6+1 Spring city breaks

As we enter the spring time and the weather is on our side what can be more seductive and adventurous than a weekend city break? Beautiful spots only 2 hours away from Athens can help you escape the daily routine and refill batteries! Whether you seek rest or adventure,  a romantic or family weekend, you will definitely find what suits you the most among thsee recommendations… just pick one!

1. Nafplio

Nafplio is the perfect city break and thats because after 1.5 hour drive you will find yourself in a city-jewel. Nafplio is picturesque, romantic and captivative with its historicity. You can reach Palamidi taking the 999 steps or you ca simply chose the car and let yourself in the wonderful views of the city. You can walk around the castle, the Akronafplia or Kale, take the famous round Arvanitia, walk along the Coastal, stare at Bourtzi, visit shops with traditional products as well as the alleys of the Old Town and indulge in beauty. If you seek a romantic highlight, boating to Bourtzi is exactly what you need!

Accessibility: about an hour and a half time away from Athens.

Nafplio Ναύπλιο
Nafplio Ναύπλιο

2. Kalamata

For many Kalamata is the most beautiful city in the Peloponnese that keeps the balance between the urban and natural. It is the second biggest city of Peloponnese in size, after Patras. Local products featuring oil and olives traveling all over Greece and the whole world, giving its  perfume, while the old castle until its streets, churches, shops and nightlife, will keep you busy. Kalamata is a city with character. Dont miss it! Stroll through the historic center the most atmospheric part of town, discover the narrow paths from the past, beautiful neoclassical roofs with tiles, architecture influenced by the newest European trends, the Athenian classical architecture, but also the Venetian and the Ottoman standards. It is a city worth visiting all year time and since its one of my favourites i am  going to introduce you its magic in another post. Stay tuned!

Accessibility: two hours and a half away from Athens.

Kalamata Καλαμάτα

3. Monemvasia

Monemvasa is one of the best preserved medieval  settlements of our country. Urban and scenic landscapes combine perfectly in Monemvasia. The idyllic City Castle of Laconia is definitely an amazing proposal for the spring since its less hot than in the summer. It is picturesque and provides a trully romantic atmosphere! Get ready for a lot of walks in the main paved alley, interspersed by lanterns and bougainvillea, small shops and bars that lead to Christ Square. As a break from your walks in paved streets you can try the demanding climb to the church of Hagia Sophia in Goula area of Upper Town. The view will reward the adventurous!

Accessibility: four hours away from Athens.

Monemvasia - Μονεμβασιά
Monemvasia – Μονεμβασιά

4. Chalkida

Within almost walking distance from Athens is Halkida, the capital of Evia! Famous for its old Negroponte bridge in Evripos channel. From here you can observe the famous tidal phenomenon, ie the frequent switching of the marine current, which depends entirely on the phases of the moon! To arrive at Halkida you will pass by the impressive cable bridge! Browse the center of the Castle Quarter and admire the Byzantine monuments or walk on the north side of the pedestrian beach! It is the most cosmopolitan part of the city with numerous cafes, restaurants and impressive neoclassical buildings! History lovers can also visit the Archaeological and Folklore Museum of the city! Do not miss the end climb the Karababa Castle and enjoy a panoramic view of the city and Evia in general!

Accessibility: an hour  away from Athens.

Chalkida Χαλκίδα

5. Sounio – Lavrio

Sounion or otherwise Kavokolones is the cape located on the southern tip of Attica, famous for the temple of Poseidon and the sunset! Just a short visit from Athens makes it a great opportunity for excursion …In ancient times, being the southern tip of Attica and strategic point with main port, and silver mines, quickly became a superpower for which there are references to Homer, Herodotus and other historic writers.After visiting the monument of the sea God you can walk in the surrounding area of rocky promontory and admire the breathtaking view of the Aegean. After visiting the cape look out for  the wonderful fish restaurants and taverns of Sounion or of the nearby Lavrion, to enjoy with your friends genuine Greek dishes, ouzo, cold beer and anything else you wish. To the way back i recommend to stop for a walk through the beautiful neighborhoods of Athens, Varkiza, Vouliagmeni, Glyfada, Faliro. Alternatively you can reverse the program and enjoy first hours of relaxation with coffee and ouzo by the sea, before taking the road to Cape Sounion. So, when the sun and the sky gives unique colors you are going to get to the Temple of Poseidon at the time set. The day trip to Cape Sounion is something that you have to experience.

Accessibility: an hour away from Athens.

Sounio - Lavrio Σούνιο Λαύριο
Sounio – Lavrio Σούνιο Λαύριο

6. Lake Doxa – Feneos (Oreini Korinthia)

Whether you decide to come by the most direct route through Kiato which will pass you by Stymphalia or catch uphill from Derveni to discover the picturesque village of Evrostini, alpine scenery of Lake Doxa (means Glory) will amaze you the same. Around the imposing peaks of Ziria, Helmos and Ntourntouvana mountains. Green perimeter embrace the peaceful lake. Watch the mountains as they are reflected in the beautiful waters of the lake that dominates the center of the area. Visit the church of Agios Fanourios and prepare a tasty picnic for the whole company of yours.

Accessibility: two hours and a half away from Athens.

Lake Doxa - Feneos (Oreini Korinthia) - Λίμνη Δόξα - Φενεός Τρίκαλα Κορινθίας
Lake Doxa – Feneos (Oreini Korinthia) – Λίμνη Δόξα – Φενεός Τρίκαλα Κορινθίας

7. Galaxidi

Characterized as a traditional settlement since 1978, Galaxidi is a stately beauty for travellers. The port still carries the aura of the times when it was full of boats and seamen. Almost a century later, life moves to other rhythms and Galaxidi became now a quiet town and an ideal weekend destination for Athenians. The atmosphere of the past has remained thanks to the love of the locals, with the small beautiful guesthouses in renovated mansions and tidy restaurants, Galaxidi offers a sophisticated package. It is worth making a beautiful walk by the sea from the port to the piney hill or the other side to the Savior monastery to enjoy the view. Besides destination for weekend for Athenians, Galaxidi is an excellent short ride for visitors of Arachova. Throughout the year the city is vibrant and stil remains traditional enough.

Accessibility: three hours away from Athens.

Galaxidi Γαλαξίδι

Hope you like my recommendations! Of course you can always visit all year round the winter getaways I have proposed in a previous post!


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