A holiday in Athens by car will leave you with unforgettable memories of the impressive cultural heritage preserved from ancient times. The Acropolis is probably by far the most famous sight of the Greek capital.
In a car you can drive up to the foot of the mighty citadel and then head on to the top on foot to gain an impressive view over the city and the port of Piraeus.
If you are traveling in a hire car in Athens, you can also quickly reach other important sights, such as Syntagma Square, the seat of parliament and brimming with life and busy cafes. You can book a hire car through TUI Cars and then pick it up at one of the numerous partner car rental offices at Athens Airport.
The top sights of Athens
Driving a hire car in Athens allows you to reach sights easily at your pace, for instance the Lutheran Cathedral. One of the largest Roman temples on the Attic peninsula is the Olympieion. Completed in the 2nd century AD by Emperor Hadrian, it stands half a kilometre east of the Acropolis and is an impressive legacy of this era. The well-preserved churches Hagioi Theodoroi, Kapnikarea and Eleftherios stem from the Byzantine period and are well worth a visit by car. You can also drive your hire car to Plaka, one of the districts of Athens, for a glimpse of modern Greece.
Here you can taste true Greek cuisine, characterised by crispy meat specialities. The old Turkish bathhouse from the 17th century should also be on the itinerary. A wide selection of souvenir shops lines the popular Monastiraki Square. If you are a keen beachgoer, then head for Piraeus. The famous harbour lies some 15 kilometres south of downtown Athens.
Exploring the surrounding area by car
Athens’ characteristic backdrop is created by the numerous mountains and hills that surround the city. In a hire car you can, for example, take the A1 to Pentelikon; this mountain, which reaches 1,109 metres into the sky, lies about 30 kilometres northeast of the metropolis. At the foot of this impressive peak nestles the historic town of Marathon, the starting point for the fabled run by the Greek soldier Pheidippides to Athens.
Today Marathon’s exquisite beaches draw holidaymakers and locals alike to go bathing and windsurfing. This is where the windsurfing events were held at the Olympic Games in 2004. Delphi, in the heart of the Greek continent and home of the legendary Oracle, is an easy 40-minute car-ride away from Athens. Alternatively, you can drive to the Corinth Canal in just under an hour.