Greece is gearing up for what is expected to be an outstanding year in travel for the entire country.
The Greek Tourism Ministry is anticipating the sector will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, as officials are working closely with industry leaders to ensure it’s a record year across the board.
In 2019, over 33 million visitors arrived in Greece, up from 24 million in 2015, making it one of the most visited countries in Europe and the world.
And according to Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias, this year will see a booming comeback with new projects including upgrading important tourism infrastructure, setting up a crisis management task force, and new training programs for tourism professionals.
The Ministry also stressed the importance of highlighting Greece as a year-round destination, extending the tourism season, promoting lesser-known destinations, attracting higher-quality tourists, promoting cruise travel, attracting tourism investment, as well as focusing on sustainable tourism practices.
So far, the government has approved projects including upgrades to tourist ports, development of winter and mountain tourism, development of wellness and health tourism, training programs for tourism employees, agri-food and gastronomy tourism, diving and underwater tourism as well as making beaches more accessible to those with disabilities.
According to trade publication Travel Pulse, a recent survey by tour operators worldwide revealed key travel trends and top destinations for 2022, with Europe leading the way. Italy is currently ranking as the number one place of interest, Greece, and France tying second, and Ireland coming in at number three.
In another report just released by Greek tourism research group Tourix, Athens is also attracting more and more interest from the United States, Israel, and Cyprus.
Real estate prospects in southern European capitals are seen improving in 2022, according to the latest report put together by PwC and Urban Land Institute, though volatility in the sector remains.
Based on a ranking of 31 European cities included in the annual “Emerging Trends in Real Estate – Road to Recovery” report, the outlook in Spain, Italy and Greece improved in the last year. Topping the list is London, followed by Paris and Berlin.
“Madrid has moved up two places to sixth, with a score that now rivals the leading German cities. Interviewees point out that it offers good opportunities across sectors, such as residential and logistics, as well as a strong office market,” says the report.
Rome climbed to position number 21 (from 23rd) and Athens advanced to 23rd place (from 28th place).
On a second-ranking assessing expected changes in rental and capital values in 2022, Athens took first place.
“Relatively few survey participants are active in the Athens market, but they believe the city offers some of the strongest growth prospects anywhere in Europe. This relates not just to the potential recovery of tourism, but also to Greece’s relative political stability compared with Turkey,” says PwC and ULI.
The report goes on to cite one private equity investor who says: “Greece, for the first time in decades, has a stable, pro-business government. This stability is set against a contrasting situation in Turkey.”
In terms of broader property trends in Europe, the annual review points out that there is a clear upturn in confidence but that volatility and uncertainty continue amidst high inflation and supply chain problems.
“The biggest current uncertainty relates to inflation and supply chains, impacting mostly construction prices and delivery schedules, just at a time when the industry wants to resume delayed developments or advance repurposing initiatives,” it says.
“As a consequence, we are seeing strong sentiment swings, as the industry struggles to interpret the potential impact of supply chain disruptions, surging energy costs and labor shortages on real estate, and how long these issues might last,” it adds.
This article was first published here.
For more Real Estate News & Views on Greece and Europe’s South, head to The Greek Guru.
Greece is cheaper to live in than many other places in Europe. But those planning to work in the country need to be aware that incomes are super low, which means that getting by on a local salary can be challenging.
According to livingcost.org, the average monthly salary after taxes in Greece is $879, which is enough to cover living expenses for 0.9 months.
The cost of living in the country is $1,008, the site says, which is 1.05 times more expensive than the world average. Greece ranked 65th out of 197 countries by the cost of living and the 40th best country to live in.
Numbeo.com points out that the living expenses in Greece are, on average, 18.21 percent lower than in the United States, with rents also 69.42 percent lower.
Get out the pen and paper, below are some indicative daily costs (in euros) when living in Greece. The complete list from Numbeo.com can be seen here.
Meal at an inexpensive restaurant- 10.00 euros
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course- 37 euros
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 4 euros
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 4 euros
Cappuccino (regular) 2.86 euros
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 1.74 euros
Water (0.33 liter bottle) 0.50 euros
Milk (regular), (1 liter) 1.19 euros
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 0.87 euros
Rice (white), (1kg) 1.66 euros
Eggs (regular) (12) 3.10 euros
Local Cheese (1kg) 7.96 euros
Chicken Fillets (1kg) 6.74 euros
Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 9.11 euros
Move over Mykonos! Milos has now become the fashion world’s favourite Cycladic island.
After being named Vogue magazine’s “place to be” in 2017, this idyllic Greek island fast became one of Europe’s hottest summer destinations- especially amongst celebrities, stylists, influencers, models, designers, and fashion houses- including Louis Vuitton, who recently chose Milos as a beautiful setting to promote its latest luxury travel collection.
Louis Vuitton has taken its worldwide followers on a dreamlike journey to Milos, as the luxury brand has just revealed its latest travel campaign shot by talented photographer Viviane Sassen. The images aimed to highlight and celebrate the art of travel as well as the wonderful journey that transcends time, borders, and landscapes.
“Rich in ancient history, the Greek island of Milos becomes a playground of discovery for a group of local schoolchildren. With their innocent curiosity, their silhouettes emerge from the landscape to convey a limitless sense of optimism and freedom,” writes Louis Vuitton in its press campaign; adding “as if in a reverie, silhouettes of children emerge from these richly contrasting landscapes, and one’s imagination takes flight between past, present, and future.”
LV has 45.6 million followers on Instagram alone- allowing their global audience to catch a glimpse of Milos’ striking beaches and breathtaking landscapes, which complement the brand’s leading range of travel accessories including luggage, totes, trunks, pouches, and duffle bags stamped with the famous “LV” logo.
After Milos, Viviane Sassen (a frequent collaborator with the brand) will continue her journey with Louis Vuitton, on to Jordan and France “in this ongoing invitation to travel within.”
Renowned Italian actress Monica Bellucci will play the iconic Greek soprano singer Maria Callas at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens on September 21-23, 2021.
The highly acclaimed production of “Maria Callas: Letters and Memories,” is directed by Tom Volf and based on his book and film “Maria by Callas.” It premiered in Paris in November 2020 and is about to make its debut in Athens for three nights only.
Bellucci in the role of Maria Callas
Having premiered in Paris, at The Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, in March of 2020 and receiving rave reviews, the 80-minute performance will now take place at the historic venue of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, on the slopes of the Acropolis Hill.
Monica Bellucci will be accompanied by the Camerata-Orchestra of the Friends of Music, under the direction of the leading Greek conductor, George Petrou; and a piano which belonged to Maria Callas, a gift from Aristotle Onassis to her, will also accompany the long-awaited appearances of Monica Bellucci in Greece.
The show, which is presented with Greek subtitles is based on the book by Tom Wolf, in which he collected more than 350 unpublished letters from Callas, written by her during 30 years (1946-1977).
About Maria Callas
The internationally renowned Maria Callas captivated audiences with her iconic opera performances, showing off her vocal range in productions like ‘Tosca’ and ‘Norma.’
Maria Callas in New York
Callas was born in New York City in 1923 and began taking classical piano lessons when she was seven years old. She made her professional debut with the Royal Opera of Athens in Boccaccio and soon won her first major role with Tosca. Eventually garnering international acclaim, Callas made her Italian opera debut at the Verona Arena in 1947, later followed by her 1954 American debut in Norma.
Over the next few years, under the management of her husband, Callas continued to perform in Florence and Verona to critical acclaim. The performance was a triumph and was seen as a signature role. In 1956, she, at last, had the opportunity to sing with the Metropolitan Opera in her home city of New York, but in 1958 was fired by director Rudolf Bing. Callas’ marriage had also begun to unravel. Callas and Meneghini split at the end of the decade, during which time she was having an affair with famous Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.
During the 1960s, the quality and frequency of her performances waned. On September 16, 1977, Callas, aged 54, died in Paris of a heart attack.
Let’s face it, this is going to be a long winter of spending time at home, so we might as well make the experience as cosy, comfy and stylish as possible. Here IN+SIGHTS GREECE selects some 100% made in Greece warm winter comforts to have in your wardrobe and home right now.
Warm silk scarves, leather gloves, soft traditional pom pom slippers and a modern rendition of the classic Greek fisherman’s hat are some of the lovely Greek buys can brighten up your lockdown life.
Described by international judges as a “standout project with a true sense of place”, Domes Zeen Chania was named Best Resort in Europe for 2020, at the AHEAD Awards for Hospitality, Experience, and Design.
The prestigious awards are entered and judged by leading hotel owners, developers, operators, architects, and designers from around the world; with the winners announced online two days ago.
Under the guidance of head designer Michael Schickinger (Lambs and Lions), interior stylist and designer Annabell Kutucu, and lead architect Konstantinos Karampatakis (k-studio); Domes was a collaborative project culminating in the launch of a luxurious boutique hotel that provides the perfect spot to unwind.
Set against an enchanting backdrop of the deep Mediterranean Sea, sandy stretches of beach, and an ancient Venetian port, Domes Zeen Chania is an ideal place to rest and reinvigorate. Here you can recuperate with yoga or an energizing massage, or take your time exploring the tropical sanctuary.
“Domes Zeen oozes warmth, charm, and personality,” announced AHEAD’s judges, adding “It has an earthy colour palette, natural textures, and neutral materials were used throughout to exude Bohemian luxury and ensure it blended effortlessly within its Cretan setting.”
Throughout the boutique property, there are a series of soulful spaces and sanctuaries that merge minimalist mid-century modernism with sustainable design in one seamless union. The 106 handcrafted rooms feel earthy and organic, like a home away from home, opening up onto your own private terrace.
Boasting large areas for indoor and outdoor living, Domes Zeen retains privacy and seclusion, whilst maximizing the spectacular verdant and sea views.
Domes also brings a duo of gourmet restaurants, a beachfront spa, and classic island experiences to the table, including cookery and ceramics classes, wine tastings, and coastal hikes. Children have just as much to look forward to, with the kids’ club offering everything from painting classes to sleepovers in a tepee.
Created by Alexandra Heard and Heleena Trahanas, ALEX AND TRAHANAS is a stunning Australian lifestyle brand, which is the result of Heleena and Alexandra’s love for “the staggering beauty of summer on the Mediterranean.”
The classic label features garments, accessories and entertaining pieces inspired by their travels to Europe and beyond- where they visit frequently to source the finest of fabrics, materials and production methods.
IN+SIGHTS GREECE recently spoke with both creators about their successful brand, their latest collection, as well as their love for the Greek islands.
Tell us about your lifestyle brand. When was it launched and what was the concept behind it?
ALEX AND TRAHANAS was launched in 2017- aiming to bring the Mediterranean to Australian waters. It is curious about how we undertake life’s every day and special ceremonies, and is driven to create pieces that elevate these moments through quality timeless design. Our passion for travel and culture inspired us to create a platform in 2017, which allowed us to share collectable pieces and experiences.
What inspires your creations and how would you describe your designs?
The Mediterranean inspires the brand throughout. We really wanted to bring a taste of the Mediterranean to Australia and create our own little Europe through the curated world of ALEX AND TRAHANAS which includes; linen garments -designed and made in Australia, ceramics from the south of Italy to elevate life’s delicious ceremonies of effortless long rolling lunches, along with collaborations with artists and designers we admire. ALEX AND TRAHANAS is a way of life, a way of being, which echoes life lived in the Mediterranean.
What do you love most about what you do?
We love that work and play are intrinsically connected, it’s a way of life, we love what we do.
What are a few of your favourite pieces from your latest fashion collections?
We love it all! We’re excited about some new pieces we’ve added to our tablescape, such as our Roman Banquet candle, 100% beeswax, handmade in Bondi. This is a collaboration with one of Australia’s most talented creatives, Tony Assness. We’re also excited to continue our jewellery collaboration with Louise Olsen- together we’ve designed some new earrings inspired by Chifferi pasta. We’ll also be whisking through summer wearing our new Ischia dress and Fruittivendelo unisex shirt and shorts.
Some of your beautiful creations are inspired by Greece. Tell us more about those?
We’re definitely drawn to the calming palette of blue and white, which is so prevalent in Greece, it brings back memories of all the beautiful seaside spots.
Where are your pieces made?
Our ceramics are handmade by artisans in Puglia, in the south of Italy. They are all hand painted, making each one of a kind. We also work locally with artists such as Louise Olsen whom we collaborate with to make jewellery, and also Tony Assness who makes our 100% beeswax candles in Bondi, Sydney.
Heleena, tell us about your family connection to Greece?
My grandparents migrated from Greece. My family are from the Peloponnese, from Tripoli, Selianitika and Akrata.
How often do you travel to Europe and what are some of your favourite summer destinations in Greece?
We travelled twice a year to Europe to source new treasures, we are always seeking out to find pieces to build the Mediterranean lifestyle in Australia. We love Milos and Hydra, the more untouched islands.
Over the last few years you’ve visited Sifnos and Hydra, where would you recommend to eat, drink & swim?
Swim: Poulati, Vathi, Platos Yialos.
Eat: For lunch we recommend Cheronissos Fish Tavern and Manolis in Vathi. For dinner head to Taverna Chrisopigi in Perivoli and To Xryso in Artemonas.
Swim: You can find little beaches all along the small island of Hydra, boats are frequent or you can walk. Mandraki, Spilia, Castello, Vlychos Beach.
What are a few key pieces from your collections that you always pack with you when visiting the Mediterranean?
Our white aloe-vera infused Italian linen Summer Shirt Dress, the navy Aperitivo Dress, the striped Giorgia dress from our collaboration with Masseria Moroseta, as well as our aloe-vera infused Italian Linen Shirt and Summer tailored shorts (the perfect set). We always work to an effortless, throw-on, beach-to-apertivo uniform on our European summer travels.
You also love entertaining. What are a few of your favourite dishes/desserts you enjoy making for family and friends?
We do! We actually live for it. Each time we entertain we select a cuisine or particular region, and explore recipes which originate from there. For the most case, everything we make is for the first time a part from a few cuisine-specific classics such as prawn saganaki and Spanakopita (for Greek menus) and fresh pasta (for Italian menus). Dreaming up the menu is our favourite part – there is always lots of back and forth sharing of recipes, images and ideas. We think a lot about the balance of dishes to make up a truly delicious occasion and about the mouth-watering flavour and texture combinations. Recently we enjoyed making a grilled squid, cavolo nero, chili, garlic and parsley dish from our good friend David Lovett, as well as an almond granita which was so elegant and refreshing after a sprawling dinner party feast.
What are some of your tips for simple and elegant table styling when entertaining?
Table styling should be fun and relaxed, never stuffy. Think about textures, linen, abundance, statements and lighting. When the table is set in a gorgeous mix of colours, heights, shapes and textures it really sets the tone for the occasion. Enjoy the ceremony of styling the pieces you’ve collected over time. For us, it’s Apulian hand-painted ceramics, Italian wine tumblers and colourful water glasses by Bitossi and a linen table cloth, sometimes layered with a table runner from Puglia.
Where would you like to explore next for work and play?
What? Samos… Where? Northern Aegean… When? Early spring to late autumn…Why?
With a history going back to the Neolithic era, Samos is rich in a varied and impressive archaeological beauty that can raise the pulse of even the most bored, tag-along visitor. Firstly, it is the homeplace of Pythagoras, real-life God of Mathematics and Music (and creator of the Monochord sound healing instrument). Then there’s the geometrical architectural wonder known as the Efpalinios aqueduct tunnel, built in the 6thCentury BC. And the only second one of its kind in world history that was excavated from both ends. Oh, and let’s not forget the Sanctuary to Goddess Hera, the Heraion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its magnificent ruins and giant sole-standing column.
Samos’ viticulture roots back to antiquity, although it was fully resuscitated in the 19th century. The island has a United Winemaking Agricultural Cooperative with two winemaking facilities, one in Karlovassi, and the other in Malagari, where you can also visit the Museum of Samos Wine, which arranges tours and even wine tastings. The island is famous for Moschato grape wine, so seek it out wherever you dine. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on Samos’ well-known Vin Doux (sweet wine), traditionally served with ice and a slice of lemon like a refreshing liqueur.
Hiking in beautiful nature
If you enjoy discovering places by walking, buy the Samos Hiking Guide by Stavros Psimmenos, which presents 32 of the island’s best routes. The author, who has spent decades exploring the island’s pathways, says “hundreds of kilometres of forest trails and cobbled paths crossing through a beautiful countryside link many of the most interesting places of the island: traditional villages and monasteries, mountain tops and impressive ridges, remote beaches and ancient ruins. Lush landscapes and amazing ocean views alternate for a most rewarding experience.”
The charming villages
Apart from the busiest villages of Pythagoreio, Vathy, and Votsalakia, each with its own charm, it’s worth also driving to Samos’ pretty villages of Mt Kerki, such as Kallithea, Lekka, Nikoloudes, and Kallithea, or on Mt Karvouni, such as Pandrosos, Mesogeia, Manolates and Vourliotes, and those of. At the eastern foothills of Mt Karvouni is Mitiliniaios village, where you can enjoy a wonderful open-air cinema (Cine Rex) experience straight out of the ‘60s!
The beautiful beaches
West of Kokkari village is the lovely pebble beach of Tsamadou, known for its clear waters and chilled vibe. On its eastern end, beneath the cliff-rocks is the island’s only remaining official nudist spot. Nearby is Limanakia, a smaller and during high season more crowded pebble beach that’s equally pretty. If you prefer sand, there are several options; head to Psilli Ammos which faces Turkey’s Dilek peninsula, or scenic Livadaki. If you want to combine a good hike with a reviving swim, start from the village of Potami and take the 5km path to Megalo and Mikoro Seitani (also reachable by boat from Karlovassi). For a beach tightly embraced by lush greenery walk or take the boat to Mikri and Megali Lakka beaches on the east of the island.
How? By ferry either from Rafina port to Karlovassi or from Piraeus port to Vathy (around 10-12 hour journeys). Or you can fly to the island from Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos in 55 minutes.
P.S. When in Samos…Visit the Museum of Pythagoreio, where you’ll see magnificent displays of ceramics from the 9th Century BC until the Golden Age. If you’re more spiritually inclined visit the Monastery of Panagia Spilianis, a truly mystical experience.