About Nick E
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Oct. 2013
50-64 year old male
I am a professional travel writer and have always preferred independent budget travel, making use of public transport and discovering the local way of life wherever I go. I have been to nearly fifty countries but my "holy triangle" is my native London, Greece and India. I lived in Athens for almost a decade and still visit Greece regularly. I was also based in Pittsburgh for nine years and return to that most underrated city when I get a chance. My total time spent in ever-fascinating India is now over four years and it is always a joy to return. I still cover large parts of Greece, India and the USA for the Rough Guides and occasionally get to go on a busman's holiday to somewhere new.
Bodies of Water
Perched almost precariously on the tip of Cape Sounio, the imposing Temple of Poseidon is a must see for anyone with the slightest interest in archeology. It forms a perfect triangle with the Parthenon and the Temple of Aphaia on the island of Aegina.
Vouliagmeni Lake, which is the focal point of the eponymous sprawling seaside suburb, is really an inlet from the sea. Its beaches are generally quieter than those on the coast itself, such as nearby gay-friendly Limenakia.
This museum is the centerpiece of the ancient site of Marathon, the location of the famous battle with the Persians in 490 BC. On the site itself, look out for the remains of the burial mound, which contains the bodies of the 192 Athenians who died defeating an army of 6000 Persians.
The tiny island of Angistri is a popular getaway for Athenians, but considering its proximity to the big city and neighboring Aegina, it does not see that many foreign visitors. If you get away from the main strip between the ports of Skala and Mylos, you can find yourself alone in the pine forest or at pretty coves.
Most people only pass through the port of Rafina en route to the islands of Evvia, Tinos, or Mykonos, but it also makes a good day trip from Athens, both for the authentic and inexpensive fish tavernas by the harbor and for decent swimming options.
The island of Salamis is by no means the most beautiful in Greece, being more of a floating suburb and rather too close to major oil refineries, but it is the scene of the important naval battle of Salamis in 480BC, commemorated in the small archaeological museum.
Imposing Mount Hymettus dominates Athens' eastern flank and offers good walking trails, panoramic views of the city and, on its lower reaches, the delightful Monastery of Kaisariani.
The island of Aegina has long been a favorite escape for Athenians and tourists alike. It has a lively main town with good tavernas, some reasonable stretches of beach and a true archaeological gem in the shape of the well-preserved Temple of Aphaia.
Hidden among the rather characterless modern blocks of the now industrial suburb of Elefsina is the ancient site where the legendary Eleusinian Mysteries took place in antiquity. You can still get a feeling for these esoteric rites in the remains of the mighty Telesterion.
The archaeological site of Rhamnus is so rarely visited that you are highly likely to have it to yourself. The most important building here is the Temple of Nemesis and the site itself enjoys splendid views across the narrow strait to Evvia.