Lykavittos (Lofos Likavitou)

Lykavittos (Lofos Likavitou) (48)

This hill, the highest in Athens, is a landmark in the city, and can be seen from every corner. Although it's easy to observe from afar, looking back to the city from the top of the Lykavittos is more difficult. And the fact that it is that its 278 metres high makes it a hard nut to crack for the traveller who is not very fit. Anyway, there is always an alternative, and in this case it is a cable car. And you get on it from the corner of Ploutarchou. 

Lykavittós can be translated as "Way of Light" and in ancient times it was believed that the hill was the intended site of the Acropolis, since it was the most prominent part of the city. It was said to have been created by Athena, when she dropped halfway when moving it to the other side of Athens for the construction of the Acropolis. However, myths and beliefs are rife throughout history, as are other legends such as that its name could be translated as "inhabited by wolves" and obviously, the reason would be precisely that. 

This is one of the favourite places of the Athenians, and no wonder, because the panoramic view over greater Athens is truly impressive, and does not fit into a single photo. On a clear day, from the top of Lykavittós you can see the profile of the Acropolis, the port of Piraeus, and some of the Gulf Islands such as Salamina and even Aegina. 

A pretty tourist restaurant, a café and a small outdoor theatre complete the leisure offering. It is worthwhile to time a visit with the Athens Festival. Finally, the hill holds one last gift to visitors, the pretty white Agios Geórgios St George chapel that since the 19th century has occupied the site of an ancient Byzantine church dedicated to the prophet Elijah. The festivities of the two saints are celebrated on 23 April, St George, and 20 July St Elijah. In addition, on the Preparation Day for the Passover there is a candle light procession.

Getting to the top of Lykavittós can take about 45 minutes and requires considerable effort. However, the route is really lovely. Turtles hide among the flowers, everything is green, herbs between the steps along the way. There are lizards and butterflies and a pleasant pine scent. Although if you are not i the best physical shape, it is best to take the cable car up to the top, then comfortably make your way back down on foot.

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