Visit Marathon – Home of the Famous Foot Race
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As with many places in Greece, the old coexists with the new. Today, Marathon, Greece is a modern town where vehicles speed through the streets and people talk on their cell phones. It was also the site of a famous battle during the Persian Invasion of Greece. While here, visitors can tour the ancient battleground while also getting a taste for life in Greece today. Here’s some more information about what to see and do while here.
Brief History of Marathon
During the Battle of Marathon, the Persians outnumbered the Greeks considerably, yet still managed to win. A Greek scout, Phidippides, ran from the site of the battle to Athens, a distance of around twenty-six miles, to let the Athenians know that the Greeks had won the battle and to let them know that the Persians were en route. Because of him, they had ample warning to gather their soldiers and dispatch the navy, which resulted in Persia’s defeat. So, Marathon was not only the site of a battle, but also the place where the first marathon was run.
Visit the Archaeological Site
Today, visitors can take tours and visit the site of this ancient battle. There is also a museum on the location, which offers some great information about the history. Besides showing information about the battle itself, there is also information about other area archaeological findings, such as the nearby Cave of Pan. While here, make the 1 km trek to the tomb where the Athenian soldiers who died at the Battle of Marathon are buried.
Day Trip from Athens
Though there are plenty of area hotels to stay in, Marathon is also a doable day trip from Athens. So, if you are using Athens as a base for your trip, you can always make the drive yourself, take public transportation, or book a guided tour. The Attica countryside is beautiful which will make the journey from Athens to Marathon a pleasant one. While at your hotel, ask them for advice as to the best way to reach Marathon during your stay.
Other Things to Do in Marathon
Besides touring the battlefield and visiting the museum, there are other things you can do in Marathon during your stay. Here are some of the highlights:
- Lake Marathon. This lake was actually created in 1931 to become the main source of water for Athens. Additionally, it is also very scenic and is one of the only wetlands in Attica.
- Schinias National Park. If you want to view a unique ecosystem, this park is worth a visit. Besides viewing the wildlife, there are also plenty of opportunities for hiking.
- Oinoi’s Gorge. This is another beautiful natural feature in Marathon. The gorge is the location of the Cave of Pan, many natural springs, and an ancient river.
- Monastery of Saint Ephraim. If you want to visit a Greek Orthodox religious site while here, the monastery is a good choice. Saint Ephraim was alive in the 14th and 15th centuries and was a martyr.
Even though Marathon was the site of an ancient battle, there are also plenty of other things to do!
This post was written by GreekBoston.com