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The Best Food Spots on the Island of Hydra

Hydra has minimal natural resources and thus, historically, all edible products (and not only) typically come from the neighbouring Peloponnese. The locals engaged in fishing and commerce, and their extensive maritime culture led to the creation of the legendary Hydriot war fleet that greatly contributed to the revolution of 1821.


Today, the island’s traditional cuisine is characterised by fish and seafood – a distinctive dish is red mullets on toast – wine-braised octopus, stuffed squid, cuttlefish with pilaf using their ink, and fish soup. Additionally, ‘gogges’, short handmade pasta of the Arvanitiko cuisine, hortopita pie with greens, and snail stew are commonly served.

On the local meat menu, the most popular dishes are the arnaki kapamas (lamb with cinnamon and cloves), or roast lamb with beef with quinces (during winter). The Hydriot almond sweets with flower water, in the shape of a small pear, are well known. Lesser known but still popular are the Lalaggites (fried dough), which are served with honey and, in the old days, grape molasses.


On the island, only a minimal number of vineyards are cultivated, and winemaking is carried out only on an amateur level for self-consumption.

Top Restaurants in Hydra

Téchne Restaurant & Social

An interesting menu featuring inventively delicious dishes that fall within the Greek-Mediterranean cuisine line. A designed and aesthetically pleasing environment, an idyllic seaside location, enchanting sunset views.

Address: Avlaki beach, on the road to Kamini, Phone: +30 2298052500, Website:


An all-day bar restaurant in a lush courtyard with beautiful decor. It operates from breakfast time until evening, serving Greek and Mediterranean dishes as well as several vegan options.

Address: Miaouli, Phone: +30 2298 054039, Website:

Omilos (Yacht Club)

Situated where Babis More’s “Lagouderia” used to be, a historical cosmopolitan spot between the ’60s and ’80s, the restaurant serves a carefully curated menu with gourmet tones and a wonderful sea view.

Address: On the road to Spilia, Phone: +30 2298053800, Website:

Oraia Hydra

Greek cuisine with a refreshing disposition such as savoury fish with vegetable briam (a type of ratatouille) as well as Mediterranean recipes like puttanesca-style tuna with sea samphire. The menu is enriched by succulent raw seafood, with dishes like red mullet ceviche. A well-curated wine menu.

Address: Hydra Harbour, Phone: +30 2298052556, Website:

Douskos Xeri Elia

A historic tavern just above the harbour that has linked its name with Leonard Cohen, having given its name to one of his (unpublished) songs. You will try home-cooked meals, the meat dish of the day, fresh fish and seafood, seated on the shady veranda under a mulberry tree.

Address: Hydra Harbour, Phone: +30 2298052886, Website:


A classic, renowned tavern with super fresh fish as its forte, but also home-cooked meals, the meat of the day and plenty of pasta dishes. A few years ago, it changed location and is now situated on a balcony with a wonderful sea view.

Address: Hydra Chora, Phone: +30 2298052573, Website:

Read also:

24 hours on Hydra, the Charm of Greece’s Saronic Gulf

Hydra, Spetses, Poros: Island winter getaways close to the capital

The best memories of Hydra are the parties on roof terraces

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Entertainment, fun, and knowledge in two unique stops at Golden Hall

In the new wing of Golden Hall, accessed from the first floor of the shopping centre, you can find a world dedicated to edutainment, or, in other words, knowledge combined with fun. The Athens Olympic Museum and the XPLORE Entertainment Center constitute two unique areas of amusement and discovery of knowledge for both young and old!


Our first stop is the permanent exhibition of the Athens Olympic Museum. A linear journey through time transports us from mythology to the birth of the Games, through the historical years and into the modern era. Through this, we trace the path of the Olympic Games from their zenith in antiquity, their abolition, their subsequent revival in the modern era, and their evolution into the global event that enthrals us all. From the pursuit of our loftiest goals to the simplest moments of our daily lives, the philosophy and values of the Olympics are what give us hope for a better world, and it is why a visit to this learning space can prove to be of paramount importance for both children and adults.

During their visit, children and parents can engage with the ‘Agon, Family’ activity and participate in experiential activities like a footrace where young visitors, imitating ancient athletes, compete in a miniature version of the classical stadium in Olympia, while orders are given by games officials, music is played and cheers from the crowd are heard.

One of the museum’s unique exhibits is the interactive touch-wall map that catapults you back in time to witness the historic eras and the expansion of the Games across the ancient Greek world. An award-winning exhibit, this wall transforms from an atlas into a screen for animated stories, enhancing our knowledge of the history of the Olympic Games.

A particularly fascinating part of the exhibition are the halls dedicated to the revival of the Olympic Games and their triumphant return to Greece in 1896, and again in 2004. Witness the journey towards revival in the nascent Greek state of the 19th century, and Europe’s rekindled interest in ancient Greek heritage, the Olympic values of noble competition, and the reorganization of sporting and artistic tournaments. In this context, the French author and educator Pierre de Coubertin, along with the Greek scholar Demetrius Vikelas, sparked discussions about reviving the Olympic Games as a global event. In 1896 the first Modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, returning to their homeland a century later for the golden Olympiad in 2004.

Among the exhibits that chronicle the history of the Games are the kotinos, the wreath made of olive leaves, the ancient prize also awarded at the Athens 2004 Games, a collection of Olympic torches through the years, medals, and personal items of Greek Olympic and Paralympic champions. These will not only elicit admiration for the athletes’ achievements but also hopefully inspire future athletes and Olympians.

The Olympic Museum of Athens offers its latest initiative, the inclusive audio tour ‘Listen to Our Story’. This unique experience allows all visitors, including those living with visual impairments, to explore the spaces of the Olympic Museum. Through 30 audio and 8 tactile stations, everyone has the opportunity to touch, hear, and above all, feel some of the most distinctive exhibits hosted in the museum.

The activities ‘Agon, Family’ and ‘Listen to Our Story’ form part of the ‘Agon, an Olympic Legacy’ program of the Olympic Museum of Athens, exclusively sponsored by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

If you want to visit the museum, you can purchase family and individual tickets at affordable prices. Better yet, book tickets online and enjoy a 10% discount. The museum operates under the auspices of the Greek and International Olympic Committees and is a member of the International Network of Olympic Museums.

For more information, visit or call 210 688 5560.

In the new space of Golden Hall, we also find XPLORE, a prototype space for entertainment and education. It is a world teeming with interactive games and exhibits, models, and creative activities. Divided into three zones – Science, Adventure, and the Ocean, each focusing on different aspects of science, education, and nature tailored to your children’s ages and your personal preferences.

The thematic zones of Science & Adventure are recommended for children aged 4 to 12 years, while the Oceans aquarium, unique in Athens, is open to all visitors, regardless of age.

Dive into the captivating world of XPLORE Science, where the thrill of discovery has never been more fun! Here, children and adults alike interact with the fundamental concepts of physics and mechanics through innovative, interactive exhibits – all designed with the perfect blend of enjoyment and learning. Discover how energy, sound, force, and light are produced, learn about air pressure, the power of water, and the basic functions of the human body.

Enter a fascinating thematic zone where, through the STEM educational method, children learn how science contributes to our lives. They apply knowledge gained from their physics lessons, develop critical thinking skills to devise their own solutions, and understand the world around them through hands-on experimentation.

Descending one level reveals a 1200 square meter space devoted entirely to adventure and learning, all through imaginative play. At XPLORE Adventure, creativity and free-flowing fun reign supreme. Children test their abilities and enjoy themselves in various real and fantastical environments, focusing on emotional empowerment at both individual and group levels.

Children get the chance to drive on a kart track, becoming ambassadors of safe driving, and later they can discover everything about dinosaurs, become superheroes, present a news bulletin, and even be the next architects of XPLORE’s virtual city!

On the same level as XPLORE, you can find the XPLORE Oceans aquarium – the first of its kind in Athens! Here, you will be given the opportunity to discover the enchanting world of our global seas, inhabited by countless colourful and fascinating creatures. The impressive Athens aquarium awaits you with over 2,000 fish and sea creatures from 140 different species. A total of 19 large tanks host sharks, rays, seahorses, crabs, rare tropical fish, and, of course, the famous clownfish from Disney’s ‘Finding Nemo’.

Through free audio-guided tours available in Greek and English visitors both young and old have the chance to learn all about the unique beauty and importance of the oceans, fostering a greater understanding and respect for this diverse and captivating world. The XPLORE Oceans aquarium is for all ages and for anyone who loves the sea and wants to see the marvelous creatures of the deep up close.

Tip! Tickets are discounted if purchased online, and there are also packages that combine two or even all three zones of XPLORE.

Information: www.x– | Phone: 210 688 5450

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An Unparalleled Dining Experience at Golden Hall

Why? Because every shopping spree deserves a coffee break, and every Saturday family outing calls for a tasty meal with a view. At Golden Hall, the options for a quality meal whether on the go or at a beautifully set restaurant table are plenty.


On the ground floor of the Shopping Center, amidst the impressive shop window displays, you will find numerous choices for a tasty quick snack, a refreshing ice cream maybe, or a soft drink.

From the delicious Tsoureki, puff pastries, and sweets of Terkenlis, inspired by Thessaloniki, to the fantastic ice creams of Kayak and the excellent coffees of Carpo where you can also pick up fine chocolates and dried fruits to take home, to the fantastic sandwiches from Tyrokomio Kostarelos and the deli suggestions of Il Baretto which are satisfying enough to keep you fueled all day, a stop for a drink or a snack on this floor of Golden Hall is a true delight. Equally good for a snack is the Everest Exclusive, this time on the first floor of Golden Hall, where there are delicious pies and excellent pizza straight from the wood oven.

If you crave a doughnut or a slice of authentic American cheesecake, though, Starbucks right across from the main entrance of the Shopping Centre is where you will find fantastic treats, perfect lemonade and juices, and, of course, the coffee that the American chain is famous for.

The food experience continues on the first floor of the Shopping Centre, where comfortable cafés await to enjoy your coffee in a bright and accessible space set against some of the most beautiful and sophisticated shops in Golden Hall. From Flocafe Espresso Room, Cultivos Coffee to Petit Fleur with its French bistro aesthetic, you can take a break here from exploring the shops or simply arrange a meet with friends for a drink and dessert.

At Golden Hall you are in for a complete dining experience as nestled among beautifully arranged tables on the 1st and 2nd floors of the Shopping Centre, an array of international cuisines await.

Yearning for a juicy American style burger? Make your way to the beloved T.G.I. Fridays on the 1st floor. A haven for warm family moments, it is one of Golden Hall’s most child-friendly spots. Located near stores brimming with toys, the XPLORE Entertainment Centre, and the Athens Olympic Museum, it is the perfect place to end a day of shopping, exploration and play, topped off with delectable food.

For a more tranquil setting, venture away from the busy stores and take the escalator or lift up to the 2nd floor of Golden Hall where you will find a world of choice from Asian, Italian, Mediterranean dishes, and, of course, Greek cuisine – whatever you select satisfaction is on the menu.

At Wagamama where you can enjoy delightful noodles, sushi, and some of the most renowned dishes that have journeyed from the far reaches of Asia to find a special place in our gastronomic hearts.

At Pastis Brasserie, with its intricate décor and inviting ambiance, you will be treated to a unique dining experience where you can savour dishes inspired by Mediterranean cuisine and influenced by French gastronomy.

Across the way, authentic dishes from La Pasteria transport you to neighboring Italy. However, if you prefer homely and familiar flavours, give De Meat Boys a try – expect well-cooked skewers, crispy fried potatoes, and freshly cut salads, while at Petite Fleur indulge in delicious cakes in glamorous vintage surroundings.

No matter what you like and no matter what time you visit Golden Hall great tastes are always here.

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A Shopping Experience that Truly Has It All at Golden Hall

From the latest fashion and beauty trends gracing the world’s most prestigious catwalks, to unique home decor items, shopping at Golden Hall is a gratifying journey that brings joy to both young and seasoned visitors.


Golden Hall, located in Marousi, houses 147 stores centred around high quality, catering to every aspect of contemporary women’s, men’s, and children’s fashion.

From popular designers’ airy spring jackets and dresses for every occasion, to stunning high-heeled sandals and ultra-chic flats, to casual looks based on timeless pieces and comfortable athletic wear from famous brands that make even the simplest everyday outfits stand out.

Many of the world’s most significant clothing and accessory brands are gathered here, across the floors of Golden Hall: Jacquemus, Saint Laurent, Prada, Jimmy Choo, Paris Texas (inside Kalogirou), Acne Studios, Moncler, Zadig & Voltaire, Ganni, Farm Rio, Marni, JW Anderson, Self Portrait (inside the attica department store), Elisabetta Franchi, and Alberta Feretti. (Eponymo)

A stroll through luxury clothing stores gives your spirits a potent boost. The elegant, high-fashion garments that embrace your silhouette represent the best investment and a promise of timeless elegance, so indulge in a shopping experience tailored to your needs and moods.

Alongside the designer labels, you can find well known high street stores offering clothes and accessories for every taste and budget but still prioritising aesthetics and good design – Zara, Stradivarius, Oysho, Calzedonia, and Intimissimi make their presence felt.

Vibrant colours, sustainable fashion choices for an unconventional, inclusive wardrobe that appears to have sprung from the glossy pages of a fashion magazine, appeal to all. Dynamic clothes, with a hint of fun, await your discovery and ownership; consider, for example, the minimal yet simultaneously edgy and exceptionally high-quality clothing from Cos, adding a different dimension to the notion of casual style.

Men’s fashion also takes significant space, with impeccably tailored suits stealing the spotlight in the window displays of Brooks Brothers and the new Hugo Boss store. Smart casual style also holds a key role in men’s wardrobes in 2023 with items that can be cleverly combined to create an unparalleled look.

Oversized blazers, square shoulders, utility jackets, and overshirts in Zegna’s fresh, contemporary hues pair beautifully with comfortable sneakers and are completed with striking accessories such as elegant wristwatches.

An essential part of your shopping journey includes a pair of timeless Nike sneakers, or an updated pair from Vans with modern touches. Also, the coolest and most comfortable tracksuits for leisurely weekend mornings or relaxed afternoons at home must be mentioned.

Alongside fashion, the world of technology has its home in Golden Hall with stores making our interaction with the latest gadgets out there a pleasure.

At iStorm, you can purchase your new mobile phone, maybe the iPhone 14 Pro Max, or that must-have pair of earbuds or iPods you have been dreaming of for so long, and they will also resolve any queries you might have when purchasing a premium gadget. At Public, you will discover the perfect case to protect your mobile phone, find out everything you need to know about the laptop or tablet you want to give as a gift, and marvel at the most up-to-date tech accessories you can imagine.

Of course, there is also a vast variety of books for both children and adults, and many games that will steal the hearts of younger visitors.

Step into the world of beauty that unfolds within the shops of Sephora, LUSH, as well as outlets in the ‘attica department store’. It’s a place filled with fragrances that emanate sophistication and luxury. Popular face and body skincare products, “bath bombs,” opulent soaps and shampoos, vibrant lipsticks, high-quality foundations, captivating eye liners and enticing blushes – unique additions that will equip your makeup bag and make your appearances even more alluring, leaving you brimming with confidence. And if your makeup bag is already full, the beauty shops in Golden Hall have every gift imaginable, perfect for those special people in you life.

Jewellery, shoes, bags, belts, diaries, and wallets come in all colours to complement the palette of shopping choices at Golden Hall and provide the ultimate gift choices for people you love.

Also included is an elegant and truly aesthetically pleasing world of high design for your home, which takes centre stage in stores such as Zara Home, Parousiasi,, Nef Nef, and the Kapopoulos Fine Arts gallery.

There are minimalist interior designs but also furniture so attractive and impressive that it catches the eye of all who pass by the window displays, amazing indoor candles that smell clean and wholesome, and wonderful works of art that will make your home unique.

Shopping at Golden Hall is an exciting and inclusive experience for everyone.

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Scaros, ‘Sparisoma Cretense’ aka Parrot Fish: The Epitome of Greek Summer

Long ago, legend tells us, the scaros ‘Parrot’ fish wasn’t merely a fish but a prince. This regal being still reigns today in the Libyan and Southern Aegean Seas, as well as the Cretan and Carpathian waters, specifically in the area known as ‘The Lyre’s Bow’. This region, home to Crete, Kasos, Karpathos, and Halki, traces the journey of the ancient Minoans towards the East.


As a harbinger of summer, the scaros fish animates the coastline of the islands. Its arrival marks the dynamic convergence of land and sea, stirring a plethora of phenomena and emotions.
Islanders gave the fish various names based on their primary colors — red, white, brown — and even their distinct hues. The greenish variant, which dwells in burrows, is known as “Thalamitis.” They call it “Melitzanis” when it leans towards purple or “Pharmakitis” in simpler terms.

From subsistence fare to Roman feasts

The scaros is a paradox: aristocratic yet humble. Once a coveted dish at lavish Roman banquets, it also found its place in the simplest kitchens born of necessity. Each spring, scaros return to the Southern Aegean from the shores of Africa, where they spend the winter. Their return signifies the seaside season of plenty, allowing foragers to gather bounties from both land and sea. The scaros, a relatively large fish, is easily caught from the shore, requiring only minimal gear — a long rod, a fishing line, a lead weight, and a hook. Even the most novice fisherman could select promising fishing spots and bait their line with crab or the readily available limpet.

As the fresh catch of thousands of nets returns to the island, it becomes clear that modern-day rod fishing pales in comparison to the historical abundance of scaros. Today, diners in restaurants see grilled scaros served before them, signifying nothing more than the start of a delicious meal. However, for the islanders of yore, it was an initiation into the mysteries of island life.

This initiation required young islanders to prepare their rods, catch crabs at night to use as bait, and locate the shoals of scaros fish at dawn. This was the maiden voyage into the world of serious fishing. Even for those not versed in these deep island rituals, the unique taste of scaros fish alone can transport one into its mythology and the rich landscapes of the Southern Aegean.

Scarus entrails: Interesting and delicious

When cooked in its simplest form, the scaros fish might evoke the kind of meal served to King Minos. How else could it have inspired craftsmen to depict it in their exquisite works of art? Even in this elementary form, parrotfish carries a magnificent secret in its entrails. To the surprise of many tourists, locals may ask if they want the scaros fish innards included in their dish.

Why? Because, in the Southern Aegean, these entrails are considered an exquisite meze, thanks to the spicy flavor of its liver. The entrails of the scaros fish caught at dawn, before they had a chance to feed, are clean. With a delicate cut under the left wing, they remove only the gallbladder before grilling the fish without scraping its scales. They serve this meal as a savoro or with a little vinegar and rosemary. Scales, bones, and offcuts are left to dry under the sun, later to be ground and used to feed chickens or as fertilizer. Nothing is wasted. The best fishermen claim to know how to slice the fish with a single cut, ensuring that every part of this sacred fish is used.

Culinary adaptability: Dishes from near and far

The culinary range of the parrotfish goes beyond simple grilling. ” Scaros fish with Okra,” also known as “Papa Yachni,” is a classic Southern Aegean dish, while ” scaros fish Plaki” with tomatoes, onions, and parsley is another popular preparation. Some chefs have also been known to include scaros fish in pasta sauce, or sun-dry it for later use. Others make a type of “ceviche,” borrowing inspiration from Latin America. One can find scaros in a diverse range of dishes, with each island bringing its unique touch. However, all remain in agreement about its delectable taste.

A royal fish in modern times

Today, the scaros has become the undeniable poster-child of Southern Aegean cuisine. Its vibrant scales and toothy grin attract tourists, foodies, and lovers of the sea alike. It holds a revered place on the tables of seaside taverns, with its multi-colored hues speaking of the sun, the sea, the smells of seaweed, and the rhythm of the waves.

The scaros fish has traveled from the depths of the sea and the dust of the desert to the bright lights of modern kitchens, where it continues to charm its admirers. Whether grilled whole on an open flame, delicately spiced with okra, or transformed into a delicious pasta sauce, scaros continues to enchant us with its taste and mythology, adding vibrant notes to the culinary symphony of the Southern Aegean.

Read also:

Chalki: 12 hours on the emerald jewel of the Dodecanese

Your Guide to Karpathos

Where to Eat on the Southern Aegean Island of Kasos

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Samos Island: A Journey Through Time and Wine

Lining the steep northeastern shore of a deep bay, beachless Vathi (also known as Vathy and more confusingly as Samos) is the administrative centre and one of the three main ports. Its seafront is a kilometre long with many neoclassical buildings that reflect the former prosperity of the town. Taking over from Chora in 1854 as the island capital, Vathi became an important part of the tobacco trade after the phylloxera disease wiped out vineyards and growers looked for an alternative crop.


Today, it is a sleepy town mostly dedicated to tourism and it a pleasant place to explore the old neighbourhoods and stroll the elegant streets with vibrant colours and overhanging balconies.

Ano Vathi

In the pretty 17th century settlement above the port, wood framed houses with pastel facades and terracotta rooves are huddled together with hanging bay windows in the Venetian style protrude over narrow cobbled streets. Moving up from the coast better to resist pirate attacks, At the highest point is Ai Giannakis, a quadruple domed church and a lovely example of post-byzantine architecture with splendid views over the gulf.

Samos Wine Museum

In a stately stone building that once operated as a winery is a museum dedicated to the internationally acclaimed Muscat wines. Run by the Union of Vinicultural Cooperative, it is the best place to dive into the island’s wine culture. Photographs and tools from the last century of production illustrate the history of wine making on Samos, while tastings are arranged to sample the delicate sweet wines that have bought the island fame for many years. Samos Wine Museum (Tel.: 22730 87510,, €5)

Archaelogical Museum of Vathi

The sculptures and statuary from Samos in ancient times were considered among the finest and the examples displayed in the museum here show why. The new wing holds the impressive Kouros from Heraion, a huge statue of a male youth. Dating from 580 BC, it is an offering to the goddess Hera, and it is the largest freestanding sculpture surviving from ancient Greece. Pieces of the kouros were found in strange locations; its left thigh was part of a wall in a Hellenistic house and only discovered in 1973, while its forearm was a step for a Roman cistern. At nearly 5 metres tall the gallery had to be rebuilt to accommodate it.

The rest of the museum has a pottery collection, a selection of bronze griffin heads which is the symbol of Samos, and the headless Geneleos family statues. There are rare fragments of wooden furniture preserved by Herion’s marshy soil, and a group of tributary gifts from ancient cities all over the empire that affirm the importance of the shrine to Hera.

Read also:

Samos: A noble island with mountains and lovely seas

Flavours of Samos: From Traditional Tavernas to Modern Gourmet Restaurants

Ikaria’s leading food spots

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Shops Not to Miss when on Your Chios Island Holiday

Discover the vibrant shopping scene of Chios, where traditional craftsmanship meets modern innovation. Explore charming boutiques and specialty shops, offering everything from artisanal jewelry and handcrafted wooden items to natural remedies and unique souvenirs. Unearth the essence of Chios through local products such as mastiha resin and citrus delights.



Captures the essence of Chios, Mastihashop, situated in Chios’ bustling port, offers an impressive collection of raw mastiha resin, mastiha products. But not only, they also stock a diverse selection of Greek food, beverages, cosmetics, and gift items making it a great place to find a unique souvenir. During the summer months, the adjacent mastihacafe provides a delightful spot to enjoy a coffee or refreshing beverage watching the islanders going about their business.

Address: Leoforos Aigaiou 36, Chios Town, 821 00 Phone: +30 22710 81600 Website:

Maris Natural Remedies

Maris Natural Remedies, owned by pharmacist and hygienist George Maris, boasts an extensive range of natural herbal remedies, cosmetic products, and fragrant colognes. Drawing on his vast experience in health and wellness, Maris offers personalized recommendations to customers, ensuring they find the perfect remedy for their needs. The welcoming atmosphere and knowledgeable staff make this shop a must-visit while in Chios.

Address: Al. Pachnou 11, Chios Town, 821 00 Phone: +30 22710 22993 Website:

Technotropies by Vasilia

Technotropies by Vasilia is a charming boutique offering a delightful assortment of unique jewelry and accessories crafted with skillful artisan techniques. Inspired by the beauty of Chios, the shop features island-themed designs, such as necklaces with pendants shaped like the island itself. With an eye for detail and a passion for creativity, Vasilia Ververaki’s creations make for an unforgettable Chian souvenir or a special gift for a loved one.

Address: Mitropoliti Ioakeim Stroumpi 7, Thymiana, 82 100 Phone: +30 694 227 0444, +30 22711 03258 Website:

Clio Souvenir

Nestled by the waterfront, Clio Souvenir offers an assortment of essential items for travelers, from fashionable floppy beach hats and sunscreen to ward off the intense Greek sun, to charming souvenirs that will evoke memories of leisurely summer days spent on the enchanting island.

Address: Leoforos Aigaiou 54, Chios Town, 821 00 Phone: +30 22710 28030 Website:

Citrus Aroma Mnimis

Founded in 2008, Citrus Aroma Mnimis has revived the 14th-century tradition of Chios citrus production with a modern approach. Combining history and innovation, Citrus offers high-quality, nutritious products that have gained recognition both in Greece and abroad. Handcrafted with care, their award-winning Traditional Chian Tangerine Marzipan Sweet is an exquisite taste of Chios’ vibrant citrus legacy.

Address: Argenti 9-11 Kambos, Chios Town, 821 00 Phone: +30 210 922 9467 Website:


Woodicrafts, established in 2016 by George Kotsioris and Filia Glyka, specializes in creating exquisite handmade wooden products. Combining quality, functionality, and design, their creations showcase the beauty of wood and the duo’s passion for craftsmanship. Inspired by simplicity and tradition, Woodicrafts aims to craft products that cater to their users’ needs while respecting the natural world.

Address: Dimogerontias 4, 821 31 Phone: +30 22714 00016 Website:

Read also:

The only resident of a deserted medieval village in Chios, Greece

A bakery in Chios, Greece that takes you back in time

Pyrgi: Chios island village seemingly hand-embroidered

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Mythical Cyclades: Tales for the Young Adventurer

A time long ago, so old that even the rocks were just little pebbles, stories flourished like wildflowers. They told of grumpy gods, adventurous animals, and explorers who thought they could take on the world. So, buckle up, we’re going on a mythical journey around the islands of the Cyclades!


The Island of Tinos and the Mighty Wind

Ever wondered why Tinos gets a windy visit every summer (probably not! but I going to tell you anyway?) The blame falls squarely on the broad shoulders of the mighty Hercules, a hero known for his superhuman strength and fiery temper. He felt wronged by Calais and Zetes, the sons of Boreas, who’s the god of the North Wind. Those two flew off without him on one of their adventures, so Hercules shot arrows at them in frustration. Since then, Boreas, who loves a bit of drama, has been huffing and puffing, making a windy spectacle every summer on Tinos.

The Island of Naxos and the Heartbroken Princess

Now, let’s turn our eyes to Naxos, where young Ariadne (the daughter of the great Cretan King Minos) found herself heartbroken. She fell for Theseus, a brave hero, who turned out to be not so heroic when he abandoned her while she was sleeping. But don’t worry, Dionysus, the god of wine and festivities, found her, they fell in love, and lived happily together with their four kids. What a twist!

The Island of Syros and the Dolphin King

Over on the island of Syros, King Coiranus, a good-hearted ruler, saved a bunch of dolphins from becoming fish food. Luckily, dolphins have good memories and one of them saved him in return when he was shipwrecked. Saved by a dolphin! This made Coiranus so popular that he decided to become king of Syros.

The Island of Santorini and the Dreamy Sea

How about the creation of the beautiful Santorini? Believe it or not, it wasn’t lava spewing volcanic activities, no, but Ephemus (the son of Poseidon, god of the sea). Ephemus was relaxing with his fellow Argonauts on the Cycladic island of Anafi, where he had a rather interesting dream. He dreamt of being very close with a nymph (nymphs are spirits of nature), and suddenly, she was going to have a baby! To protect her from her father, the great (but strict) Triton – a merman, half god of the sea – he threw a handful of earth into the sea, and ta-da! Santorini appeared to shield them from her father’s prying eyes.

Delos, the Island of Light and Hunting

Last, but not least, we have the island of Delos. This is where Zeus, the king of all gods, had some family drama. He fell in love with Leto, and when she became pregnant with his twins, his wife Hera was less than thrilled. Hera made it so that no one could help Leto, but Leto found a floating island and gave birth to twins, Apollo and Artemis, who would become gods of light and hunting, respectively. The island was named Delos and was so sacred that no one could be born or die there.

And that’s a wrap on our whirlwind tour of tales older than time itself. They remind us that the world is magical and mysterious, and that every place has a story. So, next time you feel a gust of wind or spot a dolphin on you holiday in Greece, remember, there might be an epic tale waiting to be told!”

Read also:

The true side of Santorini, one of the most famous islands of the Cyclades

Trekking at an ‘open-air museum’ of geology and ancient technology in Greece

Delos: An island-landmark, one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece

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Lesvos: A Foodie Destination in the North Aegean

From the famous salt-cured sardines of Kalloni to various kinds of ouzo and juicy olives and beyond, the island celebrates the meze ritual as well as the rich flavours of home-cooked stews and oil-based dishes.


Lesvos is one of the most important and interesting culinary destinations in Greece, with excellent local produce and a singular traditional local gastronomy, yet it remains underexploited by the tourism market.
There are many reasons why Lesvos has developed such an outstanding local gastronomy. For the inhabitants of Lesvos, stopping for ouzo and fish meze at lunchtime or in the evening is part of their everyday life and not a special occasion or a sacred ritual.

The island is famous for both its ouzo production and its fish and seafood, and in the ouzeries of Lesvos, you will find an incredible array of little dishes with big taste profiles. Small fried fish, seafood in the pan, shellfish, and large fish are abundant, and the professionals handle the raw ingredients with verve. They neither overcook them nor smother them in sauces and spices, leaving their natural flavours to shine. They cook them gently, just enough to bring out their essence and aroma, the smell of the sea, and to pair perfectly with the local ouzo.

There are four key reasons why Lesvos‘ has developed such an outstanding culinary identity. Firstly, the island has a large production of important local products, including olives, abundant vegetables and fruit, and a strong animal farming industry, centred on goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, and poultry. Of note are the local breed of sheep, known as “karagiozides,” and the Maltese goats that graze freely. Secondly, the developed urban class and consciousness of the island also play a vital role in shaping its gastronomy. Thirdly, the island was heavily influenced by the cuisine of Asia Minor. And finally, the production of ouzo, the drink that is world-renowned and synonymous with the island and Greece, which has to be accompanied by a variety of meze.

Lesvos is home to approximately 11.5 million olive trees, making it an endless olive grove that produces exceptional extra virgin olive oil. The island boasts several local varieties of olives, including Valanolia, Kolovi or Mytilini, which is unique to Lesvos, Ladolia, and Adramytini or Aivaliota or Frangkolivia. There are also two impressive olive oil museums on the island: the Museum of Industrial Olive Oil Production of Lesvos and the Olive Press – Vranas Museum.

Lesvos has a significant cheese-making tradition, with famous PDO cheeses such as the spicy ladotyri, which becomes even more pungent the longer it stays in olive oil, Mytilene feta, and Eresos Kasseri. Other local cheeses include the fresh and soft touloumi cheese matured in animal stomachs, the white, tangy tirovolaki cheese matured in baskets, the exquisite graviera cheese, the kefalotyri cheese, and the myzithra cheese.

The local cuisine is rich, strongly influenced by the Greek refugees who arrived here following the Asia Minor catastrophe in 1922. Signature dishes include “souganias” (onion leaves stuffed with minced meat and rice), “hachles” (cups made from dried food pulp, served filled with tomato, feta and olive oil), “sfougato” (omelette with courgettes, eggs, and herbs), courgette flowers filled with rice, “giouzlemedes” (fried cheese pies), tomatoes and aubergines stuffed with octopus, sardines stuffed with pickles and capers or grilled wrapped in vine leaves, cabbage rolls filled with cod and lamb stuffed with liver, raisins and pine nuts (a traditional Easter dish). Religious food served at festivals includes “keskesi” – beef, sheep, or goat meat boiled with wheat, and stirred for hours until it becomes creamy.

The meze culture revolving around ouzo is dominant on the island, and fish pastes, known as “alipasta” hold a prominent place. Among them are the Kalloni sardines cured in coarse salt, the remarkable “papalina”, Kalloni sardine lightly salted just a few hours, marinated gavros (anchovy) in oil and vinegar with garlic, sun-dried fish with oil and lemon, charcoal-grilled octopus splashed with strong vinegar, shellfish – scallops, raw or grilled, and quinces. Saganaki (melted cheese) dishes, with oil cheese or shrimp or mussels, are also an integral part of the mezze for ouzo.


An array of spoon sweets is derived from the island’s plentiful fruits. Also, almond and flower water baklava, “gemata” (almond sweets), the Christmas “plazeta” (a syrup-drenched pie with many layers sprinkled with walnut or almond and cinnamon), and the unique Agiasos vasilopita with numerous layers of mizithra cheese and spices are all well worth trying.


The famous ouzo, a distillate produced from the processing of ethyl alcohol with sweet anise or fennel that lends it its distinctive aroma, is exclusive to Greece and Cyprus (EEC 1576/89) and carries the additional PDO designation for Mytilene and Plomari. The island houses about 20 distilleries, nearly covering 50% of the nation’s ouzo production. In ancient times, the wine of Methymna was considered the nectar of the Olympian Gods. The phylloxera infestation that hit the island in the late 19th century destroyed the vast vineyards to the benefit of the olive trees, and only in recent years has there been an attempt to revive viticulture and winemaking, with wineries even producing organic wine. Since early 2011, Lesvos’ vineyards have been designated PDO Lesvos.

Local products of excellent quality include the island’s famous ouzo, honey, olive oil (which has seen a surge in quality in recent years), olives, the well-known Kalloni sardines, “hachles” (trahanas in the shape of a small boat), smoked fish (like anchovy, mackerel, and skipjack tuna), a special sausage and pastourma (smoke-cured meat), and dairy products like probiotic yogurt, feta, PDO kasseri, graviera, kefalotyri, dry mizithra, and lastly, the unique PDO cheese of the island, the famous ladotyri.

Read also:

A Spirited Tour of Some Ouzo Distilleries on Lesvos

Agiasos, the colourful mountain jewel of Lesvos

Lesvos: Gastronomic paradise of the Northern Aegean with turquoise waters and sandy beaches

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Some Stunning Beaches of Central Pelion, Greece

Hania, Tsagarada, Mouresi, Damouchari, Agios Ioannis: a side of Pelion where you can holiday all year round. The images offered by the mountain succeed one another, each more impressive than the last. Pelion villages nestle on the slopes amid chestnut forests, beeches, and plane trees, perfectly harmonized with their surroundings.


Ancient churches, springs, shady squares, cafes, traditional taverns, guesthouses, and hotels of all categories welcome you at every destination. In summer, the combination of mountains and sea make Pelion even more idyllic: those who cannot bear the heat enjoy the coolness by staying in mountain guesthouses and then descend for a swim at the beaches. The following are the ones worth visiting on your next trip.

Agios Ioannis and Plaka

Agios Ioannis is a very popular family beach in Pelion. It has white, almost transparent pebbles and beautiful waters, with taverns, cafes, and hotels just a breath away. A short walk from Agios Ioannis (3′) will take you to the wonderful (and crowded) Plaka beach, with fine pebbles and crystal-clear green-turquoise waters. It is organized, has a beach bar, and the plane trees reach close to the water. Next to it, there’s another small, lovely beach.


This is the most famous beach in Central Pelion for its beauty, and it is always crowded in the summer. The landscape is wild and awe-inspiring, with green and blue waters and white pebbles mixed with sand. A large rock separates the beach into two sections, with a tunnel running through it. There is a beach bar on site. If you prefer more tranquility, you can choose Limanaki, the point where Mylopotamos gorge meets the Aegean Sea.

Papa Nero

After Agios Ioannis’ camping site, on the southern side, lies the vast Papa Nero beach, organized at a few spots. It has fine pebbles mixed with sand and stunning waters (just hope it’s not windy, as the waves make swimming challenging). Above the beach, there are some well-made taverns, cafes, and small hotels.

The surrounding landscape is spectacular, with trees reaching close to the water and Pelion-style houses climbing the slopes. A few years ago, a coastal promenade was created, and car access was prohibited during the summer season. It is said that the beach’s peculiar name comes either from a priest who drowned there or from the eponymous spring at the Trypia Petra site.


Who can deny the charm of its twin bays, the small harbor with the shipyard, and the “wild” beach with the white pebbles, which can be reached via a path from Tsagarada? However, when the wind blows at this beach, swimming might become difficult.


The 20-minute walk to this small, enchanting beach is well worth it. With its white pebbles and turquoise waters surrounded by imposing rocks, Fakistra is truly a sight to behold. On its northern side, there are two sea caves that knowledgeable visitors explore by boat or canoe to admire the stalactites in one of them.

On foot, you can visit the cave of Megalomata and the so-called “hidden school” of Fakistra (the short path starts to the left of the parking lot). You will admire the stone ruins inside the first cave and the small church of Panagia Megalomata in the smaller cave, whose icon has been transferred to Tsagarada. Tradition says that in the 17th century, a hermit sought refuge there and taught a few letters to children who came from Tsagarada, which is why the name “hidden school” has stuck. At some point, pirates killed the hermit, as they could not find the treasures they believed he hid.

Read also:

On one side the mountain and on the other the sea: the two sides of Pelion

Fakistra Gorge: Astonishing canyoning paradise at Pelion

Pelion beaches even the Cyclades would envy

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Spirit of Gods: Distilled Arbutus Berries from Mt. Olympus

Embracing the “revered slopes of Olympus” invites a myriad of impressions, both grand and humble. It brings forth a recognition of the small everyday pleasures, such as the indigenous tsipouro derived from arbutus berries, the fruit of the so-called ‘strawberry trees’. This ritual, beginning in the autumn, reaches its peak with the distillation process at the end of May, serving as a fond farewell to spring and a heartfelt welcome to the forthcoming summer. A modest celebration unfolds, cascading down the slopes of Lower Olympus, travelling through its captivating traditional settlements – Paleo Panteleimonas, Palea Pori, and Ano Skotina – and onward, past the shadowy forests and the enigmatic ravines, all the way to the majestic Platamonas Castle on the Aegean mainland.


The ascent towards Paleos Panteleimonas offers a quintessential view of the region, where the castle is beautifully framed by the vibrant array of arbutus berries. These fruits, transitioning from early ripeness yellow to near-ripe orange, and finally to mature red, present a striking spectacle against the backdrop of the azure sea. What truly sets the tsipouro-making ritual apart is not just the process itself, but the divine aura of the mountain that sanctifies everything it encompasses – the landscapes, the produce, the drinks, the meze, the myths, and the emotions. All are caught up in its ethereal charm, lifting them to a sublime realm.

As one treads upon the musical carpet of dry plane-tree leaves, the mythology of Olympus is palpable. The bare branches, now swaying like dancers in a celestial ballet, create an enchanting setting in the gorge of Livithra, the unique homeland of the musical Orpheus, who dared to descend even into Hades in search of his lost love, Eurydice. This timeless symphony of Olympus – echoed by the waterfalls cascading through the gorges of Orlias, Enipeas, Kori, and Vathres – enriches the mystical aura that envelops the universe of this mythical mountain.

As autumn gives way to winter, the aura of Olympus gently caresses the landscapes of the strawberry trees. These trees grow without human intervention, bearing fruit that seems to serve no purpose, feeding only the birds in the sky and the beasts in the woods. But in nature, nothing is without purpose, especially not the arbutus berries. Picking from their vibrant array is a joy, each fiery, juicy fruit a treasured find. As you gather, you’re treated to views of the landscape’s indescribable charm. This aura, this divine mountain essence, will kickstart the natural yeasts in the air and within the berries themselves, setting in motion a slow, wild fermentation that lasts until the end of May. Then, for a few days, the stills of Lower Olympus, and recently of Vrastama in Halkidiki, blaze back to life.

We learned the secrets of distillation in the stills of Lower Olympus, particularly in the Hatzis distillery in Neos Panteleimonas, on the winding road towards Paleo. Now, alongside the tsipouro, the spirit of the new generation bubbles with fervor. Vasilis embodies the enthusiasm of this continuity, but his father, Michalis, still directs the distillation ritual. He hosts with his own unique meals, sharing not just food, but companionship and pleasure.

The atmosphere is thick with the scent of tsipouro, traditional food, and good company, a joyous conspiracy of sorts. It’s a song of initiation into the mysteries of camaraderie around the laden table, a ceremonial dance before a still dripping with joy. Here in the north, the distillation process is always double, and the power of tsipouro, whether from grapes or arbutus berries, grappa or sweet anise, is irresistible.

Mr. Michalis fuels the revelry with his unique fried dish as a welcome, followed by goat cooked in a clay pot and belly-stuffed zygouri. These pure, authentic flavors of the mythical mountain are served directly from the traditional oven, fueled by wood from the surrounding forests, and placed on the table in front of the still.”

Michalis’s pan-fried dish – that is, pork cut into hearty chunks – is first simmered in its own juices, with a judicious addition of water. Once it’s reduced, it’s flavored and spiced with white wine, along with the spices – garlic powder, a touch of pepper, salt – and mustard diluted in wine with a spoonful of flour, creating a delightful sauce in which the food simmers and binds together.

The stuffed zygouri (12 month old lamb), like the goat cooked in the clay pot, undergoes a slow process that seems to follow the rhythm of the distillations. It begins the day before with the arrangement of the meat in the appropriate vessel – clay or a metal pot – along with vegetables and seasonings. Bay leaf, black pepper, salt, garlic, old onion, celery, tomatoes, peppers – red and green -, carrots and a few zucchinis. These simmer all night in the oven, without any oil, only a little water, a glass, and, mainly, their own juices. This not only suffices to stew them succulently without drying them out but also provides an extra delicious possibility. To drench and simmer the pasta we add – penne, in this case – after we remove the cooked meat and the melted vegetables.

A good “kazantzis“, as they call the distiller in the area, Michalis says, is the one who makes everything out of nothing. Because the grape stems that become flaming tsipouro seem useless at first glance, fit for throwing away. And the arbutus berries, no matter how ripe they become and take on the most beautiful and promising color, are inedible. If they are not collected at the end of spring and the beginning of winter, they will be kept for months in large barrels to ferment, until their transformation into fragrant tsipouro.

The alchemy of distilling this wild, stray fruit is the same as the distillation of grape tsipouro. Only that the arbutus berries have the peculiarity of needing stirring in the open cauldron until they start to boil, because, being heavy, they sit at the bottom and “scorch,” as Vasilis says, and don’t give you a good distillate. When they start boiling well, he closes the cauldron, the vapors condense passing through cold water, and the tsipouro begins to drip enticingly. In the past, during the second distillation, they always added a lot of sweet anise. Now, they flavor the tsipouro moderately or don’t add any sweet anise at all.”

The distinct taste of Arbutus Berry tsipouro is truly an experience in itself. The unique thing about it is that, as the berries aren’t generally eaten, the spirit doesn’t remind you of any flavor you’ve tasted before. It carries its own one-of-a-kind aroma, and when you take a sip, as Vasilis puts it, it’s like getting a taste of the forest. The version without anise is particularly interesting because, let’s face it, anise-flavored spirits can often taste like ouzo and the accompanying seaside appetizers.

Arbutus trees grow wild in the forest and aren’t cultivated, so their fruits, picked by hand, are wild and completely natural. With no artificial additives in the mix, the tsipouro made from distilling fermented Arbutus berries is as natural and pure as it gets. The flavor brings back to your palate forgotten natural tastes from our foraging past, like the sweet-bitter balance and a unique fruity taste.

The anise-free Arbutus tsipouro pairs well with the earthy flavors of the harvest. In the north, all the garden’s goodies get pickled and stored to last through the long, tough winter and the sleepy period that follows. But now, when the earth is at its most giving, rewarding the hard work of the gardener, all the garden’s treats, with their diverse flavors, get sealed into glass jars. And they’re not just preserved – they’re made even better by being combined with vinegar and spices, ready to become, once matured, the ideal – we believe – companion to the Arbutus tsipouro.

The most generous, colorful, and flavorful jar of pickles that I’ve ever seen and tasted is also tied in my mind to the mysteries of Olympus. In Dion, possibly the most revered power center of the Macedonian kings, surrounded by one of Greece’s most atmospheric archaeological sites, Katerina Safeti set the perfect scene for us to enjoy the tsipouro.

This medley of garden produce, unproccessed and unadulterated, opened a dance of flavors: beans that Katerina herself cultivates in her garden, using seeds she brought from Tinos, carrots, peppers – green, yellow, and red ‘Florinis’ – celery root, tomatoes, and whole cloves of garlic. After blanching the beans, she let them cool in the pot, then mixed them with the remaining vegetables, seasoning them with coarse sea salt, and adding half vinegar and half olive oil. The mixture did not cover the vegetables, instead leaving them open, exposed to the aura of Olympus and the mist of its waters. They simmer for quite some time in the pot on low heat before they start to bubble. She then transfers them to sterilized jars. The liquid mixture barely covers the vegetables, softening them.

And the taste of the earth did not end with the mixed pickles, but appeared more authentic and purer, within the small plates with quartered fresh figs and old onions, seasoned with pepper and olive oil, almost in their primitive, natural state. Close by was the pickled cucumber. As we said, the tsipouro from Arbutus is mainly to stimulate the appetite, but if our appetite pulls us, nothing stops us from continuing to drink even with the main meal, inaugurating a new story of joy, to the health of our souls.

Nikos G. Mastropavlos is a journalist, creator of, a website dedicated to the culture of everyday pleasures in Greece and Cyprus.

Read also:

8 Mythical Experiences on Mount Olympus, Greece

Greece: Mount Olympus was designated a National Park –What’s changing

Road trip from Thessaloniki to the divine Mount Olympus

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Kokkala, an Off-Beat Destination with Gorgeous Beaches

Situated in the region of Laconian Mani, Kokkala is a hidden gem spread over a picturesque bay lapped by emerald waters. Relatively undiscovered, the tranquil retreat offers an idyllic setting with beautiful, pebbled beaches.


Located in the southern reaches of the Peloponnesian peninsula, Mani is framed by the Taygetos mountain range and the striking Cape Tainaro, surrounded by a rugged landscape renowned for its raw, untamed beauty.

Historically, the area’s arid soil rendered agriculture difficult, forcing locals to seek livelihoods as pirates or warriors during tumultuous periods or to migrate during economically subdued times. But in the 1980s a shift occurred when the region began to capitalize on its natural allure, turning what locals once took for granted into special tourist attractions.

Improvements in infrastructure were made in the 1990s, particularly to roads and the water supply, which set Mani on a path of regeneration that drew an influx of visitors from Greece and beyond. Nonetheless, despite increased coverage of the area in travel media and the consequent emergence of popular hotspots, many pockets of Mani remain largely undiscovered. Such is the case of Kokkala, where the pristine beaches, such as shallow-watered Marathos with mesmerizing emerald waters, provide an idyllic setting for a tranquil escape from the bustle of everyday life.

One of the lesser-known villages of Laconian Mani, Kokkala is home to 238 residents and stands at 67 meters, overlooking a pretty bay. Due to its coastal location, it has long served as a seafaring hub for the surrounding area. Much like other secluded corners of the historical Mani region, its origins are shrouded in mystery. Its founding date remains unknown, but based on its name, its early inhabitants were certainly Greek-speaking Christians.

Overall, Kokkala is thought to have probably originated in the post-Byzantine era, when the Peloponnese was under Ottoman rule. This assumption is based on the presence of fortress-like residences (towers) that still stand, echoing the traditional, stone-built architecture of Mani, structures that have now been officially declared as historic and preserved monuments.

What has been established as fact is that during the first half of the 20th century, Kokkala emerged as a focal point for the broader region. Its coastal character transformed it into the area’s largest community, attracting residents from the more mountainous villages, such as Kato Pachianika (Agios Nikolaos), which is why the village even had its own elementary school.

Along the coast, you’ll come across the hamlet of Soloteri, which means “hermitage”, a nod to the stone-built church of the Taxiarchs ‘Archangels’ erected by Captain Panagis Kalogerogiannis in 1850 and completed in 1975. Once an independent settlement, it is now considered a ‘neighborhood’ of Kokkala, just 2 kilometers north of the village.

Soloteri’s charm comes especially from its two picturesque pebbled beaches, Marathos and Soloteri; upon reaching either, you’ll immediately be captivated by the unique color variations of the Laconian Gulf’s waters. In the shallows, an emerald hue dominates, but as the sea deepens, the green melds with blue, culminating in a vivid azure that paints the open sea.

When it comes to accommodations, cafes, and restaurants, although Kokkala remains unknown to the wider public, it has not overlooked its tourism infrastructure, and especially in terms of hospitality, although it is not as developed as the villages in other, more famous regions of Mani. The accommodation model of rented houses or rooms, which can be found on digital platforms like Airbnb, dominates. There are also more organized choices, like the well-maintained guesthouse “Ktima Zacharias” (697 403 2642), which has fully equipped rooms and a garden, just 800 meters from the beach. Outside the village, the “Soloterraguesthouse (694 799 6059) is situated in a renovated traditional Mani tower from the 19th century, with a fantastic view of the coast and the Laconian Gulf.

Similar to many small seaside locations in Greece, you’ll find two taverns in Kokkala where you can sit for coffee or a meal. Both at Polytimi’s taverna (27330-21570) and at “Marathos” (27330-21118), you be able to enjoy freshly caught fish and seafood, tasty meze options and well-prepared Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.

To reach Kokkala you can take a scenic drive either from Sparta or Kalamata. At 79 kilometers away, Sparta is the closer option, approximately 1.5 hours away. From Sparta, the route to Kokkala is straightforward. After reaching Gythio, you’ll head towards the peninsula of Cotrona and its seaside village, before descending south and arriving at Kokkala, shortly after passing through Flomochori. The trip from Kalamata is slightly longer, about 2.5 hours, and 139 kilometers away.

Read also:

Avgo Monastery: Inspiring Awe and Reverence

Agra: The Pella Lake that evolved into one of Greece’s Most Beautiful Wetlands

Haria: A Rustic Charming Lowkey Settlement in Mani

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Discover Kefalonia: Tours, Tastes, and Timeless Beauty

Discover the captivating beauty of Kefalonia, an island jewel nestled in the Ionian Sea, through a series of enchanting tours that reveal its natural wonders, rich culinary heritage, and world-class wineries. Led by knowledgeable guides, these excursions transport you to mystical caves, charming villages, sun-drenched beaches, and picturesque vineyards.


Whether it’s delving into Kefalonia’s culinary traditions, exploring hidden coves by boat, or savoring the finest local wines, you’ll be immersed in the island’s allure, creating unforgettable memories along the way.

Kefalonia: Shore Excursion to Melissani and Drogarati Caves

Embark on an enchanting half-day exploration of Kefalonia’s renowned natural marvels, the mystical Melissani lake-cave and the awe-inspiring Drogarati Cave. Glide into Melissani’s mesmerizing world, where sunlight illuminates the azure waters, creating a dazzling spectacle. Submerge into Drogarati Cave, admiring the intricate stalactite and stalagmite formations that have captivated visitors since 1963. Revel in the cave’s storied history and remarkable acoustics.

From € 36 per person Website:

About ‘Sea Kayaking Kefalonia’

‘Sea Kayaking Kefalonia’ offers unforgettable sea kayaking experiences in the serene Ionian Sea. Based in Kefalonia, the largest island in the Ionian, this outfitter curates day and multi-day kayak trips through the crystalline waters of Kefalonia, Ithaca, and the wider central Ionian region, as well as sea kayak courses in Kefalonia and Athens. Founded in 2003 by Yvonne and Pavlos, a passionate local duo, the company prides itself on customer satisfaction, service quality, safety, and reverence for nature. Experience a stress-free, active holiday with ‘Sea Kayaking Kefalonia’ and create memories to last a lifetime.


From Argostolion: Private Kefalonia Highlights Tour

Experience Kefalonia’s wonders on a private tour from Argostolion. Marvel at the striking rock formations in the Drogarati and Melissani caves, stroll through the picturesque village of Fiscardo, and gaze upon the breathtaking Myrtos Beach. Be captivated by Drogarati Cave’s stalactite and stalagmite masterpieces and the enchanting Melissani Lake. Savor an optional lunch in the unspoiled village of Fiscardo, and admire Myrtos Beach’s awe-inspiring panoramic view.

From € 175 per person Website:

Kefalonia: Island Bus Tour with Wine Tasting

Embark on a guided exploration of Kefalonia’s highlights, including Melissani Cave, Drogarati Cave, Fiscardo Village, Myrtos Beach, and a Robola Winery wine tasting. Traverse the island’s picturesque landscapes, from olive groves to cypress glades. Visit Robola Winery on Mount Aenos to sample the renowned Robola wine. Discover the acoustically impressive Drogarati Caves and the awe-inspiring Melissani Lake. Enjoy lunch in Fiscardo, a charming village untouched by the 1953 earthquake, before venturing to the quaint fishing village of Assos. Conclude with a photo stop at the world-famous Myrtos Beach.

From € 44.10 per person Website:

Argostoli: Full-Day Traditional Boat Cruise with Lunch

Sail Kefalonia’s stunning coast on a traditional wooden Greek boat, indulging in a homemade Greek lunch and local wine. Bask in the serenity of secluded beaches and remote islands while forging friendships with travelers worldwide. Delight in homemade Greek fare and wine, and relish ample time to swim, snorkel, or unwind on board. Marvel at White Rocks’ seabed and unwind at Vardiani Island.

From € 60 per person Website:

Kefalonia: Traditional Cooking Experience in a Village

Join a Kourouklata village cooking class, mastering tzatziki, Kefalonian riganada, and homemade meat pie phyllo dough. Savor your creations with Greek wine and sample local honey. Immerse yourself in Kefalonian culinary traditions, breathtaking Argostoli Bay, and the charm of Kourouklata village. Taste local wines and honey, then prepare appetizers and traditional meat pie under Mrs. Stavroula’s guidance. Celebrate your culinary triumphs with newfound friends and take home the cherished recipes.

From € 90 per person Website:

Kefalonia: Private Wine Tasting with Vineyard Tour

Explore three local wineries and get in touch with the art of wine production at a private tasting. Enjoy a full day of fine wines, gastronomy, and history in the scenic region of Kefalonia. Orealios Gaea Winery: At the heart of the Robola Wine-Growing Zone, dozens of winemakers from Omala and the surrounding areas (Troiannata, Vlachata, Mousata, Faraklata, Diklinata) created the Kefalonian Robola Wine Cooperative in 1982, in an attempt to protect and promote the Kefalonian vineyard’s potential.

Embark on a private journey through Kefalonia’s picturesque wineries, delving into the art of winemaking and savoring exquisite tastings. Revel in a day of exceptional wines, gastronomy, and history in this enchanting region. Orealios Gaea Winery: Established in 1982, the Kefalonian Robola Wine Cooperative unites winemakers from Omala and surrounding villages to protect and celebrate Kefalonian vineyards. Sarris Winery: Situated near Avithos Beach in Svoronata, Sarris Winery is surrounded by quaint villages, traditional houses, and fragrant gardens. Gentilini Winery: This family-owned boutique winery, nestled on the stunning island of Kefalonia, specializes in handcrafted, food-friendly wines highlighting unique Kefalonian varieties.

From € 156 per person Website:

Read also:

The top 6 beaches on Kefalonia

8 experiences you must have on the blue-green island of Kefalonia

Haritatos Vineyard: A glass of wine in the most charming courtyard of Kefalonia

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The North Aegean Island of Lesvos’ 5 Must-Visit Settlements

Lesvos unfurls like an open fan in the north-eastern Aegean. Its capital, Mytilene, is ideal for exploration and blessed with turquoise seas and sandy beaches – some fringed with rocks, others with pebbles or seaweed.


Many of its villages are preserved coastal and mountain settlements that hint at a quality of life that is, regrettably, beginning to fade, yet offer visitors a great array of memorable things to see, do and taste.

We suggest you commence your holidays by spending the first few days in the capital town of Mytilene, and then venture to historic Molyvos, followed by Petra or Anaxos. If you have plenty of time, next visit Kalloni, Plomari and Gera, and round off your acquaintance with Lesvos in Eressos or Sigri. Using these specific points on the island that have the appropriate accommodation infrastructure as your starting point each time, you will be able to discover and enjoy the attractions and natural beauty of the surrounding areas.


Mytilene, the main port and capital of Lesvos, unveils its most enchanting facet as you approach it from the sea; as the welcoming sight of the harbour unfolds, graced by the waterfront’s neoclassical buildings. These structures, influenced by Northern European architecture, present a unique aesthetic with their pointed rooftops. The bell tower of the Metropolitan Church rises majestically above the town, contributing to the picturesque skyline. To the right, the renowned, large Castle of Mytilene, built during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, stands imposingly, adding to the historic charm of the island. The hill of Agia Kyriaki, home to an ancient theatre, completes this captivating panorama.
Situated on the island’s eastern coastline, opposite Turkey’s shores, Mytilene’s architectural design is amphitheatrical, nestled between seven lush hills that seamlessly merge into the natural harbour. The town is a delightful mix of quaint suburbs and ancient neighbourhoods, with its buildings and archaeological landmarks showcasing the island’s rich heritage.

Beyond its historical and aesthetic appeal, Mytilene serves as an ideal destination for tranquil holidays. The historic centre buzzes with life, with a plethora of bars, restaurants, and traditional tavernas and ouzeries serving top-notch cuisine tucked away in charming alleyways. The town is also popular for its diverse accommodation options and pristine beaches.


Nestled 60 kilometres west of the island’s capital of Mytilene is the medieval village of Molyvos, also named Mythimna. Retaining its traditional architecture, this preserved hamlet charms visitors with its scenic splendour. The village’s quaint beauty unfolds through its narrow alleyways that meander around time-honoured stone houses, graceful mansions, and Turkish-style fountains, generating a serene, idyllic ambience.

Its crowning glory is its medieval castle, perched atop a rugged cliff. This fortress, the second largest on Lesvos, commands an awe-inspiring view over the Aegean Sea. It serves as a testament to the village’s historical significance, along with its diverse archaeological collection, myriad Byzantine churches, and stately neoclassical buildings.

In its heyday, following the Treaty of Kucuk-Kaynarca, the village blossomed into a bustling commercial hub. Its whitewashed window frames, which look like eyes underlined with eyeliner, beckon visitors to abandon their car and ascend on foot to the medieval Gattilusi dynasty castle. This fortress, one of Greece’s best-preserved, offers an arresting view of the Aegean Sea, extending to the coasts of Asia Minor. In Molyvos, visitors are warmly welcomed with a plethora of accommodations, charming cafes, and seaside tavernas.


Perched on Mount Olympus’ slopes, Agiassos is celebrated chiefly for its vibrant traditions, scenic beauty and flourishing trade. Its steep, winding streets and modest dwellings with Turkish-style wooden balconies reflect a bygone era, and the village is sprinkled with tall buildings featuring large, brightly painted doors.

In Agiasos, a unique local dialect reflects its distinct culture, with playful words and humour found in various renditions. Indeed, Agiasos’ inhabitants are known for their sharp wit, hard work, and deep faith, earning the village the nickname “Mother of School Teachers” due to the high number of educators hailing from there.

Surrounded by lush greenery, the village is home to chestnut, walnut, apple and wild cherry trees, which contribute to a picturesque landscape in every season. The region’s vibrant floral diversity, including colourful anemones, cyclamens, peonies, and wild orchids, adds to its natural attractiveness.


On the north-western side of Lesvos, mountainous Eressos is somewhat dry, barren, and wind-beaten, haunted for 20 million years by a volcanic eruption, and like a Cycladic island that came and stuck to the rest of Lesvos, drowning in olive groves and pines. In the summer, most of the action takes place in Skala Eressos, a wide sandy beach buzzing with life that’s over 3 kilometres long.

The village has distinctive architecture, a few historical landmarks, quality hospitality and dining options, and a verdant plain connecting the village to the coast. Named after Éressos, the son of the mythical King Makaros, it was established between the 11th and 9th centuries BC by the Pelasgians. It soon developed into a central trading hub extending to Egypt, and was the home not only Sappho but also to philosophers Phanias and Theophrastos.

Known for its universal flair, Eressos’ appeal spans from families drawn to the child-friendly sandy bays of Skala Eressos to avid nature enthusiasts. Here, activities such as nature hiking and birdwatching have earned the attention of many a photographer or artist in search of a dramatically varied setting in which the barren co-exists with the lusciously green and the sandy coastline is peppered with thousands of vividly-coloured wildflowers.


The second-largest town of Lesvos, Plomari lies 40 kilometres south of Mytilene. Nestled amphitheatrically amidst verdant hills around a natural bay, it looks out to splendid sea views. The village’s charming homes, narrow lanes, and handsome churches contribute to its picturesque allure. The dry riverbed of the Sedountas river, which fills and swells in the colder months, adds to the serene winter atmosphere, making life here uniquely appealing.

Renowned for its cultural heritage and musical traditions, Plomari often hosts local folk dance festivals that display the character of its friendly, sociable inhabitants and is most famous for producing excellent local ouzo and top-quality olive oil.

The unique architecture of Plomari sets it apart from other Aegean towns. Its neoclassical mansions, bold-coloured walls, old wooden doors, and flowers in upcycled olive oil cans create a timeless appeal. Its main attractions include intriguing sites, churches atop rocks, and a variety of accommodations and eateries.

Read also:

A Spirited Tour of Some Ouzo Distilleries on Lesvos

Agiasos, the colourful mountain jewel of Lesvos

Lesvos: Gastronomic paradise of the Northern Aegean with turquoise waters and sandy beaches

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Quality Shopping Therapy on the Island of Santorini

Santorini, a world-renowned gem, is not only one of the most sought-after global destinations but also one of the most picturesque islands of Greece. The unique charm of this Cycladic paradise has been the subject of countless articles. Santorini’s magic lies in its unparalleled sunsets, mesmerizing views from the Caldera overlooking the infinite blue Aegean Sea, the sun-drenched luxury hotels gleaming white, its gourmet dining experiences, and its remarkable, idyllic beaches that are second to none.


Santorini, with its burgeoning tourism, naturally embraces a touch of global consumer culture, making it a shopping destination that beautifully intertwines the local and global.

While top-tier fashion brands may not have standalone stores in Fira or Oia, they have found their home in stunning boutiques and concept stores that will instantly ignite your shopping desire. However, the essence of Santorini permeates through every shopping experience, from traditional shops to the aesthetic of most products available. This allows you to carry a piece of authentic and timeless Santorini with you, wherever you go.


Sat in a prime location on the main cobbled street of Fira, Bazaar is a beloved boutique frequented by both the thousands of tourists visiting annually and the local islanders. Bazaar offers a broad selection of international brands, all united by a common ‘casual’, ‘cool’, and comfortable style. It also showcases an array of youthful collections with an edgy twist. Find everything from Diesel, Miss Sixty, Guess to sophisticated evening dresses designed by Veloudakis, all under one roof. Not to be overlooked is the men’s fashion selection, representing some of the world’s leading fashion houses.

Contact: Fira, 2286 025433″

Ilias Lalaounis

One of the top jewelry houses in Greece, Ilias Lalaounis, maintains its presence in Santorini with a boutique nestled within the Fabrica shopping center. Located in Fira, this store beautifully marries the urban elegance of Athens-based Ilias Lalaounis jewelry stores with the refreshing Cycladic atmosphere, making it stand out with its tastefully designed precious jewels that resemble true works of art.

Influenced by Byzantine times, the Neolithic era, and Mycenaean art, each piece tells a story of history. A mere glance at the dazzling display window is enough to leave you mesmerized.

Contact: Fira, 2286 025844

Characterful Clothing at Drakkar

Drakkar is home to top-notch foreign designer clothing and unique, handmade pieces from the most distinctive Greek brands, all found in two branches of the Drakkar boutique in Fira. Here you can find airy dresses, evening bags, leather sandals, and unique jewelry – the kind of pieces that you’ll want to wear immediately for an unforgettable night stroll on one of the most beautiful islands on the planet.

Contact: Fira, 2286 021678

Speira: A Unique Concept Store

Speira, a ‘sophisticated’ concept store in Oia, is a destination in its own right, perfect for a delightful afternoon outing.

At Speira, you will find clothes and accessories designed by Greek creators, as well as small works of art themed around Greek mythology and history, aromatic candles, finely crafted handmade jewelry, and amazing objects with a Cycladic identity that allow you to take a piece of the island home with you.

Contact: Oia, 2286 071397


Located within an old traditional captain’s house in cosmopolitan Oia, you’ll find the boutique, Ecru. This authentic Santorini building could pass as a real folk museum, having faithfully retained its local architecture and the traditional characteristics of old Santorini homes.

In the beautiful Ecru boutique, you’ll discover a range of women’s and men’s clothing, shoes, and accessories from international and Greek fashion houses, as well as truly unique handmade pieces that will make every appearance special.

Contact: Oia, 2286 072329

​Silk Shop

An old bakery in Oia has been transformed into a beautiful boutique filled with elegance and beauty. At Silk Shop, you’ll find exactly what you might imagine: stunning silk scarves, shawls, and sarongs, as well as silk clothing and fantastic, colorful bags that upgrade your style with an ethnic touch. If you love silk products, this is the place to stop and purchase the ultimate statement item that you will cherish for a lifetime in your wardrobe.

Contact: Oia, 2286 071923

​The White Santorini

If you also believe that “Life is an Island” (the favorite motto of the people behind the creation of The White Santorini), then this is the perfect boutique for you, filled with bright, cheerful boho pieces that scream ‘summer‘ and ‘Cyclades‘. The collections of the White Santorini brand encapsulate what we can call ‘island fashion’ and will become the perfect memento of your vacation until you return to Santorini.

There are two boutiques, one in Caldera in Fira and one in Kamari.

Contact: Fira, 2286 036820″


With an incredible view of the Caldera, at Spicy you will primarily find creations by Greek designers. Simultaneously, you will discover many hidden “gems” like pieces from local creators that carry the entire Cycladic character and personality that has made Santorini renowned worldwide.

Contact: Fira, 2286 023251


Situated within the stunning Mystique Hotel in Oia, and recently also in the beautiful Vedema in Megalochori, the Wanderlista boutiques boast fantastic Greek clothing and accessory brands with items that truly stand out and enhance our everyday life. Andria Mitsokos, creator of the Anthologist boutique in Athens, certainly knows how to set up amazing shops with items that you will desperately want to take with you as you leave.

Located within the Mystique and Vedema Hotels


The Ammos boutique can rightfully be considered the largest fashion chain in Santorini. You will find unique pieces from the most recent collections of well-known houses such as Mes Demoiselles, Moncler, Ash, and American Vintage, as well as many Greek designers. With its two shops in Fira, one on Kamari Beach, and one in Oia on the main pedestrian street, Ammos does not need to prove its worth.

Contact: Nikos Nomikos, Fira, 2286 072272


Celyn b, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Patrizia Pepe, and many other international fashion houses are all gathered at the Milo boutique in the heart of Fira. Clothing, shoes, and accessories characterized by high quality and luxury aesthetics are present, catering to the needs of the island’s crème de la crème.

Contact: Fira, 2286 023633

Identity Shopping

On an island that has held a high place on the list of the most popular destinations worldwide for years, it’s perfectly logical for high-end boutiques and luxury shopping to be continually on the rise.

However, in Santorini, tradition is always present, in small, charming stores and in tiny beautiful objects that “carry” the character of the island. Do not leave Fira or Oia without taking with you a beautiful, handmade ceramic plate or a ceramic cup to enjoy your morning coffee. The island is famous for its wonderful ceramic creations with fantastic patterns.

Also, the award-winning Atlantis bookstore in Oia is considered by many as the “most beautiful bookstore in the world” due to its location. You will find many English and French language books, beautiful albums, latest releases, and books related to the history of the island. In the summer months, Atlantis is truly bustling, so arm yourself with patience. It’s worth it.

Finally, Santorini has its own little “mall”. Following the logic of a shopping center, Fabrica in Fira houses stores of well-known brands such as Pink Woman, Yamamay, Super Dry, and Adidas.

Read also:

Luxury Shopping in Athens: The Top Fashion Addresses

Enjoy Great Shopping Along the Alleyways of Parga

Kalamata Shopping: A Fusion of Tradition and Artistry

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A Guide to the Acropolis, the Sacred Rock of Athens

With its rich history, religious festivals, and pivotal events, it captivates visitors from around the world. The Acropolis seamlessly integrates with the natural landscape, showcasing the innovative fusion of Classical art styles. This enduring influence reflects the grandeur and prosperity of Athens during its golden age under Pericles.


The story of the Athenian Acropolis begins in ancient times, with evidence of habitation dating back to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Fortifications were established in the thirteenth century BC, becoming a center of Mycenaean civilization. In the eighth century BC, the Acropolis transformed into a sacred precinct with the cult of Athena Polias. Monumental buildings like the “Old Temple” and the Hekatompedon were erected, emphasizing Athena’s importance. Devastation struck in 480 BC when the Persians invaded, but Athenians valiantly preserved surviving sculptures and fortified the Acropolis with new walls.

Under Pericles in the mid-fifth century BC, the Acropolis experienced a remarkable transformation. Iconic structures such as the Parthenon, Propylaia, Erechtheion, and temple of Athena Nike were constructed. These architectural marvels showcased Athenian brilliance and attracted skilled craftsmen. The temples on the north side were dedicated to Athenian and Olympian cults, while the southern part honored Athena in her various aspects.

After the Peloponnesian War, the Acropolis saw limited construction until the Roman period when a small temple dedicated to Augustus and Rome was built. Despite pillaging and damage, the Acropolis retained its prestige. In the third century AD, a new fortification wall was erected. Throughout the centuries, the Acropolis endured natural decay and repurposing. Restoration efforts began in the 19th century, continuing to this day.

Approaching the Acropolis, visitors witness its natural fortification from the west. Passing through the Beulé Gate or a small door under the temple of Athena Nike, they enter through the grand Propylaia, designed by architect Mnesikles. To the south, the temple of Athena Nike dominates the bastion, while remnants of the shrine of Aphrodite Pandemos remain nearby. Opposite the Propylaia, the pedestal of Agrippas, once holding an offering from Athens to Marcus Agrippas, stands.

Beyond the Propylaia lies the heart of the sanctuary. The awe-inspiring Parthenon, dedicated to Athena Parthenos, stands tall. Traces of the Brauronion and Chalkotheke can be found between the Parthenon and Propylaia. East of the Parthenon, a circular temple pays homage to Augustus and Rome. Remnants of the shrine of Zeus Polieus can be seen, and the modern museum occupies the site of a shrine to the hero Pandion. The Erechtheion, with its captivating porch of the Karyatides, stands on the north side. The foundations of the “Old Temple” and the Arrhephorion, the dwelling place of the Arrhephoroi, can also be discovered.

The Acropolis accommodated various cults, with caves on the northern slope used as shrines. A ‘Peripatos’ path encircled the crag, leading to numerous shrines and significant monuments on the south slope.

The Parthenon

It stands as an architectural masterpiece dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the revered patron goddess of Athens. This extraordinary temple, a symbol of Athenian democracy at its pinnacle, was constructed between 447 and 438 BC as part of the ambitious Periclean building project. It replaced earlier temples, destroyed by the Persians, and became the epitome of grandeur and artistic achievement on the Acropolis.

Architects Iktinos and Kallikrates ingeniously designed the Parthenon, while the acclaimed sculptor Pheidias oversaw its construction and the creation of its sculptural adornments, including the magnificent chryselephantine statue of Athena. The temple’s unique blend of Doric architecture and innovative elements sets it apart as a true marvel.

With its double peripteral design, the Parthenon boasts a pronaos, cella, and opisthodomos, all surrounded by a pteron featuring an impressive array of columns. The architects skillfully utilized the materials originally prepared for the earlier temple, ensuring the temple’s grandeur while employing clever techniques to accommodate its expanded dimensions. Inside the cella, a double pi-shaped colonnade provided a stunning backdrop for the awe-inspiring gold and ivory statue of Athena Parthenos, holding Nike, the goddess of Victory, in her right hand.

The Parthenon’s exterior is equally breathtaking. Its two-sloped wooden roof, adorned with marble tiles, showcased palmette-shaped false antefixes along the edge, exuding an air of elegance and sophistication. Marble statues graced the corners of the pediments, while ornate palmettes adorned their apex. These pediments, with their intricate sculptural compositions, vividly brought to life the tales and legends surrounding the goddess Athena. The metopes, positioned above the outer colonnade, depicted captivating reliefs depicting legendary battles, such as the Gigantomachy, Trojan War, Amazonomachy, and Centauromachy.

The temple’s frieze, a remarkable element of the Ionic order, adorned the top of the cella, pronaos, and opisthodomos. This artistic masterpiece depicted the grand procession of the Panathinaia, the most significant festival in honor of Athena, symbolizing the vibrancy and splendor of ancient Athens.

Throughout history, the Parthenon underwent transformations and suffered damage. It served as a church, a mosque, and a military stronghold, each phase leaving its mark. Devastation struck during the Venetian siege in 1687, causing significant destruction. The temple also faced challenges during the early 19th century when Lord Elgin looted much of its sculptural decoration, which now resides in the British Museum. However, dedicated restoration efforts have been undertaken to preserve and conserve this architectural wonder. Ongoing restoration projects, initiated in 1896-1900 and again in 1922-1933, continue to safeguard the Parthenon’s legacy under the supervision of the Committee for the Conservation of the Monuments of the Acropolis.

The Erechtheion

An exquisite temple situated on the northern side of the Acropolis, holds its own allure and historical significance. Erected between 421 and 406 BC, it replaced an earlier temple dedicated to Athena Polias, known as the “Old temple.” This elegant structure derived its name from Erechtheus, the legendary king of Athens, whose worship took place within its sacred confines. The temple’s design was influenced by the irregular terrain and its purpose of accommodating multiple cults.

Crafted from Pentelic marble, the Erechtheion featured an impressive Ionic portico with six columns on its east side, sheltering the entrance to the eastern section. Inside, the cult statue of Athena, made of olive wood, stood as a revered symbol, adorned with the sacred peplos by the Arrhephoroi during the Panathenaic festival. The temple’s western section served the cult of Poseidon-Erechtheus, housing altars dedicated to Hephaestus and Voutos, brother of Erechtheus. It was believed that Athena’s sacred snake resided within this part of the temple. Another noteworthy feature was the entrance on the north side, adorned with a pi-shaped propylon, characterized by four Ionic columns along the facade and an intriguing stone paving said to bear the marks of Poseidon’s trident.

Further enchantment awaited visitors on the south facade, where the porch of the Karyatides captivated all who beheld it. This pi-shaped structure replaced traditional columns with six female statues, known as the Karyatides, who supported the roof. Created by Alkamemes or Kallimachos, these statues paid homage to the young women from Karyes of Lakonia, known for their dances in honor of the goddess Artemis. While the original statues are now housed in museums, replicas grace the Erechtheion.

Throughout its history, the Erechtheion endured various transformations and underwent damage. It was converted into a church dedicated to Theometor during the Early Christian period. Under different occupations, it served as a palace and a residence for Turkish commanders. Lord Elgin’s activities during the early 19th century further impacted the temple. However, a concerted effort to restore and preserve the Erechtheion has taken place.

Its restoration received recognition through the Europa Nostra award. Restoration work has been ongoing since the late 20th century, with the Erechtheion becoming the first monument of the Acropolis to undergo restoration as part of the comprehensive conservation and restoration project initiated by the Restoration Service of the Monuments of the Acropolis and the Committee for the Conservation of the Monuments of the Acropolis.

The Propylaia

Erected on the site of the Mycenaean fortification gate, the Propylaia represents a significant chapter of ancient Greek history. Its first version was built under Peisistratos in the mid-sixth century BC. The structure we admire today was crafted by architect Mnesikles between 437-432 BC as part of the Periklean building program. Composed of Pentelic marble, the pi-shaped edifice frames the entrance to the sacred precinct, with both outer and inner facades supported by Doric columns. Also serving as a cultural hub, the northern wing housed the Pinakotheke, an esteemed art gallery. The Propylaia underwent transformations over the centuries, serving as churches, residences, and even a garrison. Post the Greek War of Independence, significant restoration work has been undertaken to preserve this emblem of ancient Greece.

The Temple of Athena Nike

Perched at the Acropolis’ southeast edge, the Temple of Athena Nike stands as a beacon of classical design. Crafted by architect Kallikrates from 426-421 BC, it replaces earlier temples dedicated to Athena Nike, traces of which are preserved beneath its floor. Showcasing an Ionic amphiprostyle design, the temple features a unique frieze depicting Greek-Persian battle scenes and Olympian gods. Despite being repurposed into a Byzantine church and an Ottoman munitions store, the temple underwent careful reconstruction in the late 19th century. Today, ongoing restoration efforts continue to safeguard its historical and artistic value, serving as a testament to the classical age’s enduring legacy.

The Brauronion

Nestled within the sacred confines of the Acropolis, the Brauronion serves as a shrine to Brauronian Artemis, the protector of birthing women. This sanctuary, probably founded by Peisistratos, echoes the design of its larger counterpart at Brauron, Attica. Its Doric stoa, marked by a colonnaded façade and parallel back wall, creates an imposing structure. Closed rectangular wings at both ends housed the sacred treasures of the shrine, while the courtyard was a space for offerings. Over time, the shrine has welcomed new additions, including the stunning statue by Praxiteles. Today, the traces of this ancient sanctuary etched into the bedrock remind us of the reverence for Artemis and the architectural artistry of ancient Greece.

The Temple of Rome and Augustus

A relic from the late first century BC, the Temple of Rome and Augustus presents a unique confluence of Greek and Roman architectural aesthetics. Located east of the Parthenon or the Erechtheion, the structure is believed to be an homage to the goddess Rome and Octavian Augustus, as suggested by the inscription on the temple’s epistyle. Notably, Pausanias, the ancient Greek traveller and geographer, failed to acknowledge this temple in his detailed visit to the Acropolis. One can speculate that the temple’s Roman affiliation and diminutive stature, compared to its more impressive neighbours, might have influenced this oversight.

The temple, distinguished by its petite, circular layout, boasted a single row of nine Ionic columns, a design element imitating those of the Erechtheion. Interestingly, this resemblance, coupled with the absence of an interior wall, suggests a common architect between the two. Above the columns, the temple was crowned by a conical roof and entablature, both masterfully crafted from immaculate white marble.

The Pedestal of Agrippa

Located west of the Propylaia, the Pedestal of Agrippa stands as a timeless testimony to the generosity and military success of two historical figures. Initially constructed in 178 BC, the monument was erected in honour of Eumenes II of Pergamon to celebrate his victory in the chariot race of the Panathenaic games. The original tribute featured a bronze quadriga, symbolising Eumenes and his brother, Attalos, triumphant in their chariot.

However, around 27 BC, the city of Athens re-dedicated the pedestal to Marcus Agrippa, son-in-law of Augustus. A clear display of gratitude, this shift was a nod to Agrippa’s munificent contribution of an odeion to the Agora. The pedestal bears an inscription to Marcus Agrippa, a poignant mark of appreciation from the city. Today, the pedestal, made of grey-blue Hymetus marble, is all that remains of this monument, yet it continues to emanate a profound sense of historical relevance.

The Beule Gate

A historic fortification that stands as a sentinel at the entrance of the Acropolis today, the Beule Gate is a significant emblem of Athens’ resilience and adaptability. Constructed in the mid-third century AD, likely in response to the Herulian invasion, the gate formed part of an extensive program to protect the sacred precinct. The structure was named after the French archaeologist who unravelled its history in 1852.

The gate’s robust design includes two rectangular towers flanking it to the north and south. A striking feature of this construction is its composition of repurposed materials from earlier structures, such as the choregic monument of Nikias. This clever reuse of architectural elements reflects the Athenians’ resourcefulness and respect for their historical heritage.

The Acropolis Walls

An iconic symbol of the Acropolis’s storied past, the fortification walls provide an enduring testament to the site’s strategic importance and history of survival through the ages. The Acropolis’s unique geomorphology has made it a natural refuge since prehistoric times, and the development of its walls is a chronicle of Athens’ growth and resilience.

The earliest evidence of fortification dates back to approximately 1200 BC, with the construction of the so-called ‘Cyclopean‘ wall. The remains of this early wall, along with the curved ‘Pelargic‘ enclosure built in the same period, still bear witness to the Acropolis’s ancient past. Interestingly, the ‘Pelargic’ wall, referred to by Thucydides, boasted several doors, leading to its nickname ‘enneapylon‘, meaning nine-doored.

Post the Persian invasion, the city and Acropolis were given new walls – the northern, Themistoclean wall, and the southern, Kimonean wall. The walls, rich in reused material from damaged monuments, provide an intriguing cross-section of history, showing how the city healed its wounds and rebuilt itself.

The Chalkotheke

To the east of the Brauronion, a curious elongated building named the Chalkotheke once stood. Derived from ancient inscriptions, the name Chalkotheke translates to ‘bronze store‘, hinting at the building’s historic function. The structure served as a repository for metal votive offerings – a mix of weapons, statuettes, and hydriae, believed to be sacred to the goddess Athena.

Despite Pausanias’s apparent disregard for the structure, possibly due to its absence of artistic or historical merit during his time, the building’s remains provide us with a fascinating snapshot of its structure. Primarily, it was a rectangular edifice, accessed from the north, its back wall running parallel to the southern fortification wall.

The Old Temple of Athena Polias

Tucked between the Erechtheion and the Parthenon, the earliest temple to Athena Polias, known as ‘the Old temple‘, resided. Constructed around the third quarter of the sixth century BC, the Old temple found itself on the ruins of an earlier Geometric temple and an even earlier Mycenaean palace. Despite its unfortunate history of damages, the remains of the temple and its altar are visible today, etching a vivid picture of its unique internal arrangement and religious significance.

Read also:

Luxury Shopping in Athens: The Top Fashion Addresses

Street Art in Athens – The Urban Culture of the City on its Walls

Your Guide to the Historical Centre of Athens

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Greek Literary Masterpieces that Transcend Borders

Books are journeys – across time, across space, and into the depths of the soul. They are intersections of fantasy and reality, and can transport us to places unseen. The literary works of great Greek authors, for instance, can lead us into a realm unbound by laws or borders. A realm where everyone belongs. These masterpieces of Greek literature and poetry become vehicles of a journey that enriches the soul, giving it wings to soar.


Here, we have handpicked 10 remarkable works of Greek literature and poetry, available in English translation, that will take you on a unique journey to Greece – a country rooted in history and memory. These books are woven with vibrant and dark threads alike, and they continue to shine, both in the light of recognition and through the ashes of time.

1. Zorba the Greek – Nikos Kazantzakis

A gripping tale that unfolds before the First World War, centred around a young English writer who travels to Crete to claim a modest inheritance. There, he meets Alexis Zorba, a middle-aged Greek man brimming with life. Zorba, a man who has lived and loved deeply, gradually transforms the Englishman and the reader alike. ‘Zorba the Greek‘, Nikos Kazantzakis’ most celebrated novel, draws its roots from the author’s experiences in the Peloponnese in the 1920s. The adventures of his charismatic hero continue to captivate readers worldwide, decades after its first publication in the 1950s.

2. Life in the Tomb – Stratis Myrivilis

Life in the Tomb‘ is a profound war novel, penned in the form of a sergeant’s journal from the trenches. Since its serial publication in 1923-1924, it has been the most successful and widely read serious work of fiction in Greece, selling over 80,000 copies. It has also been published in multiple translations and is the first volume of a trilogy that includes ‘The Mermaid Madonna’ and ‘The Schoolmistress with the Golden Eyes’.

3. The Great Chimera – M.Karagatsis

Eager to flee the parochialism of her French upbringing, and a painful family past, the young and beautiful Marina falls in love with a seductive Greek sea-captain she meets at the port of Rouen. She follows him to the Aegean island of Syros to begin a new life as a married woman in the home of her formidable mother-in-law. Enchanted by the beauty of her surroundings, and fascinated by her husband’s erudite younger brother, she aspires to learn all she can about contemporary Greek culture and live up to the ideals of her classical education. But when disaster upends her husband’s shipping business and the comfortable stability of their life together, Marina’s world slides into a vicious circle of love, passion, and death.

Set in the early decades of the twentieth century, The Great Chimera is an exquisite account of the inner life of the heroine, and the collisions of different cultures and ways of being. In prose that ranges from the lyrical to the tersely realist, Karagatsis weaves a classic tale that is wide-ranging in its literary references, and devastating in its psychological nuance. This modern Greek tragedy has been made into a TV series and a highly acclaimed stage play, enjoying three sold-out seasons in Athens, and an international tour.

4. The Murderess – Alexandros Papadiamantis

The Murderess is a bone-chilling tale of crime and punishment with the dark beauty of a backwoods ballad. Set on the dirt-poor Aegean island of Skiathos, it is the story of Hadoula, an old woman living on the margins of society and at the outer limits of respectability. Hadoula knows about herbs and their hidden properties, and women come to her when they need help. She knows women’s secrets and she knows the misery of their lives, and as the book begins, she is trying to stop her new-born granddaughter from crying so that her daughter can at last get a little sleep. She rocks the baby and rocks her and then the terrible truth hits her: there’s nothing worse than being born a woman, and there’s something that she, Hadoula, can do about that. Peter Levi’s matchless translation of Alexandros Papadiamantis’s astonishing novella captures the excitement and haunting poetry of the original Greek.

5. A Tale Without a Name – Penelope Delta

An enchanting powerful fable as timely today as on first publication a century ago. The kingdom used to be a place of paved roads and well-filled coffers, with joy and the good life all around. But the old king went the way of all flesh years ago, and now the kingdom is derelict, a land of wickedness and ruin. But a young prince and his sister begin to see what must be done, and-if they can-to restore what has been lost. For a hundred years A Tale Without a Name has been one of Greece’s best-loved stories. This playful, wise fable is enchanting for readers of any age, as meaningful and moving now as when it was first written. “Constantly intrigues and excites…Like Animal Farm … thirty or so years later, it’s a political tract in thin but compelling disguise” Books for Keeps Penelope S. Delta’s A Tale without a Name is translated from the Greek and charmingly illustrated with all-new black and white drawings throughout by Mika Provata-Carlone, and published by Pushkin Press.

6. The Axion Esti – Odysseas Elytis

When Odysseus Elytis was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy’s citation singled out “The Axion Esti”, first published in 1959, as ‘one of twentieth-century literature’s most concentrated and richly faceted poems.’ It can be seen both as a secular oratorio, reflecting the Greek heritage and the country’s revolutionary spirit, and also as a kind of autobiography, in which the spiritual roots of the poet’s very individual sensibility are set in the wider philosophical context of the Greek tradition. In his evocation of eternal Greece, his vision of the war and its aftermath, and his concluding celebration of human life, Elytis is a true voice of our age A- a deeply personal lyric poet who speaks for humanity at large.

7. Christ Recrucified – A Novel-Nikos Kazantzakis

The inhabitants of a Greek village, ruled by the Turks, plan to enact the life of Christ in a mystery play but are overwhelmed by their task. A group of refugees, fleeing from the ruins of their plundered homes, arrive asking for protection – and suddenly the drama of the Passion becomes reality.

8. Diaries of Exile – Yannis Ritsos

Yannis Ritsos is a poet whose writing life is entwined with the contemporary history of his homeland. Nowhere is this more apparent than in this volume, which presents a series of three diaries in poetry that Ritsos wrote between 1948 and 1950, during and just after the Greek Civil War, while a political prisoner first on the island of Limnos and then at the infamous camp on Makronisos. Even in this darkest of times, Ritsos dedicated his days to poetry, trusting in writing and in art as collective endeavours capable of resisting oppression and bringing people together across distance and time. These poems offer glimpses into the daily routines of life in exile, the quiet violence Ritsos and his fellow prisoners endured, the fluctuations in the prisoners’ sense of solidarity, and their struggle to maintain humanity through language. This moving volume justifies Ritsos’s reputation as one of the truly important poets in Greece’s modern literary history.

9. Wildcat Under Glass – Alki Zei

The story is set on an island in Greece during the 1930’s as the nation is forced into a Fascist dictatorship. It is told through the eyes of a young girl named Melia, who relates the experiences of her family as they are forced to accept life under a repressive government. The book provides an interesting look at an important period of Greek history and tells it from a child’s perspective. The naturalness and liveliness of the dialogue is combined with the seriousness and depth of the meaning. In a playful atmosphere, the reader is aware of and enjoys a mature thought that deals with and analyses social visions while trying to discover the threads that move them. The value of the book consists in precisely this combination. One of its virtues and what makes it universal is also that the narration, although set in Greece at a particular period of time, seems somehow spaceless and timeless.

10. Drifting Cities – Stratis Tsirkas

‘Drifting Cities’ is a saga set against the backdrop of three cities – Jerusalem, Cairo, and Alexandria – as they descend into chaos in a war-ravaged Middle East. Its protagonist, Manos, is a poet and a lover of life who deserts the national army to join the leftists in their secret struggle against Greek fascists and royalists.

Underground operations take him from city to city, involving him in a chain of shifting and perilous relationships. Manos is forced to choose between his human impulses and the brutal dictates of Communist ideology.Combining an exotic brilliance of detail reminiscent of Lawrence Durrell ‘s The Alexandria Quartet with the sweep and historical passion of Andre Malraux, Stratis Tsirkas has, with Drifting Cities, established himself as a novelist of international importance.

A chronological outline at the end of the book accompanies the reader through all the important historical events depicted in the novels. The trilogy Drifting Cities has also been published in Arabic, French, Italian (The Club), Romanian, Spanish and Turkish.

Read also:

Luxurious Resorts, Stylish Boutiques, and Family Villas on Skiathos

Glittering Gems: A Guide to the Skiathos’Best Beaches

From Castles to Caves: Top Attractions of Skiathos

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Exploring the Coast of the Peloponnese’s Eastern Peninsula

The eastern coasts of the Peloponnese feature a range of lovely villages, small towns, and fantastic beaches. From the underwater archaeological site at Kechries to the rock of Monemvasia with its medieval ambience, you can discover your own little paradise for a weekend escape or even a summer vacation. With Nafplio or Monemvasia as your base, head off in your Avis car on a memorable coastal adventure.



The town of Ermioni has a sophisticated atmosphere that reverberates from its architecture. Surrounded by lush greenery and crystal-clear waters, the town has a harbor filled with fishing caiques and sailboats. Fishermen ensure daily that fresh fish and seafood are supplied to local tavernas, while sailors and others keenly sample the local cuisine. You can wander through Ermioni’s narrow streets and explore its beaches, such as Kouverta, Lepitsa, Petrothalassa, Dardiza, Leukes, Maderi, and Sentoni, among others. Diving activities are also available.

If the weather isn’t perfect, you can walk through the pine forest of Bisti to the top of the hill, where you’ll find the foundations of an ancient temple. Additionally, you can visit the Historical and Folklore Museum of Ermioni (open in July and August) and the 11th-century Monastery of Agioi Anargyroi. In the evening, make your way to the Mandrakia district for a drink by the sea.


Located in the Corinth prefecture, Kechries, along with Lechaio, once served as one of the two ports of Ancient Corinth. Although the village itself doesn’t possess any particular charm, it is worth stopping by its beach. Here, you’ll find the remains of a port submerged in the sea. It is believed that the first construction works date back to the Archaic period, while the ruins visible today are the result of Roman interventions. The harbor was horseshoe-shaped, with two artificial breakwaters.

On the southern breakwater, you’ll find remnants of storage spaces, a temple dedicated to the goddess Isis, and a 4th-century Paleochristian basilica. The northern breakwater features a square tower, a sanctuary of Aphrodite, and various other structures. In the broader area of the beach and ancient harbor, you can also discover the remains of a Roman architectural complex, a Roman mausoleum, and the underground Roman cemetery on Koutsongila ridge, where its painted decoration is still preserved.


Korfos is a small harbor nestled within a bay, approximately 30 kilometers from the Oraia Eleni Baths. If you’re seeking a tranquil, relaxed place to spend a few days, Korfos is ideal. Pine-covered slopes and olive groves rise behind it, while clear waters and pebble beaches stretch out before it.

The side of the bay you’ll encounter while descending to the village is slightly more bustling, with taverns and cafes. The opposite side of the bay, however, is quieter and features small coves and rocks where you can lay your towel for even greater peace. Although the seabed here is full of sea urchins, it does offer some advantages, as you can collect numerous urchin shells and enjoy the perfect conditions for snorkeling.

Ancient Epidaurus

Ancient Epidaurus is connected to the Athens Festival and performances at the ancient theater. However, it has much more to offer. In addition to the ancient theaters, the small and the large, it is also home to the archaeological site of Asclepeion, where the large theater is located. This is where the medical science began, and it served as the headquarters of the god of medicine in antiquity and the most important therapeutic center in the Greek and Roman world.


The site includes two sanctuaries, dedicated to the god Asclepius and Apollo Maleatas, as well as a series of other buildings such as the Tholos, which is considered the finest circular building of ancient Greek architecture and played a significant role in the cult of Asclepius. The site also features the Katagogion, the largest building in the area that functioned as a guesthouse, the “Building E,” a worship space, the Stadium where athletic competitions in honor of Asclepius took place, the small temple of Artemis, and the restaurant. A museum is also present, exhibiting artifacts dating from the Archaic to the Roman era. You can swim at Kalymnios Beach, where the submerged ancient city with its Mycenaean tombs awaits – don’t forget to bring a mask – as well as Gialasi Beach, Vagonia, Kalamaki, and Panagia Polemarcha.


Methana is well-known for its volcano and therapeutic baths, which owe their existence to the volcano’s activity. Surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful beaches, it’s an ideal spot for swimming and enjoying delicious meals at local taverns. You can swim at Agioi Anargyroi, Akti Karastamati, Foflaka, Agios Georgios, Moucha, Limniona, Kounoupitsa, Agios Nikolaos, Vathy, Almyra, or any other spot that appeals to you. On the Throni plateau, above Megalochori, you’ll encounter the largest terrestrial crater, one of the thirty, belonging to Methana’s volcano.

Vathy, the picturesque fishing village on the Methana peninsula Methana Baths in the Agios Nikolaos area, ancient baths and remnants of a Roman-era reservoir have been preserved, while the Kypseli beach is home to the ruins of a classical-era fortress with remains of an ancient temple inside. It’s worth visiting the Faviero Castle on the narrow strip of land connecting Methana to the Peloponnese, at an altitude of 80 meters. The villages of Agioi Theodoroi, Palaia Loutra, and Megalochori are perfect for day trips. And, of course, don’t leave Methana without visiting the therapeutic baths at the harbor. The spring water is rich in precious trace elements and minerals, and its temperature exceeds 30°C. Springs can be found along the waterfront in Methana town and on the northern side of the peninsula at Agios Nikolaos.

Porto Heli

Porto Heli was once a cosmopolitan destination that gradually declined, but it has recently re-emerged as a hot spot, particularly after the investment by Aman Resorts in the area. Here, you can find countless accommodation options, ranging from budget-friendly to luxurious, as well as an abundance of dining, coffee, and drink options. The area also boasts organized and unorganized beaches to suit every taste. You can swim at the small Kosta beach, opposite Kova, at Hinitsa with a view of the islet, at the pebbly Korakias beach with incredible greenery in the background, at Ververonda, and at the more inaccessible Megalo and Mikro Pefko with lush greenery and beautiful waters.

You can also swim at the beaches opposite the harbor, at Agios Emilianos, Kounoupi, or any other spot you like for laying out your towel. A leisurely stroll takes you to the archaeological site of Aliis, a settlement that existed since the Neolithic period, and which was reorganized by the inhabitants of Tiryns in the 5th century BCE. The area also features an ancient acropolis with remains of houses, workshops, and a religious center. If you have time, take a boat from Kosta for a trip to the aristocratic Spetses.


Tolo was a favorite holiday destination in the ’80s and ’90s, and despite its decline for several years, it has started to attract people’s interest again. It is also a destination for peaceful, carefree getaways. Here, you can do almost everything on foot, walk down to the beach of Psili Ammos for a coffee with a view of the sea and the small islands opposite, or dive into the beautiful waters and go for a meal at the tavernas next to the waves.

A little further away is Kastraki beach, a small beautiful cove with transparent waters and pebbles, very close to the archaeological site of Ancient Asini, which you can also visit on foot. If you want noise and beach bars, the huge beach of Drepano is exceptionally close. Tolo Bay is ideal for windsurfing, kitesurfing, and canoeing, and you will find the corresponding water centers. Also, there are diving schools for beginners and experienced divers, with the help of which you can explore the wonderful seabed of Koronisi, Romvi, and Daskaleio, the three small islands embraced by Tolo Bay.


Paralia Astros is a small seaside village just 4 kilometers away from Astros. It is built at the foot and on the slope of a hill, on top of which stands a castle. It has a lively harbor with fishing boats and an island atmosphere. The settlement is beautiful, with many parts of it being quite picturesque. Also, here, you will come to spend leisurely spring and summer days. You will swim at Kallisto with its sand and fine pebbles, at Portes, which is essentially a continuation of the previous beach, at Atsiganou to the north of the settlement, and next to Glyfada. Strolling through the alleys and the place “Nisi” at the top of the hill is a must, with stone houses, beautiful courtyards, and of course, the climb up to the castle. For coffee and food, the harbor is the best choice, while it is worth going a little outside the settlement to visit Moustou Lake and the wetland it creates.


The small town of Tyros is located at the edge of the Argolic Gulf, between Astros and Leonidio, and is surrounded by beautiful waters. It is essentially divided into three zones: the upper district at the foot of Mount Parnon, the lower district, which is sparsely populated with courtyards full of flowers, olive trees, and citrus trees, and the beachfront where some neoclassical houses still remain, giving the area a picturesque atmosphere. The small harbor is filled with fishing boats, and just above it, on the hill, there are traces of the ancient acropolis. In some other spots, parts of the city’s Cyclopean walls are visible. Apart from the main beach in front of the settlement, to the north, there is the pine tree-lined Tiganis beach, and to the south, the Lygaria beach with its amazing waters.


Leonidio is a beautiful small town in the shadow of Mount Parnon that still retains much of its picturesque charm. As you stroll through its narrow streets, you will see well-kept mansions and grand neoclassical buildings from the 19th century with beautiful flower-filled courtyards. Leonidio is also the birthplace of the famous Tsakonian eggplant, which even has a summer festival in its honor.

While Leonidio is not located directly on the coast, it is very close to the sea and can be reached in less than 10 minutes by car. The organized beach of Plaka with its small harbor offers beautiful waters, while the beaches of Lakos, Poulithra, and Thiopauto, set against a backdrop of olive groves, are also lovely. The small harbor of Sambatiki, a quarter of an hour to the north, with a handful of houses, is perfect for a quiet stroll and a meal. If you enjoy rock climbing, note that Leonidio has a climbing field. If you visit in August, be sure to attend the Tsakonian eggplant festival to sample the local cuisine in all its variety.


Kyparissi is a beautiful village with a strong traditional character. You will see whitewashed houses with colorful windows and doors, terracotta roofs, and well-kept courtyards everywhere. The main settlement is not on the coast, but there is a much smaller coastal settlement where a wonderful mix of Maniot and Cycladic architecture can be seen, with simple white cubic houses and blue windows and doors. The beautiful nature here extends all the way to the coast. For swimming, head to the small harbor or a little further north to Megali Ammos beach or Agia Kyriaki, which is very close and absolutely stunning. If you want to explore the area around Kyparissi, the villages of Haraka, Lambokampos, and Pistamata are good choices.

Gerakas Port and Lagoon

Nestled between Kyparissi and Monemvasia lies the small, picturesque harbor of Ieraka, also known as Gerakas, and an impressive lagoon. The area is protected under the NATURA 2000 network, attracting a diverse array of rare migratory birds, including numerous herons. The lagoon, covering approximately 400 hectares, is also home to shrimp, sea bream, pipefish, crabs, and lobsters. One part of the lagoon exhibits a striking orange-red hue, resulting from both the aquatic plants and the soil composition. To the south, a small islet can also be found.

During the Byzantine era, the harbor served as a naval base to combat Saracen pirates, as well as a safe anchorage for all ships when storms beset the wider region. Though the harbor is small, it is incredibly picturesque and well worth a visit. Relax at one of the local tavernas and savor fresh seafood. Note that to the northeast of the settlement, atop a hill, stands the ancient acropolis of Zaraka, offering stunning views of the area.

Kastania Cave

Kastania Cave may not be as renowned as its Laconian counterpart, Diros Cave, but it is ranked second of its kind throughout Europe. The cave’s breathtaking formations took approximately three million years to develop. The space boasts a dense array of shapes, colors, and forms, including massive stone structures resembling waterfalls in white and red hues, and columns in various striking forms, which, with a touch of imagination, appear as animal figures, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

Visitors can explore a 500-meter-long accessible route within the cave. The speleothems are composed of crystalline carbonate limestone, enriched with metal oxides from the subsoil, resulting in a vibrant, seven-color palette. Interestingly, the cave’s first visitor was a shepherd who followed bees entering and exiting a hole in the ground, prompting him to dig a larger opening to discover the reason behind the bees’ mysterious behavior. This exploration led to the unearthing of Kastania Cave.

Read also:

Kyparissi: Unpretentious seaside jewel of the Lakonia area

Methana: A Volcanic Peninsula on the Eastern tip of the Peloponnese, Greece

Weekend in Leonidio: Peaceful escape, 200 km from Athens

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Making the Most of Your Time in Tinos

If you want to do more than lay in the sun, there are numerous activities to enjoy in Tinos, from wine tastings and hikes to cultural experiences and memorable swims at a variety of beaches.


Whether you are visiting Tinos for a couple of days or a couple of weeks, it’s well worth exploring its many different facets to get as much out of your visit as possible, while coming into contact with the island’s singular food and wine culture, archaeological and cultural wealth, distinctive religious identity, varied beaches and splendid natural scenery. Here, we offer you our top suggestions.

Delve into the Island’s Cultural Wealth

Tinos has an sophisticated cultural heritage rooted back to antiquity, as you can discover at the Archaeological Museum (+30 22830 22670). It is also home to some of Greece’s most famous scultpors, because of its marble quarries. Don’t miss out on the Tinian Artists Museum (+30 2283 031262), the Museum of Marble Crafts (+30 2283 031290) and the Halepas House. The island also honours the work of local and international artists by showcasing it in impressive exhibitions at several wonderful spaces, such as the Art Gallery of the Evangelistria Foundation (+30 22830 22256).

Go Wine Tasting

Over the past two decades, Tinos’ vineyards have made a strong regenerative comeback. Today, the island is home to wineries that produce high-quality wines, where you can visit to enjoy tasting grape varieties that are native to the Cyclades region and cultivated in the island’s volcanic soil. Three excellent tasting and touring experiences can be had at Tinian Vineyards (T-Oinos) in Agios Dimitrios, Falatados (+30 22830 41120), Vaptistis Winery in Steni (+30 22830 42155) and Volacus Wine in Falatados (+30 697 848 5671). Tinos is also home to unpasteurized Nissos craft beer, which accepts visits upon appointment (+30 2283 026333).

Attend a Local Festival

There’s no better way of connecting with the island’s locals, getting to know their community and getting a deeper understanding of their culture than by attending one of the annual festival celebrations. On August 15th, pilgrims and tourists gather to honor the feast day of Virgin Mary, with ceremonies spanning two glorious days at Panagia Megalochari church. July 23rd sees the celebration of Agia Pelagia, as the revered icon is taken to the Monastery of Kehrovouniou before returning to its church. And on June 15th, the Artichoke Festival in the village of Komi showcases the local love for this unique vegetable through delectable dishes, traditional music, and a warm welcome extended to all.

Go for a Scenic Hike

There are countless old mule tracks and paths on the island, many of which have now been marked for hiking and are well-maintained. The hiking network is over 150 kilometers long and it’s the only way to experience the authentic, unexplored aspects of Tinos, from its alpine areas all the way down to the coast. Learn more about the trails at: and

Hit the Beach

On Tinos there is a great enough variety of beaches to keep everyone satisfied, from surfer-friendly Kolympithres and family-friendly Agios Romanos and Agios Fokas to busy, buzzy Agios Sostis and Kionia and tranquil and scenic Santa Margarita and Livada.

Eat Your Way Across the Island

Foodies cannot be but enthused by the island’s exciting gastronomy, based on a broad array of delicious local products and recipes as well as the establishment, over the last few decades, of a top-notch modern dining scene. In practically every village you can sample an array of mouthwatering cheeses, ham, seafood, meats, wines and other products in several flavor-packed renditions by chefs determined to keep raising the bar of the island’s culinary reputation.

Read also:

Best Gastronomic Experiences on the Island of Tinos

Tinos’ gastronomic revolution

Tinos: The calm force of the Cyclades

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