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Nearby Excursions - Marathonas

The surrounding area of Attica, a land endowed by nature, has been one of the major spiritual centers of Greece since the ancient times. The important historical and archaeological sites, Byzantine monuments, the massif, fertile valleys and clean coasts in combination with its proximity to Athens offer a very attractive outlet for daily trips to whoever wants, even for a while to escape from the tension and the city pace.

MARATHONAS
A trip to Marathonas and a visit to its archeological site and museum is something you must do when you will visit Athens. As you will discover when you get there Marathonas is one of the most beautiful places in Attica. The road passes by gardens, vineyards, olive groves and wild vegetation as well as by the artificial Marathonas Lake with the impressive marble dam. In the surrounding area you can find many beautiful beaches for swimming and sunbathing. The most famous one is Schinias (it is located in an area of unique beauty which has been announced as National Park) where the pine tree forest almost reaches the sandy beach. You can also visit the archeological site of Ramounta (12 km away from Marathonas).




The battle of Marathon. Most of the information about this battle comes from the ancient Greek historian Herodotus. According to the historian, in 490 B.C. Persian fleet landed 100.000 troops in Marathonas. Opposite this massive army were just 11.000 Greek soldiers (10.000 Athenians and 1.000 soldiers from Plataies). Greeks won the battle thanks to the strategic intelligence of Miltiadis . After victory an Athenian soldier called Feidipidis run all the way from Marathonas to Athens city center to spread the good news. Before he died of exhaustion he managed to spell just one word: "Νenikikamen" (We are victorious). The contemporary Marathon is dedicated to that ancient event. It symbolizes the end of the Olympic Games and is the same route as the one that Feidipidis run.

Sightseeing:

Marathonas Monument (Tomb). The tomb is next to the ancient battle field (1km away from Marathonas) and is dedicated to the 192 Athenian soldiers that died in the battle. On the other side of the road, 5km away, you can see the tomb of the soldiers from Plataies.

Archaeological Museum of Marathonas: Although the museum is small, it houses findings not only from the neighboring cities but from other periods and areas as well. The museum includes remarkable findings from the Neolithic Era such as the ones found in Panos Cave, Inoi, a collection of columns dating back to the 2nd century A.D., findings from the first Hellenic cemetery in "Tsepi", the Egyptian Isidos sanctuary (2nd century A.D.) and the Roman bath (2nd – 4th century A.D.) in "Breksida".

Ramnous (Kato Souli). It took its name from the word ramnos which is a bush species that grows in the whole area. In antiquity Ramnos was famous for its port and castle. Its archeological site includes the ruins of two temples. The Great temple was dedicated to Nemesis, goddess of Retribution (it was the most important sanctuary of this goddess in ancient Greece) while the Small temple was dedicated to Themida, goddess of Justice. They were both constructed in the 5th century B.C. Ruins of a fortress, theater, tombs etc are still preserved in the area. From the archeological site you have a great view of Evia and Evoikos Gulf.

How to go there. You can take the bus Paralia Marathona departing from Mavromateon Str (Egiptou Square) close to Pedion tou Areos.

 

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