Athens Journals

Athens: Faces Of The Goddess

Best of IgoUgo

An October 2003 trip to Athens by Hal1026

Sofitel Athens Airport Photo, Athens, Greece More Photos
Quote: Athens has more than one aspect to her. Contemporary? Come prepared for a city that parties till dawn. Classical? Athens is a timeless feast for the mind and spirit.

Sofitel Athens Airport

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Sofitel Athens Airport Photo, Athens, Greece
Quote:
"Step into Calm and Serenity," Sofitel Athens Airport’s outdoor sign proclaims to the weary traveler. Call it making a virtue out of a necessity, but Athens needed major onsite accommodation to fit into the travel logistics of the 21st-century traveler--stopping over, changing flights, traveling onward to the islands--that the new Venizelos International Airport required with its location far out on the Spata plain. This Sofitel does the job admirably. The Sofitel staff combine Greek savvy and warmth with crisp French managerial style to waft new guests easily up to one of the hotel’s 332 rooms or 13 suites above. Sofitel always emphasizes the personal and immediate touch, and this new additio...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 6, 2004

Sofitel Athens Airport
Venizelos International Airport, Spata
Athens, Greece
+302 103544000

Balthazar

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
I first dined with my family at Balthazar in the seventies, and that became one of the first dining experiences I would count as truly memorable for the ambience of the establishment. In a loud, hot and busy city, you feel as though you have stepped back into a more serene time as you enter the neoclassically designed building set inside a walled garden shaded by tall palms. The cuisine ranges from the finest of Greek specialties to other Mediterranean recipes. Seafood lovers might enjoy items like octopus and beans scented with truffle oil and caramelised onions, or grilled swordfish with green beans and mussel sauce. Or, if you want to savor the Greek passion for lamb at its best, then try out t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2004

Balthazar
Tsoha 27
Athens, Greece
210.641.2300

Quote:
Located on three floors of a former mansion in the upscale Kolonaki district of Athens, the Goulandris Foundation Museum of Cycladic Art is definitely worth a visit for its impressive collection of figures cut from the pure white marble of the Cycladic Islands. The museum opened in 1986, since my last visit back to Athens, and was in a neighborhood I thought I knew fairly well, but the side street it was located on proved a little difficult to locate even with a map. One of the most inescapable motifs--it's repeated again and again, in various sizes and with minor variations--is the figure of what appears to be a woman. The style is primitive and solid, she is inexpressive, but there is a vuln...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 7, 2004

Goulandris Foundation Museum of Cycladic Art
Neofytou Douka 4, Kolonaki
Athens, Greece

Vouliagmeni Lake

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Vouliagmeni Beaches"

Quote:
Athens is only a few kilometers away from the Aegean coastline, but sometimes in the middle of August it can feel like hundreds, thanks to blistering heat that can reach into the upper 90’s Fahrenheit. In fact, escaping Athens in summer is as much a ritual for any Athenian who can afford a getaway to the neighboring coast—or even further to an island—as it is for Parisians to get away from Paris into the provinces. Whether you plan to continue onwards to any of the Aegean island groups or not, however, experiencing the waters and coastal living near the Greek capital is worth it not only for the more temperate climate and waters but the wonderful scenery at many points. Among the most pleasant is t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 16, 2004

Vouliagmeni Lake
Possidonos Avenue
Athens, Greece 166 71
+30 210 896 2237

New Mini Museums: Art at Every Level

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Athens' New Mini Museums: Art at Every Level"

Quote:
Tranquility and antiquity right in the midst of high-speed modernity and the endless noise of the crowds. This is the conundrum you can find played out in so many ways in present-day Athens—from the occasional quiet side street with fascinating shops that twist off traffic-jammed thoroughfares, to the peaceful courtyard café with a trickling fountain in its midst you suddenly discover in the middle of a crowded, noisy shopping district. Athens has its interesting ways of preserving an oasis of calm and culture, and one of the most innovative takes on this has been the appearance of the museum space nestled in some of its busiest public places. Examples of this to stop and savor, giving yoursel...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 18, 2004

New Mini Museums: Art at Every Level
Airport, Metro
Athens, Greece

Athens Neighborhoods Photo, Athens, Greece
Quote:
Getting beyond the stereotypes: During my time spent with family living in Athens years ago and subsequent return visits, I’ve become somewhat familiar with a few of the aspects that characterize the city’s districts and suburbs. Not always consciously, or even with the clarity you achieve with the benefit of years of hindsight after leaving, I came to appreciate a place that goes beyond the usual adjectives regularly attached to it by impatient visitors: crowded, noisy, inefficient, bureaucratic, hot, muggy, and oh—of course—watch out for those taxi drivers, they’re the worst in Europe. So much of this can in fact be attributed to Athens--but then again so much of it disappears when you take the t...Read More