5 Spots in Attica for the Perfect Clean Monday Picnic

By the sea, atop a mountain, or flying kites in the park, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to idyllic picnic spots in Attica this Clean Monday.


Filopappou Hill

It’s no coincidence that the most popular spot in Athens for Clean Monday is Filopappou Hill: the view of the city below, the open sky for flying kites and the sense of excursion provided by the dirt footpaths and walking on the rocks.

Here, the Municipality of Athens organizes music events and you may even see the Philharmonic Orchestra passing by, playing songs as it takes a lovely musical promenade. Most people gather near the Observatory or near Dionysiou Areopagitou, generally on the northern side of the hill overlooking the center of Athens. Look for quieter spots towards the Dora Stratou Theater.

Ymittos

The closest mountain to Athens is an ideal destination, if you don’t want to drive for too long or venture too far from the city center. There are dozens of spots with greenery and beautiful views where you can spread out your picnic blanket and enjoy your Lenten picnic. The choice of location depends on how far you want to walk and how much you want to avoid the crowds. The most crowded spots are those that are more easily accessible from the road, such as around the Kaloupoula refreshment stand and the Kaisariani Monastery.

A short walk will take you to the area around the Holy Church of the All-Great Taxiarchs, where you will also enjoy a nice view of the city. The nursery/botanical garden behind Kaisariani Monastery also offers many nice spots for picnics, and requires a short walk. Don’t hesitate to follow the Ymittos footpaths and discover more unknown locations, spots with many trees or with great views. It is advisable to park low, near the guardhouse, just after passing underneath Alimos-Katehaki Avenue, as the road leading up to the mountain will be very busy on that day.

Mount Parnitha

Although Parnitha has been affected by fires and is crowded due to its proximity to the capital, it continues to be the destination for Athenians who want to spend time in a truly mountainous landscape. The location of Mola, accessible by car with minimal walking, is one of the most beautiful on the mountain, with green meadows, clearings and many fir trees.

There are wooden benches that will be very convenient for your picnic, provided you arrive early in the morning to secure a spot. Walking a little further, you will reach other ideal locations, such as the kiosk overlooking Athens near the Mesiano Nero spring or the Koromilia spring under the shade of tall trees. Of course, there is also the option of the two shelters that offer delicious Lenten meals on this day.

Plato’s Academy

Everything is blooming now in the park at Plato’s Academy, which offers plenty of open spaces for flying kites and for picnics. Many clubs and community groups from nearby areas organize “Koulouma” gatherings here with music, wine and dance. Find the tree you like, spread out your picnic blanket and enjoy the Lenten treats and the carefree atmosphere of the day.

Stavros Niarchos Cultural Foundation Park

Next to the sea, with the sea breeze helping the kites soar high, the Stavros Niarchos Park is ideal for Clean Monday festivities. Its vast green spaces are perfect for picnics, while the olive trees won’t obstruct the kite-flying. If you choose to sit on the grass in the Great Lawn area, you’ll also be accompanied by traditional celebrations featuring bands and musicians from all over Greece.

Organizing your Picnic

Not all Lenten delicacies are suitable for a picnic. You might miss the warm and crispy fried calamari, but almost all other treats can be packed in your picnic basket. Prepare a legume salad, pickle the octopus and finely chop it, add taramasalata along with breadsticks and crackers in small, single-use containers, and do the same with halva. Dolmades are already finger food, as are grilled shrimps, already cleaned. In a small cooler you can bring water, soft drinks, and beers or tsipouro.



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