One of the most beautiful and upper-class districts of Piraeus, the picturesque hill of Kastella, still echoes the grandeur of times gone by and attracts the visitor with its elegant Mediterranean simplicity.
As such, it’s no wonder that Kastella’s western and eastern borders are set by two caste-like houses of neo-Gothic architectural style, the Tzivanioti’s Residence located on the limit zone of Pasalimani and Kastella and the twin, adjacent stone-built houses, next to the natural harbour of ancient Munichia (Mikrolimano).
In between, lies Alexandra’s Square where once stood the “Neighbourhood of Mansions”, visualized and created by the renowned architect Ernst Ziller. Today, the Square, dominated by St. Catherine’s Church, an architectural piece of unique beauty, has turned into a classy spot, ideal for the visitor to enjoy a coffee while relishing the postal card like view over Pasalimani, Zea and Koumoundouros Island, a skerry only a few metres away from the coast.
The top of Kastella’s hill is also widely known as Prophet Elijah’s hill, thus named after the church of Prophet Elijah located there. Close to the church, in a full of greenery park, enjoy a walk in nature while your kids are having fun at the playground situated within.
In the surrounding area, there is Veakio, an open-roof theatre, constituting an imitation of the ancient Greek theater in terms of shape and form.
Combine your meal or a drink with the breathtaking panoramic view – extending from Sounio to Acropolis – at one of the numerous grill taverns and cafés of the area.
And if you feel like exploring, there is always the mysterious entrance to Arethousa’s Cave, where, according to legend, Arethousa, the daughter of a king, used to secretly meet her lover.
Back to the coast road, yet another mystery of underground Piraeus awaits to be witnessed by the inquisitive visitor: “Siraggio” (or “Paraskevas’ Cave”), an ancient tunnel of Prehistoric times, the exact use of which remains within the realm of speculation, up to this day.
Finally, right below “Siraggio”, extends the sandy, organized public beach of Votsalakia between Mikrolimano and Zea, with its crystal-clear waters ideal for swimming.