May 27, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Parks of Attica: four options for walking, picnic and sports

The parks and groves of Attica are a natural treasure. They make our everyday life in the metropolis more joyful.

Walking in nature has a psychotherapeutic effect. All problems go away for a while when you see how diverse life is in all its manifestations – the foliage turns green, insects crawl, butterflies flutter, and birds chirp about something of their own. Having moved away at least for a while from your own worries and problems, simply switching your attention to the beauties of nature, you suddenly realize that life, in spite of everything, is beautiful!

Today we bring to your attention 4 “green oases” in Athens, where walks will be unforgettable. Especially since, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s already spring outside. It’s time to “perk up” and “charge your batteries” with a good walk among the trees.

Moreover, the parks are literally within reach (you can get there by public transport).

The main benefit of walking outdoors is positive impact on overall health. Physical activity combined with a walk in nature helps to strengthen immunity at any time of the year. Daily walks improve the functioning of the heart and blood vessels, lower blood pressure. Raise the mood.

Five districts of Athens with forest parks, the existence of which few people know.

1. Alsos Veikou (Άλσος Βεΐκου)
Alsos Veiko city forest park is located in the Galatsi district of the capital. This is probably the most remarkable grove in the city, primarily because of its size, which is more than 100 hectares. Grass, trees, shrubs, benches and gazebos – all this luxury is designed just for you! In a nutshell: Alsos Veiko is a very, very large grove that needs to be visited many times to be sure that you have explored it well. Here you can do everything – relax with your family, ride bicycles, play outdoor games and sports. And in parallel with this, you will enjoy the beauties of nature. Have a picnic here. Just don’t forget to stock up on provisions.

Alsos Veiko has:

  • Two open basketball courts with stands.
  • Six outdoor tennis courts and two walls (for training and practicing hitting the ball).
  • Volleyball Court.
  • Football field (grass, stands and changing rooms).
  • Swimming pools (outdoor and heated): one for small children, the other for adults.

There are also two playgrounds, an exhibition space, a summer cinema and a theater stage where concerts are held.

2. New Philadelphia Grove

The grove has its own “special” character and is a great pride of the region. First of all, these are “green lungs” for the whole of Attica. The territory on which the park is laid out is more than 170 hectares. The vegetation is strikingly diverse. Here there are pines, and cypresses, and carob trees, as well as eucalyptus, and plane trees. Dozens of footpaths are designed for wonderful walks along them. You can also stop here, take a break and have a bite to eat in specially designated places (wooden tables with benches).

In small clearings, depending on the mood and the presence of the company, you can choose either a quiet, secluded corner, or a place where it is noisy and crowded.

Please note that the grove also has a good playground and fitness equipment. But special attention is drawn to a large artificial lake with a small windmill. The view is so beautiful that when contemplating it, you immediately get the feeling that you are somewhere far from the city, in an unknown fairy-tale land. The lake (which you must have seen in some old Greek movie) was “born” in 1966.

New Philadelphia Grove has an old (very neat and beautiful) summer cinema, which opened in 1959 and has been attracting moviegoers from all over Athens since then in the summer. There is also a meteorological station in the grove. Once upon a time, a very famous zoo worked on the territory of the grove (from 1986 to 1995), which even contained lions and bears. There is also an abandoned building of an old textile factory.


3. Grove Pagratiu (Άλσος Παγκρατίου)

The green oasis has an entrance from one of the central and busy streets of the Pagratiou district (crossroads of Evtikhidos and Spyros Merkouris streets). Nearby is the Kallimarmaro Stadium (Vasileos Konstantinou Street). The forest park is one of the oldest in the city, its area is more than 10 hectares. Its history begins in 1908. Then, by order of Princess Sophia, the Forest Society planted the first pine trees here. In 1936, the above company granted the area to the municipal authorities of Athens for use as a public recreation area. Before the German occupation, there was a zoo here. Newspapers of the time talked about three bears contained in it.

In the 1970s, artists who opposed the dictatorship gathered here, and the Free Theater gave open-air performances. Alsos Pagratiou has a children’s playground, as well as a basketball court, many paved walking paths and benches for relaxing.


4. Grove of Nea Smyrni (Άλσος Νέας Σμύρνης)
Excellent, well-groomed park “spread out” on an area of ​​20 hectares. Both natural forest plantations and artificially grown (for the purpose of landscaping) crops grow here. Elements that make up its landscape: two fountains, a dovecote, an abundance of birds (blackbirds, sparrows, etc.) and open-air chessboards. There is also a bike path that runs around the entire perimeter of the park. The place is very much loved by the townspeople and guests of the area.

In 2001, a group of amateur athletes created the Association of Friends of Athletes Alsos N. Smirni (SAFANS) with the aim of developing recreational sports (race walking, jogging, gymnastics, etc.). Inside the grove there is a cafe and an outdoor theater with a stage that can seat about 2,500 spectators. In recent years, children’s birthdays and holidays have been celebrated here.


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