Are you visiting Athens for more than three days and want to escape the city bustle? Are you looking for some peaceful moments while enjoying nature or an idyllic sunset by the sea? Here are three of the most beautiful escape destinations near Athens, where you can enjoy the sun, the beach, and wonderful scenic views!
Chalkida - credits: photo stella/Shutterstock.com
Just one hour away from Athens, Chalkida is situated where the island of Euboea meets the Greek mainland at the Euripus Strait. Once you reach 'Negroponte' – as Venetians used to call Chalkida - get to the famous 'Sliding Bridge' and watch the sea currents shifting every six hours! Walk along the city’s promenade and enjoy the magnificent sea view, while passing by fishermen and itinerant traders. The city’s waterfront is also popular for the unique restaurants and taverns, so make sure you taste the super fresh seafood they offer.
Walk around the city and admire historical buildings like the Townhall and the Red house. Do not forget to visit the Karababas Fort located on the top of the Fourna Hill and lose yourself in the spectacular view of the gulf. Lastly, in case you are visiting Chalkida during the summer, don’t miss the opportunity to lie on the beach of Lefkanti, just a 15-minute drive away from the city.
Aerial Drone of Marathon Lake - credits: Aerial- motion/Shutterstock.com
As an important historical area and the birthplace of the long-distance endurance race, Marathon is a beautiful getaway near Athens, ideal for a day-trip or a weekend stay. Just an hour drive from the Athenian city, the area offers a range of activities.
You can enjoy a walk around the beautiful and peaceful artificial Marathon Lake completed in 1931 and visit the museums of the area: the Marathon Run Museum and the Archaeological Museum of Marathon. Make sure that you find some time to spend in Rhamnus, where impressive archaeological remnants of a sanctuary dedicated to goddesses Nemesis and Themis are located. If you are an admirer of religious temples and churches, St. Ephraim Monastery in Nea Makri - an evocative and picturesque place of worship in the area – is also worth visiting.
Explore the rare ecosystem of Schinias National Park and discover its pine forest and the Makaria Springs, where a large variety of bird and fish species find their home. The Schinias National Park meets the sea in a beautiful sandy bay - Schinias beach – where you can swim and enjoy the sun.
Nafplio - credits: Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock.com
Just an hour and thirty minutes away from Athens, Nafplio qualifies for the absolute weekend escape, as the first capital of the Hellenic Republic after the Greek Revolution in 1821. This town is well-known amongst the Greeks as the 'proposal capital' of the country, as many men come here to propose marriage to their partners.
Once you arrive in Nafplio, walk around Constitution Square (Plateia Syntagmatos) surrounded by neoclassical buildings and, following the peaceful picturesque Great Road, reach the Three Admirals Square (Plateia Trion Navarchon) where King Otto used to live.
Bear in mind that Nafplio accommodates three castles, all of them worth visiting. If you dare, walk up the 857 stairs in Palamidi and enjoy the magnificent view of the town and the Argolic Gulf. Take the boat to Bourtzi – the former residence of executioners - right before sunset and enjoy an idyllic view of the town. Don’t miss Acronafplia – the oldest castle of the town – which offers a wonderful sea and mountain view. Lastly, if you want to enjoy the sun and swim in clean waters, the organized pebble beach of Arvanitia is a 10-minute walk away from the town center.
When you visit Athens, the choices are limitless: from archaeological and historical places of interest to hidden gems, from wonderful beaches to ideal nearby getaways, you will find what you ask for as a voyager. Check out more Athens escapes like Eretria, Loutraki, and Monemvasia.