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Our Top 3 Private Nature Tours In Athens


by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Chloe M.

Last updated : May 29, 20247 min read


Blessed with spells of beautiful clear blue days and historical wonders both enviable and rare, the Grecian city of Athens is the ideal destination for your holiday of dreams. The capital elegantly incorporates its modern cityscape with remarkable monuments and peaceful natural scenery, making Athens an easy pick for nature lovers and seekers of relaxation. In the very heart of Greece, there is indeed no scarcity of greenery for you to enjoy. 


After days of walking through cobblestone roads and admiring the country’s historical remnants showcased in Athens’ amazing museums, our local guides recommend that you take a breather from the flurry and excitement of the city’s many highlights and immerse yourself in some of Mother Nature’s many gifts. We have written down three of our favorite green spaces to tour around Athens, all of which possess unique and incredible qualities you would not want to miss out on. 


The National Garden


Nestled right in the middle of the capital, the National Garden spans hectares upon hectares of land - truly an oasis in a concrete jungle. Formerly known as the Royal Garden, this lush escape was built for the beloved Queen Amalia in 1838, and was completed two years later. It is said that Queen Amalia so loved the garden that she dedicated her hours to cultivating and taking care of it. Those 82 ft (25 m) palm trees gracing the Vasilissis Amalias Avenue entrance? It is rumored that she planted them herself!


Built alongside some of the busiest and most cosmopolitan roads in the capital, the garden miraculously manages to maintain its serenity with calm assurance. As the blue skies give way to flourishing flora, so do the honks and horns succumb to nature’s song. Get lost in the more than 7,000 trees and 500 species of plants scattered throughout the labyrinthine garden. Sit and read on a bench by one of the six lakes of your choosing. As you ponder the words in your book, toss some bread crumbs over at the friendly ducks waiting to be fed. Then, roam through the conservatory to learn more about how plants are cultivated and replanted. Finally, finish off your day with a quick trip to the small zoo. 


Once the venue where former kings and queens roamed on their idle days, the National Garden now sits next to the National Parliament, just north of Syntagma Square. For a garden of this size, there of course are several entrances, the main entrance bringing you to Amalias Avenue. To reach the garden, the closest metro stop would be Syntagma Station, just two minutes away. Similarly, the nearest bus stop is called “Syntagma” too. For more information on when to visit and how to get there, consult with one of our professional guides. Our guides are not only qualified professionals, but also loyal locals dedicated to sharing their culture and history with the world. 


Lake Marathon

Half hidden by the hills surrounding Athens is a man-made lake just shy over 28 miles (45 km) from the city center. Lake Marathon, also known as the Marathon Reservoir, is but an hour’s car ride from the city and boasts amazing scenery undisturbed by crowds. In the late 1920s, a dam was constructed to preserve freshwater for the city. Until the tail end of the 1950s, Lake Marathon was the only existing source of water for Athens, and so a pilgrimage to this peaceful mecca not only satisfies your thirst for nature but also your hunger for historical wanderlust.


Surely, a visit to this unassuming landmark will serve to enrich your travels. As you enter the perimeter of the lake, you might be surprised at how large it actually is. Spanning a mile across, this artificial wonder is pleasantly equipped with various walkways for people to dally around. The lake may not seem unique at first, but in actuality, its external cladding and the dam’s walls are made of the same type of marble as some of the buildings in the Acropolis such as the Parthenon. Although swimming in the lake is not permitted, nature walks, picnics, birdwatching, and watching the sun set are more than enough pastimes to fill your day. 


If you still have some time to spare, then head over to the village of Marathon, celebrated in the days of Theseus, the famous bull-killer. It was also in this very village where the first attempt at a Persian invasion of Greece took place in 490 BC, with the Greeks arising victorious. A trip to the Marathon Run Museum will also prove delightful for history buffs, especially since the original gold medal of the first marathon winner Spyridon Louis in the 1896 Olympics Games is displayed there. 


Mount Parnitha National Park 


With an elevation of 4,636 feet (1,413 m), Mount Parnitha looms over downtown Athens. The sweeping expanse of wilderness will surprise you, considering this idyllic escape is only about 25 miles (40 km) from the city. Relax as the locals do, and trek the various hiking trails around the mountain. Traverse through a densely forested landscape and relax in the quiet solitude of the Bafi Refuge. Or else follow some of the most amazing easy trails towards Mola Springs, or for the adventure-seekers, trek the challenging two hours of the Houni Ravine. 


These trails should not discourage you in the least if you have children. Mount Parnitha is child-friendly, with easy bike trails and walkways for the whole family. You can also have your child join some outdoor activities such as tree-climbing and archery. In any case, if you reach the beautiful summit of Karavola, or any viewing platform on the mountain for that matter, you will be met with a magnificent view of the city stretching all the way to the sea. 


As you end your hiking day, take refuge in the friendly countryside accommodations where the finest homemade local cuisine can be found. Listen as the locals eagerly tell you stories of old - of how the Byzantine monasteries came to be, or of how the ancient fortresses on the mountains collapsed. As you indulge in your meal and enjoy the tales, you may hear the odd cry of a bird or two not too far from you. This is because Mount Parnitha National Park is a protected habitat for wildfowl, housing over 130 species of birds. And just like that, you feel all the more in tune with nature. 



Athens will surprise and enchant you through every twist and turn. From relaxing days by the lake to daring treks up a mountain, there is a nature tour fit for every fancy. Whatever your wants and whims may be, GoWithGuide can help create the perfect itinerary for you. Contact our local guides to get the most accurate and timely information. Go ahead and unlock the mysteries of Athens today! 

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