I love everything about Greece. From the cerulean blue sea, the whitewashed buildings that cling to the cliffsides, the turquoise window boxes and pink geraniums, and the people, oh, those warm, vibrant, handsome people. Do they ever sleep?
Certainly not at night! Theyre too busy singing and dancing in the tavernas until the suns rays glint through the grape-vined trellises.
Your introduction to Greece will probably be through the stunning new Athens airport, completed in time for the 2004 Olympics. The highways into the city are broad and handsome, and the 45-minute taxi ride is an exciting introduction to this ancient city.
Towering above, and visible from all angles is the Acropolis with the recently revitalised Parthenon. Your hotel choice includes dazzling new hotels on the entry to the city centre, or charming ancient hotels nestled in the Plaka district at the foot of the Acropolis or others around the two main squares, Syntagma or Omonia. Your budget will govern your choice.
The highlights of this capital city (pop. 3,103,000) are, of course, the Acropolis, the Olympic Stadium, the Archeological Museum and the Parliament with the changing of the Evzone guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Fun-seekers will head for the Plaka with its ubiquitous souvenir shops, quaint little churches, glittering gold jewellery shops, and tavernas with bearded bouzouki players entertaining until the wee small hours.
Shoppers will seek out Monastiraki Square and the Flea market on Pandrossou Street, while a restful afternoon can be spent in the National Garden with it swan lakes and duck ponds and terrace cafes with live orchestras.
Nighttime entertainment on a cultural level includes the Dora Stratou Dance Theatre, usually packaged with the Sound and Light Show at the Acropolis. Folk dances from villages throughout Greece are presented in costume.
If youre in Athens in the summertime, nothing could be more exciting than to hear a concert at the Herod Atticus Theater on the south slope of the Acropolis. Recent performers have included the popular Greek performer, Yanni, as well as Andrea Bocelli and opera highlights with Jessye Norman.
Of course, Athens is just the gateway to the rest of the Greek mainland and Piraeus with its daily departure of dozens of cruise ships to the Greek Islands. As Greek yacht charter specialists, we lead a tour of Athens, from the Sound and Light show at the Acropolis to bouzouki players in the Plaka’s tavernas.