Summer Staycation: Athens, Greece

city of athens

Summer vacations are practically made for travel- gorgeous beaches, hot sand, fancy cocktails. Not to mention the countless pictures you will post on Instagram, showing off these so-called fabulous getaways. 

But what if this summer you are unable to travel? We know, what a terrifying thought! While all your friends seem to be having the time of their lives on some tropical island in the Caribbean, you’re stuck at home. And the more you scroll through Instagram, the more FOMO you are bound to have.

 Although nearly 50% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, other countries in the world have not been as effective at rolling out doses of the vaccine. In fact, COVID-19 infections are increasing in Greece, with about 2,689 new infections reported on average each day.

(Check out this blog post to learn more about TEFL and the latest COVID-19 Info.)

It is obviously a priority for all individuals to take the necessary precautions to stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. While there is still a high risk of infection in many European countries, individuals can still enjoy their summer holiday in a safe and enjoyable way.

Millions of people around the world are opting for a different kind of vacation. People are learning that they can have just as much fun in their own neighbourhoods. A positive outlook on the situation here is key!

You don’t need a fancy destination to have an awesome summer. Who knows, you may be shocked to learn that there are so many unique and unknown experiences that your hometown has to offer. And in a place like Greece, you are bound to find countless activities to do and places to explore. 

Read on for our list of things to do on your Summer Staycation in Athens, Greece. 

Why Athens?

Living in a city as vibrant as Athens should be something to appreciate. From its rich history imprinted in its incredible ruins to its traditional architecture and delicious cuisine, there are so many reasons to be proud of living in Athens. 

If you have taken away anything from European history, you must know that it is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation. Countless artistic and intellectual ideas that have heavily impacted our history came directly from Athens. Philosophers, scientists, and artists had called Athens their home. 

Yes, of course, the Acropolis is perhaps the most emblematic site not just of the city, but of the entire country of Greece. As a local, you’ve seen the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, and the Parthenon plenty of times. But there are many other reasons why Athens is a great place to call home. Your summer staycation in Athens is sure to be one you won’t ever forget!

1. Visit One of Kolonaki’s Cafés

Athen’s is a cosmopolitan city made up of a collection of villages, each with its own personal flair. Kolonaki, located north of Syntagma square, is a stylish neighbourhood equipped with some of the city’s best cafés. 

Start your day the Greek way by heading to one of Kolonaki’s cafés for a coffee and pastry. Bring along that book you’ve been putting off reading and enjoy a slow morning. 

If you can’t make it to Kolonaki in the morning, definitely head back there later in the evening, where you can go bar-hopping with friends. 

greek village

2. Check out the Artifacts at Acropolis Museum

If you’re feeling a bit on the touristy side, head to the Acropolis Museum, With more than 3,000 artifacts from the Acropolis, this museum is considered one of the most important in all of Greece. Explore the 92 metopes that were once part of the Parthenon, which depict Greek mythology and legendary battles. 

Or head to the first floor to see works like the Propylaea, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. In the Archaic Gallery, you can find many artists with a sketch pad, using the ancient god and goddess figures as their muse. 

After your visit, grab lunch and a cup of coffee at the museum’s restaurant and take in the breathtaking views of the Acropolis.

Read More about the Museum Here 

acropolis of athens

3. Have a Picnic in The National Gardens

With the Mediterranean heat, summer in Athens is the perfect opportunity for spending as much time as you can outside. Largely underrated, we think picnics are one of the best summer activities. 

Located behind the Parliament, the National Gardens is an area with lush greens and flowers. It is the perfect place to escape the noisy city centre and relax in the peaceful gardens. 

Pack a lunch from home, or pick up your go-to meal at your favourite restaurant and head over to enjoy a delicious meal with friends. Pick a nice spot on one of the many lawns and sprawl out with your spread. The gardens make the perfect backdrop to a cute, wholesome Instagram post!

picnic spread

4. Sunbath on the Beaches of the Athenian Riviera

As one of the most-visited cities in the world, bringing in over 5 million tourists every year, Athens can get pretty crowded in the summer. If you are in need of an escape from the city, we recommend taking a day trip out to one of the beautiful beaches of the Athenian Riviera

There are dozens of beaches and spots for swimming dotted around the coast of Attica. These beaches range from casual local spots to organized luxury options. If you’re looking to skip the ferry ride and find a beach a short drive away from the city, these beaches are the perfect option for you.

Perfect for those in need of some pampering, Astrid Beach is one of the few beaches that requires an entrance fee. However, their full range of high-quality services like free WiFi and luxurious sun-loungers make it worth your money. The beach also offers a wide range of foods and drinks all day long.

Thalassea is another popular spot for swimming near Athens. The gorgeous beach offers a range of services, and in the summers there are weekly beach parties featuring local singers. Additional beaches worthy of visiting include Yabanaki, Edem, Kape Beach, Asimakis, Schinias, and Dikastika.  

girl sunbathing

5. Watch the sunset in Sounio 

At the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula is the city of Sounion, about a 35km journey ( an hour drive) from Athens. Aside from its lovely beaches, it’s also the site of the Temple of Poseidon. Catch the sun setting from your position at the top of the temple, with the backdrop of the crystal blue waters.  

Additionally, Sounion Beach is another great place to catch views of the Temple. With plenty of beach amenities like umbrellas and sun loungers, you can soak up the sun while feeling immersed in the culture. 

Along the ocean there are multiple tavernas and great spots for fresh seafood. Enjoy a delicious fish dinner caught only a few hours before while you enjoy the superb views. We recommend Taverna Syrtaki or Theodoros & Eleni Fish Tavern.

greek sunset

The post Summer Staycation: Athens, Greece appeared first on The TEFL Academy Blog.

I have been traveling and teaching ESL abroad ever since I graduated university. This life choice has taken me around the world and allowed me to experience cultures and meet people that I did not know existed.

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