Located in the center of Athens, Mount Lycabettus dominates the city. It is impossible for every visitor not to see it with the white church of Saint George on top of it. The height is 277 meters high, almost double of Acropolis Hill. From the top, you can easily see breathtaking views of the Acropolis, the Agora, the Stadium, the temple of Zeus, the area of Piraeus, and all 4 mountains surrounding the Attica region.
History of Mount Lycabettus
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Lycabettus or Likavitos in Greek means the hill of wolves. According to mythology, Goddess Athena was carrying this rock and she drop it when she heard bad news from a raven. After that incident, all ravens became black. Next to Lycabettus St. George Hotel was existing a water tank that dates back to the 6th century B.C. It was builded during the Peisistratus years. The Archaeologists also found ruins of a temple of Zeus.
Today, it is a popular square with some nice coffee shops which is called Dexameni square. It seems that shepherds during the 16th century and after had their animals there and wolves were coming to Mount Lycabettus to find food. That’s how the name Lycabettus came out.
What’s on Top of Mount Lycabettus
On top of Mount Lycabettus is the beautiful church of St. George, builded in 1870 and has the Cycladic style with white and blue colors. As well there is another church of Agios Isidoros, on the same road at the end of it, there is a coffee restaurant called Prasini Tenta where you can have a spectacular view of the Acropolis.
Next to St. George’s church, there is another coffee restaurant that is called Horizontes. Finally, on top is an open theatre that was builded in1964. Many International artists sang there like the Scorpions, Nick Cave, Ray Charles, UB40, Pet shop boys, Radiohead, B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Iron Maiden, and many more…
How to get to Mount Lycabettus
To get to the top of Mount Lycabettus you can either go hiking or take the funicular. For hiking, you must reach Ploutarchou Street. It will take around 30 minutes, it is better to do it in the morning or evening time because of the heat.
Another option is to hire a taxi to drive you to the top, from the city center it will take 10 minutes for a low cost. But, to return back you will have either to walk down or call a taxi because there are no taxis on top. You can call Uber or Free Now from their apps, or, as well there are radio taxi companies.
For a different experience you can go to Aristipou and Ploutarchou street where is located the funicular station or Teleferic. The train runs inside a tunnel, so no views to see. It takes few minutes to reach to the top, then you have to walk few steps to reach the Horizons restaurant.
The train started to operate since 1965 and is available from 9 am until 2.30 pm. It leaves every 30 minutes,but in peak time it can be every 10 minutes. In the winter time it could be not so often. Τhe cost is 10 euros roundtrip or 7 euros one way. Using the cable car you will have a discount at the Horizontes restaurant.
Watching the Sunset at Mount Lycabettus
One of the best free thinks to do in Athens, is to watch the sunset at the top of the hill, where is located the church St. George or at the parking area of the open theatre. It is very popular for the locals, if you go, you will see many young people sitting with drinks and listening music. It is safe and recommended. This way you will enjoy the spectacular view of Athens with the city lights.