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Review: Orizontes Lycabettus, Athens, Greece

Legend has it that Lycabettus Hill, the highest point in Athens, exists because the goddess Athena was startled by bad news given to her when carrying a limestone mountain from the Pallene peninsula to help with the construction of the Acropolis.

At the top of this hill, in the Kolonaki neighbourhood of the city, there’s a restaurant offering fabulous views of the region – Orizontes Lycabettus.

It is open for lunch and dinner, with advance booking recommended, particularly in peak season. At just 277 metres high, it is not so far to walk but, with temperatures around 36ยฐC/97ยฐF, we opted instead to take the funicular up and to walk off our lunch down the hill afterwards. The funicular takes you to just a stone’s throw from the restaurant. There is also a bar, a small square and viewing area, and the stunning whitewashed Greek Orthodox Chapel of St. George.

The food

The Mediterranean-inspired menu at Orizontes Lycabettus is expansive and offers top quality produce and flavours from all over Greece. Our starters included the perfectly-cooked grilled shrimps, which were butterflied, and served with a mixed seasonal salad and herbs, drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil.

The stir-fried mushrooms with goat’s cheese cream sauce and potato chips were exceptionally tasty, with an interesting contrast in textures and flavours.

Although I didn’t taste it myself, the salad of seasonal greens with tomato, orange and spring onions, lighly bound with a white cream cheese was also enjoyed.

Among our mains, the stand-out dish was the lobster with linguine, cooked in a homemade bisque infused with fresh tomato and basil, and bursting with flavour.

The rack of lamb, with a light coating of pistachio from Aegina, served with with a lamb jus, poached pear and potatoes, also looked very tempting.

One of us opted for a salad in lieu of a main – the restaurant’s traditional Greek salad is served with feta from Arcadia (known for its rich agricultural heritage and traditional methods of high quality cheese production), capers and rusks.

The chef

Piraeus-born chef and culinary instructor Michael Zacharis has worked at many restaurants in Greece including in the kitchens of upscale hotels such as Radisson Blu Park Hotel, Athens; Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens and White Rocks Hotel Kefalonia. Most recently he was Head Chef at Mezze Athens (which is also part of the Kastelorizo Group of restaurants to which Orizontes Lycabettus belongs). Inspired by Greek culinary traditions, he also likes to skillfully combine international cuisine from countries such as Spain and Peru.

The ambience

You’ll want to dine on the outdoor terrace if the weather permits and make the most of the fabulous views from Orizontes Lycabettus, although there are plenty of covers available indoors if the weather isn’t favourable. The stunning panoramic views of the city, the Acropolis and the Aegean Sea beyond are a feast for the senses in their own right. This elegant setting is matched with crisp, white linen and exudes a refind and tranquil atmosphere, away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre below. It’s the perfect setting for a romantic dinner or a special occasion.

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The cost

Appetisers and salads are in the region of โ‚ฌ15-โ‚ฌ25. Mains range from โ‚ฌ27 to โ‚ฌ51. Desserts are priced at โ‚ฌ9.50.

The final verdict

The views alone are reason enough to dine at Orizontes Lycabettus. The breathtaking panorama of Athens sprawling beneath, whether in the light of day or under the city lights at night, is not to be missed. Beyond the wonderful vistas, though, there’s also a culinary experience to enjoy here, featuring a Mediterranean-inspired menu that showcases the richness of Greek cuisine. If you’re planning a visit yourself, I’d heartily recommend you try the lobster with linguine – a dish that perfectly captures the essence of the chef’s culinary expertise.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Orizontes Lycabettus. Our trip was sponsored by AEGEAN Airlines.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Telegraph.

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    1. Memorable is exactly the right word. I donโ€™t know that it should be the case but for me itโ€™s often been the location more than the food that has stuck in my mind.

  1. We all love a good story and this hill certainly has a good story or legend or myth behind it. Whatever you want to call it is a great back story.

  2. And of course the great thing about all this food, OK possibly with the exception of the chips, is the Mediterranean theme which countless studies have said is good for our nutrition.

    1. I wouldn’t really call those ‘chips’ – more just a crispy topping on a dish. The Mediterranean diet is certainly widely known to be a healthy one, and with good reason.

  3. Iโ€™m a little bit confused. Does the chapel have anything to do with the bar and the restaurant??

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