For some people, summer in Athens is a great opportunity to wander around the city with clear blue skies and admire its monuments under the bright Attican sun. Having in mind though, that July and August are typically the hottest months of the year, summer in the city can prove to be more challenging than expected. Hence, you’d better follow locals’ advice and do it like an Athenian!
We are almost in the middle of Greek summer with July and August being typically the hottest months of the year, with rising temperatures and annoying heatwaves. Spending time around the city under those conditions can prove to be quite a thing! Therefore, you’d better follow the following survival tips for summer in Athens which will make your life much easier and will help you enjoy your stay in Athens!
Start way early
View of the Acropolis on a hot summer's day - credits: S.Borisov/Shutterstock.com
In case you want to visit the Acropolis, a great idea is to start your visit way earlier than usual. The archaeological site of the Acropolis is open every day from 8 am to 8 pm, therefore, visiting it during morning hours could be a life-saver! At noon, temperatures can rise really high and combined with the white marble that reflects the sun rays, walking around the hill could become quite arduous. In the morning, temperatures are still low and the soft breeze coming from the port of Piraeus creates quite a comfortable atmosphere. In addition to the aforementioned advantages, you will also have the chance to experience the site with much fewer people, since most of the visitors arrive after 10.00 am. The same concept stands not just for the Acropolis but for the rest of the archaeological sites in Athens.
Always keep yourselves hydrated.
Boy cooling down with a garden hose, family in the background on a hot summer day - credits: Kzenon/Shutterstock.com
High temperatures and sun exposure are two factors that could result in severe dehydration, especially if you keep ignoring the signs. During summer, the human body loses a lot of water through breathing and sweat. Therefore, in high-temperature conditions dehydration is a stealthy foe, that might strike at any time! Some common symptoms of dehydration are dizziness, sleepiness, dry mouth, headaches and dry skin, signs that warn you that you need some water. In case of long exposure in heat, do not try to quench your thirst with super-cold water cause you may provoke a shock to your body. A temperate cool drink will make you feel much better immediately and replenish the lost water of your body. So, always carry on you a small bottle of water, and by taking into consideration how cheap still water is in Greece, you might even consider buying a couple more!
Avoid the sun
A tourist in the Acropolis during summer - credits: Alexandros-Michailidis/Shutterstock.com
A true Athenian always lives by the following motto: Always avoid the sun! Despite the nice tanning, you might get by wandering around under the sun, you'll immediately notice that Athenians always try to avoid direct sunlight by walking in the shade under balconies or trees. Never stay under the sun for more than 10 minutes and during noon hours try to reduce the distances you want to cover on foot, as much as possible. Make frequent rest stops and drink a lot of water to keep yourself well-hydrated. Wear light clothes and try not to expose your skin to the sun for too long and always apply some sunblock on! Hats are accessories that you need to take with you! Find your personal favorite straw hat in one of the numerous traditional hat workshops at the city-center and walk around the city not just protected, but also in style!
Rest a bit in much cooler spots
Athens' National Gardens - credits: Anastasios71/Shutterstock.com
In case you find yourselves in the city center and you want to spend some time in a much cooler place, there are definitely some options for you! Check out the National Gardens of Athens, close to Syntagma Sq., and spend some time under the shade of the densely planted trees or a small picturesque gazebo. The National gardens are full of fountains, ponds, and pools for you to relax and have a short break by the waterside or even enjoy a picnic! Find your own personal spot and escape the heat! Another lifesaver are the A/Cs of public spaces. During noon, choose to go shopping in one of the city’s shopping malls or visit museums and dive into the history of Athens in a comfortable and cool environment!
Have a couple of cold drinks
Frappe coffee; a Greek summer innovation - credits: Tomas Mehes/Shutterstock.com
Since summer in Athens is quite hot, people always seek for a nice, refreshing cold drink. Fortunately, Athens has it all! Choose among a nice nutritious natural juice or some delicious smoothies with a bit of fresh Greek yogurt. The Athenians’ favorite choice though is ice-coffee! Greece is the Mecca of ice-coffee with numerous options for every coffee-lover! From the popular freddo cappuccino and freddo espresso to the always favorite and traditional frappe, there is not a more Greek way to relax and cool yourselves down!
Find the closest beach
Legrena beach in Attica - credits: PitK/Shutterstock.com
Perhaps the best way to escape the heat is by laying on one of Athens’ close-by beaches! Check the link of a list with suggested beaches near Athens and choose your personal favorite. With frequent bus routes from downtown Athens to most of those destinations and coaches taking you outside of the city, it is a great idea to organize a small trip to the countryside or even impulsively hop on a bus to the south coast of Athens!
Athens offers a lot of opportunities to the visitor, even when temperatures are sky high! Plan ahead, follow locals’ advice and enjoy your stay in the city! Plan your own trip to Athens or the region of Attica, and check out one of our Greece tours!