Athens and its surroundings offer plenty possibilities. You may want to check out our suggestions in case you are in the mood of pampering yourself. Exclusive resto-bars, handpicked shopping and great opportunities to relax far from the madding crowd.
It’s the 24 hours Athens guide for the Bon Viveur!
09.30 Morning Coffee at the shadow of the Acropolis
No matter if you already had one with your hotel breakfast. Freshly roasted exceptional coffee blends from different places across the world straight into your cup. TAF, Tailor Made or Carpo will make it hard to resist to a warm cup of espresso, cappuccino or the traditional Greek Coffee. Each of those stores is unique in its own right. TAF staff is highly professional and selects with great care the varieties of coffee from different producers in Africa and Latin America. Tailor Made people are also great roasters, and the cafe that overlooks tiny Ag. Irinis square is very charming and spacious. Carpo stands out for its fantastic dried fruits and nuts, also roasted on the spot.
The best way to start off your day in Athens, just make sure you enjoy every sip to the deepest!
10:30 Bee power
Done with your coffee, no hurries. Take some special time and offer yourself a body or face treatment with APIVITA natural products. APIVITA was born in 1979, the first natural cosmetics company in Greece, combining the products of the bee and of Greek nature with the holistic approach of Hippocrates. Now present and renowned worldwide, it has retained its essential spirit and still lives up to its vision. It has recently opened a flagship Apivita Experience Store downtown, in the hip neighborhood Kolonaki. We suggest you try the deep detox or aromatherapy treatments that also employ honey and other bee products, or the Mediterranean Skin Food Menu.
Believe the Hive!
12.30 Swim under the rocks
Later in your day in Athens we suggest you visit the lake of Vouliagmeni, set amidst pine greenery, in the remains of a huge limestone cave fed by lukewarm springs of thermal waters. The natural beauty of the setting is exceptional, as it is the possibility of a pleasant swim year round. It’s a terrific option within reach if you want to escape from the buzz of the city and relax for a while. Besides swimming, you may enjoy a drink or Greek food by the lake. You can even practice yoga or enjoy a massage by the lake, by appointment.
14:30 Lunch time. Greek seafood, what else?
For lunch, there are endless excellent options, but we would rather stick to the marine element with a selection of by-the-sea bar/ restaurants that serve signature Greek seafood. The first suggestion is Ithaki, a top class restaurant in Vouliagmeni/Kavouri, near Astir Palace Hotel. Not a budget choice, Ithaki is never a disappointment, as it also features stunning views of the Saronic Sea. Heading north towards Piraeus, the commercial port, left-hand side stands the picturesque small harbor Mikrolimano (aka Tourkolimano). There you get toο equally deserving options, right next to the sailing boats: Varoulko restaurant, for creative Greek seafood cuisine and Papaioannou fish tavern that shines for the perfectly executed traditional Greek fish cuisine.
One more taramosalata, please…
17:00 Shopping made in Athens
Athens may not be included among the top destinations for world class shopping but if you delve deeper you might be surprised by what you will find (check out our previous blog entry, New Trends in Athens part I). Some of the finest shooping areas are Glyfada, Syntagma-Kolonaki and Kifissia. If you are looking for Greek memorable jewelry to bring back home, Lalaounis (there is also a Museum with that name) might just be the right choice for you, whereas Andronikos Sagiannos displays more modern and abstract pieces of art jewelry. Ippolito is a Greek brand that creates fabulous luxury leather bags. For urban, sophisticated or eccentric clothes and accessories from foreign and Greek brands, including Greek Ancient Sandals, check out the Free Shop. Finally, the Pantopoleio Mesogeiakis Diatrofis boasts the widest perhaps array of gourmet and delicatessen Greek products, including those of small producers all over Greece.
20:00 Greek winetasting
After a stop at your hotel to leave your shopping bags and a short rest, if needed, you are up again to go for some great wine tasting, as it’s happy hour time! In the city centre you can choose between two outstanding wine bars, Oinoscent and Heteroclito. Oinoscent picks and suggests wine selections from all over the world, whereas Heteroclito is particulary committed to Greek wines of excellence, included small producers representing different geographical areas of the country (you will not want to miss Assyrtiko and Xinomavro). Along the wine, they serve Greek delicatessen cheese, hams, rusks, honey and chutneys. Highly recommended!
21:30 Five-starred dinner
It’s dining time and the choice between the many excellent restaurants of the Greek capital is quite hard. We hereby offer two different suggestions for fine Greek cuisine. Athiri, which rediscovers recipes from inland Greece, and Aleria, with its romantic and classy touch and an even more daring creative edge. If lunch clearly was a seafood business, the picture here gets larger. Using only the best handpicked ingredients and materials from across the country, the chefs of those restos experiment also with different kind of meats, the trademark Greek sun loathed vegetables and fruits. Needless to say, dressed in top-notch olive oil, and served along with great wines. An aged tsipouro, some rakomelo or masticha to end up with, and heaven will seem closer.
24:00 A cocktail under the stars
But Athens never ends…So, what’s best than enjoying a cocktail under the Greek sky, especially if starry, as it usually happens to be? Again, the choice here is wide but if you go for either the Galaxy Hilton or Athens360 rooftop bars, be sure you will end your day in Athens in the most memorable way.
Taf Coffee. Emmanouil Benaki 7
Tailor-Made. Platia Agias Irinis 2
Carpo. Kanari 6
Apivita. Solonos 6
Ithaki. Apollonos 28
Varoulko. Akti Koumoundourou 52
Papaioannou. Akti Koumoundourou 42
Lalaounis. Panepistimiou 6
Ippolito. Voulis 38
Free Shop. Voukourestiou 50
Sagiannos. Makrygianni 3
Pantopoleio Mesogeiakis Diatrofis. Sofokleous 1
Oinoscent. Voulis 45-47
Heteroclito. Petraki 30
Athiri. Plateon 15
Aleria. Megalou Alexandrou 57
Galaxy Bar. Vassilissis Sofias 46
Athens 360. Monastiraki Sq.