The Anafiotika neighborhood, just above Plaka, was built in the early 19th century by skilled builders from the Cycladic island of Anafi. The craftspeople moved to the Greek capital after the country’s liberation from Ottoman rule to work on the palace for the newly crowned King Otto. Nostalgic for their home, they built their new houses in the image of the ones they left behind, creating an island-like neighborhood that makes you forget you are in Athens.
Prepare to be charmed by its amalgam of colorful and stark white houses, most with ornate doorways flanked with flowers planted in large tin containers. The exact location of Anafiotika is baffling, even for many Athenians, who may know of the neighborhood but not how to access it. In fact, it’s very easy: if you’re on pedestrianized Dionysiou Areopagitou Street near the Acropolis Museum, simply find Thrasyllou Street and walk uphill. When you see the tiny Church of Aghios Georgios of the Rock on your left, you know you’ve made it!
This text was first published as part of “Beat the Heat”, an article published in Greece Is Athens, Summer 2019 Edition.