Top 8 Experiences in Lesvos

Lesvos is a captivating Greek island known for its rich history, stunning mansions, and warm hospitality. And we’ve put together our top 8 experiences to help you explore this beautiful destination.

Α trip to the third largest island of Greece offers experiences that one cannot imagine exist on a single island. Lesvos, the homeland of Elytis, Myrivilis, Venezis, Theophilos, and Sappho, reveals so many different faces and carries on its soil a strong heritage that locals are proud of- discover more here. 

Explore Mytilini, the glorious capital 

The history of the capital of Lesvos dates back to the 10th century BC. You will feel the thrill once you start driving along the coastal road, next to a series of old mansions – each with its distinct architectural style, clearly competing in glamor and excellence. Just wait until the sunset. A picture-postcard image waits for you, as the sun spreads its warm light on the neoclassical buildings of the waterfront with the triangular roofs, the bell tower of the Metropolis, and the castle of Mytilini, one of the largest in the Mediterranean. In the narrow back alleys, you will find Ladadika, a historic district of Mytilini that is buzzing with cool bars and taverns serving local recipes. Stop by the Ermis cafe and restaurant with two hundred years of history and decor that prove it. Drink a Greek coffee on the embers and try recipes from Asia Minor. Stop by important Ottoman monuments, such as the Yeni Mosque and the Charsi Hammam, and walk along Ermou Street with its modern and antique shops, while in the Varia area, visit the famous museum of the popular painter Theophilos and the Tériade Museum of Modern Art with works by Matisse, Miró, Picasso, and Tsarouchis.

Relax in thermal waters at Therma Spa 

Just outside of Mytilini, indulge in the beneficial properties of Therma Spa Lesvos (tel. 2251041503). The thermal water comes to the surface from a depth of 2,500 meters, penetrating various rocks along the way that enrich it with valuable ingredients for health and wellbeing, as it gushes out like an artesian at a temperature of 39.5 ℃.

Wander in the fossil forest 

20 million years ago, volcanic ash covered a large part of the North Aegean and “froze” in time tree trunks, branches, leaves, roots, and even some animals that once lived here. Today the fossilized forest of Lesvos is a valuable natural museum. It is often referred to as the “Pompeii of the plant world” and is a member of the UNESCO global network of geo-parks.

Visit Plomari, the homeland of ouzo

The picturesque cobbled streets of Plomari are eagerly waiting for you to cross them to experience the special atmosphere of a place that knew great development in the 19th century since it had many olive mills, soap factories, a nuclear factory, and ouzo factories (today in the island’s cafes you can try all 20 different ouzo labels from local producers). After the Asia Minor Catastrophe, Plomari lost part of its old glory, as the possibility of trading with the Turkish coast stopped. At the same time, the recent earthquake of 2017 has also left its mark. On the waterfront of the port, you will take a photo of the Athanasiadeion, also known as the “Great Cafe”, one of the most magnificent cafes on the island. A hallmark of the settlement is the century-old plane tree in the central square, which is said to have been planted in 1813.

Discover the joy of bird-watching

The location of Lesvos in the Eastern Mediterranean and its wide variety of wetlands form the ideal passage for the endemic and migratory birds from Asia, Africa, and Europe. At least 134 different species pass by the island (from black storks, white storks, brown geese, avocados, wine birds, sea urchins to pink flamingos). Wooden houses in Agia Paraskevi, Dipio – Larsos, and Kalloni, are observatories for rare and protected birds. 

Visit Molyvos, a village with the world’s most beautiful alley

Mithymna, or Molyvos as it was called during the Middle Ages, is situated on a small mountain topped by the dramatic Castle of Mithymna, one of the best preserved in the Eastern Mediterranean. Walk along the main cobbled street of the settlement, and wander around the main market with charming shops and little cafes. During spring, the wisteria creates a purple pergola above the cobblestones that certainly resembles paradise. In the park of Molyvos, the old oil factory has been transformed into one of the most interesting hotels on the island. It is worth seeing the picturesque fishing port of Molyvos, with boats and trawls. 

Insights Greece - Top 8 Experiences in Lesvos

Agiasos, a village “time machine”

Built on the slopes of Mount Olympus, Agiasos will inspire you with its vivid appearance, right from its square with the colourful chairs. It is impossible not to meet Mrs. Efstratia Tourvalis and her corner shop (with the climbing plant intertwined with her creations) standing in the same spot for 64 years. She will welcome you with the local dialect of the inhabitants of Agiasos, blowing a whistle that produces bird sounds. Opposite this shop, you will find the Reading Room of Agiasos (which was founded in 1894 during the Turkish occupation and continues its multifaceted activity to this day without interruption), to meet the teacher of santouri (instrument of the hammered dulcimer) Mr. Zafiriou who plays the unique traditional music of Asia Minor. A few steps further up are enough to see the “coffee houses”. Enjoy a coffee in the embers and “kainari”, a drink with many spices that are made only in Agiasos. Savor the traditional sweet “placeta” that resembles baklava under the shade of the vine, in this picturesque alley next to the impressive church of Panagia of Agiasos. 

Visit Agios Taxiarchis Monastery 

Taxiarchis is the patron saint of Lesvos. It is said that he wore iron shoes and ran everywhere to protect the Christians. The dark face of the icon is full of power as it projects through the shimmering silver frame. Even today, pilgrims have mixed feelings about this unique image. Sometimes they see the Saint’s face as very wild and sometimes very calm and familiar, believing that in this way the Saint is trying to convey various messages to them. According to tradition, all of the monks at this monastery were massacred during a Saracen raid. The only survivor was a young novice, Gabriel, who was hiding on the roof and saw the roof tiles miraculously turned into a stormy sea and Archangel Michael wielding his sword against the attackers and fighting them off. While the vision was still fresh in his memory, the novice made an icon of the saint using the soil and the blood of the fallen monks. 

Images by Polina Paraskevopoulou ©

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.                                                

Chat With Luxury Travel Expert Cleo Anderson

Cleo Anderson, a luxury travel expert, and the Principal and Founder of multi-award-winning PR agency The Anderson Group, recently landed her own travel show with LUXE.TV.

In less than a year since its premiere, the talented media personality has already won ‘Broadcast Media Host and Producer of the Year 2023’ for ‘Wanderluxe with Cleo Anderson’ at the Influential Businesswoman Awards.

From carefully sourcing the finest stays in the world – to place inside each impressive Oscar nominee gift bag, to finding unique ways to launch new products for high-end brands – no two days are the same for Cleo, who loves travelling the world and sharing her 5-star experiences. 

We recently had a chat with Cleo about luxury travel, her time filming LUXE.TV in Athens, as well as her favourite getaways. Read on to discover more. 

What have been some of your career highlights so far?

I feel that anyone who builds something of their own and sustains that over some time has managed to do something that many do not, so for me that is an overarching accomplishment. Lately, there have also been some really exciting highlights, including being hailed a luxury travel expert in Forbes in 2020, which was fantastic. Early on in my PR career, landing the UK contract to do the PR for Monte Carlo SBM’s 150th Anniversary was a career highlight, as they are such a revered brand in the hotel world. Being crowned the Luxury Travel Curator for The Oscar Nominee gift bag has been great, too, but landing my travel show with LUXE.TV – ‘Wanderluxe with Cleo Anderson’ – has been the pinnacle of my career to date and is a dream job – it’s something I have wanted to do for a while.

As owner of an award-winning luxury PR agency, what do you enjoy most about your work?

I love the variety in terms of the types of clients we work with; working with luxury hotels, I will often visit and stay to get a feel for what they have to offer. I have visited a myriad of places like Cambodia, Bali, Turkey, Vietnam, and Monaco on client visits, which has been great. We also work with some gorgeous luxury products; recently we worked with a standout luxury olive oil made in Greece, which we did a fantastic global PR campaign for. Whether it be working on a campaign for gourmet vegan chocolates or a boutique hotel in some remote place, no two days are the same, so it’s never boring.

Insights Greece - Chat With Luxury Travel Expert Cleo Anderson

When did your passion for travel begin?

In the early days, it was a trip I did with a group of friends and my sister – we went to Miami’s South Beach. That was my first transatlantic girl’s trip and that piqued my interest in world travel. Shortly after that, I went to Thailand with another group of friends, and it became a habit to visit new places when I was able. Once I started, I realised that I was born to travel the world.

In the year 2023, how would you define “Luxury Travel”?

People are travelling more than ever after being grounded for so long, and I believe that luxury travel is about the individualised, bespoke travel itinerary. For me, that’s what 2023 travel is all about following the pandemic.

What type of travel experiences do you think people are currently searching for?

I feel that it has given people a new perspective on life, and I think that people are looking to tick off their big bucket list trips. People want to live their lives more fully than before.

Insights Greece - Chat With Luxury Travel Expert Cleo Anderson

What have been a few standout hotels you’ve recently visited?

We work with a company in Germany that converts lighthouses into luxury boutique hotels – one such hotel in the Canary Islands, Spain is Faro Cumplida. That stay was fantastic, and the location is great. Al Sahel by Anantara in Abu Dhabi was also an enjoyable stay; Anantara is one of my favourite hotel brands, and Al Sahel, in particular, is a nature lover’s dream. The dwellings have a ‘glamping’ feel – luxury on the inside, with a gorgeous setting and a much-needed plunge pool for the heat. I have memories of sitting on the patio with my morning coffee and watching the wildlife -deer, peacocks, and more – stroll past me completely unfazed. It was beautiful.

On the Athenian Riviera, Dolce by Wyndham in Vravrona was a pleasant find. It’s a delightful family resort, but many people don’t know that it also has a handful of private villas with your own private butler, private pool and stunning sea views. I stayed there during filming, and we feature the villa on the show. It was a gorgeous stay. I also love the Four Seasons Astir Palace

One of your most memorable getaways?

I remember a stay at a hotel called Argos in Cappadocia; the location is like nowhere else on earth. The terrain is out of this world, and the landscape is incredible. In the mornings you can watch scores of hot air balloons rise into the sky and I loved going up in a hot air balloon myself one morning, with a champagne and strawberries breakfast laid out once we landed. It is a unique place and a must-see for anyone who loves travel.

Insights Greece - Chat With Luxury Travel Expert Cleo Anderson

Tell us more about your new travel series ‘Wanderluxe With Cleo Anderson’.

It’s a brand-new luxury travel show that premiered on LUXE.TV earlier this year, with 462 million subscribers in 65 countries. Each episode features different ways to enjoy luxury, from exclusive hotels and resorts to unique experiences in each location. The show is available to watch in Greece on Cosmote TV and Vodafone, as well as other channels. The cinematography is beautiful, and it’s a dream to film.

Your first series is based in Athens. Can you share some of your favourite experiences filming in the Greek capital?

We feature several gorgeous places, including a penthouse with Acropolis views. It was beautiful to wake up to that historical view in the morning after filming – I never get tired of it. Walking around Plaka and filming there was stunning; the Greek people were really hospitable and interested in what we were doing, so it was fun. We also enjoyed going out to sea – we wanted to highlight the things that people don’t seem to know about both Greece and Athens; being in Greece is not just about visiting the islands – the Athens Riviera also has a lot to offer and it’s so close to the city centre.

Insights Greece - Chat With Luxury Travel Expert Cleo Anderson

What are a few of your favourite Greek islands?

Visually, Santorini for me is the most elegant and beautiful island. I also enjoyed Mykonos – walks around the island are just lovely. In my teen years, I would visit Skiathos and Rhodes with my sister each year, so I’ve been coming to Greece for some time and know it pretty well. There are always more places to explore, which is what I love about Greece.

What do you always pack with you when travelling?

I always have my laptop so that I can keep up with work – it’s my portable office. A good face and body moisturiser is a must and is always in my bag. My portable speaker by Bose goes everywhere with me, especially if I’m going to be poolside. Vaseline for my lips is essential – the small tins with cocoa butter are perfect. I also switched from sugar to Stevia last year, so I always keep liquid Stevia in my bag for my coffee in the morning. When travelling I also make sure I have a chic bathing suit or two with me – in Athens, I really enjoyed swimming in the sea.

Finally, if you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?

St Barth’s had been on my bucket list for so long and that’s where one of the next episodes was filmed. As I’m half Caribbean, I feel right at home there!

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 

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.

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 

Exploration, Wellness, and Unforgettable Beauty

Greece’s mountainous and varied terrain make it a hiker’s paradise, especially in the milder climate of Spring and Autumn. For those wanting to explore Greece’s lesser-known corners, Nefeli Nine offers a balanced wellbeing retreat focused on exploration, wellness and good food.

Nefeli Nine founder and hostess Stephanie Contomichalis grew up in the U.K and, after spending some time in her ancestral homeland of Greece, she became so connected to the land that it became her mission to help others connect with Greece’s nature and culture, while also taking some time to connect with their inner selves. And so, the Nefeli Nine signature week-long retreat was born.

Retreat activities

Imagine waking up in the serene surroundings of a Greek village, in the comfort of your own luxurious room, and starting the day with an invigorating yoga session led by a qualified yoga trainer. After the chorus of “namaste”, a nutritious breakfast is served to fuel you for a day of adventure.  

Next, it’s out for a hike to explore the rugged, natural beauty of Greece. Hikes are moderate in difficulty and can run from 1-4 hours in length, depending on the day and the location. Whether it’s a mountain, a forest, or even a gorge, your expert hiking guide will take you on an unforgettable journey, while telling you all about the history and local flora and fauna of the area. You might even be rewarded at the end with a swim in a secret beach or waterfall accessed only on foot. 

After lunch, the afternoon portion of the day usually includes a stroll through the nearby town, evening yoga or a scheduled massage, followed by dinner and free time.

Food

Nefeli Nine Retreats follows the Blue Zones diet, associated with the island of Ikaria and other Blue Zones known for the longevity of their inhabitants. Unlike the strict detox diets that some retreats offer, the food here is plentiful. Breakfast is designed to fuel you for your day of adventure. What’s more perfect after a morning of hiking than a hearty lunch at a taverna by the sea serving the freshest seafood? The week usually involves 2-3 meals out at the best local eateries. Dinner is served up family-style, for people to connect over food and reflect on the day over good food and a glass of wine. From the moment you arrive to the day you depart, all meals are taken care of, and dietary requirements are accounted for.

Ideal for

Nefeli Nine retreats are usually limited to 6-8 people per retreat and are ideal for solo travellers who are passionate about wellness and exploring the lesser-known corners of Greece. Aside from solo travellers, the retreat is also a great option for smaller groups of friends or family members. Interested in a retreat for a larger group or even a corporate group? Don’t hesitate to reach out for a customised program that you can build together with the Nefeli Nine team. Although it’s not a requirement, having some experience in hiking will help you get the most enjoyment out of the activities. 

What else can you expect?

  • All activities are optional. So, if you feel like staying in and enjoying your book one day, you’re free to do as you please. It’s your vacation, after all!
  • Destinations vary throughout the year. The one constant is that accommodation is beautiful, extremely comfortable and guests always have their own room. 
  • From beginning to end, once you book your spot with Nefeli Nine, all details are painstakingly seen-to by the team, so that you don’t need to organise a single thing. 

To find out more, visit nefelinine.com

This article was written by an IN+SIGHTS GREECE writer who was invited to experience the Nefeli Nine retreat first-hand.

Grizo & Prasino: Organic Tea Experts

Grizo & Prasino is a family, all-things-tea-related business run by husband and wife Kostas and Aggeliki, from their botanical farm in Thrace. The seed for this idea was planted almost a decade ago and the couple took its first steps towards making it happen right after their wedding day! We recently had a chat with the duo to discover their story.

Tell me more about yourself and your company Grizo & Prasino!

In 2012, Kostas and I got married and we spent the money that our family and friends gave us for the wedding to buy the equipment for our first business (similar to Grizo & Prasino) called ‘Drogi Biological Herbs’.

As an agriculture engineer, Kostas had a personal interest in herbs and aromatic plants since 2008- I have vivid memories of his enthusiasm each time he would taste a new herb. I also had a bee in my bonnet for their medicinal properties and read every book under the sun about them. At the same time, we run our separate businesses, I, as a lawyer and Kostas, as an Organic Farming consultant. It was these jobs that would fuel the bank and allow us to make our hobby happen and turn it into a business. In 2016, things changed with the arrival of our baby. Our time was limited so we decided to turn into business coaching to get more information about running a business and how this hobby of ours could potentially turn into our full-time income source.

In 2017, after a serious health issue, I decided to leave my career in law and so Grizo & Prasino was born at the end of the same year. Since then many things have changed – the way we work, the time we dedicated to the farm, and even our original goals! We grow as our business grows and we learn from our mistakes. Thankfully we make plenty of them!

How did it feel when you had your first sale?

I cannot remember much about our first sale however what I do remember is that by the time our website went live in December 2017, we were exhausted! We had spent so much time building our branding strategy, setting up the website and clearly communicating who we are, our vision and values; that when we started receiving positive feedback from our friends and loved ones we felt pride, happiness and an impatience to see where this would lead us.

Where in Rodopi do you go foraging?

Wild foraging at a commercial level could be harmful to nature so we have our own farm where we cultivate the herbs we use. We steer away from practices that would potentially damage the environment and our customers. Take as an example the case of Malotira in Crete, the famous Cretan tea that is nearly extinct due to over-foraging. Then, there is always the matter of quality consistency. With wild foraging you cannot control certain parameters such as the rainfall and the conditions of the top and sub-soil, that affect the taste, flavour and therapeutical properties of the herbs.

What do you love more about this job?

We both followed our dream, quit our day jobs and turned our hobby into our business, working every day on something that we both love. It wasn’t an easy task but our love for botanology and herbs gives us the strength to keep going. There is an innumerable number of products that could be based on herbs and I am not even sure if one life is enough to learn all about them and apply them to our products. Grizo & Prasino allows us to be creative, to constantly think of new ideas and make them happen. It is also a job that brings us closer to nature as we spend plenty of time on the farm. But beyond everything else, it is a job that allows us to produce commodities that helps others and makes their life better. We don’t just sell stuff, we believe in their magic, too!

How has your life changed since Grizo and Prasino?

I am not going to bore you with the details but, as I mentioned, I used to be a lawyer so you could say that life has changed massively ever since. I no longer chase deadlines nor do I have to support cases I am not agreeing with. I am not visiting the farm as frequently as Kostas does but when I do it does me good and I it lifts my spirit. As for Kostas, even though he is an agriculture engineer and working as a consultant for all those years, he too found himself getting out of the office more than he used to. If you knew Kostas in real life, you would see that the outdoors suit him more than the office. He loves agroecology and trying new practices for our farm. Some of those practices look outdated but they are far from it! He is always on the hunt for new practices and techniques that are applied on other farms in Greece and abroad. It is a very creative process and come to think of it, creating a farm is like painting on a larger scale, isn’t it?

What are your top places around Komotini to reconnect with nature?

We love the little village of Pandroso and the beach of Molyvoti (also known as Kursumlu). Those are the first places that come to mind when we need to get some fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors. Rodopi is full of interesting places to visit and it is truly amazing how there are still so many pristine and unspoiled spots to explore.

Last but not least, what are your favourite Grizo and Prasino tea flavours and
which flavour one must definitely try?

My preferences vary with the change of seasons. Around this time of the year, I like to drink the “exhale” (sage, pergamot and juniper root), but before that, I frantically drank “mantarili” (mandarin, honeysuckle and chamomile). However, the flavour that I love and keep going back to again and again is the “xana & xana” (rosemary, althaea and louiza) with no sugar, please. Kostas’s favourite is the “orange tzitzimenta” (mint, ginger and orange) and he believes it’s the best of our creations! I guess he is a mint kind of guy as he also likes “pu & pu” (mint, sage and calendula) no sugar for him either.

Images by Anna Paraskevidou- art traces ©

 

Niko Koulousias, Greek Chef Selected by the Royals

Distinguished Greek chef Niko Koulousias, who descends from Neapoli in Kozani, has been working with leading restaurants in England selected by the Royal family and in 2018, he was chosen among dozens of other top chefs to prepare the menu for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle; this year Niko also created dishes for the Queen’s 70 Year Jubilee celebrations. 

By Julia Vagiani 

Since he was a child, Niko knew that cooking would be his life choice. In an interview, he said “Instead of playing football or any other games with children from my neighborhood, I was at my uncle’s vegetable garden. I enjoyed watching how vegetables grow and smell.”

By sixteen, when he could finally follow his dream, Niko enrolled in a culinary school. He holds a diploma and degree in culinary arts from New England Culinary Art Institute as well as a Culinary Master’s degree from Claude Dornier-Schule Friedrichshafen. He also holds other professional certificates in culinary Arts and business facilitation with vast experience in the hospitality industry; especially all over the world.

Niko is a globetrotter chef who is also usually referred to as “Future Nokia” by his peers, based on the trait of connecting people and entities together all over the globe for business and other professional purposes. He is phenomenal in bringing like-minded individuals together to work out potentially viable plans for regular business, he is also a Business Representative Partner in charge of Europe’s operation.  

Another great achievement of Niko was when he played an instrumental role in the building and growth of the Ghana Chef association as a professional chef in Ghana. His skills of influence have taken him to the corridors of power for numerous governments in the world and he has previously cooked for several world-famous personalities. 

Niko has an enviable approach to marketing and presentation of products to prospective clients from a European perspective, which most of the time ends up in business relationships. One of these classical traits was demonstrated through his achievement of linking Ducasse Education of Paris to establish a culinary art school in Lebanon and being one of the numerous chefs that did the catering for Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding in England, because of his cooperation with one of the shops that were in the “Crown List”, which is a list of suppliers chosen by the palace. That event, lead to winning Queen Elizabeth’s trust and the recent taking over the coordination and organisation of the Queen’s 70th Jubilee celebration, and for the second time, he left his gastronomic “seal” in the palace.

In 2007, Niko was named “Best Chef in Northern Greece” and has since received several awards for his rich cooking with spices, truffle, Kozani’s saffron and honey, ingredients based on the Greek cuisine. He dearly loves Greece and wears the Greek flag on his chef’s clothes. “The Greek flag means a lot to me. I want to show our flag, to talk about our culture, our lifestyle, and our history. Naturally, I get strength when I can wear it on me, I feel proud to be Greek”. 

His latest plan is to choose geographical spots and restaurants across Greece and other regions, who wish to host the chef’s vision. Niko’s desire is to offer a unique experience by inviting everyone on a journey of sensory education in the “origin of taste” that was born to offer a simple but fundamental approach to gastronomy, for culinary enthusiasts.