It’s All Greek To Me: 5 Healthy Ways to Explore Athens
July 5, 2018
By Juliette Housel

Going on vacation often means indulgence—luxuries we usually restrain ourselves from like high-calorie foods and lounging around now become everyday occurrences. Getaways in new exotic lands lead even the healthiest individuals to think, “I’m on holiday—I deserve a treat.” One vacation spot that many visitors don’t consider to be a health-conscious destination is Athens, Greece, where the aroma of baklava permeates the air.

However, it is possible to explore Athens in a healthy manner. One key way to do this is to find a balance between enjoying those guilty pleasures and your healthy lifestyle—which means there’s no reason to pass up a delicious Athenian gyro.

As both an experienced traveler and a “guilty pleasure” tourist, here are some ideas to keep you healthy while making the most of your time in Athens.

Climb to the Acropolis

Make it a point to do some active sightseeing—burn some calories while visiting all of the ancient monuments. As the beauty of the Parthenon comes closer and closer into view, any discomfort from the hike will be washed away by its magnificence. The uphill climb is definitely a must in order to snap some unforgettable photographs.

Grab a Greek Salad and Have a Picnic at the Temple of Olympian Zeus

Though traditional Greek meat dishes are delicious, remember to eat some greens between all those shish kebabs. Feta cheese and olives in Greece are some of the finest delicacies in the world. Grab a salad and a blanket to have an impromptu picnic at the Temple built in 151 B.C.

Visit Lake Vouliagmeni

While Athens offers many magnificent beaches, Lake Vouliagmeni is a superior choice for some physical activity. For a mere 9-euro admission fee, guests are able to swim, snorkel, hike, and bike by the lake. This area isn’t only an opportunity to burn off some calories, it’s also a great place to rejuvenate after a long day of tourism. The lake is fed by a hot spring and is chock full of minerals including potassium, natrium, lithium, ammonium, calcium, chloride, and iodine—a mixture that the Greeks claim will soothe your tired muscles and aching joints.

Hike Up Lycabettus Hill

The highest point in Athens is Lycabettus Hill, at 908 feet above sea level. While there is an option of riding a cable car to the top of the hill, I recommend hiking up, as the alternative is a closed tunnel, which prevents the visitors from seeing anything on the journey up. I can tell you that the incredible views are certainly worth the hike. The optimal time to go is before sunset to watch the lights of the Acropolis come on and experience a perfect 360-degree view of Athens.

Enjoy Some Hummus and Tzatziki

Before leaving Athens, it is vital that you try these two staples of Greek cuisine: the dips hummus and tzatziki. Not only is hummus high in fiber, antioxidants, and protein, but it is also mouthwateringly delicious. Tzatziki, made from Greek yogurt, cucumbers, and olive oil, is only 35 calories every two teaspoons. These two authentic choices are healthy and delicious. Just remember to eat in moderation, no matter how good they are!

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