Mount Lycabettus

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I believe that this is the highest hill in Athens, it certainly felt like it when I trekked up it during the heat of the day, not to be advised, actually it is a lovely walk with lots of stopping points (rest benches) to view the city and the Acropolis in the distance. There is a cafe halfway up which unfortunately was closed (this being April), shame as I could have done with a drink. I had set out with all good intentions catching the metro to what on the map looked like the nearest station (Ambelokipi) which is where the old Panathinaikos football stadium is, this was a mistake, as due to the very poor signage I couldn't find the entrance to the cable car (funicular) and ended up circling the bottom of the hill through housing estates until I spotted a pathway through parkland – upwards. There was no sign of a funicular anywhere on the hill (I later discovered that this was because it was underground). On my subsequent visit I found it quite easily by walking from Evangelismos through the Kolonaki area, I say easily but this did entail several uphill streets with steps. My advice for those less able is to take a cab direct to the funicular entrance but by doing this you will miss Kolonaki Square which is one of the most fashionable areas of the city surrounded by designer stores and street cafes. After this walk you will be grateful to use the cable car (about 6 euro) but as it is underground you will miss the views. Once at the top there are some stunning views, on my first visit I could see the Parthenon quite clearly and even as far as Piraeus with my zoom camera (I'm told that on a good day you can see the Island of Aegina but I'll have to take their word for that), there is also a pretty little white chapel (St George). There is a cafe/restaurant there which was much appreciated but was quite highly priced. This was the perfect place to sit with my coffee on my second visit. Why did I go twice you may ask, well, I was so impressed with the views that I couldn't resist going again the following evening to see the city and the Acropolis all lit up. The funicular is open until gone 11 pm to facilitate this. If you're fit enough – not to be missed.

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