An advantage of spending an entire month in Athens is being able to take walks without feeling our time will vanish. Yes, we’re visiting archaeological sites and museums, but we took another walk up a hill, this time overlooking the Acropolis from the south. Filopappou Hill is a park with a few ancient monuments on it. The entrance is across from the tour bus entrance to the Acropolis. Paths crisscross the slopes, and it’s an easy walk to the top.
Just a few steps into the park we heard birdsong and spent a few minutes birdwatching. We’d even brought our binoculars. A Great Tit, Coal Tit, and a Chiffchaff (gotta love bird names), and we went back to strolling. Tiny wildflowers are in bloom, white stars, yellow cups, and very small deep red poppies.
The peak of the hill holds the Monument of Filopappos, the remains of a monument to a Roman consul built about 500 years after the Parthenon. Not much remains. From the top, there is a walk down a spur of the hill to the south with a view over the sea in the distance.
The park extends quite a bit further to the south and west, but we decided to stick with the hill and went to overlook the Acropolis. Every step provides a slightly different view. We walked back and forth taking photos.
Filopappou is much closer to the Acropolis than Lycabettos, my previous hill, which we could see on the opposite side of the Acropolis. The view of the ruins is even more spectacular at this closer spot.
There are some decorative patterns set in the path up the hill. The materials include pieces of marble, worked and unworked, along with local stone. It’s interesting to walk along and look for reused pieces, and for the different patterns.
At the end of our walk, we stopped at Dionysus Zonar’s. There is a Zonar’s cafe nearer our house that was recommended to us. This is the Acropolis version. We sat outdoors with a view over the Acropolis and had drinks and shared a club sandwich. My passionfruit spritz was delicious. No one seems to mind when we share an item to eat, and it keeps us from taking home leftovers most of the time. The restaurant was nearly empty at 1 pm. If tour groups don’t stop here, the crowds won’t build up until later in the spring. (Fine with us.)
We took a taxi to the starting point, partly because it’s a bit of a walk from the nearest Metro station (Akropolis) to the starting point by the bus parking and we wanted to put our energy into the walk, not the to and fro. I’m very happy with the taxi app our Airbnb host recommended, FreeNow. Taxis arrive right away and there’s no need to load a credit card, as the drivers will take cash. The furthest from us a taxi has arrived is across the street. With Uber in the US, I’ve had to walk a block or two to my meeting point (getting charged for being late).
FreeNow helped us get home, too. When we emerged from our stop at Zonar’s, there was a line of cabs along the sidewalk, but when we spoke to a driver, he spun us a story about how there might be a demonstration (we knew there was not), and he’d have to make a big circle, thus the price would be 15 E. Apparently, drivers wait for tourists from the Acropolis, alarm them with tales of strikes and police action, and charge double. We thanked the guy, tried a second driver in line with the same results, then used the app, got picked up in two minutes, and paid 8 E for the same trip (gave him 10 E, just because). I recommend the FreeNow app for Athens.
4 thoughts on “Filopappou Hill”
You should sell these for postcards and pay for your trip – they are extraordinary! Peggy
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Wouldn’t that be fun! (Though too much work…..)
Nice views and nice story. Glad you are enjoying your stay in Athens. Though there are some demonstrations happening these days…so stay safe. (Suzanne)
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Suzanne, We turn back when we see riot police. We went into a bakery and the saleswoman was blinking back tears–from residual tear gas. I felt bad for her being at work and having such things happen.
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