Mount Lycabettus
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Being one of the oldest cities in Europe, the capital of Greece keeps numerous evidences of a thousand-year history. Many historical places in Athens are recognizable at a glimpse and are famous all over the world. 

Mount Lycabettus is one of the places the emerging of which is surrounded by the mystery of ancient Greek mythology. A walk on this hill will not only allow touching the history — you will also have a great time in the fresh air, enjoying the sweeping views. Just imagine: a romantic sunset at an altitude of 277 metres is waiting for you! You will be impressed by a magnificent view of the Acropolis, the temple of Olympian Zeus, the Panathenaic stadium and the Ancient Agora. An endless blanket of white houses surrounds you and the boundless expanse of the Aegean Sea is in the distance. Mount Lycabettus in Athens is a must-see place in the note list of every guest of the capital!   


Mount Lycabettus, according to ancient myths, was formed when the goddess Athena was carrying a huge stone from the Pallene peninsula to the spot of the Acropolis, but she dropped it when the raven told her bad news. There is another version that tells about the wolves that used to live freely in this area. Of course, there are no wolves now, but the lush green forest still complements an already fantastic view of Lycabettus. 

During the period the mount has existed, it has undergone significant changes: in the XV-XVI century, a small chapel of St. Isidore appeared on its western side. In the XIX century, the church of St. George was built on one of the peaks. Over time, underground structures were built inside the mountain — they served as the location of the air defense headquarters during the Greco-Italian war (1940-1941), and since 1939, at a depth of 100 metres, there was a repository for particularly important documents and government officials. In 1965, an amphitheatre with 3 000 seats was built on one of the quarries of mount Lycabettus, where music shows and concerts are still held in the summer.  

Several facts about Lycabettus

  • The highest place in Athens is Lycabettus mount.
  • This hill had not been always covered by a beautiful pine forest. In ancient times, it looked bare, and dug-out quarries yawned on its slopes. In 1880, the first wooded areas appeared on Lycabettus. However, the trees became an excellent source of food for the goats that lived on the slopes of the mountain. The works on the afforestation of the mountain continued until 1915 — by that time there had been fewer goats, and the trees began to strike root well. 
  • In 1835, the first hundred lanterns were installed on Lycabettus in the form of the letter "O", and 3 years later the hill was consecrated — a flaming cross was formed from burning tree branches. 
  • By the end of the XIX century, a plan was developed to turn Lycabettus into a real recreation center with a hotel, cafe, reading hall, artificial waterfalls, fountains and playgrounds. But the cost of such transformations was too high and it prevented these ideas from coming true.
  • In the late 30s, the Lighthouse of Peace was built here, which caused the furious anger of the Minister Spyros Mercouris because it was consuming too much electricity. In 1941, the lighthouse was destroyed by the German armed forces.
  • The cable cars started working in 1965, despite the protests of many architects.

What to see

The Lycabettus hill is one of the most romantic places in the capital. It is surrounded by the same-name district of the city. 

The top of mount Lycabettus is decorated with a whitewashed Greek Church of St. George with an authentic interior that dates back to 1890. In ancient times, this place was the temple of Zeus, and after it had been destroyed the another temple in the style of a basilica was built on the same foundation. From the viewing area of mount Lycabettus, located next to the church, you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the capital of Greece. If you go for a walk through the grove, you can find a small Church of St. Isidore. 

Next to the Church of St. George there is the “Orizontes” restaurant with Mediterranean cuisine, which can be called a real terrace of Athens — a romantic dinner with a view of the Acropolis will not leave indifferent any guest of the capital. There is also a small cafe with panoramic views where you can have breakfast or lunch.    

There is even a theatre on the hill, which was built in the middle of the XX century. It appeared on the site of an old quarry and looks like a semicircular structure with a metal frame and wooden seats for 3 000 spectators. 

How to navigate

The foot of the hill is covered with pine trees, and two of its peaks are decorated with the chapel of St. George, the restaurant and the Lycabettus theatre. You can get here on foot by stairs or by the cable railway. It runs through the mountain in a tunnel with quite interesting lighting — children will surely like this traveling. The cable car rises once a half hour, although the time frame may vary depending on the load and season. The length of the railway is 210 metres, and the whole way takes about 3 minutes. Each of the two cable cars carries 34 people at once, and the average load of the cable railway is about 300 000 passengers a year. 

The pick-up and drop-off point for the cable cars is at the end of Ploutarchou street, at the intersection with the Aristippou street. You can get to Lycabettus hill even at night — the cable railway is open from 9.00 to 1.30. 

Mount Lycabettus is a short drive from the centre of Athens. You can get to this place by any type of transport. A taxi will take you quickly and comfortably from any point of the city to the hill. If you get here by car, you can leave it in the large parking lot on the Lycabettus belt road, not far from the same-name theatre.  

You can use the metro to get to Evangelismos station and then go up to the cable railway point. If you decide to reach the top of the hill on foot, look for a pedestrian road that is a few metres from the entrance to the cable car station, at the end of Aristippou street. The walk will take less than half an hour, but be ready for the load — it is a zigzag path that is long enough.    


  • The panoramic view from mount Lycabettus will amaze guests of the capital at any time of the day, but still evening is the most magnificent time for a romantic walk. Fantastic sunset, the mysteriously glowing Acropolis and the city that is gradually sinking into the night gloom — enjoy this romantic evening sitting at a table in a restaurant or just on the bench of the observation area. Keep in mind that there will be quite a lot of people who want to see the sunset, but as the night falls, the flow of people significantly reduces. And what about seeing the sunrise here?
  • If you are fond of making impressive photos and selfies, you should venture to walk on foot along the slopes of Lycabettus — every turn of the road opens up impressive angles.
  • In order to diversify your journey to the highest point of Athens, you can go up by the cable car and then descent on foot — yet it is much easier to go down than to climb. But keep in mind that it is better to go down the mount during daylight hours, because at night the pedestrian path may seem to you poorly illuminated.   
  • Take drinking water with you if you don't plan to enjoy the city from a restaurant or cafe table. In the evening and in windy weather, you may need a jacket or a windbreaker.