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On Foot - From Lycabetus Hill to Strefi Hill

LYCABETUS HILL

It is a forest in the center of the city! According to mythology, goddess Athena wanted her temple in Acropolis to be as close to the sky as possible. One stormy night she went to Penteli Mountain and took a massive rock which she wanted to put on top of the already existing one. As she was carrying the rock two black birds came close to her and told her some bad news on a case she had to take care of immediately. On her furry and hurry she dropped the rock right in the middle of Athens. This rock that has 278 m height still exists in Athens. In antiquity the hill was wooded and Zeus temple was on its top. After the liberation of Athens from the Turks, Lycabetus was left treeless. Its reforestation began in 1880 and was finished in 1915.

Sightseeing:
The view of the city.
Do not miss the view of Acropolis and the rest of the city extending up to the sea. Lycabetus has always been romantics’ favorite place. It is not just the view that one can enjoy, but also the walk on the narrow lanes up to the hill top.
Lycabetus Theater.
This open-air theatre was built in the period of 1964-65 by architect T. Zenetos on the ruins of an old quarry. This theater was constructed on the initiative of A. Sinodinou (Greek actress) in order to perform ancient tragedies. The theatre can seat 3.000 spectators. On cultural events during summer period it gathers many music and theater lovers.
Aghios Georgios
Aghioi Isidoroi

How to go. If you want to go by car there is only one road leading to the top, but if you enjoy walking there are several pathways that you can take. You can also take the funicular railway which operates daily and departs from the corner of Aristippou and Ploutarchou Streets (Kolonaki).

NEAPOLI
It is the area located between Lycabetus Hill and Mavromichali Street. It is the oldest, after Plaka, area in Athens (Nea Polis-New City). Its construction started after 1860 the same time when the neighboring area of Exarcheia was built. Due to its location (the area is between the University and the Polytechnic University) its first residents were students. Later many of its inhabitants were artists. The neoclassic church of Aghios Nikolaos Pefkakion (1895) dominates Asklipios Str. Due to the ground inclination the part of the area close to Lycabetus Hill forms a zone with tree-clad pedestrian streets and steps which end up in central streets (Solonos, Asklipiou, Ippokratous, Sina, Massalias, Delfon etc). On these streets you can find numerous coffee houses, small bookstores, antique stores etc.

EXARCHEIA
It is an old neighborhood of Athens with unique charm and amazing atmosphere. On the contrary to the “cosmopolitan” Kolonaki Square, Exarcheia is a place inhabited by students and artists giving it a bohemian character. Due to some reconstructions that have upgraded the area and in combination with the remarkable neoclassic and modernistic buildings situated here, the last few years Exarcheia has turned into a very charming neighborhood for its future inhabitants. Follow the pedestrian part of Themistikleous Str. (from the homonym square up to Kallidromiou Str.) and all the other pedestrian streets of the area (Valtetsiou, Methonis, Eressou etc) and sit in one of the several coffee places, small bars and traditional taverns that operate here.

Sightseeing:
Exarcheia Square.
It is the central square of the area with vivid night life. There you can find many coffee houses and beautiful small bars; while nearby there are two summer cinemas that can entertain you during summer period.

STREFI HILL
It is close to Exarcheia Square. Despite its small extent it constitutes a green oasis in the centre of the city. Here you can find sport facilities and a summer stone theatre, while from the top you have panoramic view of the city. To go to Strefi Hill follow the beautiful Kallidromiou street full of neoclassic mansions and small, frequented coffee-bars (ibetween Emmanuil Benaki and Deligianni Streets).

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