From Tinos to Santorini and Corfu to Crete, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite Greek villas to stay at during Autumn.
Fall is one of the best seasons to visit Greece, as with harvest comes some of the best food festivals, local markets, and restaurants that take pride in highlightingthe delicious seasonal produce on offer. Now’s the time you’ll also find fewer crowds, giving visitors a fantastic opportunity to experience the Greek islands’ cultural, historical, and gastronomic charms.
These fresher days are when it’s ideal to have a cozy and welcoming villa to call home. So, here are our top picks across the Greek islands for an unforgettable stay this autumn!
Known for being a foodie’s paradise, Tinos is one of the best Greek islands to visit during Autumn, as you can go on some awesome hikes and also find some amazing wineries that deserve to be explored. And this architectural oasis in Volax, is the perfect place to stay, as it’s a one-of-a-kind holiday home that is truly warm and inviting. Built carefully into the magnificent boulders that make Volax so unique, the spacious and airy 3-bedroom home is cleverly laid out with an internal garden and wide glass doors, making guests feel close to nature both day and night.
With a charming Venetian Old Town, great local museums and markets, and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Corfu is an ideal place for a getaway this time of year. And boasting a stunning sea view position in one of Corfu’s most sought-after areas, Iola is one of the top luxury villas available for rent in the Ionian Islands. Featuring an exquisite design, superior fittings and finishings, and stylish designer furnishings; its array of high-spec amenities, including a cinema room, a sauna, a gym and an infinity pool, guarantees you won’t want to leave!
Greece’s most romantic island is as grand as ever in Autumn, so if you want to catch the magical sunset and the fall moon rising over this beautiful Cycladic isle, this is the best time to visit! With amazing hiking, wineries and restaurants open till the end of November, this 3- bedroom villa is the perfect place to come back to after a long day of exploring. Boasting classic Santorini architecture and breathtaking caldera views, this cliffside home with an infinity pool and terrace will make your time here all the more memorable.
The largest island of the Dodecanese, Rhodes is home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the medieval Old Town, which has been declared a World Heritage Site. With its impressive castle, fortifications and cobbled streets, Rhodes’ beautiful historic sites are best enjoyed out of peak season. And only a 15-minute drive from the Old Town, you’ll find this well-decorated bungalow that offers a lovely getaway for a holiday among friends or a small family. With a pool, BBQ area, and hammock, this is the kind of place you can easily come back to and totally unwind after a busy day sightseeing!
The temperatures in Crete are never too cold, and beautiful autumn days are filled with sunny afternoons allowing you the chance for a swim until the end of November. And what better place to stay than this beautiful beachfront villa with stunning sea views, that’s only a few minutes walk to the local shops and restaurants! Featuring clean and modern finishes, this stunning abode also boasts an outdoor swimming pool with a jacuzzi.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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!
After two years of lockdown, Easter 2022 is the perfect occasion for reconnecting with Greece’s traditional spirit. Lamb on the spit, folk music, free-flowing wine and plenty of good “parea” and “kefi” should do the trick. Add to that a beautiful location with interesting Easter traditions and you have yourself a wonderful trip to look forward to!
Here we take a look at some of the best Easter holiday destinations around the country that you really shouldn’t miss!
Greece’s holiest island, where St John the Evangelist wrote The Apocalypse, is especially ideal at Easter for fans of Greek Orthodoxy. In the picturesque Chora you can see the local re-enactments of the Last Supper and Washing of the Disciples’ Feet; during the liturgy, a priest from the monastery of St John the Theologian, who re-enacts the role of Jesus, disperses water droplets on the legs of two monks, representing Christ’s disciples, after which there is a procession through the town. On Easter Sunday on the Dodecanese Island, it’s well worth attending the atmospherically rich Second Resurrection church service, during which the gospel is read in seven languages.
Leonidio, a seaside town in the eastern Peloponnese, carries out the unusual tradition of releasing hundreds of balloons into the sky at midnight on Holy Saturday, as soon as the priest chants ‘Christ has risen’ (Christos Anesti). The tradition, which began in the late 19th century, is vibrant and colourful, offering a unique experience that even schoolchildren are involved in preparing from the start of the year. The town’s Epitaphios (the funeral bier of Christ, containing a large icon depicting the burial of Christ and heavily decorated with flowers) processions are also very scenic, as locals decorate streets with thousands of bitter oranges (between 2-3,000) that have been hollowed out and lit from the inside with candles. On Easter Sunday Leonidio holds the Feast of Love ceremony in its main square with Tsakonian dances and more balloons released into the sky.
Also in the Peloponnese is the magical seafront fortified town of Monemvasia, where on Good Friday the epitaphios procession passes through the medieval cobblestone roads past candle-lit chapels and houses, including the once governor’s mansion (during the Venetian era) Ardamis Guesthouse. Throughout the Easter period, in Monemvasia, you’ll hear the echoes of church liturgies echoing through the streets. On the afternoon of Easter Sunday, the town carries out a tradition of re-enacting the burning of Judas, usually in a captivating ambience.
The island of the Knights has an Easter tradition that involves tree stumps being gathered and stacked into a huge pile of wood that is set alight on Holy Saturday, a few hours ahead of the Insurrection ceremony. Called ‘Kalafunos’, this ritual represents the burning of Judas.
Not for the faint-hearted, Kalamata’s ‘Saitopolemos’, a ‘war’ of lit cardboard tubes filled with gunpowder- is famous Greece-wide for how loud it gets, how long it goes on, and how many people choose to participate despite annual accidents and even deaths. Thought to date back to the end of the Ottoman occupation and honouring Greeks who fought in the War of Independence, the event is certainly polemical. In Kalamata the burning of Judas tradition is actually a blowing up of Judas and takes place in the areas of Avramogiani and Rachi.
Famous for their clay pot-breaking tradition, Corfu’s locals annually enjoy (often joined by Greek and foreign tourists) throwing their water-filled vessels, decorated with red ribbons, off balconies onto the street, where they smash into smithereens. The custom, thought to have begun during the Venetian occupation, is followed by a musical procession by the Ionian island’s brass bands, with a performance of a musical piece titled ‘Fear Not, Greeks’.
One of the jewels of the Saronic Gulf, Hydra makes a great Easter getaway. The island enjoys a unique tradition of having the epitaph enter the sea on Good Friday in the fishing village of Kaminia, which is 10 minutes from the main port. This tradition is a way of blessing the waters and the seafarers. After the procession, people gather around to eat seafood in nearby tavernas and houses.
Hot sand, reviving water, ice coffee, a sweet little breeze, as you dip in and out of your dreams – in a fantasy-like landscape! This is the time to start planning your trip to Greece, and one of the best ways is to plan according to the beaches you’ll be visiting.
Here we skip out on the most famous beaches that are written about everywhere and focus on other Instagrammable, drone-worthy coastlines with lovely waters that will probably be a little to a lot less touristy. Tip: June and September are the ideal months for a less busy beach vibe.
Have you been to the moon? Here, you’ll find yourself in a scene surrounded by white volcanic rocks as soft as chalk and shaped like other-worldly sculptures. Admire the deep cove with sparkling green waters that turn to shades of blue in deeper parts. While on Milos, make sure to have a swim at Fyriplaka beach, with powdery white sand and turquoise waters, not to mention the impressive cliffs that change colour (from pink to neon yellow) every few meters.
Xi Beach, Kefalonia
A somewhat eerie landscape is located in the area of Palika, south of Lixouri. It took its name from the letter “Xi” in the Greek alphabet because of the shape of the bay where it’s located. But what makes Xi beach stand even more is the unusual reddish-cherry colour of the sand. Here you’ll also find clay that you can slap onto your skin for a DIY spa treatment. The most beautiful time for diving is at sunset when the colour of the sand is enhanced and the scenery becomes exceptionally seductive.
Canal D’amour, Corfu
Between Sidari and Peroulades lies this impressive landscape with turquoise waters, white sculptured rock, caves and small beaches. There’s a legend about the Channel of Eros, especially impressive from above (get your drone out) that says that whoever swims in the narrow passage in front of the beach, will meet the love of his life on the other side.
Greece has its own Seychelles! On an island where the beaches are pretty but unremarkable, this beach stands out for its fine white pebbles mixed with sand, massive white rocks that make the landscape space-like, and crystal clear and deep blue waters.
Giola is a spectacular natural rock pool in the Astris area of Thassos. The height of the rocks, which reach about 8 meters high, and the luscious green waters of Giola – in contrast to the dark blue waters of the sea that surrounds it – make this sea pool very special.
Admire one of the most exotic beaches in Greece, considered one of the best in the Mediterranean, Balos in the prefecture of Chania. The sand here glistens with white and red hues. The most incredible shades of blue and green compete in the waters, while the islet of Gramvousa with its Venetian castle makes the scene even more magical.
Mavra Volia (Mavros Gialos), Chios
Landscape like a sci-fi movie! It stands out for its black pebbles due to the inactive volcano Psaronas, as well as the crystal clear icy waters that also get their dark colour from the colour of the pebbles.
The white-white beach with crystal blue waters, known to foreigners as marble beach, owes its colour to the white stone that adorns the coast!
Porto Timoni, Corfu
These are actually two different beaches in sheltered bays, separated by a narrow strip of land. The smaller one is called Limni, while the larger one is called Porto Timoni. The waters here are turquoise and crystal clear. Nature was in a good mood when it formed Porto Timoni in Corfu!
Trypiti or Gala, Koufonisia
The location of Gala is an indentation in the rock that looks like a hole (in the past the locals called it Tripiti) and inside it hides a small beach! You will find it in Ano Koufonissi, very close to Pori beach. In the area, you can also explore the caves of Xylobatis, as well as the cave “The Eye of the Devil”. Beyond Gala, Koufonisia has a coastline that hides incredible landscapes that seem to belong to this land.
Corfu ranks among the top global destinations for a holiday home, according to a ranking of 50 cities put together by comparethemarket.com
The Greek island takes position number 6, gaining points for its low crime rate and competitive property prices, while Heraklion in Crete was ranked in 16th position and Athens further down in 31st place.
“We’ve analysed locations around the world based on factors such as things to do, affordability, and the local weather,” the site said.
At the top of the list comes Venice, followed by Paphos (Cyprus), Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Funchal (Portugal).
Cyprus’ Larnaca also finished in the top ten, taking ninth place.
According to the data provided, the average cost of living for a family of four in Corfu amounts to $2,910, versus $3,691 in Venice, $2,560 in Paphos, and $2,865 in Abu Dhabi.
Property prices also differ significantly. In Corfu, the average price of property comes in at $1,647, versus $4,930 in Venice, $1,837 in Paphos, and $2,836 in Abu Dhabi.
While Greece is world-renowned as one of the best places to spend summer, there is something quaint about visiting the Greek islands in the autumn months.
The crowds begin to subside by the end of October without ever really clearing completely as many locals live on the islands year-round. Temperatures drop to a balmy 15 degrees and the air begins to feel crisp, but hints of sunshine still touch the skin and occasionally temperatures rise to 25 degrees- making a swim in the beautiful Aegean Sea possible.
There are many Greek islands that “shut down” after peak summer to rest and rejuvenate before they do it all again the following year. However, the places we’ve listed below are destinations we’ve visited in the cooler months- with locals who keep their beautiful islands alive all year round and warmly welcome visitors to experience island life without the crowds.
Greece’s largest island boasts world-famous archaeological sites, breathtaking beaches, charming villages, world-famous hikes, and amazing wineries. The temperatures in Crete are never too cold, and the autumn days feel endless, with plenty of sunny afternoons allowing locals to head to the beach for a swim until the end of November. Make sure you check out the archaeological and historical sites including Knossos, Arkadi Monastery, and Preveli Monastery and it’s also an ideal time to stay at one of the many eco-lodges. A highlight by far is hiking at the famous Samaria Gorge and the delightful Cretan cuisine– make sure you try as many of the local dishes as possible and if you are brave enough have a few shots of Raki, which will definitely warm you up!
The largest island of the Dodecanese, Rhodes boasts the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes, which has been declared a World Heritage Site. The medieval Old Town with its impressive castle and fortifications and cobbled streets is one of the most beautiful historic sites in Greece, and one that is best enjoyed out of peak season. Stunning Lindos has one of the best microclimates in the Mediterranean, so you are pretty much guaranteed a swim here in October and November. Make sure you also visit Petaloúdes (Butterfly Valley) one of Rhodes’ most popular attractions; the nature reserve combines stunning rivers and waterfalls with colourful butterflies. The cooler months are when Rhodes’ beautiful villages also come to life and it’s a great time to visit a few of them. Make sure you sit at one of the traditional cafes or tavernas with the locals and enjoy the island’s delightful cuisine.
Corfu’s lovely capital is fast becoming one of Europe’s popular winter destinations. Its charming Venetian Old Town, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, is ideal in the wintertime- perfect for exploring the museums and markets. This is also a great chance to explore Liston, the “French” part of town- a pretty promenade whose arcade is lined with chic cafés, restaurants, and boutiques. Also, hit the hiking trails that wind through mountain villages- there are hundreds of paths and routes to try. And although Corfu is busiest during Easter and summer- Corfu Town is also a popular destination during the Christmas and New Year period, so there’s a great range of tavernas to discover as well as many events, art exhibitions, and festivals that take place at the end of the year.
An ideal Greek island year-round as it’s located just two hours from Athens, Andros is filled with lush vegetation, abundant water, and stunning beaches. The beautiful Cycladic isle owes its lush greenery to its rich underground and surface water resources. Autumn in Andros is perfect for those who want to experience the island’s rich culture and culinary experiences; as here you can taste traditional dishes and modern cuisine. Visit one of the many historic monasteries and churches, the amazing museums (Museum of Contemporary Art, Archaeological Museum, Nautical Museum, Cyclades Olive Museum, Goulandris Museum) and enjoy the endless nature and its hiking trails. Also make sure you head to the wonderful natural environment and the healing properties of the Sariza spring water.
The Cyclades’ largest island offers a great range of outdoor activities in Autumn, including hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Numerous hiking trails and bicycle routes take visitors through some of the island’s and Cyclades’ most impressive archaeological and spiritual monuments including Mount Zas, the Cyclades’ tallest mountain peak; one of Greece’s largest collections of Byzantine monuments; the Temple of Demeter and more. Foodies are also in for a treat as you can check out the island’s vibrant farming and agricultural industry including potato picking, cheese making, citron liqueur distillation, and more.
Right in the centre of Corfu town; north of the old palace of Saint Michael and Saint George, you will come across Imabari; a stunning all-day lounge, featuring chic hammock seating, earthy-tone parasols, and a secluded little beach.
This is the only spot within Corfu town that allows you direct access to the beach and the best part is you are able to enjoy this beautiful set up from early morning until late at night.
The chilled vibe, fusion cuisine, delicious cocktails, smooth sounds, and inviting steps that lead you directly into the crystal turquoise water- are enough to make you want to visit time and time again.
In the evening you can sit back and watch the magical sunset as you sip on a drink of your choice and listen to live music.
Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner; dishes are internationally inspired and include light options such as the Royal Club Sandwich, Truffle Eggs Benedict, and Royal Pancakes; or try the Pork Spicy Tacos, Seared Salmon Poke Bowl, Fish’n’Chips or a fresh salad. There’s also a range of Sandos, Baos and Burgers; and for mains, you can choose from a Salmon Steak, Crispy Chicken, or a Chimichurri Steak.
There’s also a delightful cocktail menu with signature drinks and unique recipes, plus a wide range of smoothies and coffees. All light dishes can be enjoyed while chilling on a sun lounge or you can move over to the outdoor restaurant area right by the water and choose from the main menu, while you enjoy the spectacular views and summer breeze.
Corfu Town is one of the prettiest and most romantic places in all of Greece. Named the “Greek Venice,” it’s located on the Ionian’s second biggest island and is filled with Byzantine, Venetian, French and British influence- this is felt throughout the Old Town which has, in its entirety, been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From Venetian fortresses and British mansions to grand royal palaces and fine French arcades- a walk around the Old Town of Corfu is like taking a mini- stroll through Europe!
Things to See & Do In Corfu Town
The Old Fortress
The Fortezza Vecchia is located on a hill on the eastern end of the city. Stroll the canal, through the gates, and on towards the Church of St George, and from the top, you will enjoy the stunning views. Here you will also find a historic library, a Byzantine collection, and a café within the grounds, as well as a small marina.
Short walk west and you will arrive at the New Fortress (the Venetian’s 16th-century Fortezza Nuova), built on the hill of St Mark above the old port.
The Palace of St Michael and St George
Built by the British in 1815, this was once a British governor’s mansion and a summer house for the Greek Royal Family. Today, it houses the Museum of Asian Art, featuring Japanese, Chinese and Indian paintings, sculptures, and many other oriental treasures.
Corfu’s Town Hall (formerly a club for noblemen) is located at the town square, near the 16th-century Catholic Cathedral of San Giacomo. The town square and surrounding streets are filled with cafes, restaurants, bars, and boutiques.
There are close to 40 Greek Orthodox churches in Corfu Town with the Church of St Spyridon being the most famous; this 15th-century church with an impressive bell tower houses relics of the island’s Patron Saint and Protector, Agios Spyridon. Nearby is also the Byzantine Church of St Jason and St Sosipater; built in the 11th Century inside you will see icons and frescoes of Greek Orthodox Saints.
The Spianada Esplanade
The large grass-filled park between the Old Fortress and the Liston fountain has a lovely café and open areas, where events, concerts, and cricket matches are played.
Next to the Spinada is The Liston, the “French” part of town, a pretty promenade whose arcade is lined with chic cafés, restaurants, and boutiques. Although it dates back to Venetian times, it was the French, who gave it a Parisian feel, with its 19th-century colonnade modelled on Paris’ Rue de Rivoli.
The Archaeological Museum and the Byzantine Museum are definitely worth a visit. Heading north, you’ll find a museum dedicated to Greece’s national poet, Dionysios Solomos. Heading up to Nikiforou Theotoki Street, you will find the Casa Parlante, a 19th-century mansion that’s now a museum, bringing to life the Count and Countess, who called this manse home in the 1800s, by using robotic technology and animated figures.
Built in 1831 and set in a beautiful park, is the Neoclassical palace of Mon Repos, the birthplace of the late HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who was born in 1921. It has beautiful large gardens and artifacts and the walk leads you to a private beach.
As you wander around the Old Town, down the cantounia (pedestrianized little streets) you will come across an array of stores selling local products and delicacies, and open-air markets, where you can pick up some local, oil, honey, spoon sweets and liqueurs.
This is the oldest and most popular quarter where locals can be found socialising any time of the day. Featuring endless narrow cantounia, carved wells, pretty town squares, and grande buildings with balconies that are often decorated with bougades (pots) and ropes. From here make sure you visit the Venetian Well opposite the Church of Panagia Kremasti and the Metropolitan Church.
Corfu’s Jewish community, which dates from the 12th century, was persecuted during the Nazi occupation but played an important part in the island’s cultural and daily life. Originally, there were three synagogues in the Jewish Quarter. The only one surviving is the ‘Scuola Greca’ on Velissariou Street, built in the Venitian style in the 18th century, on the site of an older Jewish temple. The area is filled with rich history and is now alsohome to some great eateries that serve traditional local cuisine.
Eat and Drink
For coffee go to Josephine which is a cafe bar in Liston and was named after Napolean’s wife, Josephine. For drinks, head to Azur Bar in the city overlooking the sea and old fortress. Make sure you have a drink at the rooftop bar of the Cavalieri Hotel. For dinner, head to the Old Venetian Well in the old town and also dine at Rex Restaurant in the city behind Liston for traditional Corfu food.
How to Get to Corfu Old Town?
From the port
-To the New Fortress: 1.9km (bus No16). -To the Palace of St Michael and St George: 2.8km (bus No2).
From the airport
-To the Old Fortress: 2.5km. -To Spianada Square and Liston: 2.2km (bus No15 to Saroko Square and from there by foot).
Greece is a wonderful Easter destination and even if you aren’t Orthodox Christian, a visit to one of these places during this period will be an experience that will stay with you forever. From the famous pottery smashing in Corfu to fireworks in Hydra, here are 11 Greek Easter destinations that you should add to your list.
Easter is a huge celebration throughout Greece, even more so than Christmas. It is during this time when Orthodox Christians throughout the world celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection. As a result, Greeks take Pascha very seriously and commemorations begin from the week beforehand.
On the island where the Bible’s Book of Revelation was written, here visitors are welcomed to the historic monastery of St. John the Evangelist, which UNESCO has declared a world heritage site. The main festivities are the Washing of the Feet ceremony in the central square of Chora, the reenactment of the Last Supper, and the reading of the Gospel in seven languages and in Homeric hexameter. The very spiritual celebration of Easter on the island concludes with the procession of the monastery’s icons on the Tuesday after Easter Sunday.
During Greek Easter, on Easter Sunday, Saitopolemos takes place in Kalamata. This is where groups of people wearing traditional costumes hold and light long handmade tubes filled with powder. Each year, thousands of people visit Kalamata over Easter to witness this historical tradition dating back to the Ottoman period.
This Cycladic island is filled with many Orthodox and Catholic churches, the main being The Epitaphios of the Catholic Evangelistria, the Assumption of Panagia, the Transfiguration of the Savior, and Saint Nicholas, all meet at the main Miaouli Square and Easter services take place. Locals participate in the procession often carrying spears, or sponges, which is a clear reference to the passions of Christ.
This Cycladic island, located near Santorini and Milos, has its own Easter traditions, which honour Panagia (Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ). The annual tradition has it that locals clean and whitewash their houses in preparation for the passing of the icon of Panagia. Starting on Holy Saturday, the icon goes around the village, outside all the homes, which are given a blessing.
Corfu is by far the most popular Easter destination in Greece. Each year thousands of local and international visitors arrive on the island to celebrate the resurrection with a variety of traditions, one of the most famous being the throwing of clay pitchers (botides). In the town’s historic centre, with thousands of people, locals throw ceramic pots off their balconies, yelling “Xristos Anesti” (Christ is Risen). Bands play music throughout the town, and everyone is outdoors (day and night) taking part in the festivities.
On the Dodecanese island of Kalymnos, the anticipation for the Resurrection builds with the loud sound of dynamite exploding. This can be heard throughout the entire island, from the main port to the mountainous villages. After midnight mass on Easter Saturday, fireworks take place and the island celebrates with traditional local food and music.
On the beautiful island of Spetses, the Epitaphios processions of each of the four main churches of the island come together on the main town square in front of the Poseidonion Hotel on the evening of Good Friday. Locals carry around the Epitaph, which is beautifully decorated and the city is lit with pretty lights and Easter candles.
Meteora is by far one of the holiest sites in Greece and come Easter time, it is truly magical. During this time you will hear chanting Byzantine hymns and you will see glimpses of holy icons inside the 30 monasteries all lit up. After the midnight service visitors are welcome to head to Kalambaka or Kastraki towns nearby where the local taverns serve traditional Magiritsa soup. On Easter Sunday you can enjoy the local celebrations in the nearby town of Kalabaka.
The Byzantine town of Monemvasia e is filled with flowers during Easter time and on Good Friday you can follow the Procession of the Epitaph through the narrow, cobbled alleyways of the town, alongside a band playing music. The entire Holy Week is filled with many commemorations and events that culminate on Easter Sunday.
Easter is a wonderful time to visit Chania, as you can experience local Cretan customs and traditions and visit many historical monasteries that invite guests to experience the true meaning of Pascha. At this time of year the town’s spring charm also comes to life and not only is it blossoming with flowers, but the sun is also shining and the warmer weather may even allow you to have a swim.
This is a very popular destination for Athenians to celebrate Easter, as it’s only a two-hour drive away from the Greek capital. Nafplion has special celebrations that take place throughout the entire Holy Week. On Good Friday, follow the procession of the Epitaph through the narrow streets and alleyways, and at the end of it, you will find all four Epitaphs of the various churches on the main town square in the centre of the city.
These twin sister-houses set on a huge olive grove with direct access to the beach, are located in the heart of the Mani Peninsula, in the Peloponesse. A ten-minute walk from the village centre and just a stroll through the grounds from Ritsa beach, Liodentra captures the timeless charm of the area, while combining very contemporary comforts. The matching main villas, Ena and Dio (‘One’ and ‘Two’), are fully furnished with elegant and earthy décor that features character and colour.
Each has a kitchen, living room, and double bedroom on the ground floor, a sitting area and twin bedroom above, and a timber decked alfresco dining terrace overlooking the twelve metre swimming pool. The adjacent annex offers privacy for the fifth en suite bedroom, and all are air-conditioned. Perfect for two families or a group of friends.
Sleeps 10| 5 Bedrooms | 6 Bathrooms | Swimming Pool
With a chic and contemporary design and state-of-the-art facilities, this is a wonderful luxury villa for anyone planning a getaway to Crete. Alamo offers guests the opportunity to experience authentic rural Crete; enjoy the island’s best beaches, explore the little lanes of local villages, stroll along Chania’s harbour-front, and come home to a stunning modern design, all in a single day. In a hilltop setting with views of the sea and White Mountains, this is one of three villas that make up the small Adeste complex. A short stroll from the Venetian village of Kokkino Chorio, it is just 1.5km from the caves of unspoiled Koutalas beach and the famously atmospheric streets of Plaka, in a remarkable landscape crisscrossed with hiking trails.
The villa features indoor/outdoor living with glass walls opening onto gorgeous terraces, that boast a décor palette of chalks and clays, blues, and greens. Each bedroom comes complete with contemporary en suite facilities and its own furnished balcony. A cool-toned sitting room adjoins a big and bright kitchen diner. And outdoor facilities include lounging and dining areas, and an inviting private pool with views down to the bay.
Overlooking views of Chania’s famous lighthouse, this elegant 10-person villa is a glorious getaway on the north coast of Crete. Basking in the blues of the Aegean Sea, it’s all about the views at this upscale house in northern Crete. Just ten minutes by car from Chania’s gorgeous harbourfront, Villa Cassandra is a standout villa for 10 that combines a range of contemporary comforts with an architectural sophistication.
Along the upper levels of the house is the large master bedroom that has its own private plunge pool. Downstairs, the kitchen and dining areas come with high-end appliances, accompanied by a queen-sized double bedroom with a sofa bed and direct access to the outside pool terrace. On the lower ground floor, there are two more double bedrooms – both spacious with en suite bathrooms and views overlooking the surrounding gardens. A gym and exclusive spa area – equipped with a Turkish steam bath and sauna – complete this lower level. Outside and the private pool terrace is ideal for entertaining; with an infinity pool, furnished relaxation area, and an outdoor kitchen equipped with a pizza oven and built-in barbecue.
This luxurious and refined villa has direct access to a secluded beach. When you arrive at Alati Bay you are transported into a magical world with shady grounds that fan out around the impressively designed villa. Offering stunning sea views that entice you to explore the beach at the bottom of the garden, there is a sense of peace and wellbeing- ideal for those who want a quiet getaway. Services include daily maid service, cook and mid-week linen change. The villa also boasts garden gate beach access, a jacuzzi, and a private mooring buoy.
A beautifully built stone-clad villa with commanding sea views and a panoramic pool overlooking magical Avlaki Bay and Kassiopi Town, Ataraxia is the perfect place for families or friends who want to explore this Ionian island.
Wide-open vistas spread out to the majestic views, down over the olive tree-carpeted hills to the coast below, and both the interiors and the ample terraced exteriors are filled with an atmosphere of pure tranquility. Services include: Daily maid service and mid-week linen change.
Quarantine is keeping us home a lot more these days, so we found the perfect solution to make it cozier than ever.
Obsessing over Pinterest’s interior design and hygge philosophy is here to stay, so are cozy home goods, like scented candles. While you are alone, enjoying your abode and giving yourself a moment of quiet (with a glass of your favourite drink in hand) lighting your favourite scented candle is a “self-care must”. Don’t think twice, life is short, burn that candle and travel through its aromas. And to help you, we’ve rounded up 5 Greek candle companies that will enrich your aromatherapy candle collection while you are at it.
Evie and Yiannis launched Waks in 2005, with a simple intention; to create beautiful candles to complement our mood and our spaces no matter the season, inspired by their daily life in Greece and the places they have visited. “We wanted to fill the gap that existed in the market for branded scented candles with what we considered the right quality, packaging, and price. There were no Greek companies with the same concept back then,” says Evie.
Waks candles are filled with natural wax and set with 100% cotton wick. They are hand-poured in their production in Athens. There are so many scents available, such as pink sugar, fresh linen, ouzo, saltwater, jasmine, gardenia, sandalwood, sweet vanilla, and olive while and the holders are made of marble, wood, or mirror and can be kept forever and used as pot plants, stationery holders, even to store kitchen spices. ` `
Created in a historical Greek village in Corfu, CHOÉ candles are inspired by Ancient Greek culture, Mediterranean nature, and childhood memories. With names like Iris, Aetheria, Nefeli, Aura, Nectar, Ambrosia, it’s obvious why the brand is called CHOÉ, a word that refers to an offering made by the ancient Greeks to the Gods of the underworld, the Muses, the Nymphs, and to their ancestors. Today it’s an offering of harmony to our own senses.
CHOÉ uses natural materials such as wood, fabric, glass, and bronze, while all product lines are hand-poured and handcrafted. Furthermore, every single CHOÉ candle is made only after your request guaranteeing freshness and proper care.
If we had to choose only one scented Choé candle: Melia Classic, inspired by nymph and Goddess Melia in a black and white vessel that reminds us of a piece of art; beeswax, fig and olive trees carried through the millenniums.
Inspired by the timeless beauty of the Greek natural landscape, Helessence is a Greek brand of handmade candles from 100% vegetable soy wax and generously scented with unique combinations of aromatic and essential oils.
Helessence creates five unique collections, each with its own aesthetic and aromatic style. ESSENCE collection consists of mono-aromatic options from 100% pure essential oils of endemic plants of Greece with names like Iasmos, Thymos, Krokos, Kedros. The GRAECIA ALBA collection offers 15 options for several aromatic combinations. GRAECIA FUGA travels us to our favourite Greek destinations with its range of scented candles. MAISON DELUXE is the most gourmet scented collection of all. And finally, ELEMENTS is a premium line inspired by the elements of nature; Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and Ether dance together in an eternal cycle of creation.
If we had to choose only one Helessence candle: PYR concrete candle, meaning “fire”. Essential oils of cinnamon, black pepper, and frankincense in a handmade pot made from recycled cement and sea sand.
The taste of bees in jars! Melicera was born at the beginning of 2018 in Trikala by Jiota Nizami but not by chance. Her father and beekeeper Mr. John Nizamis planted the roots in 1985. Jiota had a long professional career in the field of Medical Lab in Switzerland before she made the decision to return to her motherland in order to create natural scented candles with 100% beeswax from her family’s hives. The scents are bourbon, citrus, French lavender, sandalwood, apple, and cinnamon in black, white, or a mix of orange honey and the burgundy of cognac vessel.
Besides candles they produce honey under the name 4ANEMOI, which means four winds and owes its name to the four cardinal directions, since the beehives relocate every season, from North to South and from East to West, to give the delicate tastes of every region in Greece.
If we had to choose only one Melicera candle: The NYMPH, inspired by the female beauty, freedom, and power, with the discreet and authentic aroma of pure beeswax.
After 20 years of making candles for friends and family, two young Greeks who lived abroad created Nimbus candles in 2009. An eco-friendly contemporary soy candle-making company with a vision for quality and aesthetics. Soy candles, poured by hand and put into luxurious glass jars or tumblers or metal containers, represent a serious eco-friendly alternative with multiple advantages over paraffin wax, which is a by-product from crude oil refinement and natural cotton wicks without metal thread of zinc or lead.
There is a wide range selection of scents, including cotton flower, jasmine, lavender, lotus, sandalwood rose, cucumber and melon, French vanilla, wild fig, baby powder, amber, and ylang, white musk, and bamboo among others.
If we had to choose only one Nimbus candle: The Spa scent thatinvokes feelings of a relaxing day at the spa. Fresh marine and citrus accords are blended with just a hint of flowers and musk.
Greece, with its rich history and culture, boasts a wide variety of monuments and archaeological sites. So it comes as no surprise there are currently 18 Greek monuments and areas given the distinction of being UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In the list, 16 are cultural sites and two (Meteora and Mount Athos) are mixed, listed for both their natural and cultural significance. Currently, there are also 14 sites on the tentative list, all of which have been nominated and waiting to be added!
Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae
The Temple of Apollo Epikourios—a World Heritage Site since 1986—is one of the most important temples of Antiquity and sits in the mountainous region of Andritsaina and Figalia (Bassae). It is one of the best-preserved monuments of classical antiquity and an evocative and poignant testament to classical Greek architecture. The temple was built at the height of the Greek civilization in the second half of the 5th century BC (420-400 BC).
Archaeological Site of Delphi
In Ancient Greece, Delphi was Greece’s most sacred place and was considered to be the navel of the world. The pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, where the oracle of Apollo spoke, was the site of the omphalos, the ‘navel of the world’. Blending harmoniously with the superb landscape and charged with sacred meaning, Delphi in the 6th century B.C. was indeed the religious centre and symbol of unity of the ancient Greek world.
The Acropolis of Athens and its monuments are universal symbols of the classical spirit and civilization and form the greatest architectural and artistic complex bequeathed by Greek Antiquity to the world.
This is the spiritual capital of the Orthodox Christian world, consisting of 20 monasteries and approximately 2000 monks. An Orthodox spiritual centre since 1054, Mount Athos has enjoyed an autonomous statute since Byzantine times. The ‘Holy Mountain’, which is forbidden to women and children, is also a recognised artistic site.
A region of almost inaccessible sandstone peaks, monks settled on these ‘columns of the sky’ from the 11th century onwards. Twenty-four of these monasteries were built, despite incredible difficulties, at the time of the great revival of the eremetic ideal in the 15th century. Their 16th-century frescoes mark a key stage in the development of post-Byzantine painting.
Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki
Founded in 315 B.C., the provincial capital and seaport of Thessalonika was one of the first bases for the spread of Christianity. Among its Christian monuments are fine churches. Constructed from the 4th to the 15th century, the mosaics of the rotunda, Saint Demetrius and Saint David are among the great masterpieces of early Christian art.
Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus
In a small valley in the Peloponnesus, the shrine of Asklepios, the god of medicine, developed out of a much earlier cult of Apollo (Maleatas), during the 6th century BC at the latest, as the official cult of the city-state of Epidaurus. Its principal monuments, particularly the temple of Asklepios, the Tholos, and the Theatre – considered one of the purest masterpieces of Greek architecture – date from the 4th century.
Medieval City of Rhodes
The Order of St John of Jerusalem occupied Rhodes from 1309 to 1523 and came under Turkish and Italian rule. With the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Great Hospital, and the Street of the Knights, the Upper Town is one of the most beautiful urban ensembles of the Gothic period.
Archeological site of Mystras
Mystras, the ‘Wonder of the Morea‘, was built as an amphitheatre around the fortress erected in 1249 by the prince of Achaia, William of Villehardouin. Reconquered by the Byzantines, then occupied by the Turks and the Venetians, the city was abandoned in 1832, leaving only the breathtaking medieval ruins, standing in a beautiful landscape.
Archaeological Site of Olympia
The site of Olympia, in the Peloponnese, has been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the 10th century B.C., Olympia became a centre for the worship of Zeus. The Altis – the sanctuary to the gods – has one of the highest concentrations of masterpieces from the ancient Greek world.
According to Greek mythology, Apollo was born on this tiny island in the Cyclades archipelago. Apollo’s sanctuary attracted pilgrims from all over Greece and Delos was a prosperous trading port. The island bears traces of the succeeding civilizations in the Aegean world, from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the palaeochristian era. The archaeological site is exceptionally extensive and rich and conveys the image of a great cosmopolitan Mediterranean port.
Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and New Mini of Chios
Although geographically distant from each other, these three monasteries belong to the same typological series and share the same aesthetic characteristics. The churches are built on a cross-in-square plan with a large dome. In the 11th and 12th centuries they were decorated with superb marble works as well as mosaics on a gold background, all characteristic of the ‘second golden age of Byzantine art’.
Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos
Many civilizations have inhabited this small Aegean island, near Asia Minor, since the 3rd millennium B.C. The remains of Pythagoreion, an ancient fortified port with Greek and Roman monuments and a spectacular tunnel-aqueduct, as well as the Heraion, temple of the Samian Hera, can still be seen.
Archaeological Site of Aigai Vergina
The city of Aigai, the ancient royal capital of Macedon, was discovered in the 19th century. It is located between the modern villages of Palatitsia and Vergina, in Northern Greece (Region of Hemathia). At Aigai was rooted the royal dynasty of the Temenids, the family of Philip II and Alexander the Great.
Archaeological Site of Mycenae and Tiryns
The archaeological sites of Mycenae and Tiryns are the imposing ruins of the two greatest cities of the Mycenaean civilization, which dominated the eastern Mediterranean world from the 15th to the 12th century B.C. and played a vital role in the development of classical Greek culture.
Historic Centre with Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on Patmos island
The small island of Pátmos is where St John the Theologian wrote both his Gospel and the Apocalypse. A monastery dedicated to the ‘beloved disciple’ was founded there in the late 10th century and it has been a place of pilgrimage and Greek Orthodox learning ever since. The fine monastic complex dominates the island.
Old Town of Corfu
The three forts of the town on the Ionian island, designed by renowned Venetian engineers, were used for four centuries to defend the maritime trading interests of the Republic of Venice against the Ottoman Empire. The mainly neoclassical housing stock of the Old Town is partly from the Venetian period. As a fortified Mediterranean port, Corfu’s urban and port ensemble is notable for its high level of integrity and authenticity.
Archaeological Site of Phillippi
The remains of this walled city lie at the foot of an acropolis in north-eastern Greece, on the ancient route linking Europe and Asia, the Via Egnatia. Founded in 356 BC by the Macedonian King Philip II, the city developed as a “small Rome” with the establishment of the Roman Empire in the decades following the Battle of Philippi, in 42 BC. Later the city became a centre of the Christian faith following the visit of the Apostle Paul in 49-50 AD. The remains of its basilicas constitute an exceptional testimony to the early establishment of Christianity.