Athens - a holiday in Greece

Athens - The Cradle of Western Civilisation

The city of Athens is the historical capital city of Europe whose civilisation became the universal model for Western Europe. It is surrounded by mountains whose names evoke ancient Greece and historical sites are set amidst modern buildings making a very attractive and welcoming city. Athens is a fascinating place to visit. Online bookings for cheap UK flights to Athens are available from Air France.

Athens: a city named after a Goddess

According to legend, the Goddess Athena won the contest against Poseidon to become patron of the city by offering the Athenians an olive tree as a symbol of peace and prosperity. The ancient historian, Herodotus describes this sacred tree planted on the hill of the Acropolis temple as being burnt down during the Persian Wars (5th century BC).
The Acropolis, one of the seven hills in the city, was the ancient "high city" of Athens and a major attraction for visitors with a number of architectural treasures dating back to the classical period. The most famous of these ruins is the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the Goddess Athena. Also, be sure to visit the temple of Athena Nike on this site, the earliest construction in the Ionic style on the Acropolis, the Erectheion, dedicated to Athena and Poseidon, the two most important Gods of the city, and the Propylea, the ancient gateway to the Acropolis. Reduced rates are available for the entrance, with free entry for young visitors and European University students.

Lying below the Acropolis are districts worth visiting as well, such as the Plaka, an attractive, historic quarter: the neoclassical buildings of the 19th century have been restored, with pedestrian streets among shops, bars and restaurants, inviting Athenians and tourists alike to spend pleasant moments of relaxation and leisure in a beautiful setting.

In and around the capital, you will find many ancient ruins, evoking the image of the great men of Antiquity. A major attraction is the Agora, marketplace and landmark of public life in the times of Socrates and Plato. This is the birthplace of Western Civilization. History enthusiasts will appreciate the vastness of the archaeological sites, over 700 hectares to be discovered on foot, as well as Hadrian's fantastic library, Olympieion…

Athens fascinates; one of the world's oldest inhabited cities which continues to reinvent itself while maintaining its bustling and thriving atmosphere. Modern Athens is not lacking in charm and attractions for the visitor. A Sunday stroll may take you to Avissynias Square, where you will find the Monastiraki flea market with wares of all kinds on display, a short walk leads you to shops and galleries in the Psiri district. Eateries are plentiful though a traditional and popular lunch destination is the Oraia Penteli café and restaurant.

More about visiting Athens

For hotels, restaurants and more about tourist attractions and entertainment in Athens, visit the official tourist website : Visit Greece .
To book a cheap flights from the UK to Athens, visit Air France UK .