Temperatures Set to Rise Across Greece this Weekend 

Spring has sprung and the beautiful summer weather is on its way, with temperatures set to exceed 30 degrees Celsius in some parts of Greece this weekend. 

For those currently travelling around the country and hoping to get a swim, the warmer weather is expected in the coming days with the temperature predicted to gradually exceed 30 degrees Celsius in some areas of the country on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

The weather service of the National Observatory of Athens meteo.gr forecasts up to 28-29 degrees Celsius in Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras and up to 31°-32° C in Larissa, central Greece. 

The temperature will rise slightly in the north and will range from 10 to 28 degrees, in the west from 11 to 26 to 27 degrees, in the eastern mainland from 12 to 28 degrees and on the Aegean islands from 14 to 25 degrees Celsius; Rethymno and Chania in Crete are also expected to have warmer days, reaching the mid-20’s over the next few days.

7 Stunning Ionian Islands You Need to Explore

By far the lushest of all the Greek island chains, the Ionian Islands offer the most breathtaking cliff-backed beaches, with striking milky white sand that blends in beautifully with the azure turquoise sea.  

Featuring seven main islands that attract many visitors from around the world each year, the Ionian still retains a sense of authenticity and a mysterious allure waiting to be discovered. 

Here are the 7 main islands of the Ionian- that are all ideal for a summer getaway!  

Corfu

Boasting crystal waters, a cosmopolitan Old Town, and remarkable landscapes, Corfu with its Venetian fortresses, British mansions, grand royal palaces and fine French arcades- is the perfect place to explore both day and night. The elegant Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre, filled with monuments and museums; here you will feel as though you are taking a mini- stroll through Europe! Corfu is paradise who those that love the sea and can explore the Aqualand and the Corfu aquarium for water adventures and getting up close to sea life. 

Best beaches: Prasoudi, Voutoumi, Halikounas, Marathia; Glyfada Beach, Canal d’Amour, Paleokastritsa, Barbati, Issos, Agios Giorgios Agios Stefanos and Avlaki Beach should all be added to your list!  

Zakynthos

By far one of the greenest islands, where lush emerald hills meet the bright blue Ionian sea- there is so much to see and do on this large island that’s filled with so many beautiful coves, great restaurants, luxury hotels and of course- the Navagio/ Shipwreck (the view is breathtaking from the cliffs) – one of the most famous beaches not only in Greece but in the world; you can’t visit Zakynthos without capturing a glimpse of this beauty. 

Best beaches: Marathonissi island (a small boat ride), Gerakas, Dafni, Limnionas, Porto Vromi, Porto Zorro, Banana, Makris Gialos (pebbly), Xyngia, Pelegaki. Best swimming caves: Blue Caves and Keri Caves. 

Note: much of the island’s south coast is a nature reserve due to endangered turtles who hatch in the sand. You can’t enter the turtle beaches, but there are so many beautiful coves to discover. From Keri, you can cast away for Marathonisi island, another turtle sanctuary.

Lefkada

Reachable by car, Lefkada is known for its gorgeous white sand beaches and turquoise waters; The island is a paradise for water babies –swimming,  windsurfing, kayaking and kite-surfing. This Ionian isle boasts remarkable natural landscapes, world-famous beaches, verdant mountains, delightful local cuisine, a noteworthy winemaking tradition, and an exciting range of things to see and do. 

Best beaches: Standouts are Porto Katsiki, Egremni, Kathisma, Perfkoulia, Agiofylu and to avoid the crowds head to the local faves: Mylos, Ammousa, Megali Petra and Avali Beach. 

Paxos

Boasting spectacular azure waters and charming architecture, Paxos is one of Greece’s most beautiful islands. Boasting some of the most stunning and exotic beaches in the world; as well as a wonderful natural landscape with lush vegetation it combines a cosmopolitan feel with natural beauty. Popular with the yachting crowd, here you can rent a small boat and spend the day dipping in and out of the sea. 

Best beaches: Make sure to swim in the passage between Mongonissi and Kaltsonisi. Jump into the deep blue waters that are famous worldwide and enjoy the mesmerising beaches including Alati, Kaki Lagada, Kipiadi, Magonisi and Marmari. 

Tip: Take a day trip to Antipaxoi- this tiny unspoiled island boasts one of the most impressive natural landscapes; the most famous beaches of the island are Vrika and Voutoumi- pure paradise!

Insights Greece - 7 Stunning Ionian Islands You Need to Explore

Kefalonia

The largest of the Ionian Isles, Kefalonia remains pure and protected from mass tourism. What makes this place so special is the pride locals take in keeping their island clean, fresh, modern, yet warm and inviting, all while encouraging its natural charm and authentic beauty to shine through. From the main town of Argostoli where you’ll find a range of eateries, bars, and boutiques through to gorgeous fishing villages and quaint towns, there’s so much to see and do on this lush island.

Best beaches: The most famous beach of Kefalonia is Myrtos, which you have to see, however depending on where the wind is blowing it may not be perfect for swimming. Also head to Antisamos and local favourite Petani (with the most amazing little tavern). For families, we recommend Platis Gialos, Makris Gialos, and Lassi. If you want to stay away from the crowds head to Gradakia and Xi beach with its orange sand. And you can’t leave without having a dip in the most stunning emerald waters of Assos. 

Ithaca 

Ithaca island the birthplace of Odysseus, is set in the Ionian Sea and flies very much under the radar compared to its neighbouring islands Kefalonia and Zakynthos, however, we suggest you put Ithaca at the top of your Greek island holiday list. Boasting stunning blue beaches, verdant green landscapes, charming villages, breathtaking views, and Venetian architecture; there is plenty to see and do when visiting the island home of Homer’s mythical hero who found peace on an island that also leaves its visitors feeling relaxed and rejuvenated after spending time here. 

Best beaches: There are so many beautiful beaches and bays on Ithaca and some of our favourites include: Filatro (organised beach with sunbeds), Skinos (a gorgeous secluded beach), Gidaki (which can only be reached by boat), as well as Aetos, Agios Ioannis and Sarakiniko.

Insights Greece - 7 Stunning Ionian Islands You Need to Explore

Kythira 

This undiscovered island is filled with rich history, secret caves, medieval architecture, wonderful natural setting and amazing beaches. Located off the south coast of the Peloponnese, one of our favourite spots here is Avlemonas, a traditional fishing settlement built in Cycladic style and boasts stunning gulfs and lush vegetation that create a beautiful natural backdrop. The whitewashed houses and lush gardens draw visitors here each summer, as they take a quick dip in the sea. 

Best beaches: Paleopoli, Kapsali, Fyri Ammos, Kaladai, Melidioni, Likodimou, or Chalkos and Kombonada- you can’t go wrong!  

Main Image by IN+SIGHTS GREECE ©

Train Trip From Athens to Thessaloniki in Less Than 4 Hours, Begins May 15

The highly anticipated new train trip allowing passengers to commute between Athens and Thessaloniki in less than 4 hours, is finally ready to embark on its first journey next Sunday, May 15, 2022.  

According to railway company TrainOSE, the new state-of-the-art trains arriving from Italy will cut the journey time from around six hours to less than four hours; providing passengers with a comfortable and faster trip between Greece’s two largest cities. 

The new ETR470 trains which have a seating capacity of 600 people, feature nine wagons, including a restaurant/bar and three first-class wagons. 

TrainOSE revealed on Friday that the ETR470 trains will run twice a day in each direction:

– Leaving Athens at 07:22, it will stop at Larissa at 09:58, and arrive in Thessaloniki at 11:20. The next one, in the afternoon, will leave Athens at 17:22, stop at Larissa at 20:00, and arrive in Thessaloniki at 21:21.

– Leaving Thessaloniki, ETR470 will leave the station at 07:08, stop at Larissa at 08:09, and arrive in Athens at 11:03. The next one, in the afternoon, will leave Thessaloniki at 17:08, stop at Larissa at 18:08 and arrive in Athens at 21:04.

To promote the event, TrainOSE is currently offering a 20% discount for tickets booked in the next 20 days, with travel time between May 15 and June 3.

The Greek Grand Canyon

Travelling through the lengths of Greece, you will come across the most varied landscape; from lush green hills to black lava cliffs to Grand Canyon-like rock shapes.

Just shy of the martyr city of Servia, about a 30-minute drive from the city of Kozani, lie some Grand Canyon-like formations similar to which are nowhere to be found in Greece!

These unique formations are called “Bouharia”, “Nohtaria” and the ‘Red Night”.

The famous Bouharia of Mikrovalto

These umbrella-like formations have emerged from continuous soil erosions over thousands of years. They consist of sand, clay, cobblestones and adhesive iron and silicon oxides that give this unique red colour. The top of each column is covered by a slate slab that, in the evolution of the formation, went on to give this typical umbrella shape.
In the local dialect “Bouhari” means chimney so for centuries, locals tried to interpret this unique phenomenon by telling stories about “The chimneys of demons” and “The ladies with the umbrellas”- two of the names describing the area that has prevailed up until today.

There are various myths concerning “Bouharia”. It was said that at night these formations turned into demons so it was advised not to cross the area after sunset – a myth that was made up mainly to intimidate young children not to explore the area and play further away from their parents’ supervision. Another story says that 100 years ago some thieves from the village intending to steal wheat from storage, painted their faces, dressed in rags and came out of the “Bouharia” area screaming. The people guarding the storage got scared and started running in the opposite direction allowing the thieves to carry out their plan uninterrupted.

Demon myths aside though, these formations served as a shelter for many locals during the Nazi occupation (1942-1944). Due to the mountainous area, this was the best spot to seek protection but in order for children to follow their mothers in the area the myth was reshaped and in the new version of it, it was said that instead of demons, fairies came out of the bulbs to protect the people.

The geopark of “Bouharia” was built in 2008. There is a parking space for visitors, two well-maintained pathways for visitors to follow and two kiosks. The terrain is hilly and visitors are advised to carry with them water and lunch as there are no facilities or cafeterias in close proximity.

The breathtaking Nohtaria

“Nohtari” has the same meaning as “Bouhari” but without the chimney cap. “Nohtaria” are conical formations, made similarly to bouharia, scattered all the way through the stream of Potamia on the border of the village of Livadero. The formations are 15 meters tall and to reach there visitors must drive down a forest road. Perhaps the most impressive of Nochtaria can be found in Kokkino Nochto, south of Livadero, opposite the village of Elati.

The unique “Red Night” of Livadero

Another impressive geological monument of nature is the ‘Red Night” in the mountainous area of Kamvounia which is at a direct distance of 7.5km from Nochtaria! This vertical red cliff is about 30 meters high and it consists of multiple anthropomorphic geo shapes.

Images by Kostas Haratsaris ©

10 Reasons to Visit Ano Koufonissi

Ano Koufonissi is the smallest inhabited island in the Cyclades- but what it lacks in size it makes up for in natural beauty, authenticity, and genuine Greek island hospitality.  

Part of Koufonissia, which comprises Ano (Upper) and Kato (Lower) Koufonissi; is separated by a narrow strait and the island of Keros. 

This stunning little isle is actually located between Naxos and Amorgos and boasts breathtaking sandy beaches, emerald green coves, and striking sea caves. Small enough to walk around in a day, this doesn’t mean you’ll be ready to leave after 24 hours- on the contrary- Ano Koufonissi allows visitors to relax, unwind and experience traditional Cycladic Island life without the crowds; leaving you wanting more. 

Keep in mind, cars are not allowed on the island, but you can easily get around by walking, cycling, and small boats. So apart from treating yourself to lazy days on the beach, here’s our list of the best things to see and do when visiting Ano Koufonissi!  

Insights Greece - 10 Reasons to Visit Ano Koufonissi1. Stroll around the charming capital Chora and discover tiny treasures including small boutiques with folk art, handmade jewellery by local artisans and a range of traditional fisherman’s hats. Roam the cobblestone streets and wander through picturesque alleyways filled with colourful shops, cafés, bars, and restaurants. Make sure you take a seat at one of the seaside taverns and enjoy a long lunch or dinner while watching the sunset. 

2. Discover several sea caves at Pano Koufonissis North Cape.

3. Dive straight into the turquoise waters for a memorable swim at any of the following beaches- Finikas, Fanos, Ammos, Italida, Pori, Charakopou, Parianos, and also add the tiny beach of Gala to your list – you won’t be disappointed! 

4. Savour freshly caught fish, octopus and sea urchins at one of the local seafood taverns while also drinking a shot of “rakomelo,” as the locals do. 

5. Also make sure to try the locally made Xynomyzithra (a goat’s cheese served with honey as a dessert, or added to salads). Other local dishes include Patatato (beef casserole in tomato sauce with potatoes), as are the traditional sweets Pasteli on lemon leaves and Xerotigana (sweet dumplings). 

Insights Greece - 10 Reasons to Visit Ano Koufonissi

6. Visit Saint Nicholas’ small church, which offers beautiful views of nearby islands. Saint George’s and Panagia’s churches are also definitely worth a visit. 

7. Don’t miss a dip in Piscina, a natural pool, surrounded by rocks- it features the most beautiful turquoise waters. Dive from the top straight into the pool for an unforgettable swim. 

8. For a great cultural experience and to get to know the island’s history head over to Nikitas Simos Folklore & Archaeological Collection, exhibited in the garden of Villa Ostria in Agios Georgios, it is set in a well-preserved stone building that was built in 1852.

9. Also visit the Communal Folklore Collection with displays of household and kitchen utensils, farm equipment, traditional garments, furniture, embroidery and various ornaments that highlight the island’s history, customs and traditions. 

10. Don’t leave before enjoying an Aperol Spritz at Mylos  (a traditional windmill that has been turned into a cool concept store/ all-day bar), or Sorokos Bar, which is also set right by the water. 

Insights Greece - 10 Reasons to Visit Ano Koufonissi

Getting there…

From Athens, Koufonissia is only reachable by ferry from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina. The closest airport is located on Naxos island with daily domestic flights from Athens. From Naxos, you can take a ferry to Koufonissia, as well as some other islands in the Cyclades.

Main Image by Mylos Bar ©

Discover Milos’ Most Beautiful Beaches

Milos, with its beautiful beaches, has now become one of Greece’s most sought-after summer spots. 

This Cycladic island of volcanic origin features over 70 stunning beaches – from Sarakiniko, the most famous thanks to its unique lunar landscape, to Kleftiko, with its crystal clear waters- you really are spoilt for choice here! 

What makes these beaches so unique is their interesting rock formations that create an impressive landscape, and although you can’t go wrong with any of them- when visiting Milos these are the spots I highly recommend for an unforgettable swim! 

-Start off at the one-of-a-kind, lunar landscape of Sarakiniko which is featured on countless postcards (and for a good reason). 

-Then make your way over to the beach of Firiplaka for crystal clear waters and breathtaking rock scenery as its background. A huge sea boulder divides the organised part with a beach bar and sun loungers (for rent) from the “untouched” side. 

-Tsigrado is a magical beach that owes its existence to perlite (a type of obsidian from the volcano of Firiplaka) that can be reached by boat or by climbing a rope ladder. 

-Add the caves of Papafragas to your wish list; a long-narrow fjord-like inlet featuring blue-green waters and grey-white rocks. Swim under the caves of Papafragas, alongside the ruins of the prehistoric town of Fylakopi, while listening to the hum of the Aegean Sea, and the turquoise waters rising beside you.

–  If you prefer sandy beaches then make your way over to Agios Konstantinos. Also known as Alogomandra, it features soft, fine sand and is the perfect place for a quiet swim. 

– Don’t leave Milos until you’ve been to Fyropotamos, a small settlement with a lovely beach and shady trees. On the right side of the beach, you will find the “Syrmata”, which are colourful and unique- highlighting the raw beauty of Milos.

Where the locals go: The residents of Plaka, the island’s capital, head to their secret sandy beach of Plathenia, which is perfect for sunset watching as well.

Tip: On the days when the meltemia (winds) blow on the northern shores, the beaches of the southern side are ideal. At the beach of Paliochori, hot springs well up so check it out. And look out for the Mediterranean monk seal, an endangered and protected species, that roams around the Milos western coast.

Extra tip: take a tour around Milos in order to discover the famous bay of Kleftiko with crystal clear waters and perfectly white rock formations in the background, the underwater sea caves of Sykia, -among others- and certainly the uninhabited island of Polyegos with exquisite waters. I would strongly recommend choosing Thalassitra, a replica of the dominant early 20th-century, traditional Milos craft. The captain cooks (onboard) ten authentic Milos recipes in Sifnos clay dishes- making it a really memorable experience for more reasons than one. 

All Images by Polina Paraskevopoulou ©

New Cyprus-Greece Ferry Link to Set Sail in June 

After 21 years, the first Cyprus-Greece passenger ferry link will set sail on June 19 from Limassol Port arriving at the Port of Piraeus in Athens, 30 hours later. 

The announcement was made on Friday by Cyprus’ Deputy Shipping Minister Vassilios Dimitriades, along with Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades stating, “Our citizens will once again be able to travel to Greece and Europe by sea, transporting their private vehicles as well.”

The service will last until September 16, with four trips scheduled for June, eight in July, seven in August, and three in September.

The Cypriot-flagged passenger ferry which carries up to 400 people, includes  38 first-class cabins, 68 second-class cabins, 110 seats, 100 vehicle spots, as well as a restaurant, café, and a clinic. 

The cheapest return tickets for adults, with a simple seating arrangement, are set at 76 euros while a second-class cabin return ticket is 80 euros and one-way tickets cost 38 and 40 euros. 

Children aged 4-12 will be charged 56 euros while those aged up to four will be charged 31 euros and cars up to 5-meters long will have a fee of 203 euros. 

For more details on the new ferry link from Cyprus to Greece, head to Maritime Cyprus. 

Mini Guide to Ithaca Island

Ithaca island the birthplace of Odysseus, is set in the Ionian Sea and flies very much under the radar compared to its neighbouring islands Kefalonia and Zakynthos, however, we suggest you put Ithaca at the top of your Greek island holiday list. 

Boasting stunning blue beaches, verdant green landscapes, charming villages, breathtaking views, and Venetian architecture; there is plenty to see and do when visiting the island home of Homer’s mythical hero who found peace on an island that also leaves its visitors feeling relaxed and rejuvenated after spending time here. 

What to see

Vathi, the capital of Ithaca is a beautiful spot featuring deep blue waters, natural charm, and traditional Ionian architecture. Filled with taverns, cafes, restaurants, all-day bars, museums, and boutiques, this is the main part of town where visitors have great options for wining, dining and shopping. 

Perachori, Frikes, Stavros and Anoghi are charming and authentic villages that offer wonderful views over the island; it’s also the perfect place to sit at a traditional kafenion (cafe) and catch the locals sipping slowly on their Greek coffee while chatting away. 

Insights Greece - Mini Guide to Ithaca Island

-The caves in Ithaca are a must: check out the Cave of the Nymphs (legend has it this is where Odysseus hid the gifts of the Phaeacians), Evmaios Cave in southern Ithaca, and the Loizis Cave are also worth a visit, Loizis is named after a man who became very wealthy from selling gold coins he found in this very cave. 

Kioni a stunning fishing village is by far a stand-out! Here you’ll find gorgeous villas filled with bougainvillea, quaint taverns and cafes as well as beautiful restaurants and waterfront bars- the perfect place to catch the sunset. 

– The Monastery of Panagia tis Kathariotissas, the Protector and Patron Saint of the island is situated at an altitude of 600m in the center of the island. From here you will enjoy breathtaking views of the island and Vathi.

Where to Swim

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful beaches and bays on Ithaca and some of our favourites include: Filatro (organised beach with sunbeds), Skinos (a gorgeous secluded beach), Gidaki (which can only be reached by boat), as well as Aetos, Agios Ioannis and Sarakiniko. 

Where to eat

Dine at Ageri tavern at the tiny port of Frikes; we also recommend O Batis, Kantouni, Serirines and Tsiribis– here you will find a great range of freshly made Greek dishes. For a cocktail or aperitif head to Spavento Café Bar, Rhapsody, or Lea’s Beach Bar in Sarakiniko.  

Where to stay

Art hotels, boutique hotels, luxury villas with private pools, check out Levendis Estate, Peratntzada Hotel, Adastra Ithaca Luxury Suites, and Familia a 19th Century olive press converted into a boutique hotel.  

How to get there 

There is no airport on Ithaca island, the closest is Kefalonia airport and there are no direct ferries from Athens to Ithaca, but you can reach Ithaca from Astakos, Kefalonia and Lefkada. You can also reach Ithaca from the port of Kyllini in the Peloponnese (just over 3 hour’s drive from Athens). 

Top Must-See Landmarks in Komotini

If there is one word to describe Komotini that would be multiculturalism. Here, west meets east, the past and the present coexist uniquely and there is always a legend to be told about its historic sites. Komotini, with its natural beauty and traditional elements, has something to accommodate everyone but did you know that it also has some of the finest Greek architecture?

Let’s go on a tour around the city looking at some of the city’s finest architectural pieces that can give us a glimpse into the socio-economical status of Komotini’s past, how people lived, what were their habits and financial situation, and even what jobs they held.

Entering the city from the west, visitors will come across Mansion Dermertzoglou, a one-storey building boasting a variety of Greek neoclassical features. The building’s aesthetic reflects the unique taste of its first residents; the main pillars featuring Doric capitals support the richly decorated pediment and the balconies are decorated with clam-shaped banisters making the most eye-catching facade.

Just a few meters away at Tsanakli street is the start of The old Greek historic district of Komotini that has three buildings with unique stories- The Old Library, Zoidis mansion and Eliades mansion. Those 19th-century mansions depicting a card postal, are declared protected monuments under the Greek state legislation making the street a blast from the past as they cannot be taken down or altered. Nowadays, the building of The Old Library houses K.Karatheodori S.A, Zoidis mansion is a famous cafe bar and Eliades mansion is an uninhabited building.

On Dimokritou and Sofouli corner, visitors come eye-to-eye with the iconic Lesxi Komotinaion, a cafe with a rich history that has been open to the public since 1921. The high ceilings, crystal pendant lights and staircase are a testament to its neoclassical architecture, built during the Ottoman domination in Greece. The building is a declared monument of cultural heritage in Greece that testifies to the history of Komotini.

On the other side of Dimokritou street, visitors see a grandiose, peach coloured building with green sash windows, Tsanakleios School. Built in 1906 from funds provided by Nestoras Tsanakleios, a tobacco merchant from Komotini, this used to be an all-boys school that later turned into the Old University Rectorate and it currently hosts the public library. Even though the building has changed many uses since the day it was built, perhaps the saddest one is from when it used to be an orphanage.

Situated in the middle of the renewed area of Komotini on Sofouli street, where once the river run through, is a 150-years old church, the Metropolitan Church of the Assumption. Built during the Ottoman empire, the church lies almost half a meter under the current street level, as there was a building height regulation stating that anything Greek built during the days of the Ottoman empire should not be on a higher level than the Turkish buildings. Near the temple is a part of the Byzantine wall ruins, as it is also across the street.

Komotini Fortress once used to be the centre of the Jewish community. The Byzantine walls had large wooden doors that closed every night for the safety of the residents. They protected the community but also separated the two different worlds living in Komotini. Nowadays, the remains of the 4th-century walls, scattered through the city centre are a reminder of a sad era filled with wars and plunders.

Dating back to the Ottoman era, The Old Market of Komotini is another must-see when in the city. Clusters of old, traditional shops, neatly lined in the cobbled streets make this area one of the most intriguing ones. Here, shops are filled with antique treasures waiting to be discovered, locals gather together to share their news and there is a distinct aroma of freshly grounded coffee in the air.

Located just off Ermou Street is the historic Clock Tower. Originally built in 1884, the Clock Tower was restored and went through an architectural intervention in 1950 resulting in its current form. It is a meeting point for locals and it marks the start of Ermou street.

Next to the Clock Tower lies Yeni Mosque (New Mosque) dating back to 1585. This is a place where the muezzin calls the Greek Muslims to pray five times per day and where the Muftiate of Rhodope Prefecture is housed. What is interesting about this building is that opposed to what its name suggests, it is in fact the oldest mosque in the city!

On Kouloglou street there are two buildings of high importance and architectural uniqueness: at 6-8 Kouloglou street is the famous Skouteri mansion that nowadays hosts the museum of Komotini and at Kouloglou and Seferi corner is the Cultural Centre of Komotini. Both buildings are designated as historic monuments that require a special state of protection. 

Agiou Georgiou street is another place of architectural interest. There lies the building of the Educational Society of Komotini (Ag. Georgiou 26) and The Folkore Museum divided between two identical buildings facing each other, the Peidou mansion on Agiou Georgiou 13 and the Psara mansion on Agiou Georgiou 22. The last two buildings display a typical example of local folk architecture and have been restored as exemplary. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, between 9.00 – 13.00. Visitors can contact 2531025931 for information and organized guided tours.

In Komotini’s central square, Plateia Eirinis, visitors come across a cultural heritage building designed by the architect Othonas at the beginning of the 20th century. The building features yellow walls with arched balcony doors, wooden shades and a mixture of Byzantium and neoclassical architectural elements. In 1933 it was bought by Nikolaos Papatheodorou and it was turned into a hotel, Astoria‘, in 1934. 

The Thracian Cultural Center and Thracian Conservatory are set in the renovated building of the Tobacco Warehouse. The building was renovated more than a decade ago and it has four floors with many large rooms that are used for multiple events and purposes either by the Municipality of Komotini or by cultural and social Associations.

Images by Anastasia Fountouli ©

Travelling Through Greece Over Summer Just Got a Whole Lot Easier

Greece has officially announced that travelling throughout the country from May 1st will be a whole lot easier, as Covid 19 vaccination or recovery certificates will no longer be required, and mask rules relaxed in time for the peak summer holiday season.

Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris on Wednesday outlined the roadmap from May 1 through to August 31, confirming that domestic Covid passports will be scrapped with the rule applying to vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals and to both indoor and outdoor areas, including museums, archaeological sites, restaurants, taverns, cafes, bars and other venues. 

Plevris said that the requirement to show a Covid pass to enter bars, restaurants and other public venues would be withdrawn on May 1 and from June 1, mask rules will be relaxed in most venues, with a few exceptions – likely to include healthcare settings – this will be outlined in the coming days. 

He added that the removal of international entry requirements, where visitors must show proof of either vaccination (including a booster if their second dose was administered more than 270 days before), recent recovery from Covid, or a negative test to visit Greece – are also under consideration. 

For all the latest travel requirements to Greece head to travel.gov.gr

Aegean Welcomes Guests to New Business Lounge at Athens Airport

Greece’s leading airline carrier Aegean has welcomed its first guests to the brand-new Business Lounge, located at the extra Schengen area of Athens International Airport. 

The new 1250sqm lounge has been designed to enhance passengers’ travel experience with unique aesthetics, functionality, comfort, and hospitality through state-of-the-art technology and upgraded services. 

The modern space, which marks the airline’s fresh start to the 2022 tourist season, has been inspired by traditional Greek architecture and was designed by leading Greek architecture firm K-Studio. Featuring marble, terrazzo, glass and wood, it offers a contemporary and comfortable environment for guests to make the most of the new media lounge, social lounge, and quiet lounge; as well as the meeting rooms, two cafeterias and a restaurant alongside a wine bar. 

Insights Greece - Aegean Welcomes Guests to New Business Lounge at Athens Airport

“As the new Aegean Business Lounge is aiming to serve as a platform to promote Greekness, all warm and cold dishes as well as wines offered, come mainly from fine Greek producers,” announced Aegean. 

The new Business Lounge will be open to all Business Class and Miles+Bonus Gold passengers, as well as to members of the Star Alliance network, where they will have the opportunity to experience all of Aegean’s unique services.  

Images Courtesy of Aegean

Greece Takes Home 3 Accolades at the Historic Hotels of Europe Awards 2022

Greece was honoured with three top accolades at the prestigious Historic Hotels of Europe Awards 2022, winning a gold, silver, and bronze medal in three different categories. 

Historic Hotels of Europe Awards returned for the eighth time and once more, a large number of culture seekers, history lovers and travel enthusiasts were invited to vote for their favourite nominated properties in the continent. 

With ten categories in total, this year guests had the opportunity to also vote for their favourite new historic hotel as well as the property making the strongest efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, which is a growing priority of Historic Hotels of Europe.

For Greece, Esperas Santorini, in Oia won the golden award in the category of “Historic Romantic Hideaway Hotel.” Perched high on the rocky cliffs of Oia, each traditional island house in the Collection is carved into the rock and preserved to accentuate the unique characteristics of island architecture and décor. According to the Historic Hotels of Europe, some of the highlights of this hotel include, “A unique swimming pool carved into the rock and surrounded by a stylish terrace, showcasing the spectacular panorama of island colours and change of scenery, making this a perfect setting for relaxation, exclusive dining, and an ideal spot for intimate celebrations.” 

Kyrimai, in Mani, was awarded silver in the “Historic Natural Setting Hotel” category, with the Historic Hotels of Europe highlighting the properties “marvellous example of period architecture that was restored with the same dedication that the restaurant team approaches their own craft,” as well as the “award-winning cuisine of the Kyrimai, which is served at the Kyrimai’s unique terrace by the water and the renovated warehouse; The menu inspired by Mani’s ingredients, flavours and aromas is a sophisticated approach to the modern foodie traveller.” 

Lastly, the Allegory Boutique Hotel in Rhodes was honoured with a bronze medal in the new category “Historic Hotel Sustainability,” thanks to its “beautiful balance between heritage and modern design. Six suites with a brilliantly conceived ergonomic space preserve the impressive wooden beams of the original architecture.”