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UNDER THE STARRY SKY - OPEN AIR CINEMAS IN ATHENS

Open air cinemas in Athens begin opening in early June and they invite us to experience artistic and dreamy nights in the city. Outdoor theaters are one of the most characteristic and beautiful elements of enjoying the summer in Athens. Set on rooftop terraces, enclosed courtyards, and wonderful jasmine-scented gardens, open air cinemas are an oasis within the metropolis that offer a most unique experience where you can enjoy the outdoors while seeing one of your favorite movies!

In The City Center Or In The Suburbs

Open air summer cinemas have become increasingly popular in recent years, and as a result many of them have been renovated to offer high definition screens and significantly upgraded sound systems. Yet, what is most characteristic of an outdoor movie theater in Athens is the screening programs; typically, open air cinemas offer a wide selection of screenings including movies that were the most popular during the winter, all-time classics, as well as new releases and North American hits.

The World’s Best Outdoor Cinema Is In Thisio

“Cine Thisio” is famous for its privileged location opposite the sacred rock of the Acropolis. Also well known for its homemade sour cherry drink and other delicious nibbles, it was recently honored by CNN’s ranking of being among the top open air cinemas in the world! No matter what neighborhood you’re in, in Athens, you will surely find an outdoor summer cinema with a great program. As far as ‘what’s on the menu’, today’s summer cinemas are well organized with snacks and refreshments, some even offer special homemade treats, as well as a variety of soft drinks and cocktails. What else could anyone ask for!?

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS PARK ANTONIS TRITSIS

Antonis Tritsis Park is the only park of its kind dedicated exclusively to environmental awareness and education in Greece. This impressive park stretches across 1,200 acres of land with 6 artificial lakes and connecting canals; it has 389 plant species (of which 311 are native), 110 acres of pistachio trees, 60 acres of olive trees, 182 species of birds (of the 200 that are in Attica) including predators and migratory birds; it also has freshwater fish, mammals and reptiles, thousands of bats and butterflies, a church of architectural importance, dozens of administration buildings, and numerous function halls. It is because of all of these wonderful characteristics that Antonis Tritsis Park is so unique!

Flora & Fauna

Antonis Tritsis Park expands across 1,200 acres and is a natural and artificial ecosystem of great importance for the Attica region of Greece; it brings together exceptional biodiversity and is one of the last wildlife refuges that can be found in Athens’ ever expanding urban environment. Thousands of birds, mammals and reptiles have found an ideal living environment in the artificial lakes – which are a predominant element of the landscape – as well as in the diverse plants including fruit trees, vineyards, pistachios, olives, pine trees, eucalypti, rare varieties of ornamental plants (indigenous and not). The lakes at Tritsis Park attract numerous species of birds including ducks, purple herons, cormorants, halcyons, true thrushes, finches, hoopoes, little terns, parrots, peregrine falcons, and sparrow hawks, while the agricultural cultivations provide a natural habitat for animal species like fish, reptiles and aquatic turtles.

The Buildings

The Antonis Tritsis Park is home to the Ark of Seeds, a construction built for the 12th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. This installation was originally exhibited at the Benaki Museum in Athens until it was given a permanent residence at Tritsis Park. This work of art focuses on old seeds and biodiversity that is at our disposal and on the brink of extinction, as well as new soil cultures. The park also has an ancient theater that hosts performances, while among the various buildings – which are mainly stalls and warehouses that date back to the reign of Otto - there is a small chapel dedicated to Saint Paul that was designed by well-known architect Dimitris Pikionis, and with frescoes by F. Kontoglou.

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THINKING ABOUT A PICNIC IN ATHENS? HERE ARE SOME GREAT OPTIONS…

The weather in Greece’s Attica region is perfect for a picnic set in beautiful nature. One might wonder what natural environment in central Athens is nice for a picnic, and yet despite its chaotic character and dissimilar architecture, the city is charming in so many ways and has amazing green spaces with some of the best views in Athens!

Philopappos Hill is a paved footpath just opposite the Acropolis rock that is rich with pine trees, wooden bridges, benches and tables. Choose a spot where you can enjoy the flavors of your picnic while gazing at the Parthenon, Lycabettus Hill, as well as new and ancient Athens – surely you will be unexpectedly in awe!

Lycabettus Hill is the perfect spot to see Athens from above. Gaze across the city as far as your eye can see – all the way from the mountains to the sea – while enjoying the tranquility of nature and your delicious picnic. Choose one of the wooden tables below the church of Saint George and enjoy a picnic in Athens with a view!

Kesariani Park is located just outside the Athens city center. It is an organized 100 acre park with ornamental plants, grass and wild vegetation, playgrounds, a traffic park, as well as an outdoor summer cinema. Open continuously, Kesariani Park offers numerous options for outdoor seating – it is an outdoor haven waiting to be explored.

Galatsi Park is another great lookout spot for a great view of Athens. An organized park with an exceptional dense green forest full of cypresses and pine trees, it offers well maintained sports facilities, a playground, and an outdoor summer cinema. In its area of 300 acres, Galatsi Park is home to two remarkable monasteries worth visiting – Saint Sunday and Prophet Elias. Surely you will find many great places to play, eat and relax at Galatsi Park.

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SYNGROU FOREST: A UNIQUE NATURAL FOREST IN ATTICA

Along bustling Kifissias Avenue, toward the northern Athenian suburb of Kifissia, in the area of Marousi, is a wonderful natural forest that spans 950 acres. Full of magnificent pines and numerous other trees, plants, and flowers, Syngrou Forest is a natural wonderland whose historic footpaths date back even to prehistoric times.

Along The Footpaths Of Syngrou Forest

As visitors follow the constantly unfolding paths, they’ll come across archaeological findings that are evidence of the site’s journey in history all the way back to prehistoric times. At the beginning of the 20th century, Andreas Syngros purchased land on this site which became his estate. The main residence, dairy farm, and Saint Andrew’s chapel stand today in relatively good condition. The small church was designed by the great German architect Ernst Ziller and is the only Gothic-style Orthodox church in Greece.

From Sunrise To Sunset

From the beginning of the day at sunrise, until the end of the day at sunset, Syngrou Forest is a lively places full of athletes, people of all ages, young children, as well as many pet dogs, who are walking, running, hiking, and playing team sports; while many other people visit Syngrou Forest to rest, read, learn, and enjoy the vast natural environment that today hosts dozens of greenhouses, the Institute of Agricultural Sciences, the Anavryta schools, as well as two public schools for agricultural studies.

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