Just south of the hustle of central Athens lies one of the city’s most treasured assets: The Athenian Riviera. A beautiful scenic strip of coastline, that stretches from the municipality of Palaio Faliro to the spectacular Cape Sounio. In between, one can find the cities of Anavyssos and Palaia Phocaea, mostly known for their crystal clear waters and the traditional fish taverns. But there is so much more to explore.
Did you know that the contemporary settlements were originally founded by Greek refugees who settled there after fleeing various are of Asia Minor? If not, it is a good reason to visit the Folklore Museum of Anavyssos established to preserve and present their cultural heritage. Once entering the museum you will surely be impressed by the huge vertical loom called “Istar” which was used to create knotted carpets. The museum also includes an exhibition of utensils used in the houses as well as looming tools, rugs, and costumes. A little bit further one can also find the Cultural Museum ‘Makis Agkoutoglou’ which also houses the history of the refugee settlers. Visitors can read excerpts relating to the refugees’ experience as well as see artifacts photos and other documents about the area.
Both museums showcase not only the cultural heritage of the Greek refugees but also their determination and tenacity that helped them overcome all difficulties and brought new life to the area, developing it both culturally and economically.
After visiting the museums you can always stroll around the old neighborhood where one still can find some of the first houses constructed by the first refugees, with their small alleys filled with trees and flowers. You can finish your walk by enjoying a cup of coffee paired with a piece of a traditional cheese pie. The cozy coffee spot of “Rodia” in the central square, it’s not to be missed! Blend with local people, hear their stories, and take a ‘little bit more of Greece” before you leave!