come to Greece for your vacations !
This year marks the 1821 Greek Revolution Bicentennial and the War of Independence from the 400-year long Turkish tyranny, which lead to the establishment of the modern Greek state. Today is Tuesday, July 27, 2021. The forecast for Athens calls for pleasant sunny weather, with a moderate breeze and temperatures at a high of 36° C or 97° F! A heat wave is expected gradually over the next few hours, to last for almost ten days. Please wear a hat during the day, preferably a straw hat, and drink plenty of water, which you may purchase from any mini or super market, kiosk or coffee shop for about .5 euro per 500 ml. Archaeological sites, as well as museums and cultural institutions are open. Outdoor dining, observing proper distancing, is permitted, along with take-away and delivery. The use of masks is mandatory indoors in public, and in areas of close distances including public transportation. Social distancing is advised. From the beginning of the Covid-19 ordeal, Greece has had a total of 12,911 related fatalities, while 142 patients are currently on breathing support in Intensive Care. The European Emergency Telephone Number is 112. For Covid-19-related inquiries, dial 1135 or visit eody.gov.gr/en/covid-19
Welcome to The Athens Key!
The Athens Key is a travel companion for Athens and all things Greek, in English, designed with the potential visitor to our hometown in mind. We look for, inquire on, and suggest, places, events, services, shops, museum shows, curiosities in Athens, as if a good friend from abroad was about to visit for a short stay and was asking for our advise on how to best plan their stay.
For decades now, and up until recently, during the official ceremony of welcoming a foreign dignitary, the Mayor of Athens would hand them the Golden Key of Athens in a well-staged photo opportunity. It used to be a somewhat exaggerated gesture, in recognition of a goodwill visit, and signified that the guest would always be welcome back to the city as a friend. So, as citizens of Athens who love our hometown and have nothing to gain from sharing this love, to you who dropped by, we decided to offer you The Athens Key, without the hoopla and the decorum, but from the bottom of our heart!
We should note here that we are not endorsed by, supported from, or financially aided, in any form, by any official or unofficial state or local government agency, nor have we ties or affiliations with any enterprise that could possibly influence our opinion or alter our objectivity. At the same time, we cannot and do not claim to have included all that is worth seeing in Athens, nor that our coverage is complete. Finally, if you come across a service or a product featured here in an advertisement by an affiliate company or organization, please purchase it through one of our links and help us support the website financially. Thank you in advance! Enjoy!
Why Do You Travel?
In general, there are are two major factors affecting a person's decision to travel:
- Leisure, or the need to escape from routine and get some well-needed relaxation, in the form of sunbathing, swimming, partying, flirting, eating well, shopping, and in general recharging one's batteries, and
- Tourism, or the need to explore new places, see breathtaking landscapes, delve into history, admire art, visit museums, meet people, try their cuisine and their culture, see as many things as possible in the limited time most of us have, and can afford, during our vacations.
The frequency in which we travel, due to the time available, and funds at hand, but also our personalities, determine the weight that each of these two major factors play in our selections. Much the same as Northern Americans prefer Florida or Mexico for leisure, as the closest to home destinations to find warmth, sun and relaxation, Northern Europeans prefer Greece, or Italy for the very same. These are mostly the people who may opt for an all-inclusive package, anchor in a major hotel offering all amenities, and have a good time at a mostly fixed price. They know that since the destination is relatively close to their home, they can always come back for a more thorough visit, to explore the country.
The further away one visits from, the more expensive the trip generally is, the less chances that the trip may be repeated any time soon, so, the more experiences the traveler wishes to collect from the visit. This is the type of traveler the Athens Key attempts to assist, by offering information and choices, so that one may create their own menu of experiences while in Greece. Plan your travel on your own, relying on your experience and the advice of friends or trusted sources, including The Athens Key. This way, you will enjoy the absolute independence, make optimum use of your financial resources and utilize every single day according to your own interests and needs.
Athens: A Hot City that is always a Cool Destination!
Recent years have seen a surge of new art galleries, collectives and nonprofit art organizations in Athens.
All-Inclusive Package Tours from TUI
TUI is probably the world’s leading full-service online travel brand, helping travelers easily plan and book travel from the widest selection of vacation packages, flights, hotels, rental cars, rail, cruises, activities, attractions, and services. Tours and complete holiday packages to Greece from TUI, priced from £499pp (based on 7-night holidays) and in order to save up to £200 per couple on Greek Holidays (based on 7, 10, 11 & 14-night holidays).
Accommodation throughout Greece
Check out properties, prices and locations, and book your accommodation in Athens, all over Greece, and, in fact, all over the world, by using the most reliable booking engine of Booking.com. With over a decade of experience in the travel industry, Oliver’s Travels specializes in villas and chateaux in France, UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, and maintains an extensive portfolio of handpicked properties throughout Europe. £100 off when booking a villa in Greece with Oliver's Travels - Use code GREECE100
Auto Europe, a leader in worldwide car rental services, has helped over 10 million travelers find the best options when traveling abroad. Through their relationships with top suppliers like Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Europcar, National, Budget, Dollar, Buchbinder and Peugeot Auto Europe offers travelers the best rates at 20,000 pickup locations in over 180 countries worldwide.
For the best deals on cruises on the Eastern Mediterranean Sea to awaken your inner wanderlust exploring Greece’s sunny beaches, historic streets and stunning architecture, check our affiliate CruiseCritic!
Destinations within Greece
Crete, Corfu, Heraklion, Kos, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini or any of the many destinations by sea, or Corinth, Delphi, Epidavros, Olympia or Marathon by land, a multitude of destinations in Greece await your selection! Browse through select places you are able to visit on an excursion from Athens, accessible by land, sea or air. Some ports of call are popular with many cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean and certainly accessible by the sailing boat or motor-yacht you may charter!
Eating Greek - The Mediterranean Diet
Greece is the birthplace of the Mediterranean Diet, the balanced diet that keeps you healthy and gives you a long life. It is a combination of indigenous, ancient practices and recipes, along with hundreds of Mediterranean influences resulting in a delicious, tasty, hearty and healthy menu. Check out our pages for Athenian Bakeries, Olives & Olive Oil, Ouzo, Tsipouro and Meze Appetizers, Farmers' Markets, Juice Bars, Greek, but also restaurants in Athens featuring International Cuisine, Bistros, Pastry Shops, Street Food, etc., and bon appetit!
Excursions & Tours from Athens
There are several tours and excursions, for a few hours or for a couple of days, that one can take using Athens as a base of operations. For tours and excursions in and from Athens, Santorini, Mykonos and Crete, visit KeyTours, a leader in tours since 1963. At GetYourGuide, they’re on a journey to transform ordinary trips into extraordinary ones. They are your guide, bringing you personal experiences. G Adventures have been the leaders in small group adventure travel for 30 years, by redefining the way travelers see the world. For travel deals and to check out how they've been creating the future of travel, click here!
Ferries to Greece and the Greek Islands
Whether you want to party, explore culture and history, or simply soak up the sun and swim in crystal clear waters, the Greek islands are the perfect destinations. Booking a ferry to Greece and one of the islands of the Aegean Archipelago, such as Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Crete, Kos, or Rhodes, couldn't be easier than with BookaWay.
Flights to Greece and within Greece
You may wish to search for and book a flight to Greece via the Greek national carrier Aegean Airlines, or within Greece via Aegean Airlines or Olympic Air, an Aegean Airlines subsidiary. Save money on airfare in Greee and worldwide by searching for cheap flight tickets on kiwi, or, alternatively, with AirfareWatchDog!
Sailing & Yachting
Can one charter a motor-sailer, a motor yacht or a sailing boat, barefoot or with a skipper, to cruise the gorgeous Aegean Archipelago or the green islands of the Ionian sea? Need we say yes? Visit our page Sailing & Yachting in Greece!
Among Our Pages
Within the Resources of The Athens Key, take a look in the Basic Architectural Terminology as well as the 3 Orders of Architecture for a better understanding of the descriptions of both the ancient temples but also the Byzantine churches.
Read a short biography of the great romantic poet and friend of Greece Lord Byron. Visit our page on 3 Greek poets, three of the most important poets of modern Greece.
Check our Brief History of Athens, and the Greek Pantheon pages. They may remind you of key-facts that may be useful in better utilizing information that can be found throughout our website and during a potential visit to Athens.
For a page full of travel resources, including flights to Greece or within Greece, hotel, villa and home rentals, cruises, yachting and sailing, car rentals, tours and excursions, click here, and you are half-way to Greece already! For a selection of bags, suitcases and travel accessories, check Luggage, featuring some of the very best products from the world's largest manufacturers, at the best prices.