|Regional unit:||North Athens|
|Population statistics (as of 2001)|
|- Area:||4.332 km2 (2 sq mi)|
|- Density:||1,198 /km2 (3,103 /sq mi)|
|Time zone:||EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)|
|Elevation (center):||330 m (1,083 ft)|
|Postal code:||145 78|
Ekali (Greek: Εκάλη, Latin: Hecale) is an exclusive suburban community of Athens—just about 20 kilometres (12 miles) to the north of the city. Ekali sits between the Athenian plain and the Penteli mountains. The plain is to the west; the forests at the foot of the Penteli mountain range lie to the east. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality of Kifisia, as a municipal unit. It is one of the wealthiest areas in Greece and home to many of the country's most powerful business and shipping families.
Ekali is accessed via an interchange with GR-1/E75 (Athens - Lamia - Thessaloniki) at the 18th km near Varybobi, to the southwest. The Penteli mountains, mostly forested but now increasingly urbanized, lie to the east. The Cephissus River lies to the west.
The main street is Thisseos (Theseus) Avenue, which connects GR-83 with Dionyssou Avenue towards the communities of Dionysos and Rhea, as well as Leoforos Marathonos towards Drosia north of Ekali, and with Kifissia to the south. An automobile rest area is situated to the west in the service road of the superhighway.
Until the 1960s and the 1970s, farmlands covered the western part of Ekali. Urban development accelerated in the 1960s and the 1970s, with the establishment of luxury houses in the till-then mainly forested sections of Ekali. The construction of houses continued unabated in the 1980s and the 1990s, reaching all the way to the foot of the Penteli mountain. Housing construction continues to this day.
The street plan is mainly of mixed triangles and lines that run parallel, not as a grid. The streets lead to squares and circles and one main street connecting with GR-1/E75. In terms of urban planning, there are a couple of children's playgrounds, and a few squares (plateies), including Kennedy Square.
Ekali is a purely residential area, which means that retail, commercial shops and professional businesses are not permitted within the community. Despite that, there are three kiosks (newsstands), one taverna restaurant, one hotel and a members-only country club (Ecali Club) operating within the community's perimeter.
It has a primary school, a secondary school, several churches, one hotel ("LIFE GALLERY"), a monastery, and a privately owned water well, providing independent water supply to the residents of the suburban community.
Former Socialist Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou lived in Ekali in his final years and the Greek media often used "Ekali" in the same way the British media use "Downing Street" or the American media use "the White House".
The posh suburb of Ekali, although not the most expensive in Greece is wellknown all over Greece, mainly as the place where some of the richest Greeks reside. Notable is that there are only very few places all over the world, such as certain areas of Manhattan, Zürich and Monaco, with an equally high, or higher cost of land per square meter.
Most of the Greek ship (like Oikonomou) and oil tycoons (like Vardinogiannis, Latsis or Mamidakis), as well as some members of the Hellenic Parliament reside in Ekali, or the surrounding suburbs.
Sites of interest
- Yiannis Spyropoulos Museum
- De Facto Population of Greece Population and Housing Census of March 18th, 2001 (PDF 793 KB). National Statistical Service of Greece. 2003.
- Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
- Official Website of Ekali (Greek)