Lavrio is a small town and a port in the southeastern part of Attica. It has been known since classical antiquity for silver mining, which was one of the main income sources of Athens used to finance the Athenian fleet, which made possible the victory in the naval battle of Salamis that followed the battle of Marathon.
A place with a great history, Lavrio is noted for being filled with monuments that are mentioned by numerous ancient authors. Mining activities in the Lavrio region began before 3000 BCE. The exploitation of the mines continued uninterrupted up through the 6th century BCE, with systematic and intensive exploitation of silver and lead ores. At the start of the 6th century BCE, Athens, using the silver from the ore at Lavrio, minted silver coins, famously known as “Lavrian owls”.
The exploitation of the mines continued until the 2nd century BCE, at which point they were abandoned. Aside from the mines in the region of Lavrio, ancient marble quarries also operated, providing material both for the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion and for the ancient theatre of Thoricus.
Mining activities resumed in 1864 for the extraction of lead, magnesium, cadmium, zinc and silver, and continued to operate until 1992, when the Greek state purchased the miens and turned them over to the Minister of Culture, which in turn declared them a preserved monument. The mines were subsequently handed over to the National Technical University of Athens, which founded the Technological Cultural Park of Lavrio on the site. A section of the modern town has been declared a traditional settlement.
The fish market and the ouzo bars that are located in the surrounding pedestrian streets are all you need before you take the boat to Kea. Sardines, red mullets, octopuses, shrimp, all roam on trays and are ready to land on your table.
In the kitchen of the modern local fish tavern, creative dishes are prepared that retain their Greekness – with live crabs, which are steamed with herbs, and sole, which will be wrapped in a kataifi layers.