Athens (tours from Piraeus), Greece cruise holidays
Nowhere is this reminder of a glorious past more evident than the Greek capital Athens. This bustling, cosmopolitan city is served by Piraeus port and is a regular stop-off on many Mediterranean cruises. It’s a vibrant mix of ancient and modern, and you can experience both by walking all or part of the Grand Promenade, a pedestrianised walkway (legacy of the 2004 Olympic Games) that meanders beneath the Acropolis and connects many of the prime archaeological sites that grace central Athens, as well as dipping into upscale shopping destinations (Ermou Street) and trendy districts such as Gazi-Kerameikos.
The Acropolis - 'High City' - will always be the top attraction from Athens cruise port Piraeus. Don’t miss the Acropolis Museum for some background info, then take the marble path up Filopappou Hill for sweeping views of the ‘high city’ with the iconic Parthenon perched on top (a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, patron of the city)
With its 2,500-year-old Parthenon, temple to Poseidon and Athena, Odeon of Herodes Atticus and Theatre of Dionysus, it quite literally stands out as an oasis of calm in the frenetic Greek capital. As part of the major revamp the city had for the 2004 Olympics, 400 modern buildings were cleared from the ancient meeting place next to the Acropolis, the Agora, which was then restored and linked by walkways to the Acropolis, Hadrians Arch, the Academy of Plato and the Monastery of Daphne. Other nearby ancient sites include the Roman Tower of the Winds and the Hill of the Muses where Socrates is said to have drunk hemlock. Below the Acropolis is the fun place to shop or barter, eat moussaka or Greek salad, drink wine or ouzo and, of course, to people-watch: the 3,000-year-old Plaka.