Athens International Airport – also known as Eleutherios Venizelos, if you feel up to pronouncing that – serves the city of Athens, once known as the capital of Europe. Named after Cretan politician Eleutherios Venizelos, the airport began operations in 2001 and has since won numerous awards like the ‘Golden Pillow’ – awarded by publication The Age – as well as the ‘Green Building’ award by the European Committee. Although Athens today is just the capital of Greece, not Europe, its glorious history is still world-renowned and it is an extremely popular tourist destination. Athens International is the largest airport in Greece (as of July 2015) and about 15 million passengers pass through the airport annually.
For a short but much-needed vacay from the big city, grab a domestic flight to Heraklion - the largest city on the island of Crete - from Athens International. If you’ve heard of Heraklion, you’ve probably heard about the breathtakingly beautiful beaches that go on for hundreds of miles in this city. If you haven’t heard of them before, well, you know them now. With amazingly clear emerald waters (more green than blue), imposing cliffs, palm forests, and white sands or pebbles (depending on which beach you go to), beaches in Heraklion look like they came straight out of an artist’s impression of paradise.
Time for a short trip out of the country? Grab a short-haul flight from Athens to gorgeous Ljubljana; the city is the gateway to some of the most heavenly natural sites in the world. One of the most famous, Lake Bled, looks like something straight out of a fairy tale - a large, reflective jewel-green lake of both glacial and tectonic origins, it is surrounded by green forests and a mountain range called the Julian Alps. To further add to the magic of the lake is the island sitting right in the middle of it, on which sits the medieval Bled Castle as well as the picturesque white Church of the Assumption. Built in the 17th century complete with a mystical-looking tower and adorned with ancient Gothic frescos, the church would be a magnificent sight even if it were not sitting on an island right smack in the middle of one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The end result is a scene so stunningly gorgeous, you’ve got to see it to believe it.
But if you’ve time for a nice long trip far from home, board a long-haul flight to the beautiful Russian city of Ulyanovsk. The birthplace of countless poets, writers, artists, photographers, historians, actors, and architects, Ulyanovsk is a treasure trove of art and culture, much of which is preserved in its many museums, theatres, orchestras and architecture till today. Have a look at the Ulyanovsk Region Art Museum, one of the oldest in the city that is famous for its treasured collection of historically-important ancient art. Here you can enjoy pieces from the 16th and 17th centuries, created by artists from all around Europe.
Then check out the V. Lenin’s House Museum for a look at the home of Vladimir Lenin, the city’s most famous resident. The simple wooden building was the first house that the Ulyanov family had ever owned, and their stay there lasted for 10 years in the late 19th century. Look through the late family’s prized personal possessions, as well as various exhibits on the city and museum’s history.
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Airports near Athens International
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