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.

Other Attica pages

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Latest Posts

  1. Traditional Pies from the Windy Aegean Isles

    Islanders make a huge variety of pies. They roll out sheets of pastry like silk or make fluffy pockets of dough, and fill them with wild greens and delicious cheeses.

    Read More

  2. Discovering “Handcrafted Crete,” a New Coffee Table Book

    A new coffee table book by travel writer Isabella Zambetaki presents the enormous variety and wealth of Crete's handicrafts, past and present.

    Read More

  3. Mini Guide: Essential Tinos

    Read on for the best summer hangouts on charming Tinos, from village cafes and tavernas to spectacular beaches and cultural tours, in one mini guide.

    Read More

  4. Multifaceted Greek Experiences From Delphi to Nafpaktos

    From lush and historical natural sites with jaw-dropping views to shopping, dining and fun activities, this route offers a cornucopia of things to discover.

    Read More

  5. Kythnos: The Outsider of the Cyclades

    Even though close to Attica, Kythnos knows how to stay under the radar. This carefree island is the ideal destination for our first summer excursions.

    Read More

  6. 5 Amazing Spots To Enjoy Sunset In Athens

    When thinking about summer in Greece, one of the first things that pop into your mind, except for the sandy beaches and turquoise waters, is the unsurpassed sunsets of the Greek islands. Indeed, sunse…

    Read More

  7. Rivers In Greece That Offer An Incredible Swimming Experience

    Sun-drenched beaches with crystal-clear waters and fine sand are what Greece is mostly known for all around the world. And, justifiably so, since Greece has a coastline of a whopping 13,676 kilometers…

    Read More

  8. 15 Fun Holiday Activities To Enjoy With Your Kids

    Summer is already here, and the summer holidays are fast approaching. So, if you plan to enjoy them with your family, it would be great to have some activities planned. As you know, children (and adul…

    Read More

  9. 11 Shipwrecks Now Accessible to Divers

    Greece’s Ministry of Culture announces its decision to make 11 wrecks accessible to divers, under the supervision of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities.

    Read More

  10. Monemvasia: Europe’s Oldest Continuously Inhabited Castle Town is in Greece

    Monemvasia, on the southeastern shores of the Peloponnese, Greece is Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited castle town. Founded in 583 by inhabitants of the mainland seeking refuge from the Slavic an…

    Read More