Sunday, December 15, 2013

Athens Classic Marathon

In the eyes of Athenians, the Athens Classic Marathon revives the story of Pheidippides, a Greek hero who run from the city of Marathon to announce the victory of Athenians over Persians in 490 BC, after announcing the news he collapsed and died. The story of Pheidippides, inspired the committee of the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in summer 1896, and decided to hold a race from Marathon to Athens. This first Marathon was won by Spiridon Louis, an Athenian from Marousi, whose victory set off celebrations all over Athens.

Today, Athens Classic Marathon is held every year in early November. It attracts thousands of runners from all over the world. Besides the classical Marathon distance there are side races of 5km (3.1 mile) and 10km (6.2 mile) and race walking contest. Children are not forgotten in this event, a one km race from Syntagma Square to the Panathenaic Stadium is specially dedicated for them.

Related Links

2016 Athens Classic Marathon Photos

Athens Marathon Winners by Michel Z on

Finish Line by Michel Z on

After the Race by Michel Z on

Afher the Race by Michel Z on

Runner by Michel Z on

31st Athens Classic Marathon Photos

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mavili Square 'Cantina'

Mavili Square Cantina
UPDATE april 2015
The 'Mavili Cantina' is now part of history. It does not operate anymore. The owner moved to a nearby shop from where he runs his business. >>>>

After a hangout in the bars and night clubs of Athens, you will most probably end up at a canteen known in Greek as 'cantina'. This is generally a trailer where sandwiches, hot dogs and souvlaki are served all night long, till the early morning. The 'cantina' of Mavili square on Amalias Street is the most famous of all. It is open from 08:00 PM till 07:00 AM. Their specialties are: Hot Dog, the Special Sandwich with two souvlakia and the fried chicken sandwich. Crepe with different flavors is also part of their menu.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Parnitha National Park

Parnitha, view of Athens.
Parnitha National Park offers natural environment, spectacular scenery over Athens, and a dense forest that supports a variety of wildlife. It is located in the north of Athens, only one hour away by car from the center. Thus it is ideal for a one day trip.

Parnitha mountain vegetation consists mainly of pine trees that extend between 300 to 800 meters. At higher altitude between 900 and 1400 meters fir trees dominate. Other species such Lebanon Cedar, Hungarian oak or Italian oak might be found. These are generally scattered along side the main road, and are more likely found in the Tatoi area. The forest is also the habitat for a variety of wild animals, it is not rare that during your visit you come across a red dear. Wild tulips are another wonder of Parnitha flora. There are three kinds of wild tulips, mainly: The Tulipa hageri, Tulipa sylvestris and Τulipa boeotica (see pictures). Images of these tulips are found in Attica Flora. This blog, regroups a large number of images of the wild flora and animals of Parnitha and Attica. Unfortunately, in 2007, a large wildfire burning in Parnitha destroyed large area of the forest. Habitat restoration is undertaken, but it will take many years before full recovery of the original environment

Parnitha has two refuges which surrounding area have been untouched by the 2007 fire: The first which is the easiest to access by car is the Mpafi refuge. The second refuge is Flabouri, it is still accessible by car through a ground road. Both offers accommodation services, a restaurant and guides for hiking, and many more activities for the elderly and children.


The refuge offers meals and drinks for visitors. The self service restaurant has a limited number of dishes ranging from 4 to 8 euros that you can enjoy inside the building near the fireplace, or on the terrace. It also offers a dormitory accommodation for 10 euros per person. Since 2004, The Mpafi refuge in collaboration with Trekking Hellas company offers a number of activities for mountain lovers. These activities ranges from 2-3 hours hiking tours with English speaking guides, mountain bike and rock climbing. Special activities are also available for children such as tree climbing and archery. All these these activities are fully described in the refuge site.

By foot from Mont Parnes Casino 47 minutes [ map ]
The cable car to the Mont Parnes Casino is free. [ map ]
By car from Mont Parnes cable car parking  [ map ]

Parnitha, Mpafi refuge Mpafi Refuge, Parnitha
Parnitha, Mpafi refuge Parnitha, Mpafi Refuge.
Parnitha, Mpafi refuge. Parnitha, Mpafi refuge


The refuge site (in Greek only) has a very complete description of the upcoming events such as free hiking tours and Hatha Yoga courses. Restoration and accommodation is also available.

By foot from Mont Parnes Casino 1:30 hour [ map ]
The cable car to the Mont Parnes Casino is free. [ map ]
By car from Mont Parnes cable car parking  [ map ]

Monday, March 18, 2013

Marina Flisvos

Marina Flisvos
Apart of being a harbor for luxury yachts and boats, the Flisvos Marina is a wonderful place to hangout with friends. There are a number of awesome outdoor and indoor lounge bars and restaurants overlooking the marina with in the background a view of Kastela cliff. This is also a popular weekend destination for families with children, who visit the fun park or the playgrounds in the nearby park.

Before starting your visit to the Flisvos Marina, you may get by foot to the nearby Trocadero quay where is anchored  the Averof cruiser. This unique armored cruiser of the first half of the 20 century is now functioning as a floating museum.

Flisvos Marina web site
[ Locate on Map ]


T.G.I Fridays, Zinc & Valerio restaurants
Well known T.G.I Friday's is one of the restaurants available in the Marina. the menu is large and consists of shareable food platters, salads, burgers, Jack Daniel's glazed ribs and shrimp, steaks and chicken, and of course, alcoholic beverages including the ultimate drinks. T.G.I Friday's full menu card can be viewed here. Other restaurants in marina include: Mare Marina sushi bar, Breeze Pasta & Pizza, Valerio and Zinc.

Volta Fun Park

Volta Fun Park. Marina Flisvos.
This is the main attraction for children in Marina Flisvos. The fun park has been recently renovated, it consists of the "Pirate Ship" and "Soft toys" playgrounds. A baby trampoline and athletic trampoline, baby boats in a small artificial lake and a kart track for children. All the attraction are payable and cost 2-5 euros. For the parents tables and chairs are available all around the attraction to sit and enjoy a coffee while they follow their children.
Volta Fun Park Volta Fun Park

Averof Floating Museum

Averof warship
Hellenic Navy Maritime Museums
Monday to Friday: 09:00 - 14:00
Weekends and Holidays: 10:00 - 17:00

Next to the Marina Flisvos, the Averof warship is docked at the Trocadero quay. This timeless memorial is now a floating museum where visitors can walk along the decks and visit different compartments of the ship. On board, pictures and documents take you back in history throughout the Balkan Wars and the World Wars. 

The Trocadero quay also harbors Greek destroyer Velos, the old cable ship Thales of Miletos and a modern reconstruction of a Athenian Tireme named Olympias.

Palio Faliro Park

Parko Falirou
This is a very well entertained park with green grass and trees. It houses two big playgrounds for children. A coffee shop with a smaller playground where parents can sit and follow their children while they are playing.

During summer time you can enjoy your favorite movies in the open air cinema, Cine Flisvos. There you can eat popcorn or drink a cold beer while watching the movie. The children sounds from the nearby playgrounds might interfere in the background, but it still remains a good destination for a memorable evening in a hot summer day.

In the park you can walk along the seaside to Flisvos or to the next marina called Marina Alimou. The path is followed among others by bikers and joggers.
Playground (Coffee Shop). Playground (Parko Falirou)

Palio Faliro Nautical Club (Greek only)
[ locate on map ]

The club is located within the Marina Flisvou. It organizes sailing competitions and houses a sailing school for adults and children as well. The club has also a restaurant that is open for all.


A payable parking space is available at the Marina Flisvou. The main entrance to the parking is located on the following map. The price is 2 euros for the first 180 minutes plus one euro for every extra hour.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Athens for Children

If you are planing to visit Athens with your family, then there are a number of attractions for children that you might consider visiting. We'll start with a list of playgrounds in the center of the city.


Athens Playgrounds Map

National Park Playground

This playground is located withing the National Park of Athens. The big trees of the park shadows the playground providing a safe heaven for children during the hot days of the summer. The park is located in the center of Athens. Nearby is the Syntagma Square.

National Garden Park

Zappio playground

Locate on map

This playground has a big jumper mast net for children, and a wooden structure with climbing ladders, ropes, and slides. This playground is a few minutes by foot from the Panathenaic Stadium and the National Garden.

Zapio Playground

Thisio Playground

Locate on map

This is a small playground on Apostolou Pavlou pedestrian street. Although it is quite small, this playground has a view on the Acropolis. If you walk further up the Apostolou Pavlou Street from the Thisio Metro Station, you reach the main entrance to the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum.

Thisio Playground

Volta Fun Park - Faliro

This is one of the Flisvo Marina attraction in Palio Faliro. There is an entrance fee of 5 euros to the inflatable castles. The access for children to the playground area is controlled, so you can sit calmly and enjoy a coffee while your kids are playing. The Fun Park also contains an artificial pond with small swan boats, a trampoline area and a small track with electrical cart cars.

Marina FlisvoThis is ideal for the weekend. Indeed the marina with the luxurious boats and yachts, it's coffee shops and restaurants makes this place a pleasant destination for both parents and children.

More on Flisvo Marina at the following link.

Volta Fun Park

Flisvo Park Playgrounds

Locate on map

Nearby the Marina Flisvo, there is a park with a two major playgrounds. The number of play structures available in these playgrounds is big. There is also a coffee shop nearby with a playground, it has less equipment but is convenable for parents who want to have a drink while keeping an eye on their kids.

Flisvo Park Playgrounds

Alsos Neas Zmirnis

locate on map

At the center of the park there is a coffee shop and children playgrounds. The high trees provides shade, which makes this place very popular for among the residents of the area, specially in summer time. Also, the park has one jogging path that makes a 840m (2756ft) loop with a slight elevation range.

Alsos Neas Zmirnis Playground

Andrea Papandreou Park

locate on map

This park with a modern landscape design is located in the Northern suburbs of Athens. It offers for young cyclists short tracks to enjoy off-road access and to work on their skills. The playground has multiple play structures and masts and a coffee shop. However, it lacks of big trees and shade during hot summer days.

Andrea Papandreou Playground

Athens Things to do with Kids

Eugenides Foundation


The main attraction at the Eugenides Foundation is the planetarium. With it’s dome of 25 meters and 280-seat capacity, it is one of the largest and best equipped planetariums in the world.

Quick Links:

Attica Zoological Park

This is an ideal destination for on a one day excursion in weekends. It is located near Spata which is about one hour drive from the center of Athens. There, you will find in a 20 hectares area a big variety of animals including birds, bears, monkeys, lions, reptiles and dolphins, making it an ideal place for children and for photography. Read more at the following link: A day at the Attica Zoological Park

Allou Fun Park

This is a large amusement park in the southern suburbs of Athens. It consists of two separate areas: The first is called Allou Kidom and is intended for small kids. The second area with the consists of attractions for both the adults and children.

Foundation of the Hellenic World

This is a cultural center where you can experience the Hellenic history and culture through interactive exhibitions and virtual reality tours. Special educational programs for children between 5 and 12 years old, are held every Sunday at the center.

Stavros Niarxos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC)

The complex in the southern suburbs of Athens comprises of a 210,000 m² Park, and new facilities for the National Library of Greece, and the Greek National Opera. The park is a great place for children with green spaces which includes a sports and leisure park. Every month a program with events such as exhibitions and concerts is published. A lot of these event are dedicated for children, like the sailing event in the canal. The full program can be accessed at EVENTS AT THE SNFCC foundation web page.

Onasis Cultural Center

Among the numerous programs and events of the Onasis Cultural center, some are dedicated for the youth. When available, the programs and workshops for children are announced at center web site at the following link: Youth and Family Programs.

Hellenic Children Museum

The museum organizes during the weekend different workshops for children from 1 to 12 years old. The list of activities can be found at the following link and are subject to a participation fee. The site is currently available in Greek only but an English version is been announced for soon.

Aside the organized activities, the museum is composed of different rooms with dedicated subjects where the children can learn and play. There is a supermarket space where kids play buying different food and vegetables products. Another room is dedicated to construction, where the kids are invited to repair a reduced model house with different DIY tools. Some of the rooms contain books and different instructive games. Animators and educators are present in every space to accompany your kids in a world of adventure and discovery. Entrance to the museum is free.

Village Cinema

Within the large selection of movies played at the Village Cinemas, there is always some dedicated to children. There are six centers of Village Cinemas across Athens and one summer open air cinema at the Zappion  Park.

Museum of Greek Children's Art

The museum original approach is to exhibit artwork of children aged between 5 and 14 years. The museum offers multiple art workshops for children which are held in Greek language only. Workshop duration vary from 8 months to 2 hours.

Playmobil Fun Park


The Playmobil® Fun Park moved recently to a new location in northern suburbs of Athens. The brand new space is very well organized with tables for the parents to sit, and watch their children, while consuming snacks and beverages from the self service cafeteria. The Playmobil® Fun Park is a space with all kind, if not all Playmobil® toys. This is the occasion for your kid to play with one of his favorite themes: Dinos, Future Planet or Knights for boys, and Princess Fantasy Castle for girls. On your way out, the Playmobil® store allows you to purchase one of the toys.

Toy Stores

Kaliviotis Lego Shop

location on Google maps

This store is specialized in Lego systems.





The multi-store at Syntagma Square in the center of Athens, has a whole roof dedicated for children toys.

Puzzle World

Omirou 27, 10672 Athens

This shop in the center of Athens is specialized in puzzles for all ages. The inventory includes more than 3000 puzzle boxes of well know brands such as: Clementoni, Schmidt, Heye and Educa.

Useful links


Athinorama is a weekly magazine published in Greek that contains all events and happenings in Athens. Their website contains a dedicated page for children events.

more on Athens »
Athens by Pastries and Sweet Shops Shopping in Athens

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Athens Weather

Athens city weather alters over the year from hot, dry summers to mild, rainy winters. Rains fall generally between October and April. In summer, Athens is sometimes affected by a heat wave that is more tense in the southern parts of the city.

Bellow is a list of sites with weather forecasts and weather maps for Athens:

  • Hellenic National Meteorological Service: Governmental official site of the meteorological service.

  • Athens weather