Ultimate Travel Guide to Trikala

Discover our complete travel guide to Trikala, a wonderful destination in central Greece, blending history, natural beauty, and warm Greek hospitality.

A model city for not only Greece but all of Europe – in recent years, Trikala has entered the tourist map and the list of interesting destinations in Central Greece, thanks to its environmentally friendly initiatives.

With a wide network of footpaths and cycle paths, the Litheos River running through the centre of town, endless outdoor activities, and a rich history – Trikala is an ideal winter escape. 

Travel Notes

Perfect place for

Couples, groups of friends, and a leisurely winter weekend away. 

Where to stay

In the center of the city is the best place to stay, as you can get around on foot or rent a bike and visit nearby attractions.

Where to sleep

Αnanti City Resort is a peaceful retreat a few minutes by car from the city of Trikala. (Loggaki, Trikala)

Gallery Art Hotel is a modern, boutique hotel, right in the centre of town. (Ring Road, Trikala)

Τrikala River House is a cozy and modern apartment, also in the center of Trikala. (2 Vyronos)

Vintage Suites Trikala are warm and inviting suites that are ideally located halfway between Trikala and Meteora. (EO Trikalon Ioanninon 254, Trikala)

Must See + Do

Bicycle is the trend…

In Trikala, the straight lines of the plain favored the development of the use of bicycles and many residents use them to get around. The municipality offers the possibility to rent bicycles for free for 3 hours at the Infopoint in the central square of Iroon Polytechniou. Get on the saddle and get to know the city through the 8 kilometers of bike paths.

Stroll along the banks of Lithaios River 

…in the company of swans, ducks and families picnicking under the trees. If we had to single out one of the things that give Trikala the atmosphere of a European city, it would be how integrated its river is in the life of the city. 

Go up to the castle…

One of the most accessible castles in Greece, the Byzantine castle of Trikala was built during the reign of Justinian in the 6th AD. century. It is divided into three parts, with five towers and several small battlements between them. What stands out, however, and steals the show is the Clock Tower, now a symbol of the city of Trikala. The 33-meter tower was built in 1936 on the site of an equally large Ottoman clock, dating from 1648.

Walk around the Manavika neighbourhood at night

Perhaps the coolest neighborhood of the city, here you will find some of the best taverns and bars.

Take a tour of Meteora…

Even if your time is limited, the road leads you all the way up – although the walking route is really worth the effort and time if you can spare it.

Cultural Hotspots

In the centre of town, there is the Kliafa History and Culture Center, an industrial museum which, in addition to the old mechanical equipment of the factory, also exhibits a large collection of bottles, labels and caps from all over the world, correspondence, photographs, paintings and old advertisements. In addition, in a separate room, there is a museum of local history in which the recent history of the city is presented through texts, manuscripts, old photographs, and small objects. Finally, on the walls are posted covers of local newspapers, photos of journalists and printers and various interesting collections. (Homer & Themistocles)

The “Research Center – Vassilis Tsitsanis Museum” is housed in the building of the old Trikala prison and here, through the exhibits, you will get to know the life and work of the great Greek composer and lyricist. Photographs, musical instruments, sheet music and personal items will take you on a journey through the fascinating life of Vassilis Tsitsanis. (1 Venizelou & Karditsis Trikala)

Do not miss visiting the imposing mosque of Osman Shah or Kursum. It is on the edge of the city and was built in the middle of the 16th century by the famous architect Sinan Pasha. Tradition has it that Prince Osman Shah, son of Sultan Suleiman, gave the order to build the mosque when he was cured in Trikala of the illness that afflicted him. It is considered a UNESCO monument and is used as a venue for cultural events. (3 Karditsis, Trikala)

Special Christmas Hotspot

During the festive season, the hottest attraction in Trikala is the Mill of Elves, Greece’s largest Christmas theme park. Every Christmas since 2011, this area has been transformed into a festive toy and confectionery factory, where Santa Claus and his Elves welcome guests from near and far, turning the space into a magical kingdom. There you will also find a huge Fun Park with rides, Christmas stores with lots of ornaments, food stalls with a variety of traditional dishes and delicacies from Trikala and a Candy store with lots of delicious sweets.

Eat + Drink 

Breakfast/Brunch

Bonjour ( Canouta & Vironos, Trikala) A cozy coffee shop that serves a variety of quality coffee types and brunch choices (sweet or sour) to choose from.

Sto Spitaki (Lakmonos & Psaron Trikala 421 00) In the centre of town is the best place to start your day with a cup of coffee and a delicious breakfast.

Vesper (9 Karanassiou, Trikala 421 00) A beautiful old house preserved with a warm atmosphere, friendly staff and a menu for breakfast lunch and light meals all day.

Ivy (Kapodistriou 18A, Trikala 421 00) This cozy cafe has a warm and inviting ambiance, with wooden furniture, dim lights, and relaxing music. 

Lunch/Dinner

To Xani (Pylis 2, Trikala) It is considered one of the oldest buildings in the city, also known for its unique modern-traditional architecture. Xani provides traditional flavours and a wide variety of wines. Must try: Pork shank, Fried leeks

Ιl Cucinotto (Karaiskaki 65,4210 0) is a restaurant with authentic Italian cuisine, a warm atmosphere, and a nice garden. Must try: risotto and buffalina con crudo.

Ladofanaro (Ypsilantou & Trikala) cozy traditional tavern with great flavors and traditional Greek dishes. Must try: any of the mezedes with pork. 

Sweets

Narkissos (Ypsilantou & Kaningos, Trikala) Step inside this pastry store and be blown away by the gorgeous displays of decadent desserts and handmade cakes. Drink hot chocolate, try sweets with fresh cream of butter and milk and select sweets placed in pretty jars that you can take away and enjoy!

Drinks

Retous (Byronos 5, Trikala 421 00) An urban-style all-day bar, it’s one of the most popular spots in town and perfect for an unforgettable night out.

Krypti (Patriarchou Office, Trikala 421 00) Perfect spot to have a drink any time of day.

Pero (Stefanou Sarafi 4, Trikala 421 00) Unique bar playing funky music and serving original cocktails. 

Tankoo (Stefanou Sarafi 6, Trikala) One of the best spots to enjoy an aperitivo– great décor, an impressive cocktail list, and jazz-rock music playing.

Discover 

Best view

Climb up to the Byzantine Castle of Trikala and the Clock, a trademark of the city. The red roofs of the houses will stretch out in front of you and the horizon will not reach to accommodate the flat Thessalian plain.

Ultimate day trip

Meteora

One of the largest monuments in the world, protected by UNESCO and mentioned as a “Preservable and Protected Monument of Humanity”, Meteora is the most important (after Mount Athos) monastic centre in Greece. The first ascetics came here in the 11th century. Meteora, however, flourished as a monastic center between the 13th and 14th centuries as many people living in the nearby areas embraced the monastic lifestyle. Nowadays visitors are enthralled by the natural scenery and the fact that it is a place that offers all kinds of activities: from cultural tours and hikes to river rafting and truffle hunting. What you will remember, however, is the mystical, eerie atmosphere of the area that seems to have come out of a fantasy movie. You must see them for yourself to understand the greatness of this unique place. For even more impressive images, we suggest you observe the rocks and monasteries of Meteora at sunset-golden hour.

Pertouli

Pertouli is the picturesque mountain village of the Trikala prefecture. It is a highly recommended getaway for nature lovers as the area provides you with unique experiences that you will hardly find anywhere else. A wonderful ski resort and hiking trails are some of the many things that will enchant you in the area. Another place you must visit when you arrive in Pertouli is the forest which is the University Forest of Pertouli- here you will have the chance to admire a rare species of deer.

Theopetra Cave

The Cave of Theopetra is a unique archaeological monument. One of the most interesting caves in Greece from a historical point of view, it is located a stone’s throw from Trikala. A rocky limestone mass rises above the village of Theopetra, 3 km from Trikala, on the north-eastern side of which is the cave of the same name. It is the westernmost prehistoric site of the Thessalian plain, located at the foot of the Hasia mountain range, which is also the natural boundary between the geographical division of Thessaly and Epirus. The cave is about 100 meters (about 328.08 ft) altitude from the plain’s surface and 280 meters (about 918.64 ft) from the sea’s surface. In front of the cave flows the river Litheos, a tributary of Pinios.

Make sure you take home: local products such as the tsipouro, spoon sweets, pies, handmade pasta, and dried mushrooms.

Essentials

Getting there: About 3.5 hours drive from Athens.

Best time to gο: Autumn/ Winter 

Ideal time to stay: 2-3 days is perfect.  

Getting around: Rent a bike or walk all around the city. Also, we highly recommend you rent a car for daily trips and a Meteora getaway.

What to pack: Comfortable shoes, warm clothes if you are visiting in Autumn/Winter (it gets quite cold in the cooler months), an umbrella for unexpected rain, and a scarf for windy days! Sporting attire if you are planning cycling, hiking, or any other physical activity!

Main Image Courtesy of Tankoo 

Complete Travel Guide to Karditsa 

A destination for lovers of nature, exploration, and authentic tradition – Karditsa offers a mosaic of experiences for all tastes.

This small city in the heart of Thessaly boasts endless natural beauty, excellent local cuisine, countless activities, and direct access to historical attractions that create unforgettable memories for its visitors.

Travel Notes

Perfect place for

Couples, families, or those seeking a well-being retreat weekend and an eco holiday.

Where to stay

In the centre of the city is the best place to stay, as you can get around on foot, grab your morning coffee, and visit nearby attractions.

Where to sleep

We suggest you choose for your accommodation Hotel Kierion or Arni Hotel Domotel. Both beautiful rococo-style hotels in the center of the city promise a stay that is utterly imbued with the calm vibes of the city. 

Also, 30km from Karditsa near Lake Plastira there is Kazarma Lake Resort and Spa, a great choice for a well-being retreat.

Must See + Do

Walk to Pausilipo, an urban leisure park in the city’s heart. Its main attraction is the pretty peacocks that roam within it.

You will see that almost everyone uses a bicycle to get around. It is no coincidence, after all, that for decades, it has had the title of the “cycling capital” of Greece! Bicycles in Karditsa made their first appearance in 1960, while in 2003 the construction of a network of bicycle paths began, which extends throughout the city. So it is a perfect opportunity to rent a bike and explore the city!

An absolute must-visit is Lake Plastira, one of the most beautiful lakes you will find in Greece. Rich in nature and vegetation, the region is one that visitors will instantly fall in love with. Along with the charming area of Tavropos, both are ideal for those seeking alternative holidays and ecotourism. Only 30 minutes by car from the city of Karditsa. 

You must not leave this city without discovering local dishes and enjoying the local nightlife too.

Cultural hotspots

Karditsa Archaeological Museum: Here you will see exhibits dating from the Prehistoric and Paleolithic eras to Late Antiquity.

Folklore Museum “L. & N. Sakellariou: is located opposite the metropolitan temple, the museum has three floors with rooms that feature permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Also make your the Municipal Library of Karditsa, since 2002, it has been hosting permanent and periodic exhibitions, events and educational programs.

Εat + Drink

Coffee + Breakfast

Hangout Coffee and More (Mplatsouka,1 Karditsa) is a great choice for morning coffee and breakfast.

Fontaine Brunch – Patisserie (Adelfon Valtadorou,1 Karditsa ) offers a nice atmosphere and the best brunch dishes. 

Destro (Nick. Plastiras 2-10, Karditsa) – this all-day restaurant serves delicious dishes from breakfast through to brunch, lunch and dinner.

Lunch + Dinner

Pausilipo, for the most gourmet choices in Karditsa (A: Pausilipo Park)

Type of cuisine: Greek, International

Signature dishes: Rib Eye, risotto

Price range: €25- €30

Grape Bar Bistro, Italian cuisine with the greatest wine list (A: Episkopou 47)

Type of cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean

Signature dishes: Gnocci alla milanese, tiramisu

Price range: €20- €35

Apomero is the best dinner choice! (A: Episkopou 47)

Type of cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean

Signature dishes: Batzina, Pork fillets with Vinsanto sauce

Price range: €20- €30

18 Grada where you can taste local cuisine and traditional mezedes (A: Skoufa 4)

Type of cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean

Signature dishes: Meatballs with Feta

Price range: €15- €20

Sweets + Drinks 

Rook’s Pastry Lab (A: Gamveta, Dim. Lappa 12 – 16) is the talk of the town and the newest pastry store in Karditsa. Μodern sweets made with unique combinations to satisfy every taste.

Avli (A: Irakleitou 12) is the most popular meze restaurant in Karditsa, which hosts most of the live concerts in this cozy spot in the heart of the city. Fridays and Saturdays are no doubt the busiest – attracting a young, cool crowd.

Margarita Bar (A: Valvi 59) great atmosphere and a place that serves great cocktails and specialty drinks.

Cadillac Records Cocktail Bar (A: D. Tertipi) and Charlot Bar (A: Tertipi 40), are also excellent choices for cocktail lovers. For those who want to discover the nightlife of the city just head down Vlavi Street, where you will find new bars constantly popping up.

Discover

Local gem

The dam of Lake Plastira is an impressive concrete structure, an elegant arch that embraces the vast volume of water of the lake. It is a beautiful spot to admire the lake, as well as the back side of the dam which sinks to a depth of about 80 meters, vertically between the rocks. In addition, from the position of Mucha, you can admire the fjords of the lake as well as the Niaga islet. There you will find many local producers, who will offer you souvenirs and traditional local products.

Best view

The most impressive image of the lake, which looks just like a painting, is undoubtedly from the observatory, where you will gaze at the surface of the lake and its sheltered island. The charming landscape is perfectly complemented by the forested slopes and the imposing peaks of the Agrafa mountains!

Ultimate day trip

A fabulous excursion is to the village of Fanari, which is about 20 minutes from Karditsa, following Fanariou Street. There you can see the Fanario Castle, which has been built since the 13th century and stands there at the top of the village – a breathtaking view. Under the shadow of the castle is the cafe of the same name which is a wonderful choice to drink your afternoon coffee with the best view. 

Essentials

Getting there: About a 3.5-hour drive from Athens

Best time to gο: Autumn/Winter 

Ideal time to stay: 2-3 days (weekend preferable)

Getting around: οn foot, rent a bicycle. You can go to the lake easily by bus or by car.

Make sure you take home: local wine and tsipouro 

What to pack: comfortable shoes to walk around, and your camera to capture moments. We also suggest you have cash with you, as many shops, restaurants, and cafes do not have card facilities. 

Main image courtesy of @naei2015

Complete Travel Guide to Kimolos

Discover our complete travel guide to Kimolos Island, renowned for its beautiful beaches, stunning Cycladic architecture and unspoiled atmosphere. 

In the shadow of famous Milos, Kimolos, or Argentiera (as the Venetians called this volcanic island) offers natural beauty combined with raw minimalism – leading to a forgotten tranquillity that’s priceless nowadays. 

Travel Notes

Perfect place for…

Kimolos is ideal for a relaxing, laid-back vacation, away from the fuss and the crowds you tend to get on other popular islands. 

Where to stay

Either around Chorio (the main town) or Psathi port. 

Where to sleep

Aria Hotels (2287051677) with a total of eleven different hotels throughout the island, 4 of which (Bonatsa, Thalassa, Psathi, Elephant) are situated right on the beach. 

The amphitheatrically built Kimolis (2287051612) between Chorio and Psathi features suites and deluxe rooms with a nice courtyard.

At Kimolia Gi (2287051192), a complex with 6 studios and 2 independent residences on Prasa beach. They also organise activities such as fishing, beach grilling, and donkey rides among others. 

Insights Greece - Complete Travel Guide to Kimolos

Must See + Do

At the foot of Xaplovouni mountain lies Chorio, the picturesque settlement of Kimolos, here The Inner and Outer Castle are connected by four passages. The so-called “Portares”, blend in beautifully with the cubic Cycladic houses, the medieval walls, charming little shops and makeshift libraries. 

In the centre of the Village (Chorio) – without stairs to go up and down – lies the Castle. Built in the Middle Ages, the locals call this “a village within a village”. Many houses are found among the old walls here and traditional domes and arches characterise the buildings.

Make sure to check out the caves carved into the rocks, which local fishermen created to protect their boats during the winter (you can find them on Milos as well), this is on the seaside settlement of Goupa-Kara, about 1 kilometre from both Chorio and Psathi. Coloured wooden doors in front of hollow caves on volcanic rocks, boats moored on the coves, spread nets, whitewashed rocks and playfully meowing kittens form the stunning scenery.

In Goupa search for a rock that looks like an elephant – it’s a creation of nature. The calm sea will tempt you to dive off the rocks and straight into the turquoise waters. 

Check out the Kimolos Experience Festival, which offers open-air cinema events under the starry sky at unique locations around the island. 

Late afternoon, when the sun goes down, head towards Skiadi and check out the rock mushroom, a rare geological creation that formed its shape by nature. 

Cultural hotspots

Opposite the Metropolitan Church of Panagia Odegetria, you will find the small Archaeological Museum (2287051719, open daily except Thursdays 8:30-3:30) which is housed in a traditional two-story home (one of the oldest on the island). Here you can learn all about the history of Kimolos. 

Eat + Drink

Breakfast/Brunch

Head to the bakery O Paradosiakos (2287051257), where Katerina and Chrysanthi bake ladenia, tyrenia, kolokythenia, elenia and honey pies daily.

Make a stop at Kali Kardia (2287051495), either for coffee in the morning or for traditional stews throughout the day. This shop has been open since 1920 and resembles a traditional kafenion. 

Lunch

Prasonisi (6948620224) close to Prassa Beach, for fresh seafood. In Aliki Beach there is the “Sardis Tavern” for fine fish (which you can pre-order) as well as other homecooked dishes, while in the Kalamitsi Tavern (697460 6086), right on the beach you can order seafood and fish caught straight off the family’s boat.

In the square of Kampos, you will find the Avli tou Samplou (2287051666), with characteristic red windows, it’s located in front of Agios Spyridon church. Check out the blackboard with the dishes of the day that are made with organic vegetables from the family’s farm. 

Dinner 

Head to Meltemi View & Taste (2287051360) on the west side, which oversees the Village. The owner and chef Augustis Galanos, after studying and working in Athens, returned to his hometown and took over the family restaurant. His menu consists of local flavours with a particularly creative twist.

Insights Greece - Complete Travel Guide to Kimolos

Coffee + Sweets 

A few steps from the largest church of the Village, there is the traditional cafe The Meeting (2287051801) which has been in business since 1940. Sit at the front raised courtyard or in its picturesque alleys for coffee or tsipouro, and Flora’s delicious mezedes.

In an alley below Kampos Square, you will find Stavento (2287051699) where you can indulge in delicious ice creams such as fig, pomegranate, sour apple, or goat’s milk.

At the port, savor the sokolatopita (chocolate pie) at Raventi (2287051212). 

Drinks 

At Agora (6942466937) you can enjoy sophisticated cocktails such as prickly pear, and at Stavento (2287051800), opposite the church of Panagia Odegetria, you can get your morning coffee and your evening drink as well. Tell Stavros your palate preferences and he will serve you a drink to suit your taste. Make a stop at Frangouli (2287051791) for organic pomegranate liqueur from the large pomegranate tree that dominates the cool courtyard. A cocktail from Lostromos at the port is also a must (2287051240). 

Local flavours

Certainly try the ladenia, a traditional pie with cherry tomato, onion, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Discover

Best beaches

The protagonist of Kimolos is Prassa Beach. Found in the east, it’s also known as “white chalk” because of its sand, which owes its special status to the chalk rocks. The combination of white sand with clear turquoise waters creates a dreamlike setting, where mobiles are –fortunately- pretty useless. If you visit the beach in June as I did, you will encounter it in its pristine aspect, while in high season, you will find sunbeds and a beach bar (which may play music at a higher level than what’s suitable for this tranquil beach). 

To the southeast, you will find Aliki with fine pebbles and sand, Bonatsa is sandy and shallow, and immediately after Kalamitsi some beaches aren’t so windy (rare for the Cyclades). In Bonatsa above the dirt road, there is the Bonatsa Beach House Hotel, where you can quench your thirst in style at the beach bar. 

Best view

You cannot miss the sunset at Mavrospilia, it comes highly recommended by locals. The road seems to lead you to nowhere until you approach Aspragremna – perfectly positioned to overlook the sun that sets into the sea.

Local gem

Grab a refreshing ice cream and head up to the school square where you can enjoy a full view of the Aegean.

Insights Greece - Complete Travel Guide to Kimolos

Ultimate daytrip

The boat trip to the largest uninhabited island of the Aegean, just one mile from Kimolos, is an experience worth living and seeing with your own eyes. Clear turquoise waters like a swimming pool even in the deep, volcanic hills and white rocks form this ideal setting! In addition to being a paradise on earth, Polyaigos is an important habitat, since there, among other animals, the Mediterranean seal monachus monachus finds refuge to give birth. The Cyclades Polynesia, as many call Polyaigo, has been included in the Natura 2000 program and is designated as a Special Protection Zone, since it hosts a large number of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. “Bay Cruises” (6956333107) organises tours around Kimolos or Polyaigos either with groups or privé – with the chef of Meltemi restaurant Augustis Galanos, cooking on board.

Best shopping experience

At the small grocery store, I farma tou Samplou (2287051224) you can get goodies from Kimolos including fresh manoura local sour cheese (which locals use instead of Feta), mountain capers, sweet xylangouros and kritamo pickles, among other delicacies. 

Essentials

Getting there: The ferry route from the port of Piraeus to Kimolos is around 7-8 hours and there are only a few routes. Alternatively, you can go to Milos, as there are more ferries and faster routes, and then take the small local ferry across to Kimolos, which is also connected with some other islands of the Cyclades including Kythnos, Serifos, Sifnos and many more.

Best time to go: June, July, August, and early September to get the most out of your trip to the island.

Ideal time to stay: You can easily spend 3 days or a whole week here!

Getting around: Kimolos is a small island, however, you should consider renting a car or motorcycle if you wish to explore the whole island. There is also only one taxi service available on the island (Aneza Logotheti, tel. 6945464093, 2287051552). 

What to pack: Swimmers, hat, and sunscreen, also a jacket as it gets breezy at night, and comfy walking shoes if you plan on exploring the island on foot. 

All Images by Polina Paraskevopoulou ©

The Best Destinations in Greece for Honeymoons 

Greece is home to some stunning honeymoon destinations that get plenty of hype – and they live up to every bit of it. 

Aside from the mainland, home to famous ancient sites like the Acropolis, Greece has over 200 islands that are inhabited. Each has a unique identity and something special to offer every honeymooner! 

From gorgeous beaches to picturesque villages and delectable food and wine- here are the best destinations in Greece for honeymoons.

Insights Greece - The Best Destinations in Greece for Honeymoons 

Crete  

If you want a honeymoon where you don’t only do touristy things, Crete would be an ideal destination to consider. Due to its vast size, there are plenty of opportunities to escape the crowds and enjoy some privacy with your other half. You will find secluded beaches, which you can have entirely to yourselves on some days!

Crete has its own unique identity, as locals have been living on the island for thousands of years, and neighbouring empires have taken turns conquering it before it gained independence. As a result of these conquests, Crete has some of the most significant archaeological sites in Greece, from the Ottomans to the Venetians and the Byzantines. If you love history and culture, this is the perfect destination for your honeymoon.

The beaches are among the things to look forward to on your honeymoon in Crete. And because this stunning isle is further south than the rest of Europe, the water is warmer here and you will find people swimming through to the end of November. Plus, you’re almost guaranteed sunny days for most of the year. 

The beaches of Crete are some of the most stunning you will come across in Greece and their striking landscapes will make your honeymoon even more memorable, especially Elafonisi, Balos, and Falasarna.

Insights Greece - The Best Destinations in Greece for Honeymoons 

Mykonos 

Mykonos often tops the list of the most popular islands in Greece for many reasons. Aside from its incredible nightlife scene, Mykonos has gorgeous beaches, a pretty town, and great restaurants. In addition, Mykonos is also an excellent place for gay couples seeking luxury travel since it’s one of the most gay-friendly islands in Greece and offers lots of romance.

The Old Town would be an ideal base for a honeymoon in Mykonos. Here, you can wander hand in hand along narrow alleyways peppered with white-washed buildings. You’ll stumble upon traditional Cycladic houses, churches, restaurants, and bars. So take your time and soak up the town’s buzzing vibe.

Also, make your way to Little Venice before sunset, where you can grab a seat at one of the waterfront bars and restaurants housed in beautiful buildings. The area can get busy at sunset, but the romantic views are something you would not want to miss while on a honeymoon on the island. 

The beaches of Mykonos are often packed, especially during the peak summer season. If you want to enjoy some privacy, head to Panormos Beach. It’s a secluded spot accessible only by car. Don’t forget to bring a towel or mat to lounge on since the beach doesn’t have any sun beds or other amenities.

Insights Greece - The Best Destinations in Greece for Honeymoons 

Paros  

Boasting stunning beaches, picturesque villages, and breathtaking scenery, Paros is an ideal destination for couples seeking an idyllic setting for their honeymoon. Like Santorini and Mykonos, Paros is part of the Cyclades Islands. It isn’t as busy during peak season (although it is becoming more and more popular each year) so you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to celebrate romance with fewer distractions.

Begin your day with a romantic stroll in Parikia. It’s likely the first place you’ll take in as you embark on your ferry since it’s where the main port is. Admire the town’s Cycladic charm as you walk through its narrow cobblestone streets. You’ll also come across ancient sights, including some well-preserved early Christian monuments and the Castle of Parikia.

One of the best ways to celebrate your life as a newlywed is to toast with a glass of wine. In Paros, you will not only taste a delicious glass or two but will also have a chance to go on a wine tour since the island is home to fantastic wineries producing a great selection of varieties.

Insights Greece - The Best Destinations in Greece for Honeymoons 

Santorini  

When you search for memorable honeymoon destinations in Greece, Santorini will most likely top the list. Indeed, Santorini is an excellent destination for those pursuing a romantic honeymoon since the island boasts so many romantic spots. In addition, the island is home to incredible cliffside hotels that cater to honeymooners, with outdoor infinity pools and a Jacuzzi from which you can gaze at romantic sunsets.

Enjoy romantic walks in the villages of Fira and Oia, taking in the island’s mesmerising views. The villages exude timeless beauty and will make your honeymoon in Santorini even more romantic. If you’ve built up some appetite, head to one of the cliffside restaurants and treat yourselves to delectable dishes while enjoying the stunning views of the surroundings. 

Make your honeymoon even more unforgettable by booking a private cruise to explore the island and indulge in delicious cuisine and wine on board. A private cruise is the best way to celebrate romance and spend quality time with the love of your life.

Insights Greece - The Best Destinations in Greece for Honeymoons 

Naxos  

Naxos is another stunning island in the Cyclades that’s gaining popularity as a honeymoon destination in Greece. It’s the largest in the Cyclades but is not as busy or as crowded as Santorini or Mykonos. This makes Naxos perfect for couples who want to enjoy some peace and tranquility on their Greek honeymoon. 

You’ll likely spend most of your days strolling around Naxos Town. Also called Chora, the charming town sits on a hill with a 13th-century castle dominating over it. Walk hand in hand in the maze of narrow streets lined with hole-in-the-wall shops, restaurants, and cafes.

No honeymoon is complete without spending time at the beach. And in Naxos, you’ll have plenty of options. Some of the best ones are Agios Georgios, Agios Prokopios, Plaka, and Alyko Beach. If you want to visit quiet beaches, consider taking a private sailing tour that will take you to the many secluded coves of the small islands nearby.

The Best Greek Islands to Visit for Romantic Sunsets 

If you’re wondering where to catch them, here is our list of the best Greek islands to visit for romantic sunsets.

Anyone who has been to Greece will surely agree that it boasts some of the world’s most stunning sunset views. The dramatic colours painting the horizon are guaranteed to leave you in awe. And the best part is that there’s no shortage of places to marvel at this incredible scenery.

SANTORINI 

Insights Greece - The Best Greek Islands to Visit for Romantic Sunsets 

The most famous Cycladic island that undoubtedly tops the list for the most romantic sunsets in Greece is Santorini, where honeymooners from around the world gather to experience the island’s stunning sunset views. And although sunsets are incredible anywhere on the island, some places stand out for the best views. 

The village of Oia is the most popular spot to capture the most stunning sunset views. And one of the most popular is at the old castle, which looks out to the beautiful, blue-domed churches in the town. The area with the famous windmills also offers the best places for admiring the island’s most romantic sunsets. 

The Akrotiri Lighthouse is another incredible spot to admire the sunset in Santorini. It’s on the island’s southern tip, and the lighthouse produces an awe-inspiring silhouette, with the magical view luring visitors here daily, waiting for the sun to set.

If you want to enjoy a cocktail or two while enjoying the romantic sunset, grab a seat at one of the rooftop bars in Fira, or Firostefani- we recommend you consider making a reservation to guarantee a spot, as these bars get very busy just before sunset.

PAROS

Insights Greece - The Best Greek Islands to Visit for Romantic Sunsets 

Anyone who has been to Paros would agree that the sunset views here are incredibly romantic. While most people will immediately think of Santorini for the most remarkable sunset views, Paros also has its share of incredible spots for sunset viewing with your other half.

Agioi Anargyroi Monastery is the most popular spot to enjoy incredible sunset views and it sits on a hill above Parikia, the island’s capital city. In fact, most of the sunset photos you’ll see from this Cycladic Isle are probably from here. Hiking is the best way to get to this spot. But if you’re not a fan of uphill climbing, you can drive to the top if you have a car. The drive can be tricky due to the steep road, but you’ll be rewarded with superb views of the island when you arrive, whether you came for the sunset or not.

At the north entrance of Parikia Bay, you’ll find a small church called Agios Fokas, which is also a lovely spot when the sun goes down. Driving is the best way to get here, but you must stop a few hundred metres before you get to the church, where you’ll see Portes Rocks to the west. Park your car here and walk towards the sea. Look for a place to relax while waiting for the sun to set. The soothing sound of the ocean waves will make the experience even more romantic. Couples who rent luxury holiday villas in Paros are guaranteed a fantastic escape for those looking for a quiet and romantic haven where magnificent sunsets are only one of the numerous highlights that await.

MYKONOS 

Insights Greece - The Best Greek Islands to Visit for Romantic Sunsets 

As one of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations, Mykonos has something for all its visitors, including those couples looking for romantic sunsets. The extravagant island may be famous for its party scene, but it also has plenty of quieter spots to spend quality time with your loved one and catch the magnificent sunset views. 

You can enjoy beautiful sunsets anywhere in Mykonos. However, there’s something magical in Little Venice. The bustling area offers the best sunset views. Plus, you will find plenty of seaside restaurants here, from which you can marvel at the view while enjoying sumptuous seafood. Of course, you don’t need to be at a restaurant to enjoy the mesmerising views. Little Venice is well-located, and it’s easy to find a place to catch the setting sun- including one of the cool all-day bars.

Not far from Venice, you’ll stumble upon the Kato Windmills, which also offer the perfect spot for seeing sunsets. Hike up to the hill before dusk until you reach an area with about 16 windmills. Find a spot to settle in while waiting for the sun to set. Here you and your partner can gaze in awe as the sun produces incredible hues with the view of the charming village of Chora in the background.

KEFALONIA

Insights Greece - The Best Greek Islands to Visit for Romantic Sunsets 

Kefalonia is another Greek island renowned for its spectacular sunsets, where the sun transforms the sky into an incredible palette of vibrant hues as it dips below the horizon. For those seeking a truly romantic escape, Kefalonia boasts a variety of luxurious rentals where you can watch the beautiful sunset from your very own balcony—a perfect date night for you and your love.

One of Kefalonia’s most iconic places to view the sunset is the Lighthouse of Agioi Theodoroi in Argostoli. Nestled along a rocky peninsula, it offers incredible views of the Ionian Sea and its surrounding coastline. When the sun sets, the sky will turn orange, pink, and purple, producing a spectacle. And the lighthouse’s magical silhouette will make the views even more spectacular.

For a more serene and private sunset-viewing experience, visit the picturesque village of Assos. It’s situated on a peninsula surrounded by lush foliage and crystal clear water. When the sun begins to set, the sky will create a magical scenery of vibrant colours, made even more beautiful by the silhouettes of colourful houses. 

CORFU

Insights Greece - The Best Greek Islands to Visit for Romantic Sunsets 

Sunset-viewing spots are plentiful in Corfu. But some places offer better views than others, such as the charming village of Afionas, about 35 kilometres west of Corfu Town. Nestled on a hill, about 480 metres above sea level, the Greek village is incredibly scenic, with its narrow, winding streets lined with gorgeous houses. 

Another place to watch Corfu’s romantic sunsets is at Issos Beach, a long sandy beach renowned for its impressive dunes and also called the “Sahara of Corfu.” What’s great is that the beach has sunbeds, so you can sit back and relax by the sea as you watch the sun set.

The scenic village of Paleokastritsa is another place to see romantic sunsets. We recommend you book a private cruise to explore the area and visit its famous caves. As the sun goes down, climb to the hilltop where a 13th-century monastery sits. Here, you can enjoy the island’s most spectacular sunset.                                                

Our Complete Travel Guide to Kozani 

Discover where to eat, drink, stay and play, when visiting the jewel of Western Macedonia – with our travel guide to Kozani.

Visitors to Kozani are lured by its rich history, culture and natural beauty- including mountains with dense vegetation, forests, rivers and lakes. This under-the-radar city in Northern Greece is an ideal place for those who love road trips that lead to wonderful discoveries along the way.    

Just one and a half hours away from Thessaloniki by car, those who visit Kozani for the first time are enchanted by its landscapes, surprised by the warm local hospitality and undoubtedly leave the city with a saffron tinge on their lips and the smell of fragrant flowers, which are blooming all year round! 

Travel Notes 

Perfect place for: Couples, groups of friends, and a leisurely weekend. 

Where to stay: In the center of the city is the best place to stay, as you can get around on foot to discover the local markets, grab your morning coffee and visit nearby attractions.

Where to sleep: Ermionio is a striking 5-star hotel housed in a historic building and located in the heart of the city. For anyone looking for a longer stay, or to also get some work done while away, Smart Studio is fully equipped and only 5 minutes away from the town square. 

Must See + Do

Τake long walks through the picturesque alleys of the city, drink coffee under the clock in the main square, taste local cuisine in small family-run taverns, and visit cultural sights (listed below). Drives to nearby villages and the lake are also a must. 

Cultural Hotspots 

Built somewhere in the 17th century, the Koventareios Municipal Library was originally founded as a school. Today it’s one of the largest modernly renovated, historical libraries in Greece and includes over 153,000 volumes, manuscripts, Turkish firmans, codices and many rare publications. Among them, the Charter of Riga Feraios stands out.

The Archaeological Museum of Kozani is housed in the Panagiotideo Mansion, a beautiful neoclassical building in the centre of the city. Its collections include finds from prehistoric to early Christian times. 

The Folklore Museum of Kozani is of great interest, as its premises host a Natural History Exhibition from the Paleolithic era to modern times, an Archaeological-Byzantine exhibition, a Historical and Folklore exhibition, a gallery, as well as a collection of stamps and radios. In the basement of the museum, visitors can also find a small cave with stalactites and stalagmites.

Just a breath away from Kozani, at a distance of 22 kilometers, is an archaeological site and the Archaeological Museum of Aianis, which was the capital of one of the strongest kingdoms of Upper Macedonia. In the museum’s collections, you will see findings from the Late Bronze Age as well as exhibits from the archaic-classical period. 

Not far from Aiani, you can also visit the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle, in the village of Chromio. The village is located on Mount Vourinos (Bourinos) 32 kilometers away from Kozani.

Eat & Drink

Breakfast/Brunch 

Q Garden: In the centre of town is the best place to start your day with a cup of coffee and a delicious breakfast – all overlooking the central square of the city. (Νikis Square 11, Kozani) 

El Barrio: An all-day café bar with panoramic views of the city, here you can enjoy brunch while gazing from above the city and the central clock- the most characteristic landmark in the heart of the square. (Nikis Square 16, Kozani)

Lunch

Kotetsi: This cozy tavern has a wide range of mezedes to choose from, as well as chicken-based dishes and excellent quality local wine. Must try: We highly recommend the chicken gyros with mustard sauce. (Drizi 3, Kozani) 

Το Pelagos: The best seafood choice in the city takes visitors on a journey through aromas of the sea and fresh ingredients. Must try: seafood risotto and saganaki mussels. (Mitropoliti Konstantinou 1, Kozani) 

Dinner

Trypokaridos: This awarded restaurant serves local cuisine that can be enjoyed throughout the day. The chefs are ready to impress guests with special dishes made with saffron (and love). Must try: Ravioli with saffron, risotto with tartuffo, steak and potatoes. (Mourati 3, Kozani) 

Stou Aiona tin Paraga: A modern style tavern that offers the greatest local wine selection. Located in a charming alleyway, here you are sure to enjoy the great vibe and locally produced wine. Must try: meatballs, chicken gyros, local wine. (Kompanias 2, Kozani) 

Sweets

Amorino: One of the best and oldest pastry shops in Kozani, Amorino is a place where classic Greek dessert recipes meet and blend with modern flavours. (Gertsou Konstantinou, Aristotelous, Kozani) 

Elite: Step inside this pastry store and be blown away by the gorgeous displays of decadent desserts and handmade gelato cakes that are presented in pretty packaging for you to take away and enjoy. (2 S. Blioura, Kozani) 

Zande: Visiting this small pastry shop is an experience that should not be missed by anyone visiting Kozani for the first time. It’s popular thanks to their secret Touloumbes (traditional sweet that is similar to churros) recipe! Simply delicious – this is an absolute must! (28 October Square, Kozani) 

Drinks

Funky Monkey: One of the best spots to enjoy an aperitivo– great décor, impressive cocktail list and funky music playing. (1 Aliakmonos, Kozani) 

Vatrakoukos: An urban-style all-day bar, it’s one of the most popular spots in town and perfect for an unforgettable night out. Fridays and Saturdays are no doubt the busiest – attracting a young, cool crowd. (Irini 5, Kozani) 

Local flavours 

Krokos Kozanis is an exclusivity of the region that has been recognised since 1999 as a Protected Designation of Origin of the European Union. Krokos widely known as saffron, is one of the most expensive culinary spices in the world and here in Kozani you can find it in every local dish, buy it as a product or even drink eat in tea or tsipouro!

Bajos is another local product to try. It’s a semi-hard brine cheese made from partially skimmed goat’s milk – spicy and characteristically salty – it’s ideal for grilling or frying. 

Discover

Local Gems

Lake Polyfitos is an artificial lake formed by River Aliakmonas, located about 20 kilometres from the city of Kozani. Two bridges join its banks with one of them, the spectacular Polyfytos Bridge – also called the High Bridge of Servia, a name taken by the nearby town of Servia- being one of the longest bridges in Greece. A true landmark for the area, Polyfytos Bridge was built in 1975 and ever since it has been a major point connecting the region of Thessaly to the region of Western Macedonia. Unfortunately though, at the moment the bridge is closed for construction purposes so visitors are advised to use the second bridge that is the Rymnio Bridge, named after the village of Rymnio.  Lake Polyfytos not only is the biggest water reservoir in Macedonia, supplying irrigation water to the fields of Veroia and Thessaloniki but it is also one of the richest aquatic environments of the area. Seventeen species of freshwater fish have been recorded in the waters around here, while it has also emerged as an important place for birdlife, with 128 species of birds recorded. At the lake’s northern end is the settlement of Neraida, with a spectacular view of the bridge and the lake. Originally, the village of Neraida was located at what is now Lake Polyfytos. The village had to be transferred to another location so the government donated a prime location to the locals, the top of the hill by the lake to re-build their community. Nowadays, Neraida is the number one tourist destination in the Municipality of Kozani and a must-see place as visitors can enjoy their coffee or lunch while having 360-degree views of the lake and the town of Servia.

Ultimate Daytrip

Head across to the famous Pozar thermal baths which are filled with mineral springs and known for their therapeutic properties. Visitors use it for spa therapy, stimulation and relaxation, as the waters help fight circulatory, respiratory, rheumatic, gynaecological and dermatological diseases.

Make sure you take home… 

Krokos Kozanis (Saffron) and any other local product that includes it! It’s the highest quality krokos and the only producer of saffron in Greece. The town of Krokos is the base of the Cooperative of Saffron Producers of Kozani, a cooperative that counts 2000 members spread between 40 small villages.

Essentials

Getting there: Kozani is 120 km distance from Thessaloniki, about 1.5 hours by car. While the distance from Athens is 470 km, about a 5-hour drive from the Greek capital. 

Best time to go: The carnival season (Apokries) in February/March is amazing as Kozani is one of the three Greek cities (after Xanthi and Patra) that celebrate carnival uniquely and unforgettably. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take part in the ‘Fanoi’, big fires that take place each night for the entire duration of the carnival season in different locations scattered around the city. 

Ideal time to stay: 2-3 days is perfect. 

Getting around: We recommend hiring a car for daily trips to nearby cultural sites, however walking around the city is the best choice for seeing the town. 

What to pack: Comfortable shoes, warm clothes if you are visiting in Autumn/Winter (it gets quite cold in the cooler months), an umbrella for unexpected rain, and a scarf for windy days!

Stylish Escape at Meli Suites

Imagine for a moment that you are soaking in the warm rays of the Greek sun in your own private swimming pool overlooking the sea. It feels nourishing and healing- as all your aches and pains just fade away. Welcome to Meli Suites in Skala Potamia, a little piece of paradise!

We visited the Meli Suites Isle before and loved every single bit of our stay. Having chatted with the staff it sounded like we shouldn’t leave the island without taking a look at the Meli Suites, the original hotel of the Meli Suites hotel collection.

Meli Suites is mainly comprised of stylish suites embracing a mixture of Scandinavian and Aegean architecture with private swimming pools and sea views. Inside the suites, the luxury brief is taken seriously with eye-popping decor and details that recall the famous, white-washed Cycladic islands.

Lavish interiors aside, Meli Suites is located in Skala Potamias centre, right next to the busy seafront with a number of bars and restaurants, making it the perfect launchpad for exploring the village on foot. It didn’t take much to persuade my husband that we had to extend our stay on the island. Thankfully, the idea was equally appealing to him, too.

We stayed at the Superior Suite and our time here can only be described as indelible!

With a private balcony that featured our very own swimming pool, big, comfy sunbeds and spectacular sea views, we didn’t see any need to leave the hotel and travel further afield. In the morning, we would indulge in our homemade breakfast by the main swimming pool, then sunbathe on our private balcony and would only leave to take a quick dip in the sea before lunch. At night, we would drop into one of the seafront bars and enjoy a cocktail while gazing at the sea.

But enough with the words, let the pictures speak for themselves!

If you are thinking of visiting the verdant green island of Thassos, then Skala Potamia is a good place to start. From here you can embark on daily trips to the nearby villages of Panagia and Limenaria, and explore beaches like the Giola Lagoon with its crystal emerald waters. Beyond this, Meli Suites is the most luxurious and stylish hotel in the area so book your stay in one of their luxurious suites and let the positive vibes of this unique hotel work wonders for your mind and body.

Images by: Alexandros Iconomidis ©
Architecture design: BMMB Architects 

Staying at Meli Suites Isle in Thassos

If you are after a chic yet private, honeymoon-style sanctuary in Thassos, Meli Suites Isle, the latest hotel of the Meli Suites collection in Skala Potamia, offers an elegant, relaxing and stylish stay for loved-up couples. 

The striking architecture of Meli Suites Isle is the first thing you notice when walking through the stone-built entry. Picture scattered olive trees, beige sandstone walls, rattan hanging chairs and outdoor raffia roofing all intertwined with one big swimming pool – the focal point of the entire space.

But it’s not just a swimming pool! Just as ‘meli‘ (honey) is the ingredient that makes any Greek breakfast special, respectively, this swimming pool is the ‘meli‘ that makes this place so distinctive- as it effortlessly connects the rooms – with each suite having its own access to the water. 

The concept is not only unique but it also contributes to the harmony of Meli Suite’s design.

“It takes an architectural genius to build a place like this,” is what another guest said while we enjoyed our breakfast by the pool one morning.

Then, you get to know that the owner, Stelios Nikoloudis, who is a London-based civil engineer with a keen eye for textures and materials.

The isle in the middle of the swimming pool with its growing olive tree, the brilliant marriage between all the textures and natural materials – plus the painstaking attention to detail is what makes Meli Suites so special. 

With three rooms and eight suites all individually styled and named after their unique features – we stayed in the Arch Room, where every morning felt like we were waking up in paradise. Featuring views of the serene pool, the swim-up private deck allows guests direct access to the water right by the bedroom suite.  

Having breakfast by the pool was another unique experience, with owner, Yianna being the epitome of Greek hospitality. Not only does she serve a homemade breakfast, she also makes recommendations for places to visit on the island, and shares local secrets, including how to find the most gorgeous beaches.

We tried the floating breakfast on our last day in the hotel and it was the ultimate luxury! Presented on a large tray complete with homemade Greek pastries, freshly squeezed juices, and eggs- it was the best start to our day and something to remember.

There are plenty of spaces to stay in Skala Potamias but Meli Suites Isle is most certainly our favourite. Not only will you fall in love with the impeccable design and architecture – but you will also be blown away by their warm hospitality. Book your stay at the Deluxe Suite with a bathtub now and you can thank me later.

Images by: Alexandros Iconomidis ©
Architecture design: BMMB Architects 

The “Other Cyclades”: Kea and Kythnos

Take a break from Mykonos, Santorini and Paros, and take in the must-see spots of Kea and Kythnos- two Cycladic islands that have long been favoured holiday escapes for Greek locals in-the-know.  

Stop 1: Kea

An hour’s ferry ride from Athens’ Lavrio port, Kea’s rugged, rocky terrain is in stark contrast to its sparkling blue Aegean waters. The most popular beaches on the island Koundouros and Koundouraki boast incredibly inviting pristine waters that will keep you going back in for more. The beaches of Spathi and Xyla subscribe to the saying that “nothing good ever comes easy”, and are well worth the 10-15 minutes of bumpy dirt track to get there. Most beaches on Kea offer sunbeds at around 20-25 € per set, but also have plenty of space for those with their own umbrellas.

The ancient archaeological site of Karthaia is located on the southeastern side of the island and can be accessed via a 45 min rocky walking path. The walk is rewarded by impressive ancient acropolis remains, perched rather majestically on the sea and makes for the perfect post-hike swim. Mythology says that the Lion of Kea (located near the town of Ioulida) was created by Zeus in response to the pleas of the island locals who were troubled by the muses. The lion’s impressively lifelike features make it worth visiting, particularly in the early evening when the summer sun is a little more forgiving. 

All this swimming and hiking will no doubt work up an appetite, and Filippas psistaria in Korrisia is known for the best grilled meat on the island (try their lamb paidakia)9 Kores sits on the small beach of Vourkari and offers excellent fresh seafood (try their mussels steamed in wine). Steki tou Kalofagadon in Ioulida is your quintessential taverna with an excellent array of traditional cooked dishes like mince-stuffed zucchini topped with avgolemono sauce.

Stop 2: Kythnos

After a blissful few days on Kea, jump on the one-hour ferry ride to nearby Kythnos. While you’ll probably never get to see all of Kythnos’ 99 beaches, Kolona beach is its crowning beauty and a hot favourite of the super yacht crowd (insider tip: due to its open landscape, Kolona is best visited on a low-wind day). After deciding which side of the sand bar you’ll rest on, take a dip in the crystal waters and then make your way up to the church for a birds-eye view of Kolona in all its glory. Nearby Apokrousi beach is another stunner, while the seaside town of Kanala is a sweet little spot for a quiet afternoon dip. Hamsa beach bar is located near the port and offers a relaxing all-day beach bar experience.

The small town of Dryopida and its characteristic sokakia are lined with tiny cafes and restaurants and make for a lovely morning stroll. While there, step into the folklore museum, which is a beautifully restored traditional home of Kythnos.

Chora is where the island gathers in the evening and has no shortage of food and drink options. To Steki tou Ntetzi will scratch your Greek taverna itch with excellent grilled meats (try their pork kontosouvli) while Margiora offers a modern take on Greek food (try the watermelon and beetroot salad) with an exciting cocktail list and range of Greek wines.

Marbella Elix, a Stunning New Luxury Resort

It is easy to see why Marbella Elix is popular with discerning families who look for fun and convenience. Calm, modern design rooms peer over dense olive groves and azure waters- a place to stow away and let off steam. This is most certainly Epirus’ best-kept secret!

Shy of the beautiful town of Parga, Marbella Elix is a luxury hotel where relaxation and tranquillity acquire a whole new meaning, where all-inclusive does not confuse abundance with quality and where food is seasonally sourced and cooked. It is no surprise after all that Marbella Elix was included in Condé Nast Traveller’s 2022 Hot List!

Style & Feel

Amphitheatrically built and perched on a hill by Karavostasi beach, Marbella Elix visitors are amazed by the big glass walls and sea views once entering the lobby. “Blue as far as the eye can see” is what everyone kept saying to each other whilst the concierge took care of our luggage.

The lobby lounge has a laid-back feeling that makes you want to spend your evening gazing into the deep blue water. It works overtime as a cafe and bar and does a pretty good job of calming you down especially if you have travelled all day long. The interior decor is a well-matched mix of local traditional elements and Moroccan features- think of big armchairs, wooden tables, metal lanterns with an antiqued bronze finish and soothing neutral beach colours, it sold me!

Rooms

I’ve expressed my love for the Marbella Collection 5-star hotels many times in the past. I had the pleasure of staying at the Marbella Corfu and I have also visited the Nido Suites but this was the first time I stayed at the Marbella Elix and from the first glance I could tell that the same quality and attention to detail applied here, too.

Tall handmade headboard? Check. Contemporary details mixed with classic features? Check. Impeccable interior decoration? Check. Big rainfall shower? Check. Coupled with a big balcony, comfy sunloungers and a big glass deck railing to make the most of the breathtaking sea views and views to the islands of Corfu, Paxos, and Antipaxos, it was difficult not to fall in love with the place.

I loved every detail, from the cushions in the living room to the natural variations in the grain and colour of the wooden wardrobe! 

There are multiple rooms- some have their private swimming pools others are closer to the beach. Our room was next to the swimming pool and Indigo bar, as soon as we checked in we took a stroll around before ending up in the baby swimming pool with our little M practising her swimming moves.

Food

I have already waxed lyrical about the food at Marbella Elix; it is freshly cooked with locally sourced ingredients and caters for all tastes and preferences. There is a little fine dining corner for those who seek luxury and then there’s Greek food, seafood and special dietary requirements food catering to vegans and people with intolerances. And by vegan food, I mean spinach risotto and vegetable moussaka, not just fries and boiled veggies.

Those with a sweet tooth wouldn’t be left unsatisfied either. Marbella Elix has a magnificent selection of desserts you must save room for; from perfectly baked Greek sweet pies to white chocolate mousse and mocha pots de creme, it was nearly impossible not to try at least two different puddings at a time.

Decadent, rich, full of flavours, a proper feast for the eyes!

To top the dining experience off, the hotel offers a culinary series called Greek Chefs Abroad where, as the name suggests, Greek Chefs from abroad cook for the hotel’s guests giving them the chance to taste menus they wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so otherwise.

Facilities

The beautiful beach of Karavostasi unfolding below the hotel is easily reached by the funicular railway, making access to the sea easier if you have mobility issues or if you are carrying a baby stroller around like myself. But if you are more of a swimming pool type, the infinity pool at the Indigo bar will no doubt have you smitten with its striped bean bag sunloungers, sea views and calming scenery.

Into sports and outdoor activities? Then, go trekking in the pine forest hills surrounding the hotel or go kayaking in the colling waters of the Ionian Sea. Into relaxation and mindfulness? Visit the spa, join one of the yoga classes at the gym or, even better, follow one of the Digi Detox Activities! Looking for kids’ activities? Let your kids join “The Grasshoppers” Kids Club  & Creche. Supervised and cared for by multilingual childcare professionals this club offers activities for those between four months and 12 years, letting the parents the time to soak up the sun by the pool and enjoy the serenity of their private balcony.

Marbella Elix is truly a place that caters to everyone’s liking!

Until now, I had the softest spot for Marbella Corfu, but I think I’ve found a Marbella Collection hotel that’s taken over the top spot! We had the most wonderful time at Marbella Elix and I cannot wait to return back soon.

The post-lockdown Greek tourism explosion is real so if any of you reading this are thinking of a last-minute holiday in Greece, this is the time to do it or book your trip for next summer – any excuse to start planning your next adventure, right?

Images by Anastasia Fountouli ©

Best Cafes in Plaka 

Plaka, built in the shadow of the Acropolis, is an authentic sample of where old-world Athens meets the new.

It’s a place where you will find ancient ruins on almost every corner; as well as a variety of charming cafes serving coffee, drinks and desserts, with the most historic views.

Here, we’ve rounded up our favourites when visiting this beautiful part of the city! 

Yiasemi is a picturesque spot that’s become the Instagrammable bistro-café in the neighbourhood thanks to all the jam-packed tables lined along the staircase. You can sit and relax, watching people go by, while also sampling the great vegetarian buffet breakfast that features delightful dishes made using fresh, local produce. A: (Mnisikleous 23)

Insights Greece - Best Cafes in Plaka 

Café Melina is a retro café dedicated to Greek actress and political activist Melina Merkouri, features plenty of images and decor honouring the late actress. With an indoor and outdoor seating area, the all-day menu includes mezedes, as well as crepes and homemade desserts. A: (Lysiou 22) 

Insights Greece - Best Cafes in Plaka 

Kimolia Art Café, a colourful and unique cafe that’s hidden in the alleyways of Plaka; Kimolia is set in a historic 1925 building, allowing visitors to step back in time with its traditional decor and ambience. A: (Ypereidou 5)

Insights Greece - Best Cafes in Plaka 

Anafiotika Café, located on the most famous steps of the neighbourhood; is the ideal place for a coffee during a morning stroll or a Greek meze later on in the day. A: (Mnisikleous 24)         

Insights Greece - Best Cafes in Plaka 

Café Plaka is a great place all year round but we love it even more in winter for its fireplace and a wonderful roof terrace where you can sit and enjoy the sunny mornings. Tip: try the pancakes and take photos in front of the pink house. A: (Tripodon 1)

Insights Greece - Best Cafes in Plaka 

O Glykys is a traditional kafeneio that serves great Greek coffee, tsipouro, and homemade delicacies. Here you will find locals enjoying a game of tavli (backgammon), of course. A: (Geronta 2)

Insights Greece - Best Cafes in Plaka 

Dioskouroi, located right in the centre of old Athens, this cafe recently received a new design without losing its traditional atmosphere and appeal. It’s a favourite amongst students, locals and tourists alike, who come here for a coffee in the morning and a cocktail or wine during the evening.  A: (37-39 Adrianou)

Insights Greece - Best Cafes in Plaka 

Porto Limniona, Zakynthos’ Most Stunning Cove 

Porto Limniona, located along the west coast of Zakynthos, is by far one of the best places to swim when visiting this Ionian island! 

Surrounded by lush, rugged cliffs and boasting beautiful turquoise waters, this picturesque spot invites visitors to sit back and relax, while enjoying the idyllic scenery.

Set a few kilometres from the charming village of Agios Leon, from here the road leads you down the coast- making for a spectacular drive as you simply follow the signs for Porto Limniona. 

Once you reach the bay, there is a large car park at the top and from there you can make your way down the steps and jump straight in for a swim and a snorkel. Otherwise just kick back on one of the sun lounges (10 € per set) and order a drink while taking in the spectacular views. 

If you visit during the peak summer season, we suggest getting here early- by at least 10:30- 11 am, as it gets packed out by midday and can be difficult to find both a car spot and a sun bed. Just keep in mind there is no shade, nor sand, which means you can’t bring your own umbrella. So if you are planning on making a day of it, just be prepared! 

After diving off the rocks and exploring the fabulous sea caves, walk over to Taverna Porto Limnionas, which offers uninterrupted views of the bay. The traditional restaurant serves a range of seafood and meat dishes, along with mezedes and fresh salads.

Open for lunch and dinner, the best time to sit on the outdoor terrace and sip on a glass of wine is while watching the sunset! 

Images by IN+SIGHTS GREECE ©