Just a stone’s throw from the bustling centre of Athens, eastern Attica is waiting to be discovered.
Eastern Attica is a truly enchanting district, with lush vegetation and beautiful beaches. Greeks have been producing the famous Mesogeia local wine for centuries in the vast Markopoulo vineyards. Be sure to visit one of the area’s numerous wineries to learn about the industry’s history, the production process and, of course, to try many different varieties and labels.
As you make your way to the beach, you’ll pass through some incredible vineyards and olive groves, before ending up in Porto Rafti. This enchanting seaside resort and port of Mesogeia is a popular destination not only for the Athenians who keep summer residences there, but also for visitors seeking a fun and relaxed weekend getaway.
Swim in the crystal clear waters and cosy coves at beaches like Erotospilia, Agia Marina, Agios Spyridonas, and Avlaki. When you’re done, grab a bite to eat at the local seaside tavernas, and get ready for a magical evening that will stretch into the wee hours of the morning.
If you like to hike, venture into the pine forest, located near the islet of Raftis just across from Erotospilia beach. To get there, follow the signs towards the village of Kouvaras and park your car at the foot of the forest trails. Or make your way by car through the scenic village taking in the narrow streets and beautiful central square.
In Vravrona, a short distance from Porto Rafti, lies the Temple of Artemis, one of the most important religious temples of ancient times, which features an excellent on-site Archaeological Museum.
The area of Kalyvia and Mount Paneio boast a number of brilliant archaeological findings from the Neolithic era, and remnants from the Mycenaean period. Most notable among them are the statues of Kouros which date back to the Archaic period (seventh to sixth centuries BC).
After visiting the archaeological sites, dine in one of the local traditional tavernas, which are known for their delicious meat. Kalyvia Thorikou is famous for its steak restaurants featuring incredible spit-roasted meats including lamb, pork, intestines and spleen.
Go for a swim or play some beach volleyball on the sandy beach of Galazia Akti. Or stop at the nearby beach of Agios Dimitrios, which offers protection from the wind, fine golden sand and lovely waters.
Keratea is a city filled with tradition, history and a distinct cultural identity shaped by Themistocles, a native of the area’s ancient municipality of Fryarrea.
With its lovely houses and wide streets, it’s no wonder many Athenians have chosen to make Keratea their permanent residence. The main square centres upon the church of Agios Dimitrios. Also of note is the neoclassical Drosopoulou Mansion, which currently functions as a museum and the Public Library. Meanwhile, in Zoodochos Pigi, the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Gkarika attracts hundreds of visitors each year.
Though not a seaside town, Keratea does offer spectacular local beaches such as Kakia Thalassa. After a visit, consider refuelling with traditional stew from a local café or a sip of tsipouro from the city’s many tavernas. The ancient theatre of Thorikos, dating back to the sixth century BC, can be found just 13 kilometres from Keratea. One more kilometre away, you’ll find the ancient temple of Demeter and Kore.
The city of Lavrio is a living museum. The area’s mines stretch on for hundreds of kilometres and contain more than 500 different ores and minerals. These resources played a major role in establishing Athens as a naval power.
Today, Lavrio is a dynamic, modern city with a strong historic identity. Across from the Lavrio Palm Forest stands the imposing, neoclassical Euterpe Mansion, the former seat of the local philharmonic orchestra. Lavrio is the second largest port of Athens, with boats departing for Kea and Kythnos, as well as the islands of the Cyclades and the Eastern Aegean.
While in Lavrio, don’t forget to stroll through Town Hall Square and check out the local fish market. Other great local sites include the Mineralogical Museum of Lavrio, the Technology Park and the Handicraft-Industrial Educational Museum. After your tours, enjoy some ouzo and delicious seafood from the local beachside tavernas.
In the afternoon don’t forget to visit the famous Temple of Poseidon in Sounio. The view to the infinite blue is simply magical… and so is the sunset from the ancient rock.
• The Attica Zoo Park in Spata features a diverse collection of birds, mammals and reptiles and is open daily from 9.00am until sunset.
• The Cave of Paiania (or Koutouki), which is rich in geological formations.
• The Vorres Museum in Paiania houses many archaeological findings, ceramic items, oil paintings, folk art collections and more.