If you travel and exercise, you know how important it is to stay committed to the process even when, on holiday or short trip. Thinking of where to go, why not try Athens?
You could arrange your stay with these great tips based on how long you plan to stay and how much you intend to spend.
First of all, getting to Athens by a plane would be most effective and might be also extremely cheap depending on where you take off from. If you check Ryanair, you could find a nice deals, for example, if you go from Sofia or Bucharest (capital of Bulgaria and Romania), you can get back and there for 30 Euros in total or even for 40 to 50 from more distant places like Bratislava (Slovakia) or Billund (Denmark).
Not to forget, if you look for a stable job or just for few months with relocation pack in Greece, check for free positions either on Toplanguagejobs or Teleperformance. The cash is good but mostly the experience and career growth opportunities, not mentioning, you are at sea and have access to many islands from there.
Once you are there, you need to find out where to train and where to shop but prior to this choose where to stay for location matters for your quality of life and safety. Athens are safe in general, be watchful in metro and other public places where there are many people (possibility of getting robbed). I would avoid Omonia and Victoria during night time to save you a trouble not that it is a big trouble, you need to see on your own and decide yourself.
Try to stay in Kallithea part of the city for there is safe, quiet but not far from the main attractions (Acropolis, Monastiraki). It is only few stops by metro or bus to get to city center or Piraeus (city next to Athens, known for football and its port) where there is major port in Greece and access to many places.
The great thing about Greece from bodybuilder point of view is definitely “quality of the food and their availability.” If you do street workout, would be also astonished by number of opportunities everywhere. My passion for street workout grew tremendously there which made me set new goals while feta cheese replaced brie in my daily-made salad.
You cannot argue about freshness of the food once you get there. When I was in Denmark, used to buy bio products where you could notice the difference compared to conventional one. In Greece, you did not bother buying with “bio label” you could even see that food looks, smells and tastes better.
There are plenty options where to obtain your precious nutrients, you could go for open markets, small stores even Lidl. To me, the most effective, quality and affordable were “Sklavenitis.” You get there anything that must be on your plate and there are widely spread out across the whole country which makes even accessibility more luring plus it often has cheaper deals than Lidl which is somewhat surprising (If you open your bank account with Piraeus bank you earn points which could be used there, they also take Eden red card unlike other supermarkets).
One thing to keep on mind, on Sundays pretty much everything gets closed down, therefore it is great to get your food all stored up before Sunday, otherwise you need to rely on “kiosks.” The kiosks are rather quite expensive and most likely get some nuts, spring water some protein bars – no veggies and nutrients rich meals. It is good though, you always have that option you are more likely to consume more water for you will not see much of rain, especially from June to September.
In Lidl, I bought peanuts for it was 50 cents cheaper than in Sklavenitis, otherwise the shopping was solely done in Sklavenitis and food expenditures mounted to 150 Euro a month which is alright. Just acquiring a green stuffs (kale), veggies and feta for salad, banana and watermelon. During hot months, you could try “Tuborg.” It is very refreshing soda when cooled down in fridge with great taste and low calories (half of banana in whole can) – no sweet taste on teeth like Cola and other sweet drinks.
As a cheat meal you could grab a gyros which is very popular and if you try it out, you find out why. Its cheap and serving for extra and quality nutrition that are needed to fill glycogen storage in muscles. They also make filled potatoes full of potassium for muscle regeneration that could be found in Exarchia district.
I would also experience some nice fish with octopus where all in all, its 12 euros if you go to “BreadFactory.” You can also choose one out of it and pay 6 euro but was very hungry 😀 It is close to Kallithea – one metro station 🙂
If you choose peanut butter over roasted peanuts, your expenditures get significantly increased. You could combine both or get mandels or walnuts in open markets for 6 euro per half kilo which is twice or three times as much as half kilo of roasted peanuts but still less than a good peanut butter which was hard to find in Athens.
The peanut butter you could get at “the protein house” – no added salt, sugars nor palm oil. Sometimes they have 1 kg for 12 euro but mostly their own, one 1kg for 12 euro as well. If you work or decide to work for Teleperformance, you get 20% discount. On top of that, the shop is situated in Kallithea close to metro station and 2 minutes from gym that you either going to hate or love.
If you need some supps you can get it in The protein house, they also cook very clean food there 🙂 Otherwise, you might be just fine with good vitamins and fish oil for everyday use purchased in pharmacies.
So, there is a big chain called “Yavafitness.” they have the best deals like 59 euros for 10 months or right now 48 for whole year. Moreover, there are a few of them in whole city and many more all over the country. You have all the machines and barbells/dumbbells required for effective training with a hall where you could train some freestyle or just do your warm up peacefully.
The only problem is crowds of the people going there, however, that could be a motivation to get up early and start your day right. After 10 A.M. I would never go there for you need to keep intensity up. If that is a problem for you, you could save up money and start with calisthenics/street workout. There are empty streets in some parts (also in Kallithea) where there is a lot to do or train in parks.
My favorite parks to train but also many others first choice are definitely Park of Nea Smyrni or Stavros Niarchos. The set up and conditions are relaxing yet providing a great training environment. If you are fan of Herbalife or just want to train or socialize with someone with same passions, then you could meet up there many herbalife representatives.
It was a good experience, totally got carried away with amazing food which is probably why my fat percentage got increased from 8 to 14% 😀 When it is hot and training gets hard, you could get rested in “mymassage,” where for 10 euro you get a whole body massage that lasts up to one hour or go to the mountains. Mt. Olympus (the highest mountain) is just 3 hours by train or Parnitha just one hour ride by bus.
Lastly, If you get bored in Athens you can just take a ferry from nearest port in Piraeus “15 minutes from Kallithea metro station” and visit all of the islands out there and get back for less than 100 euros in total. Cheers!