of Athens

Athens is located on the Attica peninsula jutting into the Aegean Sea. The capital is surrounded by the mountains dividing the peninsula into the plains of Pedia, Mesogeia and Thriasia. The mountains include Hymettus, the eastern portion of Geraneia, Parnitha, Aegaleo and the Penteli montains. To the north, Athens borders with the Boeotian plain and to the west it is bordered by Corinth. The Saronic Gulf lies to the south and the island of Euboea lies off the north coast.

When most people think of the natural environment of Attica, they think of its coastline, which is packed with beautiful sandy shores and organized beaches. All beaches can be easily accessed by busses that frequently depart for their terminals. What they do not know though, is that Attica is scattered with wildlife reserves and extraordinary landscapes, it has an abundance of beautiful mountains, striking caves and flowing lakes such as Lake Vouliagmeni.

Forests cover the area around Parnitha, around Hymettus and into the northeast and the north in the hills and the mountains, except for the mountaintops, but the mountains to the west and the south are grassy, barren or forested. The Cephisus River is the longest river, and Parnitha is the tallest mountain in Athens.

Famous in ancient times for its marble and honey, Mt. Hymettus is also the site of the ‘Koutouki’ cave with its marvellous stalactites and stalagmites. Visitors to Mt. Parnitha may be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of wild deer that still roam parts of the pine- and fir-clad mountain. Nature lovers, punters, mountain hikers, herb collectors, incurable romantics or just the plain curious, all find something to their liking to do on Mt Parnitha. In its huge pine wood forest, visitors have the chance to see over 818 different kinds of herbs and plants, thousands of trails to follow and hundreds of small caves to explore. Penteli is located in the northeast region of Attica. It offers travelers beautiful green scenery and crystal springs.

"Attica Parnitha Cable Car" by Y.Skoulas, courtesy of GNTO,
"Attica Parnitha Cable Car" by Y.Skoulas, courtesy of GNTO,

From Penteli Mountain there is a magnificent view of Athens and of the Euboean Gulf. The chief resource of this mountain is marble, from which the Parthenon and the other buildings on the Acropolis, were constructed.

The climate is typically Mediterranean, with hot dry summers and generally low rainfall totals. Winters are cool and generally mild in the low lying areas adjacent to the sea, but are harsher in the mountains.

The city’s mild climatic conditions and its privileged location offer visitors the pleasures of enjoying both the sea and the nearby mountains. Numerous blue-flag awarded sandy beaches can be easily reached from the centre of Athens by bus, taxi or car.