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The resort of Vouliagmeni is an upmarket place, with a yacht club and deluxe hotel complex. Also here is a public beach with water-skiing facilities, and you can charter a fishing caique at the marina. The town is named after a sulphur-springs lake, which has been converted into a spa, where the warm, lime-coloured waters are supposed to be good for muscular aches and skin ailments.
Between the lake and Varkiza you’ll find parking niches dotted along the highway from where you can climb down to the scores of rocky covelets which decorate the coastline. This coastal stretch is not recommended for either children or poor swimmers, but the lovely beach at Varkiza, with its pistachio trees growing almost to the shore, is perfectly safe.
20km/12 miles from Athens has a National Tourist Organisation (EOT) beach, less luxurious than say Astir beach but well run and with a lovely view over the bay.
It’s also much quieter than Astir.
After you’ve admired the temples, visit the Acropolis Museum, sitting unobtrusively in a hollow at the southeast corner. Every exhibit in the cool interior was found on the site.
The first three galleries contain pre-classical works of the 6th century BC. Ancient Greek sculptures are admired as the first to portray the human form in a natural, though the human form in a natural, though idealized way.
They also produced some splendid animals. See, for example, the collection of Four Horses (570 BC) in room no. 2, especially the two in the centre with their hands turned shyly towards and another.
Also this room is the outstanding Moschophoros – a marble statue of a man carrying on his half shoulders as a votive offering. Note the symmetry of the calf’s legs and the man’s arms, as well as the tension in his muscles and the detail of his hair.
In rooms 4 and 5 you have a chance to study the evolution of the enigmatic smile and almond-shaped eyes that characterize the archaic period. The Man on Horseback (560 BC) is a fine example, even though the head is a copy (the Louvre has the original). Most of the statues in these rooms are kore young women), which stood in the temples as handmaidens to the gods wearing a heavy shawl, or peplos, over her tunic, is superb.
Most famous is no. 674, also known as the Almond-Eyed Kore. Dating from about 580 BC, this enchanting work captures the spiritual ideal in human form. After Persian invaders ran riot through the temple in 480 BC, this kore and other ‘violated’ statues were ritually buried by the Greeks, and lay undiscovered until 1885. The head of the ‘Blonde Youth’ (which was named after the yellow colour that once covered his hair) and the statue of the Kritios Boy are examples of the archaic to the classical age of sculpture. Both originate from around 480 BC and show stirrings of individual property.
Room 7 and 8 display parts of the Parthenon frieze and other fragments of sculpture. Watch for the splendid gods – Poseidon, Apollo and Artemis – awaiting the arrival of the Panatheniac procession. The relief of a winged goddess taking off her sandal from the temple of Athena Nike, illustrates the incredible skill with which Greek sculptors captured the relation between dress and the body.
The museum’s final display is the original Caryatids from the Erechtheion – now safely protected behind glass and special lighting.
When is the best time of year to go to Varkiza ? Check our average weather graph and table. If know about Varkiza then why not join our community and tell us about the climate, or use the drop box at the bottom of the page to tell us about it?
Graphic showing average weather in Varkiza in Celcius and Centimeters (Change to Farenheit and Inches)
|Month||Temp °C||Rainfall Cm||Temp °F||Rainfall Inches|
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