If you are in Athens and want to make this Valentine’s Day special, take your other half for a stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets of Plaka, explore the Ancient Agora and profess your love next to the columns of the Parthenon. For a truly unforgettable evening, why not add a bit of luxury by reserving a room in a hotel with a view of the Acropolis or the Saronic Bay, followed by a soothing massage and a candle-lit dinner?
Here are some ideas on how to give Valentine's Day some extra zing:
1. Frolic in the shadows of the Acropolis.
Few things are more romantic than walking through picturesque Old Athens. Plaka, the Ancient Agora, Anafiotika and Filopappou Hill are just a few suggestions for a romantic stroll. You’ll encounter some wonderful coffee shops and eateries along the way, most with a spectacular view of the Parthenon. In Plaka, you’ll also find several great tavernas offering traditional Greek fare accompanied by folk music, the perfect choice for a lively dinner for two.
2. Take a horse-and-carriage ride to another era
For something truly out-of-the-ordinary, hop on the train to Kifissia, one of Athens’s most affluent suburbs. Bring a touch of elegance to your Valentine’s Day with a walk through Kifissia’s charming park or a horse-and-carriage ride along the neighborhood’s tree-lined streets.
3. Share dinner for two with an Acropolis view
Nothing beats the combination of great food, a romantic setting and a stunning view. And there’s no better place to enjoy it all than at some of the city’s five-star hotels. Prepare for a true culinary experience and an unparalleled level of service against one of the world’s most magnificent backdrops. You can always add an extra romantic twist to Valentine's Day by reserving a room for the night, or better yet, a suite with a jacuzzi.
Take a look at the following hotels:
- Saint George Lycabettus n Kolonaki, home of the famous Le Grand Balcon restaurant (Tel. 210-7416000)
- Hotel Intercontinental, home of the Premiere Restaurant (Tel. 210-9206000)
- Titania Hotel with its magnificent Olive Garden (Tel. 210-3326000)
- The “Dionysos” restaurant located at the foot of the Acropolis offers breathtaking views and great local cuisine (Tel. 210-9233182, 210-9231936)
4.Create a new you
Start your Valentine's Day with a soothing massage and a skincare treatment at a luxury hotel or spa resort. Both the city centre and the southern suburb of Vouliagmeni are home to some great hotels with outstanding spa facilities.
Right in the heart of Athens you’ll find two of the city’s landmark hotels, the Athens Hilton and Grande Bretagne. At the Hilton’s Hiltonia Spa, you can select a beauty and rejuvenation package for him (Adore Him), for her (Spoil Her) or better yet, for both (So Happy Together), followed by a romantic dinner for two served either in your room or at the hotel’s famous Galaxy restaurant.
Renowned not only for its exceptional food, the Galaxy also offers one of the city’s best views (Tel. 210-7281000). If you’re after some old-world charm, the Grande Bretagne hotel is the perfect choice. Here, you can enjoy a magnificent dinner for two at the GB Roof Garden Restaurant (Tel. 210-3330766), with a great view of Syntagma Square, Lycabetus Hill and the Acropolis or opt for the spa brunch for two, which includes a relaxing massage, a facial treatment and brunch at the GB Spa Atrium (Tel. 210-3330799). Of course, either can be coupled with an overnight stay in one the hotel’s elegant rooms for an extra special Valentine’s Night.
If you’d rather be closer to the sea, the Divani Apollon Palace & Spa in Vouliagmeni is hard to beat (Tel: 210-8911900, 210-8911100). Why not give your loved one a treatment package at the hotel’s highly-acclaimed spa and enjoy a great dinner (and breakfast) for two, right next to the sea?
Another superb choice for Valentine's Day in Athens is Astir Palace, also in Vouliagmeni, a see-and-be-seen spot for the city’s trendsetters. The hotel also offers great treatment packages at its very own Arion Spa (Tel: 210-8902000). No matter which option you choose, one thing is for sure, you’ll fall in love all over again. Please check the hotels’ websites for special Valentine’s Day package deals.
5. Celebrate your love with art
Dress in your best and head out for a classical concert, a ballet performance or an evening of traditional soulful Greek music. It’s a very elegant way to spend Valentine’s Day and it’s only a couple of tickets away.
6. Pack a picnic and play in the park
If you love nature, then you’re in for a real treat. Go to Monastiraki, buy a wicker basket and fill it up with local delicacies and a bottle of wine. Then head to one of the city’s parks for a one-of-a-kind picnic with a distinct gourmet touch. The National Garden in the city centre, the Diomedios Botanical Garden in Chaidari, the mountains of Penteli and Imitos, the Lake of Vouliagmeni in Loutraki, Porto Germeno in Villia, Beletsi Lake in Parnitha and Sygrou Park are all perfect spots for a romantic alfresco picnic for two.
7. Give her the right flowers
Before you call it a cliché, remember that it’s the little things that really count. You can always resort to a bouquet of deep-red roses but creating a personalised floral arrangement with the help of a good florist is infinitely better.
For something even more unique, you can contact Fleria, a flower shop specialising in modern, out-of-the-ordinary floral designs (35 Patr. Ioakim Street, Kolonaki, Tel: 210-7229697, 18 Dim. Vasiliou, N. Psychiko, Tel: 210-6753480). Of course, deciding on when to give her the flowers is just as important – perhaps in bed with a tender kiss or at dinner (your waiter will be more than happy to arrange a surprise).
8. Sweeten your love with personalised chocolate
As a truly unique treat, write your name, a verse from your favourite song or a whole poem on a bar of chocolate. The friendly staff at Chocolate Graphics can turn chocolate into the best thing she’s ever eaten – and read (7 Dimitrakopoulou Street, Koukaki, Athens, Tel: 213-0055754, 210-4111503).
9. Live it up and book a hotel suite
Once you’ve settled into your suite, send her out shopping (preferably on your credit card) and in her absence create the most sensual environment you can. Spread rose petals on the floor leading to the jacuzzi, put on soft music, light candles and order room service (don’t skimp on this one, as a variety of hand-fed delicacies, champagne and a chocolate and strawberry desert are always greatly appreciated).
10. Wake up with a soft kiss and a hearty breakfast
Why not sneak out of bed a little early and arrange for a sumptuously surprising breakfast in bed for two? Don’t forget to put a red rose on the tray and some loving words on a postcard, so he’ll remember this morning forever.
These are just a few suggestions to create an unforgettable Valentine’s Day. We’re sure you can think of a thousand more, which is fantastic, because in Athens if you can imagine it, you can do it.
Helpful hints on roses:
• Always pick an odd number of flowers and pay attention to the colour.
• Deep-red roses symbolise deep love.
• Orange roses symbolise passion.
• Pink roses show admiration, joy, happiness and pleasure.
• White roses express innocence, tenderness, honesty and understanding.
• Blue roses convey the urge to fight for one’s love, even if it’s untenable.
• Yellow roses symbolise friendship, but they may also express betrayal and hatred. (So keep in mind women’s love-hate relationship with yellow roses.)
Have a beautiful Valentines' Day in Athens!