Vineyards, olive trees, mountains and the coastline of Euboean gulf surround the Sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia and the new Brauron Museum, an ideal destination for visitors seeking to discover a cultural gem outside Athens. In antiquity, the sanctuary was an important cult center that played a key role in the religious life of Athenian women. It was believed to be the place where Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon, with the help of her brother Orestes, took refuge after escaping her intended sacrifice by her father before the Trojan War. Artemis’ cult was particularly important to women, since she was considered a protectress of childbirth. Athenian girls about 7-10 years old were sent to Brauron to serve as Artemis’ attendants, called arktoi. Attica’s countryside provided also the ideal environment for the cultivation of wines with the prevailing white varieties of Savatiano, Malagouzia and Roditis.
We start our day from central Athens with a short bus tour around the main
sights of the city of Athens: the Syntagma square and the Greek Parliament, the
three impressive buildings of the Neoclassical Athenian Trilogy: the Academy,
the University and the National Library, the Omonoia square and the beautiful
building of the National Archaeological Museum.
We continue the tour heading south-east until we reach the magical archaeological site of Brauron where we learn about the secrets of Artemis and Iphigenia. Our next stop is the seaside picturesque town of Porto Rafti where we can have some free time by the sea or taste delicious fresh fish and sea-food in a traditional taverna.
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