Travel to Greece
By Christopher Metler
Despite a grim economic forecast being splashed across news pages, there is actually no better—or more important—time for you to visit Greece. Not only does the Hellenic Republic retain every bit of the diverse culture and atmospheric charm that have rendered it such a popular destination for centuries, but current circumstances offer you a chance to visit somewhere that deserves your dollars. And when you take a peek at the itinerary we’ve put together for you, you’re likely to agree that doing your part as a traveler could hardly be accomplished in better style.
EAT: Funky Gourmet (Athens)
Nestled in a neoclassical building at the heart of the Keramikos neighbourhood is a restaurant boasting two Michelin stars—a place where inspiration is drawn from both exceptional local products and seasonality. Yet by welcoming molecular gastronomy into classical Greek cooking, Funky Gourmet has also introduced Athens to an unusual point of view of refined Greek cuisine. Meticulously crafted degustation menus highlight creativity in presentation, impeccable attention to detail, incredible flavours in each dish, and marvelous service. What’s resulted is an avant-garde experience from chefs Georgianna Hiliadaki and Nikos Roussos—one that goes beyond taste and into the smells, colours, food textures, and sounds that make each dish unique. Eating at Funky Gourmet is truly more journey than meal.
EAT: Kostas (Athens)
As Greece continues to claw back from economic turmoil, it remains a vital time to wander the country’s culinary backstreets and immerse yourself in vibrant regional flavours. Kostas, an unostentatious Athens souvlaki joint typified by its lightness, fits the bill. With toppings ranging from thinly-sliced pieces of onion, full fat-strained yogurt, tomato and lots of parsley, what you get is a light and fresh kebab that you can eat more than one of. Even the pita comes fat-free.
STAY: Myconian Avaton Resort (Mykonos)
The Myconian Collection is a superb selection of family-owned luxury hotels in Mykonos, which together reflect a lifetime commitment to creating world-class vacation destinations. Built upon the bare rock of famed Elia Beach, the Avaton’s vista reveals a breathtaking panorama. But more than that, it’s a special place where unpretentious luxury, exquisite style, and absolute privacy are taken to a new dimension.
PLAY: Sailing the Aegean Sea (Aegina)
Imagine cruising on blue tides, visiting unspoilt bays, and dropping anchor to swim in crystal clear water. Challenging but highly rewarding, getting to sail the Aegean Archipelago could be one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life. On the island of Aegina, only a 40-minute catamaran ride from Athens, the Aegean Sailing School offers an resplendent six-day sailing holiday. You sleep aboard and learn to steer the yacht, handle the sails, and perform other duties, but are also afforded the free time to indulge in all Aegean delights from snorkelling to sightseeing.
PLAY: Sunrise at Cavo Paradiso (Mykonos)
As beautiful as it is historic, the first thing you're likely to observe about Cavo Paradiso in Mykonos is the nightclub itself. Perched on top of a mountainside that looks out over the Aegean Sea, here has been the home of over two decades of sonic-soaked sunrises—a place where turquoise waters blend at the horizon with an endless blue summer sky. In addition to hosting the world’s most sought-after DJs on a nightly basis, Cavo Paradiso’s VIP scene has also become legendary in its own right, offering a popular haunt for the visiting celebrity crowd. Names like Bono, Tom Hanks, Naomi Campbell, Giorgio Armani, and even the heir apparent to the Moroccan throne, Prince Moulay Hussein, are all known to make regular Cavo stops while passing through the glamour island of the Cyclades.
DRINK: Brettos (Athens)
The oldest distillery in Athens is a tavern where locals and travelers alike stop in to sip on homemade ouzo, authentic liqueurs and brandy, as well as traditional Greek drinks. Standing in the shadows of the nearby Acropolis, Brettos is an institution and features some of the most knowledgeable bartenders in the city.
SEE: Myrtos Beach (Kefalonia)
Being voted 12 times as the best in Greece is a given when you consider the dramatic two kilometre long arc of dazzling white marble pebbles at Myrtos Beach and the translucent azure sea that meets it. Located in the northwest of Kefalonia, the surrounding tall cliffs and steep mountains only add to the coastal beauty. Sun worshippers of all kinds flock here, however if soaking up the rays isn’t your thing, Myrtos Beach is a perfect spot to arrive in the late afternoon for a marvelous Ionian sunset.
SEE: Oia (Santorini)
The star of Santorini—and its most attractive settlement—is Oia, an ultimate Greek village of whitewashed houses with blue shutters and domed churches that spill over the lip of a large volcanic crater. A maze of public squares, refurbished cave houses, and narrow streets, the town hosts a flock of annual tourists all wanting to take in Oia’s awe-inspiring ocean views and definitive Greek landscapes. When you think of Santorini, this is the place that comes to mind.
Add more to your itinerary with additional recommendations at BayStBull.com