14 Greek Regional Airports Receive Major Upgrades

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

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

Insights Greece - 14 Greek Regional Airports Receive Major Upgrades

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

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

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

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

Insights Greece - 14 Greek Regional Airports Receive Major Upgrades

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

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

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

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

*Images: Fraport Greece 

21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021

Greece has become increasingly sought-after by travellers around the world. It is said to be one of the first places people want to visit as soon as they are able to book a holiday—and it’s easy to see why.

One of the world’s most beautiful countries, Greece has the stunning Aegean Sea, magical sunsets, lush mountains, and rich cuisine that caters to everyone’s palate. Here, we take you on a visual tour of the country’s best sites, from breathtaking isles to small charming villages- we reveal why it’s so appealing to visit! 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
            A tiny village on Tinos island | Image @Labettarosa

Greek Islands: Greece has 6000 islands in total and 227 of those are inhabited. From the Ionian to the Dodecanese, each has its own unique beauty, making it hard to choose which one to explore next! 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
  A tiny village on Tinos island | Image @Labettarosa

Charming Villages: The Greek islands aren’t only about beaches and sunsets. Endearing little villages reveal so much about Greek history and culture and are well worth a visit. 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
                 Athens’ National and Kapodistrian University

Athens: The Greek capital is dominated by striking 5th-century BC landmarks and while you are there make sure to check out the outstanding neoclassical building at Athens Kapodistrian University. 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
            Chic cafe in Thessaloniki | Image @urban_wanders

Thessaloniki: Greece’s co-capital is known as the centre of Greek gastronomy. Spend some time here trying the local dishes and delicacies; and enjoy long coffee breaks at one of its many cool cafes. 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
          Olive oil gelato | Image @the_greek_olive

Delicious Desserts: Those with a sweet tooth will be more than satisfied with the range of desserts on offer. From classic Galaktoboureko and Bougatsa to more modern treats like olive oil gelato, you won’t be disappointed!  

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
            Fresh lunch | Image @melisses.andros

Fresh Produce: Simplicity is the key to Greek gastronomy and there is always a wide range of seasonal foods to savour. Without a doubt the best place to head to is the local taverna, where they serve up authentic dishes using fresh produce. 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
              Modern Greek house designs | Image @homadhome

Amazing Architecture: Classical Greek architecture is famous for its intricate detail, symmetry, harmony, and balance. Greece’s current architects are also leading the way with award-winning designs in both residential and commercial properties that combine old-world charm with a modern chic look. 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
         Discover the Ancient Theatre Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Archaeological Sites: From Olympia and Delphi to the Temple of Apollo and the Acropolis, there are so many historically important sites of Ancient Greece to explore. Also add the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus as a must-see attraction to your list, as it’s considered one of the best open-air theatres in the world.

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
                   Stylish ceramics | Image @kerameio.serifos

Chic Ceramics: If you want to take a piece of Greece home with you, we recommend sourcing a few stunning ceramic items that are handmade by talented local artisans. 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
                 Ftelia Beach Bar in Mykonos

Best Beach Bars: Greece is known for its buzzing island life. And if sitting by turquoise waters (day & night) in your designer bathing suit (with a glass of Prosecco in hand) listening to the latest dance tracks sounds appealing- Mykonos is calling your name! 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
          Sarakiniko Beach in Milos | Image @itsnedkelly

Breathtaking Beaches: Choosing the country’s best beaches is a tough one as Greece is filled with stunning waters. And while all visitors no doubt have personal preferences as to what makes a Greek beach perfect, there’s no denying there are hundreds of great ones to choose from! 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
                                            Vorres Museum

Magnificent Museums: Wandering through the numerous museums around the country brings everything about Greek antiquity to life. From grand-scale monuments to simple items of everyday life, the exhibits are filled with endless treasures

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
            5-Star Luxury Hotel in Crete | Image @minosarthotel

Greek Island Hotels: Boasting majestic views and 5-star facilities & services, these pretty hotels are designed to appeal to those in search of a slice of Greek island life. 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
               Volcanic Slopes Vineyards Winery in Santorini

Greek Vineyards: Wine lovers rejoice! Age-old techniques are producing distinctive wines from its resilient grapes and Greece’s beautiful Santorini island is most famously known for its indigenous white grape varieties Assyrtiko, Athiri and Aidani. 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
              Church in Ano Syros | Image @silversurferberlin

Holy & Spiritual Sites: Found by the sea or perched on a mountain top, the monasteries, churches and chapels in Greece are of unique beauty and a familiar feature of the country’s landscapes. 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
            Classic Greek jewellery | Image @inukoo

Stunning Jewellery: If you are looking for a statement piece make sure you visit one of the many local jewellers who use traditional techniques to create stunning one-off pieces that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world.  

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
         Panigiri in Astypalaia | Image @rizesmas

Local Festivities: To truly immerse yourself in Greek culture it’s a great idea to attend a local Panigiri (festival) where you can taste authentic dishes, try house wines and enjoy local music and dancing- everyone is invited to join! 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
             Village in Monemvasia | Image @kasetophono

Magical Mainland: Greece is starting to become an all-year-round destination and some of the places we love to visit during autumn and winter are Monemvasia, Nafplio, Meteora, Zagori and Veria

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
Fig & watermelon salad | Image @thecraftyhostess

Lush Fruit: Greece’s great climate is ideal for producing flavoursome fruit and if you are there during the right season trying locally grown watermelon and figs is an absolute must! 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
                    Pyrgos in Santorini | Image @lavienblog

Whitewashed Houses: The first thing that catches your eye when you step foot on the Cycladic islands is the whitewashed houses, that blend in beautifully with the light blue sky and the vast Aegean Sea. 

Insights Greece - 21 Reasons to Visit Greece in 2021
                                        Breathtaking views

Mesmerising Sunsets: Greece has always been known for having some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world and even if you are not in Santorini, you will still be captivated by the sheer prettiness of a Greek sunset.  

*Main image of Folegandros Island captured by IN+SIGHTS GREECE Senior Writer Polina Paraskevopoulou © (Copyright) Lavien Blog  

Our Favourite Good Luck Charms for 2021 

As we all wait for 2020 to come to an end and look forward to a more positive 2021, we take a look at some traditional good luck charms for the new year, created by Greece’s leading jewellers. 

Known as Gouri in Greek, they are designed to protect and bring good luck to the person wearing it for the year ahead. As next year marks 200 years since the outbreak of the Greek Revolution of 1821 and the War of Independence, most designers have created pieces paying tribute to the special celebration. 

Here we share some of our favourites, which can be ordered online!  

Hermina Athens has designed a charm inspired by Hygieia, which in Greek mythology, was the goddess of health and cleanliness. 

Kessaris, who has flagship stores in Athens and Mykonos, has created a Multicolor Feathers Necklace, which is combined with a gold chain to match. 

Ileana Makri has chosen an 18k gold plated round medallion, reminiscent of a casino chip, with three embossed lucky “7’s” as her key 2021 lucky charm. 

Worn both as a chevaliere ring or as a loose pendant, the Knot Charm by Christina Soubli is a great addition to this season’s jewellery box.

Designed by Polina Ellis, this gold pendant was inspired by the sacred bird of Zeus, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Greek revolution for Independence, with the charm symbolising power and freedom.  

Popular Greek jewellery brand Lalounis have chosen the Hercules’ knot, best known for its symbolism of strength and love, as their piece for 2021. 

Leading lifestyle brand Zeus + Dione have conceived a charm depicting Nike, as a celebration of the bicentennial anniversary of the start of the Greek War of Independence in 1821. Nike, the ancient Greek goddess of victory, is seen holding an olive branch, the timeless symbol of peace. 

The Museum of Cycladic designed a charm inspired by the flag of Filiki Eteria for 2021. The initials at the center of the wreath refer to the motto of the revolution Liberty or Death.

14 Reasons to Add Arachova to Your Next Winter Holiday List

Arachova is a stunning mountainous village that sits perfectly at the foot of Mount Parnassos, at an altitude of 973 meters. It’s considered to be the most cosmopolitan winter destination in Greece thanks to its cool all-day cafes/bars, fine dining restaurants, chic boutiques and luxurious hotels. 

Due to its close proximity to Athens (around a 2-hour drive) over the cooler months, it is buzzing on the weekends with guests (many local and international celebrities and socialites) looking for a classy and cozy escape. We’ve gathered the Top 14 reasons as to why Arachova is a must-visit winter destination!

1. Discover the traditional character of Arachova Village by taking leisurely strolls through its narrow cobblestone streets. Here you will discover traditional little shops and you can mingle with the friendly locals. Make sure you sit down at an old kafeneio (cafe) and enjoy a traditional Greek coffee.

2. Here you will find Greece’s most popular ski resort, which is only a few minutes drive away from the village centre. You can enjoy skiing down the slopes of Mount Parnassos. 

Insights Greece - 14 Reasons to Add Arachova to Your Next Winter Holiday List

3. Thrill seekers can take part in outdoor activities such as hiking, and mountain biking as well as other winter sports like snowboarding and sledging at Gerontovrachos, Kelaria and Fterolaka.

4. Indulge in some shopping as here you’ll find local and international luxury brands as well as a great variety of skiing and outdoor gear. At the main shopping strip you will come across a range of chic boutiques stocking well-known brands as well as the popular concept store L’escalier which is full of stylish pieces. 

5. Enjoy a winter cocktail, a glass of port, or a shot of Tsipouro at Isidora Gallery Bar, Sehre Cafe, Gospel or Doctor John Chillout Bar, which all serve up amazing drinks for the colder months. 

6. Taste some local wines such as the Parnassos red variety “Mavroudi”, which has Protected Designation of Origin status since 2006, or the “Black Arachova Vine.”

7. Try the amazing Formaela cheese- usually served as melted ‘saganaki’ with a squeeze of lemon.

8. Also make sure you taste the local Amfissa olives.

9. To warm up, sit in front of a fireplace and sip on the locally grown organic mountain tea.

10. Taste authentic specialties including Trahana (soup), free-range wild boar, goat or rooster with Hilopites (handmade pasta), as well as Kotosouvli, Kokkoretsi, at taverns such as Panayiota, Fasouli, Kaplanis, Archontiko and Dasargiris. And for some French cuisine check out Le Sapin.
11. Make sure you try the spoon sweets and honey, which you will definitely want to take home with you!
12. Visit the church of Agios Giorgios with its picturesque clock tower rising over the village. Byzantine churches and monasteries are very special here and every year, on the name day of Agios Giorgios, there is a huge festival in Arachova, celebrating this historical event and the Protector Saint of the town. There is a Holy Mass and celebrations outside the beautiful church, which sits on the highest spot of the town.
13. From here you can easily make your way to Delphi, the ancient sanctuary that is recognised by Unesco as a World Heritage Site. Visit nearby Parnassos National Park too.
14. The region of Arachova is well-known for its textiles and woodwork, before you leave make sure to pick up some hand-made coloured woven carpets (flocati rugs) and textiles to take with you.

Be Inspired by One of Greece’s Leading Photographers

Yiorgos Kordakis is one of Greece’s leading photographers who has exhibited his stunning work across the world- including solo shows in Athens, Paris, London and Los Angeles.

The self-taught photographer has also received many prestigious awards and accolades throughout the years for his sharp, crisp and creative images that have found themselves in galleries, institutions and homes around the globe.

Tell us about your work as a photographer. When did it all begin?  

Insights Greece - Be Inspired by One of Greece's Leading Photographers

I am a self-taught photographer. Photography was not in my life plans. It was all a coincidence. By pure luck I was involved in the magazine world back in the day. We are talking  very late 90s, pre digital era- quite different from today’s world. 

How would you describe your photographic style and what subjects do you most love capturing?

Hard to describe it in words. One thing I feel reflects my style, is the fact that I am not interested in being “present”, I do like to keep a distance from whatever it is that I am taking a picture of. I love architecture – the kind I am able to see as a form of sculpture. I also love taking pictures of women, ideally within an architectural context.

What are a few sources of inspiration for your work? 

Ancient Greece, and the Cyclades are my constant sources of inspiration. I can also be inspired by the portrait of an exotic plant, a beautiful hand, or the beauty of my partner in life. I find inspiration in simple, everyday things.

You have also spent a lot of time in New York. Can you please tell us about your time working in the US?

Insights Greece - Be Inspired by One of Greece's Leading Photographers

The US and NYC in particular had been a dream of mine for many years. I feel blessed for
being able to spend the time I did there. It was an exceptionally inspirational period for me. It was also a very fun time. I invested a lot of time driving all across the country, as I wanted to explore the real America which led me to working on my “10.000 American Movies” project- my own tribute to the “Americana” subject. I feel very lucky for having the opportunity of experiencing in full the typical American Roundtrip dream to the extent that I did.

What do you enjoy most about your work? 

The fact that I get to meet a lot of people, most times beautiful people (inside and outside) is interesting. I also get to visit beautiful places. I can’t imagine a better “office”.

You mentioned you have a passion for architectural photography. Is this something you are focusing on at the moment? 

Yes, I can’t imagine not being interested  in architecture. I am sure I must have been an architect in a previous life.

You have received many international awards throughout the years, is there anything you are most proud of to date?

I don’t pay much attention to the awards. What makes me proud is when a collector decides to purchase one of my works or a person shares kind words about my work. It gives me enormous pleasure and makes it all worthwhile.

Your amazing photography has been showcased throughout many exhibitions. Are there any projects you are currently working on that will be seen in the near future?

Insights Greece - Be Inspired by One of Greece's Leading Photographers

I am working on a few projects at the moment but I am not sure when I will be ready to show some of that work – we live in weird times. If all goes well I should be showing in Basel and Venice next year, two shows that have been postponed this year due to Covid. One is a Solo and a Retrospective show , the other is a Group one, in which I will showcase some new work.

You travel around Greece quite often for work. Can you tell us a few of your favourite destinations for Spring? Summer? Autumn and Winter? 

Peloponnese and Olympia in particular is beautiful in the spring. One has to see the Archaeological Site of  Olympia when the almond trees are blooming. For the summer my favourite places are Koufonisia and Patmos. Mykonos is magical in Autumn and for the winter Pilio is the place to be.

What was the highlight of your summer travels in Greece for 2020? 

This was the first time that I brought my baby daughter with me on a business trip.

Can your work be purchased online? 

Yes, you can either visit my website yiorgoskordakis, or my Instagram account @yiorgoskordakis. You can also visit the galleries representing my work  galerie-karsten-greve or voltzclarke.

9 Best Coffee Table Books that Will Transport You to Greece

Coffee table books are a joy to browse. With stunning photography and loads of inspiration, they make a perfect addition to your home and an ideal gift for yourself or any travel lover.

We have put together a list of our favourite Greek themed coffee table books that feature breathtaking imagery- so you can be transported to Greece without leaving your sofa! 

Greece, Francois Halard by LV

Famed for his photographs of interiors, François Halard captures places that are alive. Born in Paris to parents who were interior designers, François Halard has created a wide collection of travel books for luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton, presenting his travel photography with a fashion perspective that takes you to faraway places and dream destinations. Here, he presents his very personal vision of Greece, and in particular the island of Symi. Classical sculptures, mineral structures and landscapes rising up from the earth fill the pages, tinted in blue tones. 

Mykonos Muse by Assouline

 This book chronicles the culture and society that has defined Mykonos over the past century—from its days as a hideout for such luminaries and elites as Le Corbusier and Antonis Benakis, to its moment as a sanctuary for the gay community, to its predominant party scene—all the while indulging the reader with the ruins and myths hidden there. Capturing the essence of the island, this book showcases the gorgeous architecture, fantastic beaches and artistic flair and the vibrancy of this Cycladic isle.

Athens Riviera by Stephanie Artarit

This stunning book gives a magical glimpse into Athens’ beautiful coastline which is filled with a string of stunning neighbourhoods that are home to a selection of high-end hotels, pristine beaches and a buzzing nightlife. Assouline’s Athens Riviera hardcover book showcases the beauty and luxury of this prestigious spot and there are 300 pages exploring the revival of art, culture and nightlife of the area. Accompanied by striking photographs, it truly celebrates the beauty of the Athenian coast.

Ancient Greece by Sophia Simone

This book is filled with beautiful pictures allowing you to take a journey through Greece. With a range of spectacular photography from Athens to the islands, you will be transported to exquisite destinations across the country. This is perfect for all Philhellenes, as this beautifully packaged coffee table photo book showcases amazing pictures of different cities, art, architecture and culture from Greece.

Best Kept Secrets of the Greek Islands by Diane Farr Louis

Covering six of Greece’s island groups – starting in the west with the Ionian islands, moving east to the Argo-Saronics, continuing to the Cyclades, Crete and the Dodecanese, circling up to the North Aegean islands and back round to the Sporades and Evia – this book highlights some of the most beautiful landscapes and villages of the Mediterranean.

Greece: The Cookbook by Vefa Alexiadou

This gorgeous book highlights the rich and fascinating cooking of modern Greece and has been labelled as “the first truly comprehensive bible of Greek food in English.” With hundreds of simple recipes by Vefa Alexiadou, the authoritative grand dame of Greek cookery, the book also includes information on regional specialities, local ingredients and the religious and historical significance of the dishes. It is illustrated with 230 colour photographs.

At Home in Greece by Julia Klimi

From the one-room cubic Cycladic houses that inspired Le Corbusier to imposing Venetian towers and houses integrated into rocks, At Home in Greece reveals an astonishing collection of homes in the Aegean through the lens of Julia Klimi. The unique variety of Greek architecture is highlighted through the 468 photographs and text within this deluxe volume.

Greece: Land of the Light by Nicholas Gage

In the stark light of the Greek sun, colours become so pure and clear that they are almost audible. Brukoff’s bright colour images and Gage’s evocative words delineate the heart of Greece. Included are the great classical ruins, Byzantine monasteries, colourful fishing villages, and the ubiquitous cats. Gage’s insightful essays on the history of Greece, its myths and beliefs, life in the villages and the age old wisdom and spirit of the Greek people, are a passionate tribute to the country.

NG The Greeks: An Illustrated History by Dianne Harris Cline

On the culture that brought us democracy, the Olympics, Socrates, and Alexander the Great, this lavishly illustrated reference about ancient Greece presents the amazing history through gripping stories; the rise and fall of the phenomenal empire; the powerful legacy left by ancient Greece for the modern world; and the new discoveries shedding light on these ancient people that are still so much with us. Learn of spectacular discoveries such as the Uluburun shipwreck, the earliest writing ever found in Europe, and buried palaces. A stunning treasure, this lushly-illustrated, uniquely comprehensive and accessible history of Ancient Greece is perfect for anyone interested in the origins of our modern world.

Eleni Stasinopoulou: The Hotel Trotter

Eleni Stasinopoulou, creator of the popular blog The Hotel Trotter, has been a fashion and lifestyle journalist for 20 years and a contributor to many leading Greek publications, including Harpers Bazaar, Madame Figaro and InStyle. 

Recognised as a social media influencer, Eleni hosts a series of styling seminars and also appears on popular Greek television shows, sharing her style and fashion tips.  

With a keen eye for detail and an absolute obsession with hotels, Eleni has created a blog that allows her to visit a range of hotels- staying in the nicest rooms with a view, while reviewing lobby designs, buffet breakfasts, sunset drinks, poolside lounges, and private beaches! 

IN+SIGHTS GREECE recently spoke with Eleni about her amazing career and her favourite hotels in Greece. 

Can you please tell us about your work as Editor in Chief of numerous leading Greek publications? 

Insights Greece - Eleni Stasinopoulou: The Hotel Trotter

As long as I remember myself, I always wanted to work in the media industry. I started as a fashion editor in women’s magazines and went on to participate in the introduction of digital media in Greece. The last eight years I have been a web editor in chief for the lifestyle sites of Attica Media Group (MadameFigaro, MissBloom.gr, HarpersBazaar.gr among them) and have loved every moment. It’s a non-stop – sometimes exhausting job- but at the same time a very exciting and creative one. Working for digital media is like a youth elixir. I think this job will keep me forever young!

When did your wanderlust begin and how did it feel when you were able to combine your everyday work with your love for travel?

Ι grew up believing that every hotel is an exciting parallel universe. I believe in hotel magic! Magic happens every single time. A nice hotel can turn me into a much better version of myself. Show me the reception and I instantly forget all my everyday chaos. I am always ready to move into this world of liberating temporality, where vacation mode is switched on.

What do you enjoy most about your work? 

Apart from this, my job always gave me the chance to enjoy unique travel experiences as well as a stay at great hotels. Long before Instagram existed, I used to take snapshots of my hotel rooms, breakfasts and views. In 2015, this habit of mine became my Instagram account @thehoteltrotter. Sometime after this, I also created my blog. TheHotelTrotter focuses on this obsession of mine, the hotel life which to me symbolises a much needed carefree mode of living. With the mere of a fashion and lifestyle editor, I hope to inspire all stylish connoisseurs of travelling.

What was the highlight(s) of your travels throughout summer 2020 in Greece? 

Insights Greece - Eleni Stasinopoulou: The Hotel Trotter

Visiting popular Greek islands such as Patmos, Mykonos, Santorini, Zakynthos without the crowds of tourists was a unique experience but I hope this will never happen again and tourism will go back to normal very very soon.

In Greece, which would you say are your favourite hotels for A) luxury stay B) wellbeing retreat C) best design/decor 

Due to its legacy and location, Kinsterna in Monemvasia is a unique hotel in Greece. Poseidonion at Spetses offers an unforgettable experience. It is one of the few Grand Dame hotels in Greece. Euphoria Retreat at Mystras is an amazing holistic destination and spa-like no one else in the country. Architecture at Olea All Suite in Zakynthos is awesome and so Instagram -worthy. Dexamenes Seaside is an architectural project that has gathered publicity from all around the world, having transformed old wine tanks to a boutique hotel. I could go on forever.

In 2020, what do you believe makes a hotel shine? 

Safety, uniqueness, thoughtfulness, interesting details (that enhance the experience, the design, the food etc) and location, location, location!

You are a fashion/beauty editor, can you please tell us your personal style. And what do always pack with you when you travel? 

I like versatile clothes that can take you from morning to night. I love blazers, which I combine with everything from elegant skirts to casual jeans and also dresses because they can instantly change a look. Apart from these (blazers and dresses), I like to pack sarongs and espadrilles (if it’s summer) and mid-heel boots and scarves (if it’s winter). I have a travel beauty kit with small sizes of my beauty essentials, which I always take with me.

Over the cooler months, where do you love spending time in Greece? And what are your travel plans for this winter? 

I usually travel to Europe and especially Paris, which is the city I can’t stop falling in love with. My next plans included Portugal and Jordan but like everybody, I will have to wait a bit… Let’s hope that we all will start to travel again soon.

For people planning to visit Greece in autumn/winter for the first time, do you have any tips and advice on where to go? 

Athens is a must. It is such a lively city with amazing small boutique and large luxe hotels, a cool art scene and great museums. The Peloponnese and Pelion are also wonderful destinations, full of picturesque villages and cultural must-sees.


IG: elenista  thehoteltrotter 

Themis Z: Leading Luxury Lifestyle Brand Handcrafted in Greece

Inspired by her Hellenic heritage, talented international designer Themis Zouganeli launched the elegant luxury lifestyle brand THEMIS Z in 2015, creating simple and timeless homewares and fashion pieces that are all carefully handcrafted in Greece.

Using locally sourced natural materials and traditional artisans, the classic collections include signature handmade dinner and coffee sets, stylish cushions and vases, as well as graceful ready-to-wear pieces and chic accessories that are adored by women worldwide.

With flagship stores in Athens, Mykonos and Gstaad, IN+SIGHTS GREECE recently spoke with Themis about her unique style, and her bespoke collaboration with luxury house Dior Maison- plus we take an exclusive look at the brand’s stunning new Fall Collection.  

Tell us about your leading lifestyle brand. When was it launched and what was the concept behind it?

Insights Greece - Themis Z: Leading Luxury Lifestyle Brand Handcrafted in Greece

The brand was created and grew organically about five years ago. As an interior designer, I wanted to design and produce an unpretentious luxury line of home accessories inspired by my own aesthetic outlook whilst ensuring each item is handmade in Greece. As I love patterns that are simple and structural, inspired by Greek architecture, I started designing various motifs, first on cushions and plates and later on transferring these motifs onto entire homeware lines as well as luxury bespoke ready-to-wear items and accessories. The “Made in Greece” label is a core value of the brand, as for us it is very important to support local artisans who continue preserving and practicing their art for over 30 years, creating ethically and locally made pieces that last forever.

What is the main inspiration behind your creations?

Insights Greece - Themis Z: Leading Luxury Lifestyle Brand Handcrafted in Greece

The whole brand incorporates a relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle with sophisticated style and unique patterns. The entire collection is made for easy living which at this point in time is so relevant and important. It is time to focus on quality over quantity and to evolve a sustainable way of living. The inspiration for the patterns comes from my life in Greece, and all the visual inspiration I get from our beautiful Athenian architecture.

What do you love most about your work?

I love every aspect that has to do with THEMIS Z and I love being involved in the whole process from sketching the patterns and designing the collections to creating the art de la table, organising the
photo shooting and interacting with our clients. Every part of this job fills my heart and motivates me to do my best, serving a brand that breathes sustainability and unpretentious luxury.

Tell us about your collaboration with Dior Maison. 

This came three years ago as an ongoing process which is amazing. It was an honour to sell our tableware to the creative director of Dior Maison, Cordelia de Castellane, who loved our style and contacted me to design and produce bespoke homeware under the name of Dior Maison itself. Over the past few years, I have designed the Scorpios Collection and the Hydra Collection and we are currently working on further.

What are your favourite pieces from your Fall Collection? 

I absolutely adore our new pattern of the Peacock, inspired by a beautiful Art Deco staircase found in an old theatre in downtown Athens. On the tableware I love the two-tone of light and dark brown for fall and winter, it creates warmth and gives a unique style to any table setting. I also love our new Peacock napkins and placemats, foil-blocked with our pattern in gold which is so unique as it adds a luminous touch to any table setting. I am also totally in love with our new silk shirts, once again adorned with the Peacock pattern on the cuffs, so timeless and chic. All of our ready-to-wear pieces are handmade in our very own atelier in Athens and are of exceptional quality. Last but not least I am fond of a super sexy suit made of silk velvet which I absolutely adore and can’t wait to wear.

All your pieces are made in Greece, how important is that to you? 

The concept of “Made in Greece” is very important to me and an integral part of the brand. All our artisans live and work in and around Athens and have been working on their crafts for generations. During the crisis in Greece, many of these artisans were in dire straits and I am very proud to have assisted in my own way for their rebirth and growth. I work very closely with all of them, many times visiting their workplace – forming close relationships and a bond is a core part of the brand. Greek craftsmanship is a unique art and I am so happy to be able to share it with the world. As I mentioned previously, when it comes to clothing, we produce every piece in-house at our own atelier where wonderful seamstresses who take great pride in their work create true masterpieces, timeless items that will be in a woman’s wardrobe for years to come. We also try and use clothing materials that are made in Greece, like virgin wool and organic silk produced in Northern Greece, Soufli, Evros.

You grew up in Athens and spent most summers in Mykonos. What are your fondest childhood memories? 

I hold very fond memories from my childhood. Athens and Mykonos in the 1970s and 1980s were very stylish places and of course, Athens was always brimming with life and culture, beautiful visual inspirations and references that stay with you as you grow up. Mykonos was also a dreamy place, extremely cosmopolitan which at that time was a unique aspect of Greece, very free-spirited, fun-loving and energetic. As a child, all these images and feelings stay with you growing up and become part of you, which I feel is also reflected in my brand.

Your Dad owned some of the most exclusive nightclubs in Athens and Mykonos. Tell us more. 

I was too young to be able to go to nightclubs at the time, but the entertainment part of my character, which is also an undivided part of the brand, is definitely an outcome of that. Creating beautiful spaces where people can relax and enjoy themselves, and arranging beautiful table settings which create a special ambience is all the outcome of having come from the family I come from. I would say the images that are in my head of Mykonos at the time which was extremely chic and glamorous, have also stayed with me. “Enjoying life in the most relaxed but elegant manner” was the theme of the nightlife my father created and I would say this is the essence of my brand, as well.

Where are a few of your favourite spots to wine and dine in Athens? 

I absolutely love a restaurant called Ratka in the centre of Athens, it has been around since the ’70s and is a great place to see friends. And a French restaurant L’Abreuvoir which holds most of my childhood memories, with a beautiful garden in the centre of town and great food.

Where would you take overseas guests visiting Athens? 

Definitely the Acropolis and the area around it as it has an amazing energy and vibe! Lunch at the Grande Bretagne with a view of the Acropolis, and then I would take them down by the sea in Vouliagmeni, nothing beats the Greek sea.

A few of your most loved spots in Mykonos? 

Spilia restaurant in Agia Anna and Alemagou in Ftelia for a nice sunset dinner and dancing.

Favourite place for a swim in Mykonos?

By far the best swim is in the still pure and untouched beach of Agios Sostis which is where I grew up in the summers.

Most memorable Mykonian lunch? 

I have so many memorable late lunches it’s difficult to speak of one in particular, but one of my favourite things to do is to spend the entire day out on a boat around Mykonos when it’s not too windy, have a very late lunch at Thalassaki restaurant in Tinos, which I highly recommend and then coming back as the sun sets while watching it all aboard the boat.

You enjoy entertaining. What do you like cooking for your guests?  

I love cooking for our Christmas Day feast, it’s a ritual I did with my mother and now with my daughters. It consists of Turkey, a red sweet and sour cabbage, a Polish recipe of my mother’s, lemon and chocolate mousse.

Some hosting tips? 

Beautiful plates, beautiful flowers, lots and lots of candles and a lot of good vibes and feelings.

What do you always pack with you when you travel? 

My chapstick. Very important!


Taking it Nice N Easy at Athens’ Top Farm-to-Table Restaurant

Ahead of its time, when Nice N Easy opened in Kolonaki in 2008 it introduced a way of eating to the Greek public that was relatively unknown at the time: food that’s designed to be delicious as well as highly nutritious.

Vegetarians and vegans can find numerous options to suit their dietary needs, while meat-eaters can choose from dishes made with well-farmed meats. Since then, owners Eirini, Dimitris and Chris (the latter being the executive chef) have developed a loyal clientele by continuing to serve top quality farm-to-table, organic food made with ingredients sourced from small producers. Today, Nice N Easy can be found in Kolonaki as well as Kifissia and Mykonos.

Type of cuisine? Farm-to-table Mediterranean – North American – Fusion. Healthy comfort food with a sophisticated, contemporary style.

Type of eatery? An all-day restaurant with a well-curated menu that offers plenty of options for every taste. Stylish, modern, spacious and fun, both because of its décor and its friendly, professional service. You can dress up or dress down, there’s no pressure to look the part.

Insights Greece - Taking it Nice N Easy at Athens’ Top Farm-to-Table Restaurant

The low down… The Kolonaki restaurant has become one of my favourite hangouts, not only for its endless options of delicious and healthy dishes but also because of its buzzy, uplifting ambiance – which truly is nice n easy! – and chic but unpretentious crowd. Open-air in summer and enclosed by transparent curtains in the colder months, its outdoorsiness is pleasant, and not only for Covid-related reasons. It has become my ideal place to meet friends on a Friday night for a wonderful bottle of wine (the wine list includes many Greek and international labels of the highest quality) or cocktail and a large selection of tasty bites. It’s also great for a Sunday brunch, whether you’re craving creamy, oozy eggs benedict (here served both in the classic rendition and a Greek version) or super healthy Spa Omelet or avocado toast and juice-veggie smoothies.

Insights Greece - Taking it Nice N Easy at Athens’ Top Farm-to-Table Restaurant

 Décor/ Ambience? Having spent many years working in the food industry and often catering for Hollywood in the US, co-owner Dimitris brought with him his love of the golden years of the world’s most stellar film industry. The restaurant’s menu and décor are thus themed on legendary film stars and their incandescent glamour. Eat under the gaze of Frank Sinatra and Marylin Monroe, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

Entrees? If you’re here for wine and bites in the middle, go for the Laurence Olivier lollipop-style chicken wings, the Anne Baxter fried calamari on a tarama spread, the Marvin Gaye grilled meatballs with sweet potato hummus or the Diana Ross fresh tuna tartare with fresh and dried strawberries. Other good entrees are the Otis Redding buffalo burrata with pistachio pesto and the Power Bowl with quinoa, sweet potato, pomegranate, beluga lentils and avocado.

Mains? The mains include a vegan menu, pasta dishes, burgers and meat or fish-based dishes. Meat eaters should try the Clark Gable slow-cooked pata negra steak, Marlon Brando cheeseburger with caramelised onions, coleslaw and pickled cucumbers while vegans can choose the Cary Grant burger. For a twist of healthy Asian flavour don’t miss out on the Brigitte Bardot konjac root noodles, and for a hearty Italian-inspired pasta dish try the Sophia Loren with skioufihta traditional pasta, gruyere, wild mushrooms and truffle paste.

Something to drink? With a quality wine and cocktail menu, there are numerous choices to enjoy, and you can ask the restaurant’s sommelier for pairing advice too. If you want a cocktail that’s in your thirsty imagination rather than the menu, feel free to ask the barman to create it for you.

Desserts: When it comes to sweets, Nice N Easy likes to indulge its visitors with classic American and European specialties like Banoffee pie, Profiterole and Galaktoboureko. However, if you’d rather stick to your healthy eating plan, they produce a fantastic – lactose and sugar free – ice cream made by a specialist gelato artisan in Greece with olive oil and served in hazelnut, vanilla, chocolate and mango flavours.

Price range? Around 35 € per head for a three-course meal excluding drinks

Location?  Omirou 60 & Skoufa, Kolonaki

Opening hours/days? Daily, 9:00 – 24:00

Travel Around Greece With These 10 Films

While many of us wait to head back to the Aegean, we have rounded up ten of our favourite films set in Greece, that are destined to bring you a step closer to the beautiful Greek sea and land! 

Boy on a Dolphin (1957)

This was the first Hollywood movie shot in Greece. Phaedra, played by legendary actress Sophia Loren, is a poor Greek sponge diver on the island of Hydra. She works from her boyfriend Rhif’s (Jorge Mistral) boat, he is an immigrant from Albania. She accidentally finds an ancient Greek statue of a boy riding a dolphin on the bottom of the Aegean Sea. This statue brings pride to the city of Hydra and has been lost for around 2000 years.

Location scenes: Greek Saronic Islands- mostly in Hydra and also in Poros, Athens, Rhodes, Delos, and Meteora

The Guns of Navarone (1961)

This is a 1961 British-American epic adventure war film, which was inspired by the Battle of Leros- during the Dodecanese Campaign of World War II. The film stars legendary actors Gregory Peck, David Niven, and Anthony Quinn. The book and the film share the same basic plot: the efforts of an Allied commando unit are set to destroy a seemingly impregnable German fortress that threatens Allied naval ships in the Aegean Sea. 

Location scenes: Rhodes island

Insights Greece - Travel Around Greece With These 10 Films

Zorba the Greek (1964) 

This famous 1964 Greek-American film was written, produced, edited, and directed by Greek Cypriot Michael Cacoyannis and stars Anthony Quinn as the titular character. Basil, half English, half Greek, meets Alexis Zorba, a Greek man, while they are both waiting at the port of Piraeus, to board a ship for Crete, where Basil’s family owns land, and where Basil intends to reopen a mine. Once in Crete, an unlikely friendship between Basil and Alexis leaves the wealthy, educated, English gentleman, having second thoughts as to if education and a refined life are the be-all and end-all. 

Location scenes: Crete, mainly in Chania

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

This famous spy film was the twelfth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, and the fifth to star Roger Moore as MI6 agent James Bond. Deep into the Roger Moore era, this James Bond episode was much enhanced by its location shooting on Corfu. There’s a plane-eye-view to start, then scenes scattered around the island. In Corfu Town, Bond falls for beautiful  Melina, who is out to get revenge for the murder of her parents.

Location scenes: Corfu, Meteora, Achilleion

Insights Greece - Travel Around Greece With These 10 Films

Shirley Valentine (1989)

The main character is a fed-up, 42-year-old English housewife who is completely bored with every aspect of her life and jumps at the chance of a holiday to Greece. When her friend drops out of the trip, Shirley travels to Mykonos alone, and here begins a passionate love affair with Greek waiter; Costas, and it becomes the beginning of Shirley’s life in Greece.

Location scenes: Mykonos

Insights Greece - Travel Around Greece With These 10 Films

The Big Blue (1988)

This cult film is a heavily fictionalised story of two friends, Enzio Maiorca (Jean Reno) and Jaques Mayol (Jean-Marc Barr) both free divers, growing up in Greece in the 1960s until their deaths in the 1980s. The friends travel through France, Italy, and Peru, but the key locations here are in Greece. Jacques grows up on Ios, at Manganari and there are many scenes set in Amorgos. 

Location scenes: Amorgos, Ios

Insights Greece - Travel Around Greece With These 10 Films

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001) 

The main characters are Antonio Corelli (Nicholas Cage), an Italian army captain, and Pelagia (Penelope Cruz), the daughter of the local physician. During this war/romance film, Corelli is the leader of the Italian invasion force that controls the Greek island of Kefalonia. Billeted with the local doctor he falls in love with his daughter Pelagia, even though she is engaged to resistance fighter Mandras. Slowly, his feelings are returned but their life and love are disrupted when the Italians surrender to the Allies. 

Location scenes: Kefalonia

MAMMA MIA! (2008)

This famous musical is based on the songs of pop group ABBA and the film features an ensemble cast, including Christine Baranski, Pierce Brosnan, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried, Stellan Skarsgård, Meryl Streep, and Julie Walters. The plot follows a young bride-to-be who invites three men to her upcoming wedding, each one with the possibility of being her father.

Location scenes: Skopelos, Pelion, Damouchari

Never on a Sunday (1960)

This is a 1960 Greek black-and-white, romantic comedy film that tells the story of Ilya, a self-employed, free-spirited prostitute who lives in the port of Piraeus in Athens, and Homer, an American tourist and classical scholar who is enamored of all things Greek. Starring Greece’s cherished actress Melina Mercouri and Jules Dassin, this movie gently submerges the viewer into Greek culture, including dance, music, and language (through the use of subtitles).

Location scenes: Athens

Insights Greece - Travel Around Greece With These 10 Films

Summer Lovers (1982)

An American romantic comedy film written and directed by Randal Kleiser, it stars Peter Gallagher, Daryl Hannah, and Valerie Quennessen. It was filmed on location in the Cyclades, mainly on the island of Santorini, and follows the American characters Michael Pappas and Cathy Featherstone, a young couple from Connecticut, who have just graduated from college and spend their entire summer on the island of Santorini.

Location scenes: Santorini, Crete, Delos, and Mykonos

Pandemic Dampens Real Estate in Greece but Holiday Homes Still Shine  

The Covid-19 pandemic has pulled the brake on Greece’s real estate market, freezing deals and prices on housing, but pockets of demand have emerged from foreign buyers looking at property on Greek soil.

Interest from investors located mainly in European countries, led by UK nationals, has increased in recent months as they search for property either for investment purposes or to be used as a holiday home, real estate agents report.

Demand has been focusing mostly on homes on the Athens Riviera, the southern beach stretch running from Piraeus to Sounio, as well as islands such as Mykonos, Crete, Corfu, and Paros.

Homes worth 7 to 10 million euros are on investor radars but the majority of enquiries concern properties in the range of 500,000 to 1.5 million euros, Christos Mourdoukoutas, sales analyst at Algean Property, tells IN+SIGHTS GREECE.

“They are mainly looking for a place in a prime location that is close to international airports – popular holiday destinations and the Athenian Riviera – which could offer a good yield too, since their interest is usually related with investment purposes,” he says.

Growth in Greece’s real estate prices had been growing steadily, recovering from a ten-year slump, when the pandemic hit. Data from the Bank of Greece, the country’s central bank, showed that prices last year jumped 7.3 percent and then by an annual pace of 6.9 percent in the first three months of this year.

Since then, local buyers and home owners have adopted a wait-and-see stance due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the recession at hand. Insights Greece - Pandemic Dampens Real Estate in Greece but Holiday Homes Still Shine  

Due to travel restrictions, interest in buying Greek assets comes mostly from nearby European nations as investors from further away are still having a hard time getting to the country. This is a trend seen globally, with real estate investors currently preferring their own regions due to travel restrictions.

Market officials say that buyers from China, who have been a main source of foreign investment in Greek homes in recent years, are still showing strong interest in Greek homes.

A key reason why buyers remain keen on Greece is that prices in the country remain well below levels seen in other European countries. Additionally, yields offered on homes on islands, such as Mykonos, exceed the 8 percent mark, ranking among the highest in Europe, according to data provided by Algean Property.

The country’s successful handling of the pandemic over the lockown period earlier this year boosted its appeal as a safe destination, with homes offering privacy and large areas sought after.

“We see that more than half of those interested have accelerated their decisions and want to invest in a private vacation and place for relaxation. For many, the pandemic has led to a review of their priorities, resulting in them speeding up decisions to leave their jobs and are now seek to buy a luxury property for the rest of their lives,” Savvas Savvaidis, president and CEO of Greece Sotheby’s International Realty told Kathimerini.

In March, Sotheby’s handled one of the biggest deals to take place in the residential market in Greece in recent years. An Australian business owner purchased a villa in Corfu for 12 million euros, with the sale going ahead normally despite the lockdown period. It is Sotheby’s third sale above 10 million euros in Greece in the last year.

*Images courtesy of  Sotheby’s International Realty

Greek Fashion Brand Making a Lifestyle Statement

When it comes to cool and casual fashion brands in Greece it’s hard to go past PARA TODOS. The brainchild of Tassos Tsadaris, PARA TODOS debuted in 2017 and has been killing it ever since.

This unisex street fashion label takes a diverse and cool approach to design, never getting stuck in one place for too long. Between its easily accessible website and range of retail locations in Greece, the popular clothing brand is always within reach.

We recently spoke to Tassos about his stylish designs that make a lifestyle statement in fashion form.

Tell us a bit about your background and training in the fashion industry?

I studied fashion design in London from 2007 till 2011. After graduating I went back to Greece and started my first brand Saint’s Menswear in June of 2013 and have continued working in the fashion industry on my own projects.

When did you launch PARA TODOS and what is the concept behind it? Insights Greece - Greek Fashion Brand Making a Lifestyle Statement

I launched PARA TODOS Clothing Co. back in September 2017, and the concept is casual/street design with big attention to simplicity, understated elegance and an emphasis on eclectic use of materials and quality fabrics.

What inspires your creations?

Generally by historical Japanese styles.

How would you describe your brand?

Elegant, simple and easy to wear on every occasion.

Are the materials locally sourced and where are they made?

Yes, they are locally sourced in general, some are made in Turkey and some in Italy.

Insights Greece - Greek Fashion Brand Making a Lifestyle StatementWho are the pieces created for?

“PARA TODOS” means “for all” so we create for everyone! But unfortunately in Greece, we have a small target group because there aren’t many people who are willing to try new styles but we aren’t giving up and we continue following our dream. Generally, we work with artists, stylists and people from the fashion industry.

Tell us about your latest collection?

F/W21’ is once more Japanese inspired, oversized and unisex-with many layers.

What is your favourite item in your range at the moment? 

I have more than one, but I can’t show you right now, you will be able to see them when the F/W21’ collection will be launched.

What are the current projects you are working on and is there anything exciting coming up you would like to share?

Right now I am working on the PARA TODOS F/W21’ which in my opinion will be my best project so far! And after this, I will work on a re-branding project that you will see in spring.

Where is your brand stocked? 

In Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Larisa and online and we are still searching for retailers all over the world.

Do you ship internationally?

Of course!

Tell us your favourite holiday destination in Greece and why?

There are two places that I love in Greece the first one is Mykonos, where I have been going to with my grandparents every Easter and summer, so I have seen the island in many phases and I have so many memories in Mykonos, I really Insights Greece - Greek Fashion Brand Making a Lifestyle Statementlove the island. The second one is Mount Pelion, as it combines the mountains and the sea it is so beautiful, magical and natural.

How would you describe the Greek fashion scene in 2020?

Hmmm, in the most recent years I see a lot of steps forward from people within the industry that is making me really happy. I see more and more people that are getting out of their comfort zone and trying new styles and this is very promising.

How would you describe your own style?

Simple and plain. On my workdays, I am either wearing my black or white t-shirt, and footwear my black or white sneakers- usually vans! I like to change it up when I have an event, where I will always wear the shiniest and most colourful piece in my current collection.

Check out Para Todos here.