Piraeus

Piraeus

This main port of Greece, and one of the largest in the Mediterranean, is a city in its own right. It has a population of nearly one million and is only 10km from Athens. Its strategic importance was established during the Classical era, about 450 B.C. when Themistocles built the famous Long Walls which linked both cities. Large sections of these walls can be seen today, as well as ruins of other ancient buildings, including two ancient theatres.

The ancient harbors of Zea and Munichia are today called Passalimani and Mikrolimano, or Tourkolimano. Zea is one of the largest marinas in the Mediterranean, while Mikrolimano is well-known for its fish restaurants along the waterfront, next to colorful boats and small yachts anchored in the small harbor. It can be reached along the beautiful Corniche road which skirts the coast from Zea to Kastella and New Phaleron.

Apart from being one of the busiest ports in the Eastern Mediterranean, Piraeus and its surrounding districts also constitute the center around which most of the country’s industries are concentrated. All kinds of industrial plants, factories, metal foundries, warehouses, and dockyards are spaced out in all directions. But the city’s center is something of a surprise. It is well laid out and spotlessly clean with several small parks and broad tree-lined avenues. Sea-going passengers, especially those sailing to the Greek islands are well catered for by several efficient services available at the various embarkation stages.

Both the Archaeological and Naval Museums are worth a visit, and one should not miss seeing at least one performance at the “Veakeio”, the open-air theatre on the top of Prophitis Elias hill. From here the panoramic view of the Saronic Gulf and the Apollo coast is truly breathtaking at night.

The nearby towns to Piraeus( Drapetsona, Keratsini, Perama, Nikaia, Korydallos, Kaminia, and others )have their own atmosphere with factories, little harbors, and popular quarters.

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