturesque Plaka, checking out Anafiotika.
Continue the stroll in Monastiraki and see the flea market, the Roman Agora, the Tower of the Winds, Hadrian’s Library.
(Note: all this can be done by walking – recommended – but also by car if necessary)
Have a late lunch or early dinner at Gostijo.
Ascend the Lykavettus Hill with cable car at sunset time or evening to watch the magnificent panorama of lit Athens below.
Visit the highlight of Athens, the Acropolis and its monuments: the architectural chef-d’oeuvre Parthenon, the Erechtheieon and its famous Karyatides (women-columns) and the Temple of Athina Niki. See the Theater of Herodes Atticus, where shows still take place every summer and the ancient theater of Dionysos, the most ancient theater in Greece. From there, visit the Museum of the Acropolis, voted best Museum in the world in 2010. (Tip to avoid the long lines for tickets at the Acropolis: buy your tickets the day before when visiting the Temple of Zeus – it’s a united ticket)
Walk down the longest pedestrian promenade of Europe, Dionysos Areopagitou, connecting all archeological sites to arrive at Thission and Psiri, where Gostijo is located. After lunch, relax in the lake of Vouliagmeni, famous for its therapeutic virtues. Then, through a beautiful coastal road with breathtaking views, get to Sounion and the Poseidon Temple on time to watch the sunset.
Visit the Jewish Museum and learn about the ancient history of the local Jewish community. Walk through Plaka and visit the traditional House of Angeliki Hatzimihali and its beautiful woodcut sculptures. Continue through picturesque commercial Pandrossou St., lively Monastiraki Square and its flea market. See the ancient Agora, which was the center of political and commercial life in Ancient Greece. One of its monuments, Temple of Ifaistus, is one of the most ancient well-preserved Doric Temples. Visit the 2 synagogues, the Holocaust monument and the Keramikos, which was the burial site of Athens in ancient times.
After lunch, explore the modern part of Athens, its neo-classical buildings (Academy, University, Library) and the Kolonaki upscale district for shopping. You can also visit the Archeological Museum or the Benaki Museum.
In the evening, take in a traditional Greek dance show or one of Athens Festival’s events.
Day trip to the Peloponnese: See the impressive Canal of Corinthos, 79 meters deep, visit the theater of Epidavros and the charming town of Nafplio: its fortress Palamidi where Kolokotroni, a Greek independence hero was imprisoned, its islet Bourtzi, its old town on the waterfront. The best way to do this excursion is with rented car, but there are also organized tours, or public transportation.
Day trip to the islands of Argosaronic Golf: choose one or visit all 3 of the islands with an organized cruise. Stroll on Hydra with its majestic mansions and its pedestrian streets or choose Aigina with its charming old town and ancient Temple of Afaia. Whatever you decide, you are sure to have an unforgettable day.