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Can some one who has climbed up to the Acropolis in Athens tell me how strenuous a climb it is? I understand the taxi can not get very close and there is a long walk and then a steep climb.
My mom is 80 and walks a mile or two a day on the flat, but I wonder if this will be too exhausting. She is very anxious to see the Acropolis.
I lived in Athens for awhile and had friends come to visit. Of course the number one thing to see is the Acropolis and the Parthanon. I went often and found the all my friends, requardless of their age, had no trouble with the climb. There are many flat spots and olive trees along the way where people can stop and rest till they are ready to move on. Not for your mother to worry...just take it a little at a time. It's well worth it.
If you are doing it on your own, I would recommend you go as early as possible thus beating all the tour buses, crowds, and the heat. Take some bottled water from the ship with you. It is usually colder than what is sold at the enterance which is a short walk from the street. Taking a taxi from the ship should take about twenty minutes and the driver can drop you right at the beginnig of the walkway leading to the enterance. The buses usually have to park farther away which makes for a longer walk.
Doing it on your own also allows you to take your time going up as well as coming down. It is really worth seeing and I know your mom will love it. Have a great time in Athens...there is so much to see and you can't do it all. And remember, the Greeks are in no hurry...ever, so enjoy!
My memory from a few years ago is that most of the climb to the top of the Acropolis is gentle uphill. Toward the top there is a short interval of steep ramp and steps. I understand they can be a problem if wet.
If your mother walks a mile a day and can climb stairs she should be able to make it to the top. A walking staff, if she is used to using one, would be a benefit.
The tour group we were with spread out according ability and conditioning. Everyone made it to the top. There was ample time for everyone even those who seemed greatly out of shape.
I hope she can make it to the top. It is well worth the effort.
We were in Athens in June. It was HOT. We were disappointed because the pollution was so bad that day that our eyes watered and burned so badly we could hardly keep them open.
We're going back next year and hoping for better conditions to appreciate the sites. Definitely take the bottled water, & wear sunglasses. An umbrella for shade would be another good idea, as well as moist wipes or a small spray bottle of water for mist. You can get the silver umbrellas at Magellan's or Travelsmith - made especially for shade. I want to get one before we go to the Med again.
As the others have said - take it slow - your mom should do fine & a taxi will get you closer.
Grand Princess 8/17/04 Baltic B2B with 8/27/04 Transatlantic & 11/27/04 Western Caribbean
We visited the Acropolis last July. Quite honestly I feel it is the heat that will cause your mother more problems .
Of course it all depends when you are travelling but in July it was like the heat when you open the oven! I agree with everyones advice re umbrella, water, mister etc. At the top there is a wonderful museum that has excellent air conditioning, well worth a visit. Hope you enjoy your trip!
I agree with the other replies. It's a long hot dusty climb but worth it. Allow plenty of time and sit and rest in the shade as often as needed. The first time we did it my husband found out the hard way that he is allergic to olive trees and also that he had left his asthma inhaler at the hotel room so he had a bad attack but still managed to take lots of photos.
While there with a large tour from the Grand Princess, I saw several people tripped up on the big rock steps. Very, very crowded. The tripped people left a good deal of blood behind making for a slippery path. Not meant to scare you but I would not take my 87 year old mom, as it was also too hot, and the other people would not wait to go as slow as mom goes and would have just shoved her aside.
If your Mom can't make the climb, make sure she gets a good view of the Parthanon from afar, both day and night. I think it is much more striking from a distance then it it close up. It appears more of a complete structure from afar instead of a ruin up close. The ruins at Delphi are kind of the same way. You retain the mystery from a distance instead of a pile of ruins. Just my own observation.
I was there in 1980 in June and July (before and after a Stella Solaris cruise). I agree that the heat may be more of a problem than anything else. We went up at mid-day because we were young and stupid but got amazing, tourist-free pictures. Now I would go at 8:00 in the morning (or whatever is the earliest you can possibly go). One of those canes with a little foldout seat could help as well as the other precautions mentioned by others.
Your mom wouldn't climb the Pnyx, but I did and it was extremely steep. The stones were so worn and slippery that I had a hard time getting down. My acrophobia didn't help!
There's a nice view of the acropolis from Mt. Lecabettus. The pollution was really bad when I was there so long ago; I'd hate to think it's so bad now that you can't even see from the mountain to the Acropolis! I can't recall how much climbing is required to visit the mountain. We took a side street and it was pretty strenuous, but there could be a gentler way to get there.
We were there last month (about three weeks ago)and I have some real leg problems when climbing. My wife stayed with the tour group and I took my own time. Plenty of places to rest along the way. I saw everything the group did, got just as many pictures and thoroughly enjoyed the time there. If it's not unbearably hot, she should have no problem!
Agree with Cocacola about getting there early, not only to beat the crowds, but to make sure you get in! My parents hired a cab driver who ended up taking them all over town and was sure he knew when closing time at the Acropolis was. Guess what, he was wrong and they missed it!!
All these comments about the heat make me chuckle. We visited the Acropolis just before Christmas one year after a cruise on the old Pacific Princess. Mys husband says that it's coldest he's ever been in his life...LOL...They were roasting chestnuts in and around the Plaka too!
Diamond Princess 03/04
Sun Princess 12/03
Grand Princess 12/02
Royal Princess 08/02
Ocean Princess 08/01
Pacific Princess 12/00
Carla C. 03/83
Make sure your mom wears rubber soled shoes with good tread. The rocks at the Acropolis are very slippery. She can make the climb in easy stages. It would be a shame to miss something she especially wants to do.