Eleven years later I discovered why an Athens vacation is so popular with tourists the world over. In 2001, I knew why I'd come back.
In actual fact my first visit in 1990 was really a conference with my work, courtesy of a good year.
I still had time to see some of this great city, and even managed a cruise to two of the islands, Hydra and Poros.
But everything seemed a bit rushed, and as I mentioned in the Greece overview, the thing I remembered most was how difficult it was to get across the road.
This visit was different. Rose was with me, I was relaxed and we had enough time to appreciate everything Athens has to offer. The city is amazing.
You Can See a Lot in One Day :
In the space of one day we saw archaeological ruins, had lunch in
a fine restaurant, a walk along a beautiful sandy beach, and looked forward to a lively night on the town, all the time savouring the cosmopolitan flavour of the place.
I was enjoying my Athens vacation, and it was to get even better, there was so much to see.
If you like museums you are in for a treat with The Archaeological, The Acropolis, The Byzantine and Christian, The Folklore, War and Benaki museums. Historcal sites include the Parthenon, the Ancient Dionysus Theatre and the Ancient Agora.
Yes an Athens vacation has something for everyone.
At the foot of Acropolis hill is the market district of Monastiraki, popular for leather and jewellery, traditional Greek art and souvenirs.
You can get to most of the sights and attractions by foot, so you don't miss a thing, but the local transport is efficient if you need to use it.
The main shopping area in the city is pedestrian only, and throughout the city there are is an abundance of tavernas, cafes and restaurants where you can sample traditional Greek food, or almost anything else.
You must take a Cruise :
There are plenty of cruises from Athens to the Islands, and the one I recommend is the one-day three island cruise to Aegina, Poros and Hydra. Although not cheap, it is a fabulous day out, well worth it, and I guarantee it will be one of the highlights of your Athens vacation.
Some things never change, so be careful when crossing the road.
Backpacking or doing a self guided tour of Europe? You can find thousands of Hostels & Budget Accommodation throughout Europe.
Travelling to Athens :
Shop around for deals on the lowest air fares, and customise your trip with flight or hotel only, or as a package. Please remember insurance when travelling. Essential Travel offer online discount travel insurance.
Quick search Athens Hotels for the latest offers.
The monetary unit of Greece is the Euro. Check the Currency Converter to see how far your money will go.
Athens Climate :
August is the hottest month with temperatures around 27C. Most of the rainfall comes between November and February.
Athens Airports :
Just one, Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport serves most major airlines.
Getting around :
Best on foot, but there is the option of a good network of Metro, trains, trams & buses.
Popular Athens Attractions :
The Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Ancient Dionysus Theatre and the Ancient Agora.
One thing you must do :
Take the three island cruise, it's fantastic.
My Rome Vacation
I returned feeling spiritually good, inspired, and humble. The numerous churches, monuments, fountains and parks make walking in Rome an absolute pleasure. This is by far the best way to see the city. I hope to go back next year.