The ancient walk

It has been built where until a few years ago you risked being run over by a lorry or swept away by the hoards of tourists getting off their coaches. Nowadays it is an idyllic place in which either on foot or in a carriage, you can see all the most important monument of classical Athens.

All the area, including the sites of the most ancient monuments, once scattered about and difficult to reach, has been transformed into a real archaeological park and completely closed to traffic. The impressive operation of pedestrianisation is the biggest in Europe and has required effort and large investments.

The wonderful walk is the backbone of the park. It is about 4 km long, starting near the site of Keramikos, which used to be the old city entrance. Here it meets the last avenue to be pedestrianised, the west part of Odos Erm, that runs along the Keramikos site up to a recently built small square on the border with the old quarter of Monastiraki. The walk continues along the old Agor through the pedestrianised Odos Dionisiou Aeropagitou, to the foot of the Acropolis (which is being built) and to the south entrance of the ancient quarter of Plaka. It ends at the height of the busy Amalias Avenue, bringing us abruptly back into the 21st century. On the other side of this avenue there is another monumental park with Hadrian's gate and the impressive columns of the temple of Zeus. Close by there are the famous Zapion gardens, the royal gardens and the ancient Kalimaranro stadium, the oldest stadium in the world, entirely made out of white marble.