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 ©

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. 

Dimitsana

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.

Meteora

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.

Zagorohoria

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!

Pelion

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!

Kalavryta

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.

HOW TO GET THERE

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. 

MUST SEE

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

MUST DO

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. 

EAT + DRINK

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.  

STAY

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 ©