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IN ATHENS

VALENTINE'S DAY IS JUST AN EXCUSE

Saint Valentine is officially celebrated by the Anglican and Lutheran churches, but regardless of religious convictions, 14 February is a day of celebration for lovers all over the world. The saint, who is believed to have married Christian couples in the 3rd century during the reign of Claudius Gothicus, was either stoned to death or beheaded on 14 February, the day reserved for honouring lovers. Nevertheless, even those who ignore the saint’s feast day can’t help but expect a special day or a gesture that expresses love from their other half.

An excellent opportunity for a relaxing stroll through the city

Forget about flowers, heart-bedecked cards and soft toys with messages of love, or make them more meaningful with an outing with a difference. Meet at one of the most beautiful spots in the city and, armed with a cup of hot chocolate, stroll around without a car to enjoy the ambient sounds. Experience the blessing of being able to walk through the Athens streets in mid-February under the clear, bright Attica sky, alongside the Acropolis, through the Anafiotika district at its feet, Plaka, Aerides, Hadrian’s Stoa, or up to the top of Lycabettus Hill next to St George chapel along the charming route that leads there. Even better, venture to Pnyx Hill, along Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, or up to the Acropolis rock, or the light-filled Acropolis Museum, and further along to Thissio and the National Observatory of Athens. If the weather unexpectedly turns bitter —a rare occurrence for Athens— you can always gaze at the stars in another sky. Head for the Planetarium at the Eugenides Foundation on Syngrou Avenue and get a look at our solar system with one of its special shows. After the show, take the road towards Athens and stop in at the Café Vienna at the Athenaeum InterContinental. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, fragrant sweets, and a quiet, relaxing atmosphere that lends itself to idle chat to pass the time. The sounds of voices provide the background to the magic of the moment.

Dinner under the stars

And if the stars at the Planetarium are not enough, the InterContinental terrace in Athens awaits you with 5 stars of flavours and aesthetics. The premium restaurant Première, with its minimalist aesthetics but enriched flavour of its Mediterranean cuisine with French touches and quality ingredients recognised by critics and the public alike, invites you to satisfy your palate while feasting your eyes on a view of the Acropolis. Complete your evening with one of the impressive wines from the Première’s cellar and let Valentine's Day give you a reason to enjoy an exquisite night out.