The largest seaside park in the world has opened its first section of greenery and entertainment area at The Hellinikon on Athens Riviera, for locals and international visitors to enjoy just in time for Christmas.
Named “Experience Park” it forms part of the Metropolitan Park being developed on the site of the former international airport at Hellinikon, as one of the biggest urban redevelopment projects in Europe and is set to turn into one of the largest parks in the entire world.
The park covers an area of seven hectares including a water maze, a forest playground, a Zen garden with many water features and an outdoor fitness area with free-to-use outdoor equipment.
Hellinikon officials say, “This will be more than a green oasis. It will be one of the largest coastal parks in the world — and an ambitious rival to the great urban parks of New York and London. Open to all, The Hellinikon Park will be a platform for cultural events, sports and recreation, public health and personal wellbeing.”
“Experience Park” was completed six months ahead of schedule and according to Lamda Development, who is overseeing the entire project, 500 trees and over 55,000 varieties of Mediterranean flowers and bushes have already been planted, in line with a design selected for its biodiversity and positive carbon balance, as well as being symbolic of the nation’s environmental resilience in challenging times.
Stretching out into the adjoining southern Athenian neighbourhoods, The Hellinikon Park offers a network of almost 50km of paths for bicyclists and walkers that are aimed to connect classical ruins and listed buildings with elite sporting events, multi-use exhibition venues and a contemporary sculpture park.
According to officials the highlight of the path network will be the 2.6km Promenade — a broad pedestrian thoroughfare stretching from the beach to the breezy hilltops above The Hellinikon.
To kick off the holiday season, from December 20 to January 9, “Experience Park” will present a cheerful Christmas experience for visitors, with two exceptional light installations, which will be seen in Greece for the first time. “The Stalactite,” with particularly bright patterns is synchronised to music, with the signatures of artists Christopher Bauder and Boris Divider, and “Helios,” is an impressive light installation designed by the Algorithm team, which creates a landscape full of light, movement, and rhythm.
A 17-metre-tall Christmas tree has also been placed at the Park, consisting of 180 real trees. Here visitors can taste festive flavours from famous Greek chef Akis Petretzikis, Elias Skoulas, Lukumades, OPSOPHY as well as other dishes from Esteban and Falafeladiko.
During the holidays, from December 20, 2021, to January 9, 2022, the opening hours are Monday to Sunday (including public holidays) from 5 pm to 10 pm.
Admission to “Experience Park” is free for all guests; and is accessible from the boulevard Vouliagmenis, close to the Hellinikon Metro station. Free parking is also provided at the Park for all visitors.
Images courtesy of Lamda Development