Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Channel your inner Nike—the goddess of victory (and a very fast runner into the bargain)—on one of these scenic running trails.

By Kimon Frangakis

Athens has surprisingly good running routes. Not just because of their beautiful locations, often surrounded by antiquities, but also due to their relative calm. In the winter, you could be running in Athens’ “Central Park” of Philopappou, right below the Acropolis, with the historic hill all to yourself. What a treat!

Panathenaic Stadium

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Philopappou Hill

Laimos Vouliagmenis / Ladies Run

Courtesy: Pelagia Karanikola

Photo: Georgios Makkas

Alsos Syngrou

National Garden

Your best bet for an easy run in the city centre, especially if you are staying around Syntagma and Kolonaki. The National Garden has many paths that are clearly mapped near each entrance. Attractions include ancient Greek columns, a Roman mosaic, rare century-old trees from around the globe, and a small animal enclosure. The best thing about running in the National Garden, apart from the downtown location, is that you never get bored with the routes on offer: an abundance of promenades, alleys, cul-de-sacs and lawns for stretching guarantee variety, though the layout is not ideal for those craving speed.

Insider tip: the garden closes at sunset. If you’re running around this time, stay earphone-free so you can hear the whistle signalling the gates are about to close.

Suggested entrance: On Irodou Attikou 5-11, through the old café.