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.
Our tour guide was excellent - knowledgeable, funny and patient. When you see the Acropolis from the ground you think you can’t climb that much, but our guide paced our group perfectly
Matthew_S | Sep 23 | Athens Acropolis & Parthenon
We went on this tour today and had the BEST time. Our guide Giota was incredible, so knowledgable and passionate and honestly made the tour for us. She answered all of our questions, went at a comfortable pace in the heat and made a 6 hour walk feel like nothing. Thank you so much Giota! Highly recommend this tour if you don’t have long in Athens - you will see and learn so much in such a short space of time!
Katie Comber | Sep 23 | City, Acropolis & Acropolis Museum
Excellent, the perfect mix of casual and structured morning. Loved learning the history from Theodora.
Samantha | Sep 23 | Athens Highlights & Acropolis
Our tour guide name was Charoula, she was fantastic, extremely knowledgeable and friendly. We did a tour of the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. Really enjoyed the tour and would highly recommend!
Nikola Romer | Oct 23 | Acropolis & Acropolis Museum
Margarita was the best tour guide we could have gotten!Knowledgeable, passionate, and natural teacher.Learned a lot because of her!
Katie | Oct 23 | Acropolis of Athens Tour
Excellent tour. Apollos was a true expert and great story teller. Everything we saw was made so much more meaningful and entertaining. Highly recommend.
Steve | Oct 23 | City Tour & Acropolis Museum
Nicholas was amazing! With his guidance we prepared a 7 course meal! He was hands on and very engaging. The best part was dining outside with a view of the Acropolis. Wow!
Lonnie | Sep 23 | Athens Cooking Lesson
Easy to book, excellent instructions pre tour. Lots of thunderstorms before we were due to leave but the company returned my very early email promptly which was comforting. Tour was amazing. No crowds this early. Guide Niobe was informative, passionate and entertaining.
Karen | Sep 23 | First Access Acropolis Tour
The guide, Antonis, was very good. He was patient and answered all questions well and courteously. He understood the situation.
Alphonse | Oct 23 | Athens: Acropolis Tour
Theodora was an outstanding guide - her knowledge of archeology, history and modern day Athens is truly remarkable. It made our trip to the Acropolis and the Acropolis museum so much more valuable and worthwhile than had we have done it alone. We thoroughly enjoyed our private tour with her!
Daniel | July 23 | Private Tour: Acropolis & Acropolis Museum
Eva was a fantastic guide and shared so much history along the way. More than a food tour, excellent value!
Marla D | Aug 23 | Athens Food Tour
Nikki and Stella were excellent, knowledgeable and personable instructors. The conveyed their love for their food and culture. The venue was beautiful and the food was delicious. Nice group setting- I enjoyed meeting the other participants.
Melissa | Sep 23 | Athens Cooking Lesson
Great tour, wonderful guide! I recommend going early and getting a rare quiet glimpse at this historic site!
Kate | Oct 23 | Early Morning Acropolis & Parthenon
Loved this tour! Not only did you not have to stand in the long lines for tickets and ques, you got an amazing guide through the Acropolis. She was amazing. She had a notebook, showing you how the ruins look in the past, which really brought it to life. Highly recommend as we were able to guarantee our tour time before our cruise that afternoon. Definitely recommend a morning tour as it does get very busy and hot.
Kathy_H | Oct 23 | Acropolis & Parthenon
Exactly the type of tour for a great overview of the acropolis and museum.Fantastic, informative, so cool to see and learn about ancient history. Meet up spot was simple and tour guide was very good.
John O | Oct 23 | Acropolis & Acropolis Museum