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 

Great New Restaurant in Downtown Thessaloniki

L’Albero is a great new restaurant in downtown Thessaloniki, offering a gourmet menu filled with fresh quality ingredients, authentic flavours, and reasonable prices. 

With a refined-yet-traditional feel, the decor at L’Albero is warm, with earthy tones. And the charming courtyard with pops of greenery is ever-so-inviting. 

The small menu boasts a great collection of authentic dishes including the roasted sweet potato with a tarmac of black-eyed peas and a handmade country sausage with mustard seed. For starters, you can also choose from potatoes fried in smoked pancetta, Burrata with tomatoes and basil, as well as fava with Guanciale and caramelised onions. For a hint of Italian influence check out the light pasta with mussels or the fresh handmade Gnocchi with sage cream and beef cheeks.

For a unique culinary experience, order from the special cuts meat selection- such as the bottom sirloin, rump cap Picanha, butchers steak, and tri-tip- all from premium beef that is cooked at the table right in front of you on special cast iron pans.

Everything you taste at L’Albero is made with the finest ingredients, using the freshest and most seasonal produce that is carefully selected from local producers. 

And we suggest you also take a look at the dessert menu (the pavlova is a stand-out) and the wonderfully curated wine list, which compliments the menu. 

A: Filippou 17, Thessaloniki 

Hollywood Heads to Greece This Summer for Work

Close to 20 international films will be shot across Greece in 2021, confirming the country’s beautiful landscapes, historical monuments and archaeological sites are becoming more and more popular amongst the world’s film industry.

Since the beginning of May, the Athenian neighbourhood of Sepolia, in the heart of Athens, has been used as a backdrop for Disney+’s film Greek Freak, based on the life of NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Milwaukee Bucks’ leading player was born and raised in Sepolia, which is currently the primary location for the much-anticipated biopic of the elite athlete and the live-action film; inspired by the true story of Antetokounmpo’s life and family. 

Insights Greece - Hollywood Heads to Greece This Summer for Work
Disney+ is currently filming in Sepolia, Athens

A new gangster movie Barracuda, starring Antonio Banderas, has also commenced shooting in the Greek region of Central Macedonia. 

“This is a big Hollywood production worth over €20m. It is a very important moment for the goal we have set as a region, to put Central Macedonia on the world map of film producers,” announced the region’s governor, Apostolos Tzitikostas. In 2020, the Film Office of the Central Macedonia Region was established and has since operated as a managing team for foreign production crews in search of filming locations in the area, helping the Barracuda project come to life. 

It has also been confirmed that the eagerly awaited Knives Out sequel will be shot and set in Greece. The star-studded ensemble will include Katherine Hahn, Edward Norton, Dave Bautista, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Janelle Monae, and Jessica Henwick; who have all joined the cast for the film.

Insights Greece - Hollywood Heads to Greece This Summer for Work
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3, set to be filmed in Greece

And earlier this year, Greek-Canadian actress, screenwriter, and director,  Nia Vardalos announced her romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 will be shot in Greece. 

Other major projects choosing to shoot in Greece include season three of Amazon and paramount’s Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Australian director Jason Raftopoulos’ Voices in Deep, and David Cronenberg’s sci-fi film Crimes of the Future will be coming to Athens in early August.

And if you are in Greece this summer and wondering which other famous actors you might bump into? Keep an eye out for Kate Bosworth, Daniel Craig, Kristen Stewart, John Krasinski, La Seydoux, Rian Johnson, and Janelle Viggo Mortensen who are all making their way over to the Aegean in the next few weeks.  

20 Best Things to do in Halkidiki

Dazzling deep blue waters, lush pine forests, luxurious hotels, award-winning fine dining restaurants, small coves with fish tavernas, chic beach bars, archaeological sites, traditional villages, and Holy Mount Athos; Halkidiki promises a wonderful getaway for all! 

Set in the prefecture of Macedonia, Halkidiki (birthplace of famous Greek philosopher Aristotle) is divided into three peninsulas- Kassandra, Sithonia and Mount Athos- also referred to as the “three legs.”  

Just an hour’s drive from Thessaloniki, it’s the perfect coastal getaway for locals in Northern Greece and the best way to get there is by driving along the provincial road 25, which begins from Thessaloniki International Airport and becomes more and more beautiful as you go along! 

Discover the 20 Best Things to do in Halkidiki 

Insights Greece - 20 Best Things to do in Halkidiki
Sail around Halkidiki

1. Be adventurous 

Halkidiki offers many paths for mountain biking and hiking walks around the peninsulas on woodland tracks and along coastal pathways. The forests of Mount Holomontas in the centre of Halkidiki are the perfect escape destination for travellers who want to explore nature,  including hiking trails, horseback riding, or hit the many mountain biking trails of Olympiada on Athos. 

2. Explore a charming fishing village 

Nea Fokea, a picturesque little harbour busy with fishing and sailing boats, offers beautiful views from its seaside promenade and an amazing sandy beach. Boasting a range of cafes and taverns on the seaside, it’s a charming spot with traditional narrow streets and home to some very important historical monuments, including the Byzantine-era Saint Paul’s Tower and Saint Paul’s Cathedral.

3. Visit a historic site  

Arnea is a place that features Halkidiki’s traditional past blending in nicely with its modern-day vibe. The Ministry of Culture has declared Arnea a historic site because of its rich history and its important examples of traditional Macedonian architecture. Make sure to visit the Historic-Folklore Museum of Arnea, which is housed in the historic mansion known as the “Yiatradiko”. Also check out the old village school dated back to 1872, the small church of Agia Paraskevi, the church dedicated to Agios Stefanos and in Arnea you can learn about old-time crafts such as weaving. 

4. Get up close to Petralona Cave 

Named one of the most stunning caves in all of Europe, Petralona features stalactites that sparkle in the dark. What’s even more special is that hidden among the stalagmites, is a 700,000-year-old skull of an early human (Archanthrapus) that has been discovered. Aged 30-35 years, he was considered elderly for that time.

Insights Greece - 20 Best Things to do in Halkidiki
Visit one of the many vineyards

5. Set foot on Aristotle’s hometown 

Macedonia is the birthplace of one of the greatest Greek philosophers. Near the village of Olympiada you will come across Ancient Stagira, the birthplace of Aristotle. In the village, you’ll find the Alsos of Aristotle, a park with a compass, pendulum and prism, highlighting Aristotle’s work that has become famous worldwide. 

6. Travel to Nikiti 

Stroll through the narrow paved alleys and admire the beautiful stone villas with their charming courtyards filled and blossoming flowers. Make sure to check out Agios Nikitas stone church and then to go down to an area that has a big red maple tree and sit at one of the local taverns and enjoy some traditional dishes. 

7. Dive into the deep blue sea 

Halkidiki offers an unlimited choice of water sports including windsurfing, water skiing, scuba diving, snorkelling, canoeing and kayaking. You can also hire a boat and sail around Mount Athos, or visit the Drena islet. 

8. Enjoy local delicacies 

Visit one of the many agricultural farms where you can take part in a cooking class and learn to prepare local dishes using fresh local produce. Halkidiki is famous for its olives, high-quality olive oil, artisan bread and gourmet cheeses, as well as for its traditional sweets and pastries. Whether in a traditional tavern, a local bakery or a gourmet restaurant, make sure to try as much of the local cuisine as you can. One of the best places to staple local delicacies is on the village of Arnea, famous for its honey, jams, wine, and tsipouro (as are most of the villages in Halkidiki).  

9. Become a beekeeper for the day 

Insights Greece - 20 Best Things to do in Halkidiki
Holy Mount Athos

The region is also well known for producing honey of the highest quality and if you want to experience something different head to the Mountain Holomontas in the centre of Halkidiki, where a friendly beekeeping family welcomes and invites you to visit their place, up to the mountain. Here they will show you what it takes to be a beekeeper; as you can be dressed in a beekeepers suit, to live and take part through all the special process of beekeeping. 

10. Walk through the vineyards 

The vineyards of central Halkidiki stretch from the low hills near the sea and the grape varieties are cultivated to produce the white Regional Wines of Halkidiki including Roditis and Sauvignon Blanc. The red Regional Wine of Halkidiki is produced from the Xinomavro, Grenache Rouge and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties. One of our faves is the Metochi Mylopotomas wines, which are from Mount Athos. 

11. Sample Halkidiki’s first-ever handcrafted beer 

Visit Seven Seals Microbrewery in the small town of Ierissos, where you can taste the first-ever local handcrafted Halkidiki beer. Located on the east coast of the Akti peninsula, Seven Seals recently opened to the public and is the perfect place to quench your thirst on a hot day.

12. Explore the Peninsula of Kassandra

Kassandra is Halkidiki’s popular peninsula famous for its buzzing beach bars and annual festivals. Make sure to visit Afitos, the traditional and most beautiful village of Kassandra. Located on the north-eastern side, Afitos has many historical Greek Orthodox churches, stone houses and cobbled alleys. Also, make your way over to the thermal spa of Agia Paraskevi, which offers rejuvenating treatments in its saunas, hydro massage facilities and hammams. 

13. Wonder through Sithonia

Insights Greece - 20 Best Things to do in Halkidiki
Ekies All Senses Resort

With so many places to explore, visitors here are blown away by the small secluded bays that are surrounded by lush trees and other vegetation on Sithonia. Make sure to visit the village Parthenonas, which features stone houses, great local taverns, a museum, splendid sea views and magical sunsets. Porto Koufo village is also a great spot to taste freshly caught fish. At night make your way over to Nikiti, which has a chic new promenade lined with classy restaurants, all-day cafes and boutiques- here you can enjoy a drink while admiring the spectacular view. 

14. View Mount Athos from a distance 

The third finger is Athos, home to one of the most sacred monasteries in the world, Agios Oros- a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Athos is made up of 24 monasteries, which can be viewed by sea on a coastal cruise; this is the only way for women to see the area as no women are permitted at Agios Oros- only men aged 18 and over are permitted to visit (and require permission before arriving). You can however visit Ouranoupoli the closest village to Agios Oros, which has a beautiful view of the islands of Ammouliani and Drenia. It also features the Byzantine tower of Prosforios and some local taverns and cafes.

15. Splurge on a luxury hotel

Halkidiki has a range of hotels to choose from and is home to many five-star luxury hotels that have become a popular option for many international guests. 

Insights Greece - 20 Best Things to do in Halkidiki
Swim in the deep blue sea

Danai Beach Resort: Tucked away in its own little pocket of golden beach and pine forest in Nikiti, it includes a range of restaurants and private beaches.  

Grecotel Margo Bay: With views of Kassandra Bay, rooms come with private balconies. The hotel has a range of restaurants and bars set by the water.

Eagles Palace: A family-owned, 5-star beach resort set next to the monastic state of Mount Athos, it features 157 rooms, suites and bungalows, plus a private sandy beach. 

Ekies All Senses Resort: This luxury hotel has a beachfront location on the Gulf of Vourvourou in Sithonia and offers a beach bar, romantic sunsets and sea views.

Sani Resort:The family-run Sani Resort sits on an ecological reserve stretching across 1,000 acres, with endless golden beaches and is one of the most popular resorts for families. 

Insights Greece - 20 Best Things to do in Halkidiki
Kavourotipes Beach

16. Swim in the bluest of blue waters 

The list of beaches in Halkidiki really is endless and here are some that need to be added to your list- 

Chrouso – Paliouri, Kassandra

Kavourotripes/ Orange beach – Sarti, Sithonia

Agios Mamas- Kassandra

Mikro & Megalo Karydi beach – Vourvourou, Sithonia

Kryaritsi beach – Sykia, Sithonia

Kalogria beach- Nikiti, Sithonia

Kallikratia beach – West Halkidiki

Alykes beach – Ammouliani

Gerakini beach – Gerakini, Sithonia

Kriopigi beach- Kallithea, Kassandra

Trani Ammouda – Ormos Panagias, Sithonia

Komitsa beach – Nea Roda, East Halkidiki

Ammouliani Beach- Aristotelis

Ouranoupolis Beach, Aristotelis

Platinitsi Beach- Sithonia

Agios Mamas- Kassandra

Bassoulas Beach- Kassandra

Tigania Beach- Sithonia

Neos Marmaras- Sithonia

Agia Paraskevi- Kassandra 

Agora Beach – Kassandra 

Porto Koufo – Sithonia 

17. Lounge around a beach bar 

Insights Greece - 20 Best Things to do in Halkidiki
Fresh dishes at Tomata

Halkidiki is renowned for the many cool beach bars that are packed with locals and international visitors each year over summer. For those who love the buzzing vibe add these ones to your list- Manassu Beach Bar, MOA Beachbar, Orca Bar, Molos Seaside Bar, Agistri Bar, KOHI Beach bar, Navagos, Yalla Beach Bar, Agios Ioannis Beach Bar and Talgo Beach Bar.

18. Taste some of the most superb dishes 

There is no shortage of great places to eat in Halkidiki, a place that boasts many award-winning restaurants. For all the foodies, these won’t disappoint- Tomata at 
Sani Marina, French restaurant Squirrel, Water Restaurant also serves French cuisine in Sani, check out Bubo Fine Dining, Marina in Potidea, Alexis at Sani Resort, H Marigoula in Polygiros and Boukadoura in Nikiti. We also highly recommend Oceanidis seafood tavern and Massalia in Nea Fokea and one of our absolute favourites is Sousourada in Afytos, which serves seasonal food made with locally sourced produce. 

19. Jeep around town 

Insights Greece - 20 Best Things to do in Halkidiki
Diaporos Islet

Explore Halkidiki on a Jeep safari through the hills of the Kassandra or Sithonia peninsula, this is a great way to explore all the charming villages and remote beaches. 

20. Sail to a secret island 

The beauty of the Diaporos and the surrounding tiny islets is a local secret that is shared only with those who often visit the area of Vourvourou for their summer getaways. This is an area that can only be experienced by boat, and those who do so, do not regret it.

Getting there

The airport closest to Halkidiki is Thessaloniki, from here we recommend hiring a car and making your way from there. Otherwise, you can catch a bus line 79A, which connects with KTEL Halkidiki. 

Glimpses of Beautiful Grevena

You’ll find mushrooms, mammoths, and a gorgeous warm valley in and around this wonderful western Macedonian town.

Officially designated the City of Mushrooms in 2007, because of the 2000 varieties of mushrooms that grow here, Grevena’s entrance is decorated with a giant statue of a hand full of the flavoursome fungus, and there are also restaurants dedicated to the variable ingredient. The Vasilitsa Ski Resort in the Pindos mountain range is another reason visitors flock here during winter, while year-round visitors can enjoy the outdoor adventures- and incredible beauty of the Valia Calda national park, one of Greece’s most impressive.

Insights Greece - Glimpses of Beautiful Grevena

Top things to do 

– Visit the Mushroom Museum in Lavda village to feast on photographs, audiovisual materials, illustrations, and sculptures inspired by the area’s mushroom culture.

-Explore the Valia Calda, famed for its astounding biodiversity, with a multitude of bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species inhabiting thick beech and black pine forests and alpine meadows (that in spring blossom with 18 types of orchids!).

-Meet a 12-ton Mammoth skeleton at the Milia Municipality’s Natural History Museum – the mysterious creature lived in the region two millennia ago and international fans held a conference here a few years ago.

– During summer, the Greek Mushroom Festival takes place here, which is one of the biggest Mushroom festivals in Europe and attracts visitors from all over the globe. 

-At Eleftherias Square visit the stone clock tower, known as Plateia Rologiou, and Aimilianou Square is where you will find all the locals gather.

-Visit the Municipal Central Library located by the river where you will find discover a lot about the region’s history.

-Drive to nearby Mastorohoria, on the border of Kozani, a charming traditional settlement with stone-built homes and arched bridges. Sit down at one of the Karelia and enjoy a traditional Greek coffee. 

Grevena mushrooms

Best places to eat

-Sworn mushroom-lovers always stop at cozy Avlais, where the star ingredient can be enjoyed in endless traditional and inventive renditions. 

-Mushrooms are also honoured at Perdika, where the menu also offers plenty of meat options like wild boar stew and grilled meat platters.

-If you have a sweet tooth don’t miss out on Achilleas’ Bougatsa and for coffee or cocktails head to Fuit Art Cafe.  

Don’t leave Evrytania without trying: Manitaroproinda Grevenon sells everything you can conceive of related to mushrooms – from liqueurs and cooking powders to desiccated mushrooms and truffle oils. 

Getting there

From Athens, drive west along the Olympia, Ionia, and Egnatia motorways, it’s around a five-hour drive. From Thessaloniki, it’s around 180 km and it’s roughly a one-and-a-half-hour drive. 

Top 6 Spring Destinations in Greece 

Spring is a perfect season to explore Greece. Visitors who plan their holiday during this time enjoy the perfect temperature, the few crowds, and the beautiful blossoming surroundings. Check out our top picks for experiencing Greece before the high summer season! 


Part of the Dodecanese, Patmos is also known as the “Island of the apocalypse” and is of great biblical importance. With a strong spiritual character, the island plays host to many religious festivals and feasts, which are a perfect opportunity for visitors to experience the local traditions and history of Patmos. The capital, Chora, is not only the island’s centre of activities but also a very charming village. Its narrow alleys and the amazing view of the Aegean Sea make it a perfect place for wandering. When the sun is out, head to some of the beautiful beaches including Psili Ammos, Vaya, Kampi, or Psili. Drawing a cosmopolitan crowd, it is a place of unique beauty and a great spot to enjoy some wining and dining, especially in the Skala area. 


One of the most (if not the most) romantic towns in Greece, Nafplio is located in the Peloponnese and is only a two-hour drive from Athens. Stroll through the picturesque bougainvillea alleyways and stunning town square before you explore the magnificent history including the Venetian fortress of Bourtzi, the War Museum, a clock tower, a 12th century Byzantine church. Also, make sure you check out the wonderful museums and fantastic monuments. The weather usually warms up from early March and by end of April, you should be able to have a swim in warm water!

Insights Greece - Top 6 Spring Destinations in Greece 

Mount Olympus 

Olympus is known as a great winter spot however, here you can enjoy pristine nature all year round. With a maze of hiking trails that lead through fragrant forests, the trees are cut through with streams and waterfalls, and it looks magical throughout Spring. Explore Olympus’ wonderful nature that is filled with rich flora and fauna and head to the village of Litohoro, which is a great place to begin day trips and tours around the area and on the mountain.


This pretty port town (with an authentic Greek atmosphere) is ideal in the months of April and May. Boasting a wonderful range of seaside taverns, make sure you try some of the local delicacies and dishes; and in the evenings, have a cocktail at one of the all-day cafes/bars. Many visitors enjoy hiking around Gytheio and exploring the old footpaths that lead to historical churches, charming villages, secluded beaches, and breathtaking views of the sea. From here you can easily visit the nearby islands of Kythira and Antikythira. 


This gorgeous seaside town (once a famous navy battle) offers a relaxing vibe all year round. Nafpaktos is a buzzing and non-touristy seaside spot with a picturesque harbour filled with a range of wonderful restaurants and cafés. Conveniently located between Delphi and Olympia, it is a great place to explore nearby areas. Make sure you visit the Venetian Castle and when weather permits head to the beach of Psani (close to the main town) or drive to Chiliadou and Monastiraki.


Set in a peninsula in the north of Greece and consisting of three ‘legs’ which create a stunning endless coastline, Halkidiki feels like a dreamy island, even though it’s mainland. Home to natural thermal springs, beautiful beaches, and plenty of things to see and do. The Kassandra leg of Halkidiki is one of the most popular spots and is perfect for a Spring getaway; here you will find a variety of boutique hotels and fine dining restaurants. From various wellbeing retreats to adventurous sports, here you can enjoy hiking, cycling, yoga, and many more outdoor activities. Explore the lush landscapes, and take a day trip to nearby Thessaloniki, Greece’s wonderful co-capital. 

Cover image @greeka

3 Luxury Hotels in Greece We Can’t Wait to Revisit

Greece is amongst the world’s most popular tourist destinations. And with a great range of variety on offer, you should easily be able to find a luxury five-star hotel that can help you take in the destination of your choice- with comfort. Here we share some of our favourites that we can’t wait to stay at again. 

By Maria Athanasopoulou 

Poseidonion Grand Hotel, Spetses Island

Insights Greece - 3 Luxury Hotels in Greece We Can't Wait to RevisitThis emblematic five-star hotel on the island of Spetses first opened its doors in 1914 and since then has become one of the most cosmopolitan hotels in the whole country. The hotel delights guests from the first instance, with its well-kept common areas and its excellent rooms. There are several types of rooms to choose from to suit each guest. What is certain is that whatever choice you make, you will be satisfied. For your relaxation, we recommend a visit to the Library Brasserie. Relax from morning to night, overlooking the Saronic Gulf.

Poseidonion Grand Hotel created its own biological estate a few years ago. The “Bostani Farm of Poseidon” will offer you an unforgettable experience. Apart from the fact that many fresh products come from here, which enrich the dishes served at the hotel, here you can also take cooking lessons amongst nature.

Breakfast served at the Poseidonion Grand Hotel is a spectacular experience that will satisfy even the most demanding guest. Finally, there is the unique cocktail bar of Poseidonion Grand Hotel, the “Palms” bar, where you can enjoy your favourite cocktail overlooking the Saronic Gulf. Spetses is very close to Athens and for decades has been a secular destination not only for Greeks but also for visitors from abroad. The island is beautiful, with its own special traditional style, while its cosmopolitan identity becomes apparent to the visitor from the first moment they arrive. The word ‘Spetses’ comes from the Venetians, who named the island after perfumes.

Porto Palace Hotel, Thessaloniki

Insights Greece - 3 Luxury Hotels in Greece We Can't Wait to RevisitThis five-star hotel is housed in a historic 1923 building. Completely renovated, it retains its industrial architecture while respecting the rules of luxurious hospitality.

Porto Palace Hotel in Thessaloniki features 176 rooms of various types, that are suitable for families, solo travellers, couples, etc. The rooms are spacious and modernly decorated. What sets this hotel apart is the great importance given to high gastronomy. The hotel is also famous for hosting major business events.

The bar & restaurant URSA MINOR offers views not only of the pool but also of the whole city of Thessaloniki, which is a splendid sight. The onsite PULSE Gym & Fitness station has all the equipment needed to stay in shape while you are away, which may be necessary with the irresistible gastronomic temptations at ZAYTINYA Restaurant. 

The city of Thessaloniki is known internationally for its beauty, its tasty food, the friendly locals who are carefree, and its many important monuments. The Promenade of Thessaloniki is one of the most beautiful areas of Greece, and the city is famous for its vibrant nightlife. Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece and its most famous attraction is the White Tower!

Thomais Boutique Hotel, Lefkada 

Insights Greece - 3 Luxury Hotels in Greece We Can't Wait to RevisitThomais Boutique Hotel on the stunning Ionian island of Lefkada is a unique four-star boutique hotel located in the area of Nikiana. The reception, lobby and breakfast area are designed in such a way to offer guests a relaxing and tranquil stay.  

In 2019, all the rooms were renovated and now guests have two options for their stay- the executive and the deluxe rooms. Whatever category you choose, remember that each room has its own concept, the styling is functional and there is an inviting aesthetic; while at the same time, each guest and the high level of hospitality is the main concern of the owners.

On the roof garden of the hotel, you will find the a la carte eatery Vivarium Wine Restaurant, serving authentic recipes of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, which can be paired with an impressive variety of more than 70 small Greek wine labels. The wine here is served in a glass with the Coravin system (a technology that allows the wine to be served without removing the cork) for almost all labels.

The island of Lefkada is famous for its breathtaking beaches such as the famous Porto Katsiki, its hospitable locals and its traditional villages. Even though it is an island, Lefkada is accessible by road, and by car, you can cross a bridge that connects the island with the land. It is one of the most popular summer destinations in Greece!

Maria Athanasopoulou is the founder of the tourism marketing company Respond On Demand. She is also the founder of the non-profit urban company Top Tourism. She serves as the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the World Food Travel Association and she is also a Master Culinary Travel Professional. She serves as an ambassador of the World Gourmet Society in Greece and Cyprus, and she also serves as an ambassador of Green Destinations. She has given seminars for tourism professionals, as well as many speeches and presentations on tourism issues, in events in Greece and abroad. She is also a Sustainable Tourism marketing expert.

Cover image Poseidonion Grand Hotel

Thessaloniki’s 6 Most Stylish Cafes

You’ll find a coffee shop on almost every corner of Thessaloniki, Greece’s co-capital, which is said to have the most cafes per capita of any European city!

Thessaloniki has a buzzing cafe scene with several fantastic coffee shops serving up a good hit of caffeine in aesthetically pleasing stores. To help you explore some of the most stylish cafes in town, check out our roundup! 


Minimalist Ypsilon is an all-day cultural space, set within a historical building. Divided into two large areas, it’s an ideal spot for a catch-up with friends or some quiet reading time. Serving coffee, drinks, and a short menu of (mostly) sandwich bites all day long, this has become a local favourite! 

A: Edessis 5, Thessaloniki 

Insights Greece - Thessaloniki's 6 Most Stylish Cafes


Located in the heart of the city, at the entrance of “Kapani” Food Market, Hozeva is a chic cafe with a very sleek design. Traditional kitchenware and utensils are used as display items, while natural materials and earthy colours add freshness and warmth. Come here for a  perfectly done Greek coffee and make sure you sit by the wood heater on cool days! 

A: Spandoni 5, Thessaloniki

Insights Greece - Thessaloniki's 6 Most Stylish Cafes


This stylish cafe has a very modern Parisian feel. Located on buzzing Mitropoleos Street, Nooon is a very popular spot that draws in a trendy crowd thanks to its chic design and decor. Special espresso blends are served in pretty cups and their Mediterranean-inspired menu includes flavours from France and Italy.

A: Mitropoleos 51, Thessaloniki 

Insights Greece - Thessaloniki's 6 Most Stylish Cafes


One of the newest cafes in Thessaloniki, Valenio is a cool little spot with a Scandinavian feel that is modern and sleek; plus a great menu to match. This specialty coffee shop was opened by coffee connoisseur and internationally-awarded barista Valantis Lambrianidis, so if you are serious about your coffee this is the place to visit!  

A: Iktinou 6, Thessaloniki

Insights Greece - Thessaloniki's 6 Most Stylish Cafes


Another trendy little spot in the heart of the city that opened up last year is Dekaepta, another specialty coffee store with a rustic look and cozy vibe. Step through the bright yellow doors and be greeted by warm, earthy, and pastel-toned decor that’s very inviting. Serving a strong espresso, here you can also grab a bagel, homemade sweets, yogurts, and other snacks. 

A: Al. Svolou 24, Thessaloniki

Insights Greece - Thessaloniki's 6 Most Stylish Cafes


Mob Cafe is located downtown and is a great spot for coffee and drinks. Set on the first floor of the preserved building on Ionos Dragoumi & Papadopoulou, this industrial-like space promotes creativity and elegance. With the attention focused on quality, from the excellent coffee to the vast variety of desserts, “mob” is open from morning until evening. 

A: Papadopoulou 2, Thessaloniki

Insights Greece - Thessaloniki's 6 Most Stylish Cafes


Top 9 Eco-Friendly Hotels in Greece

When it’s time to travel again, it’s time to go as green as possible. And we are already daydreaming of Greece’s best hotels that are leading the way in eco-friendliness!  

Gone are the days where hotels were all about a stylish lobby and crisp white bedsheets. Today it’s about delivering unique hotel experiences with sustainability. Thankfully, hotels have realised that going green doesn’t mean cutting back on luxuries – and not only will it benefit our planet, but it will do our body, mind, and soul a world of good too. So we’ve rounded up nine of our favourite hotels in Greece that are putting sustainability first! 

Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm, Laconia 

Leading the way for Greek agro-tourism, Eumelia is a high-end, sustainable farming retreat in southern Greece. Set among rich olive groves and an abundance of fertile terrain, guests are encouraged to immerse themselves in their farm-to-table philosophy. Fruit for breakfast is from the gardens and almonds are gathered each afternoon for a snack. Enroll in a cooking workshop or hike up famous Mount Taygetos, where you’ll be met with panoramic views of Laconia. You can also join yoga retreats, workshops, and events for well-being. 

Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas, Ioannina   

Having received many international awards for sustainable development, this resort located in the region of Zagori blends in with its natural surroundings and reflects the architectural aesthetics of nearby villages. Aristi is built in complete harmony with the surrounding landscape and the local architectural style. Only local materials, stone, and wood were used for the interior and exteriors of the resort. The operational needs of the buildings are both environmentally sustainable and with a very low impact on nature. Wastewater is processed to ensure that released water is as clean as possible, all materials are recycled, staff are all locals and all dishes served to guests are made with locally  produced ingredients. Aristi is included in the 21 most environmentally friendly places in the world, according to National Geographic.

Ekies All Senses Resort, Halkidiki 

Set in Sithonia, Ekies All Senses Resort is a family-friendly spot where guests can relax and unwind. With a desire to blend seamlessly into the environment, it’s more like a cozy beach house than a luxury resort, perfect for those who prefer a more casual vibe. Constructed with sustainable and eco-friendly materials (think Greek marble, recycled pine planks, and rattan furniture) the resort has a minimal waste policy and the chefs here use products picked from their own vegetable and herb garden.

Coco-Mat Eco Residences, Serifos 

Coco-Mat’s design team was very careful about every piece displayed here and furniture is made with natural materials, such as cotton, silk, coconut fibres, herbs, wool, and linen. Architect George Zafirious followed bioclimatic architecture principles to ensure that natural air conditioning flows throughout the spaces, while ample natural light floods the two-storey apartments. Brushed concrete floors, bleached cotton, and up-cycled wooden furniture complete the bohemian feel. 

Eagles Palace, Halkidiki 

Eagles’ vision is to contribute to a green, eco-friendly presence on the Athos Peninsula. One of the first Greek eco-hotels, here beach-cleaning initiatives are regularly organised with local primary schools and a huge emphasis is placed on local produce, as dishes are served with herbs grown from neighbouring gardens, and olive oil is harvested from the surrounding groves. Located in Halkidiki, it’s home to unspoiled landscapes, history, and culinary delights. Here you are footsteps away from a Blue Flag Beach, which ensures a gold standard worldwide for environmentally safe, clean water beaches. 

Levendis Estate, Ithaca  

Perched on Ithaca’s hillside, Levendis is backed by mountains and spectacular seascape vistas. With a unique collection of activities, the hotel boasts farming cottages that are hidden within enchanting gardens that overlook the infinity pool. You can completely disconnect as there is no WiFi, while farming influences flow through the entire estate, with a focus on preventing water waste. Birdlife contributes to the compost system and 100% natural cleaning products are used throughout, while water from nearby Kalamos spring is said to offer healing properties. 

Native Eco Villa, Santorini

Offering three private designer villas, all situated in Imerovigli, Native Eco’s unique Cycladic architecture blends in beautifully with modern decor. The villas are recognised for their ecologically friendly building technique and materials. This was the first property on Santorini to be awarded the “Green Key” accolade, which has lead the way in promoting eco-friendly practices. Only materials from the island have been used to carve out this slice of Cycladic luxury. Expect white walls, sumptuous Coco-Mat linens, and artisan seagrass baskets. 

Royal Marmin Bay Boutique & Art Hotel, Crete  

The adults-only Royal Marmin Bay overlooking the famous Mirabello Bay in Elounda Crete architecturally blends in with the natural environment and is one of the first energy-efficient, ecologically green hotel in Greece that offers ideal five-star choices for those searching for both relaxation and luxury. Offering guests five types of accommodation options, the hotel’s eco-philosophy features energy-autonomous rooms and smart architectural choices offering accommodation in a clean environment.

To Armiro Boutique Houses, Naxos

These picturesque beach houses in Plaka are a footstep away from the sea. Found in an idyllic place suitable for the entire family, To Armiro’s five unique villas have a small private garden full of local flora. The Cycladic architecture and the unobstructed view of the Aegean Sea, all contribute to providing a lasting memory of Naxos’ breathtaking landscape. Characterized by its eco-friendly construction and its distinguished material and furniture, it comes equipped with rainwater harvesting systems and features ceiling fans for cooling. The breakfast includes locally sourced ingredients such as organic olive oil, honey, and traditional Naxian cheese.

Cover image Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm

Why Now May Be the Best Time to Work Remotely from Greece

If answering business calls and sending work emails with the Aegean Sea as a backdrop sounds like a dream, now could be the best time for you to pack your laptop and head to Greece, as the country is looking to make the move as easy as possible for digital nomads. 

According to the publication Protothema, Greek authorities are looking to launch a special visa for digital nomads, who are classified as people who work remotely, telecommuting rather than being physically present at a company’s office.

With more and more people working from home and realising they have the ability to perform their duties from anywhere in the world, Greece is set to draw an increasing number of digital nomads, with authorities looking to introduce a special visa for remote workers. 

“We must create an attractive environment for people that choose this advanced way of working,” said Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi in an interview with Protothema. 

This comes after legislation passed in Greek Parliament last December, allowing digital nomads to half their income tax for the first seven years. From January 2021, the scheme opened to both employed and self-employed workers as long as they have not previously been a tax resident of Greece. 

And if you still aren’t convinced Greece should be your next stop for work and play, chief economic adviser Alex Patelis says, “Greece is naturally blessed with a great climate, lots of sunshine, and it has both beaches and mountains.” Apart from the great weather and beautiful landscapes, he also added that working from Greece has other benefits, such as “a strong currency, the euro, and the safety of the EU.” 

And from a technical perspective, the rollout of 5G networks has already begun in major Greek cities and towns and will also be introduced to the Greek islands, which is expected to be viewed as an advantage for those looking to live and work anywhere across the country. 

Greece’s Top 8 Ski Resorts

If you find yourself in Greece during the cooler months, we recommend visiting one of the country’s leading ski resorts, where you’ll discover a winter wonderland full of fun and adventure. 

Mount Parnassus

Here you will find Greece’s largest ski centre, with two sections – Kellaria and Fterolakka, which are connected with lifts and runs. At an altitude of 1,600-2,250m, its spectacular geomorphology and rich biodiversity place it among the most important mountain environments in the country. The high altitude offers ski lovers long-lasting snow-covered peaks, and the resorts are very popular amongst locals and international visitors, as it’s so close to the Greek capital. 

Insights Greece - Greece's Top 8 Ski Resorts


Located in Valia Calda national park, here you can river-raft, hike, and four-wheel drive into the forest. As one of Greece’s most favourite ski centres, it extends into four slopes and comprises a set of 18 ski slopes for those who are advanced and just beginning, along with seven lifts and some off-piste opportunities. The area is also good for snowboarders and extreme sports enthusiasts. Don’t worry if you’ve never tried it before, expert teachers are there to guide you. 


Another popular part of the ski resort at Mount Parnassos is the facilities at Gerondovrachos. A smaller facility, it features three lifts, as well as 4 downhill, runs that range from 200m to almost 2 km. All facilities have a coaching school that offers first-timers handy lessons. Skis are available for hire and are sold as well at the local ski shop. This is by far Greece’s most popular and glamorous ski spot, as Arachova is one of the most popular winter destinations in Greece. With its luxurious boutique hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes and concept stores, Aracahova has lots to offer in terms of entertaining visitors who may not be so keen on skiing every day.  

Insights Greece - Greece's Top 8 Ski Resorts


Located on Mount Vermio, this is another great spot for those that love adventure and adrenalin, as the ski centre has 10 runs accommodating all levels; including runs that have been named as the most challenging in the country. Must-see attractions nearby include the Saranta Outades cave with impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations, and Vergina, one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. 


The ski centre of Pertouli is very popular. It’s located 45 minutes from Trikala and 5 hours drive from Athens. Here you can enjoy skiing and other adventures as the area is known for its lush greenery and trekking to the river of Pertouliotiko. Nearby is the river Achelos where you can go white water rafting and also visit the picturesque villages of Vlacha, Korpou, Ksiligefiro, Aspropotamos, Dessi, or Doliana with the Monastery of the Holy Cross with its 13 domes.

Insights Greece - Greece's Top 8 Ski Resorts


This is ideal for less experienced skiers as it has softer, easier slopes. If you don’t know how to ski rent a snowmobile or warm up with a herbal tea at the stone chalet. Stay in Agios Athanasios village where you’ll find charming guesthouses, old villas and great spots to eat. Take day trips from there to Prespes or Florina, Nymphaio or the villages around Lake Vegoritida. Don’t miss out on the beautiful Pella hot springs, which are surrounded by greenery.


Mount Pelion reaches an altitude of 1500 metres, which makes it a favourite winter getaway for many locals. The ski resort is 2kms away from the village of Chania and there is a daily bus service from Volos. The centre has 7 slopes (with different levels of difficulty) and five lifts. The villages of Pelion are charming all year round; surrounded by lush greenery and full of natural springs, rivers and fountains. And apart from skiing, you can enjoy the cobblestoned squares and local taverns that serve comforting winter dishes. 

Insights Greece - Greece's Top 8 Ski Resorts


This Peloponnesian resort boasts 12 ski runs (2 difficult, 2 intermediate, 6 easy & 2 very easy) of 20km in length, 2 chair lifts and 5 ski lifts, special grounds for snowboarding and extreme games, and other winter attractions, such as a special moguls ski run, and a snowboard park. It’s one of the most popular and busiest ski locations in Greece and here you’ll find taverns and cafes where you can enjoy some local cuisine. Nature lovers can escape to the Vouraikos gorge for an invigorating trek and food-lovers visit the plane-tree forest of Planiterou to devour the fresh fish. 

Cover Image @kidslovegreece

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