It is a longstanding tradition for most Greeks to take their annual vacation around Assumption Day, on August 15.
Apart from the tourists, the Greek capital can seem like a bit of a ghost city during much of the month. Lacking its usual hustle and bustle, the city is peaceful and calm. There is no stress, no noise, and there are fewer vehicles on the streets. It’s a different, more peaceful version of the city we love so much.
Armed with its culture as well as the treasures that it hides in hidden corners of the city, Athens can be an ideal place for local residents who choose to stay “inside the walls” during the summer.
As the decibels subside on the streets of the city and the traffic, both from vehicles and pedestrians, decreases, the city is transformed into a vacationer’s paradise for fortunate visitors.
Convenient transportation and quick access to destinations are just some of the many advantages that give the city a much calmer, friendlier atmosphere than it usually has, and make for a great August stay in Athens.
Options For Your Athens Vacation
There are a few options that are absolute musts for those who stay in Athens during August. Cultural experiences are the most obvious choice, with archaeological sites and monuments that are usually flooded with tourists having somewhat fewer visitors this month.
The Parthenon, the most brilliant creation of the Athenian Republic, combined with the Acropolis Museum below Acropolis Hill, are perhaps the strongest attractions for our foreign visitors. Every visit to the Acropolis is a unique experience for anyone, and must not be missed, no matter how hot it may be during August.
Another great option is to visit the National History Museum, with exhibitions on the history of modern Greece.
Greece’s National Archaeological Museum is another must on any visitor’s itinerary. The largest museum in Greece and one of the most important in the world, this institution contains the richest collection of artifacts from Greek antiquity.
Hotel Pools Open To The Public
It may be an absolute necessity to head to a swimming pool during this blisteringly hot month, and thankfully, many hotel pools in the capital are open to the public.
Many of these are actually very attractive, and they offer peaceful, relaxing places for an afternoon’s swim. You may even feel as if you are visiting a beach on an idyllic Greek island.
The Athens hotels which open their pools to the public include the following:
1. Hilton Pool
2. The Margi Pool
3. Mavili Beach – urban seaside
4. Athens Zafolia Hotel
5. Intercontinental Athenaeum Athens
6. St. George Lycabettus Hotel
7. Fresh Hotel
8. Vouliagmeni Suites
9. Radisson Blu Park Hotel
10. Novotel Athens, Acropolis Hill Hotel
11. Electra Hotel
Beaches on the nearby Athenian Riviera
Just a few kilometers from downtown Athens, the scenery changes completely as you travel to sandy beaches and bays which seem a world away from the bustling Greek capital.
From Faliro to Voula, local residents or travelers can laze away hot afternoons at the following beaches:
If you feel like going a bit further out from the city, you simply must visit the iconic Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, and afterward, you can take a dip in the refreshing waters of the sea below the Cape.
Your swimming and sunbathing agenda should also include visits to the nearby beaches of Iliopoulos, Mavro Lithari, Eden and Saronida.
TIP: On your way to Vouliagmeni Beach, do not miss a visit to the stunning Vouliagmeni Lake and its spa.
For Cinema Enthusiasts
Your August break will be complete with a visit to one of Greece’s iconic outdoor “summer cinemas” which dot the capital city. The Athens neighborhoods of Thisio, Plaka, Kolonaki, and Zappeio are just some of the places where movie lovers can view their favorite films under the stars.
Night Life In The City
Nights spent in the capital of Greece promise some unforgettable moments to any visitor, and this is still true even during August, when there are fewer people in the city.
The sound of music fills the air at nighttime in the neighborhoods of Plaka, Psyrri, Monastiraki and Gazi, as well as the beach clubs and bars along the Athenian Riviera. If you would like to dance the night away, or just sit with a libation or two and listen to the tunes, August is the perfect time to do so, when the crowds are a little smaller.
Why not book a visit now and experience the city as it really should be?