"Discover the best of Athens in four days with your own private local guide!.."
Walking around the Athens, the cradle of Western civilisation and the birthplace of democracy, feels like exploring a lively, open-air museum. Every step you take leads to a fascinating monument.
Few people though know about Athens’ natural wonders as it is surrounded by sea and mountains and harbours magnificent fauna and flora – there are 140 recorded species of wildflowers alone! You can enjoy hiking, swimming, snorkelling, birdwatching, sailing, diving, kayaking… just minutes away from the centre!
This 4-day private Athens short break combines sightseeing and adventure!
Our guide will take you away from the touristic areas and show you the hidden gems of Athens and beyond.
On Day 1, you’ll dive into the marvelous world of Ancient Athens and discover hidden corners rich in history and cultural significance. Starting from the Akropolis, you’ll walk through old neighbourhoods and picturesque narrow alleys to the Roman Agora, the Ancient Agora, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Pnyx Hill and Mars Hill, from where you’ll enjoy an incredible view of all of Athens. More details below…
On Day 2, you’ll experience a food tour around Athens’ old neighborhoods, central vegetables, meat and fish markets, where you will “taste” the true soul of the Greek diet by trying lesser-known delicacies and popular traditional dishes!
On Day 3, you’ll enjoy a coastal ride along the Athenian riviera to the spectacular National Park of Sounio. You’ll walk in the heart of the Park enjoying unique flora, sublime coastal views, geological and archeological wonders. You’ll end the day at the famous Cape Sounio where you can swim and watch the sunset from Poseidon’s temple!
On Day 4, you can choose between different activities such as a nature hike at Mt Hymettus or Parnitha, both a hiker’s heaven and ideal birdwatching spots. Other options involve swimming at remote beaches, kayaking, scuba diving or sailing to a nearby island. The options are endless and we’ll tailor the ideal trip for you.
When you return home you can say with confidence that you have seen all of Athens off-the-beaten track sites, experienced its unique nature, got to know the local culture and tasted the amazing cuisine everyone is talking about!
Here is an example of what you will experience during your private Athens short break adventure holiday…
On the way you’ll discover the most important archeological sites; the Roman Agora with the Tower of the Winds and Adrian’s library… the Ancient Agora where great philosophers such as Socrates spoke about global truths… the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Pnyx Hill where democracy was born and Mars Hill, from where we have an incredible view of all of Athens.
• Your expert archeologist guide will introduce you to the archeological and historical highlights of Athens as you walk along the gentle hills around the Acropolis…
• We’ll take you on a journey that started 3000 years ago, from ancient Greece to the contemporary city of today…
• You’ll hear stories from the Greek mythology and ancient Athenians daily life! Famous ancient myths will come to life, stories about Gods and Heroes, such as almighty Zeus, Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and protector of Athens, stories about philosophers such as Socrates who shaped our way of thinking…
• You’ll explore the 5 oldest and most important historically neighborhoods of Athens…
• You’ll understand how and why ancient Athens became the cradle of Western civilization…
We’ll end our tour with lunch in an authentic Greek tavern!
Let us take you on a food tour around Athen’s old neighborhoods where you will:
• “Taste” the true soul of Athens by trying lesser-known and popular delicacies and traditional dishes!
• Explore the most picturesque neigbourhoods and get a feel of “every day life” of Athenians;
• Experience the buzzing fish, meat, vegetables and spices markets!
Our local guide will first take you for a Greek coffee and “koulouri” where you’ll learn all about the Greek diet and how food culture has been transformed from the ancient, ottoman to the modern times. You will then walk to the vibrant “spices” street and central Varvakios Market; the biggest fish, meat and vegetable market and one of the most exciting places in the city! Butchers, fishmongers and farmers whose families have had stalls in the market for a century are shouting for attention creating a buzzing atmosphere!
On the way, you will sample various cured meats, local cheeses, olive oils, dips, spices and herbs before continuing to the colorful, old and picturesque neighborhoods of Monastiraki and Psiri. Time for lunch at one of the oldest taverns in the city where you’ll taste a variety of traditional meat and vegetable dishes… “melizanosalata”, stuffed vine leaves, stuffed tomatoes and peppers, “imam”, “briam”, various casseroles, to name a few!
We’ll continue our neighbourhood exploration walk and stop at our favourite pastry shop where you’ll taste traditional mouthwatering deserts! Our tour ends at the flea market in Monastiraki, below the Acropolis. By now, we hope that you’ll have seen and tasted the best that the Greek cuisine has to offer!
As you walk this magnificent trail, you’ll pass the impressive gulch of Chaos, the tunnels of the 20th century iron mines and the washing plants of the ancient mines, which date back to the 3rd century BC and brought great wealth to Athens, making it a super power during Classical times! The area is riddled with caves, archaeological riches, more recent ruined dwellings and plants scattered over the hills. On the way the migratory birds and wild flours accompany your journey.
Our hike ends at the magical site of the ancient temple of Poseidon, dating back to 400 BC, built at the southern tip of cape Sounio! According to myth, Sounio was the place of the tragic death of Aegeus, the king of Athens as he mistakenly thought that his son Theseus had died. The sea where he fell has since been called the Aegean Sea. Enjoy a refreshing swim and lunch before watching the magical sunset from the temple! An ideal ending to a perfect day!
OPTION A: HIKE & EXPLORE THE NATIONAL PARK OF MT PARNITHA
Parnitha, where the cloven-hoof god Pan used to dance and play his flute, offers a vast network of paths, rich flora and fauna and stunning views of the whole of Athens. It is the perfect place for nature and hiking lovers as well as herb collectors.
As you walk through thick forests of fir and pine, jagged mountain peaks, gorges, caves, and springs, our guide will introduce to the resident mammal species such as deer, rabbits, foxes (the Park is home of the largest remaining Red Deer populations in Greece)… resident and migratory bird species, many of which are endemic… and some of the 1000 different plant and herbs one can encounter…
On the way, we’ll stop at the mountain shelter for a cosy snack and drink and a chance to soak in the natural wonders you have experieced in one of the richest habitats in Greece. (Hiking distance: 10km, Level: Easy to medium, Walking time: 3-5 hours)
OPTION B: SEA KAYAK ALONG THE SOUTH COAST OF ATHENS
Prepare yourselves for the best and most complete sea kayaking experience that Athens has to offer. Enjoy a tour along the beautiful Athenian coastline. After a short but necessary introductory lesson, containing important directions for your safety and the smooth conduct of the activity, we will begin our rowing adventure! En route we’ll stop at nearby islets and remote beaches for a swim and a bit of snorkeling. The day will end with a meal at our favourite fish taverns while enjoying the sunset!
OPTION C: SAIL AT THE MAGICAL WATERS OF THE AEGEAN
Enjoy a day sailing towards the island of Aegina with its picturesque fishing port and beautiful bays… explore the volcanic Methana peninsula…. swim and snorkel in the turquoise blue water of a pine covered islet Moni… this is a unique experience that you can enjoy privately or semi-privately. Contact us at info@nofootprintgr for advice and options…
The guides, Annie and Melita, were fantastic and showed me a part of Greece I never would have seen. I especially loved how they took care of ordering our food and introduced to us to the delicacies. Wonderful holiday in all ways. A great value. Thanks!”