Attica

Attica is the region of Greece which surrounds and includes Athens, with attractions like Marathon, Vravrona, Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon.

Temple of Poseidon at Cape SounionTemple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion

We don't think of Athens as being on a peninsula, but it is, and the peninsula is the region of Attica. Greece sometimes seems to be made up of peninsulas, like Halkidiki, which has three peninsulas at the end of what is already a peninsula. Then there's the Pelion Peninsula, and of course the three peninsulas at the south of the Peloponnese.

Like the rest of Greece, Attica has a long history. Prehistoric remains have been found in several places, and over the centuries it has been ruled by the Romans, the Byzantines, the Venetians, and the Ottomans, before finally returning to Greek rule. 

Some of Attica's attractions are actually in the suburbs of Athens, and can easily be reached on public transport. Others require longer bus journeys, and a few can only be reached by car. If you want to combine several Attica attractions that are all east of Athens then see our Drive around Attica page.

Attica MapAttica Map

Out from Athens into Attica

Most visitors to Athens only see the centre of the city, which is where most of the main reasons for visiting are located. In fact Athens is a city easily explored on foot, with perhaps the occasional metro or taxi ride. Yet it's easy to get a fuller Greek experience simply by travelling a few miles out of the centre to explore the areas immediately around the city. 

In some cases you'll first have to pass through the sometimes industrial suburbs, but the reward is the chance to have some classical sites all to yourself, particularly if travelling out of high season.

Driving in Athens

It can be unnerving to drive in central Athens since, despite attempts to cut vehicle numbers and increased pedestrian areas, the volume of traffic is still high and signage is poor, if you don't know your way around. Greeks also tend to be aggressive drivers, with little tolerance for people who are nervous and make mistakes. 

Rhamnous Archaeological Site, GreeceRhamnous, with Evia in the Background

Exploring Attica

If you wish to see Attica, it's best to rent a car at the airport, to the east of the city, and explore from there. If you're mainly based in Athens, you can easily store your main luggage at your hotel, pack a small bag, take the metro to the airport, and pick up and return your car there after a day or two exploring Attica. Alternatively, tick off the places that can be reached on public transport - there are hourly buses to Cape Sounion, for example - and it can be surprisingly inexpensive to rent a taxi for a day.

Vravrona Archaeological Site in GreeceVravrona in Attica

The Best of Attica

  • See a sunset over the Temple of Poseidon: go to our Cape Sounion page.
  • See the burial mound at Marathon: visit our Marathon page.
  • Eat seafood at a waterside restaurant in Rafina: see our Drive around Attica page.
  • Relax on the Athens Riviera in beach resorts like Glyfada, Voula or Vouliagmeni.
  • Visit the remote archaeological site at Rhamnous, for which you'll need to rent a car.
  • See the site and Archaeological Museum at Vravrona, by renting a car or taking a taxi from the airport.

You might like these Attica pages...

  • Cape Sounion and the East Coast

    The beach resorts of Athens are easily reached from the city and also close are Cape Sounion with the Temple of Poseidon, ancient Marathon and Rafina's port.

  • A Drive around Attica

    This drive around Attica offers visitors high hills, beach resorts, small villages and classical sites like Marathon and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion.

  • Vravrona or Brauron

    The archaeological site of Vravrona or Brauron is in Attica near Athens Airport and has a Sanctuary of Artemis, the Sacred House and an Archaeological Museum.

  • Rhamnous

    The classical archaeological site of Ancient Rhamnous or Rhamnus is in a remote part of Attica and best reached from Athens by renting a car.

  • Marathon

    The ancient site of Marathon and the site of the Battle of Marathon are in Attica and naturally about 26 miles or 42 kilometres from the centre of Athens.

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