Mt. Lycabettus

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Mt. Lycabettus

Myth claims that Athens's highest hill came into existence when Athena removed a piece of Mt. Pendeli, intending to boost the height of her temple on the Acropolis. While she was en route, a crone brought her bad tidings, and the flustered goddess dropped the rock in the middle of the city. Kids love the ride up the steeply inclined teleferique (funicular) to the summit (one ride every 30 minutes), crowned by whitewashed Ayios Georgios chapel with a bell tower donated by Queen Olga. On a clear day, you can see Aegina island, with or without the aid of coin-operated telescopes. Built into a cave on the side of the hill, near the spot where the I Prasini Tenta café used to be, is a small shrine to Ayios Isidoros. In 1859 students prayed here for those fighting against the Austrians, French, and Sardinians with whom King Otho had allied. From Mt. Lycabettus you can watch the sunset and then turn about to watch the moon rise over "violet-crowned" Hymettus as the lights of Athens blink on all over the city. Refreshments are available from the modest kiosk popular with concertgoers who flock to events at the hill's open-air theater during summer months. Diners should also note that Lycabettus is home to Orizontes Lykavittou, an excellent fish restaurant (by day this establishment also houses the relaxing Café Lycabettus).


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