The Big Olive Grand Tour of Athens



Birthplace of drama, democracy, and philosophy, Athens today is a maze of aesthetic anarchy filled with steel and concrete edifices and bustling thoroughfares. But hidden away from the busy main roads you will find a secret city of narrow alleyways, hidden courtyards and ancient buildings all of which are cobwebbed by time. Relish this cultural mishmash with this walking tour that explores the distinct neighborhoods where Athens began.  

This tour spans 2,500 years of Athenian history including Greek and Roman ruins, Byzantine churches, stately neoclassical edifices, vibrant city squares and colorful markets. Over the course of the walk, your guide aims to give a broad but comprehensive look at the city explaining in detail how the city as a whole has been planned and built. We will also try to situate you in Athens, orient you to the major areas, and answer any of your questions.

The tour comes in three different themes.


1| The Triangle

Inscribed in the triangle formed by the three central squares of Athens, the historic area Trigono is the focal point of all modern commercial and cultural life and a melting pot of styles and ethnicities.

  • 2-hour route highlights include: Syntagma square, Athens Cathedral, Monastiraki square, Central Market, Omonoia square.
  • 3 to 4-hour route extras: Psyrri area, City Hall square, University & the Athens Trilogy

2| Nea Polis

As Athens emerges as the capital of modern Greece in the early 19th century, new identities are introduced. Walk the Panepistimiou & Patission thoroughfares, admire emblematic samples of revivalist architecture, walk past the quarters of Neapolis & Exarcheia and witness a part of the city that’s always in the making.

  • 2-hour route highlights include: Syntagma square, University & Athens Trilogy, Omonoia square, National Archaeological Museum (exterior viewing)
  • 3 to 4-hour route extras: Exarcheia & Neapoli district tour

3| Secrets of the Lost River Ilisos

Favored by the philosophers of the antiquity, river Ilisos -the “watery heart” of Athens- is now channeled to flow underground. Walk along its banks and explore the  leafy quarters of Kolonaki and the National Garden.

  • 2-hour route highlights include: Aristotle’s Lyceum (exterior viewing), Presidential Guards, Panathenaic Stadium, Zappeion, Syntagma square
  • 3 to 4-hour route extras: Kolonaki district tour


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We have dreamed the world as resistant, mysterious, visible, ubiquitous in space and firm in time, but we have allowed slight, and eternal, bits of the irrational to form part of its architecture so as to know that it is false.” – Jorge Luis Borges, Avatars of the Tortoise.