Dionysos is a residential suburb and a municipality in northeastern Attica, Greece — just about 23 km northeast of Athens. The seat of the municipality is the town Agios Stefanos.Dionysos is almost purely residential, but there are a few shops.
Dionysos (4) Coordinates: 38°6′N 23°52′E
The area sits in the northwestern part of the Penteli mountains and its forests that are dominating the south. Another series of mountains and forests lie to the north. Much of the municipality is forested. The residential area covers the western part of the municipality. Dionysos is passed by a road linking to the mountains and to Nea Makri. Dionysos is accessed with an interchange with GR-1/E75 (Athens – Lamia – Thessaloniki) at the 19th km 8 km NE and at the 21st km near Varympompi 8 km SE and Theseos Avenue to the west.
Even though the town is located only 20 kilometres away from central Athens, it has a completely different climate, with weather being significantly cooler, including frequent snowfall during the winter.
The name of this small town on the north-east slopes of Mount Pendeli dates back to time immemorial, because this was the first demos (town) in ancient Attica (the province of which Athens is the major city) to welcome the young god Dionysos, ancient Greek god of vegetation, wine, and theatre.
The local myth is told by several ancient writers: Athenaios, Hyginos, Apollodoros, and Nonnos. In this green valley thousands of years ago, the local leader Icarius of Athens and his lovely daughter Erigone welcomed a young stranger into their home, offering him fresh goat’s milk as well as food and shelter. Moved by their warm hospitality, the stranger revealed to them that he was actually a god, Dionysos, son of Zeus (king of the gods) and Semele (a princess of Thebes). In order to thank them, Dionysos gave Ikarios the first grape vine and taught him the art of wine making. (Further reading…)
The archaeological site, to the left of Odos Bomou Dionysou heading towards Rapendosa in Dionysos, was the town center (εδρα) of ancient Ikarion and has many interesting features even today. To begin with, this spot was always associated with the name Dionysos and never lost its sacred nature. When worship of the ancient god ceased, a small Byzantine Christian church was built in the sanctuary and, as far as is known, it was dedicated to Saint Dionysios. It was rebuilt in the Middle Ages, but when Greece became a free nation once again (1821), it was already a ruin, destroyed during the Turkish occupation (1456-1821). (Further reading…)
The Dionysos Festival
Dionysos hosts an annual open summer festival usually every July, featuring art exhibitions, theatrical performances, musical shows, sculpture painting and other arts.
Dionysos is connected to Kifisia by the 536 Dionysos-Kifisia bus service. The service runs approximately every 40 minutes, last one around midnight.