New Cyprus-Greece Ferry Link to Set Sail in June 

After 21 years, the first Cyprus-Greece passenger ferry link will set sail on June 19 from Limassol Port arriving at the Port of Piraeus in Athens, 30 hours later. 

The announcement was made on Friday by Cyprus’ Deputy Shipping Minister Vassilios Dimitriades, along with Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades stating, “Our citizens will once again be able to travel to Greece and Europe by sea, transporting their private vehicles as well.”

The service will last until September 16, with four trips scheduled for June, eight in July, seven in August, and three in September.

The Cypriot-flagged passenger ferry which carries up to 400 people, includes  38 first-class cabins, 68 second-class cabins, 110 seats, 100 vehicle spots, as well as a restaurant, café, and a clinic. 

The cheapest return tickets for adults, with a simple seating arrangement, are set at 76 euros while a second-class cabin return ticket is 80 euros and one-way tickets cost 38 and 40 euros. 

Children aged 4-12 will be charged 56 euros while those aged up to four will be charged 31 euros and cars up to 5-meters long will have a fee of 203 euros. 

For more details on the new ferry link from Cyprus to Greece, head to Maritime Cyprus. 

Piraeus Tower to Become Greece’s First “Green” High-Rise Building 

The iconic Piraeus Tower is undergoing a major redevelopment that will see it become a contemporary, bioclimatic landmark of Athens and Greece’s first certified “green” high-rise building. 

Located along the starting point of Athens Riviera, Piraeus Tower is a 34,600 sqm, 22-storey building that rises 88 metres above sea level. Once completed, the sustainable building that boasts panoramic views will host the first “green” retail, food and beverage space in Greece, along with luxury office spaces and a terrace overlooking Piraeus Port. 

The original tower was completed in 1975 but except for the first three floors, the interior has never been occupied. In 2020, Dimand SA and Prodea Investments came to an agreement with the Municipality of Piraeus to transform the tower into modern offices, retail, and restaurants, with architecture studio PILA redesigning the façade of the building. 

According to officials, the Piraeus Tower “will consist of a structure that is visually intriguing and incorporates strategies in order to drastically reduce the energy consumption of the building. The façade is conceived in order to integrate the structure into the daily life of the city and to enhance the lives of citizens and the users of the building.

“The design mediates the scale of the city and that of the tower, engaging the prospect of offering amazing exterior spaces and sharing breathtaking views. A shading structure consisting of vertical and horizontal overhangs clads the volume of the tower. Each vertical fin is horizontally displaced from one floor to the next and creates a spring pattern that wraps around the building.” 

The rejuvenation of Piraeus Tower is expected to be completed by September 2023.

A Stylish New Hotel Set to Open at the Port of Piraeus

A stylish new smart hotel- the Port Square Hotel- ideally located at Athens’ busy port of Piraeus, is set to open in 2022. 

Surrounded by a wide range of shops and eateries the modern hotel will provide a cozy stay for business travellers- and all local and international visitors seeking comfortable accommodation close to Piraeus port. 

Centrally located in the Greek capital, it is only 20 meters away from Piraeus’ train and metro station- making it a convenient place to stay before sailing off to the Greek islands. 

This luxury hotel will offer 55 modern rooms and suites (some come with a balcony and others also have city views) boasting minimal aesthetics and the latest technology in hotel services- which is displayed in every corner of the hotel- from the rooms to the conference hall and the rooftop area. 

The property will also feature Bacaro restaurant and bar, where guests are welcomed to explore diverse and contemporary cuisine; and the hotel also offers a buffet breakfast, concierge service and luggage storage space, a 24-hour front desk, room service and organising tours. 

The project has been developed by Trésor Hospitality and a team of architects and designers who transformed an old building of offices in front of the marina into the first smart hotel in the Piraeus area.

A: 6 Lidovikou, Pireaus

W: Port Square Hotel 

Visiting the Grand Municipal Theatre of Piraeus

Having first opened its doors in 1895, the Municipal Theatre of Piraeus immediately became a jewel in Athens, as well as a cultural landmark of the city – offering inspiration and creation for the Greek theatre and music scene.

Considered a theatre of rich history and beauty, it is housed in a grand neoclassical building designed by architect Ioannis Lazarimos, who through his work on this project was able to highlight some of the finest examples of 19th Century Greek architecture. 

Insights Greece - Visiting the Grand Municipal Theatre of Piraeus
Outside the theatre

The style of the building is described as “classicist”, and is highly influenced by German architect Ernst Moritz Theodore Ziller, who designed hundreds of buildings in Athens and was the most famous architect in Greece at the end of the 19th Century.

The façade of the theatre features four Corinthian columns and a condiment; inside, the stage is considered one of the last surviving monuments of the Baroque era in Europe. It consists of a proscenium and a space for the orchestra, and the auditorium features 1300 seats with stalls, boxes, and balconies that are arranged over four levels. 

The main room was lit by an enormous chandelier, which can still be seen today. There were also spacious dressing rooms and a luxurious sitting lounge for the actors, while the two-level foyer also hosted balls and exhibitions by renowned Greek artists.

Over the years, a range of prominent Greek directors and actors have performed on this stage and it’s considered one of the best theatres in the country. Hosting both theatrical and musical performances, events and exhibitions has played a major role in the city’s cultural scene.

Insights Greece - Visiting the Grand Municipal Theatre of Piraeus
One of Greece’s most beautiful theatres

Since it first opened, regular maintenance work was done to keep it fresh and inviting, and in 2008, a complete restoration began. In 2013, the stunning building re-opened its doors to the public and curtains were raised once again.

Today, the Municipal Theatre of Piraeus is an imposing neoclassical monument with an exceptional stage, fully operational, with a unique flair. Its extraordinary architecture design still shines through and is worth viewing close up when you are visiting the area, and if you happen to be able to catch a show here, you will undoubtedly be impressed. 

A: Leof. Ir. Politechniou 32, Piraeus 

Municipal Theatre of Piraeus 

New Underwater Museum in Piraeus Gets the Green Light

Athens will soon be welcoming visitors to a vast underwater museum with open shipwrecks and other submerged heritage sites following the Greek Council of Museum’s approval of the preliminary plans for the highly-anticipated Museum of Underwater Antiquities in Piraeus.

The landmark Silo building which was built around 1935 on the waterfront of the Piraeus Port, will be transformed into a museum showcasing Greece’s maritime history. It will allow visitors access to ancient marine monuments, which remain where they were found on the seabed.

Insights Greece - New Underwater Museum in Piraeus Gets the Green Light
New underwater museum of Piraeus

Piraeus is the largest port in Greece and one of the largest seaports in the Mediterranean Sea. According to the Ministry of Culture, “Piraeus Cultural Coast project aims to connect tourism with culture and the city with the port. The New Museum of Underwater Antiquities is linked to the sea, the journey, the discoveries, the research, and the adventure. The new museum will be accommodated in an area of diachronic habitation and will highlight the most important aspect of Greek cultural heritage; our marine tradition.”

The new museum will include shipwrecks, ship models, ancient cargo, and historical maps, as well as galleries, exhibitions, an amphitheatre, a library, as well as an emphasis on education programs and scientific projects, a conservation laboratory; plus a restaurant.

“The main purpose of the creation of the Museum of Underwater Antiquities is to highlight the relationship between Greek culture and its long history with the sea via well-preserved underwater finds. Visitors will be able to dive into the past and view submerged settlements,” announced Lina Mendoni, Minister of Culture and Sport.  

Images Courtesy of Greece’s Ministry of Culture and Sports 

Rents Rise for Homes by the Sea in Athens

Winter or summer, a place by the beach has always a special appeal. With demand for homes shifting away from central Athens due to the pandemic, there is a clear preference for larger, more spacious houses in the capital’s less crowded suburbs.

This has boosted the average price of renting a house in the southern suburbs by 2.1 percent to 10.21 euros per sq/m in the third quarter of the year, data shows. This compares with 9 euros per sq/m in the city center and 9.47 euros per sq/m in the northern suburbs, where demand has been strongest recently.

A recent breakdown of figures provided by RE/MAX shows that rent prices along the southern Athens coast vary.

Progress on the construction of the Ellikino complex at the former international airport has boosted demand in the area as the development project is seen transforming the southern stretch, boosting its strong appeal among locals and foreigners. The beach area does not have access to the Athens subway which services the southern suburbs but further inland, along Vouliagmenis Avenue.

Most of the stretch, however, on the beach is well serviced with buses and the tram line. The majority of areas are also in close proximity to central Athens and landmarks, such as the Acropolis.

Glyfada remains a popular choice, costing 9.60 euros per sq/m, according to RE/MAX data. Next door in Voula, rents are cheaper at 7.80 euros per sq/m.

In Alimos, monthly rents for houses are at 7.9 euros per sq/m, versus 7.80 euros per sq/m in Elliniko and 7.30 euros per sq/m in Paleo Faliro.

Further out, the affluent area of Vari-Varkiza tops the rent price list at 9.50 euros per sq/m.

Near the Port

Down by the port of Piraeus, the country’s largest, prices are lower but fast-rising. Figures show that the price of renting a home in the suburbs of Piraeus rose 14.7 percent in 2021 to 6.88 euros per sq/m, from 6 euros previously. Along with improving infrastructure in the area, the construction of new office buildings has drawn large multi-national tenants, boosting housing needs.

This article was first published here. 

For more Real Estate News & Views on Greece and Europe’s South, head to The Greek Guru.

*Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

Rents Rise in Piraeus and Northern Suburbs of Athens

The price of renting an apartment in the port area of Piraeus has jumped 14.7 percent, while demand for homes in the northern suburbs of Athens pushed rents 10 percent higher, according to third-quarter data collected by classifieds site Spitogatos.

Data shows that rent prices were unchanged in the city center at 9 euros per sq/m despite being one of the capital’s most popular areas. 

In the suburbs of Piraeus, surrounding the country’s largest port, the price of renting a home rose to 6.88 euros per sq/m, from 6 euros previously. Demand for Piraeus has been increasing recently amidst improving infrastructure projects in the district and stronger public transport links. The construction of new office buildings in the area, which have drawn large multi-national tenants, is also boosting housing needs.

In the northern suburbs, which include areas like Kifisia and Marousi, the cost of rent hit 9.47 euros per sq/m, versus 8.57 euros per sq/m in the same period last year. 

It is important to note that Spitogatos assesses the asking prices for rents, as published on its site, not the prices at which rent agreements are made.

In the northern city of Thessaloniki, price hikes were more moderate. The cost of renting a place in the center of the city inched ahead 0.3 percent to 7.80 euros per sq/m, while in the broader Thessaloniki area it rose by 6 percent to 5.83 euros per sq/m. Figures for the prefecture of Thessaloniki showed that prices dipped by 3.8 percent to 3.33 euros per sq/m.

In a glance at the rest of the country, rents plummeted by 23 percent in the Cycladic islands, which includes Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos and Paros, to 15.38 euros per sq/m. On the Sporades islands, including Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros, rent prices soared by 24.2 percent to 7.81 euros per sq/m.

This article was first published here. 

For more Real Estate News & Views on Greece and Europe’s South, head to The Greek Guru.

*Image of Kifisia property courtesy of Sotheby’s