Attica Region

The Attica Region of Greece

Attica Cuisine

Where is the Attica Region of Greece?

The Attica region is a historical and administrative region located in the eastern part of mainland Greece. It encompasses the capital city of Athens and its surrounding suburbs, as well as nearby coastal areas.

Attica is known for its rich cultural and historical heritage, including the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and other ancient monuments. It is also an important center for business and commerce in Greece.

The Attica Region of Greece is the most populated of all the 13 regions.

This region is bordered by the Central Region to the north and east; the Cyclades islands to the southeast; the Aegean Sea to the south; the Peloponnese Region to the southwest; and the Gulf of Corinth to the west.

The country’s capital, Athens, is the most populated city in all of Greece. It is also one of the oldest cities in the world!

The main cities within the Attica region are: Athens, Eleusis, Laurium, Marathon, and Megara.

Also included is a very small section of the Peloponnese peninsula (near Troezen), as well as the islands of Kythira and Antikythira (found on the southernmost tip of the Peloponnese peninsula).

Interesting to note that Kythira and Antikythira are traditionally listed as belonging to the Ionian Islands, however, administratively they belong to the Attica region.

And let’s not forget to mention the beautiful Saronic Islands which also belong to this region. They lie off the northeastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula and are only about an hour from the mainland by ferry – a quick getaway for Athenians.

The Saronic Islands are: Aegina; Agistri; Dokos; Hydra; Poros; Salamis; and Spetses.

What does the Attica Region have to offer?

Attica Airports:

  • Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (ATH)
    The Attica region of Greece is home to the main international airport serving Athens, which is called Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (ATH). It is located about 20 km east of Athens city center and is the busiest airport in Greece, offering domestic and international flights to destinations all over the world.
  • Tanagra Airport
    In addition to ATH, there is also a small regional airport called Tanagra Airport, which is located about 60 km north of Athens and primarily serves private and military aircraft.

Attica Ports:

  • Piraeus Port: The largest port in Greece, located in the suburbs of Athens. It is the main port for ferry and cruise ship traffic to the Greek islands.
  • Rafina Port: Located about 25 km east of Athens, Rafina is a major port for ferry traffic to the nearby Aegean islands.
  • Lavrion Port: Located about 50 km southeast of Athens, Lavrion is a small port used mainly for shipping minerals and other goods.
  • Zea Marina: Located in Piraeus, Zea Marina is a recreational marina for yachts and smaller boats. It is also used as a departure point for some island-hopping boat tours.

The Attica region of Greece is a diverse area with a variety of agriculture practices. Agriculture plays an important role in the economy and culture of this region. Some of the most common types of agriculture include:

  1. Olive farming: Olive trees are a staple of the Greek landscape and are grown for their oil, which is used in cooking and cosmetics.
  2. Vineyard cultivation: The Attica region is known for its wine production, with vineyards producing both red and white wines (Wines and Wineries).
  3. Fruit farming: Fruits such as peaches, plums, and apricots are grown in the region, as well as citrus fruits like oranges and lemons.
  4. Vegetable farming: A wide variety of vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and cucumbers, are grown in the fertile soil of the region.
  5. Livestock farming: Sheep and goats are raised in the region for their milk, cheese, and meat.

Attica Region Cuisine
The cuisine of the Attica region of Greece is characterized by its use of fresh, seasonal ingredients, as well as its rich culinary heritage as well as its geographic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Some of the dishes still made today have originated from ancient Greece (pasteli, fasolada, lentil soup); the Byzantine period (feta cheese, avgotaraho, paximadi); and the Hellenistic and Roman periods (loukaniko).

Some of the key elements of Attica’s cuisine include:

  1. Olive oil: Used extensively in cooking, olive oil is a staple ingredient in many traditional dishes.
  2. Seafood: With a long coastline and access to the Aegean Sea, seafood is a common ingredient in Attica’s cuisine, including dishes such as grilled fish, octopus, and mussels.
  3. Fresh vegetables: Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and other vegetables are used to make traditional dishes such as moussaka, dolmades, and spanakopita.
  4. Herbs and spices: Oregano, thyme, rosemary, and other herbs are used to flavor dishes, along with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. Dairy products: Feta cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products are common ingredients in Attica’s cuisine, used in dishes such as tzatziki, the Greek salad, and various cheese pies.

Some popular and traditional recipes from the Attica region of Greece include:

  • Greek Salad (Horiatiki): A refreshing salad made with ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese, and Kalamata olives, all dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar.
  • Dolmades: Stuffed grape leaves filled with rice, herbs, and sometimes ground meat.
  • Grilled Octopus: Octopus is a popular seafood dish in Greece, typically seasoned with lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs, then grilled until tender.
  • Souvlaki: A popular street food, souvlaki is small pieces of grilled meat (usually pork or chicken) served on a skewer with pita bread, tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce.
  • Feta and Spinach Pie (Spanakopita): A flaky pastry made with layers of phyllo dough filled with a mixture of feta cheese, spinach, and herbs.
  • Greek-style Fried Potatoes (Patates Tiganites): Thinly sliced potatoes are seasoned with salt and fried until crispy, then served as a side dish or snack.

Attica Region Restaurants
The Attica region of Greece has something to offer for every taste and budget. It is home to a diverse and thriving culinary scene, with a range of restaurants offering traditional Greek cuisine as well as international options. Tavernas and estiatorios (restaurants) serve home cooking at affordable prices to both locals and tourists. 

Some of the most common types of food and dining options in the region include:

  1. Greek tavernas: These traditional restaurants serve classic Greek dishes such as moussaka, souvlaki, and tzatziki.
  2. Seafood restaurants: With its access to the Aegean Sea, the Attica region offers fresh seafood dishes such as grilled fish, octopus, and mussels.
  3. International cuisine: There are also many international restaurants in the region, including Italian, Chinese, Indian, and Mexican options.
  4. Fast food: For those in a hurry, there are also a number of fast food chains offering burgers, pizza, and other quick bites.
  5. Street food: In addition to sit-down restaurants, there are also street vendors selling snacks such as souvlaki, gyros, and baklava.

Mainland Eateries: Athens Restaurants; Piraeus Restaurants; Marathon Restaurants; Elefsina Restaurants; Lavrion Restaurants; Megara Restaurants

Island Eateries: Aegina Restaurants; Agistri Restaurants; Hydra Restaurants; Poros Restaurants; Salamis Restaurants; Spetses Restaurants; Kythira Restaurants

Attica Region Beaches
The Attica Region of Greece is surrounded by sea, so it’s not surprising that there are beautiful beaches to explore and enjoy with a range of options to suit different preferences. Whether you’re looking for organized beaches or secluded little coves, there are plenty. 

Some of the most popular beaches in the region include:

  1. Vouliagmeni Beach: A well-known and popular beach located in the suburb of Vouliagmeni (there is an entrance fee), offering clear waters, sun loungers, and restaurants – 21.6 km/13.4 miles from Athens airport.
  2. Varkiza Beach: A long sandy beach located in the suburb of Varkiza (there is an entrance fee), with a lively atmosphere and a range of water sports available – 20.2 km/12.5 miles from Athens airport.
  3. Astir Beach: A high-end beach located in the suburb of Vouliagmeni, offering a range of facilities and activities such as sun loungers, restaurants, and a water park.
  4. Schinias Beach: A sandy beach located in the suburb of Marathon, known for its clear waters and windsurfing opportunities.
  5. Legrena Beach: A peaceful beach located in the suburb of Legrena, with shallow waters ideal for families with young children.

Some other popular beaches in this area are: Loutsa Beach; Voula Beach; Kavouri Beach; Alimos Beach; Glyfada Beach; Lomvarda Beach; and Cape Sounion Beach.

The Saronic Islands are some of the closest islands to Athens and are popular tourist destinations, offering a range of activities and attractions. They have their own unique feel and offer many beaches for both locals and visitors to explore:

The Modern City of Athens
Athens is a large cosmopolitan city and one of the biggest economic and financial centres in southeastern Europe. It is a transport hub for air, rail, roads, and boats. Interestingly, the Piraeus port is the largest passenger port in Europe and the second largest in the world.

Athens has three universities, seventeen accredited foreign archaeological institutes, an abundance of cultural events, art galleries and museums (including the National Archaeological Museum), and a world-renowned tourist centre. It is also home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – there are 18 total in all of Greece.

In 1896, Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games. In 2004, Athens hosted the Summer Olympics, making it one of the few cities to have hosted the Olympics more than once.

In short, Athens is a city that combines the best of both old and new, offering a rich cultural heritage and a modern, vibrant atmosphere. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or simply soaking up the Mediterranean atmosphere, Athens is a city that has something for everyone.

Athens is known for:

  1. Ancient history: Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities and is home to some of the most iconic ancient landmarks in the world, including the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
  2. Cultural heritage: Athens is a city steeped in culture and history, with a range of museums, galleries, and theaters showcasing the best of Greek art and literature.
  3. Delicious food: Athens is famous for its delicious cuisine, with a range of traditional dishes, local tavernas, and food markets offering a taste of Greece.
  4. Nightlife: Athens is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with a range of bars, clubs, and music venues offering entertainment into the early hours.
  5. Natural beauty: Despite its urban setting, Athens is also surrounded by natural beauty, with a range of parks, gardens, and mountain ranges offering opportunities for outdoor recreation.

The Neighborhoods of Athens
The neighborhoods of Athens are eclectic and have a lot to offer, each with its own unique character and charm. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, shopping, or nightlife, there is a neighborhood in Athens that is sure to suit your interests.

Some of the most notable neighborhoods in Athens include:

  1. Monastiraki: Monastiraki is close to the Acropolis and is known for its landmarks that include Hadrian’s Library, the Ancient Agora, and the Stoa of Attalos. It is also known for its bustling flea market – a mix of shops that sell t-shirts, sandals, trinkets, icons, jewelry – you name it, they sell it. This is a historic neighborhood known for its narrow streets, lively atmosphere, traditional tavernas, and restaurants.
  2. The Plaka: The Plaka is located right under the Acropolis, and arguably the nicest and most picturesque area of Athens. It consists of narrow streets, neoclassical buildings, ancient ruins, and Byzantine temples. Anafiotika, a small part of the Plaka, is built according to typical Cycladic architecture and island flair, with white walls, overflowing bougainvillea flowers, and narrow walkways. It is very popular with tourists, but still an ideal place to enjoy a stroll, or have an iced coffee or a meal.
  3. Kolonaki: Kolonaki is known for its upscale shopping, dining, and social scene. Located in the heart of the city, Kolonaki is a chic and trendy neighborhood that is popular with both locals and visitors. The neighborhood is characterized by its elegant architecture, with a range of historic buildings and modern skyscrapers that blend together to create a unique and sophisticated atmosphere.
  4. Psirri: Psirri is known for its vibrant nightlife, traditional tavernas, and bohemian atmosphere. Located in the heart of the city, Psirri is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. The neighborhood is characterized by its street art, with colorful murals and graffiti adding to the bohemian atmosphere. Despite its modern vibe, Psirri also has a rich history, with a range of historic buildings and landmarks, such as the old city market and the church of Agios Eleftherios. Psirri is also home to a range of traditional tavernas, serving up delicious Greek cuisine and a lively atmosphere.
  5. Exarcheia: Exarcheia is known for its alternative culture, with a vibrant community of artists, musicians, and political activists. Located in the center of Athens, Exarcheia is a neighborhood with a strong sense of identity and a rich cultural heritage. The neighborhood is also known for its street art, with colorful murals and graffiti adding to the bohemian atmosphere. Exarcheia has a long history of political activism, and is home to a number of squats and anarchist groups. The neighborhood is also home to a large student population, with a number of universities located nearby.
  6. Glyfada: Glyfada offers a sophisticated and upscale experience, home to high-end shopping, dining, and residential areas. Located on the southern coast of Athens, Glyfada is close to a number of beaches and marinas. The neighborhood is known for its upscale and high standard of living.
  7. Kifissia: Kifissia is located in the northern suburbs of Athens, and is home to a range of high-end shopping destinations, including designer boutiques, luxury brands, and upscale shopping centers. The neighborhood is also known for its upscale homes, as well as its dining, with a range of high-end restaurants, cafes, and bars. It is located near a number of natural attractions, including forests, lakes, and hiking trails, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Ancient Athens
Named after the Greek goddess Athena, Athens is considered to be one of the oldest and greatest cities in the world. Evidence of habitation dates back as far as 5000 BCE. It was the centre of Ancient Greek civilization, and the birthplace of democracy.

The ancient part of Athens, Greece is characterized by its rich history and cultural heritage. It is home to many famous landmarks and archaeological sites, including the Acropolis, a hilltop fortress that contains the remains of several ancient structures, including the Parthenon temple. The Agora, a public square and marketplace, was the center of political, commercial, and social activity in ancient Athens. The theater of Dionysus, the first theater in the world, is also located in the ancient part of Athens and was used for performances of Greek dramas.

The ancient part of Athens offers a glimpse into the past and provides a unique perspective on the history and cultural heritage of Greece.

During the golden age, there were many great writers, philosophers, and artists in Athens:  

The Acropolis
The Acropolis in Athens can be found in the heart of the city. This 100m steep-sided and flat-topped citadel is the highest point of the city. It was once fortified with Cyclopean walls (which you can still see parts of) that sheltered the buildings within.

The Acropolis is home to the:  

The Archaeological Promenade of Athens
There is now a 3-kilometre pedestrian walkway—the largest in Europe – that unifies the archaeological sites of Athens and offers visitors an amazing perspective of ancient Athens.

The Archaeological Promenade of Athens is a project aimed at unifying various ancient sites in Athens through a pedestrian walkway. The goal is to provide visitors with an easy and accessible way to visit and explore these important cultural landmarks. Some of the notable sites included in the promenade are the Acropolis, the ancient Agora, and the Kerameikos archaeological site.


See some of our Attica region recipes here.
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