A unique opportunity to run a race in view of the iconic Acropolis and Mount Lycabettus, the Athens Half Marathon is one of the most popular running events in Greece. This year, 2018, it will be held on Sunday 18 March. The main event, the Half-Marathon Race will start at 09:00 in the morning from Syntagma Square, and there will be three additional shorter runs or 5km, 3km and 1km—the latter open to children as young as ten years of age!

Expected to draw more than 20,000 participants from Greece and around the world, the Athens Half Marathon aims to be not just a race but also a celebration of Greek culture and heritage. Everybody who has ever looked at ancient Greek art—be it statues, frescoes or pottery—knows that good health and physical fitness were held in very high regard in ancient Greece. In fact, ancient Greek thinking on the matter was millennia ahead of its time.

The motto was simple: A healthy mind needs a healthy body. Basically, ancient Greeks practiced wellness 2500 years before modern science confirmed that exercising and staying fit are key to happiness, mental health and cognitive performance. Indeed, athletic events and physical fitness were just as important in ancient Greek culture as education and practicing democracy!

Young and very much cultural, the Athens Half Marathon aims to promote running as part of a healthy lifestyle and to encourage participants to discover the wonderfully rich world of Greek culture: from the love of sport and the deliciously healthy Mediterranean cuisine to the history, art and monuments of a civilization that clearly knew how to make the most of life.

Whether you’re in town to run the Half Marathon or to cheer on as a spectator, make sure to explore the city and discover its wonderful cultural heritage. Visit the 2500-year-old Panathenaic Stadium (aka Kallimarmaro), walk around the Acropolis to get to know one of the planet’s most iconic monuments, and tuck into some scrumptious Greek cuisine—including delicious vegan and clean-eating options.

If you’re only in town for a short stay, a private guided tour is essential. Expert tour guides are master storytellers that bring the ancient world to life, turning top cultural tours of Athens into unforgettable authentic experiences.  So book a tour now to get started on your adventure.

Here are some of our top suggestions:

  • Two birds…
    To really get the most out of a day-trip to the capital, choose an afternoon tour in Athens .After spending the morning at the Half Marathon, you’ll visit the Acropolis, explore the capital’s ancient marvels in the afternoon sun, and taste a selection of Greek wines in the evening.
  • Make a day of it
    If you can plan in an extra day, take a private tour from Athens to the Aegean Sea, to visit the Sanctuary of Artemis at Brauron, the Vravrona Wetlands, and the famed Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio—all complete with private transfers.

  • Fun for the whole familyTraveling with kids? No problem! Our Young Explorers tours have got you covered. Designed especially for children, these family-friendly tours are packed full of fun activities and related themes that kids are guaranteed to love! Younger visitors will have the time of their lives discovering the secrets of ancient Greece through play, and the tours pack enough fascinating anecdotes and details to keep adults happy too.

Athens is buzzing with tours that celebrate its ancient heritage, but its modern culture and spectacular gastronomy are equally captivating. Not sure where to start? Look for tours that combine different aspects of Greek culture, such as culture and gastronomy tours that introduce you to the best of the Greek culinary tradition in unique settings that make for unforgettable dining experiences. Dine like Athenian aristocracy with a 19th-century-themed lunch at a former residence of the Greek royal family (kids get to play dress up too), or treat yourself to a moonlit heritage dinner on the terrace of a unique historical private townhouse with a view of the Acropolis. Because quite frankly, when it comes to experiencing Greek cuisine and culture, it doesn’t get more authentic than this.

The ancient Greeks knew what it’s all about. On occasion of the Athens Half Marathon, treat your body, mind and spirit with a day of sport, culture and exquisite Greek cuisine.