Top 8 Experiences in Lesvos

Lesvos is a captivating Greek island known for its rich history, stunning mansions, and warm hospitality. And we’ve put together our top 8 experiences to help you explore this beautiful destination.

Α trip to the third largest island of Greece offers experiences that one cannot imagine exist on a single island. Lesvos, the homeland of Elytis, Myrivilis, Venezis, Theophilos, and Sappho, reveals so many different faces and carries on its soil a strong heritage that locals are proud of- discover more here. 

Explore Mytilini, the glorious capital 

The history of the capital of Lesvos dates back to the 10th century BC. You will feel the thrill once you start driving along the coastal road, next to a series of old mansions – each with its distinct architectural style, clearly competing in glamor and excellence. Just wait until the sunset. A picture-postcard image waits for you, as the sun spreads its warm light on the neoclassical buildings of the waterfront with the triangular roofs, the bell tower of the Metropolis, and the castle of Mytilini, one of the largest in the Mediterranean. In the narrow back alleys, you will find Ladadika, a historic district of Mytilini that is buzzing with cool bars and taverns serving local recipes. Stop by the Ermis cafe and restaurant with two hundred years of history and decor that prove it. Drink a Greek coffee on the embers and try recipes from Asia Minor. Stop by important Ottoman monuments, such as the Yeni Mosque and the Charsi Hammam, and walk along Ermou Street with its modern and antique shops, while in the Varia area, visit the famous museum of the popular painter Theophilos and the Tériade Museum of Modern Art with works by Matisse, Miró, Picasso, and Tsarouchis.

Relax in thermal waters at Therma Spa 

Just outside of Mytilini, indulge in the beneficial properties of Therma Spa Lesvos (tel. 2251041503). The thermal water comes to the surface from a depth of 2,500 meters, penetrating various rocks along the way that enrich it with valuable ingredients for health and wellbeing, as it gushes out like an artesian at a temperature of 39.5 ℃.

Wander in the fossil forest 

20 million years ago, volcanic ash covered a large part of the North Aegean and “froze” in time tree trunks, branches, leaves, roots, and even some animals that once lived here. Today the fossilized forest of Lesvos is a valuable natural museum. It is often referred to as the “Pompeii of the plant world” and is a member of the UNESCO global network of geo-parks.

Visit Plomari, the homeland of ouzo

The picturesque cobbled streets of Plomari are eagerly waiting for you to cross them to experience the special atmosphere of a place that knew great development in the 19th century since it had many olive mills, soap factories, a nuclear factory, and ouzo factories (today in the island’s cafes you can try all 20 different ouzo labels from local producers). After the Asia Minor Catastrophe, Plomari lost part of its old glory, as the possibility of trading with the Turkish coast stopped. At the same time, the recent earthquake of 2017 has also left its mark. On the waterfront of the port, you will take a photo of the Athanasiadeion, also known as the “Great Cafe”, one of the most magnificent cafes on the island. A hallmark of the settlement is the century-old plane tree in the central square, which is said to have been planted in 1813.

Discover the joy of bird-watching

The location of Lesvos in the Eastern Mediterranean and its wide variety of wetlands form the ideal passage for the endemic and migratory birds from Asia, Africa, and Europe. At least 134 different species pass by the island (from black storks, white storks, brown geese, avocados, wine birds, sea urchins to pink flamingos). Wooden houses in Agia Paraskevi, Dipio – Larsos, and Kalloni, are observatories for rare and protected birds. 

Visit Molyvos, a village with the world’s most beautiful alley

Mithymna, or Molyvos as it was called during the Middle Ages, is situated on a small mountain topped by the dramatic Castle of Mithymna, one of the best preserved in the Eastern Mediterranean. Walk along the main cobbled street of the settlement, and wander around the main market with charming shops and little cafes. During spring, the wisteria creates a purple pergola above the cobblestones that certainly resembles paradise. In the park of Molyvos, the old oil factory has been transformed into one of the most interesting hotels on the island. It is worth seeing the picturesque fishing port of Molyvos, with boats and trawls. 

Insights Greece - Top 8 Experiences in Lesvos

Agiasos, a village “time machine”

Built on the slopes of Mount Olympus, Agiasos will inspire you with its vivid appearance, right from its square with the colourful chairs. It is impossible not to meet Mrs. Efstratia Tourvalis and her corner shop (with the climbing plant intertwined with her creations) standing in the same spot for 64 years. She will welcome you with the local dialect of the inhabitants of Agiasos, blowing a whistle that produces bird sounds. Opposite this shop, you will find the Reading Room of Agiasos (which was founded in 1894 during the Turkish occupation and continues its multifaceted activity to this day without interruption), to meet the teacher of santouri (instrument of the hammered dulcimer) Mr. Zafiriou who plays the unique traditional music of Asia Minor. A few steps further up are enough to see the “coffee houses”. Enjoy a coffee in the embers and “kainari”, a drink with many spices that are made only in Agiasos. Savor the traditional sweet “placeta” that resembles baklava under the shade of the vine, in this picturesque alley next to the impressive church of Panagia of Agiasos. 

Visit Agios Taxiarchis Monastery 

Taxiarchis is the patron saint of Lesvos. It is said that he wore iron shoes and ran everywhere to protect the Christians. The dark face of the icon is full of power as it projects through the shimmering silver frame. Even today, pilgrims have mixed feelings about this unique image. Sometimes they see the Saint’s face as very wild and sometimes very calm and familiar, believing that in this way the Saint is trying to convey various messages to them. According to tradition, all of the monks at this monastery were massacred during a Saracen raid. The only survivor was a young novice, Gabriel, who was hiding on the roof and saw the roof tiles miraculously turned into a stormy sea and Archangel Michael wielding his sword against the attackers and fighting them off. While the vision was still fresh in his memory, the novice made an icon of the saint using the soil and the blood of the fallen monks. 

Images by Polina Paraskevopoulou ©

Top 5 Places to Spend Christmas in Greece

We have rounded up the best Christmas destinations in Greece for those who are searching for authentic experiences, excellent local cuisine, countless activities, and direct access to historical attractions that create unforgettable memories during the festive season.

Xanthi

Rich historical background, unique beauty, tradition, cosmopolitan atmosphere and plenty of attractions make Xanthi an overwhelmingly enchanting city. Whether you are a history fan, a nature lover, a foodie wanting to indulge in local dishes and Eastern-type sweets, or even an entertainment addict seeking to experience the city’s vibrant nightlife, the region of Xanthi will satisfy even the most demanding of visitors. During this period, the Old Town of Xanthi’s most charming district and the most important landmark of the city, with a Belle Epoque style, is filled with Christmas trees and pretty ornaments, fun ice rinks, concerts, and creative performances.

Insights Greece - Top 5 Places to Spend Christmas in Greece

Drama

Positioned as a hidden gem in northern Greece, Drama provides an alternative to more touristy locations. Its authenticity, combined with the promise of a relaxing and unique stay, may make it particularly attractive to travellers seeking a more intimate and off-the-beaten-path experience. The area of Drama is filled with forests, rivers, and lakes, and during the snowy season, the Falakro Ski Centre awaits you to sleigh your way down the magnificent, wooded slopes. From late November the ultimate Christmas feel is present in the center square of the city where “Oneiroupoli” opens its doors. This is the Christmas village straight out of a child’s sweetest dreams where Santa Claus and his elves welcome daily visitors with crafts, sweets, Christmas hand-painting workshops and other festive activities.

Insights Greece - Top 5 Places to Spend Christmas in Greece

Ιοannina

This is one of Greece’s most popular winter destinations in terms of beauty and history. The Christmas decor includes lots of gold and lights while the lanterns flood the center of the city, illuminating the town and creating a unique festive atmosphere. The most popular spots to visit are Pamvotida Lake and its small island, the castle, and the lakeside Amusement Park of Ioannina. For ski lovers, we recommend a visit to the Vasilitsa ski center. For those seeking some moments of relaxation during the Christmas holidays, we suggest you grab a hot drink in one of the coziest cafes around the lake while gazing at the snowy landscape. 

Insights Greece - Top 5 Places to Spend Christmas in Greece

Syros

Yes, you read that right – one of our favorite islands for Christmas is Syros! From Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve, the Cycladic festivities take on a new dimension, creating a magical setting with scenery that looks like a fairy tale in the capital of the Cyclades. The Apollo Theater, a true cultural treasure for Syros is always buzzing during the Christmas period with performances and concerts. Additionally, the decorations, countless lanterns, and children singing traditional carols turn Ermoupoli, the capital of Syros, into a colourful Christmas celebration! 

Insights Greece - Top 5 Places to Spend Christmas in Greece

Rhodes

Christmas on the “Island of the Knights” has a special touch. Rhodes, with its medieval atmosphere and hidden treasures, is delightful during the festive season. It is worth walking around the illuminated Old Town of Rhodes, admiring the golden lights at the medieval castle a UNESCO world heritage monument, and visiting the Acropolis of Lindos, as well as the ancient cities of Kameros and Ialyssos – in absolute peace. At the same time, there’s also a vibrant nightlife with plenty of music events and festival activities that are loved by both locals and visitors. 

Insights Greece - Top 5 Places to Spend Christmas in Greece

Ultimate Travel Guide to Trikala

Discover our complete travel guide to Trikala, a wonderful destination in central Greece, blending history, natural beauty, and warm Greek hospitality.

A model city for not only Greece but all of Europe – in recent years, Trikala has entered the tourist map and the list of interesting destinations in Central Greece, thanks to its environmentally friendly initiatives.

With a wide network of footpaths and cycle paths, the Litheos River running through the centre of town, endless outdoor activities, and a rich history – Trikala is an ideal winter escape. 

Travel Notes

Perfect place for

Couples, groups of friends, and a leisurely winter weekend away. 

Where to stay

In the center of the city is the best place to stay, as you can get around on foot or rent a bike and visit nearby attractions.

Where to sleep

Αnanti City Resort is a peaceful retreat a few minutes by car from the city of Trikala. (Loggaki, Trikala)

Gallery Art Hotel is a modern, boutique hotel, right in the centre of town. (Ring Road, Trikala)

Τrikala River House is a cozy and modern apartment, also in the center of Trikala. (2 Vyronos)

Vintage Suites Trikala are warm and inviting suites that are ideally located halfway between Trikala and Meteora. (EO Trikalon Ioanninon 254, Trikala)

Must See + Do

Bicycle is the trend…

In Trikala, the straight lines of the plain favored the development of the use of bicycles and many residents use them to get around. The municipality offers the possibility to rent bicycles for free for 3 hours at the Infopoint in the central square of Iroon Polytechniou. Get on the saddle and get to know the city through the 8 kilometers of bike paths.

Stroll along the banks of Lithaios River 

…in the company of swans, ducks and families picnicking under the trees. If we had to single out one of the things that give Trikala the atmosphere of a European city, it would be how integrated its river is in the life of the city. 

Go up to the castle…

One of the most accessible castles in Greece, the Byzantine castle of Trikala was built during the reign of Justinian in the 6th AD. century. It is divided into three parts, with five towers and several small battlements between them. What stands out, however, and steals the show is the Clock Tower, now a symbol of the city of Trikala. The 33-meter tower was built in 1936 on the site of an equally large Ottoman clock, dating from 1648.

Walk around the Manavika neighbourhood at night

Perhaps the coolest neighborhood of the city, here you will find some of the best taverns and bars.

Take a tour of Meteora…

Even if your time is limited, the road leads you all the way up – although the walking route is really worth the effort and time if you can spare it.

Cultural Hotspots

In the centre of town, there is the Kliafa History and Culture Center, an industrial museum which, in addition to the old mechanical equipment of the factory, also exhibits a large collection of bottles, labels and caps from all over the world, correspondence, photographs, paintings and old advertisements. In addition, in a separate room, there is a museum of local history in which the recent history of the city is presented through texts, manuscripts, old photographs, and small objects. Finally, on the walls are posted covers of local newspapers, photos of journalists and printers and various interesting collections. (Homer & Themistocles)

The “Research Center – Vassilis Tsitsanis Museum” is housed in the building of the old Trikala prison and here, through the exhibits, you will get to know the life and work of the great Greek composer and lyricist. Photographs, musical instruments, sheet music and personal items will take you on a journey through the fascinating life of Vassilis Tsitsanis. (1 Venizelou & Karditsis Trikala)

Do not miss visiting the imposing mosque of Osman Shah or Kursum. It is on the edge of the city and was built in the middle of the 16th century by the famous architect Sinan Pasha. Tradition has it that Prince Osman Shah, son of Sultan Suleiman, gave the order to build the mosque when he was cured in Trikala of the illness that afflicted him. It is considered a UNESCO monument and is used as a venue for cultural events. (3 Karditsis, Trikala)

Special Christmas Hotspot

During the festive season, the hottest attraction in Trikala is the Mill of Elves, Greece’s largest Christmas theme park. Every Christmas since 2011, this area has been transformed into a festive toy and confectionery factory, where Santa Claus and his Elves welcome guests from near and far, turning the space into a magical kingdom. There you will also find a huge Fun Park with rides, Christmas stores with lots of ornaments, food stalls with a variety of traditional dishes and delicacies from Trikala and a Candy store with lots of delicious sweets.

Eat + Drink 

Breakfast/Brunch

Bonjour ( Canouta & Vironos, Trikala) A cozy coffee shop that serves a variety of quality coffee types and brunch choices (sweet or sour) to choose from.

Sto Spitaki (Lakmonos & Psaron Trikala 421 00) In the centre of town is the best place to start your day with a cup of coffee and a delicious breakfast.

Vesper (9 Karanassiou, Trikala 421 00) A beautiful old house preserved with a warm atmosphere, friendly staff and a menu for breakfast lunch and light meals all day.

Ivy (Kapodistriou 18A, Trikala 421 00) This cozy cafe has a warm and inviting ambiance, with wooden furniture, dim lights, and relaxing music. 

Lunch/Dinner

To Xani (Pylis 2, Trikala) It is considered one of the oldest buildings in the city, also known for its unique modern-traditional architecture. Xani provides traditional flavours and a wide variety of wines. Must try: Pork shank, Fried leeks

Ιl Cucinotto (Karaiskaki 65,4210 0) is a restaurant with authentic Italian cuisine, a warm atmosphere, and a nice garden. Must try: risotto and buffalina con crudo.

Ladofanaro (Ypsilantou & Trikala) cozy traditional tavern with great flavors and traditional Greek dishes. Must try: any of the mezedes with pork. 

Sweets

Narkissos (Ypsilantou & Kaningos, Trikala) Step inside this pastry store and be blown away by the gorgeous displays of decadent desserts and handmade cakes. Drink hot chocolate, try sweets with fresh cream of butter and milk and select sweets placed in pretty jars that you can take away and enjoy!

Drinks

Retous (Byronos 5, Trikala 421 00) An urban-style all-day bar, it’s one of the most popular spots in town and perfect for an unforgettable night out.

Krypti (Patriarchou Office, Trikala 421 00) Perfect spot to have a drink any time of day.

Pero (Stefanou Sarafi 4, Trikala 421 00) Unique bar playing funky music and serving original cocktails. 

Tankoo (Stefanou Sarafi 6, Trikala) One of the best spots to enjoy an aperitivo– great décor, an impressive cocktail list, and jazz-rock music playing.

Discover 

Best view

Climb up to the Byzantine Castle of Trikala and the Clock, a trademark of the city. The red roofs of the houses will stretch out in front of you and the horizon will not reach to accommodate the flat Thessalian plain.

Ultimate day trip

Meteora

One of the largest monuments in the world, protected by UNESCO and mentioned as a “Preservable and Protected Monument of Humanity”, Meteora is the most important (after Mount Athos) monastic centre in Greece. The first ascetics came here in the 11th century. Meteora, however, flourished as a monastic center between the 13th and 14th centuries as many people living in the nearby areas embraced the monastic lifestyle. Nowadays visitors are enthralled by the natural scenery and the fact that it is a place that offers all kinds of activities: from cultural tours and hikes to river rafting and truffle hunting. What you will remember, however, is the mystical, eerie atmosphere of the area that seems to have come out of a fantasy movie. You must see them for yourself to understand the greatness of this unique place. For even more impressive images, we suggest you observe the rocks and monasteries of Meteora at sunset-golden hour.

Pertouli

Pertouli is the picturesque mountain village of the Trikala prefecture. It is a highly recommended getaway for nature lovers as the area provides you with unique experiences that you will hardly find anywhere else. A wonderful ski resort and hiking trails are some of the many things that will enchant you in the area. Another place you must visit when you arrive in Pertouli is the forest which is the University Forest of Pertouli- here you will have the chance to admire a rare species of deer.

Theopetra Cave

The Cave of Theopetra is a unique archaeological monument. One of the most interesting caves in Greece from a historical point of view, it is located a stone’s throw from Trikala. A rocky limestone mass rises above the village of Theopetra, 3 km from Trikala, on the north-eastern side of which is the cave of the same name. It is the westernmost prehistoric site of the Thessalian plain, located at the foot of the Hasia mountain range, which is also the natural boundary between the geographical division of Thessaly and Epirus. The cave is about 100 meters (about 328.08 ft) altitude from the plain’s surface and 280 meters (about 918.64 ft) from the sea’s surface. In front of the cave flows the river Litheos, a tributary of Pinios.

Make sure you take home: local products such as the tsipouro, spoon sweets, pies, handmade pasta, and dried mushrooms.

Essentials

Getting there: About 3.5 hours drive from Athens.

Best time to gο: Autumn/ Winter 

Ideal time to stay: 2-3 days is perfect.  

Getting around: Rent a bike or walk all around the city. Also, we highly recommend you rent a car for daily trips and a Meteora getaway.

What to pack: Comfortable shoes, warm clothes if you are visiting in Autumn/Winter (it gets quite cold in the cooler months), an umbrella for unexpected rain, and a scarf for windy days! Sporting attire if you are planning cycling, hiking, or any other physical activity!

Main Image Courtesy of Tankoo 

Complete Travel Guide to Karditsa 

A destination for lovers of nature, exploration, and authentic tradition – Karditsa offers a mosaic of experiences for all tastes.

This small city in the heart of Thessaly boasts endless natural beauty, excellent local cuisine, countless activities, and direct access to historical attractions that create unforgettable memories for its visitors.

Travel Notes

Perfect place for

Couples, families, or those seeking a well-being retreat weekend and an eco holiday.

Where to stay

In the centre of the city is the best place to stay, as you can get around on foot, grab your morning coffee, and visit nearby attractions.

Where to sleep

We suggest you choose for your accommodation Hotel Kierion or Arni Hotel Domotel. Both beautiful rococo-style hotels in the center of the city promise a stay that is utterly imbued with the calm vibes of the city. 

Also, 30km from Karditsa near Lake Plastira there is Kazarma Lake Resort and Spa, a great choice for a well-being retreat.

Must See + Do

Walk to Pausilipo, an urban leisure park in the city’s heart. Its main attraction is the pretty peacocks that roam within it.

You will see that almost everyone uses a bicycle to get around. It is no coincidence, after all, that for decades, it has had the title of the “cycling capital” of Greece! Bicycles in Karditsa made their first appearance in 1960, while in 2003 the construction of a network of bicycle paths began, which extends throughout the city. So it is a perfect opportunity to rent a bike and explore the city!

An absolute must-visit is Lake Plastira, one of the most beautiful lakes you will find in Greece. Rich in nature and vegetation, the region is one that visitors will instantly fall in love with. Along with the charming area of Tavropos, both are ideal for those seeking alternative holidays and ecotourism. Only 30 minutes by car from the city of Karditsa. 

You must not leave this city without discovering local dishes and enjoying the local nightlife too.

Cultural hotspots

Karditsa Archaeological Museum: Here you will see exhibits dating from the Prehistoric and Paleolithic eras to Late Antiquity.

Folklore Museum “L. & N. Sakellariou: is located opposite the metropolitan temple, the museum has three floors with rooms that feature permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Also make your the Municipal Library of Karditsa, since 2002, it has been hosting permanent and periodic exhibitions, events and educational programs.

Εat + Drink

Coffee + Breakfast

Hangout Coffee and More (Mplatsouka,1 Karditsa) is a great choice for morning coffee and breakfast.

Fontaine Brunch – Patisserie (Adelfon Valtadorou,1 Karditsa ) offers a nice atmosphere and the best brunch dishes. 

Destro (Nick. Plastiras 2-10, Karditsa) – this all-day restaurant serves delicious dishes from breakfast through to brunch, lunch and dinner.

Lunch + Dinner

Pausilipo, for the most gourmet choices in Karditsa (A: Pausilipo Park)

Type of cuisine: Greek, International

Signature dishes: Rib Eye, risotto

Price range: €25- €30

Grape Bar Bistro, Italian cuisine with the greatest wine list (A: Episkopou 47)

Type of cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean

Signature dishes: Gnocci alla milanese, tiramisu

Price range: €20- €35

Apomero is the best dinner choice! (A: Episkopou 47)

Type of cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean

Signature dishes: Batzina, Pork fillets with Vinsanto sauce

Price range: €20- €30

18 Grada where you can taste local cuisine and traditional mezedes (A: Skoufa 4)

Type of cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean

Signature dishes: Meatballs with Feta

Price range: €15- €20

Sweets + Drinks 

Rook’s Pastry Lab (A: Gamveta, Dim. Lappa 12 – 16) is the talk of the town and the newest pastry store in Karditsa. Μodern sweets made with unique combinations to satisfy every taste.

Avli (A: Irakleitou 12) is the most popular meze restaurant in Karditsa, which hosts most of the live concerts in this cozy spot in the heart of the city. Fridays and Saturdays are no doubt the busiest – attracting a young, cool crowd.

Margarita Bar (A: Valvi 59) great atmosphere and a place that serves great cocktails and specialty drinks.

Cadillac Records Cocktail Bar (A: D. Tertipi) and Charlot Bar (A: Tertipi 40), are also excellent choices for cocktail lovers. For those who want to discover the nightlife of the city just head down Vlavi Street, where you will find new bars constantly popping up.

Discover

Local gem

The dam of Lake Plastira is an impressive concrete structure, an elegant arch that embraces the vast volume of water of the lake. It is a beautiful spot to admire the lake, as well as the back side of the dam which sinks to a depth of about 80 meters, vertically between the rocks. In addition, from the position of Mucha, you can admire the fjords of the lake as well as the Niaga islet. There you will find many local producers, who will offer you souvenirs and traditional local products.

Best view

The most impressive image of the lake, which looks just like a painting, is undoubtedly from the observatory, where you will gaze at the surface of the lake and its sheltered island. The charming landscape is perfectly complemented by the forested slopes and the imposing peaks of the Agrafa mountains!

Ultimate day trip

A fabulous excursion is to the village of Fanari, which is about 20 minutes from Karditsa, following Fanariou Street. There you can see the Fanario Castle, which has been built since the 13th century and stands there at the top of the village – a breathtaking view. Under the shadow of the castle is the cafe of the same name which is a wonderful choice to drink your afternoon coffee with the best view. 

Essentials

Getting there: About a 3.5-hour drive from Athens

Best time to gο: Autumn/Winter 

Ideal time to stay: 2-3 days (weekend preferable)

Getting around: οn foot, rent a bicycle. You can go to the lake easily by bus or by car.

Make sure you take home: local wine and tsipouro 

What to pack: comfortable shoes to walk around, and your camera to capture moments. We also suggest you have cash with you, as many shops, restaurants, and cafes do not have card facilities. 

Main image courtesy of @naei2015

Complete Travel Guide to Kimolos

Discover our complete travel guide to Kimolos Island, renowned for its beautiful beaches, stunning Cycladic architecture and unspoiled atmosphere. 

In the shadow of famous Milos, Kimolos, or Argentiera (as the Venetians called this volcanic island) offers natural beauty combined with raw minimalism – leading to a forgotten tranquillity that’s priceless nowadays. 

Travel Notes

Perfect place for…

Kimolos is ideal for a relaxing, laid-back vacation, away from the fuss and the crowds you tend to get on other popular islands. 

Where to stay

Either around Chorio (the main town) or Psathi port. 

Where to sleep

Aria Hotels (2287051677) with a total of eleven different hotels throughout the island, 4 of which (Bonatsa, Thalassa, Psathi, Elephant) are situated right on the beach. 

The amphitheatrically built Kimolis (2287051612) between Chorio and Psathi features suites and deluxe rooms with a nice courtyard.

At Kimolia Gi (2287051192), a complex with 6 studios and 2 independent residences on Prasa beach. They also organise activities such as fishing, beach grilling, and donkey rides among others. 

Insights Greece - Complete Travel Guide to Kimolos

Must See + Do

At the foot of Xaplovouni mountain lies Chorio, the picturesque settlement of Kimolos, here The Inner and Outer Castle are connected by four passages. The so-called “Portares”, blend in beautifully with the cubic Cycladic houses, the medieval walls, charming little shops and makeshift libraries. 

In the centre of the Village (Chorio) – without stairs to go up and down – lies the Castle. Built in the Middle Ages, the locals call this “a village within a village”. Many houses are found among the old walls here and traditional domes and arches characterise the buildings.

Make sure to check out the caves carved into the rocks, which local fishermen created to protect their boats during the winter (you can find them on Milos as well), this is on the seaside settlement of Goupa-Kara, about 1 kilometre from both Chorio and Psathi. Coloured wooden doors in front of hollow caves on volcanic rocks, boats moored on the coves, spread nets, whitewashed rocks and playfully meowing kittens form the stunning scenery.

In Goupa search for a rock that looks like an elephant – it’s a creation of nature. The calm sea will tempt you to dive off the rocks and straight into the turquoise waters. 

Check out the Kimolos Experience Festival, which offers open-air cinema events under the starry sky at unique locations around the island. 

Late afternoon, when the sun goes down, head towards Skiadi and check out the rock mushroom, a rare geological creation that formed its shape by nature. 

Cultural hotspots

Opposite the Metropolitan Church of Panagia Odegetria, you will find the small Archaeological Museum (2287051719, open daily except Thursdays 8:30-3:30) which is housed in a traditional two-story home (one of the oldest on the island). Here you can learn all about the history of Kimolos. 

Eat + Drink

Breakfast/Brunch

Head to the bakery O Paradosiakos (2287051257), where Katerina and Chrysanthi bake ladenia, tyrenia, kolokythenia, elenia and honey pies daily.

Make a stop at Kali Kardia (2287051495), either for coffee in the morning or for traditional stews throughout the day. This shop has been open since 1920 and resembles a traditional kafenion. 

Lunch

Prasonisi (6948620224) close to Prassa Beach, for fresh seafood. In Aliki Beach there is the “Sardis Tavern” for fine fish (which you can pre-order) as well as other homecooked dishes, while in the Kalamitsi Tavern (697460 6086), right on the beach you can order seafood and fish caught straight off the family’s boat.

In the square of Kampos, you will find the Avli tou Samplou (2287051666), with characteristic red windows, it’s located in front of Agios Spyridon church. Check out the blackboard with the dishes of the day that are made with organic vegetables from the family’s farm. 

Dinner 

Head to Meltemi View & Taste (2287051360) on the west side, which oversees the Village. The owner and chef Augustis Galanos, after studying and working in Athens, returned to his hometown and took over the family restaurant. His menu consists of local flavours with a particularly creative twist.

Insights Greece - Complete Travel Guide to Kimolos

Coffee + Sweets 

A few steps from the largest church of the Village, there is the traditional cafe The Meeting (2287051801) which has been in business since 1940. Sit at the front raised courtyard or in its picturesque alleys for coffee or tsipouro, and Flora’s delicious mezedes.

In an alley below Kampos Square, you will find Stavento (2287051699) where you can indulge in delicious ice creams such as fig, pomegranate, sour apple, or goat’s milk.

At the port, savor the sokolatopita (chocolate pie) at Raventi (2287051212). 

Drinks 

At Agora (6942466937) you can enjoy sophisticated cocktails such as prickly pear, and at Stavento (2287051800), opposite the church of Panagia Odegetria, you can get your morning coffee and your evening drink as well. Tell Stavros your palate preferences and he will serve you a drink to suit your taste. Make a stop at Frangouli (2287051791) for organic pomegranate liqueur from the large pomegranate tree that dominates the cool courtyard. A cocktail from Lostromos at the port is also a must (2287051240). 

Local flavours

Certainly try the ladenia, a traditional pie with cherry tomato, onion, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Discover

Best beaches

The protagonist of Kimolos is Prassa Beach. Found in the east, it’s also known as “white chalk” because of its sand, which owes its special status to the chalk rocks. The combination of white sand with clear turquoise waters creates a dreamlike setting, where mobiles are –fortunately- pretty useless. If you visit the beach in June as I did, you will encounter it in its pristine aspect, while in high season, you will find sunbeds and a beach bar (which may play music at a higher level than what’s suitable for this tranquil beach). 

To the southeast, you will find Aliki with fine pebbles and sand, Bonatsa is sandy and shallow, and immediately after Kalamitsi some beaches aren’t so windy (rare for the Cyclades). In Bonatsa above the dirt road, there is the Bonatsa Beach House Hotel, where you can quench your thirst in style at the beach bar. 

Best view

You cannot miss the sunset at Mavrospilia, it comes highly recommended by locals. The road seems to lead you to nowhere until you approach Aspragremna – perfectly positioned to overlook the sun that sets into the sea.

Local gem

Grab a refreshing ice cream and head up to the school square where you can enjoy a full view of the Aegean.

Insights Greece - Complete Travel Guide to Kimolos

Ultimate daytrip

The boat trip to the largest uninhabited island of the Aegean, just one mile from Kimolos, is an experience worth living and seeing with your own eyes. Clear turquoise waters like a swimming pool even in the deep, volcanic hills and white rocks form this ideal setting! In addition to being a paradise on earth, Polyaigos is an important habitat, since there, among other animals, the Mediterranean seal monachus monachus finds refuge to give birth. The Cyclades Polynesia, as many call Polyaigo, has been included in the Natura 2000 program and is designated as a Special Protection Zone, since it hosts a large number of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. “Bay Cruises” (6956333107) organises tours around Kimolos or Polyaigos either with groups or privé – with the chef of Meltemi restaurant Augustis Galanos, cooking on board.

Best shopping experience

At the small grocery store, I farma tou Samplou (2287051224) you can get goodies from Kimolos including fresh manoura local sour cheese (which locals use instead of Feta), mountain capers, sweet xylangouros and kritamo pickles, among other delicacies. 

Essentials

Getting there: The ferry route from the port of Piraeus to Kimolos is around 7-8 hours and there are only a few routes. Alternatively, you can go to Milos, as there are more ferries and faster routes, and then take the small local ferry across to Kimolos, which is also connected with some other islands of the Cyclades including Kythnos, Serifos, Sifnos and many more.

Best time to go: June, July, August, and early September to get the most out of your trip to the island.

Ideal time to stay: You can easily spend 3 days or a whole week here!

Getting around: Kimolos is a small island, however, you should consider renting a car or motorcycle if you wish to explore the whole island. There is also only one taxi service available on the island (Aneza Logotheti, tel. 6945464093, 2287051552). 

What to pack: Swimmers, hat, and sunscreen, also a jacket as it gets breezy at night, and comfy walking shoes if you plan on exploring the island on foot. 

All Images by Polina Paraskevopoulou ©

The Best Destinations in Greece for Honeymoons 

Greece is home to some stunning honeymoon destinations that get plenty of hype – and they live up to every bit of it. 

Aside from the mainland, home to famous ancient sites like the Acropolis, Greece has over 200 islands that are inhabited. Each has a unique identity and something special to offer every honeymooner! 

From gorgeous beaches to picturesque villages and delectable food and wine- here are the best destinations in Greece for honeymoons.

Insights Greece - The Best Destinations in Greece for Honeymoons 

Crete  

If you want a honeymoon where you don’t only do touristy things, Crete would be an ideal destination to consider. Due to its vast size, there are plenty of opportunities to escape the crowds and enjoy some privacy with your other half. You will find secluded beaches, which you can have entirely to yourselves on some days!

Crete has its own unique identity, as locals have been living on the island for thousands of years, and neighbouring empires have taken turns conquering it before it gained independence. As a result of these conquests, Crete has some of the most significant archaeological sites in Greece, from the Ottomans to the Venetians and the Byzantines. If you love history and culture, this is the perfect destination for your honeymoon.

The beaches are among the things to look forward to on your honeymoon in Crete. And because this stunning isle is further south than the rest of Europe, the water is warmer here and you will find people swimming through to the end of November. Plus, you’re almost guaranteed sunny days for most of the year. 

The beaches of Crete are some of the most stunning you will come across in Greece and their striking landscapes will make your honeymoon even more memorable, especially Elafonisi, Balos, and Falasarna.

Insights Greece - The Best Destinations in Greece for Honeymoons 

Mykonos 

Mykonos often tops the list of the most popular islands in Greece for many reasons. Aside from its incredible nightlife scene, Mykonos has gorgeous beaches, a pretty town, and great restaurants. In addition, Mykonos is also an excellent place for gay couples seeking luxury travel since it’s one of the most gay-friendly islands in Greece and offers lots of romance.

The Old Town would be an ideal base for a honeymoon in Mykonos. Here, you can wander hand in hand along narrow alleyways peppered with white-washed buildings. You’ll stumble upon traditional Cycladic houses, churches, restaurants, and bars. So take your time and soak up the town’s buzzing vibe.

Also, make your way to Little Venice before sunset, where you can grab a seat at one of the waterfront bars and restaurants housed in beautiful buildings. The area can get busy at sunset, but the romantic views are something you would not want to miss while on a honeymoon on the island. 

The beaches of Mykonos are often packed, especially during the peak summer season. If you want to enjoy some privacy, head to Panormos Beach. It’s a secluded spot accessible only by car. Don’t forget to bring a towel or mat to lounge on since the beach doesn’t have any sun beds or other amenities.

Insights Greece - The Best Destinations in Greece for Honeymoons 

Paros  

Boasting stunning beaches, picturesque villages, and breathtaking scenery, Paros is an ideal destination for couples seeking an idyllic setting for their honeymoon. Like Santorini and Mykonos, Paros is part of the Cyclades Islands. It isn’t as busy during peak season (although it is becoming more and more popular each year) so you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to celebrate romance with fewer distractions.

Begin your day with a romantic stroll in Parikia. It’s likely the first place you’ll take in as you embark on your ferry since it’s where the main port is. Admire the town’s Cycladic charm as you walk through its narrow cobblestone streets. You’ll also come across ancient sights, including some well-preserved early Christian monuments and the Castle of Parikia.

One of the best ways to celebrate your life as a newlywed is to toast with a glass of wine. In Paros, you will not only taste a delicious glass or two but will also have a chance to go on a wine tour since the island is home to fantastic wineries producing a great selection of varieties.

Insights Greece - The Best Destinations in Greece for Honeymoons 

Santorini  

When you search for memorable honeymoon destinations in Greece, Santorini will most likely top the list. Indeed, Santorini is an excellent destination for those pursuing a romantic honeymoon since the island boasts so many romantic spots. In addition, the island is home to incredible cliffside hotels that cater to honeymooners, with outdoor infinity pools and a Jacuzzi from which you can gaze at romantic sunsets.

Enjoy romantic walks in the villages of Fira and Oia, taking in the island’s mesmerising views. The villages exude timeless beauty and will make your honeymoon in Santorini even more romantic. If you’ve built up some appetite, head to one of the cliffside restaurants and treat yourselves to delectable dishes while enjoying the stunning views of the surroundings. 

Make your honeymoon even more unforgettable by booking a private cruise to explore the island and indulge in delicious cuisine and wine on board. A private cruise is the best way to celebrate romance and spend quality time with the love of your life.

Insights Greece - The Best Destinations in Greece for Honeymoons 

Naxos  

Naxos is another stunning island in the Cyclades that’s gaining popularity as a honeymoon destination in Greece. It’s the largest in the Cyclades but is not as busy or as crowded as Santorini or Mykonos. This makes Naxos perfect for couples who want to enjoy some peace and tranquility on their Greek honeymoon. 

You’ll likely spend most of your days strolling around Naxos Town. Also called Chora, the charming town sits on a hill with a 13th-century castle dominating over it. Walk hand in hand in the maze of narrow streets lined with hole-in-the-wall shops, restaurants, and cafes.

No honeymoon is complete without spending time at the beach. And in Naxos, you’ll have plenty of options. Some of the best ones are Agios Georgios, Agios Prokopios, Plaka, and Alyko Beach. If you want to visit quiet beaches, consider taking a private sailing tour that will take you to the many secluded coves of the small islands nearby.

The Most Instagrammable Places to Visit in Santorini 

Santorini is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque islands in Greece, making it a paradise for photographers and influencers looking for stunning photos to highlight on their Instagram feeds.

The Cycladic Island is home to charming white-washed villages perched on cliffs overlooking the caldera and some beautiful beaches with distinct volcanic black sand. If you’re heading to this beautiful island and want to capture stunning photos for your Instagram, here’s our pick for the most Instagrammable places to visit in Santorini.

Perivolos Beach         

As one of the most picturesque spots in Santorini, Perivolos Beach is a popular location for wedding receptions and a favourite among Instagrammers looking to capture that perfect beach photo. What makes this beach stand out is that it’s covered in volcanic black sand, different from what you’ll see on the beaches of the Greek islands. 

The lively beach is brimming with activities and a popular spot for water activities such as windsurfing, jet skiing, and scuba diving. Those not keen on playing will find plenty of sun loungers to relax. The beach has sports amenities including volleyball courts. In fact, Perivolos Beach is host to beach volleyball tournaments. 

Perivolos Beach is also renowned for its amazing parties. It’s home to some of the best beach bars in Santorini, playing cool tunes all day. Some bars include swimming pools to relax in as you sip your favourite cocktail, and despite the crowd, you will find plenty of spots to capture that perfect Instagram shot.

The best way to reach Perivolos Beach is by car. It lies on the island’s southern end, close to Perissa Beach, another famous beach in Santorini. If you’re coming from Fira, Perivolos Beach is about 10 kilometres away. There are also plenty of luxury villas in Santorini, particularly near Perivolos Beach, that offer a variety of options for an amazing escape in one of the world’s most captivating destinations. 

Oìa Windmill

The windmills of Santorini are among the island’s most photographed spots. While you’ll find many windmills across the island, the Oia Windmill will no doubt stand out on your Instagram feed. The famous windmill of Oia is among the island’s most iconic landmarks, adding an extra charm to the island’s picturesque landscapes and appearing in thousands of photos taken by visitors.

Like the rest of the Cyclades, Santorini is windy. Taking advantage of the strong winds, locals built windmills for grinding and producing flour. Many of these windmills remain, including the one in Oia. Although they are no longer functional, they remain preserved and serve as a reminder of the island’s past. Some of the windmills date back as early as the 14th century. 

While the windmills look beautiful at any time of the day, they are especially magical at sunset. In fact, if you want to capture it in all its glory, come here at sunset. But try to visit early to find the perfect spot since it could get crowded.

There are plenty of bars and restaurants close to the windmills of Oia, offering the perfect spot to marvel at the windmills from a distance. You can take photos of the windmills from these establishments, with the stunning Aegean Sea as the backdrop.

The Pink Church      

A fantastic suggestion is to join one of the luxury tours of Greece’s treasures available, where you can immerse yourself in its magnificent history and awe-inspiring scenery while capturing the greatest Instagram-worthy moments. You’ll come across interesting sites, each with its own unique charm, just begging to grace your social media feed.

As you traverse the Greek landscapes, you might discover enchanting churches like those in Santorini, which have already become iconic on Instagram, often showcased by some of the world’s most popular influencers. But the church with the pink facade stands out among them. The church sits next to a blue domed chapel, with the stunning, deep blue ocean in the backdrop. While it looks magnificent in photos, you’ll appreciate its beauty even more in person. With its gorgeous facade, it’s no wonder it’s one of the most Instagrammable places to visit in Santorini.

Getting to the area where the pink church is can be tricky since it requires passing through a private road. Guests staying at a nearby hotel can get to the church with no issues. But even if you’re not staying in the area, you should not have any problems passing the road to reach the pink church. 

Of course, always respect the locals living nearby when taking a picture of the area. Also, avoid climbing to the rooftop, no matter how tempting it might be. The best time to capture the beauty of the pink church is early in the morning when there is enough light.

Oìa Castle      

The Venetian Castle of Agios Nikolaos in Oia is another popular destination for Instagrammers and photographers. It’s also a famous spot for sunset viewing, with scores of tourists gathering around the castle to witness the spectacular view. The castle’s name comes from a lovely church carved into a rock, built in honour of Agios Nikolaos.

The castle’s existence dates back to the late 15th century, during incessant pirate raids and when the Cycladic Islands were under the rule of the Franks. Nowadays, the castle boasts breathtaking views of the caldera and the vast Aegean Sea. It lures crowds of visitors waiting to capture Santorini’s famous magical sunsets in the most picturesque surroundings.

The Best Greek Islands to Visit for Romantic Sunsets 

If you’re wondering where to catch them, here is our list of the best Greek islands to visit for romantic sunsets.

Anyone who has been to Greece will surely agree that it boasts some of the world’s most stunning sunset views. The dramatic colours painting the horizon are guaranteed to leave you in awe. And the best part is that there’s no shortage of places to marvel at this incredible scenery.

SANTORINI 

Insights Greece - The Best Greek Islands to Visit for Romantic Sunsets 

The most famous Cycladic island that undoubtedly tops the list for the most romantic sunsets in Greece is Santorini, where honeymooners from around the world gather to experience the island’s stunning sunset views. And although sunsets are incredible anywhere on the island, some places stand out for the best views. 

The village of Oia is the most popular spot to capture the most stunning sunset views. And one of the most popular is at the old castle, which looks out to the beautiful, blue-domed churches in the town. The area with the famous windmills also offers the best places for admiring the island’s most romantic sunsets. 

The Akrotiri Lighthouse is another incredible spot to admire the sunset in Santorini. It’s on the island’s southern tip, and the lighthouse produces an awe-inspiring silhouette, with the magical view luring visitors here daily, waiting for the sun to set.

If you want to enjoy a cocktail or two while enjoying the romantic sunset, grab a seat at one of the rooftop bars in Fira, or Firostefani- we recommend you consider making a reservation to guarantee a spot, as these bars get very busy just before sunset.

PAROS

Insights Greece - The Best Greek Islands to Visit for Romantic Sunsets 

Anyone who has been to Paros would agree that the sunset views here are incredibly romantic. While most people will immediately think of Santorini for the most remarkable sunset views, Paros also has its share of incredible spots for sunset viewing with your other half.

Agioi Anargyroi Monastery is the most popular spot to enjoy incredible sunset views and it sits on a hill above Parikia, the island’s capital city. In fact, most of the sunset photos you’ll see from this Cycladic Isle are probably from here. Hiking is the best way to get to this spot. But if you’re not a fan of uphill climbing, you can drive to the top if you have a car. The drive can be tricky due to the steep road, but you’ll be rewarded with superb views of the island when you arrive, whether you came for the sunset or not.

At the north entrance of Parikia Bay, you’ll find a small church called Agios Fokas, which is also a lovely spot when the sun goes down. Driving is the best way to get here, but you must stop a few hundred metres before you get to the church, where you’ll see Portes Rocks to the west. Park your car here and walk towards the sea. Look for a place to relax while waiting for the sun to set. The soothing sound of the ocean waves will make the experience even more romantic. Couples who rent luxury holiday villas in Paros are guaranteed a fantastic escape for those looking for a quiet and romantic haven where magnificent sunsets are only one of the numerous highlights that await.

MYKONOS 

Insights Greece - The Best Greek Islands to Visit for Romantic Sunsets 

As one of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations, Mykonos has something for all its visitors, including those couples looking for romantic sunsets. The extravagant island may be famous for its party scene, but it also has plenty of quieter spots to spend quality time with your loved one and catch the magnificent sunset views. 

You can enjoy beautiful sunsets anywhere in Mykonos. However, there’s something magical in Little Venice. The bustling area offers the best sunset views. Plus, you will find plenty of seaside restaurants here, from which you can marvel at the view while enjoying sumptuous seafood. Of course, you don’t need to be at a restaurant to enjoy the mesmerising views. Little Venice is well-located, and it’s easy to find a place to catch the setting sun- including one of the cool all-day bars.

Not far from Venice, you’ll stumble upon the Kato Windmills, which also offer the perfect spot for seeing sunsets. Hike up to the hill before dusk until you reach an area with about 16 windmills. Find a spot to settle in while waiting for the sun to set. Here you and your partner can gaze in awe as the sun produces incredible hues with the view of the charming village of Chora in the background.

KEFALONIA

Insights Greece - The Best Greek Islands to Visit for Romantic Sunsets 

Kefalonia is another Greek island renowned for its spectacular sunsets, where the sun transforms the sky into an incredible palette of vibrant hues as it dips below the horizon. For those seeking a truly romantic escape, Kefalonia boasts a variety of luxurious rentals where you can watch the beautiful sunset from your very own balcony—a perfect date night for you and your love.

One of Kefalonia’s most iconic places to view the sunset is the Lighthouse of Agioi Theodoroi in Argostoli. Nestled along a rocky peninsula, it offers incredible views of the Ionian Sea and its surrounding coastline. When the sun sets, the sky will turn orange, pink, and purple, producing a spectacle. And the lighthouse’s magical silhouette will make the views even more spectacular.

For a more serene and private sunset-viewing experience, visit the picturesque village of Assos. It’s situated on a peninsula surrounded by lush foliage and crystal clear water. When the sun begins to set, the sky will create a magical scenery of vibrant colours, made even more beautiful by the silhouettes of colourful houses. 

CORFU

Insights Greece - The Best Greek Islands to Visit for Romantic Sunsets 

Sunset-viewing spots are plentiful in Corfu. But some places offer better views than others, such as the charming village of Afionas, about 35 kilometres west of Corfu Town. Nestled on a hill, about 480 metres above sea level, the Greek village is incredibly scenic, with its narrow, winding streets lined with gorgeous houses. 

Another place to watch Corfu’s romantic sunsets is at Issos Beach, a long sandy beach renowned for its impressive dunes and also called the “Sahara of Corfu.” What’s great is that the beach has sunbeds, so you can sit back and relax by the sea as you watch the sun set.

The scenic village of Paleokastritsa is another place to see romantic sunsets. We recommend you book a private cruise to explore the area and visit its famous caves. As the sun goes down, climb to the hilltop where a 13th-century monastery sits. Here, you can enjoy the island’s most spectacular sunset.                                                

Our Complete Travel Guide to Kozani 

Discover where to eat, drink, stay and play, when visiting the jewel of Western Macedonia – with our travel guide to Kozani.

Visitors to Kozani are lured by its rich history, culture and natural beauty- including mountains with dense vegetation, forests, rivers and lakes. This under-the-radar city in Northern Greece is an ideal place for those who love road trips that lead to wonderful discoveries along the way.    

Just one and a half hours away from Thessaloniki by car, those who visit Kozani for the first time are enchanted by its landscapes, surprised by the warm local hospitality and undoubtedly leave the city with a saffron tinge on their lips and the smell of fragrant flowers, which are blooming all year round! 

Travel Notes 

Perfect place for: Couples, groups of friends, and a leisurely weekend. 

Where to stay: In the center of the city is the best place to stay, as you can get around on foot to discover the local markets, grab your morning coffee and visit nearby attractions.

Where to sleep: Ermionio is a striking 5-star hotel housed in a historic building and located in the heart of the city. For anyone looking for a longer stay, or to also get some work done while away, Smart Studio is fully equipped and only 5 minutes away from the town square. 

Must See + Do

Τake long walks through the picturesque alleys of the city, drink coffee under the clock in the main square, taste local cuisine in small family-run taverns, and visit cultural sights (listed below). Drives to nearby villages and the lake are also a must. 

Cultural Hotspots 

Built somewhere in the 17th century, the Koventareios Municipal Library was originally founded as a school. Today it’s one of the largest modernly renovated, historical libraries in Greece and includes over 153,000 volumes, manuscripts, Turkish firmans, codices and many rare publications. Among them, the Charter of Riga Feraios stands out.

The Archaeological Museum of Kozani is housed in the Panagiotideo Mansion, a beautiful neoclassical building in the centre of the city. Its collections include finds from prehistoric to early Christian times. 

The Folklore Museum of Kozani is of great interest, as its premises host a Natural History Exhibition from the Paleolithic era to modern times, an Archaeological-Byzantine exhibition, a Historical and Folklore exhibition, a gallery, as well as a collection of stamps and radios. In the basement of the museum, visitors can also find a small cave with stalactites and stalagmites.

Just a breath away from Kozani, at a distance of 22 kilometers, is an archaeological site and the Archaeological Museum of Aianis, which was the capital of one of the strongest kingdoms of Upper Macedonia. In the museum’s collections, you will see findings from the Late Bronze Age as well as exhibits from the archaic-classical period. 

Not far from Aiani, you can also visit the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle, in the village of Chromio. The village is located on Mount Vourinos (Bourinos) 32 kilometers away from Kozani.

Eat & Drink

Breakfast/Brunch 

Q Garden: In the centre of town is the best place to start your day with a cup of coffee and a delicious breakfast – all overlooking the central square of the city. (Νikis Square 11, Kozani) 

El Barrio: An all-day café bar with panoramic views of the city, here you can enjoy brunch while gazing from above the city and the central clock- the most characteristic landmark in the heart of the square. (Nikis Square 16, Kozani)

Lunch

Kotetsi: This cozy tavern has a wide range of mezedes to choose from, as well as chicken-based dishes and excellent quality local wine. Must try: We highly recommend the chicken gyros with mustard sauce. (Drizi 3, Kozani) 

Το Pelagos: The best seafood choice in the city takes visitors on a journey through aromas of the sea and fresh ingredients. Must try: seafood risotto and saganaki mussels. (Mitropoliti Konstantinou 1, Kozani) 

Dinner

Trypokaridos: This awarded restaurant serves local cuisine that can be enjoyed throughout the day. The chefs are ready to impress guests with special dishes made with saffron (and love). Must try: Ravioli with saffron, risotto with tartuffo, steak and potatoes. (Mourati 3, Kozani) 

Stou Aiona tin Paraga: A modern style tavern that offers the greatest local wine selection. Located in a charming alleyway, here you are sure to enjoy the great vibe and locally produced wine. Must try: meatballs, chicken gyros, local wine. (Kompanias 2, Kozani) 

Sweets

Amorino: One of the best and oldest pastry shops in Kozani, Amorino is a place where classic Greek dessert recipes meet and blend with modern flavours. (Gertsou Konstantinou, Aristotelous, Kozani) 

Elite: Step inside this pastry store and be blown away by the gorgeous displays of decadent desserts and handmade gelato cakes that are presented in pretty packaging for you to take away and enjoy. (2 S. Blioura, Kozani) 

Zande: Visiting this small pastry shop is an experience that should not be missed by anyone visiting Kozani for the first time. It’s popular thanks to their secret Touloumbes (traditional sweet that is similar to churros) recipe! Simply delicious – this is an absolute must! (28 October Square, Kozani) 

Drinks

Funky Monkey: One of the best spots to enjoy an aperitivo– great décor, impressive cocktail list and funky music playing. (1 Aliakmonos, Kozani) 

Vatrakoukos: An urban-style all-day bar, it’s one of the most popular spots in town and perfect for an unforgettable night out. Fridays and Saturdays are no doubt the busiest – attracting a young, cool crowd. (Irini 5, Kozani) 

Local flavours 

Krokos Kozanis is an exclusivity of the region that has been recognised since 1999 as a Protected Designation of Origin of the European Union. Krokos widely known as saffron, is one of the most expensive culinary spices in the world and here in Kozani you can find it in every local dish, buy it as a product or even drink eat in tea or tsipouro!

Bajos is another local product to try. It’s a semi-hard brine cheese made from partially skimmed goat’s milk – spicy and characteristically salty – it’s ideal for grilling or frying. 

Discover

Local Gems

Lake Polyfitos is an artificial lake formed by River Aliakmonas, located about 20 kilometres from the city of Kozani. Two bridges join its banks with one of them, the spectacular Polyfytos Bridge – also called the High Bridge of Servia, a name taken by the nearby town of Servia- being one of the longest bridges in Greece. A true landmark for the area, Polyfytos Bridge was built in 1975 and ever since it has been a major point connecting the region of Thessaly to the region of Western Macedonia. Unfortunately though, at the moment the bridge is closed for construction purposes so visitors are advised to use the second bridge that is the Rymnio Bridge, named after the village of Rymnio.  Lake Polyfytos not only is the biggest water reservoir in Macedonia, supplying irrigation water to the fields of Veroia and Thessaloniki but it is also one of the richest aquatic environments of the area. Seventeen species of freshwater fish have been recorded in the waters around here, while it has also emerged as an important place for birdlife, with 128 species of birds recorded. At the lake’s northern end is the settlement of Neraida, with a spectacular view of the bridge and the lake. Originally, the village of Neraida was located at what is now Lake Polyfytos. The village had to be transferred to another location so the government donated a prime location to the locals, the top of the hill by the lake to re-build their community. Nowadays, Neraida is the number one tourist destination in the Municipality of Kozani and a must-see place as visitors can enjoy their coffee or lunch while having 360-degree views of the lake and the town of Servia.

Ultimate Daytrip

Head across to the famous Pozar thermal baths which are filled with mineral springs and known for their therapeutic properties. Visitors use it for spa therapy, stimulation and relaxation, as the waters help fight circulatory, respiratory, rheumatic, gynaecological and dermatological diseases.

Make sure you take home… 

Krokos Kozanis (Saffron) and any other local product that includes it! It’s the highest quality krokos and the only producer of saffron in Greece. The town of Krokos is the base of the Cooperative of Saffron Producers of Kozani, a cooperative that counts 2000 members spread between 40 small villages.

Essentials

Getting there: Kozani is 120 km distance from Thessaloniki, about 1.5 hours by car. While the distance from Athens is 470 km, about a 5-hour drive from the Greek capital. 

Best time to go: The carnival season (Apokries) in February/March is amazing as Kozani is one of the three Greek cities (after Xanthi and Patra) that celebrate carnival uniquely and unforgettably. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take part in the ‘Fanoi’, big fires that take place each night for the entire duration of the carnival season in different locations scattered around the city. 

Ideal time to stay: 2-3 days is perfect. 

Getting around: We recommend hiring a car for daily trips to nearby cultural sites, however walking around the city is the best choice for seeing the town. 

What to pack: Comfortable shoes, warm clothes if you are visiting in Autumn/Winter (it gets quite cold in the cooler months), an umbrella for unexpected rain, and a scarf for windy days!

Complete Travel Guide to Naxos

Our travel guide to Naxos lets you in on where to stay, eat, drink and play on the largest island of the Cyclades complex, a gem that’s nestled in the heart of the Aegean Sea.

With its breathtaking landscapes, crystal clear waters, sandy beaches, delicious food and atmospheric mountain villages, Naxos invites you to embark on an unforgettable journey. 

Travel Notes

Perfect place for

Naxos is ideal for all kinds of travellers; those seeking to relax on an isolated beach, those who would prefer a sunbed with a cocktail in hand, the ones who love water sports, hardcore foodies, art enthusiasts, for couples who want to enjoy the nightlife or even families with young kids. Naxos is ideal for long holidays or long weekends. In a few words, this Cycladic island is perfect for all!

Where to stay

One of our favourite areas for accommodation is Plaka. Being one of the most popular beaches in Naxos, but not excessively crowded at the same time, it means that you can grab your towel and enjoy a dip in the crystal-clear cool waters or relax on a sunbed and order an iced coffee at one of the many beach café-bars. Here you’ll find plenty of accommodation, as well as restaurants. 

You can also stay around Plaka, at Agia Anna, Mikri Vigla, or Agios Prokopios.

Another great option is Kastraki. It features a beautiful sandy beach, with a small part that is organised with umbrellas and sunbeds. There are also plenty of tavernas with excellent food, as well as bakeries and supermarkets. It’s an ideal choice for those wanting to avoid crowds.

Where to sleep

There are so many accommodation options in Naxos, including hotels, villas, or Airbnb. I recommend Helen Luxury Villas in Kastraki, Sea & Olives in the area of Plaka and Naxian on the Beach for a bit of luxe.

Must See + Do

The options are endless! You shouldn’t leave the island before visiting Apeiranthos, Chalki and Koronos villages; picturesque, nostalgic, and charming, they remain authentic. 

Apeiranthos is 25 km away from Naxos Town. Surrounded by lush greenery and authentic architecture, it’s most definitely the island’s jewel! For great traditional homemade food, visit Lefteris Tavern or Platanos and pay a visit to one of the local craftsmanship shops for unique souvenirs.

Chalki (or Halki) is 16 km from Naxos town. It’s a small, lovely village that used to be the capital of Naxos. It’s well known for its olive cultivation and amazing galaktoboureko (Greek dessert of semolina-based custard and phyllo).

Koronos is 27 km from Naxos town and it’s built amphitheatrically on the slopes of a hill. You will definitely enjoy a walk among the beautiful narrow paved streets, and if you’re a culture aficionado, there’s an eco-museum for you to visit as well as a Folklore museum. The village is also known for its delicious wine and fine agricultural products. 

Cultural Hotspots

Naxos is an island that caters to all tastes. Culture fans will be thrilled to know there are so many fascinating museums to visit! 

The Old Town is home to the Archaeological Museum of Naxos; located in the Venetian Tower of the Kastro district, the museum has a significant collection of Cycladic idols and works of art.

The Temple of Demeter Museum at Gyroulas is a must-see museum as well. Located at Sangri (11km from Chora), it features archaeological finds from the excavation of the site that dates back to the 6th century BC.

The Apeiranthos Archaeological Museum features exceptional findings of the Cycladic Civilization; more than 1200 artifacts, such as jewellery, marble, and tools, cover the pre-Cycladic period and the Neolithic age.

The Olive Press Museum is definitely worth visiting as it showcases the different stages of olive production.

Naxos is a vibrant island; numerous events and festivals take place every summer all over the island; we recommend you keep an eye on advertisements scattered around the island.

Eat + Drink

Breakfast/Brunch

Visit Melimilon for the best homemade jams, and a hearty breakfast, and Yucca and Picasso at Plaka beach for refreshing, delicious salads and snacks for lunch.

Dinner

You will find excellent local meat at Kinidaros village and Potirou at Damarionas and local dishes with interesting twists at Yucca at Plaka beach. For the best Italian, go to Dal Professore in Naxos Town. Aksiotissa tavern is a true gastronomic experience; all dishes are prepared with local ingredients and flavours are full of imagination! And last but not least, Stou Vasilarakiou, is another traditional tavern set in a picturesque mountain village that specialises in perfectly grilled local meats.

Coffee + Sweets

The best galaktoboureko is at Chalki and top profiteroles at Dal Professore. 

Drinks

Island at Agia Anna; delicious cocktails and inviting music. Meli & Kanela is another great option for cocktails and, of course, Swing. Jazz & Blues is the place to be for, as the name suggests, great jazz and blues music in the background.

Don’t skip a visit to the Saint Anna Winery if you love good wine and appreciate the art of making one. It’s a family business that oversees all stages of production, from separating the grapes to labelling the wine. You will have a fantastic time tasting the local wine along with local delights coming straight from the farm.

As for beach bars, there is no shortage in Naxos! If you want a full day at the beach, followed by drinks in one spot- head to Tortuga, Nomad Naxos, Santana, or Tohu– you won’t be disappointed! 

Local flavours

The Naxian potatoes, of course! They are famous for a good reason; top quality and amazing taste, the result of soil composition and climate conditions. And citron liqueur at Chalki village.

Discover

Best beaches 

A few of the best beaches are Plaka, Mikri Vigla, Agios Prokopios, Hawaii Beach and Psili Ammos.

Best view… check out the fantastic sea view and all the surfers from Mikri Vigla, watch the sun go down at the famous Portara and if you feel adventurous, climb Mount Zeus and enjoy the breathtaking view of the island with the Aegean Sea surrounding it.

Ultimate day trip

If you’re up for a short-day trip from Naxos, Koufonisia is the way to go! Located south of Naxos, Koufonisia is known for its pristine and turquoise waters.

Best shopping 

Katerina Vasilaki makes the best handmade jewellery; Naxos Art has unique handmade textiles, such as tablecloths, weavings and embroideries, while Apodo and Riza Greek Experience Store sell super cute Greek souvenirs. Lastly, if you visit Apeiranthos, visit the Yperoon store for unique handmade decorative objects.

Make sure you take home… Local cheese and kitro from any local shop that sells traditional delicacies.

Essentials

Getting there: Naxos is easily accessible. It’s a short 30-minute flight from Athens airport or a 4-5-hour trip by ferry. 

Best time to go: Summer is the best season to visit, ideally from May to September; however, it’s also worth visiting during Easter, as various local traditions and happenings take place.

Ideal time to stay: One week is great! 

Getting around: We recommend hiring a car; Naxos is a big island, and you need a car to explore. I wouldn’t recommend bikes for safety matters. The streets are dark and narrow, and not all of them are paved.

What to pack: Your swimsuits, of course! And light, comfortable clothes if you’re visiting during the summer period. Don’t forget to pack a jacket, as it can get breezy at night.

Main Image | Naxian on the Beach

24 Hours in Thessaloniki

Greece’s second-largest city has no shortage of unique cultural heritage, scenery and memorable food experiences that make it an ideal city-break. Here’s our roundup of the best way to spend an action-packed 24 hours in the seaside city of Thessaloniki.

10am to 12pm

The quiet of the morning is the perfect time to hit the pavement and start exploring before the bustle of the city sets in. To make sure you’re fueled up, grab a takeaway coffee from the friendly baristas at Shed specialty coffee and then walk a little further across town to To Anoteron for a taste of the family bougatsa recipe that has made them famous since they opened in 1972. From there, the only way is up to the quiet and stone-paved alleys of Ano Poli for a sweeping view of Thessaloniki from above. Ano Poli offers a traditional sense of Thessaloniki with many a taverna and mezedopoleio, and is scattered with architectural reminders of Thessaloniki’s Ottoman past.

1pm to 4pm

Make your way back downtown via the cluster of important sites that includes the Roman Forum of Thessaloniki, the Statue of Eleftherios VenizelosThe Rotunda and the Holy Church of Hagia Sophia. From here, lunch within walking distance can be found within the four walls of Ergon Agora’s gourmet food hall. The menu is centered around Northern Greek cuisine with a focus on quality ingredients (their Peinirli is a must-try). If you’ve already sampled Ergon’s menu at one of their many outposts around Greece, the UK, Cyprus or even Doha, walk across town to Ypsilon for an experience that’s culinary, cultural and historical. Ypsilon lives in one of the last remaining buildings from the 1860s that survived Thessaloniki’s Fire of 1917. The grand building has been renovated with an industrial feel and caters to laptop workers, holds cultural events and also happens to have an interesting lunch menu including its tuna confit nicoise salad, fish burger, and six-minute boiled eggs with graviera, olives and sourdough.

If time permits, stop in at nearby Beetroot Design Group’s newly opened cafe and gift store where you can enjoy an afternoon refreshment and browse their unique designs and products. 

6pm till late

Before dinner, stroll through the recently restored and reopened Agora Modiano (originally opened in 1922) and stock up on countless food offerings like artisanal bread, specialty tahini and traditional sweets. The bar on the top floor makes for a great spot to watch the happenings below. 

If you manage to resist the burgers, pasta fresca, dumplings and sushi on offer in the agora, make your way to Thessaloniki’s famed Ladadika district for a hearty and memorable meal at Sin Trofi. With a zero-waste philosophy that focuses on organic ingredients, the restaurant is headed by Yiannis Loukakis (also known for his restaurant Mourga). The flavours at Sin Trofi are original yet somehow feel like they take you back to a cherished moment when you’ve been your most content. Breads are baked daily on-site, the menu changes daily and you’d be forgiven for wanting to extend your stay in Thessaloniki to eat here again.

After dinner, duck into Pelosof for cocktails and mingling at what’s been branded a “sensory experience for coffee enthusiasts, cocktail aficionados and stalwart foodies”. The main hall that once was home to Thessaloniki’s main post office boasts a modern design aesthetic and the vibe at night is fun and social, with various spaces for groups to gather and form. Want to kick on with your new parea? Head to the jewel in Thessaloniki’s crown, Aristotelous Square, and party with the Beautiful People at Olympion Kafe (if the doorman grants you entry, that is) or join the hipsters of Thessaloniki under the disco ball at bord de l’eau.

Address List

Shed Specialty Coffee

Patriarchoi Dionisii E 11, Thessaloniki

To Anoteron Bougatsa

Ag. Dimitriou 68, Thessaloniki

Ergon Agora

P. Mela 42, Thessaloniki

Ypsilon

Edessis 5, Thessaloniki

Beetroot

Siggrou 8, Thessaloniki

Agora Modiano

Ermou 24, Vasileos Irakleiou 33, Thessaloniki

Sin Trofi

Doxis 7, Thessaloniki

Pelosof

Tsimiski 2, Thessaloniki

Olympion Cafe

Square Aristotle 10, Thessaloniki

bord de l’eau

Egnatia 45, Thessaloniki

Your Travel Guide to Kardamyli 

Discover our detailed guide to Kardamyli, an under-the-radar town in the Peloponnese, known for its crystal-clear waters, pebble beaches, olive groves, and delicious cuisine.   

One of the most beautiful spots in Mani, Kardamyli offers a serene and authentic travel experience, making it a great choice for anyone seeking a vacation filled with natural beauty, cultural richness, and a relaxed vibe.

HOW TO GET THERE

Kardamyli is located about 40 kilometres southeast of Kalamata, which you can get to by plane from Athens. The drive to Kardamyli from Kalamata is around 45 minutes and offers stunning coastal and mountain views. If you drive straight from Athens, it will take around 3.5 hours. 

MUST SEE

Explore the Old Town, which features traditional Maniot architecture, with stone-built houses and narrow alleys.

Take one of the various treks up the hills. We recommend heading all the way up to the old town and then continuing to Agia Sophia Church. Once you reach here, you can enjoy amazing views of Kardamyli from above.

Visit Mourtzinos Castle. If you want to find out all the details about the important history behind Kardamyli, one of the oldest settlements of the Peloponnese, book a tour of the castle. 

For a few euros, you can also tour the museum and the Byzantine church of Saint Spyridon, with its impressive Ionian-style bell tower.

Visit the Leigh Fermor House, the former residence of Patrick Leigh Fermor, a renowned British writer who made Kardamyli his beloved home. This stunning property (one of the most beautiful in the country) consists of four stone buildings surrounded by an olive grove. It’s now open to the public with scheduled visits, so make sure to book ahead. 

MUST DO

Kardamyli holds a variety of cultural events throughout the year with a great range of festivals (including a cool jazz one at that), art exhibitions and musical performances that showcase local culture and traditions. We highly recommend you attend if one is on during your stay. 

Visit Meropi, the lush green islet opposite Kardamyli that hosts Venetian wall ruins of the 18th century.  

Drive across to Stoupa, a seaside village that’s only 8km from Kardamyli. Here you’ll find a beautiful sandy beach with a range of restaurants to choose from. Along the way stop off for a quick dip at Kalogria.

Speaking of swimming, there are many beaches to choose from, including Ritsa, an organised beach, Kalamitsi with its fine pebbles and shallow waters, or a bit further over is Foneas, one of the most popular by far thanks to its white pebbles, a canteen, and a rock that’s perfect to dive off. If you prefer less crowded spots we recommend adding Delfinia and Pantazi to your list. 

Shop at one of the many boutiques that stock a great range of locally made sandals, jewellery, ceramics, art, as well as Maniot oil, wine and other delicacies. 

EAT + DRINK

Gialos is located on Ritsa Beach, and here they serve good traditional Greek cuisine. 

Kastro Taverna, for authentic dishes that are made with produce that comes straight from the owner’s farm.

Old Kardamyli Traditional Restaurant, where you can sit under the shade of trees and enjoy a long lazy lunch. 

Elies Restaurant, set in a lovely outdoor garden, we suggest you try the delicious octopus, fava and other freshly made meze. 

Harilios, for a more modern dining experience.

Kalamaki, if you are looking for some good souvlaki and other casual bites.  

Yioyitsas Backyard is a traditional café in Old Kardamyli, with live music and homemade delicacies. 

Aquarella Cafe/Cocktail Bar, located along the waterfront, is a great spot for an aperitivo. 

Tikla Cuzina and Wine Bar is a great seaside bar where you can enjoy both dining and local wine. 

Psaltiras Wine Bar is the place to go for an amazing selection of Greek wines and you can also take part in the wine and oil tasting while you are there. 

Androuvista Café is in the heart of town and the perfect place for breakfast, a quick bite, or a drink. 

Lola serves homemade frozen yogurt and ice cream, plus other delicious handmade sweets!

STAY 

Diapori Suites

This recently opened hotel is set above the fishing harbour of Kardamyli and overlooks the azure sea. 

Kalamitsi Hotel

Located among lush olive groves and colourful orchards, this traditional hotel offers breathtaking views and beautiful sunsets. 

Leigh Fermor House

For just 3 months per year, this stunning residence turns into a private holiday villa. Guests can enjoy the impressive interiors, as well as the beautiful garden, private beach area and outdoor pool. 

Images by IN+SIGHTS GREECE ©