5 Under The Radar Archaeological Sites in Athens

Talking about history in Athens may seem like we’re reaching for the low hanging fruit but hear us out. We won’t be boring you with factoids about the Parthenon. Heck, better men than us have already covered every nook and cranny. No, we’re going to take the high road and give you the low down on what to see before you depart to the islands (we presume). If you’re not, pat yourself in the back for thumbing your nose at the naysayers. Athens is lit. In and around the greater Athens area there’s some incredibly interesting old stuff and quite a bit of nature to boot, making it an ideal road trip/picnic/hike combination.


One of the most under the radar sites is the Thoric settlement in Lavrio, just 50 kilometers from the city center.  There lies one of the most ancient settlements in the wider Attica basin, and the remains of some of the structures. Those include the oldest surviving theater from antiquity found in Greece, said to be between 525 and 480 BC.  Further information can be gleaned in the Lavrio Archaeological Museum.


Around the same area, near Marathonas, another archaeo-curio makes its way into the list. It’s the ancient site of Ramnounta, one of the only places found to honor the deity of Nemesis. A truly musical place, that’s before you even get to the cult stuff. And it’s a scenic place, too, right next to the sea. There are several other structures such as the outer defense walls, the gymnasium and several other smaller settlement houses.


In Vravrona, one of the 12 ancient cities of Attica, legend has it that the statue dedicated to Artemis was brought to the site by direct orders of Artemis herself by Orestes and Iphigenia. If you’re into the whole history of it all head for the archaeological museum to get your fix.


In Oropos, a sleepy town on the outskirts of Athens, usually known for its beaches and summer houses, we find the Amfiario archaeological site. Amfiarios was a Greek hero who was coaxed into battle and saved by Zeus, later to be worshiped as an underworld deity. He was said to be a healer of sorts and people worshipped him and built temples to his name. Some of the remaining structures you can check out are the ancient theater, the proscene columns, Roman time cistern. As well as a spring that still gives water.


In Eleusina, the cult of Eleusinian mysteries remains secret to this day. The rites and rituals were closely guarded and one of the main attractions to the small town of Eleusina, just half hour from Athens, is precisely that. A fairly well preserved archaeological site, Eleusina is connected to the underworld and the afterlife. The long procession from the foothill of the Acropolis all the way to Eleusina was quite the spectacle. The doors to Hades, where Persephone could escape once a year, were said to be situated right here. Eleusiona is one of those places that read like a mystery novel set before Christ.

5 Under The Radar Archaeological Sites in Athens

Athens is chock full of these small gems. Under the radar, but beautiful, you would do well to visit them

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