A round-up of offbeat attractions in Athens, Greece.

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons: Ioannisdg

Greece may be going through an economic crisis right now, but it is important to not lose sight of the beauty this country offers. All over the world, the media are encouraging people to keep their travel plans to the Mediterranean country. And, if they don’t have plans to travel, to make plans to travel there.

The country may be having issues, but its people and attractions remain the same: beautiful.

Athens has a number of historic places to visit, but there is so much more to the charm the city holds. From the sites to the Athens hotels — there is truly a world waiting to be explored.

So, how about today we take a look at some offbeat attractions in Athens.

History Comes to Life

The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus is a tourist attraction, but it doesn’t hold the recognition that the Acropolis holds. Located in the Peloponnese mountains, this ancient theatre dates back to the mid 300s BC.  The best part about this spot? It is still in use! Head there in the warmer months to catch live performances from well-known actors. Every summer, people make the two-hour trek from Athens to this spot to enjoy the Athens & Epidaurus Festival which brings to life Greek theatrics.

Check Out the Killer Views

Sure, you can get quite the view from a top the Acropolis … but there is one even better than that! Hit the funicular cable car and journey to the top of Lycabettus Hill, perched almost 300 meters above the city. From here, you can see the city and on to the spectacular Saronic Gulf. The three-minute ride delivers guests to a quiet area that includes a chapel, tavern and even an amphitheater. For those seeking some cardio, make the 35-minute trek to the top. The cable car runs every 30 minutes from 9 a.m. until midnight and costs a few euros.

Head to a Cemetery

If you’ve traveled a lot around Europe, then you know the cemeteries here are some of the most beautiful in the world. The First Cemetery of Athens is no exception. Wander around at sunset and take in the ancient headstones. Opened in 1837, this spot is the final resting place for notable Greek figures and more. Find it behind the Temple of Zeus in central Athens.

Hunt for Ghosts

Ntaveli’s Cave (also known as the Cave of Pendeli or Davelis Cave) has a history of paranormal sightings. On the surface, the cave runs through Mount Penteli and opens up to a small pond which was once used to worship the Pan, the Greek god of shepherds.

But, that’s where the beauty stops and the paranormal sets in. Since the 1800s, when the spot was used as a hideout for bandits and their leader, Ntavelis, died, there have been reportings of paranormal activity. Reports include cameras not working, oddities in photos, orbs and even strange creatures.

Explore Gardens

While this may get some write-ups in guidebooks, Athens National Gardens is surprisingly not popular among tourists. Located in central Athens, the public park spans 38 acres and includes a pond, zoo, botanical museum and more. Check it out in the spring or summer to be treated to true beauty.

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