Athens is lucky enough to be close to some natural locations you can visit if you want to escape its hustle and bustle. Going on a day trip around and near Athens means you view the island, the mountainous, and the archaeological, secret sceneries.
Considering that, you walk along the countryside, uncover the animals, flora, and fauna, learn about the history, and find new activities to do between hiking, extreme sports, or a picnic.
Anything you pick to combine a short excursion not so far from the city is ideal for letting go, taking some fresh air, having a different lunch out there, and making your journey more adventurous. Exchange one day only to meet vast areas of greenery, blue scenic or traditional hidden villages sharing their treats with visitors. Let us find out where to start!
Who says cities do not own a forest or a lake? ?
Just a short half-hour jaunt from the city center, Lake Vouliagmeni stands as a precious jewel in Attica’s NATURA 2000 network. Fed by subterranean springs, its waters create an emerald sanctuary, a natural spa blending thermal springs and sea tides, with temperatures between 21°C and 29°C inviting year-round swims. Lake Vouliagmeni offers a haven for rejuvenation, surrounded by lush landscapes that elevate both body and spirit. The ‘Privé Area’ beckons, where you can luxuriate on sunbeds, bask in personal service, or even secure a daybed facing the awe-inspiring rock formation and you can indulge in a massage.
Hiking, biking or running, Mount Hymettus will be a delight for that. A protected nature reserve 20 minutes away from downtown is what you see surrounding Athens with its three slopes. Stroll among the trees, find a cute spot for lunch, and relax or if you can climb, have the best panoramic look at the whole city.
Parnitha‘s Hill is another proposal, the highest mountain in Attiki and an ultimate wildlife destination for all four seasons, seeing deer and foxes along with a diversity of plant life. Alpine-like views, an accessible refuge to eat or rest, and a remote setting fill one last picture of your visit to Athens. Be careful to avoid getting lost and be aware of the weather. You can always take the cable car to the casino.
Learn more about the Attica mountains here and stick to each municipality’s precautions due to weather conditions, especially during summer. Avoid visiting them when it is a high season and a danger for fire.
Let’s go on a picnic and make it adventurous! ?
Take a 1-hour journey to the Tatoi Palace, surrounded by ruins with forested paths, a summer residence of the Greek royal family that is now open to everyone after preservation. There you can hear the sound of the wind through the leaves and have a medieval walk and romantic picnic while taking the most aesthetic photos as a sweet memory.
This abandoned palace will remind you of contemporary monarchy decadence that you would not think you might see in Athens, impersonated with architectural value in this estate. It is a left-behind story dressed in decaying prestige with film images of a wasted beauty for you to capture on your way to this place as passing from gates and strange items will be like a treasure game route.
If you lean towards a lake, go to Limni Mpeletsi. An amazingly green place near Parnitha that hosts ducks and swans. You can lie down and try its warm drink in the fall and winter seasons, where it is at its best. It has pine and fir trees, a forest road, and an idyllic terrain for all.
It’s island time! ?
Small, picturesque islands very close to the capital are all that locals and travelers live for, suggested to those who prefer some peace, community products, and artistic blue topographies. Hydra is an island that welcomes you in its port with a donkey, no cars, just little boat taxis, and district tavernas to taste fried seafood. Being full of yachts at night, this combines folk and glamorous lifestyle options.
It also serves you traditional sweets (amygdalota) and Greek coffee, and we advise you to visit the monastery of Prophet Ilias as it promises a refreshing hiking tour. White and blue houses, where you can wander around, bumping into souvenir shops and cats, will be on your to-do list after walking on the coastline. You can also take water rides to discover deserted beaches and take a glimpse into this virgin beauty.
We saved the last for the best part, the idea of traveling to Poros for a day and night, an Anatolian-influenced island that is so worth visiting for its graphic looks. Colorful old houses with wooden floors, sunset spots on the narrow high stairs, and small balconies to view the sea under the lights holding an ouzo-based cocktail will reward you. Explore the harbor town, take the bus or a boat and discover more beaches, Zoodohos Pigi monastery, the town’s square, and the library, or pick a tote bag from the stores for your way back.
Get in, we are going on short excursions! ?