Athens. An ancient, enchanting city, from which our modern day civilization was born. It is a city that has given us religion, democracy, art, philosophy, theater, and many other wonders. A city which celebrates and honors its history, all while keeping up with the modern day world. It’s no wonder that Athens has fascinated people throughout the ages.
“Experience, travel – these are as education in themselves.” – Euripides
My fascination with Greece and its history began as a child, when I discovered Greek mythology. This is a fascination that my oldest daughter now shares, as she has delved into Greek history this school year. It’s no wonder that we both share a strong desire to explore this great country. To experience it, and deepen our education, as Euripides, a Greek writer of tragedy, expressed above. Although, her love of all things Greek stemmed from the movie, Mamma Mia. Between the music, and the scenery from that movie, I can hardly blame her. Unfortunately, she still has six years before she graduates. Therefore, when an opportunity arose in July 2015 for my husband and I to travel to Greece, we jumped at the opportunity….to figure out which places would be best to take my daughter in the future…of course… 😉
So there I was, about to fulfill a lifelong dream. It was time to begin planning…one of my favorite things to do. First stop….Athens….
After much researching about location, food, atmosphere, and cost….I decided upon the Herodion Hotel.
The Herodion Hotel is approximately 18 miles from the Athens International Airport. It is very easy to get to by means of the metro.
- After clearing customs and retrieving your luggage, you simply have to follow the very well marked signs that direct you towards the train. It is one level up from the arrivals hall.
- You cross a pedestrian bridge, and will see many ticket machines to purchase your ticket (around 8€pp).
- Take the train (Line 3) that goes in the direction of Aghia Marina.
- When you arrive at station, Syntagma, change from Line 3 to the Underground Red Line 2 in the direction towards Agios Dimitrios or Elliniko.
- Get off at the Akropoli Station, first stop.
- Choose the Makriyanni exit out of the station and take the escalator or elevator to the street level.
- Once on the street, head south, turn right onto Chatzichristou.
- Continue onto Rovertou Galli and you will see the Herodion Hotel on the right.
- Check-in, relax, and drink your first cup of Greek coffee
Seems fairly straight forward, doesn’t it? We did great with the directions until we got to the street level, then I don’t know what happened….Blame it on the 17 hrs of travel squished into a small seat and not sleeping, or the desperate need for food. Needless to say, we got a little turned around. Fortunately, there was a group of police on the side of the road that were more than happy to send us in the right direction. Once we were going in the right direction, it was super easy to find the hotel, and we never had a problem finding it later. That’s why I think we just needed sleep, and food, and a very strong cup of Greek coffee.
Upon arrival, we were greeted very warmly by that famous Greek hospitality. We had arrived a bit before check-in, so we left our bags with the porter and went in search of our first Greek meal. There are a lot of great little cafes near the hotel. The food was phenomenal, and the people watching, entertaining…. More on that later. After we were re energized from our meal, we headed back to the hotel and were given the key to our room. We headed up, and the very hard working porter met us there with our bags.
Call it a blonde moment, but I don’t really want to call it that, because even my husband was perplexed, and he has brown hair. Call it being ignorant as to the workings of European hotels, or maybe we were just tired, but no matter what we did, we could not figure out how to turn on the lights. I had thought that my husband and I were pretty intelligent individuals before this moment, and this was not our first time in Europe. Once the porter arrived, he showed us around our room, popped our room key into a slot in the wall, and on came the lights and the A/C. Brilliant!!! All of the subsequent hotels we stayed in had the same process to turn on the lights. It seems so ridiculous that we couldn’t figure that out. So hopefully, my true confession will help you on your European holiday. Instead of looking like a hick from the sticks, you will look like the well-traveled woman, or man, of the world that I know you are.
Here are some pictures of our standard double room…..
We dropped our bags and headed to explore the rest of the hotel….
This hotel has a very modern, and trendy vibe about it. We loved the location of this hotel. It was on a quiet street, but just a short walk away from museums, art galleries, cafes, and lots of lovely little shops. We were able to walk to the Plaka and the Acropolis, and explore one of the great wonders of the ancient world. It was also very close to the Metro if we wanted to venture further away. The people who work at the Herodion treated us with the greatest of Greek hospitality, and the both the coffee and WiFi were the way I like it…strong. They offer a free American style breakfast. I wish I could comment on this from the viewpoint of a gluten free girl. That is part of the point of this blog after all. But sadly, we were so tired from our travels that we didn’t wake until after breakfast was over, and we only had one night in this marvelous hotel. If you would like to see a sample of the menu for Point, the elegant rooftop bar and restaurant at the Herodion, click here. However, I can tell you the information I was given from the hotel when I was researching places to stay in Athens. They assured me that the chef would be most happy to help me find food safe for me to eat, and there were a lot of things on the menu that were naturally gluten free. Although I never ate at the hotel while we were there, after spending a week around Greece, I wholeheartedly believe that to be true. Everywhere we went, the chef was more than happy to help me find gluten free food…even creating whole new dishes just for me. The people of Greece truly want you to enjoy their culture, and food is a big part of that culture. I had many opportunities to eat things that I may have not ordered otherwise. This was because the chef was excited to share his love of Greek cuisine, and didn’t want me to miss out on his great love.
Gluten Free or not, the Herodion Hotel is still a wonderful home base for exploring Athens. I look forward to staying there again!!