Our Travel Guide to Paros Island

Discover our complete travel guide to Paros, an island that offers a perfect blend of relaxation, good food, and stunning beaches – making it a must-visit spot this summer.

Eyes are on Paros again this year, as it’s fast become one of the most popular Cycladic islands thanks to its quaint fishing villages, beautiful architecture, and gorgeous bougainvillea-filled alleyways that allow for endless hours of exploring. And, as one of the coolest destinations in Greece, it’s brimming with chic and understated spots to visit on your trip. 

Eat + Drink

Brunch + Coffee

Raggoussis Bakery: In the heart of Naousa, you’ll find a great breakfast spot where you can enjoy handmade pies and great coffee.

Cannelait: This is a place for delectable desserts, pastries, and specialty coffee. 

Tserki: Experience exquisite flavours – both sweet and savoury – in two spots in town, either Naousa or Parikia.

Lunch

Siparos: For a fine-dining seafood experience with great views, Siparos serves classic dishes such as Kakavia, a traditional Greek island fish soup. 

Sigi Ikthios: Around the port, you’ll come across this great eatery where you can order both classic and modern dishes. 

Rada: A boho chic outdoor restaurant, here there’s a strong emphasis on pure produce and seasonal ingredients.

To Balconi tou Aki: This award-winning restaurant that’s been open since 1964 serves simple ultra-fresh seafood in a stunning seaside location.  

Blue Oyster: Come here in the early afternoon and slowly order fresh seafood dishes that can be enjoyed through to sunset. 

Tip: If it’s just a quick bite that you need to get you through the day, head to O Kargas or Pita Frank for a tasty souvlaki pita or a traditional Greek gyros. 

Dinner

Mr E, Parilio: A light and airy restaurant that serves locally inspired Mediterranean dishes. 

Parostia: Set right on the beach, here you can enjoy sashimi, and sharing plates that include Tomahawk and grilled lobster.  

Barbarossa: One of the most popular restaurants on the island (and for a good reason) here you’ll enjoy fresh local seafood. 

Stivli: Savor fresh Mediterranean flavours in a lovely open courtyard. 

Mario: Located in Livadia, this modern eatery offers a culinary Mediterranean experience overlooking the Cycladic Sea.

Santa Pacou: Located in the picturesque village of Kostos, here you can taste traditional dishes with a modern twist.  

Drinks

Sante: Serving signature cocktails, this tiny bar is the perfect spot for an evening drink. 

Agosta: This waterfront bar is the place to be for sunset hour. 

Salty Bar: Ideal spot for an aperitivo or late-night Negroni.

Tip: If you love your wine, head to Domaine Myrsini or Moraitis Winery and explore the wonderful vineyards while tasting a few local drops. 

See + Do

In the island’s capital Parikia, make sure you visit the Byzantine church Panagia Ekatontapiliani (featuring 100 doors, it’s dedicated to the Virgin Mary). It’s also worth making time to check out the Archaeological Museum (with its stunning mosaic floor), and the Sanctuary of Apollo

Spending time at the pretty fishing harbour of Naoussa is a given! Here you can explore the charming alleyways, harbour, and a 13th Century Venetian Castle. There’s also the nearby Petra farm, where you can enjoy farm-to-table dishes. 

Experience traditional village life at Lefkes, boasting charming cobblestone alleys, and Cycladic whitewashed houses, it’s also home to the Holy Church of Agia Triada and the Folklore Museum. 

Tip: Art lovers head to Athanassiadou Gallery, curated by art historian Marina Athanasiadou, here you’ll discover a range of stunning contemporary Greek art. 

Best beaches

Adventurous types will love Golden Beach and Parasporos where you can enjoy a great range of water sports. Monastiri is where you’ll find one of the most sought-after beach bars on the island, while Santa Maria is perfect for those looking to party. Cabana is one of the chicest spots to spend an entire day at the beach, whereas Kolymbithres is one of Paros’ most famous spots thanks to its rocky landscape and stunning blue cove. We also recommend adding Faragas to the list, as here you can dip into crystal clear waters and then have a light lunch without needing to go far. 

Best view…

Head over to Kefalos Hill, where you can discover the holy Agios Antonios Monastery while taking in the incredible views from the island’s most stunning spot.

Ultimate day trip….

Take a short boat trip to Antiparos, known for its relaxed vibe and beautiful caves, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a swim and a long, lazy lunch before heading back. 

Shop

Anthologist boutique offers a curated collection of jewellery, handbags and belts, brass objets d’art, and ceramics, all made by local artisans in Greece. For some of the most unique and stunning jewellery pieces head into the store of Yannis Sergakis. And if you are searching for some locally made pieces head into MX Ceramics and Yria Studio for beautiful pottery. 

Stay

Parocks: Here you’ll find luxurious and elegant rooms and suites featuring stylish Cycladic decor and earthy tones. 

Parilio: A beautifully designed boutique hotel, offering a stunning range of rooms and suites.  

Cosme: A gorgeous new resort-style hotel that’s ideal for both couples and families. 

Cove: A seaside resort that offers five elegant suites with private pools. 

How to get there…

By Ferry: Regular ferries from the Athens port of Piraeus to Paros range from 3-5 hours depending on whether it’s a high-speed catamaran. 

By Plane: Direct flights from Athens to Paros National Airport take around 45 minutes. 

Main Image courtesy of Parocks Hotel 

Travel Guide to Kalamata

Discover our complete travel guide to Kalamata including where to eat, drink, stay and swim around this beautiful city in the Peloponnese. 

Filled with a unique identity, historical depth, and urban beauty, Kalamata, built at the foot of Mount Kalathi, is a city that captivates you from the moment you wander its streets. Behind her, Taygetos rises imposingly, while in front of her, the Messinian Gulf stretches out, in stunning shades of deep blue. 

Only 2.5 hours from Athens, it’s a wonderful destination you can visit all year round – with plenty to discover! 

Must See + Do

Bike riding is a trend…

Renting a bicycle in Kalamata offers visitors the opportunity to explore the picturesque seafront promenade. Navigate through charming streets, visit historical sites like the Kalamata Castle, and immerse yourself in nature at the Municipal Railway Park, making it a must-do experience for adventurers and culture enthusiasts alike.

Go up to the castle…

Explore the historic Kalamata Castle, and admire the panoramic views of the city and surrounding area.

Relax on a beach….

Kalamata’s urban centre is close to one of the most beautiful beaches, known for its crystal-clear waters and variety of water sports- here you can try your hand at kayaking or windsurfing. 

Wander through Kalamata’s Old Town…

Discovering traditional Greek architecture, local shops with handmade creations and cozy cafes.

Hike the scenic trails of the Taygetos Mountains…

Enjoying breathtaking views along the way. 

Discover the local gastronomy….

Sample the world famous Kalamata olives and extra virgin olive oil- a local delicacy renowned for its flavour. Also make sure to experience the local wine scene with tours and tastings at nearby wineries, showcasing indigenous grape varieties.

Cultural Hotspots

Kalamata Castle- Perched on a hill overlooking the city, Kalamata Castle offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. The castle has a long history dating back to the Byzantine era and has been renovated several times over the centuries.

Benakeion Archaeological Museum- This museum houses a collection of artifacts from the region, including pottery, sculptures, and jewellery dating back to ancient times. It provides insights into the area’s history and civilization.

Church of the Holy Apostles-  This Byzantine church is one of the oldest in Kalamata, dating back to the 12th century. It features beautiful frescoes and architectural details.

Old Town- Wander through the narrow streets of Kalamata’s Old Town to discover charming cafes, traditional tavernas, and historical buildings. The area is known for its Venetian architecture and vibrant atmosphere.

Eat & Drink

Coffee + Brunch

Platea- In the heart of Kalamata’s central square is a neoclassical gem, housing a cafe that tantalizes both the senses and the palate. The menu combines traditional Greek flavours with contemporary culinary techniques. 

Flirt- Also in the city centre, Flirt stands out for its top-notch coffee, refreshing cold-pressed juices, and creamy milkshakes. Here you can enjoy brunch classics such as poached eggs, bagels, and Flirt’s daily homemade pies. 

Blossom– Escape to a cozy brunch haven, where you can savor fluffy pancakes, savory avocado toast, and steaming cups of freshly brewed coffee. 

Lunch

To Limeni- Enjoy expertly prepared seafood delicacies amidst a charming seaside setting.

Mple Kanarini- Chef and owner Konstantinos Vassiliadis collaborates with local fishermen and farmers to create unique and fresh dishes depending on the season. 

Foino- For a long, lazy lunch check out this new bistro that has already received many accolades thanks to its delightful, fresh and creative dishes (made using locally sourced produce) that pair perfectly with their carefully curated wine list. 

Kentrikon– With its rustic charm and warm hospitality, this taverna offers classic Greek dishes infused with contemporary flavours.

Vagias Taverna –An old-school taverna where you can taste local, authentic Peloponessian dishes.  

Dinner

Οinopantopoleion- About a decade ago Panagiotis Chrysomallis decided to turn his father’s old wine and grocery store into a modern restaurant, which has now become one of the city’s most popular food spots thanks to its traditional Greek flavours made with locally produced ingredients. 

Kardamo- Indulge in dishes like fava beans paired with onion jam and pork paste, tacos featuring kokoretsi and horiatiki, rooster served with noodles and mizithra cheese, alongside a tempting pork burger. While the menu primarily celebrates meat, vegetarians can also find satisfying options to enjoy.

Τzimis- If you are looking for the best souvlaki in town, head to this iconic spot where you’ll find soft pita filled with savory meat and accompanied by a generous portion of crispy patates tiganites. 

Κreopoleion 29- This is a paradise for meat lovers as you’ll find a variety of meat choices, alongside fine, fresh ingredients that come from the family’s farms in Taygetos or small producers in various parts of Greece. Beef is the star, but there is no shortage of other kinds of free-range meats. 

Bakeries + Patisseries

Athanassiou- If you would like to try traditional Greek sweets, including diples (layers of crisp phyllo pastry and sweet honeyed nuts) head to this family-run pastry store that also serves local figs with chocolate and walnuts!  

Mamas Sweethouse – Perfect for an afternoon sugar hit, especially if you love waffles, pancakes and other homemade cakes. 

Fraggeas- A traditional bakery with daily handmade pies including tiropita and spanakopita. 

Αll – day bars 

Αnasha- The carefully crafted cocktail menu perfectly compliments the summery vibe of the seaside location, seamlessly blending into its natural surroundings. 

Ego Bar- This all-day bar is where you’ll find all the locals heading for a swim and afternoon aperitivo. 

Secada- Chic all day-bar that serves craft cocktails and fresh seafood dishes.

Drinks

Bottiglia- If you are in the mood for some signature cocktails and laid-back tunes. 

Luna Lounge- This cool bistro-lounge serves daily special cocktails and homemade burgers. 

Le Jardin- Begin your evening with cocktails such as the fresh melon featuring gin, mint, melon, and lemon or a classic mojito. 

Bistroteca -Also in the centre of the city, this is a great place to grab a drink after a spot of shopping nearby. 

Make sure you take home

Olive oil- Kalamata is known for its high-quality olive oil. Tip: look for extra virgin olive oil produced locally for a taste of the region’s finest.

Local wines- The Peloponnese region produces some of the best wines in Greece and here you’ll find some great local drops. 

Kalamata figs- These locally produced figs are naturally dried and can be found at most food stores in town. 

Handcrafted items- Kalamata is known for its talented artisans who create beautiful pottery, ceramics, and textiles. Many stores with handmade creations are located in the historical centre. 

Best Beaches

Paralia Kalamata- Covered in fine, pebbly sand, sloping into shallow and warm waters, this beach is renowned for its breathtaking views of the mountain and the Messinian Bay. 

Santova– Only 14 kilometers from Kalamata and located in the northern part of Kitrion Bay, it features fine sand with small pebbles at the water’s edge, as well as plenty of beach bars, making it perfect for swimming or lounging.

Verga– Just a short drive from Kalamata’s main beach, it’s the ideal spot for an afternoon dip and a seaside cocktail. 

Stoupa– With fine sand, turquoise waters, and countless sun loungers, this popular spot in Western Mani is located in front of Stoupa’s main street. 

Mikri Mantinia- a pebbled beach located just 10 km from Kalamata, it’s a lovely Blue Flag awarded beach where the Taygetos mountain range meets the sea. 

Best view…

Is from Kastraki, an all-day bar-restaurant that offers the best panoramic view of the Messinian Gulf. A replica of medieval and Byzantine castles, it features stone seats and cushions, where you can sit back and enjoy the city views from every corner. Undoubtedly, the best time of the day to visit Kastraki is during sunset. 

Local gem…

The Kalamata Municipal Railway Park is a local favourite that houses a collection of historic trains, engines, and railway artifacts that provide an intriguing look into the region’s railway history. The park is both a museum and a recreational area where visitors can walk among the historic trains, see the exhibitions, and learn about the role of railways in Kalamata’s history.

Ultimate day trip

Ancient Messene– Just a short drive from Kalamata lies the ancient city of Messene, one of the best-preserved archaeological sites in Greece. Explore the ruins of this ancient city and marvel at its impressive architecture.

Koroni– Discover the ancient ruins of Koroni Castle, indulge in a seafood lunch at a local taverna, or head to a pristine beach in this charming coastal town for a refreshing swim. 

Where to sleep

Grand Hotel-  Nestled in the heart of this vibrant coastal city, the hotel exudes a timeless charm, blending modern sophistication with traditional Greek hospitality.

Messinian Icon- Perched gracefully along the sun-drenched Kalamata Beach, Messinian Icon Hotel effortlessly blends contemporary luxury with the allure of the Mediterranean. 

Grecotel Filoxenia- With its traditional Greek-inspired architecture and great service, every detail is curated to immerse guests in a world of sophistication and relaxation. 

Costa Navarino- This luxurious destination is renowned for its natural beauty and cultural heritage. With world-class resorts like The Romanos and The Westin, it offers relaxation and exploration opportunities. The resort is approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Kalamata and is close to the airport.

Getting there

By plane: Kalamata International Airport (KLX) offers domestic and international flights. You can check with airlines for direct flights or connecting flights through Athens or other major European hubs.

Βy car: If you’re already in Greece or nearby, driving to Kalamata can be a scenic option. From Athens, it’s about a 2.5-hour drive (approximately 240 kilometers) via the National Road Athens-Corinthos-Tripolis-Kalamata.

Βy bus: Intercity buses connect Kalamata with other major cities in Greece. KTEL is the main bus operator, offering routes to and from Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, and other cities. The bus journey from Athens to Kalamata takes around 4-5 hours.

Main Image Courtesy of Secada Bar 

Travel Guide to Pieria in Northern Greece

Discover our travel guide to Pieria, a culturally rich region of Central Macedonia – known for its natural beauty, historical sites, and great food and wine. 

From hiking trails and lush forests to archaeological sites and beautiful beaches – Pieria is also home to Mount Olympus, the tallest mountain and highest peak in Greece, making it a great reason in itself to visit! 

Although it’s an all-year-round destination, spring is the perfect season to visit and enjoy all the wonderful villages and towns that this diverse region has to offer. 

Dion: for a walk through history

This small village is located at the foot of Mount Olympus and here you’ll find an amazing Archaeological Park and the Museum of Dion. An 8€ ticket will give you access to both these archaeological sites, allowing you to get up close to ruins of Ancient Macedonia, Egyptian sanctuaries, a Roman theatre, a cemetery, baths, temples, mosaics, statues and much more that came to light in 1928. For those who love the arts, keep in mind that over the summer months, Dion hosts a great range of plays, concerts and the Olympus Festival at the ancient Hellenistic Theatre. 

Elatochori: for the perfect winter getaway

In the most mountainous municipality of the prefecture of Pieria, you will find Elatochori. This beautiful little village is built at an altitude of 800 meters and attracts thousands of visitors year-round, thanks to its outdoor activities that include hiking, mountain biking, and skiing at one of Greece’s most popular ski centres. Elatochori also boasts traditional stone-built houses, cobblestone streets, and charming tavernas. We also recommend exploring the village’s narrow alleyways, visiting the church of Agios Nikolaos, or just sitting back and enjoying the tranquil mountain atmosphere.

Platamonas: for the classic summer escape

This gorgeous coastal town of Pieria should be added to your summer wish list! Known for its beautiful plane trees, sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape – here you can have a swim and then take cover under the lush natural shade as you admire uninterrupted views of Platamon Castle. This medieval fortress dates to the 12th century and entrance inside is 3€, however, you can wander around the castle and courtyard for free, taking in the magnificent view of Thermaikos Gulf and Mount Olympus. Make sure to also head into town, where you’ll find a waterfront promenade lined with traditional taverns – perfect spot to sample some fresh local seafood and wine. 

Litochoro: for romantic strolls (and hikes)

A pretty town built on the slope of the highest peak of Olympus, Litochoro has become the most common starting point for hiking expeditions for those who want to “conquer” the mountain of the gods. Litochoro stands out for its traditional architecture, lush forests, rushing rivers, and breathtaking mountain views. Attracting outdoor enthusiasts from around the world who come to explore the trails and peaks of Mount Olympus, those less adventurous can enjoy the picturesque streets, traditional tavernas, and cozy guesthouses. Tip: east of Litochoro, you will find Plaka Litochorou, which is essentially the coastal part of the city and is filled with a range of restaurants, cafes and campsites. 

Gorge of Enipeas: for chasing waterfalls

A short distance from Litochoro begins the enchanting Gorge of Enipeas. It is a beautiful route that begins from the Mylon area at an altitude of 320m and ends at Prionia at an altitude of 1100m. Formed by the Enipeas River, which flows down from the slopes of Mount Olympus, carving its way through the rocky terrain  – the gorge features towering cliffs, lush vegetation, and crystal-clear pools of water, creating a picturesque landscape that is perfect to explore. One of the highlights of the Enipeas Gorge is the series of waterfalls that cascade down the cliffs, providing a refreshing break for hikers! 

Katerini: for a city break 

Of course, the capital of this prefecture, Katerini, could not be missing from our list. A lovely city that has become a local favourite year round- here you will discover neoclassical buildings and bustling squares lined with cafes, shops, and restaurants. Stroll along the waterfront promenade for great food and drinks, or relax at one of the many parks including the Municipal Park and Levithra Park. We also suggest making time for Demokritia Square, the old Aquarium and the Church of Agia Paraskevi. 

Vergina: for ancient royal tombs 

Nestled in the shadow of the Pierian Mountains, the ancient city of Vergina is where the story of Philip II of Macedon, the father of the famous conqueror, Alexander the Great, truly came to light. It’s now become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the Royal Tombs of Aigai, one of the most amazing ancient sites in all of Greece. Explore the underground tombs where the remains of Macedonian kings, including Philip were discovered; it truly is an astonishing site that’s worth visiting – especially if you are a history enthusiast. 

Getting there: From the city of Thessaloniki it’s a one-hour drive to the region of Pieria, and if you are making your way over by car from Athens, it will take around 4-5 hours, depending on traffic. 

Featured Image by @joannajelly

Complete Guide to Syntagma Square 

Where to eat, drink, shop, and spend the day in and around Syntagma Square — the beating heart of Athens. 

Whether it’s your first visit to the Greek capital, or you’ve done it all before – chances are at some point you will end up around bustling Syntagma Square, which is filled with locals and visitors both day and night. 

And to help you decide where to go and what to do, we’ve rounded up the best spots (a mix of old and new) that are worth seeking out! 

Eat + Drink 

Brunch Time 

Athénée – Start your day in style at this elegant all-day bar-restaurant that’s been serving A-listers since 1939. And if you are lucky enough to be around on a weekend, Athénée teams up with some of the city’s finest pastry chefs each Sunday to serve up a deliciously sweet brunch. (Voukourestiou 9)

Ergon Bakehouse Athens- A few doors down from Ergon House (Athens’ first foodie hotel) you will now find its sister property Ergon Bakehouse. As you step through the doors, you’re greeted by the aroma of artisanal breads and meticulously crafted pastries, rising in the ovens. Take a seat inside and enjoy a satisfying breakfast featuring seasonal, fresh produce and a variety of breads. (Mitropoleos 27 & Patroou 9-11) 

New Taste – Locals come to the NEW hotel for its enticing brunch menu that includes a Viennoiserie basket, Tsoureki French toast, and a club sandwich that pairs well with their Bloody Mary. (Filellinon 16)

Best Coffee 

Kaya– This specialty coffee shop is the place to come to for those who know and love their coffee. (Voulis 7) 

Third Place – About a 5-minute walk from Syntagma Square you’ll find a minimalist shop with a great range of Greek coffee blends, a curated selection of design objects and laid-back vibes.  (Apollonos 23Β) 

Dope Roasting – Another 2-minute walk from the city’s famous square, you’ll find yourself at this cool espresso bar that’s set in a stunning 19th-century neoclassical building. (Vissis 25)

Casual Street Food

Pnyka Bakery – In between all the back-to-back sightseeing, come to Pnyka to grab a freshly baked tiropita (cheese pie) or spanakopita (spinach pie). (Petraki 24) 

Poke Hawaiian Sushi – A mix of Japanese and Hawaiian flavours, the menu features Tempura Shrimp with a drizzle of spicy mayo and exotic poke bowls- the perfect lunch on the run. (Petraki 7) 

O Kostas – Serving some of the best souvlaki in town – just get here before midday, as they tend to sell out by 3 pm. (Pentelis 5) 

Thess Bao- Enjoy freshly made bao buns with creative fillings such as pulled beef, BBQ pancetta and fried zucchini fritters. (Perikleous 30-32)

Long, Lazy Lunch 

Tzitzikas kai Mermigas – If you are looking for authentic Greek dishes such as keftedakia (meatballs), fava (yellow split pea dip), or a great selection of grilled meat and seafood dishes that are ideal for sharing, this is the place. (Mitropoleos 12)

Birdman – A Japanese grill restaurant and pub, Birdman has become one of the most popular Asian restaurants in Athens thanks to its fresh flavours and creative dishes. (Voulis 35) 

Hanoi – Introducing authentic Vietnamese food to Athenians, here the broth for the pho soup simmers for a minimum of 12 hours before being served. (Petraki 12) 

Standout Dining 

Nolan – Greek-Japanese chef Sotiris Kontizas is the brainchild behind this award-winning restaurant serving unfussy yet sophisticated dishes. (Voulis 31)

GB Roof Garden – If you are searching for a restaurant in the centre of Athens that’s special- this is it. Serving Mediterranean flavours made with fresh, raw ingredients- GB Roof Garden offers fine dining along with prime Parthenon views. Note: it’s closed for renovations until April 12, 2024. (10 Vas. Georgiou St)

Okio – Just a few blocks from Syntagma Square, Okio features a modern sharing-style menu highlighting Mediterranean and Asian cuisines in a simple yet exquisite manner. (Nikis 33) 

Feedel Urban Gastronomy- Serving gourmet Greek cuisine that’s modern and sophisticated- here you can enjoy creatively made dishes featuring fresh, local ingredients. (Ktena 1)

Treat Yourself 

Bon Bon Maison –This boutique pastry store offers a delectable selection of French pastries including lemon tarts and croissants with handmade raspberry jam. (30 Petraki St) 

Le Greche – Delicious handmade artisanal gelato created from pure ingredients. We recommend trying the fig and mascarpone flavour! (Mitropoleos 16)

Estrella – Come here for the waffles and pancakes or to try their signature “bougatsan” – a mixture between croissant and bougatsa. (4A Romvis) 

Cocktail Hour 

Bar in Front of the Bar – This cool street bar features a creative cocktail list that changes daily based on the mood of the talented bartenders. (1 Petraki) 

Drunk Sinatra – An all-day hangout where you’ll catch funky young locals ordering craft cocktails and crowds spilling out onto the street on balmy nights. (Thiseos 16)

The Clumsies – About a 5-minute walk from Syntagma you’ll find yourself at a place firmly lodged in the World’s Best Bars List. Let’s be real, you can’t come to Syntagma and not head over to The Clumsies for the perfect drink. (Praxitelous 30)

Rooftop With Acropolis View

Zillers Roof Garden- A lush terrace with fine views of the Acropolis, Zillers serves light meals and snacks during the day and in the evening, it’s transformed into an award-winning restaurant with amazing dishes that can be enjoyed alongside impressive cocktails. (Mitropoleos 54)

Retiree – Located on the top of Ergon House, here you can enjoy proper cocktails, a relaxed summer vibe and unbeatable views of the Parthenon. (Mitropoleos 23)

Nyx – Set on the top floor of the Academias Hotel and offering majestic views of the city, Nyx features Japanese flavours combined with signature cocktails. (19 Omirou St)

Wine O’Clock 

Heteroclito- With over 200 labels from Greece and abroad, you can enjoy a glass or two over a cheese platter. (2 Fokionos  & Petraki St) 

By the Glass – Choose among 250 Greek and global wine labels, around 50 of which can be served by the glass. (3 G. Souri & Phileillion St) 

Oinoscent- With over 1000 labels from all over the world, every week there is a new selection of wines that you can sample. (45-47 Voulis St) 

See + Do 

As you stroll up Panepistimiou St, heading towards Syntagma Square, you will encounter three of the most elegant and imposing neoclassical buildings in the Greek Capital – collectively known as the Athenian Trilogy. Made up of the University of Athens, the Athens Academy and the National Library, each was designed in the mid-19th century. 

Right in the middle of Syntagma Square, every day (on the hour) you can catch the changing of the guards (Evzones) outside the Hellenic Parliament House.

Then head on over to the National Garden – a peaceful spot that was once the official royal garden and former playground of Queen Amalia of Oldenburg.

As you walk towards the famous steps and fountain of Syntagma, you will come across The Hotel Grande Bretagne, which is a local institution and a preferred stay for many international celebrities and politicians. This historic hotel was founded in 1874 and is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. It’s worth stepping inside to admire the classic décor and for a drink at Alexander’s Bar.

Panagia Kapnikarea, a Byzantine church dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, is one of the oldest churches in Athens. Built around 1050 AD over the ruins of an ancient temple, you will find it in the heart of Ermou Street.

In between Monastiraki and Syntagma Square, you can visit another important church, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens. Known as the “official” church of the capital, it features both neoclassical and Greek-Byzantine elements.

Culture Fix 

Benaki Museum – A few minutes walk from Syntagma Square you can discover a curated selection of ceramics, sculpture, and jewellery in the magnificent Geometric, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine collections on display at one of Athens’ finest museums. (1 Koumbari & Vasilissis Sofias) 

Museum of Cycladic Art – This lovely museum currently holds one of the biggest collections of Cycladic art in the world, with around 3000 objects from all phases of Cycladic, Ancient Greek and Cypriot art. (Neophytou Douka 4)  

National Historical Museum – Set in the Old Parliament House, the museum narrates the history of Greece since the fall of the Byzantine Empire. (13 Stadiou St) 

Numismatic Museum of Athens – One of the most important museums of Greece, it houses one of the greatest collections of coins (ancient and modern) in the world. (12 Panepistimiou St) 

Where to Shop

From beauty stores such as Sephora and Mac to the largest retailers in fast fashion- Zara, H&M, and Pull & Bear – you’ll find them all as you walk along Ermou Street. 

Around Syntagma you will also come across high-end brands including Hermès, (Voukourestiou & Stadiou streets), Dior (Voukourestiou 18), Gucci (El. Venizelou 3) and Tod’s (4 Panapestimiou), as well as Attica–  Athens’ upmarket department store that stocks a wide selection of designer wear (9 Panepistimiou St).   

Zeus + Dione – Specialising in relaxed, artisanal resort wear and classic pieces, you can find the flagship store of Greece’s leading fashion brand right in the heart of Syntagma. (Voukourestiou 6)

ANAMESA Concept Store – Discover a range of cool creations, including fashion pieces and accessories for men, women, and kids, as well as minimal homewares designed by Greek and international artisans. (Nikis 24)

Naxos Apothecary – Take home a stunning range of luxury natural fragrances, herbal skincare, and lush scented candles from this beautiful store that pays homage to Naxos, the largest Cycladic isle. (Kolokotroni 3-5 & Voulis) 

Carpo- Make your way up to the fourth floor of the Attica department store and you’ll find a range of high-quality nuts, chocolates, coffee, dried fruits, and honey, which make for the perfect edible gifts. (Panepistimiou 9)

How to get there? 

Metro Line 3 connects the airport to Syntagma Square and the journey time is approximately 40 minutes. Otherwise, you can also catch a cab from the airport (also around 40 minutes depending on traffic) at a flat rate of €40 during the day. 

Featured Image Courtesy of Ergon Foods

Travel Guide to Ancient Epidaurus

A trip to Ancient Epidaurus in the Peloponnese is the ideal two-day excursion for lovers of theatre, history, nature and tranquility. 

Epidaurus offers visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the ancient world while gaining a deeper understanding of Greek history and culture. Discover the best places to eat, drink and explore when heading this way! 

Perfect place for: couples, history buffs, and a wellbeing retreat. 

Where to stay: There are plenty of family-run hotels and apartment-style accommodation available around the main town. And if you prefer boutique or luxury hotels, we recommend you stay in nearby Nafplio, which is only a 30-minute drive. 

Must See + Do

Enjoy your day at the beach, try traditional dishes at quaint taverns, walk around the archaeological sites and explore the enchanting streets of the village, where ancient ruins and traditional homes intertwine. And never leave Ancient Epidaurus until you’ve seen a theatrical play (preferably at both theatres).  

The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus is not only a theater built in the 4th century BC, but a large archaeological site that’s known as the best preserved in all of Greece. Worth visiting in its entirety, Epidaurus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular spot, offering visitors the chance to explore its rich history, architecture, and natural beauty. The theatre is still used for performances, including ancient Greek dramas and modern plays, with plenty to watch during the annual Athens and Epidaurus Festival.

We recommend a tour of the entire archaeological site. Within it, you will also find the Archaeological Museum of Epidaurus, which hosts important finds from the excavations of the Asklepiion and the Theatre. 

The Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus is also a must. Located in the heart of the town, you can walk here and admire the most peaceful and dynamic scenery, which includes the ancient theatre, ancient olive oil trees, and stunning sea views. 

Βeaches

Kalamaki is probably the most beautiful beach in Epidaurus. You will find it in Palaia Epidaurus by walking for 5 minutes on a paved path that starts from Vagionia beach. The pine trees reach the coast and diving in its waters is pure magic. Gyalasi beach is the most popular in the area, as you can spend all day here under an umbrella and sunbed while enjoying a light lunch and refreshments from the beach bar.

Εat + Drink

Breakfast + Coffee

Start your day with an espresso or fresh juice from Koilon Café or Stork Café, which has a delightful brunch menu and incomparable views of the Saronic Gulf. And for those searching for something sweet, we suggest Agnanti tou Saronikou. 

Lunch + Dinner

Epidaurus is famous for its traditional taverns where all dishes are cooked using locally produced oil and fresh ingredients from the area. We highly recommend To Perivoli Tis Gogos, where you can dine under orange and mulberry trees, and also try Mouria for fresh seafood, and Ta Klimata, which serves authentic dishes in a lush green courtyard.

Dishes + Delicacies

Try the extra virgin olive oil from local producers, as well as anything made with orange, as the Argolida region is the biggest producer of oranges in Greece. As for traditional dishes, Epidaurus is known for its pork or lamb cooked with mountain herbs and of course, don’t leave without tasting local wine and spoon sweets. 

Discover

Best view

Try catch the sunset from the Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus– as the sun sinks into the sea,  the light reflects off the olive leaves and bathes the ancient marbles of the theatre! 

Local gem

A well-hidden treasure that few know about is the Sunken City of Ancient Epidaurus. At the edge of the town’s beach, in the quietest spot far from sunbeds you will find these submerged ruins, revealing the existence of the ancient city. Just two metres deep, you can snorkel and swim among vessels, allowing you to dive deep into history. Tip: just watch out for spiky sea urchins!

Ultimate day trip

Visit the beautiful town of Nafplio, which is only 30 minutes away by car. As you drive along you will marvel at the gorgeous scenery, including the stunning countryside. We also suggest you stop off at nearby local vineyards to sample some of the best Greek wines on offer. 

Essentials

Getting there: by car or bus from Athens it takes around 2.5 – 3 hours, depending on the traffic. 

Make sure you take home: souvenirs from the Epidaurus theatre box office and cute postcards from local souvenir shops in town.

Best time to gοfrom June to August, when the Athens Epidaurus Festival is held.

Ideal time to stay: 2 days (weekend is preferable). 

Getting around: You can easily walk around the town, however, if you want to see nearby attractions we recommend hiring a car. 

Best Greek Island Day Trips from Athens

We’ve rounded up our top five Greek Island day trips from Athens for 2024!  

The allure of Athens is undeniable. Filled with history, culture, and culinary delights on every corner, you could easily spend weeks in the capital and still have lots more to explore. But for those searching for a quick Greek island escape, there are several options easily accessible by ferry. 

So whether you’re looking for a memorable day trip or the next destination to continue your SS24 Greece holiday, these spots are all within two hours of Athens. 

Hydra

If you want to spend some time in a cosmopolitan and chic setting, Hydra is the perfect choice. Known for its vibrant arts scene, the island attracts artists, designers, writers, and musicians from all around the world. Think striking stone-built houses, quaint narrow cobblestone streets, secluded coves, and a rugged coastline perfect for a quick dip! Visitors can also spend the day exploring the town’s beautiful waterfront promenade while enjoying some fresh seafood and local wine at one of the many restaurants or all-day bars.

Ferry tips: Ferries to Hydra from Athens depart from the port of Piraeus and take around 1.5 hours with high-speed services. 

Andros

If you’d like to explore a more authentic side of the Cycladic islands, Andros is the ideal place! Featuring stunning beaches, secluded waterfalls, and picturesque villages, it’s an ideal location for swimming, hiking, and eating! Keep in mind it’s a huge island (the second largest of the Cyclades), so if you are only planning on spending a day, we recommend you head straight to the Chora where you can explore the neoclassical mansions, museums, cafes, restaurants and bakeries. Neiborio Beach is located on the left side of town just a few metres from the main street – so you can easily fit in a swim before departing! 

Ferry tips: Ferries from Athens to Andros depart from Rafina Port and take around 1 hour with the high-speed services.

Kea

If you love rugged landscapes and a relaxed atmosphere, Kea should be at the top of your list! Retaining its authentic charm, Kea is the closest Cycladic island to Athens and one of the most popular among locals looking for a quick island escape. Spend the day enjoying local cuisine and the island’s lovely delicacies, then make your way over to Sikamia beach for a refreshing swim before catching the sunset at the main town of Ioulida, which overlooks the Aegean. 

Ferry tips: Ferries to Kea from Athens depart from the port of Lavio and take around 1 hour. 

Aegina

With up to 30 ferries crossing per day from Athens to Aegina, this is by far one of the most popular day trips from the capital! Aegina is ideal for those looking for a jam-packed day filled with good food, great swimming, and impressive ancient monuments along the way. Known for its wonderful landscapes and traditional villages, Aegina is also home to the sanctuary of Aphaia, one of the best-preserved ancient temples in Greece, which offers breathtaking views of the entire island. And don’t leave before you get your hands on some of the locally grown pistachios – known as some of the best in the world! 

Ferry tips: The ferry from Athens to Aegina leaves from the port of Piraeus and takes around 40 minutes on the high-speed ferry. 

Kythnos

Slowly becoming more and more well-known thanks to its beautiful beaches, impressive hiking trails, and relaxing atmosphere, Kythnos is a great island to explore traditional Cycladic architecture, Byzantine churches, and cobblestoned alleyways that are perfect for an afternoon stroll. Make sure you swim at Kolona or Agios Sostis Beach before heading over to the Castle of Oria where you can take in the stunning views of the Aegean Sea! And also try some of the local seafood – it’s as fresh as it gets! 

Ferry tips: Travel from Athens to Kythnos by ferry from the port of Piraeus or Lavrio – the high-speed ferries will get you there in around 1.5 hours. 

Featured Image Courtesy of YFES Kythnos

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 up – although the walking route is 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!