Athens is truly a beautiful city, and perhaps no vantage point does the layout as much justice as Lykavittos Hill. Located in the center of the city and rising to a height of 910 feet, Lykavittos can be seen from virtually every corner of the capital city, and its views from the top encompass the city, the surrounding mountains, and the Athens coast. There are a number of ways to reach the top of Lykavittos hill, and no matter how you decide to get there, it is very much worth it in the end. Sure, walking up might be exhausting, but there are spots along the way to grab a bite, and after burning all those calories, dinner at the top of Lykavittos will be that much more enjoyable. Lykavittos Hill makes for a popular spot to visit among the Athens tourism scene, largely in part because of its central location and proximity to the Athens neighborhood of Kolonaki. The Athens hill Lykavittos has various spellings and pronunciations, the others being Lycabettus, Lycabettos and Lykabettos.
Lykavittos has a couple legends attached to it, one
denoting the origin of the hill’s name, and the
other making an attempt to explain the hill’s origin.
The widely popular belief behind the hill’s name
stems from the Greek word of “Lykos”, meaning
wolf. It is thought that wolves once inhabited Lykavittos
Hill, and thus the current name seems to reflect that
contested belief. The latter claims that the Athens
hill Lykavittos came to be when the Goddess Athena, from
which the city takes its name, dropped a large rock that
she had intended to use for the Acropolis. While
neither of these is likely true, Lykavittos Hill needs
no special legend or lore to make it the Athens tourism
attraction that it is. It’s quite simply a
wonderfully situated hill in a magically historic and beautiful city.
Getting to the top of the Athens hill Lykavittos is just part of the overall experience, as the views going up the hill can reveal interesting sights in and of themselves. For the able and energetic, climbing the hill by foot can certainly get you there. Halfway along the ascent, you come to a set of zigzagging stairs that take you the rest of the way up. Although the stairs are set at an easy grade to facilitate the climb, it is still quite the workout and you may decide to save your legs for walking around the city. To climb Lykavittos by foot, head to the neighborhood of Kolonaki and begin your journey on Ploutarchou Street. It may just behoove you to find an easier means of arriving atop Athens, and save the walk for the way down, and hitching a ride on the funicular is the most popular way of getting to the top. The funicular is a mix between a small, slow train and a ski gondola. It was renovated in 2002, and is comprised of two separate cars that hold 34 passengers each. Some might bypass both of the aforementioned means of climbing to the top of Lykavittos Hill, and opt for hiring a taxi.
Once you do manage to get to the top of Lykavittos Hill, a relaxing and breathtaking time awaits you. Your first stop if you walked might be to head to the cafe/restaurant to either refuel or refresh, but undoubtedly the observation deck will beckon most as the first stop. Adding ambiance to the hill’s peak, is the picturesque small chapel of St. George. It’s a relatively simple whitewashed structure that was built in the 1800"s. A romantic dinner at the restaurant is an excellent way to enjoy a special evening out with your companion. The restaurant has an open terrace that makes for an excellent evening view on Athens. Also at the top of Lykavittos Hill is a small theatre.