Friday, 12 July 2013

Athens Kifisia Scenic Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 4.8 km (3 miles), terrain: one light hill (62 meter gain)

Athens Routes List:
Athens Kifisia Greenspace Run
Athens Kifisia Scenic Loop
Athens Ancient Sights Run

For more running routes, see the Route List

Kifisia, the Beverly Hills of Athens, is a pleasant place to explore. Located in the higher northern suburbs, it's a bit cooler than the main city. Here is a run that gives you a taste of the town: the shady, villa-lined streets, the parks, the shopping streets. This is the perfect morning jog (which is the best time to run in this hot part of the world).

We'll start the run in the same spot as the other Kifisia run: in front of the Metro station.

Turn your back to the station and run diagonally to your right, and cross the street into the park: Kifisia Square.
In Kifisia Square, heading east
Run eastwards through this beautiful square, past the little fountain and out the eastern exit, at the next bus stop and busy Kifisia Avenue.

Cross the street diagonally to the right and continue eastwards along Kassaveti Street, with its shops and bistros, and lots of people and cars till late at night.
Along Kassaveti Street: the restaurants are full into the early morning hours
Run for a few blocks along Kassaveti, as the shops give way to villas and the street becomes refreshingly quiet.

Turn left onto the quiet side-street, Kiprou, going north.

Kiprou ends by running into Koloktroni, where you turn right, running past more mixture of shops and villas. The street forms a curve to the left. It then makes a sudden right-turn at Kafalari Park, a nice green oasis of trimmed hedges, ponds and lawns.
Kefalari Park
After you cross Tricoupi Street, the street name changes to Filadelfeos, but you just keep heading east along this quiet street lined by nice homes.
Along Filadelfeos Street
After a few blocks, the street starts heading uphill. Notice when you cross Pefkon Street, because we want to turn at the next street, but it's missing the street sign.

This unmarked street is Apollonos, and you are now running south.
Apollonos Street ends here: follow that dirt path across the grove!
In three blocks, the street ends when you come to a big unbuilt piece of land in front of you, the Kafalari Grove. There are a few Greek signs standing there, warning you about something or other: I don't know if they are "Keep Out" signs or whether they just forbid motor vehicles. But all the locals go in there, walking their dogs, going for walks and whatever. so I assume that there is no problem. What the heck, if anyone says anything, play the dumb tourist.
Kafalari grove with view to the east
There are no official trails in the grove, just a lot of paths that people have trampled through the rolling grass and trees. We just want to cross it here at this narrow spot, and continue running south.

So just run straight along the dirt path, pass the beehives that someone keeps there surreptitiously, and follow the path as it curves to the left and heads east for just 100 meters before it runs into another path. Turn right here and then keep running south, taking the right-hand branch when the trail branches.
Take the right-hand trail to exit the grove!
You will be able to see the houses lining the south side of the grove. Just run there and then turn right to run west on Rodou Street, directly next to the grove.

Now you take Rodou most of the way back. Just keep running westwards after the street narrows into a one-lane street and ends at the cross-street called Naxou.
Narrow section of Rodou
Turn right on Naxou and run one block north to the next intersection, Alonion Street.

Here, you turn left to keep heading west, but this is a fairly busy street, so let's turn right at the first street, Georganta, to run one block north back to Kassaveti.

Now you just turn left and head back to the Metro station by following the first part of the run: Kassaveti, then through Kifisia Square to the station.

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