Athens is the birthplace of athletic spirit and of the concept of noble rivalry. The Olympic Games, an establishment cherished by all humanity, were originated in Greece.
The first modern Olympics were held in the glorious city of Athens. One of the most significant Olympic track and field events took its name from the historical city of Marathon and the run of Phidippides from Marathon to Athens.
It is therefore obvious that Athens is directly connected to this great athletic institution. The 2004 Olympic Games finally returned to Athens, making Greeks all over the globe proud and delighted.
The city busily prepared for this important occasion by enhancing the existing athletic facilities and building new sporting venues, determined to restore its reputation as a country with deeply rooted athletic values.
Having assembled a well-organized athletic and urban infrastructure, Athens demonstrated that the city could host the finest Olympic Games in history. This was achieved by organizing the Games in a modern framework while maintaining the Olympic history and tradition.
The majority of the sports facilities are situated in the Olympic Stadium locale, in the suburb of Maroussi, and in the southern coastal areas of Athens.
Visitors can enjoy some of the most advanced and innovative athletic installations that Attica now possesses.
Athens and the surrounding districts in Attica are full of stunning sandy and pebble beaches, where visitors can take advantage of the many water-sport facilities offered.
Most organized beaches provide for activities such as, volleyball, tennis, basketball, as well as, waterslides, water tubes, and canoes.
Several beaches also offer waterskiing and windsurfing lessons by qualified experts. They also provide changing rooms, umbrellas and deck chairs, playgrounds and eating areas.
If you are a sports buff you may wish to watch the professional beach volleyball games at the Schinia, Palio Faliro and Palaia Fokia beaches.
Some of the main beaches in the Attica area are Alepochori, Alimos, Avlaki, Anavissos, Chalkoutsi, Glyfada, Kavouri, Kineta, Lagonisi, Legraina, Loutsa, Mati, Megara, Nea Makri, Oropos, Porto Rafti, Rafina, Schinia, Sounion, Varkiza, Voula and Vouliagmeni.
The beneficial waters of Vouliagmeni Lake are ideal for a relaxing swim. Supposedly, the lake has therapeutic values due to the minerals in the water.
If you find going to the beach a hassle, you may prefer to go to one of the public pools or to one of the pools in Athens hotels.
Visitors interested in taking scuba diving or sailing lessons can ask for information at one of the schools scattered about the coastal areas.
Sailing and motor yacht charter agencies can be easily found in Piraeus and in the southern seaside districts of Attica.
Mt. Parnitha, Mt. Ymittos and Mt. Penteli are bursting with infinite types of flora and fauna as well as adventurous paths and caves for exploration, making them ideal spots for hikers and trekkers.
For winter sports, skiers and snowboarders can head to Mt. Parnassos in Delphi, just a 2 hour drive from Athens.
The first rate ski slopes are perfect for either beginners or professional skiers, while equipment can be rented from the many shops found along the way to the ski resort.
In the Glyfada area, golfers will be pleasantly surprised by the wonderful 18-hole, par-72 Glyfada golf course, which is surrounded by pine trees and has a view of the Saronic Islands.