top 10 off the beaten path things to do

Off the Beaten Path, Things to Do — By nellyparaskevopoulou on December 26, 2011 at 9:34 am

Visit artistic, handcrafted  book binder Mariana Kiliakou at her studio on Harilaou Trikoupi 38, in the neighborhood of Exarchia and find out all the secrets of this ancient art. Books are bound with special thread and then are covered in leather or cloth. Marianna decorates  book covers with sculptured designs, ivory buttons, tiny ceramic flowers, pieces of wood, choosing her motifs according to the contents of each book. Each creation is unique and crafted with love and imagination. tel. 210 3611714 Open 8-3 on weekdays and 8-12 on Saturday.








Go antique hunting near the Mitropolis of Athens and visit Paleo Opallio on Petraki 30. In this quaint curiosity shop you can discover many small treasures and collectible items, perfect for gifts to take back home. Handmade jewelry created from old watches, decorative objects from blown glass, antique carpets, memorabilia from the fifties, objects full of nostalgia for times gone by. Don’t miss the collection of umbrellas and the porcelain plates from grandma’s age. tel.210 3813858


On your way to Lycabettus, stop at Panygyri, on Kleomenous 25 and see the collection of miniature boats and ships handcrafted from driftwood. Each one is unique, sculpted and painted by hand with patience and originality. Each piece of driftwood guides the artist’s hand to choose the final creation, depending on its size and shape. Yachts, fishing boats and tankers with lucky names, to hang on the wall or place on a shelf, to remind you of your personal  journeys. You can even order one with your own name. tel. 210 7225369 Closed on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10.30-7,  Wednesday 10.30-5 Saturday 10.30 -3.


Shop for herbs and spices at Elixirio, close to the central market of Athens, Evripidou 41, where you can also find all kinds of teas and brews, from many countries. Don’t miss the honey in tasty varieties: vanilla, pine tree, orange, and the hand made soap from olive oil. In this unique shop,  with dried peppers hanging from the ceiling, you can also find rare spices, like setsouan, and all the necessary ingredients for ethnic cuisine. tel. 210 3215141


Relax and feel reinvigorated after a reflexology, massage or acupuncture session at the Academy of Ancient Greek and Traditional Chinese Medicine at Thission.  You can chose between thai massage, tuina, shiatsu, aromatherapy, holistic massage, after booking at 210 3421088. Amfiktyonos 12 & Poulopoulou. Don’t miss the Peonia tearoom just next door where you can select a healthy cuppa from more than a hundred blends of tea and herbs.  210 3410260

Shop for vintage and second hand clothes and accessories at Abused  by Retro in Psyrri, Agion Anargyron 24. Great fashion sense, all items are in perfect condition and reasonable prices. Tania has selected a collection of nostalgic dresses, fantastic boots, jeans and bags, mainly from the seventies, for casual or evening wear. Rock and roll pieces are the most popular with  clientele of all ages and the merchandise is renewed often. tel. 210 3221370.  Closed on Monday, open  tue-fri: 12.00-20.00 sat-sun:14.00-20.30, Wednesday until 6.


Visit the Attica Zoological Park at Spata and see  more than 2.000 animals from 400 species in an area of over 200 acres. Endangered species are bred and preserved and the park also hosts educational programmes for students and offers guided tours to school groups. Learn fascinating details about the lives and habits of lions, giraffes, monkeys, tigers, bears, penguins and many more animals from 5 continents. Enjoy a coffee at the cafeteria and shop for souvenirs at the gift shop. Open all year round from 9 to sunset. tel. 210 6634724 


Visit Sea Turtle Rescue Centre Archelon at Glyfada and find out more about  these fascinating creatures. The Rescue Centre studies and protects sea turtles and their habitats through monitoring and management at the most important nesting areas in Greece and operates a rescue network all over the country in order to locate and transfer injured and sick turtles to the Rescue Centre. Visiting hours for the public are on weekends from 11.00-17.00 and on week days by appointment. tel. 210 8982600






Learn all about wine at the Wine Museum at Pallini, where you can see wine making machinery, equipment and photos about the history of wine. Markou Vineyards created this interesting environment in which events and exhibitions are held, offering a panorama of the evolution of wine making. Rare objects, memories and vintage material, surrounded by nature offer a pleasant occasion to enjoy something different from the usual attractions. tel. 210 6037933

Spyros Vassiliou was one of the most well-known Greek artists of the thirties with a wide variety of  activities, ranging from painting and poetry writing to scenography. At the Spyros Vassiliou museum, which is actually a house museum, visitors can see the environment he lived in and created many of  his works. Many of his paintings are also exhibited in the museum together with historical photographs. At the art shop visitors can buy lithographs and other souvenirs with motifs from the artist’s work. tel. 210 9231502







Tags: Antiques, art, book binding, herbs, reflexology, turtles, vintage, wine, zoo