Athens excursions to the coasts of Attica Sounion and Marathon
The perfect location of Athens in the Attica basin, plus the sea and land transport infrastructure, gives the possibility for
day trips to many places around Athens and Attica.Many Historical places, monuments, Ancient sites, Byzantine monasteries and castles like the Palamidi Castle of Nafplion and the Castle of Corinth, are within a couple of hours driving from Athens.
At the southernmost peak of the Attica peninsula about 60 km from Athens situated the Temple of Poseidon in Sounion. That particular day trip is one of the best ways to explore the beauties of the west coasts of Attica, its beautiful sea resorts and towns. The journey starts from Athens and following the coastal road we pass through the Athenian Riviera suburbs of Glyfada, Voula, Kavouri, Vouliagmeni and Varkiza. Further to the south we pass from the sea resorts of Lagonisi (a popular holiday resort for the Athenians) , Saronida and Anavissos. Anavissos is a beautiful small town by the Saronic coast, a good place for a stop over. In Anavissos you will find a very organised beach ideal for all kind of water sports and fishing, there is also a special area for paragliding. Across the beach there are many fish taverns to enjoy fresh fish and sea food. A few kilometres away is the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. The place is probably one of the most popular tourist destinations in Attica. Try to locate the name of Lord Byron that he curved on the marble 200 years ago. From Sounion you can enjoy the most breathtaking sunsets overlooking the Aegean sea. At the area the visitor will find hotels, restaurants and taverns.
Another day trip from Athens is a visit to Marathon combine with a visit to several sea resorts of the west coast of Attica using the shortcut of Attiki odos towards the Athens airport and turning to the junction towards Spata. A few kilometres from Spata with its the famous vineyards and Retsina located the sea resort of Loutsa and a little bit further to the south the Ancient site of Vravrona. Returning from Vravrona heading north towards Marathon you can visit the beautiful sea towns and resorts of Rafina and Nea Makri. The road goes through smaller sea resorts with sandy beaches, pine trees, and idyllic landscapes through the villages of Voutzas, Kokkino Limanaki, Mati, Zoumberi, Agios Andreas. A small break for lunch to the numerous taverns along the coast is a perfect idea. Rafina is after
Piraeus the main port to the Cyclades islands, ferries departing from Rafina to Andros, Tinos, Mykonos and other islands of the Cyclades.
Nea Makri has been developed the last 20 years to a modern almost suburb of Athens equivalent with those of Glyfada, Voula and Vouliagmeni. This is due to the fact that many Athenians slowly moving out of the centre of Athens in such areas as Nea Makri and other resorts especially in nowadays that the distances from Athens has been eliminated with new roads and highways.
A day trip to the mountain of Parnitha is a must if you stay longer in Athens. Within 30 minutes you can drive up to the Hotel of Mont Parnes and enjoy the panoramic view of Athens from a height of 1200 ft about.
Parnitha mountain is the popular outing for the Athenians during the winter especially when Parnitha is covered from snow. At the slopes of Parnitha in Thrakomakedones you will find numerous traditional Greek Hasapotavernes (Grill houses) famous for their grilled pork and lamb. Such taverns you will find as well in Vari and Aspropyrgos.
Marathon located a few kilometres to the North of Nea Makri, there you can see the tomb where the Athenians buried their soldiers after the glorious battle of Marathon in 490 BC. Near to the tomb is the start of the Olympic Marathon venue. Not far from the Athenian's tomb located the tomb of the Plataeans the allies of the Athenians during the battle of Marathon. A visit to the lake and the Dam of Marathon is a very interesting part of the day trip. The lake until resent years was the main water supply of Athens. From there you can return to Athens from the national highway E75.
Another good ternary for a day trip is a visit to Epidaurus combine with a visit to Nafplion and Mycenae. The Journey can be done as well from the island of Spetses returning back to Athens from Costa and visiting the resorts of Porto Heli and Ermioni. Nafplion, Epidaurus and Mycenae are only a couple of hours of driving from Athens. That route as well as day trips to the west-north west of Attica towards Elefsis, Megara, Corinth and Loutraki,plus day trips to the Saronic islands of Salamis, Aegina, Poros, Hydra and Spetses will be covered soon in another article.