Travel Guide Greece: Attica
Attica is a peninsula and region in Greece which offers visitors lots of fascinating historical places as well as beautiful landscapes and breathtaking natural sites. Learn more
The Attica region is located on the eastern edge of Central Greece and covers an area of more than 3,800 km².
Attica is characterised by an incredible coastline with beautiful beaches, fascinating historical sites, monuments of cultural heritage, lush mountain forests and picturesque vineyards. Attica is where you will find places like Greece’s vibrant city of Athens or the ancient port city of Piraeus. The region offers a wonderful mix of historical and modern elements and leaves each visitor with enchanting memories of Southeast Europe.
In the south-eastern part of Greece between the Peloponnese region in the west and Central Greece in the north
approx. 3,800 km²
Best travel time
May to September
Attica is not only a popular destination for friends of Greek mythology, but also for nature lovers. In addition to the capital of Athens, which is rich in culture and history, a visit to the Sounion National Park, a hike to the summit of the Likavitto or an excursion to the Parnitha National Park is highly recommended.
On site in Attica
Location, geography and climate
Attica is located on the eastern edge of Central Greece. The Attica peninsula, shaped like a triangle, is separated from the region of Boeotia by the Cithaeron mountain range in the north. The eastern coast borders the Petalii Gulf, the western coast borders the Saronic Gulf. The region also includes the Saronic Islands, a small part of the Peloponnese Peninsula, as well as some islands off the eastern Peloponnese coast.
The prevailing climate throughout Greece is Mediterranean, with dry and hot summers followed by cool and humid winters. The average temperature in summer is 28 to 30°C, in winter it drops to about 9°C. Most precipitation falls from October to March, although in mountainous areas the rainfall can fall below 100 mm/year.
Flora and fauna
Mountains and coast offer travellers a varied landscape. In addition to areas that are not overgrown by soil erosion, there are also different types of vegetation in other areas. Typical vegetation includes olive trees as well as pines, cypresses and Aleppo pines. In addition, hard foliage plants such as real laurel or the carob tree dominate the picture. From 1,000 m, chestnuts, oaks and elms also occur. Mammals such as foxes, wild boars and deer feel at home in these habitats, and reptiles such as geckos and lizards have also spread in the Mediterranean habitat. A special feature is the Greek tortoise. However, its name is misleading, as the species does not only occur in Greece, but is also native to other countries in the European Mediterranean region.
Athens forms the centre of the Attica region and offers visitors an exciting mix of the eastern and western worlds. Street vendors and colourful markets dominate the cityscape and remind you of Turkish bazaars, while neo-classical buildings remind you of the times when Athens was called the "Paris of the Mediterranean".
The Acropolis Hill rises above the city of Athens and is a popular destination for tourists. The name Acropolis is a term used in ancient times to describe the fortifications belonging to a city. These fortifications were mostly elevated and located in the immediate vicinity of the city. Today the fortress, also known as the castle hill, lies in ruins, but it is still possible to guess the pompous extent of the buildings in the past.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital, you can take a hike up the Likavittos hill. This hill, just over 250 m high, offers a breathtaking view over Athens' sea of lights, especially at dusk. Visitors also get their money's worth during the day. In front of the chapel Agios Georgios on top of the hill there is a viewing platform from which you can overlook pretty much all of Athens. Those who love walking should not miss the short hike to the secondary summit.
Cape Sounion is located in the southeast of Athens and combines history with beautiful nature. This unique place offers a fantastic view of the Aegean Sea with the islands Kython, Kea and Makronsios. Situated directly on the edge of the cliffs, the famous marble temple of Poseidon has been welcoming ships entering the port of Athens for thousands of years. The temple of Poseidon was built in the 5th century BC and served as a sacrificial site. Even though the monument is not completely intact today, the temple is still an impressive building.
Sounion National Park
Sounion National Park, which includes Cape Sounion, offers beautiful views of the coast and hikers can find shelter in shady pine forests. In addition to the spectacular scenery, Sounion National Park is especially known for its rich deposits of various minerals. However, mining was stopped in time, so that only a few remnants from the mining industry remind us of the former times.
Parnitha National Park
Just 25 km away from Athens you can find Mount Parnitha, consisting of several smaller peaks. With a height of 1,413m Karavola is the highest of the peaks. The national park was founded in 1961 and includes the whole mountain Parnitha with its foothills. 90% of the area is covered with forest. Hikers are offered a dramatic landscape of gorges, caves, watercourses and mountain peaks which can be explored on several signposted hiking trails.
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