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"Athens is the capital of Greece, the capital of all democracy, civilisation and intelligence"
It's true that Athens is home to some of the greatest thinkers of our time and is often dubbed the cradle of Western civilisation, but it's full of some great modern stuff too. The vibrant nightlife is one Dionysus, the God of indulgence, could be proud of.
The locals and their cats offer you a warm welcome underneath the Acropolis in the Plaka district, but if you have allergies, you might prefer to slurp your frappe and watch the world go by in the nearby Kolonaki Square.
Most Greeks pride themselves on being filoxenia - hospitable and loving towards strangers. Brace yourself for a warm and enthusiastic reception.
Long hot summers with temperatures heating up from the mid 20s in May, to the early 30s by July. Cooling off for mild, wet winters between December and February.
Go Greek and eat when the day has cooled. It's common to start dinner at 10pm and then graze your way through a variety of dishes until after midnight. Expect salad with every meal. And Greek coffee. It's locally produced and there's lots of it.
Opera star Maria Callas and comedy actor Zach Galifianakis, both hail from Greece.
The first Olympic games were held in Athens in 776 BC.
"Athens is a seductive city with a hedonistic lifestyle"
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A must-do for any visitor. Guided tours are available in English for a small fee, but if tours aren't your thing, go anyway for the best view of Athens there is.
Street parking is available within walking distance though not always easy to find. Do not be tempted to park as the locals do, pavements are for pedestrians.
Fancy being pampered? Book a visit to the Hammam Baths, the 'only authentic Hammam' in Athens for a massage, sauna and general all-over buffing.
Street parking is available within walking distance. Steer clear of red parking bays, these are for residents.
Head south of the city for a day toward the Greek peninsula and dip your toes in the Aegean Sea.
Parking is available for free, just a short distance from the sand.
Any Kafenion (cafe) worth its salt will sell you a Greek frappe, a chilled coffee that you'll spend agonising hours trying to recreate when you get home.
Cafes are abundant in the city and should be available within walking distance of anywhere you choose to park.
No visit to Athens is complete without some traditional dancing and plate smashing. This taverna in Plaka is one of the oldest of its kind and is situated under the Acropolis.
Parking near the Acropolis can be tricky, spaces are limited but if you go along in the evening, the roads tend to be quieter and you'll have more luck.
Get out of the city and take a scenic drive to the mountainous region of Delphi. Once considered centre of the world and the meeting point between heaven and earth, it's a must for fans of Greek history and mythology.
Simple. Take toll fare and two roads. Head north out of Athens on the E75. Take a left on the E03 and a couple of hours later you're there.
If you've trekked or danced too hard, recover in this natural spa. With a constant temperature of 24oC, this lake, famed for its healing properties is the perfect remedy for any aches and pains.
Head south out of the city on the E091 and just keep going until you reach Vouliagmeni. Then just follow signs for the lake.
If you like fresh fish, strolling through markets and breezy afternoons in the sun, this is the place for you. This port town offers day trips to the islands of Cyclades or the opportunity to relax on the beach and swim in the Aegean.
Take some toll fare and follow the E054 east out of the city. 17 miles later you're sniffing out the fish market in Rafina.
The most beautiful beach in Attica is the privilege of those who have their own wheels. It's shallow waters are backed by pine forests and a warm sandy shore. The tavernas here run on diesel generators due to a lack of electricity. Bliss.
Follow signs out of the city for the A1 north, take a right onto the E083 and keep going until you reach this coastal slice of heaven.