Olympic Sports Complexes

more than a year ago
O.A.K.A. (Athens Olympic Sports Complex)
Easily accessible by taking the metro and getting off at Eirini station. The 2004 Olympic Sports Complex was inaugurated in 1982 on the site of the ancient ‘demesne’ (district) of Athmonon. Who were they? About 2500 thousand years ago, Athens was divided into ten districts, each one run by a different tribe. In fact, excavations have brought to light very important findings and the history of this area could fill more than one book. It’s true that Greeks believed the latest Olympic Games would firmly place OAKA on the sightseeing map. Unfortunately, tourists tend to visit the central archaeological sites and the sea instead. Roman water reservoirs, aqueducts, ancient baths and terracotta water pipes were dug up here. The whole complex was re-designed in view of the 2004 Athens Olympics and the rather expensive but nonetheless, awe-inspiring, Santiago Calatrava roof ushered in a new era in its long history.
The Complex consisted of five different venues, namely the Olympic Indoor Hall (basketball, volleyball, gymnastics), the Athens Olympic Aquatic Centre (swimming, synchronized swimming, water polo, diving), the Athens Olympic Tennis Centre (which now also houses the Athens Tennis Academy), the Athens Olympic Velodrome and the impressively designed Olympic Stadium (athletics, football).

Currently, it is home to AEK Football Club, meaning that you can always watch a football match and experience the thrilling vibe of a stadium crammed with spectators. And if the players aren’t quite on a par with your expectations, you can’t say the same about the remarkable acoustics of this venue during a Rolling Stones concert. The surrounding areas are uniquely designed and very inspiring and often house many summer festivals. Too bad the grass and trees are (still) absent from the modernization project. You wouldn’t have to wear that silly hat all day long.

Faliro Bay Complex
Take a stroll alongside the redeveloped urban coastline. To appreciate the visit you should have seen the area a year before the Games. Comparing it to a wasteland, wouldn't be an exageration. Located 6km from the city centre, begin your tour by making your way down the scenic palm tree-lined seaside esplanade. There is a well-sized walking path, constructed along Poseidonos Avenue, to help improve access from the parking area. An athletics track and sports facilities are available for the dedicated athletes among you. Moreover, in the near future the Complex will also cater to art-lovers and the environmentally-conscious, as plans have been unveiled to create a metropolitan ecological park, modern arts and cultural centre, as well as the new National Library and National Opera within its grounds. When works are complete, Athenians will acquire a 35 km cycling route as well. Until that day arrives, you can visit the marina, enjoy a coffee or drink at one of its numerous stylish bars and wish one of the whopping vessels anchored there were yours. If you’re in Athens during summer months, make sure you don’t miss the beach volley tournament or the opportunity to catch an exhibition or concert in the indoor Pavilion Hall.


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