7 lesser-known urban oases to enjoy the tranquility of Athens

“Old Pond.

A frog jumps in –

sound of water. “

saw no frogs along the ancient trails of Plato’s Academy, Kerameikos Also Aristotle’s LyceumBut my mind often came back to this beautiful poem by Japanese poet Basho Matsuo. I came to see it as a place Escape the madness of big city lifeand for the most part this is true. But at the same time, it is also a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. Habits are hard to change, so you never stray far enough from the course. Change course and follow a path that leads to the lesser-known ‘haven’ of Athens. In fact, if we really look, they can be seen all around us.

Norwegian explorer and publisher Erling Kagge writes in his book Silence: In the Age of Noise: Trying to love the course and your life. Silence itself is rich. Exclusive and luxurious. The key to unlocking new ways of thinking. I don’t see it as a renunciation or a spiritual thing, but as a practical resource for living a more abundant life. “

[Dimitris Vlaikos]

Aristotle’s Lyceum

Officially, this is a ruin. South of the Sarograio Mansion and north of the Conservatory of Athens, on Rigiris Street, are the ruins of Aristotle’s Lyceum Palace, one of the first Lyceum he in ancient Athens. According to ancient accounts, the Lyceum was an idyllic green suburb east of Athens, outside the Diocales Gate. Today, a visit to the Lyceum, recently discovered by archaeologists in 1996, is a soothing feast. It is one of the best-presented archaeological spaces, as it encourages contemplation, reflection and aesthetic pleasure in an unparalleled combination of archaeological finds and Mediterranean greenery.

Gardens of the Byzantine Museum

It’s hard to describe my delight every time I step into the one-hectare park behind the Palace of the Duchess of Présance. Once upon a time the river Ilissus flowed through it. At the same time, it is sad that the vision of the late Dimitris Constantius (former director of the Byzantine and Christian Museum) has not been received by the citizens of Athens and visitors. Grounds maintenance could be improved, but nevertheless, the wild natural setting coupled with a small permanent outdoor exhibit should always be attractive to all hunters in a well-hidden urban oasis. is.

Hill of Hippio Koronos

The area and roads, including Hippio Kolonos Hill and Sukuze Hill, are themselves a journey through time, with a much lower skyline, and a calmer, less urbanized Athens. It’s a wonder that so many low-rise buildings have survived while preserving a 1950s urban feel on busy boulevards such as Ioanninon. In contrast, the slopes of the two hills offer a lovely serenity. At the highest point of Koronos Hill are his two monuments to the archaeologist of Ficheren. One was German Karl Müller (1797-1840), the other his French Charles Lenormand (1802-1859).

Plato’s Academy

Juan is from Spain and his partner Manon is from France. They study and work in London. This is our first trip after the pandemic. “How did you get here?” asks the ever-extroverted photographer, Vangelis Zavos. “Come! How can you visit Athens without coming to Plato’s Academy?” In fact, how many Athenians know where Plato’s academy actually is? This extended green space has a certain symbolic weight and offers various opportunities for reading, quiet contemplation or solitude in the cool shade of the Academy.

7 lesser-known urban oases to enjoy the silence of Athens 2
[Dimitris Vlaikos]


A friend said, “I once dreamed of a Kerameikos without railings.” Of course, he wasn’t referring to the surrounding area, but to the ancient Athenian cemetery. increase. This is why one visit is never enough. The historically significant artifacts in front of you are less important. You walk by tombs, funerary monuments, and gravestone relief sculptures, and you either recognize them or you don’t. Kerameikos has a soul of its own, refreshed by the waters of yet another ancient river, Eridanos. This is a shimmering soul that reflects the dazzling light of death.

Diomedes Botanical Garden

If this magical place was a little closer to the center of Athens it would have been packed with people every day. Instead, it is located on the outskirts of Hydari, at the end of Hiela Odos, and its popularity is due to constant word of mouth from those lucky enough to visit this marvelous haven. In any case, the expansion of the western side of the metro (Ayia Marina station) has made the trek somewhat less adventurous. I no longer need to drive. Either way, it’s worth the visit. 186 hectares of land, 4,000 native and exotic plants, a network of 25 lakes and other water elements, over 100 species of roses and dozens of flowerbeds create an impressive nature lover’s paradise. I’m here. It will definitely reward those trying to distance themselves from the hustle and bustle of the urban world.

7 lesser-known city oases to enjoy the silence of Athens4
[Dimitris Vlaikos]

Petraki Monastery

The fact that this is the official seat of the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church may delay people from visiting this little spiritual and environmental treasure on Gennadiu Street, which is a shame. The courtyard is home to a representative sample of Attic flora, including cypresses, pines, and palm trees, which are intoxicatingly scented in early spring. Just 200 meters from the bustling Vasilis Sophias Avenue, sitting on a humble bench with your eyes closed or wide open if you prefer, you will feel renewed, calm and perhaps spiritual. I can do it.

This article was written in Greece (, Casimerini Publishing Initiative. 7 lesser-known urban oases to enjoy the tranquility of Athens

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