Virgin Voyages' guide to Piraeus (Athens)
An intersection of the past and present
Athens – Europe’s action packed, oldest capital, considered to many as an archaeological theme park. As you approach the port of Piraeus you’ll find its entryway lined with visitors eager to be catapulted into one of the most exciting spectacles on the planet.
A sensational hub of culture and wonder, Athens will simply enliven your soul. Take in the architectural masterpieces and timeless works of art that have stood through fallen kingdoms, various leadership and natural disasters beyond our imagination. Wander the ground of the Erectheon, Proplyea and the iconic Parthenon while absorbing the pulse of the bustling city. Make your way down the energy-charged pedestrian walkways and peruse the countless markets, shops, tavernas and cafes that call Athens home.
Whether you’re looking for the historical sightseeing adventure of a lifetime, to tour a vineyard that doesn’t only produce exquisite wine, but balsamic vinegar, or to simply relax with a perfected traditional Greek recipe, a condensating glass of wine and a stunning view from the comfort of one of the city’s many al fresco cafes – in Athens, there’s something for everyone.
Democratic republic of captivation
Athens & Its Amazing Acropolis Highlights
Break out the plates ‘cause you’re headed to Athens. Pass all the sites: the temples, the palaces, the squares, and the original Olympic stadium. Still standing after all this time—true history survivor — feel like a little kid as you enter *the* Acropolis. Through the glorious Propylaea, make way for exciting landmarks like the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion, and a little ole’ building that needs no introduction — but we'll do it anyway — the Parthenon.
Greece Enlightening — Athens & Acropolis Style
Seize the day diving into incredible art, sculpture, and monuments that have stood the test of time — plus both human and natural disasters — by visiting the city’s top destinations. Follow your guide to top sites including the Acropolis (and its museum), Temple of Apteros Niki, the Erechtheion, and the iconic Parthenon. After, head into the charming neighborhood of Plaka where you’ll be served a traditional lunch then have free time to explore on your own.
Poseidon's View From Cape Sounio
Set out on a scenic drive along the Attica Peninsula. Embark upon the picture-perfect mountains and a sharply indented coastline fringed with beautiful beaches, ending at the southernmost point of the mainland. Follow the rocky path up to Cape Sounion where the imposing Temple of Poseidon awaits. Created in the 5th-century BCE, you’ll get to tour grounds and feast your eyes on jaw-dropping views of the sea — a must when honoring the god of water.
We have even more in our curated catalog.
Keeping up with the times
The first modern art museum opened in 2000 — only 20+ years ago.
The only thing you have to do to have an adventure in Piraeus, is to simply get off at the port. On the one hand it houses some of the top beaches, both public and exclusive, in the entire world, implementing a dreamlike, chic-seafaring vibe – and on the other, sits Athens. An urban mecca with a raw history of struggle and perseverance juxtaposed with its timeless cultural contributions of art, athletics, literature – pretty much any -ology, -ory and -ism you’ve studied – only here it’s not just pictures in a textbook.
Here, every variety of government has presided, from democracy to fascism, autocracy to communism; echoes of an anarchist past collide with current bohemian-thinking creatives, presenting themselves in the physical on the streets of the locals-only Exarchia neighborhood. Sailors looking to reconnect with Mother Nature can venture a short 25mi/40km outside the city center where culture is defined by the natural world. A world that can be celebrated while hiking through dense verdant forests, crystal water springs and even crossing over the Corinth Canal.
Whether you’re venturing to Athens to reconnect with the Earth, history or with yourself, whatever you seek out is waiting for you just beyond the port of Piraeus.
***Please be aware that all Sailors may be required to show proof of vaccination (a photocopy is acceptable) in Piraeus, and a photo ID may be required to return to the ship. Sailors should also bring masks with them as they may be required in some establishments.
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