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Outdoor Activities in Athens: Adventure City Guide

Use our Adventure City Guide for Athens to find all the best Outdoor Activities in Athens; including hiking, kayaking and bungee jumping.

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Outdoor Activities in Athens

Are you looking for an insider’s adventure travel guide for the best outdoor activities in Athens?

As part of our Adventure City Guide series, Stephen Shreck from A Backpacker’s Tale shares with you his expert insider tips on the top adventure and outdoor activities to do in Athens; including how to go on holiday to Greece, and the costs.

Outdoor Activities in Athens

Athens Adventure City Guide – Photo by Jay Galvin

Why visit Athens for adventure?

Athens’ location lends itself to the adventurous. On one side, you the have the Aegean Sea and the beautiful Greek islands begging to be explored. And on the other, you have the scenic mountains and hillsides which are perfect for people who want to hike, mountain bike, and take in some of the countryside.

Best Outdoor Activities in Athens

Corinth Canal

This world-renowned canal is a stunning sight in itself. Imagine standing on the edge of the platform looking down the right before you dive yourself head-first into the middle of the canal. Taking on the challenge of bungee jumping into Corinth Canal is an adventure you will never forget.

Getting to the Corinth Canal

Hop on the train from Athens to Corinth. The ride takes between 60 – 70 minutes.

Additional information

The Bungee jump is only available from April to September and costs 60 Euros. Check out Zulu Bungee for more information.

Mt Parnitha

Towering over Athens at 1,400 m, Mt. Parnitha is one of Greece’s most beautiful and scenic mountains.

Not only does Mt. Parnitha have the ancient fortress of Frourio Fills and Spileo Panos, the cave to the Greek god Pan to explore, but it also has numerous hiking and mountain biking trails that allow take you across the stunning Greek countryside, making it perfect for sightseers and adventurers of all skill levels.

Outdoor Activities in Athens

Outdoor Activities in Athens – Mt Parnitha

Getting to Mt Parnitha

Located just 25k outside of Athens, the easiest way to reach Mt Parnitha is by public bus or car.

Explore a Greek Island

Athens is the doorway to the Greek islands and a few of them are close enough to enjoy as day trips. Aegina and Hydra Island are the most popular, but if you have to choose only one then I would recommend Hydra.

This island offers a good mix of sights and plenty of things to do. You can wander the streets of the beautiful port town and get some great photos of the tall marble bell tower of the Church of Assumption. For those seeking more adventurous activities, there are areas to enjoy cliff jumping.

Cost of Exploring a Greek Island

How much you will spend will vary on what island and adventure travel activities you choose. However, I think it’s safe to say that most of the cost will be getting there. Boat fares change all the time, but a good estimate is about 50 euros round trip.

Outdoor Activities in Athens

Outdoor Activities in Athens – Visiting Hydra Island – Photo by Francisco J Gonzalez

Best time of the year to visit Athens for adventure?

A lot of people are worried about visiting Athens since the European debt crisis, but honestly, this is the perfect time to visit. Not only will you have to deal with smaller lines, but you will also find cheaper prices. Athens’ weather is gorgeous in the summer; making is the perfect time to visit, especially for Island hopping. Mt Parnitha is beautiful in any season, and the view you can get from hiking in the winter might even be more beautiful than in the summer.

Where to stay in Athens?

If you’re a budget traveller you will want to check out the hostel, City Circus.

It has a great location in the middle of the city as well as an awesome atmosphere and a great bar at a budget price. The hostel staff is also extremely helpful.

Finally, the reason I love Athens for adventure is because…

Athens has a little to offer everyone with beaches, mountains and extreme sports, like bungee jumping, all right near the city. This makes Athens the perfect home base for your next travel adventure.

Bio:

Stephen Schreck is a world traveller, nomad, and mistake-prone backpacker. He is currently traveling the world full-time making his dream his reality. His adventure travels lead him on a endless quest to try and tackle his growing bucket list.

Make sure you check out his travel blog, A Backpacker’s Tale to follow along with his many entertaining misadventures in random locations. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

This is a featured article by a Guest Author. Their details can be found in the post above. If you want to become a Guest Poster please Contact Us here. Please also read our Website Disclaimer if you have any issues or concerns.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Arti

    March 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    I have heard so much about Greece. Its very beautiful, Mt Paranitha looks heavenly. Thanks for sharing.

    • Stephen S.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      It is heavenly Arti, worth a visit anytime of the year. Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Tom @ Active Backpacker

    March 23, 2013 at 5:34 AM

    Great write up from Stephen! I still haven’t been to Greece (boooo), but it’s great to see Athens lends itself so well to outdoor adventure activities!

    • Stephen S.

      March 25, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      Thanks Tom, Greece has so much to offer and Athens would be write up your alley!

  3. Shirley

    March 25, 2013 at 5:01 AM

    Was there last year.. I didn’t try bungee jumping for some reasons, but if you are huge fan of great architecture, Athens has got a lot to offer, not to mention the museums.. and I just fell in love with Plaka, it’s one of a kind. 😉

  4. Stephen S.

    March 25, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    I agree Shirley! I think that is one reason Athens is so special, not only do you have adventures right outside the city, but you also have a lot of sights to explore inside.

    p.s. I also love the Plaka, I spent many hours exploring that last time I was in Greece.

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Adventure Travel

Tips for Planning Your Uluru Tour

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Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the magnificent sandstone of Ayers Rock or Uluru stands tall at 1,142 feet above ground. The natural formation is widely known for being one of the most sacred places to the indigineous peoples in Australia. At the same time, it is also popular for attracting tourists from all over the world to the land down under.

If you want to visit Uluru in order to pay tribute to this wonder of nature, then doing so through the right tour is in your best interest. It’s not only because Uluru is located at least a few hours from civilization, but it also because such a tour allows you to enjoy the picturesque sights that come along the way within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

So what sights are there to see along the way and what other general tours suggestions you should keep in mind while visiting Uluru? To help you answer these and some other important questions, here are 5 top tips to keep in mind while visiting Uluru.

Don’t Climb the Monolith

First things first, while it is legal to climb atop Uluru, it is recommended that you do not attempt such an action in order to show your respect to the indigenous peoples.

It is a pretty easy rule to follow when you pay attention to the emotions of the indigenous tribes who have recommended time and again for people to not climb Uluru.

But that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the natural beauty that Uluru has to offer. In fact, you are encouraged to visit the sandstone and take in its natural glory by standing right beside the formation. That’s why 4WD tour is highly recommended. The tour guides would be able to tell you what you can and can not do.

Visit During Sunset

Ask anyone who has visited Uluru about the best time to see the formation, and you will instantly get the answer as “sunset.”

It’s because Uluru is not an ordinary monolith, but one that is formed through arkosic sandstone. This allows the rock to actually change its color according to the position of the sun. As a result, you can expect the formation to sport a different color depending upon what time of day you reach it.

At sunset, Uluru projects an amber glow that is surreal to take in, especially when you are seeing the formation in person for the very first time. That’s why, it is recommended that you time your trip in a way that allows you to experience this magnificent sight.

3. Take Your Time to Plan the Trip

Perhaps the best way to visit Uluru is through the nearby town of Alice Springs, which has various amenities and accommodation options for tourists who are making their way to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The drive from Alice Springs to Uluru can take around 5 hours, which is why it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before you are planning to tour Uluru.

This way, you can reach the national park while feeling fresh and rested. This also gives you time to plan longer trips to the park in order to enjoy all that it has to offer.

4. Take in the Sight of the Rock Art

Uluru is not just a wonder to look at by itself, but it also holds several little pieces of wonderful art within it.

The caves at the bottom of the formation hold several pieces of rock art that can only be found at Uluru. If you love learning about other cultures through their art, then this will be a must visit.

Just make sure that you take the time to learn about this art through a local tour guide or via the information provided within these exhibits. This ensures that you have an immersive and informative experience which you can remember for a long time.

5. Don’t Forget the Natural Attractions Around the Rock

Enjoying the breathtaking sight of Uluru sounds rewarding enough for a trip to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. But it’s not all that you can do during a tour of Uluru.

From seeing the red kangaroos and other marsupials to spending some time with the camels, and from seeing the one of a kind formations of Kata Tjuta to taking a walk by the Valley of the Winds, there’s so much to see and do around Uluru.

That is why, it is recommended that you take your time at the park and put aside at least two days to enjoy all of the unique activities that the area has to offer. It would give you a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life while also allowing you to make the most out of your long journey to the sandstone.

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Adventure Travel

Best Time to Visit Panama and Costa Rica

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The fact that Costa Rica and Panama are close makes both countries perfect for visiting. During your holiday there, it’s easy to travel back and forth between the two countries and enjoy all the wonders they have to offer. Keep in mind that the timing of your holiday will influence what sorts of sites you can visit and what activities you can make part of your plans. By understanding a little about what to expect, it’s easy to determine the best time of year to visit both countries, based on what you would like to do.

Learning More About the Dry and Rainy Seasons

If you’re the type who prefers the hustle and bustle that comes with holidays during the tourist season, plan on being in Costa Rica and Panama during what’s known as the dry season. Expect plenty of sunshine and warm weather during this part of the year. Many of your activities will be outdoors, although you will find a number of indoor sites that you will want to include in your plans.

The dry seasons in both countries overlap. The dry weather for both typically arrives during the first to the middle part of December. In Costa Rica, the dry season usually lingers until sometime in April. Panama enjoys a slightly shorter dry season, with it usually ending sometime in March.

Keep in mind that since this dry period is the height of the tourist season, the cost of visiting from December to April will be higher than at other times of the year. Even so, if your plans include spending a lot of time exploring the rain forests or soaking in the rays on one or more of the beautiful beaches, the dry season is the only time to consider.

Making the Most of the Dry Seasons

During the dry season in both nations, do expect the weather to be more humid and the day temperatures to be a little higher. There is some variance depending on which regions you plan on visiting. As a general rule, locations nearer the coast will include warmer weather and higher levels of humidity. By contrast, the more mountainous areas will offer slightly cooler temperatures and lower humidity levels.

During this time, do plan on enjoying the lush greenery found in the rain forests. During much of the dry season, the abundance of rain from what’s known as the rainy or green season ensures that the forests are at their best. Consider adding some variety to your holiday by spending time at the beach, soaking in the nightlife along the coast, and doing some shopping at many of the open air districts. This is also the perfect timing to enjoy some of the local cuisine while dining outside.

There are special events to celebrate during the dry season. President’s Day in Costa Rica occurs during this period. Along with locals, you can enjoy a number of celebrations, open-air festivals, and just about any type of entertainment that one can imagine.

Since the dry season does attract more tourists, it pays to book your lodgings in advance. Along with President’s Day, there’s also spring break and the Easter Season to consider. While you could look at different hotels and other properties near beaches, there are also hostels that make perfect places to sleep. After all, how much time do you plan on spending indoors when there’s so much to do?

Things to Do During the Rainy Seasons

In spite of the name, it isn’t always raining during the rainy or green season. Most days, there will be brief periods of sunshine that do allow you to spend some time at the beach and other outdoor venues. Do expect the evenings to be cooler. At times, the temperature may make wearing long sleeves or possibly a sweater a good idea.

Even if you’re out and about while it’s raining, there are plenty of things to see. Towns and cities in both nations offer indoor concerts, a number of restaurants catering to all sorts of tastes, and clubs and other settings for entertainment. You will find museums that will tell you more about the history of indigenous peoples and the complexity of their cultures.

What are some of the activities you can enjoy during this time of year? Both Costa Rica and Panama offer options to go horseback riding. Generally, this will happen during the morning when the sun is most likely to be out. Walking tours are also a great way to learn more about the culture and possibly find some interesting places that you will want to return to a little later. Don’t overlook the opportunity to get in some fishing when there’s a sunny morning coming your way. There are changes to engage in freshwater fishing as well as charter boats that will take you to some of the better places to enjoy salt-water fishing.

Coffee and rum tours are also something to consider during the rainy season. These tours allow you the opportunity to see different facilities and how they produce their products. As a bonus, you get to enjoy some taste-testing at many of the places that you visit along the tour. Some of the sites will also have bistros or restaurants included, allowing you to enjoy a nice meal or snack with your coffee or rum.

In terms of museums to visit, San Jose offers some of the most interesting museums in Costa Rica. Many of them are located in or adjacent to what’s known as the Central Market. It’s a great way to enjoy time indoors during the rainy afternoons and early evenings.

In Panama, check out the Panama Canal Museum in Casco Viejo. You can make use of headphones that offer the guided tour in multiple languages. If you happen to be proficient in Spanish, feel free to check out each exhibit on your own. You can also check out the Biodiversity Museum, which features exhibits on the over 1,000 species of animals and plants that are found in the country. Make the most of the discounts offered on Sundays. Retirees also get to enjoy discounts when visiting these museums.

Which season is the best time to visit Costa Rica and Panama? It’s really up to you. For those who prefer a slower pace and don’t mind rain during the afternoons and evenings, the raining season is ideal. Those who thrive on activity, sunshine, and plenty of tourist activities will enjoy going during the dry season. Whatever your choice, plan on coming back a second time. It’s rare for anyone to see everything they want to see during a single holiday.

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Adventure Travel

Most Underrated Travel Destinations

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Everyone knows about Paris and Rome and London but there are so many other beautiful travel destinations that are amazingly underrated. The fact that so many beautiful countries go unexplored by travelers is a tragedy. Not only because so many people are missing out on rich cultures and picturesque views, but also because a lot of these destinations tend to be a lot cheaper to travel to than popular cities. 

A majority of Americans, when asked about traveling abroad, will likely shake their head and say they can’t afford such trips. Many people deal with multiple monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, student loans, and title loans, which are all stress inducing. 

But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are gorgeous, underrated foreign cities one can visit for a fraction of the price of touristy European cities. Forbes recently published a collection of the ten most underrated destinations you should consider visiting. 

Here are a few of them:

Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known for its magnificent sights of Mount Ararat, historical monasteries, and its many striking temple ruins. Armenian cuisine is other worldly with classic dishes like rabbit stew, sautéed eggplant rolls, and lamb tartare. 

Telč, Czechia

Telč is a colorful town with Italian influences in Czechia. It boasts of Baroque-Renaissance architecture and has a castle of its own with exciting tunnels and passageways that you can explore underneath the town.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago is the capital of Chile and features gorgeous architecture from the neoclassical era. There are towering cathedrals and, of course, plenty of quality Chilean wine. Plus, the city of Santiago is a great place to kick off your exploration of Chile’s wine country. 

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Rotterdam is often ignored due to the popular neighboring city of Amsterdam, but it is a bastion of underground music and street art. The architecture is strikingly modern since the city was heavily bombed during World War II and thus had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The city is filled to the brim with amazing cuisine and museums.

Lagos, Nigeria

If you are looking for a big city destination, Lagos is a metropolis that has plenty to see and do so that you’ll never be bored. And whenever you need a break from the urban marketplaces, private beaches are just a short drive away.

Con Dao, Vietnam

Con Dao is a Southeast Asian island that makes an excellent beach destination with two resorts and tons of fascinating history. Once host to a brutal French prison, the island is also home to the tomb of the Vietnamese martyr Vo Thi Sau. 

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

This is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay dating back to the 17th century. The city has a vibrantly decorated historic quarter and a three-century-old convent. It’s also only a short trip away from the bigger city of Montevideo.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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