Greek Fashion Brand Making a Lifestyle Statement

When it comes to cool and casual fashion brands in Greece it’s hard to go past PARA TODOS. The brainchild of Tassos Tsadaris, PARA TODOS debuted in 2017 and has been killing it ever since.

This unisex street fashion label takes a diverse and cool approach to design, never getting stuck in one place for too long. Between its easily accessible website and range of retail locations in Greece, the popular clothing brand is always within reach.

We recently spoke to Tassos about his stylish designs that make a lifestyle statement in fashion form.

Tell us a bit about your background and training in the fashion industry?

I studied fashion design in London from 2007 till 2011. After graduating I went back to Greece and started my first brand Saint’s Menswear in June of 2013 and have continued working in the fashion industry on my own projects.

When did you launch PARA TODOS and what is the concept behind it? Insights Greece - Greek Fashion Brand Making a Lifestyle Statement

I launched PARA TODOS Clothing Co. back in September 2017, and the concept is casual/street design with big attention to simplicity, understated elegance and an emphasis on eclectic use of materials and quality fabrics.

What inspires your creations?

Generally by historical Japanese styles.

How would you describe your brand?

Elegant, simple and easy to wear on every occasion.

Are the materials locally sourced and where are they made?

Yes, they are locally sourced in general, some are made in Turkey and some in Italy.

Insights Greece - Greek Fashion Brand Making a Lifestyle StatementWho are the pieces created for?

“PARA TODOS” means “for all” so we create for everyone! But unfortunately in Greece, we have a small target group because there aren’t many people who are willing to try new styles but we aren’t giving up and we continue following our dream. Generally, we work with artists, stylists and people from the fashion industry.

Tell us about your latest collection?

F/W21’ is once more Japanese inspired, oversized and unisex-with many layers.

What is your favourite item in your range at the moment? 

I have more than one, but I can’t show you right now, you will be able to see them when the F/W21’ collection will be launched.

What are the current projects you are working on and is there anything exciting coming up you would like to share?

Right now I am working on the PARA TODOS F/W21’ which in my opinion will be my best project so far! And after this, I will work on a re-branding project that you will see in spring.

Where is your brand stocked? 

In Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Larisa and online and we are still searching for retailers all over the world.

Do you ship internationally?

Of course!

Tell us your favourite holiday destination in Greece and why?

There are two places that I love in Greece the first one is Mykonos, where I have been going to with my grandparents every Easter and summer, so I have seen the island in many phases and I have so many memories in Mykonos, I really Insights Greece - Greek Fashion Brand Making a Lifestyle Statementlove the island. The second one is Mount Pelion, as it combines the mountains and the sea it is so beautiful, magical and natural.

How would you describe the Greek fashion scene in 2020?

Hmmm, in the most recent years I see a lot of steps forward from people within the industry that is making me really happy. I see more and more people that are getting out of their comfort zone and trying new styles and this is very promising.

How would you describe your own style?

Simple and plain. On my workdays, I am either wearing my black or white t-shirt, and footwear my black or white sneakers- usually vans! I like to change it up when I have an event, where I will always wear the shiniest and most colourful piece in my current collection.

Check out Para Todos here. 

Own property in Greece? What to do and what not to do  

Οwning property in Greece brings with it some exciting prospects but what exactly do you do with it? 

Greek laws are complex, the market is constantly changing and finding the right people to work with is a key challenge in an economy that lacks the stability seen in many other parts of the world.

The action plan depends on the type of asset owned, whether it is an apartment or a block of land. Those who have in their possession a stand-alone home or an apartment may have less to do but face many factors when making a decision.

With the arrival of Covid-19, the trend in the market right now is clear.

Home owners in Greece have been removing their apartments from short term rental platforms at a fast pace and putting them up for regular long-term rents. The number of visitors looking for a place to stay in the country for a few nights has dried up amidst the pandemic and not expected to see any strong growth any time soon.

The increase in supply has driven rents lower in some areas though prices are generally holding ground. Data from home classifieds site Spitogatos.gr shows that the price of renting in central Athens in the second quarter of the year eased 0.64 percent from the first three months of the year, to 9.38 euros per square meter. Having a place in southern Athens, in areas like Glyfada and Voula, may fetch you 10.37 euros (sqm), while in the northern suburbs the monthly rate is 8.46 euros (sqm), according to the site.

Those in possession of a block of land, have more work to do.

Architect Katerina Sirouni tells IN+SIGHTS GREECE that to get the ball rolling, the first step is the due diligence process.

“In the event of inheritance, I would recommend them to consult with a notary public to guide them on the steps needed to be taken as well as inform them on any possible hidden surprises,” she says.

“After dealing with the ‘not so fun’ challenging process of ensuring ownership rights, the next step is to answer the question of what to do with the land. Factors such as up-keeping expenses need to be considered if keeping the property but it’s important any decisions should not be based on emotional connections,” she said.

Whether a land owner wants to build their own Graceland in Greece or looking for something smaller, there will be large demands on their time and budget. Some estimates place the cost of constructing a home at about 1,200-1,300 euros (sqm).

“It’s important to connect with your architect and discuss all the possible challenges and contingencies involved from making design choices to maintaining a realistic budget. From ideas to completion, there are three main phases to follow. Based on the zoning restrictions of what can be built and the factors of the plot such as size, shape and orientation, we work on a concept design which leads to the final design layout,” says Sirouni.

“The next phase involves issuing the building permit with a team of other engineers needed to implement the project, structural and mechanical. The final issuing may vary, depending on specific approvals that may be required. Once the permit is issued, we’re all set to go,” she adds.

Image via Hidden Greece

Your Ultimate Foodie Guide to Kolonaki: Dinner

Sure, you’ve got a lot to see, do and buy as you casually stroll the elegant streets of Kolonaki, but to experience the true magic of this famed Athenian neighbourhood you need to check out the cool cafes, trendy bars and classy restaurants.

So, to make your life easier, we’ve come up with the ultimate guide to eating and drinking your way around this ultra-chic district. We suggest you do yourself a favour and just bookmark this list.

Part Three | Dinner 

Nikkei

Nikkei is a unique resto-bar, where talented chefs create innovative Peruvian flavoured dishes using Japanese techniques. The bright decor and rich aromas bring you one step closer to Peru! 

A: Ksanthipou 10 & Square Deksamenis, Kolonaki 

Malconi’s

For a gourmet Italian gastropub experience make your way to Malconi’s, which attracts a cool after-work crowd. Offering fine Italian dishes and desserts, we suggest you also try one of their impressive signature cocktails.

A: Patriarchou 43 & Ploutarcho 23, Kolonaki 

Spiros & Vasilis 

If you are looking for a piece of France in the heart of Athens, Spiros & Vasilis is a historic restaurant serving traditional French cuisine. The Province inspired menu includes all the classics, and its luxurious indoor and outdoor spaces are reminiscent of a chateau.

A: Lachitos 5, Kolonaki 

SIMUL

SIMUL is a modern Greek bistro serving ‘seasonal ingredients only’ dishes. The fresh and organic-based menu includes the head chef’s creations of the day, so make sure to ask what specials are being whipped up in the kitchen! 

A: Ipsilantou 63, Kolonaki 

Drakoulis

Meat lovers rejoice. Drakoulis offers an enticing selection of hand-picked premium meat cuts served raw, or cooked to perfection, plus exotic salads and unique desserts. The ultra-sleek set up gives off a very New York vibe.

A: Skoufa 52, Kolonaki 

Alo 

For a cosy and upscale experience head to Alo restaurant where the food is flavoursome and filling. Using prime quality and locally sourced ingredients, this place is renowned for its fresh seafood, Greek labelled wines and creative cocktails.

A: Griveon 1, Kolonaki 

Insights Greece - Your Ultimate Foodie Guide to Kolonaki: Dinner

Papadakis

For a fine dining experience, Papadakis serves dishes created by famous Greek chef Argiro Barbarigou. Not only do you get to taste some of Argiro’s best recipes- but you are also in for a spectacular view.

A: Fokilidou 15, Kolonaki 

To discover the best places in Kolonaki for Brunch, Lunch, DrinksCafes & Patisseries check out our guides here. 

Exotic Immunity Boost Mocktail Recipe from Hilton Galaxy Bar

More than ever before, we are all in need of a bit of a kick, and the Hilton Galaxy Bar in Athens has created a lush ‘Exotic Immunity Boost’ mocktail, designed exclusively for IN+SIGHTS GREECE readers to enjoy! 

INGREDIENTSInsights Greece - Exotic Immunity Boost Mocktail Recipe from Hilton Galaxy Bar

40ml ginger honey mix*

20ml Soumada from Chios or Orgeat syrup

60ml fresh pineapple juice

Top up with soda water

2 pinches of ground cinnamon

METHOD

Stir and shake all ingredients together. Garnish with cinnamon stick and pineapple leaves.

*For the ginger honey mix you will need:

80gr fresh ginger, grated and strained through a sieve

60ml honey

100ml fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients well.

Hilton Athens

A: 46 Vassilissis Sofias Ave, Athens

Your Ultimate Foodie Guide to Kolonaki: Part 2

Sure, you’ve got a lot to see, do and buy as you casually stroll the elegant streets of Kolonaki, but to experience the real magic of this famed Athenian neighbourhood you need to check out the cool cafes, trendy bars and classy restaurants.

So, to make your life easier, we’ve come up with the ultimate guide to eating and drinking your way around this ultra-chic district. Now we suggest you do yourself a favour and just bookmark this list.

Part Two | Lunch

Frankie’s

Frankie’s is a casual Italian Bistro & Bar serving farm to table dishes such as fresh handmade pasta and authentic Sicilian inspired food.

A: Skoufa 42, Kolonaki

Giacomo

For an elegant ambiance, Giacomo is another Italian eatery where you can order antipasti, pasta, pizza, risotto, salads, as well as seafood and meat dishes.

A: Xenokratous 21, Kolonaki 

If you are after a modern Italian joint, Brunello’s prides itself on food art, creativity and above all, taste. The dishes are delightful, and the wine list is impressive too.

A: Loukianou 21b, Kolonaki 

Kiouzin

Kiouzin is a Greek restaurant with lots of surprising twists. The vintage décor creates a charming vibe and the talented chef here specialises in modern and experimental Greek dishes.

A: Likavittou 16, Kolonaki 

For authentic Greek flavours and a charming old-world vibe head to Mpirmpilo which is known for its mouthwatering traditional dishes such as Arakas (peas & potato stew) Gemista (stuffed vegetables) and Soutzoukakia (meatballs in a homemade red sauce).

A: Ploutarchou 26, Kolonaki 

If seafood is your preference Barbounaki is a casual but sophisticated spot where you can savour fresh fish, grilled octopus, marinated anchovies, sea urchin, mussels and prawns.

A: Charitos 39B, Kolonaki 

More Insights

Retirè Rooftop Bar at Ergon House

Ergon House (Greece’s very first Foodie Hotel) Retirè is the newest addition to the Athenian rooftop scene (it opened in Summer 2019). Want a view of the Acropolis from an iconic rooftop location? Want to sip world-class cocktails designed by the top bartenders in Greece while doing so? If you answered yes to both, then this is your spot.

Type: Rooftop bar

The low down: Proper cocktails and a relaxed summer vibe, in the heart of Athens.

Insights Greece - Retirè Rooftop Bar at Ergon House

Bar menu: The drinks menu at Retirè has something for everyone. Cocktail aficionados will revel in the summertime delight of the Watermelon Mule or the Vodka Basil Collins. There is also an impressive range of Greek wines (try their crisp Malagouzia) and local beers.

Bar food: The bar food menu changes seasonally, from gourmet hot dogs to seriously good burgers (more extensive food options can be found at Ergon House on the Ground Floor of the building). 

Décor/Ambience: Decked out with beach-chic wicker furniture and hues of white and beige, you’ll feel like you’re on a dreamy island escape.

House cocktail: Signature cocktails include the Blue Margarita and Green Negroni, created by the awarded team at The Clumsies, currently listed #6 Best Bar in the world.

Insights Greece - Retirè Rooftop Bar at Ergon House

Cocktail/spirit price range: Cocktails are priced between 8 and 10 €, spirits from 8 – 14 € and a local beer sets you back around 6 €.

Clientele: Small groups of friends, first dates, in-the-know travellers. 

Dress code: Casual, but don’t be afraid to glam it up a little. 

Opening Hours: Open from 5pm, Monday-Sunday

Address: 23 Mitropoleos St, Syntagma

Why You Shouldn’t Put Off Exploring Greece Alone

New York City-based blogger, travel agent, and certified meeting planner Sara decided she would book her first solo trip to Greece for her 30th birthday and says the experience she had been putting off for years, ultimately changed her life.

Sara recently spoke to IN+SIGHTS GREECE about her solo travel experience and why she believes Greece is the ideal destination to travel alone.

Why did you decide to make Greece the first place to visit alone?

I have been a lover of Greek history and mythology since I was a little girl. When I was thinking of what to do for my 30th birthday I knew I wanted it to be big and something I did for myself. Choosing Greece was a no brainer for me because of that.

Insights Greece - Why You Shouldn't Put Off Exploring Greece AloneDid you research whether Greece was a safe place to travel as a solo female?

Actually, no. Funny thing is I went in 2015 right during the big economic crisis Greece was facing. The more I overthink something, the more excuses I will make. So, instead, I did basic research, talked to some friends I knew who studied abroad in Greece, and then I just made my way over there.

What did you do to make sure you felt comfortable during your visit? 

From the little research, I did I knew that 1. The language barrier would be minimal as many people/guides do speak basic English. 2. The hotels I looked into were well-reviewed. 3. The tour company I worked with to go on excursions and such had a high reputation.

What spots did you see and how long did you stay?

I was there for about ten days and I visited Athens, Nafplion, Olympia, Mycenae, Delphi, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini, and Patmos.

Insights Greece - Why You Shouldn't Put Off Exploring Greece AloneWhat was your favourite ancient site?

Delphi was my favourite. I love stories about Pythia.

Out of all the places you explored, where would you revisit?

All of them but, I would have loved more time in Mykonos. It is absolutely beautiful.

Would you recommend Greece as a place for solo travellers?

1000% for anyone.

How did you find the locals? Were they helpful and welcoming?

Extremely helpful and friendly. I was never uneasy.

Was there a time when you felt alone or unsafe? 

Never, however, I do live in NYC so, I am used to lots of tourists and people. You just always have to trust your gut and be smart in the decisions you make.

Did you meet a lot of people along the way?

Yes, I have made a few lifelong friends whom I met on the tours I joined in on. It was great. 

If you could do it all again, would you do anything differently? 

Stay longer.

What did you love most about your time in Greece?

Walking among streets and sites that were older than anything here in the US. It was magical.

Do you have any tips for anyone planning on travelling to Greece alone?

Do some research on where you want to go and stay- make sure you are comfortable with the locations. Put a plan together – I wouldn’t just “wing it” as there is so much to do and see. I only suggest 2-3 days in Athens. It is not all about the islands – make sure you venture inland and visit Olympia, Delphi, Mycenae, and Nafplion.

Insights Greece - Why You Shouldn't Put Off Exploring Greece AloneTell us more about your Solo Travel Woman blog.

My father always inspired me to go after my dreams, no matter how crazy they may seem to others. He sadly passed away and that is when I decided to start Solo Travel Woman (STW). I wanted to inspire other women to travel without anything holding them back as he did with me. My goal is to help change the view on solo travel and inspire other women to travel the world without fear or other people holding them back. In May 2020, I expanded to include travel planning services so, I can help others experience the world I have fallen in love with. If you are open-minded, have a passion to explore the world, experience new cultures, and live the life you have always dreamed of without anything holding you back – you are in the right place.

*Images courtesy of STW

Pantelis Melissinos, A 360-Degree Artist

Known as ‘The Poet Sandalmaker’, as was his father Stavros, whose sandal shops in Monastiraki drew the world’s celebrities to buy his designs, Pantelis has taken his art to another level.

From the moment I entered Pantelis Melissinos’ Art Gallery / Sandal Shop in Makryianni, where it opened two years ago, it was like diving into another world. First, I was hit by the bold colours and shapes from his artworks – sculptured chairs, paintings large and small, leather bags, and elaborate sandals hanging from the ceiling and stacked against walls.

As I stepped down into the shop/gallery Pantelis turned and smiled at me from the piano, where he was playing a piece in the living room-style space where masked clients sat patiently waiting to have their dream sandal design created to fit their foot to perfection. And then Poi Poi, a 10-year-old white griffon dog with the cheerful bounce of a puppy hopped and barked up to me delivering a giant donut toy we could play with.

Pantelis, looking fit and wiry from his passionate health regime and youthfully dressed in jeans and a waistcoat, escorted me to the corner where we sat at his desk to chat about his life and art.

Now Pantelis has taken the reins of a store with 100 years of history, once religiously visited by the likes of the Beatles and Liz Taylor, Onassis, Nureyev, Jackie O’ and Kallas, and still today receiving streams of visitors from around the world, who have heard of the famous sandals created by the Melissinos family.

“I bought this place, which is big and spacious and I use it as a gallery for my art because I studied painting for so many years and deep down I feel like an artist, not only like a sandal maker. That’s why my sandals are more on the artistic side. They’re functional but at the same time artistic, and they’re not mass-produced. I like to create different things and my customers love that – they come for that. Many times, they see them on Instagram or Facebook and change their travel plans to be able to stop off here. I couldn’t believe that at first! Often for them, the sky’s the limit; my clients, especially women, often suggest their own ideas and we work on them together.

Insights Greece - Pantelis Melissinos, A 360-Degree Artist

“I started creating when I was very young, as an escape from school, because I didn’t like it! I decided that this is what I wanted to do and I moved to New York and studied illustration at Parsons School of Design and then I got my Masters’ Degree in Painting. After I finished that I directed the Greek Cultural Centre in NY.

“I always loved walking around Manhattan and picking up objects like chairs from the street– things that were sort of dead and I wanted to give them a new life. I would strip them of their old upholstery and would create something new.

“I had a friend and we called ourselves ‘The Trashers’ because we used to collect trash together and turn it into art. I brought some of those pieces back with me when I returned to Athens. Here too I continued to collect stuff and create art with it. I also worked for the theatre here in Greece for tragedies mostly, doing the set design, costumes, and jewellery. These productions were very magical; they were in Evia on a mountain near Gymnou village. I also wrote plays and music.

“Discipline is a prerequisite in art. Some people think that being an artist is just carefree and being totally crazy. No, it’s not like that! It takes a lot of discipline to master an art, it’s more like science. For example, the old masters – Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Beethoven – studied like crazy – I think contemporary people don’t work so hard at evolving, they think it’ll happen by divine intervention or something!

“When it comes to art you have to always feel like you are 20. Not a day older. Like the Goddess Athena, who was not a Virgin goddess as people think in a sexual way – her mind was virginal. She was the goddess of wisdom and creativity because her mind was ever-fresh.

Insights Greece - Pantelis Melissinos, A 360-Degree Artist

“When I create sandals, I try to be ever-young and always find new ways, new designs to please myself and my customers. I focus on all my art in one day; I start the day playing the piano to relax, then I write something I have an idea about- a poem or something else – I’ve also been working on the idea for a novel for many years – then I take care of business, work on sandal designs, paint, all in one day.

“Currently I’m working on making a video portrait about my art with a cinematographer friend, that I am directing and have written music for. I want my art to talk about me through a video. Life is too short and being a businessman is not my greatest dream in life…Today everyone is so caught up in this high-speed living and we don’t enjoy life as our parents did.

“A lot of artists gathered at my father’s old shop – Tsarouchis, Argyrakis, and growing up in this environment made me think seriously about art – because all these people communicated with each other and exchanged ideas under the shadow of the Acropolis. I loved the Fauve artists like Picasso, Gaugin, and Matisse especially – both for their use of colour and for their freedom. I am always trying to discover my own freedom.”

Starter’s Guide to Great Kolonaki Shopping

We love spending endless hours walking along the elegant streets of Kolonaki, a fashionable neighbourhood that has no shortage of high-end boutiques, stylish concept stores, cool cafes, trendy bars, and classy restaurants. So we’ve put together an in-depth Insights Greece - Starter's Guide to Great Kolonaki Shoppingguide revealing our favourite places to shop around here- designed to help you discover this ultra-chic district.

Part One | Concept Stores

SOPHIA Enjoy Thinking Live is an art and design lovers’ heaven where you can source stunning and unique handmade home decor, lifestyle, and fashion items, stationery, as well as organic beauty products. Here you can also take part in curated events and workshops with talented local artists and designers.

A:  Pindarou 15, Athina 

A: Solonos 36, Athina

Philos Athens is a multifunctional space that brings together stunning designs and homeware items. It serves as a restaurant, cafe, event space, retail, and design studio. The beautiful shop is set up in a historical Athenian residence, offering a unique glimpse into Ancient Greek history and architecture. The store is currently closed due to COVID 19 but will be opening its doors again shortly.

A: Solonos 32, Athina

DTales is a revolutionary way to buy fashion. The pioneering store brings together designer wear from Paris, New York, Australia, and Europe, allowing customers to shop an unparalleled range of labels and pieces as well as beauty products, perfumes, accessories, deco-art treasures, and statement jewellery.

A: 6, Xanthou Street

i-D CONCEPT STORES is a curated space showcasing Greek fine jewellery designers, colourful, eclectic apparel, unique objects, and upcoming brands. This store is designed to allow visitors to feel and sense the merchandise and you will find a range of labels you won’t find elsewhere.

A: Kanari 12, Athina

Insights Greece - Starter's Guide to Great Kolonaki Shopping

Simple September Pleasures in Athens

September is when holidays are ending and our psyche subtly but surely begins to shift from summer flimsiness to autumnal focus.

Perhaps this year even more, with the threat of more lockdowns looming over us, we want to make the most of the sunshine, outdoors and chances to explore. In Athens, September is usually a kind and mellow month, when the city comes back to life and (always somewhat chaotic) order. It’s the time

…when the sun is still hot but not scorching and swimming is still perfectly pleasant.

Insights Greece - Simple September Pleasures in Athens

Throughout the week, the loveliest and most central – not to mention the largest in the capital – pool to visit is the one at Hilton Athens. It might not be cheap, but the sheer size of the pool and lovely greenery surrounding it, quality of its water, Coronavirus-cautious cleanliness, excellent service, and satisfying Oasis poolside restaurant menu will keep you relaxed and carefree for hours on end. On the ground floor of one of the city’s most architecturally fascinating hotels, designed in the 1960s, the pool here attracts mainly low-key glamourous types, families, and singletons who just want to chill in style. Another brilliant handful of great swimming options awaits you at Piraeus port, just 20 minutes’ train ride on the green line from the centre of town. Hop on a ferry or flying dolphin and within an hour you can land at lovely Argosaronic islands like Aegina, Angistri, Poros, Hydra and Spetses to spend the day at lovely beaches, eating fresh fish and sipping a sunset cocktail before returning to urbanity.

…when kefi-fuelled night owls reunite after a summer apart and make the most of being outdoors while it’s still warm.

Insights Greece - Simple September Pleasures in Athens

Head to the bars where you can be part of the crowd pouring onto the pavement, courtyard or rooftop and watch the world go buzzily by, like Ipittou on Ipittou Square in Syntagma, Baba Au Rum in Monastiraki, Blue Parrot in Metaxourgeio, Floral or Warehouse in Exarcheia, Latraac Cafe & Skate Bowl in Kerameikos, Bios in Gazi, Couleur Locale or

Taf The Art Foundation in Monastiraki, Drupes & Drips in Koukaki, Briki in Mavili Square, and Six Dogs or Atlandikos in Psyrri. Or take the quiet path and stroll at sunset time or under the stars in magical places like Philopoappou or Pnyx hills, Lycabettus, the Zappeion gardens, Anafiotika, and Plaka’s backstreets, the upper fringes of Kolonaki and the village-like part of Mets.

…when we start to look ahead at how we will prepare our home and wardrobe for winter with a touch of Greece.

Insights Greece - Simple September Pleasures in Athens

Whether you’re in Athens during September as a visitor or resident, it’s an exciting time to go window-shopping and start dreaming of how you’ll add classic or ultra-contemporary Greek touches to make your home and wardrobe both cozily comfortable and pleasurably stylish. Maybe you want a knitted lambswool fisherman-style pullover or elaborately-embroidered cushion covers that you can find in some of the finer tourist shops of Plaka like Loom. Or vintage stores with an international selection, including Greek designer specials, found around Kolonaki, Monastiraki, and Exarcheia. It may be classical-style jewellery or objects d’art inspired by Greek culture and sold either as a direct replica or with an extreme modern twist and found at specialty shops in the Cycladic Art, Benaki, Benaki Pireos Annexe or Lalaounis Museums or at Greek concept stores like SOPHIA, Forget Me Not or Paraphenelia.

Why Greece’s Simple Koulouri is Such a Popular Snack

If you’ve ever been to any of Greece’s largest cities, surely you would have come across a Koulouri stand, selling a round-shaped bread, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

And if you’ve ever wondered what’s so good about it? It’s jam-packed with valuable carbohydrates and proteins, making it the country’s most popular breakfast on the run for both locals and visitors. As for the taste? When you take a bite, its crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside texture will undoubtedly leave you wanting more!

Although it can be found in most regions of Greece, the Koulouri is most loved by Thessalonikians and Athenians, and in both cities, you are guaranteed to find a Koulouri stand on every second street corner. It’s standard to watch locals running around town, biting on a Koulouri as they go about their daily activities, as it really is the ideal snack at any time of the day.

This super simple treat, which was traditionally made in a ring form has slowly evolved over the years and now comes in a variety of flavours including meat and cheese varieties, as well as multi-seed, tahini, and whole wheat options. Certain bakeries have gone even fancier, creating twisted and braided versions.

If it seems too simple for your liking, you can always cut the Koulouri in half and add cheese, or spread some of your favourite jam or honey over it.

Just make sure you head out early to grab your Koulouri, as it’s best enjoyed fresh and you’ll avoid disappointment, as they do sell out quickly!

All images by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright)  

Our Ultimate Travel Guide to Mykonos

Mykonos is a playground for the rich and famous. From luxurious yachts to inevitable star-spotting, this is the Greek isle to see and be seen. Whatever your style and taste, our ultimate guide to Mykonos reveals the best places where you can eat, swim and play!  

Having visited for the first time in my early 20s, I was captured by the island’s 24-hour party vibe. Stunning beaches, international DJs, late-night outings, great food, sunrises. I just felt alive. Having visited many more times since then, I can say it has now become a super cosmopolitan island, even more luxurious and in line with renowned European party locations such as St Tropez and Ibiza. There are always new places popping up, so here’s my current must-see and do list when visiting this ultra-chic Cycladic isle.

Getting there

From Athens, it’s a 35-minute flight. The quick ferry (Rafina to Mykonos) takes 2.5 hours and roughly 5 hours with the slow ferry.

Where to stay

The main town has many hotels to suit a range of budgets- staying here allows you to walk around the centre day and night. Agios Ioannis/ Ornos is also a great spot as it’s close to town- only a 2-minute drive but not as crowded. Platis Gialos is a gorgeous spot and close proximity to the beach clubs. Ftelia Beach is on the other side of the island and allows for more privacy and a chilled vibe.

Getting around

If you are staying in town it’s completely walkable. Buses take you to all the main beaches and depart regularly. Of course, hiring a car allows you to really discover the island and you can drive to remote beaches that aren’t so crowded. There is valet and free parking available all over the island. A Vespa is another great way to zip your way around the tight and winding Mykonian roads.

To sleep 

Located in Ornos, Cactus is a charming boutique hotel that is perfect for singles and families, or you can try Hippie Chic in Agios Ioannis which is another mid-range priced hotel that’s central and stylish. If you would like to stay close to the shops and nightlife Harmony is set on the Old Port and offers complete sea views. If money isn’t an issue check out Bill & Coo, Rocabella, Branco, and Cavo Tagoo, which offer a super luxurious stay.

To eat

Starting off casual, grab yourself a gelato from Bon Bon Fait Maison or a souvlaki from Sakis Grill House. For some great dining experiences try Kikis Tavern at Agios Sostis Beach but get there early, as there is always a wait. For amazing Asian food try Ling Ling. Super fresh seafood is served at Hippie Fish and at Spilia you will enjoy oysters shucked right in front of you. For fresh, handmade pasta and pizza head to Fresca Barkia Pasta. If you are after a range of Mediterranean dishes, Kastros in Little Venice is great. And for one of the best meals in town (that won’t blow the budget), try M-eating– don’t leave until you taste the homemade Myconian Honey Pie. For amazing outdoor dining try Bakalo- they serve traditional tavern-style dishes, Mr Pug restaurant for great Asian, La Maison De Katrin has a fusion of traditional Greek and French elements, and at I Frati you will have a delightful Italian culinary experience, located just a bit out of town.

To drink

This list is truly endless but I love Semeli Bar right on the water in Little Venice and Cosi is also a great place for a casual drink. Remezzo, established in 1967 is world-renowned for its parties that go until sunrise (incredible views). Astra in the heart of town is always buzzing, while Bonbonierrie is perfect for people watching, star-spotting, and some shisha. Queens of Mykonos is cozy, fun, and the crowd spills out onto the streets. Baos Bar is ideal for afternoon drinks on the water- followed by a late-night dance. For an exclusive Myconian nightclub experience head to Moni, and for Greek music make your way to Rhapsody and 4711, where the party kicks off after 2 am!

To swim

Try to get to all of these beaches (in no particular order)- Ornos, Panormos, Ftelia, Agia Anna, and Kalatafi. I also recommend a boat ride around the island, where you can visit secluded beaches.

Beach bars

If you want to rub shoulders with global celebrities and socialites just head straight for Nammos, Mykonos’ famous spot to swim and play (just make sure there’s plenty of money on your credit card.) For a more artistic and holistic experience, Scorpios is an all-day bar/restaurant that offers a real Myconian beach feel. At Panormos beach, you will discover Principote where you can also wine, dine, and dance the afternoon away. For a more chilled vibe head to Alemagou at Ftelia Beach where you can enjoy great food, cocktails, and music in a bohemian setting. And for families who are after some sports activities, Ornos is a great place for people of all ages.

Where to shop

Mostly in town, as many international designers including LV and Balenciaga have set up shop here. At Nammos Village you will find Dior, Burberry, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Louboutin, and Luisa boutique. Another stylish store that stocks international and local designers is Bazaar at Scorpios. Bollicine is a great concept store with exclusive brands and a rooftop bar, so you can enjoy a cocktail while you shop. Chora Mykonos has amazing Cycladic home décor and Yasemi features stunning sandals. While Soho Soho boutique is home to numerous leading European and International fashion brands.

Galleries

Minima Gallery showcases a range of contemporary artworks by both upcoming Greek and foreign artists. At Skoufa Gallery you can view historically significant contemporary art of the 1930s. For modern art head to Rarity Gallery and for a gallery/auction house that promotes local artists definitely check out Kapopoulos Fine Arts.  

Spiritual sites

Mykonos has over 800 churches on the island, I highly suggest you see a few such as Panagia Paraportiani, Panagia Tourliani, Agios Giorgos, and the Virgin of Saint Rosary which is the only Catholic church on the island.

History  

You must get close to the iconic Kato Mili Windmills, Armenistis Lighthouse, and also head to Ano Mera the second largest village on the island where you can visit the 13th-century Gyzi Castle.

Do as locals do…

Go to isolated beaches such as Agios Sotis and Fokas beach, head to a Panigiri (festival) by the beach, have a drink at Bakoyias near the Old Port, and catch an outdoor film under the stars at Cine Manto.

Take a day trip to…

The ancient island of Delos, where Apollo was born, or take a ferry across to Tinos and visit Panagia Evangelistria, where the Virgin Mary appeared.

Can’t leave until…

You find Peter the famous Pelican, have a dance at Jackie O and watch the sunset at 180 Degrees Sunset Bar.