‘This is Athens Festival’ Hosting 100 Events Throughout May 

The first ‘This is Athens Festival’ is set to take place throughout the entire month of May, with more than 100 events scheduled all over the Greek capital. 

For 30 days, both locals and visitors are invited to explore urban Athens in full bloom with a great selection of exhibitions, street parties, wine pairing at world-renowned museums, open-air movie screenings, picnics, walking tours, theatrical performances, live music concerts, and more.

From a fun-filled all-day picnic at Plato Academy and a cool street party at Varvakeio, to a stunning jazz concert on the terrace of the Acropolis Museum- each event puts the spotlight on Athens’ vibrant and rich art (theatrical and musical performances, galleries, museums), gastronomy, sports and nightlife scene.

‘This is Athens City Festival’ is an initiative of the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency, which aims to make this an exciting annual event, by promoting activities and performances that appeal to both locals and visitors alike. 

Having the pleasant spring weather as its driving force, the ‘Athens City Festival’ events will take place mainly outdoors at carefully selected spots that highlight not only the city’s contemporary history but also its architectural identity. 

“Athens is returning to its rhythm and we are creating a celebration for the city, inviting Athenians and visitors to the ‘This is Athens City Festival’, which is set in both the centre and surrounding neighbourhoods,” announced Athens’ Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis. 

The Festival will kick off on May 1, with a huge picnic filled with food, friends, sun and music. Taking place at the blooming grounds of the Plato Academy Park, famous radio DJ hosts of Athens will soundtrack the day from the early morning to late evening, with dozens of free activities on offer; including movie screenings, kids’ activities, family games and lots of food and drinks. 

Click here for more info on tickets and dates, as well as the full program of ‘This is Athens City Festival’.

The Effortless Joy of Electric Cycling Through the Capital

Solebike Tours organize electric bicycle excursions throughout the day – and year – and you don’t need to be super-fit to enjoy them!

Ah, la luna, la luna…the night that I sped under the spell of the moon. In Athens, the August full moon is the one night of the year when the city’s ancient sites are open to the public after sundown. I hopped on my Solebike electric bike and off we travelled through the city’s most beautiful spots, in the silvery light of the moon.

Easy, Breezy, Fascinating!

Insights Greece - The Effortless Joy of Electric Cycling Through the Capital

Solebike, created by cycling-enthusiasts/tourism experts Costas and Sofia has been successfully running city tours for people of every age (baby and child seats are both available and safe) for several years now. Daytime tours include wearing an earpiece through which you can follow a fascinating guided tour by Costas, Sophia, or Dimitra as you cycle. Electric bicycles are so easy to ride, all you need to do is pedal a little and zoom! Off you go, whether you’re on flat ground or up-hills. As for downhills – and believe me, we had some steep ones on my night trip – just gripping both brakes gently assures a smooth, easy experience.

The greatest thing about electric bicycle tours such as the ones so skillfully organized by Solebike is that regardless of traffic – by cars or people – you can easily and speedily navigate through the city. Vastly appealing to both foreign visitors and Greeks (indeed on my tour is was an all-Greek group), the tours are fun and always have something interesting to teach. Except for stopping at various points of interest, you get to observe life, architecture, nature, and often unknown side streets or other areas you wouldn’t normally walk through in the city.

The Moonlight Tour

Insights Greece - The Effortless Joy of Electric Cycling Through the Capital

On my tour, we started at the dinky Solebike Tours HQ in Makriyanni, near the Acropolis Metro station, where we registered and were offered complimentary water, helmet, and instructions. The first stop was the ancient and deeply historical area of Filopappou, where we walked to the same-named Roman monument from where we took in heady panoramic views of the city, sprawling glitteringly all the way down to the deep blue coast on one side. On the other was the gold-lit Acropolis, admired by families and friends who sat around in groups, and lovers concealed behind olive trees on ancient benches.

Next, we whizzed through the very lively Plaka neighbourhood, with its old tavernas, neoclassical buildings, seductive smells of delicious Greek foods, and buzzy crowds of revellers, many of them out to soak up the full moon’s light like us. After that, we cycled to the all-marble Panathenaic Stadium where the Modern Olympic Games were organized in 1896, but we got to see it both from the ground level and a ‘secret’ angle that Costas took us to from high above on Ardittou Hill. Finally, we visited the Zappeion Megaro next to the National Gardens, before parking our bikes back at the shop and enjoying a refreshing complimentary glass of wine and happy chat at Wine O’Clock bar on Vrassidas St.

Something for Everyone

This was just one of many creative, educational, and fully enjoyable tours that Solebike offers. They also organize cycling visits that include food and/or wine stops, seaside routes, and soon they are hoping to launch excursions to nearby Saronic islands like Aegina, where there are a whole different variety of pleasures to discover – food, sea, ancient sites and varying nature.

Solebike are out-of-the-box thinkers and even include a Sea Turtle Rescue Tour, while they are always coming up with new ideas of how to make the best of the developing Athens Walkway, the cycling paths on the southern coast, nearby locations and creative/pleasurable pursuits. They also organise private tours.