Day 3: Athens
It’s just an hour flight from Zakynthos back to Athens (Αθήνα). We checked in our hotel which was quite close to the Acropolis (Aκρόπολη). The roof terrace provides the first views of the city.
We walked through the midday heat of Athens to reach the Acropolis. It’s a short hike up the hill. Before you know it, you’ll be walking on some ancient grounds. Starting from the south entrance, you first see the theater of Dionysus. Staying on the path toward the main eastern entrance, you arrive at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
Shortly after, you walk up the last few steps into the Acropolis.
Once you walk through it, there it is, the Parthenon (Παρθενώνας). The scaffolding has been in everybody’s photos for decades.
To the left of the Parthenon is the temple of Athena.
And since this is one of the highest points in Athens, it gives you a great view of the city.
Before leaving the area, make sure to stand on Aeropagus hill. The hill and viewpoint is right before the exit. Proceeding downward into the Plaka area, you’ll pass the Romaiki Agora.
You’ll probably be hungry after all the walking and by this point, you’re just minutes away from the Monastiraki flea market. There are many restaurants to choose from that are around the flea market.
After lunch, you can proceed to Athenian Agora which possibly looked like this once upon a time.
Most of these structures are just piles of stones except for the Stoa and the Hephaestus temple. The Stoa also has a small museum inside.
And the Hephaestus temple is like a smaller version of the Parthenon, but in way better shape.
Not too far from our hotel was a strip of restaurants by the Acropolis museum. We ate dinner at Liondis and then went to sleep.
Day 4: All aboard at Piraeus
To the west of Acropolis hill is a large park with a big hill. Inside the park, you can find Socrates prison.
It’s a short 10-15 uphill walk to reach the monument of Philopappos. Nice views of the city from here.
We checked out from our hotel and headed to Piraeus port to our new home for the next 7 days; a cruise ship. With many cruise ships to choose from, I chose Celestyal based on their itinerary. Celestyal covers 5 islands without a whole day at sea, can’t beat that. Mykonos, Milos, Santorini, Crete, and Samos.
The Celestyal ship is a bit smaller than the other main cruise lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean, but it’s not important. What really matters is the food and the excursions. I thought that the food was excellent and the excursions were limited but ok. Overall, a good choice for exploring the Greek islands.
The next day is Mykonos!