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Mount Lycabettus

Mount Lykavettos, Athens

Sometimes the best things in life are free. Like a walk to the top of Mount Lycabettus in the center of Athens to see the view, one of the best ways to spend a morning or late afternoon in Athens. And this page is a great way to familiarize yourself with the layout of the city.

When Christopher Wordsworth came to Athens in 1832 he wrote in his book Athens and Attika: Journal of a Residence There, that the mountain was known to the inhabitants of Athens, just recently liberated from the Ottoman Turks, as Saint George, because of the small church that still crowns it. It was Wordsworth who figured out that of all the mountains mentioned in the ancient descriptions, only Lycabettus seemed to be a name without a mountain. From a description in Plato and a fragment of Aristophanes Clouds he deduced that this mountain that overlooked the city must be Lycabettus. However on the mountain itself he discovered a marker which called it Dios Oros or Mountain of Jove, which was the ancient Mount Anchesmus as mentioned by Pausanias. Wordsworth came to the conclusion that Lycabettus was the older of the names for the mountain and it has stuck.

According to journalist Adrian Brettos "Lykavittos means "where the wolves go," but the modern ancient Greeks in the know call it "path of the wolves." It is said that in Periclean Athens, wolves roamed freely on Lykavittos as this was their last haven in the Attica basin."

The wolves are gone but the forests are still here and the view is fantastic. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Peloponessos. There is the popular Horizon Cafe-restaurant at the top and the small church of Saint George. For those who don't have the energy to make the climb they can take the Funicular Railway, the world's weirdest train which leaves at the top of Ploutarchou street in Kolonaki and costs 2 euro each way.

Lykavettos Funicular Railway

Here it is. The world's strangest train. It leaves from the top of Ploutarch street in Kolonaki. Some people walk up but I think the effect is more spectacular when you go on what they call the Funicular Railway. If you have kids this is the way to go. It's like a ride at an amusement park...sort of. It costs about 2 euro each way and you can buy r/t tickets but the walk down is easy and you can choose which part of Athens you want to end up in.

The Acropolis from Lykavettos

The first thing you will probably want to see is the Acropolis and this is possibly the best place to see it from. The houses with the red ceramic roofs are in The Plaka. Beyond is the bay of Faliron and Pireaus on the right.

National Gardens from Lykavettos

The National Gardens, Parliament and the Temple of Zeus

Kalimarmara Stadium Athens

Athens' Panathenaic Stadium or Panathinaiko, is also known as the Kallimarmaro, which means "beautifully marbled" and is the world's only stadium made entirely of marble.

Central Athens

In the center of the photo is Syntagma Square. Above that and to the left of the Acropolis is the Acropolis Museum and the neighborhoods of Koukaki and Makrianni. The road that leads to the sea is Syngrou Avenue. The neighborhood of Kolonaki is in the foreground. The very large buildings to the right of Syntagma Square is the Hotel Grande Bretagne and the Attika Department Store which was formerly the Tameion Building.

Lykavettos Cafe

They say the cafe and restaurant on the top of Lykavittos is pretty good. I have never eaten there. But the view is great so it is probably expensive.

Athens from Lykabetos

Looking towards the ceramic rooftops of the University of Athens and Panapistimiou Street. The buildings to the right are in Omonia Square and the large avenue you see is Agios Konstantinos in Metaxourgeio. The area behind the tall buildings across from the university is MonastirakiPsiri, Thission, Gazi and further in the distance Votanikos, Egalio and Peristeri.

View of Athens

Strefi Hill and Exarchia are in the center. Beyond that are the courts and to the left Pedion Areos Park. Beyond the park is Kypseli, one of the most densely populated places in the world and one of my favorite areas in Athens. Beyond is Peristeri, Egaleion and if you keep going the Peloponnesos.

Hilton from Lykavettos

The large curved building in the center is the Hilton Hotel. In front of that are the buildings of Evangelismos Hospital. The area behind the forest is Panapistimopoulos which is the University Town. Mount Hymettos, Kaisariani, Vironas and Illioupolis are in the background.

Athens Tower from Lykavettos

Looking east at the neighborhoods of Ambelokipi, Goudi and in the distance Papago, Holargos and Agia Paraskevis. The very tall building is Athens Tower.

Galatsi from Lykavetos

The neighborhood in the foreground is Neapolis and the hill is Lofos Kokou, also known as Tourkovouna (Turkish Mountains). Much of it is a park but at the very top there are farms and it is like you are out in the country. The mountain seperates the neighborhoods of Kypseli and Galatsi from Filothei and Psyhiko.

Kokonaki Saint George Lykavettos Hotel

The neighborhood of Kolonaki and the Saint George Lykavettos Hotel with the rooftop pool.

Saint George, Lykavettos

The Church of Agios Giorgos (Saint George) on the top of Lykavittos with a bunch of hot tourists.

Lykavettos Theater

What a great place for a concert right? This is the amphitheater they call Lykavettos. I saw James Brown, Nikos Papazoglou, Roy Harper and a few others here. But all sorts of people have played here including Peter Gabriel, Leonard Cohen, Deep Purple, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan, BB King, Black Sabbath, and a bunch of bands you have never heard of.

Lykavettos, Matt Barrett

This is just to prove that I actually went up here and took the photos and didn't just buy them from some tourist.

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