The National Park of Schinias – Marathon is one of the most important coastal ecosystems of the Attica region. It lies in the northeast of Attica, approximately 40km from the center of Athens. The National Park constitutes a magnificent landscape of 13.840 acres, which includes also the marine area, and consists of the wetland, the Cynosoura penisnsula, the Drakonera hill, the Aleppo-pine forest, the area of the Makaria spring, the Marathon bay, the Olympic Rowing Center and the area of residences, tourism and recreation.
It is concerned as an important natural resource and it is considered as an attraction pole for thousands of visitors every year who are involved with bird-watching, swimming, water-sports.
The name of the area (Schinias) comes from the amount of Pistaccia lentiscus that are inside the pine-forest.
The area coincides with the field of the Marathon battle that took place the August or September of the 490 b.C among the Greeks (Athenians and Platainians) and the Persians. The Greeks triumphed and this was the first attempt of invasion of the Persians in ancient Greece. In the wetland and in the pine-forest the Persian army camped. Not only is the Trophy of the battle of Marathon nearby the National Park, but also the archaeological place and the Marathon museum. The classic Marathon race is worldwide considered as the most important athletic event. It takes place every year usually in autumn. In the last classic Marathon race 26.000 athletes participated and they ran a race of 42 km from Marathon to the Panathinaikos Stadium.
The classic Marathon race is by far the only sport that participation is of greater value than the victory. The greater opponent of each racer is not the racer next to him but himself.