Chania Set to Receive a Bike-Friendly Makeover

The center of Chania, on the island of Crete, is set for a makeover as of next year with the municipality expected to introduce pedestrian and bike-friendly changes.

The plan, currently in public consultation, is seen being finalised soon with construction work likely to commence in the spring of 2022, municipality officials tell 

According to the blueprint, work will include increasing the number of one-way streets, reducing car traffic in central districts, widening streets and footpaths and adding bike lanes.

Insights Greece - Chania Set to Receive a Bike-Friendly Makeover
Chania to become a more bike-friendly city

Apart from introducing greener solutions for the city, which has a population of about 110,000 people, the plan also targets a drop in traffic accidents, officials say.

Long one of Greece’s leading tourist destinations, Crete welcomes more than 5 million visitors a year and boasts several world-class tourist attractions like the Minoan era Knossos Palace, the legendary site of King Minos and the Minotaur. Over the last two years, foreign investors have engaged in a number of deals and resort projects on the island. 

Cities like Chania and Heraklion have also become increasingly popular with buyers seeking a second home, pushing real estate prices higher.

Demand for homes in the two cities is outpacing supply despite the uncertainty created by the pandemic, say consultants Danos. The market in Crete for beachside holiday homes and villas looks poised to benefit quickly from Greece’s improved economic conditions, property experts add.

The island, the Mediterranean’s fifth-largest, has also been drawing a growing number of digital nomads. In an attempt to provide a boost to this lucrative market, the Greek government tabled a bill in parliament in late August introducing a digital nomad visa allowing stays of up to 18 months in the country.

Improving infrastructure

Greece is currently investing billions of euros to upgrade Crete’s transport and power infrastructure.

Work has recently begun on a new 1.5 billion euro international airport in Kastelli – southeast of Heraklion — and is expected to be in operation by the end of 2023.

Also, underway is a 2 billion euro highway project stretching along the north coast of Crete, said to be one of the largest public works projects in Europe. 

Greece’s power transmission company also recently linked Crete with the mainland’s power grid for the first time following the laying of a 397 million euros, 174 kilometer subsea power cable, boosting energy reliability on the island.

This article was first published here. 

For more Real Estate News & Views on Greece and Europe’s South, head to The Greek Guru.

Old Hammam in Chania Becomes an Art Gallery 

One of Chania’s oldest hammams (Turkish baths) has been turned into a unique art gallery and will now host a variety of exhibitions and cultural events throughout the year. 

Insights Greece - Old Hammam in Chania Becomes an Art Gallery 
Old hammam becomes an art gallery

Located on Katre Street in Kastelli Hill, an old part of the city, the hammam is surrounded by vaulted arcades and smaller domes. This was once an elaborate two-floor building, however many parts of its exterior and interior were destroyed during the Second World War. Restoration work recently took place to makeover the building into a new cultural space, however it still features the old character and architecture of the building. 

Chania’s Deputy Mayor for Culture, Yiannis Yiannakakis, revealed to Athens News Agency (ANA), that the old hammam will be used for cultural projects exhibitions and events, emphasising the promotion of art creations, including paintings, photographs, ceramics and sculptures.

History of the Turkish Hammam 

The Turkish Hamam on Katre Street is one of the many public baths built by the Ottomans when they occupied Chania. It’s a type of Turkish bath that continues the tradition of Roman and Byzantine baths, with the underground hypocaust (heating system) and the earthen pipes circulating hot water and steam to the floor and surrounding walls.

Historic Area of Kastelli Hill 

Insights Greece - Old Hammam in Chania Becomes an Art Gallery 
Area of Kastelli Hill

Kastelli is located on the hill above the old harbor in the city of Chania, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and what became later became known as Kastelli Hill (because of the Byzantine fortification that was built here). This was the first place to be inhabited over 5000 years ago.

Much later the Venetians established their headquarters, as did the Turks. Unfortunately, most of the district was destroyed by German bombings during WWII. 

The main place for visitors to see the area (from the outside as the site is fenced off) is the excavations at Agia Ekaterini Square, only a few minute’s walk from the harbour.

Guide to Rethymno’s Colourful Old Town

Rethymno is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Crete. Located between Chania and Heraklion, it’s very close to magnificent beaches and natural landscapes.

This romantic city with a relaxing atmosphere boasts picturesque alleyways, a stunning mix of architecture, history and cultural influences in styles ranging from Venetian to Ottoman Empire.

Old Town of Rethymno 

Featuring bright Venetian mansions, charming courtyards, historic churches, minareted mosques, elaborate fountains, and ornate doorframes; the Old Town is worth a visit any time of year- where you can explore a place that’s filled with rich history, friendly locals, and a delightful range of places to eat. 

Insights Greece - Guide to Rethymno’s Colourful Old Town
One of Crete’s most beautiful towns

Discover History & Landmarks

– A walk around the Old Town of Rethymnon allows visitors the chance to view the magnificent Venetian Architecture, that was mostly built by the Venetians in the 16th century. Strolling around the picturesque alleys of Rethymnon, you can admire the imposing Venetian buildings with their distinct style. 

Insights Greece - Guide to Rethymno’s Colourful Old Town
Alleyways filled with a rich history

-The Venetian Loggia is a 16th-century Venetian building situated right in the heart of the Old Town. Originally open and covered with a wooden roof, the Loggia was a meeting place for Venetian officials.

-Continuing down Ethnikis Antistaseos, you arrive at the Church of St Francis, built by the Venetians as a Franciscan Friary church. The building now houses Rethymno’s Archaeological Museum. 

-The Neratzi Mosque with its huge minaret (built in 1890) and three domes is an impressive building that was originally the Katholikon (main church) of an Augustinian monastery and today, it is also known as the Minaret/Odeon of Rethymno– a music hall that hosts concerts. 

-At Platanos Square, you’ll walk past a range of wonderful eateries and then arrive at the famous Rimondi Fountain. Constructed in 1626, it supplied Rethymno with fresh water from Mount Vrysinas and is one of the most popular spots of the Old Town. What makes it even more special is that the three lion heads of the fountain still spill water into their basins, as they did when the Venetians built it in 1626. 

Mikrasiaton Square is one of the most modern parts of the town; on the western side of the square, you will find Makri Steno (Long Alley), otherwise known as Nikiforou Foka Street. This is one of the most charming alleyways in Rethymno- with Venetian houses, stone fountains and the charming Church of Kyria ton Angelon, which is a must-see. 


Be sure to make time for the Historical and Folklore Museum, situated in a 17th-century manor house, and the Archaeological Museum, opposite the main gate of the Fortezza. Here you will discover ancient artifacts and items that reveal so much about the Cretan history and Cretan Folklore culture.

Local Delicacies & Dishes

Rethymno allows visitors to taste authentic Cretan flavours and cuisine, at the many taverns, restaurants and cafes that serve delicious Cretan recipes and local products. One of the best things to do is to walk around and discover traditional eateries housed in old buildings with charming gardens, Rakadika- that serve mezedes that accompany local raki, and quaint little tavernas that are run by locals. 

Insights Greece - Guide to Rethymno’s Colourful Old Town
Cretan delicacies

Definitely try 

  • Antikristo (roast lamb)
  • Skioufixta (traditional Cretan pasta)
  • Staka (Cretan dairy product)
  • Kalitsounia (traditional sweets)
  • Apaki (smoked pork)
  • Dakos (Cretan rusks topped with tomato and cheese) 
  • Gamopilafo (‘Wedding’ pilaf with goat or rooster)
  • Tsigaristo (slow-cooked lamb)
  • Hochli (snails)
  • Apaki (cured pork)
  • Boureki (courgette and potato pie)
  • Raki (Crete’s famous spirit) 
Insights Greece - Guide to Rethymno’s Colourful Old Town
Lemonokipos Restaurant

Where to Eat 

-At 30 Vernardou Street, you will find the workshop of Mr. Hatziparaschos, the last traditional phyllo master who is well-renowned for making ultra-thin phyllo pastry. Here you can watch the talented master in action and also try his famous pastry. 

Laiki (open market) If you are in town on a Thursday or Saturday morning, you can check out the open-air market, called the Laiki, while those in town on Wednesday afternoon can visit the farmer’s market.

– Avli restaurant, a wonderful restaurant where you will experience true Cretan cuisine and hospitality. 

Insights Greece - Guide to Rethymno’s Colourful Old Town
Avli Restaurant | Image by Melissa Peltenburg (Copyright)|

– Veneto Restaurant is another great spot that serves dishes using fresh, seasonal and local Cretan products.  

Lemonokipos is an all-day family restaurant in the centre of town and offers authentic Cretan and Mediterranean cuisine.

Hasika, is a quaint restaurant in the old town of Rethymnon, with head chef Michalis Chasikos serving Cretan cuisine with a nod to the rest of Greece. 

Castelo in the heart of town is a classic restaurant serving modern Cretan cuisine. 

-For coffee or brunch head to Cul de Sac, Living Room, or Fraoules. 

– For sweets and pastries make your way over to Mona Lisa Skartsilakis, Yaourtaki, Fournos Apostolakis and Fournos Sampson

Where to Shop

-The archway of the Guora Gate opens up to Ethnikis Antistaseos Street, which leads onto Platia Mikrasiaton and is the heart of the historic centre, filled with a range of shops. 

Insights Greece - Guide to Rethymno’s Colourful Old Town
Meiz Concept Store

Souliou Street, here you will find a range of locally made jewellery, art, sandals and other fashion accessories as well as books, pottery, beauty products, plus herbs, honey and food items. 

Meiz Concept Store in the heart of town is a lovely boutique that stocks a range of fashion items made by local Greek designers. 

Muses Rethymno is another great boutique for those in search of unique Greek designer fashion. 

-For contemporary souvenirs make your way over to Greek Unique

Where To Sleep 

– Avli Suites is a wonderful place to stay in the heart of the old town of Rethymno with one of the best restaurants in Crete.

Insights Greece - Guide to Rethymno’s Colourful Old Town
Palazzino Di Corina

The historical Palazzino Di Corina is located in a quiet street in the heart of Rethymno’s Old Town. It offers a 24-hour front desk, nearby parking, and an outdoor pool.   

-Set amidst the Renaissance Venetian architecture of Rethymnon Old Town, Rimondi Boutique Hotels is located in a narrow, quiet alley next to Rethymno’s charming old town.

-Mythos Suites Boutique Hotel, is a superb boutique hotel featuring 15 stunning rooms and suites with unique character. 

How to get to Rethymnon

There is no airport in Rethymno. From Athens, you can fly to Chania and then drive to Rethymno, which takes around an hour. You can get to Rethymnon by ferry from mainland Greece and the Cyclades. In the winter, the ferry route from Piraeus to Rethymnon is operated with Heraklion or Chania as an intermediate station. Then, Rethymno is a 1-hour drive from both Cretan cities. In the summer, there are direct ferries to Rethymnon from the ports of Piraeus and Rafina.

Greece’s Best Dessert Bar Opens in Athens

Chania’s famous Koukouvaya Cafe, which has been named Greece’s leading dessert bar (year in, year out), has now opened its doors in the heart of Athens!

Popular among locals and tourists alike, the family-run eatery first opened up in 1997, in Chania, Crete, and is located right near the hill of Prophet Elias and the Venizelos Graves. Offering majestic views across to the Old Town and its Venetian Harbour, it quickly became the place for locals to gather and enjoy a coffee while indulging in the delicious homemade desserts. 

The decadent sweets have become so famous, nowadays people from all over the country and worldwide come here to taste the mouthwatering creations- especially their signature chocolate cake “Zoumero”, which is a moist cake dripping in a rich chocolate sauce- needless to say this secret family recipe is very well guarded! 

Take note: servings are extremely generous and if you are in a group, we suggest you order a variety of the freshly made sweets and indulge in a spoonful (or two, three) of each one.

Some of the other popular items on the menu include the “Erasmia” a chocolate sponge cake filled with orange custard, topped with freshly made whipped cream, orange glaze, and chocolate flakes, the “Igloo” a domed shape dessert, which features layers of vanilla custard and chocolate covered in crunchy caramelized almond crumbs; and if you get a chance also try the incredible variety of cheesecakes and waffles.

For those looking to taste some traditional Greek desserts, they also serve homemade Lemonopita (lemon cake), Mosaiko (chocolate biscuit cake), Milopita (apple pie), Karidopita (walnut cake), Rizogalo (rice pudding), and Ekmek Kataifi (shredded pastry topped with syrup, custard, and cream).

And now you can taste these decadent sweets when visiting Athens, as a second Koukouvaya shop opened in Plateia Agia Eirinis (in early June), allowing Athenians and international visitors to the Greek capital the opportunity to try out this leading cafe-patisserie, that has surpassed the borders of Crete as well as Greece, earning it international recognition as one of the best spots in the world to grab a dessert! 

A: Crete- Venizelos Graves, Chania 731 00; Athens- Skouze 1, Plateia Agias Eirinis 

Visiting Knossos, One of Europe’s Largest Archaeological Sites 

Those wanting to discover one of the largest and richest archaeological sites in Europe should add Heraklion- with its ancient treasures, historical riches, and ruins of the grand city of Knossos to their list.

Knossos Palace was once a thriving spot and the capital of Minoan Crete- it is grander and more luxurious than any other palace of its time. 

Insights Greece - Visiting Knossos, One of Europe’s Largest Archaeological Sites 
Minoan Palace

In fact, Knossos Palace is said to be one of the most beautiful ruins in history, making the striking palaces of Knossos and Phaistos Crete’s most famous and visited ancient sites by both local and international visitors who travel here all year round.

Once the imperial seat of the Minoan King, Minos, Knossos is the perfect destination for history buffs who want to discover more about myths like those of the Minotaur; and the artwork and intricate mosaics allow visitors to feel as though they’ve stepped into a magical world. 

History of the Knossos Palace

-The Minoans slowly began settling in the area starting from the Neolithic period, approximately 7000 BC; until the Mycenaean invasion, then the area was used by the Mycenaeans until it was completely abandoned. 

-Human presence on the site is evident for thousands of years, before the construction of the first palace. 

-Knossos is the largest palace in Minoan Crete. It is double the size of Phaistos, Mallia, four times the size of Zakros, and seven times larger than Gournia.

What you will Discover at Knossos 

Insights Greece - Visiting Knossos, One of Europe’s Largest Archaeological Sites 
A room at Knossos

Walking around the historical site, you will discover a massive civilization that was thriving 4,000 years ago. You will come across a drainage system that is so intricate and villas that were luxurious; many houses were five levels. Public and private areas were adorned with ornate frescoes, pottery, and wall paintings; Minoan artwork is so famous that it continues to inspire artists from all over the world.  

As you stroll through, you will also be able to see how the Minoans used three separate water-management systems and you’ll get up close to the Minoan columns- differing from the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian style Greek columns – these columns are narrower at the bottom and wider towards the top.

Facts about Knossos 

-Knossos Palace is huge and sprawling (43,000 square metres).

-The palace had 1,300 rooms connected with corridors around the main courtyard. 

-The archaeological site of Knossos was discovered in 1878 by Minos Kalokairinos, a Cretan entrepreneur who was fascinated by archaeology.  

-In 1900, English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans led excavations in Knossos, which lasted around 35 years. Evans found that the Palace of Knossos was destroyed and rebuilt at least two times; with the first palace built around 1900 BC and the second palace built after 1700 BC.


Insights Greece - Visiting Knossos, One of Europe’s Largest Archaeological Sites 
Clay pots at the site of Knossos

-If you’re planning a trip to Knossos, it’s a good idea to stay in Heraklion, the capital of Crete. There are many options for accommodation, eating, and a great base to explore other nearby sites.

-To fully understand the history and culture of Knossos and to explore it in detail, it’s best to join a tour with a licensed guide.  

Getting there

From the centre of Heraklion, Knossos is about 5km away, which makes it very convenient to get to by car. The Line 2 bus will take you directly to Knossos, otherwise, you can take a 5-minute taxi ride to the site. Alternatively, if it’s not a hot day and you enjoy walking, it’s about an hour’s walk from the heart of Heraklion. 

Dior’s Cruise ’22 Show Pays Homage to Ancient Greece 

Dior’s highly-anticipated Cruise 2022 presentation in the Greek Capital was nothing short of a high-end fashion extravaganza, as Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri created a stylish spectacle that took place overnight at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens.

Insights Greece - Dior’s Cruise '22 Show Pays Homage to Ancient Greece 

The famous stadium, which is home to the modern Olympics served as the stunning backdrop to showcase a modern collection inspired by Ancient Greece. 

Around 500 guests, including many celebrities, artists, and designers, witnessed a runway show that “blended the power of heritage and contemporary inventiveness,” Dior announced to the fashion press. 

One of the key inspirations of the collection was the peplos robe worn by ancient Greek women. “The peplos also is an element that allows the body to move freely, that evokes women in movement, and no one more than an athlete moves their body in a really active way,” says Chiuri. 

Leading up to last night’s event, Chiuri spent time visiting numerous spots around Greece for research and inspiration; including the expansive Bronze Age ruins of the palace of Knossos and the Heraklion Archeological Museum on Crete. “Here, in a place so often associated with the myth of the Minotaur,
she uncovered the importance of women in religion, venerated as representations of animals and nature,” Dior announced. 

She also headed to Santorini to the ruins of Akrotiri and on the third leg of her journey, Chiuri also spent time on the archaeological site of Delphi

According to Dior, the choice of venue, “creating a prodigious bridge between sport and culture, ancient heritage and contemporary youth, is highly symbolic for Grazia Chiuri, notably through its connections to the body and the freedom of movement she cherishes, but also through the motifs that inform the collection and its sportswear spirit.”

The Panathenaic Stadium was adorned with flags specially created by Italian artist Pietro Ruffo; the illuminated scenography also paid tribute to the architectural lines of the site.

All images Courtesy of Dior 

Top 10 Things to Do in Loutro

With one of the most impressive backdrops in Crete, the quaint and picturesque fishing village of Loutro promises a Greek island getaway full of swimming, delicious local cuisine, hiking, and loads of R&R! 

The main reason to spend time in Loutro is to unwind and slow down. Boasting a unique waterfront filled with whitewashed villas, blossoming bougainvillea and charming seaside taverns, this Cretan destination (that can only be accessed by sea or on foot) is the ideal place to de-stress while enjoying the Greek island life.

We have put together a list of the Top 10 Things to do in Loutro!

1. Enjoy the simple things in life

Insights Greece - Top 10 Things to Do in Loutro
Sail around Loutro

When travelling to Loutro you don’t need much. Pack lightly and enjoy the fact that you don’t need to dress up or impress. In Loutro, visitors go from a long swim at the beach straight to a tavern for lunch, back to the beach before making their way to another great local restaurant to eat dinner before heading back to their hotel to sleep (and repeat the same thing the next day). Loutro is all about keeping things simple and enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds you. The tiny village is quite easy to explore on foot. Loutro is shaped in such a great way that keeps everything and everyone connected.

2. Sail the day away 

Take in the stunning sea, which ranges from light turquoise to deep navy blue. There’s no better way to appreciate the pristine sea of Loutro than hiring a boat and sailing along the coast. This way you can reach some of the gorgeous remote nearby beaches where you can swim, dive, and snorkel to discover the Lybian sea. A cheaper option is hiring a kayak or canoe and make your way over to the nearby beaches of Glyka Nera and Marmara.

3. Experience the unforgettable Imbros Gorge

Insights Greece - Top 10 Things to Do in Loutro
Imbros Gorge

Less crowded and shorter than the famous Samaria, Imbros Gorge is the perfect spot for those who want some adventure for the day, while taking in the striking landscape. Take a day off from the beach and catch the ferry to Chora Sfakia, then take the bus that heads towards Chania and stops off at the entrance of Imbros. This is truly an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves being close to nature.

4. Hike the Aradena gorge

For those after a more challenging hike try the Aradena Gorge, which is surrounded by high red stoned walls. Keep in mind the hike can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours (depending on experience) but the effort is worth it. From here you can go bungee jumping off Aradena Bridge; this is the tallest bridge for bungee jumping in all of Greece and the second tallest in Europe! 

5. Head to the Cyclopean Walls 

From Anopoli’s main square, continue to Agia Ekaterini where you will come across the remains of the Cyclopean Walls that once surrounded the city. From this spot, you can admire the panoramic views of Loutro and the open sea off the coast of Crete.

6. Visit the Venetian castle 

Insights Greece - Top 10 Things to Do in Loutro
Venetian Fortress

Known as the Venetian Castle of Loutro, this abandoned fortress overlooking the bay from above offers some magical vistas. Enjoy walking through the scenic and mountainous valleys and gorges.

7. Stroll around the tiny village

Loutros’ tiny village, with its quiet vibe, is filled with lovely narrow alleyways that lead up to the mountain. During the seaside walk, you will come across many fish taverns, cafes, and friendly locals who will show you what Cretan hospitality is all about. You will also come across a few shops that have items made by local artisans, including sandals, jewellery, ceramics, and other art. Also, make sure to sit down at one of the cafés and enjoy a Greek coffee while taking in the breathtaking landscape. 

8. Swim all day and night 

Insights Greece - Top 10 Things to Do in Loutro
Crystal clear waters

If you love to swim, Loutro has you covered. Within walking distance are beaches such as Loutro Bay, Timios Stavros Beach and Ilingas. Also, make sure you get across and swim at the incredibly beautiful Glyka Nera and Marmara Beach. Around 700 meters west of Loutro, you will find the small beach of Finikas as well as Lykos

9. Taste local delicacies

Make sure to stop at one of the many bakeries to sample Cretan Paximadia that are semi-sweet biscuits or rusks with star anise. If you make your way over to the historic settlement of Anopolis, you will be able to try a hot Sfakian pie filled with goat cheese and drizzled with delicious thyme honey, also make sure to try famous Cretan Kalitsounia and Boureki. And don’t leave before having a shot of Tsikoudia (Cretan specialty). 

Insights Greece - Top 10 Things to Do in Loutro
Eat at one of the local fish taverns

10. Try some of the best Cretan food 

Our fave places to eat at are Pavlos for their fresh seafood, and be sure to taste their homemade Sfakian pita. Head to Stratis for their grilled meat and Notos is a small family-run taverna with a huge range of fresh vegan and vegetarian dishes and a gorgeous little terrace. Blue House is also a lovely family restaurant, where you can enjoy a range of Cretan cuisine. And for a drink and casual light meal, head to Akroyiali, which is the only beach bar in Loutro.  

Insights Greece - Top 10 Things to Do in Loutro
Villa Niki

Where to stay 

Madares is a family-run hotel with panoramic views of the Libyan Sea, Villa Niki is a great place to stay in the village, with wonderful views of the bay, and the mountains. Porto Loutro is one of the bigger hotels but still offers friendly, family-like hospitality. At Daskalogiannis Hotel you can also expect great service, traditional Cretan hospitality, and sea views. 

How to get there 

In order to reach Loutro, you first need to make your way to Chora Sfakion. Boats to Loutro depart from the port of Chora Sfakion daily during peak season and the boat trip is about 20 minutes. 

Stylish New Beach Resort Set to Open in Crete

Plan to escape the daily grind at Numo Ierapetra Beach Resort, an ultra-stylish seaside hotel in Crete that is set to make its grand debut in June. 

Set on a beachfront and surrounded by lush greenery, this serene and sophisticated space is home to designer rooms and suites with an earthy palette and outdoor living spaces designed to help guests relax and unwind. 


Numo Ierapetra Beach Resort boasts a secluded location, 10 minutes from the heart of Ierapetra and about 30 minutes drive from Heraklion Airport. Ierapetra is nestled along the southeastern coast of Crete and offers a laid-back small-town experience – perfect for those seeking peace and privacy on their next Greek island getaway. With Heraklion so close by you can easily explore the Palace of Knossos, the historic Church of Agios Minas, and the intriguing art and artifacts on display at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.

Style & Character

In a sun-drenched, beachfront location surrounded by evergreen gardens, it is a luxury resort with earthy design touches and a serene ambiance. Private swimming pools and cozy terraces complete an intimate scene where relaxation and sophisticated design become one. At the same time, the cool vibes coming from the beach area add a light touch of excitement to the experience. With a thoughtful design that offers easy and enjoyable transitions between the bedrooms and the outdoor living areas; everything is designed to make guests relax. The warm, cozy atmosphere and carefully chosen interiors are combined with a natural colour scheme, finished with clean contemporary lines. 


With sizes ranging from cozy to super spacious, all rooms feature furniture that’s relaxed and multipurpose, adding various clever touches to make the most of the space. Soft fabrics and tactile materials make all surfaces feel soft and inviting. Earthy and with a splash of freshness, the color palette was inspired by the light grey tones of the beach sand and the gentle greens of the native tamarisk trees that surround the neighborhood.

Food & Drinks

Sample a blend of Mediterranean flavours and modern innovation at Menoa restaurant, which celebrates its Cretan roots while serving artistic and creative dishes. The all-day restaurant Tamarisk offers fresh fish and premium meats, while those looking for a quick and light bite should head to Kafenè. There are also two bars, The Modern which is the lobby bar, and Mare Mare, the pool and beach bar, offering signature cocktails by the sea. 


From relaxing, soul-soothing massages to invigorating beauty therapy sessions, the resort spa is ideal for those in need of some pampering. There is also an ultramodern outdoor gym, for hardcore training, as well as relaxed yoga sessions. There are also two pools- one for children and the other that’s adults only. 

Ideal for…

Anyone looking to spend days lazing on soft sands and topping up their tan, enjoying a memorable day of scuba diving, and getting to know Cretan cuisine across an array of seafront eateries. Also ideal for anyone in search of a relaxing base while they enjoy some adventure by car, foot, or bike. From the stunning vistas of Sarakina gorge to the endless green of Selakano forest and the turquoise waters of islet Chrissi, there’s a little something for everyone. Close by there are also Blue Flag-awarded beaches such as Agia Fotia, Koutsounari, and Ferma.


  • Free WiFi
  • Free parking
  • Private check-in/check-out
  • Concierge service
  • Luggage storage
  • Ticket service
  • 2 swimming pools
  • Express check-in/check-out
  • 24-hour front desk


11 Best Places to Spend Easter in Greece 

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.

Insights Greece - 11 Best Places to Spend Easter in Greece 


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. 

Insights Greece - 11 Best Places to Spend Easter in Greece 


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. 

Insights Greece - 11 Best Places to Spend Easter in Greece 


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.  

Insights Greece - 11 Best Places to Spend Easter in Greece 


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. 

Insights Greece - 11 Best Places to Spend Easter in Greece 


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. 

5 Breathtaking Greek Villas to Stay at

There is an array of lovely villas scattered across Greece and to help you search, we’ve rounded up five of our favourites- from Paxos to the Peloponnese- that we think you will love as much as we do. 

Liodentra Villa, Peloponnese

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 

Insights Greece - 5 Breathtaking Greek Villas to Stay at

Villa Alamo, Crete

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.

Sleeps 6 | 3 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms | Swimming Pool 

Insights Greece - 5 Breathtaking Greek Villas to Stay at

Villa Cassandra, Crete

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.

Sleeps 10 | 5 Bedrooms | 6 Bathrooms | Swimming Pool 

Insights Greece - 5 Breathtaking Greek Villas to Stay at

Alati Bay, Paxos

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. 

Sleeps 14 | 7 Bedrooms | 7 Bathrooms | Swimming Pool

Insights Greece - 5 Breathtaking Greek Villas to Stay at

Ataraxia, Corfu 

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.

Sleeps 10 | 5 Bedrooms | 5 Bathrooms | Swimming Pool

Insights Greece - 5 Breathtaking Greek Villas to Stay at


14 Greek Regional Airports Receive Major Upgrades

Many popular Greek airports are ready to welcome visitors again- as the huge upgrades are designed to greatly enhance the passenger experience of local and international travellers. 

Fraport Greece launched the airport development program in April 2017, with 11 island and three mainland airports across Greece receiving major upgrades as part of the innovative €440 million airport development program.

Insights Greece - 14 Greek Regional Airports Receive Major Upgrades

Having finished three months ahead of schedule, the completion includes five brand new terminals, the expansion and modernisation of five existing terminals, and upgrades of four other terminals. Construction projects at airside operational areas of the regional airports included renovating 12 runways, improving ramp areas, and constructing and renovating 12 fire stations. All of the airports have also been equipped with new state-of-the-art baggage handling and security detection systems.

Construction projects were completed at the airports of Zakynthos, Chania (Crete) and Kavala. Also on the mainland, Aktion Airport’s terminal had a complete overhaul, on the island of Samos, the airport terminal was modernised and expanded and Skiathos Airport has been completely refurbished and enlarged.

Odysseas Elytis Airport in Mytilini features a new terminal and similarly the new terminal at Kefalonia offers some 10,700 square meter of space for passenger comfort, including more services, a 70% increase in the number of check-in counters, and twice as many security checkpoints and departure gates.

On Mykonos, the redesigned terminal is now 50% bigger and combines traditional Cycladic architectural highlights with modern airport facilities. As a result, there is more space for check-in counters, departure gates, as well as a unique ambiance with attractive amenities.

Insights Greece - 14 Greek Regional Airports Receive Major Upgrades

On Rhodes, the airport has also been upgraded to offer world-class services. The terminal has a larger check-in area, plus more security checkpoints and baggage belts, a wider choice of shopping and dining. The apron in front of the terminal was also redesigned for improved operations.

Similarly, in the second quarter of 2020 Corfu Ioannis Kapodistrias Airport opened a new terminal and the islands of Kos and Santorini also underwent major redevelopment.

Final construction works were also completed at Thessaloniki Makedonia Airport, the largest airport in Fraport Greece’s portfolio. This €100 million development has created a new terminal complex that is said to rival Europe’s most popular airports. The new terminal is linked via skyway bridges to the redesigned existing terminal – doubling the amount of terminal space available. More check-in space, twice as many departure gates, and a wide range of restaurants, cafes and shops now shape a completely new environment at the international gateway to Greece’s second largest city.

Marking the official completion of the construction program, Fraport Greece CEO, Alexander Zinell announced, “The completion of this emblematic, €440-million construction program of 2021 fills me with pride and optimism. These airports will serve as a catalyst for re-starting the vital Greek tourist industry. I am confident that these new state-of-the-art airport facilities will fully welcome and satisfy travellers wishing to explore the beauties of this magnificent country.”

*Images: Fraport Greece 

Top 3 Spas in Athens

Nothing can soothe your body, mind, and soul like a good dose of pampering. We visit the best spas in the heart of the city.

Over the last few decades, Greece has developed a notable and highly respectable wellness scene, with spas and holistic centres now able to compete with some of the best of their kind in the world. Offering cutting-edge treatments and using excellent designer product lines, with complex and imaginatively decadent treatments for the body, soul, and face, these bliss centres can offer the most gratifying gift any tired being could wish for during the high-stress- any other time of year. Let’s face it – nothing beats the experience of walking into a place feeling foggy-headed and bedraggled, only to step out one, two, maybe even five hours later feeling and looking completely renewed. The effects may fade after a few days, but the memory of how lovingly and expertly every inch of you was handled, of the pacifying and luxuriant environment, meditative lighting, deep heart-opening fragrances, and tranquil sounds will not ever leave you. 

As a pampering freak, I have cunningly made it my life mission to discover the best of what the world has to offer in terms of therapies, treatments, and holistic healing methods. In travels to Mexico, Japan, and Southeast Asia as well as throughout Greece, finding real healing – from backstreet miracle workers and anomalous shamans to highly trained teachers and sophisticated therapists at uber-luxurious wellness paradises – has been a serious and fascinating path of study for me. To guarantee you will enjoy your spa experience during your time in central Athens, here are my top three selections.

Insights Greece - Top 3 Spas in Athens

Hammam Baths

The only one of its kind in the heart of the Greek capital, the Turkish-inspired baths in historical Thisseio offer a true getaway from contemporary urban reality. Guests usually start with the Hammam, a circular, white marble steam room where, wearing nothing but your ‘pestemal’ traditional hammam towel you can spend as long as you like sweating it out, alleviating yourself every so often from the heat by pouring cool water over yourself from a bronze basin. There are many options for hair, face, and body treatments and therapies to follow, in which the massage therapists use black or olive paste soap, Dead Sea mud, the exfoliating ‘ketseas’ natural bristle brushes, and other traditional Turkish goodies to enhance the pampering. Before returning to reality, you can enjoy sipping herb tea and munching on Turkish delight in the relaxing communal area.

A: 17 Aghion Asomaton & 1 Melidoni, Athens 

GB Spa

Like entering another dimension, one where the lavish décor and top-notch pampering expertise is truly unparalleled, the GB Spa is by far the city’s best (and one of the most expensive!). Guests are encouraged to relish the essence of the spa (‘salute per aqua’ or health by water) experience by connecting to the water element first – starting with a leisurely dip in the ozone-rich pool with curative thick sea salt and following that with an excellent choice of around five steam rooms, such as the Herbal Suite, where you can meditatively inhale the essences of Greek organic herbs like thyme, oregano, and lavender, or the Amethystos Grotto, where the walls are covered in a mosaic of amethyst stones and the steam is infused with pure eucalyptus oils. Outside the steam rooms are showers with six different settings, from Tropical Rain to Summer Shower, as well as two marble foot baths with hydromassage. ESPA products are used in all treatments, such as high-tech facials and massages, among which are deeply restorative, two-hour-long Ayurvedic rituals, the hot-stone Balinese massage, salt scrubs, and slimming, detoxifying or soothing body wraps. For instant beautification, Spa Manager Anne Speck recommends the Signature GB facial, Prickly Pear Luxury Facial inspired by the 15th-century Japanese Kobido lifting massage.

A: Hotel Grande Bretagne, Syntagma Square 

Insights Greece - Top 3 Spas in Athens

Aegeo Spa

Based in Crete, Aegeo Spa magnetizes the achy-limbed in all forms at its various spa centres in Athens, located at the Electra Palace and Electra Metropolis Hotels, as well as across the St George Lycabettus Hotel. It welcomes guests for “flash” treatments – from a deep back and neck massage to a glow-inducing facial – as well as determined day guests who have made serious recovery their mantra. The modern and elegant spa inspires in clients a real sense of trust via its warm and friendly staff, expert treatments, and excellent Babor products, as well as products that originate in Crete, such as olive oil and raki (distilled grape alcohol), both of which are used in the super-relaxing signature Cretan Massage. Another special treat at Aegeo is the Ancient Greek Massage, based on ancient healing principles as taught by Hippocrates and including circulation-boosting and exfoliating skin brushing with a horse-bristle brush, cupping, and warm olive oil for intense muscle relaxation. Aegeo’s most unique therapy by far is the Wish Massage, a four-hand massage in which the client makes a wish before the therapy, that the two masseurs focus on throughout the treatment. Aegeo’s menu includes a variety of effective beauty therapies too, from microdermabrasion using precious stones and masks with gold to the instantly brightening Collagen Booster facial.  

A: 15 Mitropoleos St, Athens