Anafiotika: The Hidden Village under the Acropolis

View with Lykevettos Mountain

The great city of Athens, Greece is made up of numerous small villages that have melded together over the years. Plaka is the most ancient, original part of the city where most of the archaeological sites are located. Just up on the hill above Plaka, under the flank of the Acropolis (“the high city”) there is the tiny village of Anafiotika, unique because of how it came to be. In 1841, King ... Read Full Article

The Jewish Museum of Athens: Recalling the Past

Ethnic Costumes - Jewish Museum in Athens

In a small, privately owned building just at the edge of Athen’s old Plaka district, all that is left of Greece’s Jewish heritage is displayed with artifacts that have been collected and restored since the 1970’s by tireless museum curators and volunteers. It is because of their dedication that the Jewish Museum of Greece now ranks among the top Jewish Museums in Europe. The idea of a ... Read Full Article

Heinrich Schliemann’s House in Athens

interior hallway Schliemann House

I’m sitting in a beautiful garden surrounded by classical sculptures and exotic foliage. Brazilian jazz is playing as I sip my glass of sangria. Who could imagine I am in the middle of downtown Athens or that this garden is at the former home of the explorer Heinrich Schliemann. This “Garden of the Muses” is part of what was the Schliemann estate, located just a few blocks from Syntagma ... Read Full Article

Canal of Corinth, Agamemnon’s Tomb and Epidaurus

The Canal of Corinth

I hadn't expected to visit the Canal of Corinth, Agamemnon’s tomb and Epidaurus  on this trip, but Athens was a nightmare. I had arrived in the middle of violent demonstrations against the government’s austerity measures. Roads were closed off which made getting from A to B extremely difficult, even on foot, unless you wanted to risk life and limb. The Acropolis was shrouded in scaffolding and ... Read Full Article

Hand-Picking Olives in Greece

Electric green olives

On a sunny October day in the southwest Peloponnese, about 3 hours outside Athens, countless electric green olives were weighing down branches, signaling that it was time for an annual ritual: hand-picking olives in Greece. I was joining the workers for my first time olive-picking experience. I rolled up my sleeves and waited for instructions to participate in this tradition. In Costa Navarino ... Read Full Article

Dining Al Fresco in Athens

al fresco in greece

It is said that the gods fought over Athens. Ocean god Poseidon and his niece Athena, goddess of wisdom, both desired patronage over the city. The residents of the metropolis asked each deity to give them a gift; whoever gave the best gift would gain the city. Poseidon struck his trident into the ground, and a salty spring bubbled up – an impressive feat.  Athena, however, merely planted a ... Read Full Article

Where (and What) To Eat in Athens

Platter Pikilia

Greek food can be bizarrely good; and following is a guide to some of the best restaurants in Athens, Greece. The flavors of Greek food have been shaped over thousands of years, and the history of Greek food includes Middle Eastern as well as Italian influences. Common cooking ingredients include feta cheese, olive oil, yogurt, olives, fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, and lamb. From breakfast ... Read Full Article

Drinking Lion’s Milk in Greece

Acropolis 2

  The experience was one of the most disorienting I’ve ever had. The milk of the lion is also known as the ouzo effect - spontaneous emulsification if you want to get technical - and it’s caused by adding water to anise-infused alcohols, such as ouzo, raki, and absinth. Believe me, I’d never heard of it either before one hot May day in Athens. At 10 a.m., the temperature was 110° F, but ... Read Full Article

First-Time Visitor’s Guide to Athens

Acropolis

For the first-time visitor to Athens, Greece, the city presents as a mixture of chaos and beauty. Immediately, you are struck by the noise -- the hustle and bustle of its busy streets -- a blend of engines, horns, and car radios blasting out from open windows. Following this -- if you look up from the throng -- you will see the Acropolis of Athens sitting tall on its marble perch overlooking the ... Read Full Article

Hotels for Every Budget in Athens, Greece

museum hotel athens

  In preparing for the 2004 Summer Olympics, Athens underwent a major facelift and infrastructure upgrade. New highways now divert traffic from the downtown, which has made the central city streets safer and the air cleaner. It is now much easier to get around town by car, bus or taxi. Along with the city upgrades, many hotels were renovated and started anew. Here are three hotels, ... Read Full Article