Unique Greek Christmas Gifts

Bring a touch of Greek charm to your loved ones this Christmas with our hand-picked selection of gifts.

The clock is ticking but you still have a little more time before Santa beats you to it—and to help, we’ve put together the absolute best treats for all tastes, ages and interests.

These made-in-Greece brands create unique items we love giving and receiving – and no doubt you will also find the perfect piece (or two) here for family, friends, or yourself! 

For everyone…

11 Modern Muses

Greek brand 11 Morden Muses has beautiful minimal calendars, scented candles and art prints that you will fall in love with. Perfect for gifting this season, their new planner aspires to keep your creative fire alive throughout the new year and will help you stay organised and grateful for each new day. 

11modernmuses.com

Naked Summers

Visual artist Christina Mandilari paints with a special technique on both fabrics and ceramics, which remind us of warm, carefree, “naked” summers. Mandilar’s gorgeous creations include plates, painted vases, woven pillows, paintings and posters. Ideal gifts for those who can never get enough of the wonderful Greek summer.

nakedsummers.com

Rhoeco

Is there anything better than enjoying a warm, strong tea by the fire at Christmas? Whatever image this short description created for you comes to life through the notes of Rhoeco’s Christmas blend tea, a small business that produces beverages inspired by Greek nature. And what’s even more ideal is that they come beautifully packaged in pots that can be reused. 

rhoeco.com

Contrust Collective

Even though this concept store is small, there is lots to see. Owned and operated by a group of five local designers and artisans, it features lovely neutral ceramics, jewellery, and bags made of cork, leather, and canvas. It’s the prints, though, that truly catch the eye here; some of them are prints or sort of pop-up books featuring Greek cities that are vividly coloured and abstract.

contrustcollective.gr

For foodies

Politeia

Savour delicious, nutritious dishes and enjoy a healthy diet, the Mediterranean way! An easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide is the perfect gift for those wishing to cook traditional, delicious and nutritious dishes that have stood the test of time. The Art of Greek Cooking has a recipe to satisfy everyone. You can discover this and plenty more cookbook choices in English at the famous bookstore Politeia, at the centre of Athens. 

politeia.gr

Olive Wood Land Shop

Buying kitchen accessories made of authentic olive wood is a quality and timeless choice. You can either visit this unique store in the historic centre of Athens in Monastiraki, just a few hundred meters from the Acropolis, which specialises in creating products from the olive wood, of your choice, or head to their online shop. 

olivewoodlandshop.gr

For kids…

Wandering Workshop

If you are looking for original stylish wooden toys that can stimulate children’s imagination and enhance their creativity then look no further than the online store Wandering Workshop. “Our toys wander carefreely between the earth, sea and sky, inviting children to invent the play,” say the creators’ Hose Navaro and Athina Doukaki.

thewanderingworkshop.com

Greek Games 

Discover the magic word of Greek games-literally, with a series of games, posters, card posts, t-shirts and more fun items. These products entertain children (adults as well) and at the same time, provide knowledge of Greek mythology and history, with an artistic twist. It’s the lovechild of Effie Karagouni and Christos Papachristou, two creators with a passion and respect for the arts, museums, the history of Greece and above all, with deep love and caring for children and their education.

mygreekgames.com

5 Greek Fashion Brands to Shop for Winter 23  

With the festive season getting closer and closer, now’s the time to start working on your new winter wardrobe. 

It’s entirely possible to look warm and stylish at the same time, which is where reliable closet staples – boots, coats, turtle necks, knit dresses (and more) – are essential.

And to make it even easier to choose what you want to add to your winter closet, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite Greek fashion brands – so you can shop ahead for this busy holiday season!

PHILOSOPHY 

Greek fashion brand PHILOSOPHY is chosen by women who seek freedom and a unique style when it comes to their looks. Abstract lines, monochromes, neutral shades, and unique textures are seen throughout all designs, which are both timeless and contemporary. Their current winter collection also has splashes of orange, green and fuchsia – for those who want to wear some brights on gloomy days. 

NAMASTÉ

This minimalist brand creates clothes that not only make you feel great but also comfortable when you put on an outfit. Their AW23 collection is full of earthy tones and textures that are soft and chic. NAMASTE’s aesthetic escapes seasonal fashion trends and focuses more on a timeless design, so you can wear their pieces for years to come. And you can also add some of their jewellery pieces to finish off your look! 

Project Soma

This contemporary label was founded in 2019 by Greek celebrities Mary Synatsakis and Athina Oikonomakou. The two popular influencers combined their creative powers to establish a fresh modern brand with a touch of boho. All pieces are carefully sewn and manufactured in Greece, and the new winter collection is filled with earthy and pastel colours, as well as floral patterns, that add a touch of romance and elegance to any look. 

Chatòn

The brand’s passion is to create unique clothes that can be worn both day and night. Always choosing exquisite fabrics, Chatòn is known for its feminine dresses and stunning colour palette. Creating fine pieces that flatter all body types, their winter collection includes stunning coats and oversized blazers that can be worn from a day in the office to a night out for dinner.

Badila

Designed and made in Athens, this well-known local brand has created unique winter pieces that make for the perfect weekend wear this season. Featuring simple lines and natural raw materials, you can find high-quality basics that can be worn casually, or dressed up for a more special occasion. 

Main Image by Project Soma

Chat With Greece’s Leading Hair Stylist Ilias Karahalios 

Ilias Karahalios is one of Greece’s leading and most sought-after hair experts.

With over 30 years of experience, he has opened three salons across Athens and works closely with some of the country’s top fashion designers, makeup artists, models, and celebrities- creating eye-catching and chic looks that are seen on the runway, in magazines, television and red-carpet appearances.  

Having a visionary flair and natural talent for styling, cutting and colouring tresses, it’s hard to believe that Ilias was, in fact, working as a mechanical engineer in his 20s, before deciding to follow his true passion (and in his mother’s footsteps) of becoming a hairstylist.    

We recently had a chat with Ilias at his salon in Kifissia, and asked him about the latest hair trends, how to keep hair healthy, and his incredible work in fashion. 

What do you love most about your work? 

The greatest reward for me is seeing our clients’ faces light up when they view the final result. I love seeing my clients happy, smiling, and leaving the salon with confidence as they bounce their hair around.  

Tell us about your work within the fashion industry. 

From when I started hairdressing, I liked everything to do with fashion. It started with beauty contests, which were very popular at the time. It was actually in 1997 and I was a member of the team that was working on hair for Miss Greece. Then when I opened my salon, I started collaborating with Greek modelling agencies and doing hair for both Greek and international models.

What are a few stand-out events you’ve worked on? 

There have been so many, including a big fashion show at Zappeion for leading Greek fashion designer Vassilis Zoulias, and two months ago we were part of an amazing fashion event that was held at the swimming pool of the Olympic stadium, that was for MI-RŌ.  

Tell us more about your hair salon Ilias & Staff, which is conveniently located around 3 spots in Athens.

We have salons in Kifissia, Glyfada and Nea Filothei and are very well known for our colour techniques. But in saying that, we are also able to provide the whole package – including haircuts, blow-dry, styling, manicures, pedicures, tanning, and makeup. We try to offer our clients all they need for both hair and beauty.  

What is your favorite haircut right now? 

Fashion changes so quickly, and I like to experiment. At the moment I have a lot of young girls coming in and asking for a butterfly haircut.

What are the top colour trends? 

Ginger is something that is coming more and more into fashion, and there is also a trend for blonde that has intensity at the front – to emphasize the frame of the face.

What’s trending for men? 

I think we’re going to see more of the French haircut for guys-  a grown-out natural/untailored look. 

When it comes to blow-dries are ladies going for waves or a straight look? 

Hair with volume, giving it a real red carpet/Hollywood feel is very much the look right now. 

What are your top 3 tips for maintaining healthy hair? 

Trim to get rid of the dead ends. After a good haircut, conditioning and moisturising the hair with a mask once a week is great. And remember to be very gentle when combing your hair.

Finally, when you aren’t at the salon, where will we find you relaxing? 

Every week or at least every couple, I like trying a different restaurant. It might be a good Italian place where the chef is well-known, or a new place that has just opened. 

Ultimate Travel Capsule Wardrobe for Autumn ’23

Exuding elegance and ease – these new-season pieces can effortlessly take you from day to night. 

Whether you’ve planned an entire week of visiting amazing museums and eating at some of the Greek capital’s hottest new restaurants, or heading up North to experience Thessaloniki’s impressive attractions and lively bars – we’ve put together a versatile autumn travel capsule wardrobe to cover your entire stay!

From classics – including a trench coat and boots to this year’s must-have leather skirt and Mary Janes – our editors’ picks are both practical and stylish. 

Long Sleeve Top

Looking for the perfect layering essential to add to any fall outfit? Basic long-sleeve tops have you covered! Go for either white or grey, as these neutrals can be worn with everything else in your luggage – and never date. 

Jeans

No wardrobe (closet or suitcase) is ever complete without a pair of jeans. Whether you prefer a high-waist, straight-leg, or boot-cut version, you can never go wrong when paired with chic sneakers during the day and fancier shoes for a night out.

White Shirt

Roll up the sleeves, pop the collar, or button it all up—no matter which way you like wearing it, a crisp white shirt is another essential layer that adds instant style to everyday jeans or trousers. 

Leggings

We aren’t talking about the ones you workout in – we mean these chic vegan leather leggings you can wear to brunch, a day of sightseeing, or a late-night dinner. Pair them with your basic long-sleeve top, blazer, sneakers – and you are set to go! 

Riding Boots

Boots are perfect when travelling, as they offer comfort and versatility. And we can’t go past these timeless black riding boots that can be worn with ease – adding extra warmth and polish to any outfit. 

Denim Shirt

This relaxed shirt has become a staple in everyone’s wardrobe as it’s the perfect transitional piece. And don’t think twice about wearing denim on denim- as the fashion world’s obsession with denim is at an all-time high. 

Lifestyle Sneakers

Every traveller needs a cool pair of sneakers that are practical, comfortable and chic. Paired with leggings or jeans – they can be worn on your way to the airport, for long days of sightseeing, and any casual outing.

Blazer

Another must in our mix of travel staples is the classic blazer, which has become our ultimate layering tool. Throw it over anything and you will look sharp and sophisticated in a matter of seconds.

Turtleneck

Versatile and flattering, a turtleneck is a must-have addition this time of year as not only does it keep you warm- but you can also easily dress it up, or style it casually for everyday wear.

Trench Coat

A classic trench instantly elevates any look and this water-repellent trench is ideal for those rainy days. Pop it on and stylishly make your way around town, ticking off all the must-visit spots on your list!

Leather Skirt

Easily wearable throughout your entire travels, a leather skirt adds a touch of luxury to your capsule wardrobe. We love pairing ours with a feminine shirt and ballet flats.

Mary Jane Flats

Blending comfort and style – Mary Janes are an eternal classic that you can wear sitting on a plane, walking around a busy departure lounge, or while enjoying an aperitivo with uninterrupted views of the Acropolis.

Main Image Courtesy of Zara 

Nara Camicie, Bringing Italian Designs to Athens Each Season

Italian fashion brand Nara Camicie is known for designing classic, high-quality shirts that are perfect to wear both day and night.

Paired easily with casual jeans for weekend brunching, or worn with a pencil skirt for a night out in the town- each elegant and stylish shirt is made using fine fabrics that last for many seasons.

Having introduced Athenians to Nara Camicie in 1988, since then the Patouras family has opened 6 stores throughout Athens and expanded its range to include other in-demand pieces including jackets, trousers, dresses, skirts and accessories.

We recently had a chat with Sales Manager Stefania Patouras, about the brand’s popularity in Greece, their new Autumn/Winter collection, as well as some of her favourite places to eat and drink in her home city of Athens.  

What made your family decide to bring Nara Camicie to Greece?

Nara has a long-standing presence in Greece, as it was my father’s vision that prompted him 37 years ago to believe in the idea of a one-product specialty store. In the case of Nara, this item happens to be the classic women’s and men’s shirts.

How would you describe Nara Camicie’s designs? 

The brand’s philosophy is to create comfortable, everyday modern shirts that can be worn during all moments of life- and which combined with other pieces, bring out an individual’s personality. Each season more than 200 exciting styles enrich our collections, following both fashion trends and timeless classic elegance.

Why do you think Nara has become so popular in Athens?

Our clients know that they can pop into any Nara store whether it’s in Kifissia, Kolonaki, Glyfada, or Piraeus and we will happily help them pick out pieces for their wardrobe that they can wear for years to come. What they love most, is that our collection can be worn throughout the day at work and it can also take them into the evening- whether it be on a date, or catching up with friends- knowing they will feel comfortable and confident with what they are wearing. 

What are some classic pieces for both women and men that you think should be a staple in everyone’s wardrobe? 

A simple white cotton shirt is an absolute must for every season! I also think a classic tailored jacket that can be worn casually with jeans and dressed up with a pair of nice pants or a dress is something everyone should invest in.  

What colours and designs are in for Fall/Winter ’23?

Bright pinks, blues and purples are dominating our collection this season, as is the always classic black and whites. Red is also very much a hot theme for 2023, as well as bell-bottom pants and double-breasted jackets. 

What are some of your favourite pieces from Nara Camicie’s collection? 

I’ve been living in our comfortable, white linen shirt throughout the entire summer – and I just love the iconic Mininare recycled leather bag that I can take everywhere with me. 

After work, where do you head for some good food and drinks? 

There are so many spots that I love, but mostly you will find me at Kuzina for the great food, cocktails and views of the Acropolis, Hytra for some fine dining and amazing atmosphere, Vezene is also one of my favourites – it’s a bistro-style restaurant that’s located in the city. Upupa Epops for a great cocktail and to unwind after a long day. Beefbar at Four Seasons in Athens Riviera is a gorgeous spot year-round, and for more seaside dining in Vouliagmeni I head to Akti and Krabo. Finally, if you are after some amazing seafood, I recommend Varoulko in Piraeus. 

Some of your favourite places for a weekend escape? 

We really are spoilt for choice and for a great weekend away from the city, we usually head to Sounio or Nafplio. And for close island getaways, I love Kea and Kythnos. 

Finally, what do you always pack with you when you travel?

My camera, a good mood and of course… my favourite linen shirt!  

Nara Camicie is available in-store and online at Nara Camicie 

Autumn Cultural Events on the Greek Islands 

Autumn Cultural Events on the Greek Islands

We’ve gathered a list of great cultural events taking place on the Greek islands during autumn – that shouldn’t be missed!

Perhaps a well-kept secret that few know about, is that the incredible summer vibe on the Greek islands does not end in August. On the contrary, the heart of many cultural events beats strongly on the Aegean during September, October and early November. Picturesque islands come alive, as locals and visitors join to celebrate a range of festivities!

First stop… the island of Rhodes
Insights Greece - Autumn Cultural Events on the Greek Islands 

Festival European Polyphony

The Old Town of Rhodes with its stone-paved alleys and elegant mansions is a listed World Heritage Site, and over the last 5 years, this wonderful place has hosted a festival dedicated to classical music, photography and cinema. The event was born after a long-term collaboration between the French organisation Arts Spontanés and Ars Artis, which has its headquarters in Rhodes. For fifteen consecutive days, the medieval city of Rhodes turns into a music and art workshop, giving the audience an opportunity to take part in numerous interactive music workshops and high-quality concerts featuring internationally renowned artists and musical ensembles.

When: 18th – 30th of September, 2023

Where: Rhodes

Entry: Free

Website: el.festivaleuropeanpolyphony

Over to the “Queen” of the Cyclades… Syros
Insights Greece - Autumn Cultural Events on the Greek Islands 

ANIMASYROS

Ermoupoli, the main town of Syros is stately and grand; from the marble-paved squares in the port to the fairytale mansions in town- the diverse character of the island helps attract international artists every year as part of the ANIMASYROS International Animation Festival. It’s the largest of its kind in Greece and one of the largest in Europe. And from the 26th of September, a rich artistic program full of awarded animations, educational programs and parallel activities, such as exhibitions, concerts and parties will take place in Ermoupoli. Having in mind that Syros was the first place in Greece to hold a film screening in 1900, the festival takes on another significance – making the experience unique for animation-cinema lovers and not only.

When: 26th September – 1st October, 2023

Where: Syros

Website: animasyros.gr

Discover… marble art on Tinos Island
Insights Greece - Autumn Cultural Events on the Greek Islands 

Yanoulis Halepas: The sculpture’s highest lesson

Tinos, the island of marble is home to great Greek sculptors whose admirable creations raised the island’s marble-carving tradition to new heights. One of them was renowned artist Yanoulis Halepas, who will now have some of his stunning pieces presented for the very first time at a major exhibition titled Yanoulis Halepas: the sculpture’s highest lesson. The exhibition brings together two significant sets of works by Yannoulis Halepas: the collection of the Cultural Foundation of Tinos and the collection of the Onassis Foundation. Curated by Alexandra Goulaki-Voutyras, it will give visitors the chance to view pieces from his first works through to his later sculptures that were produced in Athens.

When: 10th June- 16th October, 2023

Where: Cultural Foundation of Tinos (Chora, Tinos)

Website: onassis.org

Melodies and music… also in Tinos
Insights Greece - Autumn Cultural Events on the Greek Islands 

Tinos World Music Festival 

Launched in 2013, this popular event has hosted over 100 musicians from Greece and abroad and each year draws more and more crowds from different parts of the world. Featuring unique concerts that aim to highlight instruments including the clarinet, violin, cello, bouzouki, oud, rabab and the sasz, the program will include a range of artists’ own compositions as well as traditional songs from the Greek, Turkish, Armenian and Arab world.

When: 3rd – 5th November, 2023

Where: Tinos

Website: tinosworldmusicfestival.com

The other side of… Mykonos
Insights Greece - Autumn Cultural Events on the Greek Islands 

Mykonos Running Festival

Mykonos is renowned for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, intense nightlife, and vibrant beach clubs – and now it’s also attracting those seeking a wellbeing escape with a three-day program that’s spread out into three races- the Half Marathon Mykonos Gold, the 10km Mykonos Run and the 2.5km Mykonos Family Fun. There will also be a Kids Athletics program, a holistic retreat wellness event, a music concert and beach party, a local gastronomy festival, a guided tour of attractions and places of archaeological and religious interest, as well as various other events, which will turn the new festival into an incomparable autumn event of sports and culture.

When: 22nd – 24th of September, 2023

Where: Mykonos

Entry: Free

Website: mykonosrunningfestival.org

Keen athletes head to… Spetses
Insights Greece - Autumn Cultural Events on the Greek Islands 

Spetses Mini Marathon

Sitting in the heart of the Saronic Gulf, Spetses has a lot to offer in terms of beaches, sightseeing and activities. This international sporting event is taking place over three days and is aimed at runners who are both experienced and beginners, with a range of options for participants, including races of 5,10, and 25 km, and three swimming races of 1.5 km, 3 km, and 5 km, as well as fun events for children.

When: 29th September – 1st October, 2023

Where: Spetses

Entry: Free

Website: spetsesmarathon.com

Chat With Luxury Travel Expert Cleo Anderson

Cleo Anderson, a luxury travel expert, and the Principal and Founder of multi-award-winning PR agency The Anderson Group, recently landed her own travel show with LUXE.TV.

In less than a year since its premiere, the talented media personality has already won ‘Broadcast Media Host and Producer of the Year 2023’ for ‘Wanderluxe with Cleo Anderson’ at the Influential Businesswoman Awards.

From carefully sourcing the finest stays in the world – to place inside each impressive Oscar nominee gift bag, to finding unique ways to launch new products for high-end brands – no two days are the same for Cleo, who loves travelling the world and sharing her 5-star experiences. 

We recently had a chat with Cleo about luxury travel, her time filming LUXE.TV in Athens, as well as her favourite getaways. Read on to discover more. 

What have been some of your career highlights so far?

I feel that anyone who builds something of their own and sustains that over some time has managed to do something that many do not, so for me that is an overarching accomplishment. Lately, there have also been some really exciting highlights, including being hailed a luxury travel expert in Forbes in 2020, which was fantastic. Early on in my PR career, landing the UK contract to do the PR for Monte Carlo SBM’s 150th Anniversary was a career highlight, as they are such a revered brand in the hotel world. Being crowned the Luxury Travel Curator for The Oscar Nominee gift bag has been great, too, but landing my travel show with LUXE.TV – ‘Wanderluxe with Cleo Anderson’ – has been the pinnacle of my career to date and is a dream job – it’s something I have wanted to do for a while.

As owner of an award-winning luxury PR agency, what do you enjoy most about your work?

I love the variety in terms of the types of clients we work with; working with luxury hotels, I will often visit and stay to get a feel for what they have to offer. I have visited a myriad of places like Cambodia, Bali, Turkey, Vietnam, and Monaco on client visits, which has been great. We also work with some gorgeous luxury products; recently we worked with a standout luxury olive oil made in Greece, which we did a fantastic global PR campaign for. Whether it be working on a campaign for gourmet vegan chocolates or a boutique hotel in some remote place, no two days are the same, so it’s never boring.

Insights Greece - Chat With Luxury Travel Expert Cleo Anderson

When did your passion for travel begin?

In the early days, it was a trip I did with a group of friends and my sister – we went to Miami’s South Beach. That was my first transatlantic girl’s trip and that piqued my interest in world travel. Shortly after that, I went to Thailand with another group of friends, and it became a habit to visit new places when I was able. Once I started, I realised that I was born to travel the world.

In the year 2023, how would you define “Luxury Travel”?

People are travelling more than ever after being grounded for so long, and I believe that luxury travel is about the individualised, bespoke travel itinerary. For me, that’s what 2023 travel is all about following the pandemic.

What type of travel experiences do you think people are currently searching for?

I feel that it has given people a new perspective on life, and I think that people are looking to tick off their big bucket list trips. People want to live their lives more fully than before.

Insights Greece - Chat With Luxury Travel Expert Cleo Anderson

What have been a few standout hotels you’ve recently visited?

We work with a company in Germany that converts lighthouses into luxury boutique hotels – one such hotel in the Canary Islands, Spain is Faro Cumplida. That stay was fantastic, and the location is great. Al Sahel by Anantara in Abu Dhabi was also an enjoyable stay; Anantara is one of my favourite hotel brands, and Al Sahel, in particular, is a nature lover’s dream. The dwellings have a ‘glamping’ feel – luxury on the inside, with a gorgeous setting and a much-needed plunge pool for the heat. I have memories of sitting on the patio with my morning coffee and watching the wildlife -deer, peacocks, and more – stroll past me completely unfazed. It was beautiful.

On the Athenian Riviera, Dolce by Wyndham in Vravrona was a pleasant find. It’s a delightful family resort, but many people don’t know that it also has a handful of private villas with your own private butler, private pool and stunning sea views. I stayed there during filming, and we feature the villa on the show. It was a gorgeous stay. I also love the Four Seasons Astir Palace

One of your most memorable getaways?

I remember a stay at a hotel called Argos in Cappadocia; the location is like nowhere else on earth. The terrain is out of this world, and the landscape is incredible. In the mornings you can watch scores of hot air balloons rise into the sky and I loved going up in a hot air balloon myself one morning, with a champagne and strawberries breakfast laid out once we landed. It is a unique place and a must-see for anyone who loves travel.

Insights Greece - Chat With Luxury Travel Expert Cleo Anderson

Tell us more about your new travel series ‘Wanderluxe With Cleo Anderson’.

It’s a brand-new luxury travel show that premiered on LUXE.TV earlier this year, with 462 million subscribers in 65 countries. Each episode features different ways to enjoy luxury, from exclusive hotels and resorts to unique experiences in each location. The show is available to watch in Greece on Cosmote TV and Vodafone, as well as other channels. The cinematography is beautiful, and it’s a dream to film.

Your first series is based in Athens. Can you share some of your favourite experiences filming in the Greek capital?

We feature several gorgeous places, including a penthouse with Acropolis views. It was beautiful to wake up to that historical view in the morning after filming – I never get tired of it. Walking around Plaka and filming there was stunning; the Greek people were really hospitable and interested in what we were doing, so it was fun. We also enjoyed going out to sea – we wanted to highlight the things that people don’t seem to know about both Greece and Athens; being in Greece is not just about visiting the islands – the Athens Riviera also has a lot to offer and it’s so close to the city centre.

Insights Greece - Chat With Luxury Travel Expert Cleo Anderson

What are a few of your favourite Greek islands?

Visually, Santorini for me is the most elegant and beautiful island. I also enjoyed Mykonos – walks around the island are just lovely. In my teen years, I would visit Skiathos and Rhodes with my sister each year, so I’ve been coming to Greece for some time and know it pretty well. There are always more places to explore, which is what I love about Greece.

What do you always pack with you when travelling?

I always have my laptop so that I can keep up with work – it’s my portable office. A good face and body moisturiser is a must and is always in my bag. My portable speaker by Bose goes everywhere with me, especially if I’m going to be poolside. Vaseline for my lips is essential – the small tins with cocoa butter are perfect. I also switched from sugar to Stevia last year, so I always keep liquid Stevia in my bag for my coffee in the morning. When travelling I also make sure I have a chic bathing suit or two with me – in Athens, I really enjoyed swimming in the sea.

Finally, if you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?

St Barth’s had been on my bucket list for so long and that’s where one of the next episodes was filmed. As I’m half Caribbean, I feel right at home there!

5 Greek Shoe Brands You Should Know 

If you are looking for a new pair of stilettos, slides, pumps, or mules, you are in the right place, as we’ve rounded up the best Greek shoe brands to shop for your next kicks!

From a few old favourites that we’ve loved for years to some new names offering the latest must-have designs, these are some of Greece’s leading shoe brands to get your hands (and feet) on.

Tsakiris Mallas 

One of the most well-established shoe brands in Greece, Tsakiris Mallas has been creating and selling his stylish designs since 1969. With a new collection for each season (depending on the time of year) you can choose from a wide range of classic strappy sandals or the latest must-have winter boots. There are 39 stores throughout Greece, a global online shop, and with the brand also stocked in 23 countries, it’s easy to pick up a pair (or two) anywhere you are!

W: tsakirismallas

Iride De Portu 

Meticulously curating every item, and keeping a close eye on the entire process from the design and production stages to manufacturing, it’s no surprise leading designer Iride De Portu’s handcrafted shoes are not only stunning to look at but also wonderful to wear! 

W: iridedeportu

The Workshop

Handcrafted in Greece, with 100% leather and fine quality fabrics, these are the kind of shoes you never want to take off! From classy wedges and flattering sandals that you can wear during the day, to striking stilettos and chic boots that are perfect for the evening, The Workshop has a shoe design to match every outfit! 

W: theworkshop

Kotsonas Shoes 

A family brand based in Athens, the Kotsonas’s have a philosophy of creating feminine and unique shoes that will be loved by anyone who wears them. Here you will find stunning tailor-made pumps, strappy sandals and peep-toe heels that are 100% handmade and custom-designed. 

W: kotsonasshoes

Femme Fanatique 

Having started designing tango shoes in 2014, since then the company has gradually expanded and is now creating a great range of made-to-wear evening shoes. All designs are entirely handmade with an exceptional fit, and the entire collection (with its soft vintage look) is carefully created to make a statement.

W: femmefanatique

Introducing Kear, Natural Greek Beauty Skincare 

Multi-award-winning brand Kear is known for its sustainable skincare range that is an ode to natural Greek beauty.

By embracing the use of authentic elements and scents, each product is made exclusively in Greece and features pure raw ingredients sourced from local producers. We recently had a chat with founder Ypatia Mitsatsou about what makes the brand unique, Kear’s best-selling products, and asked her to share her own beauty routine. 

Can you tell us a few ancient Greek beauty secrets that have influenced your products?

Ancient “kallos” – beauty in ancient Greek – is a holistic concept. It is not only about the outer appearance but mainly about the connection between mind, body and soul. Ancient Greeks believed that nothing and no one was separate and that everything was connected. Inner wellness is expressed with outer beauty. The common denominator is energy, which is what Kear wishes to express through its holistic skincare; the energy derived from the sun, the sea, nature and potent herbs. 

What are some of the key ingredients used? 

Kear uses only natural ingredients and we are committed to explicitly sourcing them from local producers or cooperatives around Greece. Our olive oil comes from a farm in the Peloponnese region, famous for its quality olive oil. Our beeswax comes from Crete and our herbs and essential oils from all around rural Greece. Although it is not an ingredient, even our packaging is produced in Greece!

Who do you have in mind when creating Kear products?

The women and men of ancient Greece respected the earth and used its produce for therapeutical and cosmetic purposes, gracefully and ethically. We are inspired by the simplicity of each woman who grows up in this wonderful place using pure products, made from the best raw materials. The woman “nurtured” by Greek elements; the sea, the sun, and its perpetual energy. She has a clean, pure beauty and an earthy freshness! 

What makes Kear unique?

First of all, “κέᾰρ” means heart in ancient Greek, but it is pronounced exactly like “care” in English. And as a brand, it has a real story to tell about ancient Greek beauty heritage. We adapted timeless formulas passed down to us by scholars and philosophers into conscientious products, to meet the needs of today’s fast-paced daily personal care routine. The result? Products that are natural, potent, safe, versatile and multifunctional. Not to mention non-toxic, cruelty-free, and long-lasting. With a comprehensive range, Kear has everything one needs for healthy, natural and glowing Grecian skin. Every product is carefully designed to embrace both its ancient roots and its modern presence. 

What are some of your best-sellers?

From the soap bar categories, the Exfoliating Herbal Soap is by far the best-selling soap we have. Loved by both women and men, it leaves your skin feeling so soft and velvety you will not believe it. If you use Hydrate Relax Body Oil afterward you will be amazed at how supple your skin will feel and how hydrated it will be.

From the face balms, AgeDefying is a best-seller as it is both an anti-aging balm and a moisturiser. Soothing Body Balm is a wonder in a jar, packed with the goodness of arnica extract which is a natural anti-inflammatory. And SofiLip Lip Balm is preferred for its soothing and hydrating properties. 

What do you highly recommend for glowing skin?

Kear face balms are one-pot wonders, as they provide a “mini-lift effect”! For glowing skin, the natural way, use AntiOxidant Face Balm with a high content of sea-buckthorn berries. Hippophae rhamnoides Oil (as this is its botanical name) is a rich source of rare fatty acids that regenerate and revive skin cells. It is rich in “beauty vitamin” C, which can reduce inflammation, boost collagen for plump, firm skin, and provide radiant skin! Lastly, it can also balance sebum production in oily skin.

And what would you use for aging skin?

We are very proud to have created a bespoke fusion of skin-beneficial nutrients that gives AgeDefying Face Balm its silky texture. Suitable for ages 35+ it is the ultimate anti-aging balm that is versatile and easy to use. Beeswax, calendula, and propolis soothe and regenerate the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Antioxidant superstars, extra virgin olive oil, sea-buckthorn berry, and grapeseed oil, fight free radical damage and promote moisture restoration. 

What does your daily beauty routine look like?

I always prefer soap bars to emulsion cleansers, so I wash my face with either Mastic Herbal Soap (especially when I wear makeup, as it is a fantastic makeup remover) or Sage Olive Leaf Herbal Soap if it tends to be more oily than usual; sage is known to regulate sebum production in oily and combination skins. Then I take just a pinch (or pea-size) amount of my favourite face balm, rub it on my palms to liquefy it, and I apply it on my face and neck. I wait a couple of minutes and then I apply either makeup or blush. Simple as that. 

Ideally, I rotate the face balms morning and night: AntiOxidant Face Balm with sea buckthorn to protect against free radicals in the morning, and AgeDefying Face Balm with sea buckthorn, calendula, propolis and red grape to prevent fine lines and wrinkles in the evening when our body enters restoration mode.

And at nighttime, I never forget to apply our SofiLip Lip Balm. In the morning my skin is velvety and my lips are soft, supple and so moisturised. I also use SofiLip as a base, under my regular lip gloss or lipstick. 

What do you always pack in your beauty travel bag?

Although I love to travel light, my beauty bag has all the essentials to keep my skin hydrated, nourished and protected. A soap bar to use as a face cleanser, and Kear travel minis; a versatile face balm to use day and night, a body balm (usually Soothing Body Balm to deal with any unnecessary accidents), and Hydrate Relax Body Oil to use as a body moisturiser. As my lips tend to become dehydrated and chapped easily, I always carry one SofiLip; I love cinnamon!

Lastly, can you tell us a few of your favourite places to travel to around Greece, for both work and play?

I try to combine work and play and visit places that have unique energy as well as flora. One of my favourite places is the Zagori region in Epirus, home to a large variety of herbs. It is one of the most beautiful and rich ecosystems in Europe. The energy it emits is magnificent, as each season has something else to offer! You feel as if you open the door to a wonderland!

And now, off to the islands of the Aegean to get some sea air! Using Paros island as my base, where my brother and his family live, we embark upon day sea excursions to forgotten beaches and small islands far away from the crowds. 

Still, this land has so much to offer that I wish I could have the time to travel all around Greece to receive the energy of each place! 

Chat With Best-Selling Author Mireille Giuliano

As soon as “French Women Don’t Get Fat” hit the shelves it became one of the world’s best-selling books, making Mireille Guiliano an inspirational and in-demand author overnight.

Gaining international recognition after her first book was published 18 years ago, people began asking Mireille for more simple and practical lifestyle tips and advice on how to adopt a balanced and mindful approach, not only to eating well but also to living well.

Having emphasised the importance of good food and embracing a lifestyle that includes daily movement, eating fresh, seasonal ingredients, as well as making home-cooked dishes in “French Women Don’t Get Fat,” in her other books, Mireille explores various aspects of French culture, work, etiquette and aging “with attitude.” 

We recently had a chat with Mireille about her timeless writing, her fond memories of visiting Greece every summer, and how she travels the world with ease. 

What do you think makes your books so popular worldwide?

People have huge weight challenges and are looking for solutions. Most want the fast way, and we all know that doesn’t work. Today there are so many diet books and traps; it’s embarrassing. Alas, the food industry has not done its job either, and people seem to want “convenience” simply over cooking at home. People should look for a simple approach and those who get my lifestyle approach seem to do well. I feel so happy that I’m still receiving emails from women and men who say I changed their lives. It’s the best reward.

What experiences of your own do you think have inspired your readers most? 

The fact that I talk the talk, and at 77 feel strong, fit and full of energy. Eating well takes a bit of learning/planning/doing but once you know the basics you can apply it for life, knowing that little indulgences here and there are okay. The fact that it’s not a diet but a lifestyle is appealing, and today the multiple versions of the Mediterranean diet should help, though most people still don’t have a sense of portions, varieties, and seasons. Here in the U.S., I am appalled to see unripe cardboard tasteless tomatoes, strawberries, etc. in January, February, March, and so on. They are expensive and tasteless, and that money would buy some nice greens and fresh, seasonal fruit.

What are some of your tips for staying mindful, healthy, and happy in the year 2023?

Live for the moment, the past is over and alas we have very little control over the future. So, my look at a week of eating/living well at a time like this is more appropriate than ever. It takes a bit of planning but again after a few months of practice, it becomes automatic. The key is also to eat seasonal produce and buy at outdoor markets when possible. 

To say healthy also means to move, and my easy and cheap movements can be done by all, such as walking and doing steps. I still do my 225 steps up and down my apartment building when I’m in NYC.

As for happiness, that comes when one is at peace with body and mind. Having daily connections with people is essential, being around family and friends. And doing something good for the world and society no matter how little, is what brings joie de vivre in a world that has so much negativity.

How can we maintain balance and pleasure throughout the working week? 

Take some “me” time every day. Stop every hour or so even for just a few minutes to drink a glass of water. Also, add a few movements stretch/aerobics/stairs/rope- they are all good and help stimulate energy, relax and restore the body and mind. 

In your book “French Women Don’t Get Facelifts” you share advice on how women can “age with attitude.” What would you say to anyone afraid of aging?

Accepting it is not easy, and we go through phases. Some women feel old at 25, 40, 70. My low point was 75. I had to accept my “more” wrinkles, looking sometimes 20 years older, sometimes 20 years younger, depending on sleep/food intake/stress, and so on. 

Each woman has different issues and too many are always complaining about wrinkles, hair, weight, and so on. One needs to choose one’s battles and we all age (gravity) some faster than others, some easier than others. I think maintaining the 3 C’s -curiosity, confidence, courage- is key, but also taking on new and challenging activities, getting involved in communities, or taking care of young children are among the key factors to forget about aging. And just be thrilled every morning to be alive and healthy!

Insights Greece - Chat With Best-Selling Author Mireille Giuliano

How would you describe your own personal style? 

Authenticity is key in a world where so much is fake. I am at ease with the person I am and understand that I can’t please everyone but I do my best to give the most to those who appreciate and/or need it. My personal style has always been about being not about having. Life is not a dress rehearsal and whatever you do, your heart must be in it. Loving and smiling are also key. My mum used to say, “A smile is zee best accessory!” 

Being a frequent flyer how do you maintain a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle while being away from home?

For me, it’s not a problem. The one thing I maintain no matter what/where is my yoga first thing in the morning. As well as a healthy breakfast packed with protein/carbs/fat, which may include oatmeal, eggs (made in a variety of ways), and sometimes I indulge in French Toast (my husband makes the best with brioche) or a pain au chocolat, but it has to be really good otherwise it’s not worth it to me. I still enjoy a square of dark chocolate or two after lunch or as an en cas on the plane!

 What do you always pack with you when travelling?

A warm cashmere scarf that is starting to fall apart as it has gone around the world three times and all the back-and-forth from New York to Paris. Some good walking shoes- especially for Paris where I can walk 15-25,000 steps a day. My basic cleanser, moisturiser, and sunscreen. I still pack in a small carry-on so I don’t need to check in (except occasionally on those discount European flights) no matter whether I go for 3 days or 3 months.

Speaking of travel, what are some of your fondest memories of Greece? 

As a student, I used to go to Greece each summer and stay at people’s homes like many other students in those days. But for me, it was also to practice my Greek, as I was taking Saturday classes in Paris with a friend, so I would visit different islands and people were wonderful to let me stay for free. It was the five dollars a night fare- usually for a mattress on the terrace roof and they would offer me coffee and a shower because I was the only one speaking the language.

One of my favourite moments was with a lovely lady in Crete, who was lonely and offered me to stay for the entire summer but I couldn’t. I stayed for around 2-3 weeks and every night she would tell me stories and I surely improved my Greek! Of course, I have forgotten most now, except when I meet a cab driver in NYC, and say a few words but I love the language and especially Greek writing, it’s so beautiful.

Insights Greece - Chat With Best-Selling Author Mireille Giuliano

What are some of your favourite spots around Greece? 

There are so many. I loved the friends I made in Athens, and discovering the city over time. Picking my dinner of fresh fish at a restaurant in Piraeus and eating along the seaside. I also love the architecture, monuments and little churches I went to with my Greek friends in the Peloponnese. I also love the islands. Particularly Hydra, Poros, Aegina, Crete, Santorini, Skiathos and Corfu. 

Lastly, are there any new books you are currently working on? 

During the lockdown, I lived in my little village in the south of France (how lucky we were, we cherished each day there) and wrote a book on Provence (unpublished for now) as well as some short stories about women from around the world who had become friends over the years (also unpublished). The latter was aimed at my now 14-year-old goddaughter and they were strong stories about love, life, work, family, and career to show her how each of us has her own story with ups and downs. I may eventually release both as blogs, as the publishing industry has changed so much.

To discover more about Mireille and her books, head to Mireille Giuliano 

Images by Andrew French & Tim Knox ©

Acropolis Museum is Celebrating its 13th Birthday Today

To celebrate its 13th birthday today, Monday 20 June 2022, the Acropolis Museum is inviting visitors to its exhibition areas with reduced tickets (5 euro), a live concert and the opening of a wonderful new exhibition. 

The Museum will be open from 8 am to 4 pm today with reduced tickets to all exhibition areas, and at 3 pm, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy music by the Woodwind Quintet of the Athens State Orchestra.

Insights Greece - Acropolis Museum is Celebrating its 13th Birthday Today
Image by the Acropolis Museum

From today until January 8, 2023 the Acropolis Museum will present the exhibition program “Ton Athinithen athlon. Panathenaic amphorae from Toronto, Canada back to their birthplace”, with two exquisite vessels created in Athens over 2,500 years ago. They are Panathenaic amphorae, vessels filled with oil that was given as a prize to the victors of contests held during the festival of the Great Panathenaia. One side is decorated with the figure of Athena Promachos and the other with scenes related to the games for which they were given as prizes.

The two vessels from the Royal Ontario Museum will be exhibited in the Parthenon Gallery, relating to the great temple’s frieze, where Pheidias and his collaborators artfully carved the Panathenaic procession.

This presentation is an event taking place simultaneously with the presentation “From Athens to Toronto: A Greek Masterpiece Revealed” at the Royal Ontario Museum where the Acropolis Kore 670 is on display from March 2022. The event has been organised as part of cultural exchanges between the Acropolis Museum and other great museums abroad, contributing to the enhancement of friendly relations between the people of different countries.

For more details head to The Acropolis Museum

Andrea Bocelli to Perform at Halkidiki’s Sani Festival 2022 

The Sani Festival in Halkidiki will be celebrating its 30-year anniversary with a special performance by the world’s beloved tenor, Andrea Bocelli.

Every summer, from July to August, Sani Festival at Sani Resort brings together Greek and international artists. Set in glorious open-air surroundings of the natural amphitheatre surrounding the castle ruins upon Sani Hill, this unique location provides the perfect atmospheric arena that holds up to 3,000 guests.

Insights Greece - Andrea Bocelli to Perform at Halkidiki's Sani Festival 2022 
World’s leading tenor Andrea Bocelli

Rooted in jazz, the first Sani Festival took place in 1992 and since then, the programme has diversified and the venues expanded to accommodate a wide programme of music and performing arts, from classical music to modern dance and musical theatre. 

“This year, 2022, we’ll be honouring the history of the Festival, celebrating its 30th anniversary with a wonderful range of performances including Andrea Bocelli, who will put his signature on the last day of the celebratory Sani Festival on August 20th, the most anticipated music event of the summer! Recognised as an icon of the greatest Italian vocal tradition, he has managed to bring classical music to the top of the global charts, with albums like Romanza, Sacred Arias, Sì and Believe,” announced the organisers of the event this week. 

From July 9 through to August 20, there will be a range of top-class concerts with some of the world’s best artists on stage from the jazz, pop and rock genre, including renowned musician Bob Geldof and the Bobkatz, Afro-Cuban artists Chuco Valdés and Paquito D’Rivera, beloved artist and a Greek audience favourite, Jack Savoretti; as well as leading Greek performers such as Manolis Mitsias, Christos Thivaios, Eleni Tsaligopoulou, Penni Baltatzi Dimitris Basis, Rena Morfi, Doros Dimosthenous, Rita Antonopoulou, Kostas Thomaidis and Kalliopi Pouska.

“This musical embrace of the Mediterranean is a tribute to Sani Festival in Halkidiki, which has always celebrated multiculturalism in music. With performances in Greek and foreign languages, the programme features songs much loved in our country and abroad,” conclude the event’s organisers. 

For more details head to Sani Festival 2022