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Athens

April 19, 2009|By Baltimore Sun staff

Easter has come and gone for some, but Athens marks the celebration of Pascha, Easter in the Greek Orthodox Church, Sunday. One of Greece's most important holidays, the event is celebrated with lamb markets, red-dyed eggs, flowers, candle lighting and church services. Visitors to Greece during this time will find a festive atmosphere, but large cities like Athens may be deserted as people return to villages to celebrate with family. Here are five things to do in and around Athens any time.

1

See the Acropolis : This is the most important site in the city and one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Inhabited since the Stone Age, the rocky outcrop became the center of Greek civilization in the fifth century B.C. Its famous ruins include the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike.

2

Gaze at Greek Gods : The National Archaeological Museum of Athens houses collections representing all of the cultures that inhabited Greece. Among its most famous exhibits are the gold mask from Mycenae and statues of the Greek gods.

3

Shop the Monastiraki: Both tourists and Greeks are drawn to this flea market in the shadow of the Acropolis. Shoppers will find art, souvenirs, antiques and the latest fashions.

4

Take the waters : Vouliagmeni is on a peninsula known for its mineral water spa and lake. The resort is just a few miles from the city center and features sandy beaches, windsurfing, boating and fishing.

5

Go island hopping: Take a ferry through the Cyclades islands and the Aegean Sea. The Piraeus, the port of Athens, is the gateway to the Greek isles.

More information: greece-athens.com

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