Exploring Samothrace’s Natural Pools

Samothrace is a beautiful island of the Northern Aegean, filled with evergreen forests, splendid waterfalls and dreamy natural pools named Vathres.

The island captures visitors with its unspoilt natural beauty as it boasts waterfalls, rivers, springs, natural pools, hiking trails, gorges, and tall rocks. There are more than 100 natural pools located all around the island; found amongst lush vegetation, tall plane trees, waterfalls, and streams. 

Insights Greece - Exploring Samothrace’s Natural Pools
Swim in the waterfalls | Image @marie._tsol

If you enjoy hiking, you will love the imposing Mount Saos that reaches a height of 1,600 meters. From here trails will lead to the well-known Vathres of the island. Starting from the village of Therma known for its thermal, sulfur springs, there are two trails that lead to Gria Vathra. 

The largest stream of the island comes from Fonias and one of its waterfalls, Klidosi reaches an impressive height of 35 meters. The waterfalls of Kakia Plaka, of Karia, those of Xiropotamos, Arapi, Karagiannakis, and the other rivers of Samothrace are also worth a visit, as you are able to stay close to nature and make the most of the lush foliage surrounding the water.

You may also want to visit Vdelolimni, one of the island’s most important wetlands, located at the start of the Fonias water stream.

Also make sure you visit Kremastos, the largest waterfall in the Mediterranean Sea,  whose waters fall directly into the sea from a height of 100 meters. Generally, the southern part of the island is full of waterfalls that fall into the crystal sea water of remote beaches you can reach only by boat. 

Insights Greece - Exploring Samothrace’s Natural Pools
Stunning waters year-round

If you are seeking more adventure you can also explore the wild mountains and the beautiful nature, after the waterfalls, you can also try climbing. Feggari is the highest peak of the island, while Sfentami is a hot spring in a mountain plateau, where you will be able to enjoy the theapeutic benefits of a natural spa.

Getting there

The best way to get from mainland Greece to Samothrace is via the port of Alexandroupoli in Northern Greece, which takes around 2 hours and is available year-round. During the peak summer season, from Athens, you can catch a ferry from the port of Lavrion.

10 Best Things to do in Patmos

The Aegean island of the Apocalypse is known as the place where Saint John the Theologian wrote the Book of Revelation. 

It’s a nostalgic destination, offering wild beauty, a striking coastline with light blue waters, a medieval Chora, a maze of alleyways filled with cascading bougainvillea, and beautiful doors; the imposing Holy Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, great food, and friendly locals. Patmos is an unspoiled island that you should explore at your own pace. 

Make sure you add these 10 things to do in Patmos to your list for when you visit! 

1. Get wonderfully lost in the alleys of Patmos’ Chora 

Insights Greece - 10 Best Things to do in Patmos
Charming alleyways

The capital of the island, Chora, stands on top of a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea. It is perhaps one of the most charming Choras of Greece. The whitewashed houses, the elegant fortified medieval mansions with the magnificent low doors, and characteristic small windows stand out as they contrast with the dark, fortified walls of the Monastery of Saint John. Take a serene stroll through the alleyways and passages and feel the peaceful and spiritual atmosphere. For dinner choose “Vaggelis” that sits in one of the most intimate squares in the world. The setting is gorgeous, likewise the food. 

2. Have breakfast or a “meze” at Katoi 

Insights Greece - 10 Best Things to do in Patmos
Traditional eatery

At the entrance of Chora, you will find a breathtaking place that has been open since 1627 and carries memories of over 300 years. “Katoi” is a traditional kafenio with an atmosphere that reminds visitors of old Patmos through engravings, photos, old objects, and true Greek hospitality.  Here the steaming coffee is accompanied by handmade sweets while the mezedes that accompany the tsipouro and ouzo came are straight from Yiayia’s secret treasure chest. The small veranda outside with the stunning view is a reminder of how beautiful life is. 

3. Enjoy the sunset from Jimmy’s Balcony

Insights Greece - 10 Best Things to do in Patmos
Polina enjoying the majestic views

Housed in a traditional 1795 building, at the entrance of Patmos Chora, very close to the Monastery, Jimmy’s balcony is the place to be for panoramic views across the north side of the island. Here you can see the nearby islands and the port of Patmos in Skala while enjoying tasty and very well-cooked dishes. The owner, Jimmy, has many stories to tell you, so you should definitely take the time to chat with him. 

4. Relax all day long at Atmos Patmos

At the beach of Kambos, there is a new gem, under the name of Atmos Patmos. It is an exquisite and authentic beachside restaurant that provides high-quality food for those that wish to combine fun and enjoyable ambiance with skillful cooking into one extraordinary dining experience. From morning until night, you can unwind by the sea. 

Insights Greece - 10 Best Things to do in Patmos
Meet local artisans

5. Meet the artist Andreas Kalatzis at his unique gallery in Chora 

It is not easy to pass by his gallery, settled in a 1740s traditional home, and not take a look. You will probably spot Andreas Kalatzis, barefoot, working on an art piece, or other artists painting on the floor. Everything about him, his life, and his work are incredibly inspiring. If you ask for his business card, he will take a small piece of paper and draw at that very moment something different each time, depending on what he sees. On the back, he will write his name and telephone number. In the gallery, you will find a beguiling mix of abstract oils, sculptures, and quirky photography. 

6. Explore Skala, the main port of the island

Insights Greece - 10 Best Things to do in Patmos
Wander around the port

Skala is the largest settlement on the island, located right at the center of Patmos. Here you can discover the 17th century Church of Agia Paraskevi of Cavos with its magnificent view, an ancient ruin of an acropolis, the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi, and the church of Panagia Koumana. After sightseeing sit down at the long-standing taverna of Pantelis (running since 1950) and enjoy traditional Greek cuisine. Once a week, there is live Greek music where everybody dances in the middle of the street. And don’t leave before tasting the delicious handmade Italian ice cream from Gelateria Marechiaro, known as “O Italos”.  


7. Have a romantic dinner by the sea at “To Tsipouradiko Mas”

Insights Greece - 10 Best Things to do in Patmos
Discover nearby villages

At this place, you sit on tables that are literally on the sand next to the waves; enjoy the sunset and the sea breeze while you savor seafood delicacies at its’ best. This is the exact image of a heavenly dinner in Greece we all have in mind as we try getting through winter.  

8. Take a day trip to the islands of Arki, Marathi, and Lipsi

Join a boat excursion that runs daily from the northwest end of Skala quay to the islets of Arki, Marathi, and Lipsi. Arki and Marathi offer exquisite sandy beaches while Lipsi has more to see and do.

9. Visit the Monastery of St. John and the cave of Apocalypse

Head to the thousand-year-old monastery early in the morning in order to avoid the heat and enjoy the breathtaking views. The Cave of Apocalypse is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The tour guides explain the story of St John and the revelations he received from God through a cleft in the rock in the year 95AD. 

10. Have dinner at Benetos

Insights Greece - 10 Best Things to do in Patmos
Seaside dining

Located at a charming spot by the sea, Benetos is an elegant restaurant set on a farm by the sea, at Sapsila, just outside the town of Skala. Benetos serves classic Mediterranean dishes with a modern twist, while also including some Asian-infused dishes. The eclectic menu is a result of the chef’s extensive traveling and sampling of unique regional dishes throughout Europe and the United States. Emphasis is placed on using the freshest ingredients including local fish, and fresh vegetables and herbs from their own organic garden, located in front of the restaurant. Note: it is a little bit pricey and you should make a reservation.  

How to get there

The fastest way to reach the island of Patmos is by air, via Samos, Kos, Leros, or Kalymnos. Catamarans and ferryboats depart from these islands, daily. Alternatively, you can take the boat from Piraeus that leaves 3-5 times a week and the duration of the journey is approximately 7-8 hours. 

Where to stay

Onar Patmos, a resort hotel just a few metres away from the shore, close to the fishing village of Grikos. Ideal for families, couples, or a group of friends who are looking for a luxurious and tranquil feel. 

Langada traditional farmhouse, which was developed during the centuries, around a small chapel and a central patio, overlooking Kambos beach. 

All images by Polina Paraskevopoulou © (Copyright) 

Top 12 Things to do in Thassos

If you are looking for a stunning island filled with charming villages, traditional local cuisine, adventurous activities, and breathtaking beaches surrounded by lush greenery- look no further than Thassos. 

This emerald green island escape is located in the Northern Aegean and offers visitors a wonderful range of boutique hotels, authentic local delicacies, great hiking trails, and rich culture and history. With a unique landscape that can’t be found anywhere else on the Aegean, Thassos is an ideal Greek island experience.

Here are the Top 10 Things to do in Thassos 

1. Discover Local Culture & History 

Insights Greece - Top 12 Things to do in Thassos

There is so much history to explore on Thassos, a place that boasts loads of silver, gold, and marble material. To get a feel of the island’s past, firstly, make your way to the Archaeological Museum, then visit The Kalogeriko, a two-story building that belongs to Mount Athos’ Vatopedi Monastery and has now become a museum. Also head over to the Acropolis in Limenas, which is home to a 5th Century BC theatre overlooking the sea. Finally, visit the ancient Marble Quarry to find out more about the island’s famous stone. 

2. Stroll Through the Mountainous Villages 

Set along lush mountain greenery are villages that offer a taste of traditional island life. Whether on the coast or inland you’ll discover beautiful little villages all over the island, such as Agios Georgios, Alyki, Theologos, Kallirahi, Kastro, Kazaviti, Koinyra, Limenaria, Maries, and Panagia. Here you’ll find charming cobblestoned alleys, stone mansions, and fantastic sea views. 

3. Explore the Capital, Limenas

The capital Limenas is the most popular spot on the island, where you will find a range of hotels, eateries, cafes, and shops. This is Thassos’ link to the mainland and its capital since antiquity. Be sure to see the ancient agora; the sanctuaries of Herakles, Dionysos, Artemis, and Poseidon. Then walk through the central market and the small harbour by the beach. At night, sit at one of the many restaurants or bars and enjoy the views.

4. Be Adventurous

The island is ideal for anyone wanting to be adventurous- with a range of options for hiking, mountain biking, horse riding in Skala, and diving in Panagia Island shipwreck. Discover the scenic roads from the beaches to the lakes, and footpaths around the villages.  Try trails like Maries to Prinos, Panagia- Potamia-Ypsario, Kallirahi-Prinos, or Xrisi Ammoudia-Limenas, that can be enjoyed on foot or by mountain bike. For outdoor sports, Thassos is also ideal with scuba diving at Pefkari, water skiing at Chrysi Ammoudia, windsurfing at Paradise beach and boat rides to the most remote beaches. 

Insights Greece - Top 12 Things to do in Thassos

5. Dive into Giola Lagoon 

Giola Lagoon known as “Aphrodite’s Tear” in Thassos is one of the world’s most beautiful natural swimming pools – separated from the sea by a narrow strip of rocks, it looks like a pool of crystal clear water, carved into a coral reef that rises above it. This beautiful natural rock pool on the south coast of Thassos has now become one of the most popular spots on the island because of the experience of swimming in it and the mesmerizing contrast of its water with the wild and rocky landscape surrounding it. 

6. Swim in the Most Emerald Green Sea 

One of the main drawcards to Thassos is the breathtaking beaches. There are so many gorgeous coves and bays to choose from- some are easy to reach, while others require some effort but they are definitely worth the effort. Make sure you add to your list the following: Paradise, Glifoneri, Makriammos, Chrysi Akti, Arsanas, Chrysi Ammoudia, Agios Antonios, Alykes, Trypiti, Skala Potamia, Paralia Limena, Pefkari, Skala Raxiou, Saliara, and Marble beach. 

7. Explore the Cave of Drakotripa

If you have time visit the renowned cave Drakotripa in Panagia. Only 7 km’s from the main town, Dragon Cave (Dracotrypa Cave) literally means dragon hole. The cave is full of impressive stalactites and stalagmites. The cave was named after a stalactite that had the shape of a dragon. 

8. Take Part in the Summer Festival

Insights Greece - Top 12 Things to do in Thassos

If you are lucky to be here during the annual summer Kavala-Thassos Festival, make sure you go! Guests are able to experience local music, dance, food, and traditions at a stone theatre. If you have a chance to watch the representation of the ‘Thassos wedding’, you’ll witness the revival of ancient Dionysian traditions through local wedding customs. 

9. Eat Your Way Around Town 

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to wining and dining in Thassos and for some authentic local dishes, we recommend you head to Limanaki, Agorastos, Tavern Mouses, and Leonidas. For some of the best seafood head to Symi Restaurant. For taverns by the sea check out Beautiful Alice at Aliki Beach and Skidia Tavern is also right on the water. For delicious local desserts try Pastry; and Panetteria is also great for its wide range of sweets. For after-dinner drinks make your way to Karnagio, Street Cafe, Marley Beach Lounge, Oasis, or Natura.  

10. Taste Local Cuisine 

Thassos cuisine is mostly known for its seafood; including its mouthwatering sardines, anchovies, prawns, squid, octopus; as well as fish including sea bream and red mullet. As it’s a mountainous island, the meat is also very good, with taverns serving a variety of goat and lamb dishes. Thassos is also famous for its olive oil and has its own distinct wrinkled olive, the Thassian Throuba Olive, which produces a great extra-virgin olive oil with low acidity. The sweets of Thassos have a special flavour originating from their secret ingredient, Thassian honey. The most well-known among these is the walnut sweet, made of local walnuts that are picked early in the spring. Other sweets are made from fig, pumpkin, orange, rose, and quince.

11. Stay in Style 

Insights Greece - Top 12 Things to do in Thassos

Thassos has a wide range of accommodation to choose from- from family-owned apartments and villas to five-star hotels and resorts. We recommend you check out Meli SuitesAlea Hotel, Thassos Hotel, Ilio Mare Resort, Thassos Grand Resort, Orama, Villa Teresa, and Aeolis Enavlion Hotel. 

12. Visit Nearby Kavala 

If you are wanting a day trip away from the island, the beautiful city of Kavala is only 35km from Keramoti port and has a wonderful history and local culture. You can get there by ferry in about an hour and 15 minutes. 

Getting there 

It takes one hour to fly to Kavala international airport from Athens. From there, you can reach the island by ferry from the port of Keramoti—just 15 minutes from the airport to the island capital of Limenas. Otherwise take a ferry from Kavala to Thassos, as mentioned above it takes a bit over an hour. 

Top 10 Things to do in Ikaria

Wild landscapes, diverse beaches, thermal springs, lively summer festivals in beautiful village squares, rugged mountains, and tavernas serving foods made from organic produce and local goods like goat’s cheese, honey, and meat are all part of the Ikaria experience. 

The island is known both as the ‘land of the exiles’ because this is where communists were sent to live during Greece’s Junta years and as ‘The Island Where People Forget to Die’ because of its Blue Zones reputation, is not glamorous but has managed to capture the hearts of even the most demanding travelers because of its unique appeal. 

Discover the 10 Best Things to do in Ikaria

1. Dance at the Panigiri

Insights Greece - Top 10 Things to do in Ikaria
Ikarian Panigiri

With over 100 local community dance, live music, and food festivals running between May and October, the island hosts guests from around the world at these familial and sometimes riotous events. Attending should be done with respect to the locals and their traditions, and is a way of discovering religious, cultural, and sometimes near-Pagan customs that span the ages. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to see villages and their surroundings that one wouldn’t normally visit, as well as meeting and partying with their usually warm and welcoming inhabitants. Try the local fare – usually goat meat, tomato salad, fries, local wine, and other dishes cooked by community volunteers and housewives and try to stay up ‘til dawn.

2. Visit the Thermal Springs

There are eight hot springs on the island, which have been enjoyed for their therapeutic powers (helping to ease respiratory, rheumatic, gynecological, intestinal, and even anxiety-based problems) since antiquity.  They are reputed as some of the most radium-rich waters globally and some suspect they contribute to Ikaria’s impressive health record. You’ll find them at Aghios Kirikos, Aghia Kyriaki, Lefkada, and Therma. Instead at Xylosyrtis village, you’ll find a cold water spring that’s also lauded for its health-boosting effects (especially for kidney problems) and is called ‘immortal water’.

3. Go to Seychelles

Insights Greece - Top 10 Things to do in Ikaria
Stunning Seychelles

A beach that happened by accident as the result of a building project, Seychelles (south of Aghios Kyrikas) is the island’s most famous beach because of its white limestone rocks and turquoise waters. It’ll be busy during high season so try going early in the morning if you want space! But there are many other lovely beaches to swim at around the island. Armenistis is a wide, sandy, family-friendly beach not far from several great places to eat, Nas beach is wild and where you’ll find the ruins of the Artemis Temple and a river, Prioni is a beautiful, small free beach with ebullient waters, Messakti and Evdilos beaches are organized beaches with more people and nearby cafes/tavernas. 

4. Eat like a local

A household food garden is a common thing in Ikaria, where fresh, seasonal produce is treated as a priority. With an overpopulation of goats (that actually endangers the land from being chomped up almost entirely), goat’s meat, milk, yogurt, and especially ‘kathoura’ cheese are readily available. Other popular locally-farmed products include giant courgettes, which are served with olive oil and lemon or combined with other vegetables to make briam, a sort of ratatouille. In some parts of the island, namely the port of Aghios Kyrikos and Fournoi, you’ll find restaurants serving locally-fished lobster, popularly prepared as a saucy pasta dish known as ‘astakomakaronada’. Wherever you’re staying you’re bound to find good tavernas or restaurants serving traditional dishes as well as souvlaki joints, bakeries selling cheese pies and other Greek pastries, but some of the most loved places to eat include Thea’s Restaurant, CousinA, Sto Kambi, Platanos Taverna, Rachati Stou Pouriezi, Anna’s Fish Taverna, Arodou and Krioti.

Insights Greece - Top 10 Things to do in Ikaria
Fresh flavours of Ikaria

5. Stock up on Ikarian Honey & Preserves

Good, pure honey is liquid gold for the body and soul and Ikaria makes abundant quantities. Thyme, white heather, arbutus (strawberry), pine, and reiki honey are produced by several experienced locals who have dedicated their lives to beekeeping. You’ll find local honey sold at most mini markets and local food shops αs well as online. A place that visitors shouldn’t miss for local honey, preserves, and more is the self-funded Women’s Cooperative of Raches. The hard-working, talented, and creative members concoct wonderfully delicious spoon sweets, jams, and liqueurs and offer service at tables outside their space, where you can try mouthwatering fresh pies, cakes, and ice cream with your coffee. 

Go for a Hike 
Ikaria changes quite dramatically from one location to another – some parts are rugged, barren, and mountainous and others lush, with flowing streams, gorges, waterfalls, rivers, or pretty coasts. The island is great for walking, hiking, and climbing and there are well-organised marked routes that one can follow by getting hold of a hiking map. Explore the Natura 2000 zones (like the Ikaria On Foot Circuit, which is 25km long). Find out more on Ikaria travel websiteHiking Ikaria and Discover Ikaria. 

Insights Greece - Top 10 Things to do in Ikaria

Hang Out in the Square

Scientists have researched numerous factors that may contribute to the Ikarian people’s longevity status – from diet and radium-rich soil to exercise (field-work and farming). The aspect that is thought to have the greatest impact on living a long life, not only in Ikaria but everywhere, is thought to be community – not being lonely, as people increasingly are in today’s virtual – not to mention locked down – age. In Ikaria, throughout the year, people of all ages commune together to eat, discuss, play backgammon, cook, play music and work. There is a close-knit support system among neighbours. This can be experienced by visiting any village square in the post-sunset hours when people head out to see each other and connect. Grab a backgammon set and a cold beer and join in on the fun! 

Shop Ikarian Souvenirs 
From ‘Ikarian Evolution’ hoodies and humorous mugs relating the playful island spirit to lovely handmade jewellery and traditional décor items, there are plenty of great shopping choices at Pantelis & Ursula Kastanias’ store in Raches. Another great option for shopping for local souvenirs is Ploumi at Aghios Kyrikos port, where they sell handmade bags, wallets, mugs and other objects made with attractive materials and designs. Over the last few years, Ikaria has seen a rise in locally-created natural cosmetics, And you’ll find some of the best at Melia in Raches, including soaps, creams, lotions, and oils for the face and body as well as organic food products. 

Take a Wine Tour

Insights Greece - Top 10 Things to do in Ikaria
Traditional cooking at Afanies Winery

Another wonderful way to experience the island’s variability and beauty are by visiting its wineries and sampling wines made from local and other Greek grapes as well as food. Tsantiris Winery in northwestern Ikaria produces 100% organic wines, Afianes winery regularly hosts dinners, events such as weddings and concerts, and tastings, while Karimalis winery hosts dinners as well as a farm stay, exploration of the winemaking facilities and tastings. Make sure you call in advance to book an appointment.

Learn From Locals

Over the years, as Ikaria has become so famous in corners of the world where it was formerly completely unknown, visitors have flocked here to learn the secrets of wellbeing. To locals, the secret was naturally just being, but today they have understood that there are interesting ways to combine a visitor’s experience with education of their beautiful land’s nature and tradition. So why not combine a holiday there with a cooking class, herb gathering, and tasting, alternative healing practices? Find out more from The Egg for yoga and mindfulness, The Ikarian Centre for ceramics and crafts, Hiking Ikaria and Ikarian Footprints for herb gathering, Ikaria Dance for traditional dancing, Diane Kochilas for cooking, and Joey Brown for writing.

20 Best Things to do in Spetses 

Located a little over two hours away from Athens, the luscious island of Spetses is a perfect weekend escape from the Greek capital. This idyllic, car-free island of the Argosaronic Gulf is a favourite spot for affluent Athenians and international jet-setters. Here we share our 20 favourite things to do on Spetses Island. 

1. Enjoy an afternoon or evening stroll around the buzzing harbour of Dapia Port. The tiny port of Dapia is surrounded by whitewashed, Neoclassical houses and surrounded by chic cafés, and stylish boutiques.

Insights Greece - 20 Best Things to do in Spetses 
Outside the Poseidonion Hotel

2. Stay at the famous Poseidonion Grand Hotel or at least enjoy a coffee, cocktail, or dinner at Poseidonion Restaurant in Spetses Town, an awarded eatery that uses products from its Organic Farm and has a beautiful veranda where you can enjoy the view of the Saronic Gulf.

3. Grab some pastries at Klimis, housed in Klimis Hotel; this long-running family shop is famous for its sokolatina (chocolate pie), galaktoboureko (custard pie), ekmek (cream and kataifi pie) and voutiki (serano dipped in chocolate.) 

4. Visit Panagia Armata Church. Surrounded by lush greenery, the white and yellow chapel located on a hill above the old port of Spetses was built between 1824 and 1830 by captain Ioannis Koutsis, to commemorate and honour the defeat of the Ottoman fleet during the naval battle of 1822.

5. Swim at one of the many beautiful beaches including Palaia Garifalos, Paralia Agioi Anargyroi, Agia Marina, or Agia Paraskevi

6. Eat at Agios, a family-run tavern that offers authentic Greek food and service with a smile. 

Insights Greece - 20 Best Things to do in Spetses 
Crystal blue waters of Spetses

7. Visit the Cave of Bekiris, located at Agioi Anargyroi beach. Inside the cave, you can make your way by foot to the fountain which has been created naturally from stalactites hanging from the ceiling of the cave. 

8. Have a swim in the bay of Zogeria and then head straight to the tavern right on the water and enjoy a small menu with simple but delicious dishes. 

9. Head to Bikini Bar for some lush cocktails, lounge music, and a great vibe.

10. For dinner, make your way to Orloff where they serve creative dishes using pure ingredients; highlighting traditional Greek cooking, they offer exceptional hospitality, great service, and a magical view. 

11. The House of Bourboulina is an absolute must. Created in honour of the world’s first female admiral, it was built around the end of the 17th Century. Bouboulina was a heroine who played a significant role in the 1821 Greek War of Independence.

12. The Hatzigiannis- Mexis Museum, housed in a beautiful 18th-century mansion, is also well worth a visit. Here you can see relics and letters written in wartime during the 1821 Greek War of Independence.

13. Admire the Cathedral of Agios Nikolaos, Greece’s Holy Patron Saint of the Sea. With a  charming white-marble bell tower, the monastery is located at Hydra’s port and it was here that the islanders first raised their flag of independence. 

Insights Greece - 20 Best Things to do in Spetses 
House of Bourboulina

14. Enjoy the car-free island and make the most of cycling around town on a bike or enjoy a romantic horse ride. 

15. Sail to Xylokeriza, a secluded beach 8 km from Dapia, on the south-eastern part of the island. 

16. Head to Vanilia, a wonderful local patisserie in the centre of town, just behind the church of Agios Antonios, and try one of the island’s famous amigdalota (almond sweets).  

17. Explore the Korgialenios School of Spetses. The Anargyrios and Korgialenios School of Spetses is a historical and cultural heritage site of the island of Spetses. It was established in 1923. 

18. Try some local honey, as Spetses produces excellent varieties from the many pine trees around the island. This honey has a distinct taste and flavoured aroma that is amazing with a scoop of Greek yogurt.

19. If you are in the mood for some great music and an uplifting vibe head to Kaiki Beach Club restaurant, which has a great atmosphere.

Insights Greece - 20 Best Things to do in Spetses 
Ride around town

20. Taste the local specialty la Spetsiota– a delicious seafood dish of Spetses Island. Prepared using freshly caught fish fillets that are marinated in lime juice and ground pepper; the dried fillets are spread over breadcrumbs and drizzled with a fresh tomato and garlic sauce. 

How to get to Spetses 

There are several daily departures of flying dolphins to Spetses from the port of Piraeus in Athens. 

The duration of the trip is approximately two hours with the flying dolphins and 2.5 hours with the flying cats.

Top 10 Best Things to Do in Skiathos

Skiathos is nothing short of breathtaking. Known as one of the most popular of the Sporadic islands, it is filled with lush pine trees and over 60 stunning beaches; making it a hot destination during the warmer months. Here are the Top 10 things to do in Skiathos, including visiting modern museums, eating at quaint tavernas, and swimming at serene spots loved by locals. 

Hike Around  

Hike from town to the Evangelistria Monastery or the Kastro, the ancient fortified capital of the island. Skiathos is one of the best organised hiking destinations in Greece, offering 26 hiking routes with a total length of 200 km.  

Insights Greece - Top 10 Best Things to Do in Skiathos
Evagelistria Monastery

Enjoy Cultural Events

Skiathos is a great place for culture lovers. Here you can enjoy a film at the open-air cinema, visit the small Maritime and Cultural Museum, and an in-house museum, which is dedicated to celebrated author Alexandros Papadiamantis. For a more modern cultural experience head to the Kivo Art Gallery, The Blue House Art Gallery, and Skiathitiko Spiti. 

Insights Greece - Top 10 Best Things to Do in Skiathos
Kivo Art Gallery

Visit Agios Nikolaos Church and Clock Tower 

The church is dedicated to the Agios Nikolaos, Patron Saint of the sea. Located on a high hill at the beginning of the harbour, it’s totally worth getting up here to enjoy panoramic views of the city, the sea, and the Tsougria Islet on the opposite side. 

Insights Greece - Top 10 Best Things to Do in Skiathos
Agios Nikolaos Church & Bell Tower

Stroll Around Town 

Keep walking around the town and you’ll eventually reach Plakes, and if you stroll through the streets of the old town, here you will find magical views and some lovely cafes and taverns run by locals. The backstreets of Plakes are filled with white washed homes that feature plenty of charm. 

Insights Greece - Top 10 Best Things to Do in Skiathos

Explore Bourtzi 

The stretch of harbour leading to the Bourtzi is where you will find the New Harbour and  the town’s marina. It’s lined with an array of cafes and eateries which continue around the corner to the Old Port, whereas the far end near Bourtzi is pedestrianised. When the sun sets, this is where you will find local and international visitors enjoying their evening. 

Insights Greece - Top 10 Best Things to Do in Skiathos
Bourtzi Castle

Shop Local Products 

Papadiamantis is a wide pedestrianised street in the heart of the Old Town and the main shopping strip of Skiathos Town. Here you’ll find creperies, souvenir shops, boutiques local jewellers and other artisans. Also, make sure to stop off at Ergon deli, where you an grab some great local delicacies to take home. 

Insights Greece - Top 10 Best Things to Do in Skiathos
Shopping in pretty alleyways

Dine in Style 

There are plenty of dining options in Skiathos and some of our picks include Under the Pine Tree behind Koukounaries, Marmita in Skiathos Town, or Agnadio, on the road towards the Evangelistria Monastery. For traditional taverna dishes head to Alexandros or Amfiliki. For a unique dining experience try the Windmill Restaurant and for modern cuisine head to Borzoi ClubLo&La, Infinity Blue, or The Final Step.

Insights Greece - Top 10 Best Things to Do in Skiathos
Borzoi Club

Drink With the Locals 

For a glass of wine or a cocktail, head to Rock n Roll, La Bussola, Gin Fish, or Tesla. For an all-day cafe and bar try Bourtzi, perched atop of the island. For the most charming setting, head to Sklithri and book one of the taverna tables right on the beach, and have a light mezze with your drink of choice. 

Insights Greece - Top 10 Best Things to Do in Skiathos
Tesla Cocktail Bar

Swim at the best beaches 

Some of the best beaches are only accessible by boat however they are easy to get there with boat trips that go around the island every day. We recommend Koukounaries Beach, backed by lush pine forest and Vromolimnos beach is another beautiful sandy beach with a lively beach bar and a water sports centre. Those in the north of the island head to Elia beach, with its crystal-clear sea and rustic-chic tavern.  And don’t miss a swim at Lake Strofinias, Kechries, and Tsoungria (a small isle close by). 

Insights Greece - Top 10 Best Things to Do in Skiathos
Koukouniares Beach

Lalaria Beach 

Yes, this beach deserves a mention of its own. Lalaria Beach is famous for its cave and its impressive rock formations and is accessible only by boat from Skiathos town; if you can only get to one beach on the island, this is the one. 

Insights Greece - Top 10 Best Things to Do in Skiathos
Lalaria Beach

Where to Stay 

If you’re looking for some boutique hotels check out La Piscine Art Hotel or Elivi Skiathos. For a nice hotel that is reasonably priced look at Skiathos Avaton and for some villa-style accommodation head to Atrium Hotel

Insights Greece - Top 10 Best Things to Do in Skiathos
La Piscine Hotel

Getting there

By Plane: Skiathos International Airport is to the east of the island, 30 minutes away by car. By Boat: There is no ferry to Skiathos from Athens. Ferry routes from port towns in mainland Greece such as Agios Konstantinos (two hours from Athens), Thessaloniki, and Volos connect with Skiathos and the neighbouring Northern Sporades islands. 

Insights Greece - Top 10 Best Things to Do in Skiathos


Samos’ Incredible Natural Charm – and Amazing Wine

What? Samos… Where? Northern Aegean… When? Early spring to late autumn…Why? 

The history
Insights Greece - Samos' Incredible Natural Charm - and Amazing Wine
image @samosisland

With a history going back to the Neolithic era, Samos is rich in a varied and impressive archaeological beauty that can raise the pulse of even the most bored, tag-along visitor. Firstly, it is the homeplace of Pythagoras, real-life God of Mathematics and Music (and creator of the Monochord sound healing instrument). Then there’s the geometrical architectural wonder known as the Efpalinios aqueduct tunnel, built in the 6th Century BC. And the only second one of its kind in world history that was excavated from both ends. Oh, and let’s not forget the Sanctuary to Goddess Hera, the Heraion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its magnificent ruins and giant sole-standing column.

The wine

Insights Greece - Samos' Incredible Natural Charm - and Amazing Wine

Samos’ viticulture roots back to antiquity, although it was fully resuscitated in the 19th century. The island has a United Winemaking Agricultural Cooperative with two winemaking facilities, one in Karlovassi, and the other in Malagari, where you can also visit the Museum of Samos Wine, which arranges tours and even wine tastings. The island is famous for Moschato grape wine, so seek it out wherever you dine. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on Samos’ well-known Vin Doux (sweet wine), traditionally served with ice and a slice of lemon like a refreshing liqueur.

Hiking in beautiful nature

If you enjoy discovering places by walking, buy the Samos Hiking Guide by Stavros Psimmenos, which presents 32 of the island’s best routes. The author, who has spent decades exploring the island’s pathways, says “hundreds of kilometres of forest trails and cobbled paths crossing through a beautiful countryside link many of the most interesting places of the island: traditional villages and monasteries, mountain tops and impressive ridges, remote beaches and ancient ruins. Lush landscapes and amazing ocean views alternate for a most rewarding experience.”

The charming villages

Apart from the busiest villages of Pythagoreio, Vathy, and Votsalakia, each with its own charm, it’s worth also driving to Samos’ pretty villages of Mt Kerki, such as Kallithea, Lekka, Nikoloudes, and Kallithea, or on Mt Karvouni, such as Pandrosos, Mesogeia, Manolates and Vourliotes, and those of. At the eastern foothills of Mt Karvouni is Mitiliniaios village, where you can enjoy a wonderful open-air cinema (Cine Rex) experience straight out of the ‘60s!

The beautiful beaches

West of Kokkari village is the lovely pebble beach of Tsamadou, known for its clear waters and chilled vibe. On its eastern end, beneath the cliff-rocks is the island’s only remaining official nudist spot. Nearby is Limanakia, a smaller and during high season more crowded pebble beach that’s equally pretty.  If you prefer sand, there are several options; head to Psilli Ammos which faces Turkey’s Dilek peninsula, or scenic Livadaki. If you want to combine a good hike with a reviving swim, start from the village of Potami and take the 5km path to Megalo and Mikoro Seitani (also reachable by boat from Karlovassi). For a  beach tightly embraced by lush greenery walk or take the boat to Mikri and Megali Lakka beaches on the east of the island.

How? By ferry either from Rafina port to Karlovassi or from Piraeus port to Vathy (around 10-12 hour journeys). Or you can fly to the island from Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos in 55 minutes.

 P.S. When in Samos…Visit the Museum of Pythagoreio, where you’ll see magnificent displays of ceramics from the 9th Century BC until the Golden Age. If you’re more spiritually inclined visit the Monastery of Panagia Spilianis, a truly mystical experience.