On the 31st August 2019, my family, boyfriend and I flew to Athens, Greece for our annual family vacation. This was all of our first time in Athens and in Greece so we were all really excited to be visiting for the first time. Athens did not disappoint – there was a lot to see and do, but Tom and I also wanted to take a day to explore mainland Greece outside of Athens. We decided to hire a car for a day and drive along the Attican coast, stopping off at various tourist attractions along the way.
We picked up the rental car at 9 am, eager to set off early but also avoid rush hour as much as possible. Our first destination was originally meant to be a cafe just outside of Athens that boasted a panoramic view of Athens, but when we arrived we found out that it was closed, so we decided to stop at Coffee View instead for breakfast. I ordered an iced coffee and a cinnamon bun that was almost as big as my head!
The Theater of Ancient Thorikos
Our second stop was The Theater of Ancient Thorikos which, according to tradition, took part in the political unification under Athens. It was very weird arriving at the theater as there were no marked parking spaces, no one monitoring the site that we could see and we were the only people at the attraction. However, this meant that we were able to admire the full vastness of the theater and take as many photos as we liked.
Panorama Souniou Layriou
Our third stop was a panoramic view at the top of a hill. Driving up the narrow and steep windy road, I got the impression that this was more of a local attraction rather than a tourist attraction. The view was pretty with a view of the nearby harbour but if you are not the most confident driver, I feel like there were definitely better places you could stop to get a similar view.
Temple of Poseidon
The Temple of Poseidon was easily the most popular tourist attraction that we visited with a gift shop and cafe sat at the base of the hill, where we ended up having lunch. The temple was built during 444-440 BC and it is thought that the same architect designed The Temple of Poseidon and the Temple of Hephaestus, which lies on the Acropolis. The temple was often used by sailors as a sign that they were almost home which means that the temple also has an incredible view over the sea and the coast of Attica.
Our final stop was Lake Vouliagmeni. Situated 50 cm above sea level, the lake is constantly overflowing and being replenished by the hot spring beneath it. Because of this, the lake is full of minerals which are known for giving relief to bone and muscle problems and Garra Rufa fish, known as spa fish which nibble on your dead skin, are part of the lake’s ecosystem. The lake has been turned into a resort with beach chairs and umbrellas surrounding the lake and a cafe nearby that serves excellent food and drink. It was the perfect way to end the day, lying on a beach chair with a cocktail in hand after a long swim in the lake.
Have you ever visited Attica?