Lycabettus Hill, a limestone rock over a 1,000 feet tall is one of the highest points in the city of Athens. You can pretty much spot this landmark with the Church of St. George from many points in the city. Given all the bad rap Athens gets as a city (congestion, pollution, not a place to hang around for too long), this spot away from the crowds is a lovely place to soak in the city and its views.
On our first trip to Athens, the discovery of Lycabettus Hill gave my husband a tremendous source of joy. Eureka! He had discovered the perfect workout. Run up and down the spiral path 3-4 times and get an amazing challenge. So, while he indulged in his drive to best his time, I soaked in what the venue had to offer.
First, you can get to the top of Lycabbettus Hill either on foot or using the funicular railway. Given what I just mentioned about my husband, my taking the two-minute funicular ride would have been viewed as a major act of laziness. So, while he ran, I walked my way to the top.
It was a lovely clear day and it was not too crowded either. Once up there, I spent time taking in the 360 degree views and identifying the various places that we had either been to or had to cover. Next I stopped at the Church of St. George and after offering a prayer and lighting candles, alighted to the cafe to reward myself with a treat. There was absolutely no sense of guilt as I watched my husband continuing his run. In fact, I might have just eaten enough for two!
At the hilltop, there was also an open air theatre where many a renowned artist has performed. So, you might want to time your trip with a musical celebration as well.
The second time up at the hill, I was with my father and the girls and this time we took the funicular up there. While I did feel some guilt at not walking up, it wasn’t strong enough to prevent me from enjoying my dessert and coffee.
I would love to go back and visit and if I do, would actually love to take a picnic lunch up to have an amazing meal with such lovely surroundings.
Lycabettus Hill is a nice long walk from Syntagma Square. Alternately, you can take the metro to the Evagelismos stop and walk from there.