A word from our founder…
The Way to Discover Athens
It was 2004. Back then, you could only book bus tours and I was guiding them.
From behind the constraints of those elevated tour bus windows, I always did my best to tell the stories, facts and vignettes about the Greek capital as the colors and energy of the city whizzed by at a pace that depended on the traffic of the day.
Although I loved my job, the urban noise, the commutes, being cooped up on a stuffy dark bus on beautiful sunny Mediterranean days and the long hours away from my family were getting to me. I thought for a moment that my tour guiding career, which I loved, was somehow sadly reaching a breaking point. As I pressed my complaints on my fantastic husband and business partner, Yiannis, he opened my eyes to another way to show groups the best of our city.
Other cities, he explained, were offering walking tours and why shouldn’t Athens? My mind began to race. Yes! Why shouldn’t our city see Athens by foot?! It made sense. I loved walking the city in my spare time. It truly was the best way to discover its charming hidden and not-so-hidden corners. In a place of ancient and modern sights, walking the city - rather than seeing it fly by behind a bus window – would be the best way for any visitor to really understand the pulse of Athens.
The New Idea: Walking Tours in Athens
I began to map out walking routes and dream of the possibilities. That’s how my enthusiasm for my work rekindled in a new way and the beginning of our new company Athens Walking Tours.
We created brochures, leaving them at hotels and hoping for the best. There wasn’t a response. No one had heard of such a thing called a city walking tour yet.
I wanted to push things forward. That’s what prompted me to create a website for Athens Walking Tours. I had a feeling getting online would get us the publicity we needed. I considered myself completely computer “illiterate,” so getting that project done was one of the biggest challenges in my career. It paid off.
The payoff came in the form of our first walking tour clients. Frank and Ann from Boston, and Rellie and Patrick from Oregon found us online. I asked them how they came upon my tour guiding services and they mentioned a site I hadn’t heard of yet called TripAdvisor.
There I was standing in front of my first clients less than one year after my husband sparked the idea that Athens could have walking tours and that our company could offer them. With excitement in my heart, I took those two American couples on my first official (and the city’s first) walking tour of Athens. They loved it. Their gratitude ended my work day with a sense of incredible pride and accomplishment.
More Guided Walks to Come
I would end up guiding dozens upon dozens more tours myself that first year which was the year the Olympic Games were held in Athens. With hard work, more positive reviews came and so did amazing thank you emails. Our company received rave reviews in magazines and guide books. By 2008, I couldn’t do it alone. In fact, we hired ten more guides to meet the demand.
I’m proud to say that Athens Walking Tours now consists of a dedicated, enthusiastic and talented team of 20 licensed tour guides. Thanks to our group efforts, we are ranked as the number one activity in Athens on TripAdvisor. Behind the scenes, there are seven more members of our company handling marketing, operations and accounting duties to ensure everything runs smoothly.
The Best Way to See Athens
Looking back, I am grateful for my diverse experiences guiding tours through Athens. After more than three decades, I can say that I love my work and how it has evolved. It is an incredible feeling to witness visitors from all over the world discover the beauty, history, culture and energy of Athens in the only way a guided walking tour can.
After many successful years, I still see Athens Walking Tours evolving and growing. After all, it is my “baby.” By mentoring our dedicated staff, constantly improving our operations and understanding the ebb and flow of the city I love while appreciating her ancient wonders, I know that I can offer the best cultural experience for visitors during their stay here. These are the values I hold dear and I know that my entire team holds dear.
Thank you for letting us show you our amazing, unique and incredible city, a city unlike any other place in the world.
Great guided tour around the Acropolis! This is without a doubt a must do while in Athens. The tour was filled with intersting facts about ancient greek history, perfectly explained by our amazing tour guide Dorina. I highly recomend it if you want to really enjoy visiting the Acropolis and understanding what those ancient stones trully mean.
David Doménech López | July 21 | Acropolis Tour
Great private visit to Acropolis ...Given that we would probably have spent the day sitting an an airport hotel otherwise, I'm very glad that I reached out to Athens Walking Tours, as we were able to see such an amazing site and do it with a knowledgeable guide and a good plan that kept us out of the heat.
Kevan H | June 21 | Private Acropolis Tour
5 star cooking class! We enjoyed a 7 course cooking class, dinner and wine with our chef-host Sophia Faloutsou. She was informative, entertaining, and encouraging throughout our 4 hour time with her.
Nancy G | July 21 | Athens Cooking Lesson
Unforgettable tour! This is without a doubt a must do while in Athens. The tour was filled with intersting facts about ancient greek history, perfectly explained by our amazing tour guide Dorina.I highly recomend it if you want to really enjoy visiting the Acropolis and understanding what those ancient stones trully mean.
David D | July 21 | Private Acropolis Tour
Stories and history of the Acropolis ...She had many stories and a lot of knowledge about the Acropolis and the different significant sites leading up to it. She was friendly and concerned for everyone's safety, and was happy to answer any and all questions.
skilove M | July 21 | Acropolis Tour
Highlight of our time in Athens! - this tour was the highlight of our time in Athens. We enjoyed getting to go off the beaten path to see where regular Athenians like to hang out and Sophia gave us a good sense of day-to-day life. The neighborhoods we visited were vibrant and fascinating.
Jessica J | July 21 | Athens Street Culture & Food Tour
Perfect tour in every way! This was a perfect tour! Our enthusiastic guide, Sissy, knew all about the archaeology and history! She connected Greek mythology with our modern time, and helped us appreciate our shared humanity.
Jhclarkie | July 21 | Acropolis, City Tour & Acropolis Museum
Accommodating, interesting, and fun! ...The difference between doing this site without a guide and with a guide is completely different. Well worth the money. Understood so much more than I would without a guide.
Meredith M | July 21 | Acropolis & Acropolis Museum Tour
Morning Walking Food Tour This is an amazing company. In fact, company is not the right word. They are family right from the start. Alexandra took care of me from the moment I made my first reservation. Due to covid and all the new restrictions, things were up in the air a bit but she was right there making sure I didn’t miss a thing. ...I’m so thankful I booked with Athens Walking Tours. I look forward to my Acropolis tour tomorrow!!
nmlover | May 21 | Athens Food Tour
Premium experience for a premium tour! I had a wonderful time going on this tour with Despina. She has a certain verve and passion when explaining and discussing the historical elements from the sights that made you feel that you have travelled back in time and made the experience feel alive, while at the same time dispelling some of the beliefs I've had for a long time about the Acropolis! There was enough information without it feeling like a boring history lesson, and I appreciated the balance.
Shahab A | May 21 | Acropolis Premium Tour
History comes alive "Our wonderful and knowledgeable guide, Despina, taught us so much!! Due to Covid we had a unique experience to see and learn In an environment free of crowds. I would totally recommend this tour without hesitation. The Massey family"
Toni T | Sep 20 | Acropolis & City Tour
Awesome tour Very knowledgeable and thorough. Would rate as one if the BEST tours we’ve experienced! Brought history to life!
Brigid Z | Oct 19 | Acropolis Tour
Great Tour! This was an awesome tour! Our guide, Georgia, was excellent! She was energetic, informative, and excited to pass on all the history and traditions of Greek food as well as city of Athens. We saw parts of the city we would not have seen on our own. We highly recommend this tour.
KKPorter | Oct 19 | Athens Food Tour
Highly recommend food tour! I highly recommend the food tour of Athens with Athens Walking Tours. Our guide, Rena, was so sweet and fun. We learned a lot and she showed us so many amazing places we never would have discovered otherwise! She was really accommodating and we had the best time!
ddehaven06 | Dec 19 | Athens Food Tour
Terrific Experience Our guide was terrific. He was an archaeologist and was able to explain what was found, what the places represented and what the reconstructions that were taking place would look like. Very well worth the experience.
ryegrad | Oct 19 | Acropolis Tour