In Athens, spring Marches in!
Today is Tuesday, March 2, 2021. The forecast for this second day of March calls for mostly sunny weather, with a chance for some rain and top temperatures at 13° C or 55° F.
Greece is facing the effects of a third wave of the pandemic, and a country-wide lockdown is in effect through the 8th of March with a further extension possible. All schools, restaurants, cafe, bars, and most retail shopping is suspended. There is a curfew in effect on weekdays from 9 pm - 5 am, and, for Athens, on weekends from 6 pm - 5 am, where everyone should stay at home except for documented work, walking a pet around the block or, of course, a medical emergency. For the rest of the hours of the day, one will be able to be outside for documented reasons of work, and/or for short shopping visits of up to 2 hours, having sent a text message from their mobile phone to 13033, stating one of six approved reasons. Regions with heavier than average virus load are under more austere restrictions. The use of masks is mandatory everywhere in public, indoors and outdoors.
Thus far, Greece has had a total of 6,534 fatalities, while 406 patients are currently on ventilation support in Intensive Care. Vaccinations started on Sunday, Dec. 27. The European Emergency 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 visit.
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 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 can not and do not claim to have included all that is worth seeing in Athens, nor that our coverage of the subjects is complete. Finally, if you come across a service or a product featured here in an advertisement by an affiliate, please purchase it through one of our links and help us support the website financially. Thank you in advance! Enjoy!
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.
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Why Do You Travel?
In general, there are are two major factors in 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 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 to plan your travel in Greece 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 best use of your financial resources and utilize every single day according to your own interests and needs.
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.
Car Rentals in Greece
For over 60 years, Auto Europe has been a leader in worldwide car rental services and helped over 10 million travelers find the best options when traveling abroad. Through their long-term relationships with top suppliers like Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Europcar, National, Budget, Dollar, Buchbinder and Peugeot they offer travelers the best rates at 20,000 pickup locations in over 180 countries worldwide, including Greece!
Destinations within Greece
Crete, Corfu, Heraklion, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini or any of the many destinations by sea, or Corinth, Delphi, Epidavros, Olympia or Marathon by land, a multitude of destinations 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 most cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean and certainly accessible by the sailing boat or motor-yacht you may charter!
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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 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.
Ferries to Greece and the Greek Islands
To easily book your ferry tickets online to the islands of the Aegean Archipelago, such as Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, go to BookaWay now! 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 the Greek islands 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 by searching for cheap flight tickets on KAYAK. KAYAK searches for flight deals on hundreds of airline ticket sites to help you find the cheapest flights. Whether you are looking for a last-minute flight or a cheap plane ticket for a later date, you can find the best deals faster at KAYAK.
Sailing & Yachting
Can one charter a motor-sailer, a motor yacht or a sailing boat, barefoot or with a skipper, to cruise the magnificent 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 better following the descriptions of the ancient temples but also the Byzantine churches.
Read a short biography of the great romantic poet and friend of Greece Lord Byron.
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 links to flights to Greece or within Greece, hotel, villa and home rentals, cruises, yachting and sailing, car rentals, tours and excursions, visit this page, 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 luggage products from the world's largest manufacturers, at the best prices.