Anafiotika is a hidden oasis under the Acropolis, on the northeast side. If you find yourself in Plaka, look for a way to climb up to Anafiotika, leave the bustle of the voices, colors, smells and follow the stairs and the quietness that, step by step, will become absolute.
The quirk of Anafiotika is that it looks like a village of an island. With its white walls, blue doors, narrow streets, plants everywhere, it really reminds you of a typical Cycladic island.
As lots of posters around Anafiotika suggest, this area of Athens has a strong connection with Anafi, a small island few km far from Santorini. Around the middle of XIX sec workers from the island of Anafi, moved to Athens to refurbish the palace of King Othon, the first modern king of Greece, and they started to build the village. Following, inhabitants of other Cycladic islands moved as well, attracted by the work opportunities. In 1922 also Greek refugees from Asia Minor settled in Anafiotika.
Later on, around 1950, part of this neighbourhood of Athens was dismantled for archaeological purposes and today we can only see around 45 houses.
Now there are less than 70 inhabitants, that’s why Anafiotika looks like a deserted area.
Only the clothes hanging outside make you believe that people are actually living here.
Whenever I am in Athens, I always go for a walk to Anafiotika. It is really relaxing to reach the top of the hill and wander around the small streets, hearing only the sounds of birds. You forget that you are in a big city, something you really need when you are overwhelmed by the hectic life of Athens. Everything here seems far, both in terms of time and distance. You feel that you are on an island but you cannot see the sea, the blue of the water. But you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Athens!
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©Nicoletta Barbata/One Quarter Greek