Greek travel photographer Vangelis Delegos shines a light on the archaeological treasure that is his home city
As a photographer, one of the things that has always fascinated me is how easy it is to find something new to photograph every single day in Athens – whether that’s something archaeological, architectural, or simply daily life. It’s the ideal city for wandering around, making new discoveries and getting to know the friendly locals.
One of the things I love most about Athens is the perfect year-round climate. Winter is my favourite season, as it’s magical heading into the Greek mountains, but I’ve also fallen in love with the exquisite light of Athens in early summer – the clear blue sky is phenomenal. Take advantage of the weather and head out to explore the Acropolis and Pantheon – set out early to Philopappou Hill to capture the best images of these ancient sites. For breathtaking views of the city, journey onto Lycabettus hill. Go late afternoon to experience a fantastic sunset. You’ll be able to see all the way to the sea and may even spot the island of Aegina on the horizon.
Downtown, wonder at the beauty of the city’s ancient buildings in Panepistimiou Street, The National Library and the Academy of Athens all make for really great photographs.
When it comes to food, my favourite spot is Aleria. Not too far from the heart of the city and housed in a what is an amazing neoclassical building, the chef here puts an emphasis on seasonal ingredients from carefully handpicked producers around the country. Don’t forget to try souvlaki: give it a go at Dia Tafta, a quaint little tavern in the archaeological centre of Athens where you can also tuck into traditional dishes like handmade pies and tiny fried fish.
Despite harsh austerity measures in the city, it’s obvious that Athenians love art. There are so many theatres and musical hubs and there really is art for everyone and every taste. Psiri with its dozens of creative agencies, galleries, art studios and some really nice little taverns and coffee shops is an art district that begs exploration.
Truly special to me, Athens is a bathed-in-light archeological wonder that you should add to your visit list. Just don’t forget your camera.