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A slice of old Athens: Anafiótika

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The main arteries of Pláka, above all Adhrianoú, home of the Manchester United beach towel and “Sex in Ancient Greece” playing cards, can become depressingly touristy. For a break, climb up into the jumble of streets and alleys that cling to the lower slopes of the Acropolis. Here, the whitewashed, island-style houses and ancient churches of the Anafiótika quarter proclaim a cheerfully architect-free zone. There’s still the odd shop, and taverna tables are set out wherever a bit of flat ground can be found, but there are also plenty of hidden corners redolent of a quieter era. A particularly good view of this area can be had by following the paths that track around the base of the Acropolis, above the buildings.

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