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


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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


Edessis 5, Thessaloniki


Siggrou 8, Thessaloniki

Agora Modiano

Ermou 24, Vasileos Irakleiou 33, Thessaloniki

Sin Trofi

Doxis 7, Thessaloniki


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.


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. 


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. 


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. 


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!


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. 


Visiting Molyvos in Lesvos

Molyvos or Mithimna, as it was called during the ancient times, is a traditional preserved settlement of Lesvos Island – with medieval architecture and a romantic atmosphere it has kept its true character throughout the times.

Our visit to Molyvos started from its Genovese castle, one of the best preserved (of its kind) in the Eastern Mediterranean. The view of the settlement from up there, with its red-tiled buildings, the blue Aegean Sea, and the lush green olive trees creates a unique mosaic – enhanced by the sweet colors of the sunset. 

Insights Greece - Visiting Molyvos in Lesvos

As we walked down the cobbled alleyways, we passed by stone-built and wooden houses (one of the reasons why Molyvos was declared a traditional settlement in 1965), charming little shops selling local products like olive oil, herbs, and honey or ceramics; as well as fountains with inscriptions left over from the Ottoman Empire era, traditional kafeneia (cafes), and locals chatting in their gardens filled with sprawling pot plants. 

Soon we found ourselves in an alleyway that was voted the most beautiful in the world. A road covered by a stunning flower called wisteria. Every time it’s in bloom, this road is covered with pretty purple flowers. 

Shortly after we reached a dead-end, some steps on our right hand invited us to the traditional Hammam. From the entrance, we were led to a marble vestibule under a perforated dome, and from there we headed to an impressive circular bath with a series of individual marble baths under an equally perforated dome. 

In Molyvos, there are also impressive neoclassical houses like the Komninaki-Kralli Mansion, which today functions as an annex of the School of Fine Arts; a highlight is its top floor, which is decorated with murals created by popular painters.

The main roads of the village lead to the town square, featuring a big plane tree and the striking mansions surrounding it. There are also some incredible Byzantine churches inclduding Agios Panteleimon and Taxiarchis. 

We made a stop at “Balkonaki” to enjoy galaktoboureko (custard pie) and a perfect view, before ending up at the picturesque fishing port of Molyvos, with the lovely chapel of Agios Nikolaos, as well as boats and trawls, and tavernas featuring song lyrics from old Greek movies and poems splattered on the traditional wooden chairs. This is the place, where once upon a time the great Greek novelist Ilias Venezis sat to drink his Greek coffee. We also visited some charming mansions (painted in pretty pastels) on the coastal road. From here you can enjoy views of the castle and the charming rooftops of the many homes. 

Insights Greece - Visiting Molyvos in Lesvos

Extra Tip

If you are visiting in the warmer months and want to cool off, head to Molyvos Beach, which is located in the village. Additionally, at a distance of approximately 3 kilometers from Molyvos, you will find Eftalou, a beach with small pebbles, and famous for its thermal springs. Just keep in mind, that the sea here remains cold no matter how warm the weather is, which is probably due to the steep drop of the sea bottom or the sea currents. However, the remarkable “sauna” of the Eftalou thermal springs remains warm and is known for its therapeutic benefits. 

Images by Polina Paraskevoupoulou ©

A Foodie’s Guide to the Villages of Tinos

Discover the beauty of Tinos, through its rich gastronomy and unspoilt villages, with our detailed foodie guide for this authentic Cycladic island. 

While planning a trip to Tinos, I was repeatedly informed that the beauty of this island was in its villages, and its food. After spending days exploring this island inhabited by around 10,000 residents, over 700 churches and 50 active villages, I can agree that not only is the beauty of Tinos in its food and its villages, but also in the road getting there. Tinos’ sprawling landscape varies from lush vineyards, jaw-dropping boulder land and agricultural terracing that dates as far back as the Bronze Age. The roads are spotted with churches, original pigeon houses and more than a few adventurous goats…and they lead to some unique villages and memorable food experiences.  

No-frills mezedes at Myrsini

Myrsini is a small, picturesque village on the road to Livada (a visit to Livada beach is a must, as its boulder-clad landscape is surreal). Situated at the foot of Tsiknias mountain (where, according to legend, Aeolus lived) Myrsini is said to have been founded during the Byzantine era. After passing the traditional pigeon houses at the entrance of the village, wander through the quiet alleys until you hear the faint sound of chatter around a corner. The sign for Pantopoleio Tereza will point you in the right direction until you happen upon a small patio with a few tables facing a small flower garden. The pantopoleio (a traditional store that sells just about everything) has been in Myrsini since 1985, and still sells a range of necessities, from laundry detergent to pasta. Its small kitchen was originally built to make a few simple mezedes often served to locals with their coffee. Today, Tereza’s small kitchen serves up some big flavours and is fast becoming a favourite among food lovers. Sample local specialties like kopanisti (a soft, peppery local cheese) and marathokeftedes that are golden and crispy on the outside and filled with fragrant fennel batter on the inside. Tereza also makes fresh pies daily, including pies from artichokes which are a local gourmet product of Tinos and a must-try on the island.

Portokalopita at Pyrgos

One of the island’s largest villages, Pyrgos is a beautiful village known for its marble. Aside from the marble that is featured all over the village, there is the Museum of Marble Crafts which showcases marble extraction and sculpture techniques. Yannoulis Chalepas, the most distinguished sculptor of modern Greece, was born and raised on Tinos island, and his family home at the entrance to Pyrgos is now an impressive museum. Pyrgos’ alleyways are filled with small boutiques selling designer clothing, unique gifts and jewellery (be sure to stop in at Jove Jewellery + Art, which showcases handmade jewellery and homewares made by independent Greek designers). The centrepiece of Pyrgos is undoubtedly the central square which is set around an impressive platanos (plane) tree that provides ample shade for the cafes and eateries placed strategically around it. The kafenion aptly named O Platanos is worth taking a seat at for a serving of their homemade portokalopita (orange pie) which is made using a family recipe passed down through generations. This orange pie is sweet, flakey, best served with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream and it’s unlike any other orange pie you’ve ever tasted. 

The real deal: authentic taverna fare at Aetofolia

Translating to “Eagle’s Nest”, the village of Aetofolia really does resemble a nest built high in the mountains. Surrounded by mountainous landscape, with a view down to Kato Meri, this village became a settlement for ceramic artists and has its own Museum of Traditional Pottery and Folk Art. Aetofolia has a special feeling of serenity that comes with places that are a little off the beaten track. Kounaria was established in 2013 and is an unassuming family-run taverna that offers up authentic, local Tinian cuisine, made by Josephina and served up by her lovely, hospitable family. Lunch at Kounaria must include a xoriatiki with sweet, ripe tomatoes, and at least one of Josephina’s homemade pies (the kremmidopita is made from the abundant local onions and is a standout). Go for grilled meats, cooked dishes and potatoes cooked in the oven with loads of olive oil and oregano.

Scenic strolls and seafood at Kardiani 

Kardiani may be one of the prettiest villages on Tinos and it is without a doubt the greenest. Narrow alleyways, whitewashed steps, old marble homes and bright flowers characterise the village, which has its own stream of cool water that runs through the village and gushes out of the surrounding springs. O Ntinos is a short drive from the centre of Kardiani village down to the coast and is synonymous with fresh seafood. At O Ntinos, you’ll see tables of people enjoying the garidomakaronada (prawn spaghetti) that has a complex-tasting broth and spaghetti cooked to al dente perfection (which can often be a rarity in Greece). The menu also includes signature Tinian salads, and interesting takes on Greek seafood classics, like the octopus stifado served on carrot puree. Enjoy the food and the uninterrupted sea view with a chilled glass of rose as the sun slowly sets.  

Starting your day the right way at Chora

Like most Greek islands, Chora (the main town) plays an important role in daily life. Chora is located close to the port and is a convenient place to base yourself, with most accommodation options and Tinos’ nightlife a short walk away. Tinos’ Chora is home to Panagia Evangelistria, the major Marian shrine in Greece and pilgrimage site, with thousands of pilgrims covering the distance from the port to the shrine on their hands and knees throughout the year. Chora offers some especially enticing ways to start your day in Tinos. If good coffee is important to you, make your first coffee stop of the day at Prickly Bear, a small cafe serving up Area 51 coffee (a specialty brand from Athens) that is best enjoyed on the low stools set in the sunny alleyway and served up by smiling baristas who take their coffee seriously. Sol Bake and Coffee Project is a hole-in-the-wall take-away spot, filled with plants and skating paraphernalia that serves up coffee and vegan treats. Finally, no trip to Tinos town would be complete without a stop at Halaris sweets. Open since 192, this small, sweet-smelling zacharoplasteio bakes daily traditional sweet treasures like cakes, biscuits, halva cake, tsoureki and sweet gifts to bring back home.

You can read our ultimate guide to Tinos here.

Top 5 Autumn Destinations in Greece

Primoula Country Hotel

If fall is your favourite season, and you love the crisp air and the changing leaves, we have spotlighted the top 5 autumn destinations to visit in Greece, so you can admire the magical atmosphere.

Autumn will officially kick in soon and the fresh makeover this time of the year brings to mountains, cities and landscapes all around Greece the most beautiful atmosphere; it inspires weekend getaways and short holiday breaks- where you can travel and enjoy the stunning orange, amber and deep gold colour palette nature throughout the countryside. 


This mountain village was built like an amphitheatre in Arcadia, in the Peloponnese. The picturesque medieval village has become a popular destination thanks to its close proximity to Athens and its authentic character. History buffs will be fascinated to know that it is among the places where the Greek Revolution of 1821 against the Ottoman occupation began. The Gunpowder Mills located in the village used to produce gunpowder for the Revolutionary War and they are a historic sight worth visiting.


Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, Meteora is a rock formation located in the city of Kalambaka in Thessaly, northern Greece and it is hands down one of the most spectacular locations you’ll visit in the country. The awe-inspiring landscape with the rare gigantic rocks that look like they are hovering in the air feature 11th-century monasteries nestled on top of them. Apart from a visit to the monasteries, you can visit the Museum of Geological formations in Kastraki village.


Fourty-six small villages combine to create one of the most magical regions in the country; Zagori in Epirus, northwestern Greece is a must-see destination all year round, but even more so during fall. This remote part of the country is known for its wild beauty, its stone villages, which are considered to be a historical monument and the world-renowned UNESCO-protected Vikos Gorge. The narrow trail that crosses the deep gorge is one of the most challenging treks in the world, so if you love hiking, this is definitely a must!


A fairytale destination close to Athens, Mount Pelion is a natural paradise near the city of Volos in Thessaly. It features some of the most picturesque traditional villages in Greece such as Makrinitsa, Portaria, Tsagarada and Milies with their stone-built house being in the spotlight with their irresistible beauty and charm. According to Greek mythology, the mountain was the home of the Centaurs, the mythical creatures who were half-men, and half-horse so it’s only natural that horseback riding is one of the most popular activities in the area!


One of the top autumn and winter destinations in Greece, Kalavryta is situated in the Peloponnese on the foot of Mount Chelmos. Being a popular ski center, Kalavryta starts buzzing during fall; walk its stone-pebbled alleys, visit one of the many restaurants in the small square and get cozy with a cup of coffee at one of the cute cafes in the area. Kalavryta is known for the famous rack railway service called “Odontotos” – inaugurated in 1896 and covering a 22km route from the village to Diakopto, it is one of the most spectacular routes in Greece; don’t miss a ride!

Main Image Courtesy of Primoula Country Hotel | Zagarohoria 

Best Things to See and Do in Limeni

From visiting traditional settlements and walking through cobbled alleyways to swimming amongst sea turtles in turquoise waters and tasting delightful delicacies- discover where to go and what to do when travelling to Limeni. 

Located 5 km from Areopoli and 1.5 km om Oitylo, Limeni, which is characterised by wild beauty, will undoubtedly impress you from up high as you drive through and catch glimpses of the crystal clear blue-green waters that embrace the rocks perched on the stone towers. 

This picturesque settlement, home to the Mavromichali family, has a rare beauty that stands out from other parts of the Mediterranean. Here you will find the mansion of Petrobei Mavromichali (a hero of the Greek War of Independence), a four-story tower with arched openings. This is where the preparations for the uprising of the Greeks in 1821 were made and now dominate the harbor.


Limeni is in the Peloponnese, so you can reach it by flying to Kalamata International Airport, or by car from other parts of the Greek mainland. The drive from Athens to the Southern Peloponnese takes about 4 hours. 


Observe the traditional architecture (typical of the whole area of Mani) that consists of tall, square towers made of stone, small windows, and arched doors. It’s inevitable that you will stand still to admire the Tower of Petrobei Mavromichali, which testifies to the glamour of the era. 

Visit the chapels of Saint Sostis and Saint Nicholaos, which are built in a Byzantine style, as well as the abandoned monastery of Panagia Vretti, with its bell tower that stands by the sea. 

Look out for caretta caretta sea turtles. Most of the beach is rocky here but there are a few stairs that lead to the emerald waters and if you are lucky enough, you may swim in the company of these sea turtles, which quite often make an appearance. 

Insights Greece - Best Things to See and Do in Limeni


Walk around the main picturesque alleyways of the village in order to observe the traditional tiny settlement. 

Admire the cinematographic sunset; as the sun vanishes into the sea, the result is pure magic. 

Take a sweet break at Koroni, a traditional dairy shop that sells delicious ice cream.  

Stop by the traditional grocery store Oka which stands out with its traditional products from local producers of Mani. On its terrace, excellent delicacies are served in a welcoming, comfortable space that also offers a wonderful view, especially at sunset. 


To Magazaki tis Thodoras is a charming tavern with a great view of the gulf and delicious food.

Takis, is located right where the waves break. This gold-cap awarded fish tavern serves fresh seafood from the Maniatiki Sea, that’s masterfully grilled. 

Telonio, a restaurant/cocktail bar that looks like a movie set, offers a culinary journey of flavours starting in Japan, continuing to Peru, and ending in Thailand. Also a perfect spot just for a cocktail (or two)! 

Kourmas, is a tavern located in an enchanting spot that offers exquisite flavours made using raw ingredients direct from local fishermen.  


Limeni Village is a real village, traditionally Maniatiko, it’s built of stone and wood and features 16 tower houses arranged with both rooms and suites.

Hotel Pirgos Mavromichali, is a historic building, which used to be the house of the Mavromichali family. Nowadays it’s a modern family-run hotel with 13 rooms offering stunning views. 

Images by Polina Paraskeovopoulou | IN+SIGHTS GREECE ©

The “Other Cyclades”: Kea and Kythnos

Take a break from Mykonos, Santorini and Paros, and take in the must-see spots of Kea and Kythnos- two Cycladic islands that have long been favoured holiday escapes for Greek locals in-the-know.  

Stop 1: Kea

An hour’s ferry ride from Athens’ Lavrio port, Kea’s rugged, rocky terrain is in stark contrast to its sparkling blue Aegean waters. The most popular beaches on the island Koundouros and Koundouraki boast incredibly inviting pristine waters that will keep you going back in for more. The beaches of Spathi and Xyla subscribe to the saying that “nothing good ever comes easy”, and are well worth the 10-15 minutes of bumpy dirt track to get there. Most beaches on Kea offer sunbeds at around 20-25 € per set, but also have plenty of space for those with their own umbrellas.

The ancient archaeological site of Karthaia is located on the southeastern side of the island and can be accessed via a 45 min rocky walking path. The walk is rewarded by impressive ancient acropolis remains, perched rather majestically on the sea and makes for the perfect post-hike swim. Mythology says that the Lion of Kea (located near the town of Ioulida) was created by Zeus in response to the pleas of the island locals who were troubled by the muses. The lion’s impressively lifelike features make it worth visiting, particularly in the early evening when the summer sun is a little more forgiving. 

All this swimming and hiking will no doubt work up an appetite, and Filippas psistaria in Korrisia is known for the best grilled meat on the island (try their lamb paidakia)9 Kores sits on the small beach of Vourkari and offers excellent fresh seafood (try their mussels steamed in wine). Steki tou Kalofagadon in Ioulida is your quintessential taverna with an excellent array of traditional cooked dishes like mince-stuffed zucchini topped with avgolemono sauce.

Stop 2: Kythnos

After a blissful few days on Kea, jump on the one-hour ferry ride to nearby Kythnos. While you’ll probably never get to see all of Kythnos’ 99 beaches, Kolona beach is its crowning beauty and a hot favourite of the super yacht crowd (insider tip: due to its open landscape, Kolona is best visited on a low-wind day). After deciding which side of the sand bar you’ll rest on, take a dip in the crystal waters and then make your way up to the church for a birds-eye view of Kolona in all its glory. Nearby Apokrousi beach is another stunner, while the seaside town of Kanala is a sweet little spot for a quiet afternoon dip. Hamsa beach bar is located near the port and offers a relaxing all-day beach bar experience.

The small town of Dryopida and its characteristic sokakia are lined with tiny cafes and restaurants and make for a lovely morning stroll. While there, step into the folklore museum, which is a beautifully restored traditional home of Kythnos.

Chora is where the island gathers in the evening and has no shortage of food and drink options. To Steki tou Ntetzi will scratch your Greek taverna itch with excellent grilled meats (try their pork kontosouvli) while Margiora offers a modern take on Greek food (try the watermelon and beetroot salad) with an exciting cocktail list and range of Greek wines.

Porto Limniona, Zakynthos’ Most Stunning Cove 

Porto Limniona, located along the west coast of Zakynthos, is by far one of the best places to swim when visiting this Ionian island! 

Surrounded by lush, rugged cliffs and boasting beautiful turquoise waters, this picturesque spot invites visitors to sit back and relax, while enjoying the idyllic scenery.

Set a few kilometres from the charming village of Agios Leon, from here the road leads you down the coast- making for a spectacular drive as you simply follow the signs for Porto Limniona. 

Once you reach the bay, there is a large car park at the top and from there you can make your way down the steps and jump straight in for a swim and a snorkel. Otherwise just kick back on one of the sun lounges (10 € per set) and order a drink while taking in the spectacular views. 

If you visit during the peak summer season, we suggest getting here early- by at least 10:30- 11 am, as it gets packed out by midday and can be difficult to find both a car spot and a sun bed. Just keep in mind there is no shade, nor sand, which means you can’t bring your own umbrella. So if you are planning on making a day of it, just be prepared! 

After diving off the rocks and exploring the fabulous sea caves, walk over to Taverna Porto Limnionas, which offers uninterrupted views of the bay. The traditional restaurant serves a range of seafood and meat dishes, along with mezedes and fresh salads.

Open for lunch and dinner, the best time to sit on the outdoor terrace and sip on a glass of wine is while watching the sunset! 


Exploration, Wellness, and Unforgettable Beauty

Greece’s mountainous and varied terrain make it a hiker’s paradise, especially in the milder climate of Spring and Autumn. For those wanting to explore Greece’s lesser-known corners, Nefeli Nine offers a balanced wellbeing retreat focused on exploration, wellness and good food.

Nefeli Nine founder and hostess Stephanie Contomichalis grew up in the U.K and, after spending some time in her ancestral homeland of Greece, she became so connected to the land that it became her mission to help others connect with Greece’s nature and culture, while also taking some time to connect with their inner selves. And so, the Nefeli Nine signature week-long retreat was born.

Retreat activities

Imagine waking up in the serene surroundings of a Greek village, in the comfort of your own luxurious room, and starting the day with an invigorating yoga session led by a qualified yoga trainer. After the chorus of “namaste”, a nutritious breakfast is served to fuel you for a day of adventure.  

Next, it’s out for a hike to explore the rugged, natural beauty of Greece. Hikes are moderate in difficulty and can run from 1-4 hours in length, depending on the day and the location. Whether it’s a mountain, a forest, or even a gorge, your expert hiking guide will take you on an unforgettable journey, while telling you all about the history and local flora and fauna of the area. You might even be rewarded at the end with a swim in a secret beach or waterfall accessed only on foot. 

After lunch, the afternoon portion of the day usually includes a stroll through the nearby town, evening yoga or a scheduled massage, followed by dinner and free time.


Nefeli Nine Retreats follows the Blue Zones diet, associated with the island of Ikaria and other Blue Zones known for the longevity of their inhabitants. Unlike the strict detox diets that some retreats offer, the food here is plentiful. Breakfast is designed to fuel you for your day of adventure. What’s more perfect after a morning of hiking than a hearty lunch at a taverna by the sea serving the freshest seafood? The week usually involves 2-3 meals out at the best local eateries. Dinner is served up family-style, for people to connect over food and reflect on the day over good food and a glass of wine. From the moment you arrive to the day you depart, all meals are taken care of, and dietary requirements are accounted for.

Ideal for

Nefeli Nine retreats are usually limited to 6-8 people per retreat and are ideal for solo travellers who are passionate about wellness and exploring the lesser-known corners of Greece. Aside from solo travellers, the retreat is also a great option for smaller groups of friends or family members. Interested in a retreat for a larger group or even a corporate group? Don’t hesitate to reach out for a customised program that you can build together with the Nefeli Nine team. Although it’s not a requirement, having some experience in hiking will help you get the most enjoyment out of the activities. 

What else can you expect?

  • All activities are optional. So, if you feel like staying in and enjoying your book one day, you’re free to do as you please. It’s your vacation, after all!
  • Destinations vary throughout the year. The one constant is that accommodation is beautiful, extremely comfortable and guests always have their own room. 
  • From beginning to end, once you book your spot with Nefeli Nine, all details are painstakingly seen-to by the team, so that you don’t need to organise a single thing. 

To find out more, visit

This article was written by an IN+SIGHTS GREECE writer who was invited to experience the Nefeli Nine retreat first-hand.

24 Hours in Kalamata

Whether you’re staying in Kalamata for a mini break by the sea or stopping by on your way to picturesque destinations like Kardamyli, Mani or Pylos, don’t miss these spots to swim, eat and play.

Grab your morning coffee at: Flirt

Located in the heart of Kalamata town, Flirt (Φλέρτ!) is anything but traditional. Serving up quality coffee by Athenian roasters Area 51 as well as cold-press juices and milkshakes, there are also brunch favourites like poached eggs, bagels and Flirt’s homemade pies of the day. While Flirt is a great place to kick-start your engine for a day of adventure, once you get a peek at its sleek Art Deco surrounds, you’ll also be tempted to head back in the evening for a negroni or two.

Take a relaxing dip at: Ego All Day Beach Bar

Since opening in 2020, Ego presents a decidedly modern and comfortable setting in the midst of the endless stretch of beach bars on the Main Street of Navarinou. Cushioned sun beds and attentive service staff make for a relaxed start to the day (insider tip: the early bird gets the sun bed) and the bar menu has a great selection of food options like tacos, salads, burgers and more. 

Continue your fun in the afternoon sun at: Verga beach

A short drive from Kalamata’s main beach, Verga beach is a great spot for an afternoon dip and beachside cocktail. Bustling beach bars like GinGer, Abat Jour and Almyra sit side by side in the heart of Verga beach and will draw you in with their sun beds, beats and relaxed smiles of fellow sun worshippers. 

Take in a magical sunset at: Kitries

Drive further south from Verga beach to the small town of Kitries, where the landscape is decidedly green and lush on one side and enveloped by the sea on the other. Gaitanaro’s and Mimi’s are stalwarts of the beach, known for their Kritharoto Thalassino (orzo with seafood)whereas next-door neighbour Kitro is a great option for lovely mezedes including a standout tirokafteri that’s whipped to perfection with a hit of hot red peppers. Wherever you choose to stop, you’ll be treated to an exceptional sunset view.

Drink your cocktails at: Le Jardin

As the name suggests, this tiki bar is set in a pretty garden with lush leafy surrounds and accents of marble and earthy colours. Cocktails like the Fresh Melon with gin, mint, melon and lemon or classics like the Zombie or Mai Tai will get your night started in the best way possible.

Boogie with a view at: Arossa 

Once you’ve made the drive from Kalamata town over to upper Verga, and walk through the entrance at Arossa, you’ll be glad you did. This impressive open-air club is perched up high, with a sweeping view of Kalamata down below. At Arossa, the DJs seem determined to bring smiles to the many revellers, and the bar staff serve up quality cocktails with impressive speed. This is where you’ll dance the night away until the early hours of the morning. 

End the night right at: Souvlakia o Tzimis

No trip to Kalamata is complete without a stop at this classic, located in the heart of Kalamata town. Tzimis opens at around 1pm and in the words of the staff there “we don’t have a close time, we’re here until the last person awake needs a souvlaki”. Tucking into a pillowy pita packed with meat and a generous serve of patates tiganites just might be the perfect way to end your day in Kalamata.

Main image by Ego All Day Bar 

Traditional Kafeneia of the Cyclades

Whitewashed walls, Greek coffee poured from a copper briki, the sound of dice rolling across a tavli board, spontaneous live music, and handmade mezedes (at affordable prices). These are the traditional kafeneia of the Cyclades; picturesque gems where you will find friendly locals- offering a glimpse into their relaxed, everyday island life. 

O Megalos Kafenes – Tinos

“Megalos Kafenes” has been operating for over a century in the only square of Pyrgos (with the famous ancient plane tree) in Tinos. A hangout that combines the old with the new, thanks to the creative flair of architectural designer Dimitra Papadopoulou, who supervised its renovation. Enjoy the tranquility of the village and savor homemade sweets like galaktoboureko, orange pie with ice cream, and ekmek with a Greek coffee in the briki or salty mezedes with ouzo. 

A: Panormos/ tel. 2283 031647

Stou Stratou – Serifos 

In the heart of Serifos’ Chora, against the backdrop of the imposing City Hall and the church of Agios Athanasios, is the traditional café Stou Stratou, with its blue tables and chairs welcome visitors for a morning coffee on embers and a tasty omelette. In the afternoon you can taste homemade sweets (try their famous chocolate cake) and appetizers accompanied by ouzo or rakomelo from noon onwards. Spend a few minutes (or even hours) viewing the menu since that also features art and poetry (literally). 

A: Chora Serifos /tel. 2281 052566

To Kafeneio Tou Drakaki – Sifnos 

With more than 100 years of life, Drakakis’ kafeneio, in Apollonia, offers the ambiance of a Greece that is reminiscent of black and white movies. With tables spread across the paved central alley, you can enjoy a rakomelo with delicious traditional appetizers of Sifnos. Espresso coffee or filter coffee are unknown words here!

AApollonia/ tel. 6972123571

To Kafeneio Tis Charas – Schoinousa 

In the picturesque Chora, one of the oldest buildings hosts To Kafeneio Tis Charas. Famous for its rich breakfast made with local products from small producers- here you will taste fresh eggs and handmade sweets. In the evenings the rakomezes take centre stage, as you take part in the improvised celebrations featuring violins and lutes. 

A: Chora Schoinousa/ tel. 2285072026

Photodotis – Amorgos 

Away from the hustle and bustle of Chora, in an upper neighborhood, you can relax at Photodotis. This traditional kafeneio features white and shades of green, plus a courtyard with wooden and iron tables, where you can enjoy local products such as Amorgian xynomyzithra, pumpkin meatballs, and dolmades with fresh vine leaves; handmade sausage or hunkiar begeti with local veal- dishes that are all prepared with a lot of love! Often violin nights are also held here.

A: Chora Amorgos/ tel. 2285072059

Insights Greece - Traditional Kafeneia of the Cyclades

Kali Kardia (Bohoris) – Kimolos 

Kali Kardia or the café of Bochoris -as the locals call it- is a traditional trademark found on the main road of Kimolos’ Chora. Operating as kafeneio, tavern, and convenience store- here you’ll find classic black and white tiles on the floor, wooden chairs around marble tables, and a jukebox. You can try the same traditional recipes that have been used since 1920, featuring pure, fresh, and local ingredients only. Ouzo and tsipouro appetizers, plus some signature mom-cooked dishes are also on the menu. Tip: if you are after something sweet, order the orange pie or kataifi. 

A: Chora Kimolos/ tel. 2287051495

Kafeneio Nios – Ios 

In the picturesque square of Chora of Ios, under some pretty bougainvillea, lays Kafeneio Nios. Enjoy your coffee in the morning, varieties of cheese and cold cuts during the day, and (every day) live music (bouzouki, tomberleki, and baglama) will accompany your rakomela at night. 

A: Chora Ios/ tel. 2286092164