Most of you will know that LM and I recently went on holiday. An actual holiday. One of those holidays where you stop and lie down in the sun and don’t move, while you feel the sunshine seep into the tiniest corners of you and you recharge. Like a battery. Where you can lie by the pool for hours and suddenly it’s supper time.
One of those.
We visited two islands – Sifnos and Milos – and both were stunning beyond words. (I’ll be writing more on these islands next week) But in order to get to the islands, we had to first take a ferry from Athens. And then after our island hopping (we did not hop, we strolled at a very leisurely pace) we took the ferry back into Athens, where we stayed at the Intercontinental Athenaeum for two nights, before flying back to London.
Having these two days in Athens at the end of our holiday was the perfect end to our trip. We explored the city on one day, and drank milkshakes and splashed about in the pool on our last day. (And what a pool…!)
We were collected by Taxiplon at Athens Airport and 25 minutes later we had arrived at the Intercontinental Hotel in Athens. The foyer was absolutely enormous – so bright and light and with a wonderful hushed tone about it… We were there in mid September, so most children were back in school (hence the quiet) but the sun was still very much on Summer Holiday duty – perfect :)
We unpacked, showered and changed and headed to dinner… which was one of the most special meals we have ever had. The restaurant is called ‘Premier’ and is up on the roof of the hotel, and offers the most spectacular views of the Acropolis. We were completely blown away.
Premier is an award winning restaurant, serving up wonderful Mediterranean food, with a French twist and offers an extensive list of regional and international wines… It really is very special indeed.
The meal was spectacular and as the sun went down, Athens began to glimmer and shine, with the Acropolis looking more stunning than ever…
We ate our meal, mesmerised by the view and plotted our day trip to Athens, which was happening the following day…
Our room came with access to the Club Lounge, where we had breakfast – a lovely buffet which we enjoyed on the terrace overlooking the city..
The hotel has its own free shuttle bus, which whizzes back and forth into the city (brilliant). So after checking their schedule, we caught an early bus and by 9am we were at the foot of the Acropolis, tickets in hand and ready to climb…
It was amazing. Absolutely overwhelmingly spectacular. Mind. Blown.
We managed to go up and come down before the sun was too hot, which was perfect… and then we strolled through the beautiful streets of the Plaka area, resisting the never ending stalls of leather sandals, gyros & jewellery… Memories of being here as a teenager came flooding back and I wondered if I had trodden the same steps back then…
We walked from there to the bustling famous fish market, where stalls were selling every type of fish you can imagine… and then we followed our noses (once the smell of fish had subsided) to a lovely cafe called the Greco’s Project, where we feasted upon fresh, typical Greek fare.
We set off in search of peace and quiet and strolled around the National Gardens, before catching the shuttle bus, just outside the gardens, back to our hotel where we sat in the foyer reading, before heading up to our room to shower and change for dinner.
We took a cab to Piraeus – a port town in Athens, and one filled to the brim with restaurants and bars… We had booked a table at Seaside Varoulko – a famous fish restaurant in Athens and one we were excited to try.
The meal was superb – we opted for the seven course tasting menu and the portions were very generous indeed! I fell at the last hurdle, but LM managed to devour every morsel.
Then it was back to Intercontinental Athenaeum for our last night in Greece and one of the best night sleeps I’d had in a long time.
The next day we had breakfast in the hotel’s Cafe Zoe (an AMAZING buffet – everything you could possibly imagine was there!) before heading down to the pool, where we spent the day, until we headed back to the airport that evening.
The hotel had kindly organised a late check-out for us, so after we had lazed our little bodies as much as we could, we went back up to the room to get changed and then enjoyed the comforts of the Club Lounge, until our taxi arrived (thank you Taxiplon!) to whisk us to the airport and home to London.
These final two nights in this hotel in Athens, were the perfect end to our holiday. I also think that the Intercontinental Athenaeum is the ideal hotel for a city break in Athens. To discover a hotel with such a gorgeous pool (its not enormous, but it is beautiful – very James Bond!) and warm, glamorous yet non-exclusive feel, that’s so close to the city and the airport is a rare find, and I am so pleased that we had the opportunity to stay here.
The staff were impeccable, the food, location and room were super, the pool, the pool, the pool…. It was the perfect end to our Greek holiday… and I can’t wait to tell you all about the two islands we visited next week…
Syngrou Avenue 89-93
This post was shot on my LEICA D-LUX – dinky but dynamic ;)
We are guests of Intercontinental Athenaeum and all thoughts and opinions are my own.