5 Reasons To Visit The Ellinikon When It Opens In Greece

As part of one of the most ambitious real estate projects in Greece, The Ellinikon is a smart city on the site of the old Athens Hellinikon Airport. Complete with its original runway (now part of a larger park), former hangars (now exhibition centers for interested investors and tourists) and the original Eero Saarinen-designed terminal building, the tourism destination represents an $8 billion impact on the Greek economy.

It is helping to attract a lot of Greek-Americans and other expats from around the world to the Mediterranean looking to invest in top real estate. When complete, the project will also become the greenest urban regeneration project in Europe. Whether you buy a home or just visit for fun, here are five reasons to visit The Ellinikon when it opens in Greece later this year.

The hotels

While this is not part of the first phase of the project, eventually there will be luxury hotels as part of the real estate development. This includes Mandarin Oriental, which will have stunning residences overlooking the water, and a Hard Rock Hotel, which will have nearly 1,000 rooms to its name as well as an enormous conference center that will help bring groups to the development as well as the country.

As the project grows, there may be other hotels added to the project. The Ellinikon is perfectly situated on what many refer to as the Athenian Riviera, a stretch of coastline famous for it beach clubs, nightlife, restaurants and café scene.

It is a short drive via Uber or bus to the center of Athens, but also enjoys its own exclusivity as an area to see and be seen on the shoreline or in some of the finest hotels of the area. Eventually, the city’s tram line will extend to the development and put residents or guests within close reach of downtown Athens (meaning they won’t even need a car). A metro line already reaches the development, which can take people into town and even the new international airport.

The sustainability

As a green city, everything here is meant to be self-sustaining and using minimal energy. The idea of a 15-minute city concept, which is what the development calls it, is that everything is no more than 15 minutes away from all parts of the project. This includes the beach, the new sports park with soccer fields, the hotels and residential buildings complete with retail and shopping beneath them.

Special software will help each building, and the development as a whole, to monitor the energy and water use and any waste impact (grey water will be used as irrigation, for example). Riviera Tower has already earned its LEED Gold certification, and it has not even completed construction. Its biophiolic exterior will help it to reduce energy use, one of the reasons it was able to be pre-certified with that eco-focused honor.

The Ellinikon’s parks will have more than 31,000 trees, developers hope the project will be carbon-neutral within the next four decades.

The aviation theme

If you love the world of aviation, this is the investment project for you. Many of its original buildings like the main terminal and hangars are historically protected by the government. They will be integrated into the overall living space and design of the entire development.

For now, one of the original hangars is being used as an experience center where visitors can explore various features of the new development and how it will help develop the Athenian Riviera as a whole.

Credit: G. Najberg/Planespotters.net

One of the most exciting features is the old Boeing 747 from Olympic Airways that is on display by the former terminal building. While there has been no formal decision yet on what it will become, it may be a bar or restaurant that aviation geeks can add to their bucket list.

The original Eero Saarinen-designed terminal building will be revamped to become exhibition space with a front-row seat to the parks that were once runway and taxiway areas as well as the Olympic plane sitting next to it.

The residences

The tallest skyscraper in Greece will be based here. Riviera Tower is already under construction and sold out for its eye-popping views of the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding landscape. For those that could not get into Riviera Tower, there are plenty of other options. For example, “Little Athens,” a series of buildings, each with their own swimming, parking and retail facilities.

When the development is complete, it will have nearly 8,000 residences. All will be within easy access to public transportation, beaches, parks and the city center.

The location

Dubbed a “15-minute city,” The Ellinikon is the kind of place where nothing is too far and everyone feels connected. It will have everything from residential and retail projects to hotels, resorts and office buildings. All of it will follow a sustainability mindset. This helps to create the city of the future the likes that the Mediterranean region has never seen.

It is between the center of Athens and the popular resort area of Vouliagmeni. This is where many famous hotels and resorts are located. This includes The Margi, part of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (soon to cement a partnership with Hilton Honors), and Four Seasons Astir Palace. Numerous beach clubs dot the shoreline with restaurants, shops and public beach areas scattered between them. All of this will be easily reachable from The Ellinikon.

Another major feature of the project is its eventual connectivity to the city’s tram line. This puts tourists within close proximity to the city’s best shopping, dining and museum scene. Locals can also easily access all of the venues at The Ellinikon.

And locals will want to visit, too. This will have the tallest skyscraper in Greece (Riviera Tower). It also will have one of the largest shopping malls and Europe’s largest park on a coastline. It is similar in size to Hyde Park and doubles the green space that Athens currently has today. There will also be cultural sites, like churches and the historic hangars, all government-protected. They will become part of a public tour experience.

The new Athens airport is about 30 minutes away by highway. The old airport had a lot of history and fond memories for locals. But, the new airport gave Athens the international connectivity it deserves. And a project like The Ellinikon complements it perfectly.