The most amazing view of Athens with the city at your feet can be had from this 270m hill. On a clear day you can see the sea in the distance. Definitely the place to end a romantic date…
Lykavittos in history
The story goes that the goddess of wisdom, Athena, dropped the boulder that was to become Lykavittos from her hands when a crow brought her bad news. The name, itself, derived from the word lykos, meaning wolf, testifies that wolves once lived here…
The little white church atop Lykavittos hill is accessible either by foot or by using the funicular. The church was created in the 19th century, built over a Byzantine Church that once stood here. It is also said that the the ancient temple of Akraios Zeus once stood at the spot of the church.
Cafe at the top
Near the church, there’s a cafe with prices to match the altitude. A bit on the expensive side… but then again… the views!
The 4,000-seat theater has standing room for even more. Summer Athens Festival events are held here with the likes of Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Massive Attack, Ray Davies, Nick Cave, Smashing Pumpkins, Blaine Reininger, Paco de Lucia and a whole lot more having performed here at some point.
Agii Isidori is a secret church, literally carved in the rock in the 15th century, in the middle of Lykavittos hill. Inside a big cave, the church was burned down in 1930 and then rebuilt in 1931. There’s a legend that says that Lykavittos was once filled with caves whose entrances have been covered by pine forests…
Created by the Greek Tourist Organization, the funicular was inaugurated on April 18, 1965. The terminal station is accessible from Aristippou Street in Kolonaki. The line runs up the hill through a tunnel. It has the capacity to serve 400 persons per hour.
Another option to the funicular or cab is to get to the top by foot. The walkway is flanked by pine trees and exquisite views of the city at your feet.
Lykavittos is definitely the place to be as the sun sets over the city. Make sure you have a way of getting back down as the walkway is dimly lit and walls are plastered with scary graffiti.
Visible from around Athens… Here it is reflected on the glass exterior of a building at the corner of Korais Square on Panepistimiou Street.
Another view of Athens from Lykavittos