Excursion to Marathon
The historic municipality of Marathon is located in the northeast part of Attica, about 45 km from the center of Athens. This world famous spot with its historical significance is where the battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC when the Greeks resisted 50.000 or more Persians and managed to put a end to the first invasion on Greek territory. It is the ideal choice for a one day trip close to the city.
The Tomb of Marathon, under which lie the remains of 192 soldiers who fell during the fight against the Persians, is a landmark. Near here lies the quiet Marathon beach with its shallow water (an ideal choice for families) and the quaint taverns which serve fresh fish.
The Archaeological Museum (admission: €6, €3 reduced, tel. +30 22940 55155) is a big attraction, where visitors can admire the Trophy of the Battle of Marathon, ceramics from neolithic times found in the cave of Pan, as well as some of the first Cycladic pottery from the Geometric and Classical periods.
The town is connected to the Marathon Run -which is an Olympic sport- and owes its name to the soldier, Phiddipides, who ran from Marathon to Athens after the battle to announce the outcome with the words, "we won". Do not miss the opportunity to visit the Marathon Run Museum (admission: €2, €1 reduced, tel. +30 22940 67617, www.marathonrunmuseum.com) where the history of the Olympic Marathon from 1896 up to 2000 unfolds before your eyes.
Another attraction here is the Marathon artificial lake which covers an area of 2.450 sq. m. and is one of the 10 most important wetlands in Attica due to the vast amount of rare species that live there. It was formed in 1931 with the elevation of the dam where the Haradros and Varnavas streams merge and served as the main water supply source for Athens until 1959.
The popular Schinias beach is also nearby. During summer you will have a hard time choosing your favorite from the numerous beach bars and cafes along its 3 km long beach. Alternatively, you can make a stop at Fragma lounge restaurant cafe (tel. +30 210 8143415, www.gulllake.gr) which stands practically above the dam to enjoy coffee or a light meal with Mediterranean cuisine dishes, while enjoying the view over the lake of Marathon.