Its architectural heritage, its culture, its hospitality; its wooden caïques, its clear waters, its countryside; its villages with their white houses, its taverns, its monasteries, its hiking trails; its villas perched on the hillsides, its age-old traditions, it string of islands with their well-defined characteristics: Bohemian Hydra, party Mykonos, legendary Santorini, wild Amorgos, and Paros, a firm favourite with the French. Not to mention its capital, Athens, with its teeming artistic, gastronomic, tourist and real estate scene. With spring fast approaching, Greece, the cradle of civilisation, is gleaming brighter than ever in the sun.
The real estate market: burgeoning
Prices have risen by 100% in Athens over the last five years. The most popular neighbourhoods are Kolonaki, Anaktora and the historic centre. The southern suburbs are developing thanks to the Hellinikon Project. Some areas of the northern suburbs, like Filothei and Psychiko where the embassies and private schools are located, are in vogue. For high-end properties, average prices range from €6,000/sq.m in the north to €7,000 in the centre and €8,000 in the south. Premium properties can reach double that.
“Don't be afraid to take the less travelled path, explore and invest in less well-known destinations.”
The best places to invest or live: Close to the airport or one of the three ports in Athens for easy access to the islands. Generally speaking, the best places to live outside the capital are the coasts and the islands in the centre and south, with their Mediterranean climate and mild winters, says Katerina Mitsotaki, Director of BARNES Greece.
Art of living
BARNES has put together a selection of top recommendations for those looking to escape to Greece and discover all that this legendary country has to offer. Diaries at the ready!
The hottest reservations in town
This neo-Classical building, dating from 1897 and set at the heart of one of the few gardens still remaining in the centre of Athens, is a must for eating out. Its Chef Christoforos Peskias serves up creative cuisine with a mix of Mediterranean, Italian and Japanese influences.
Tsocha 27, Athina 115 21, Greece
A for Athens
©Facebook A for Athens Cocktail Bar
Between Syntagma and Monastiraki, the most fashionable bars are all about the dolce vita. For an idyllic view cocktail in hand, head to the rooftop of this panoramic bar.
Miaouli 2, Athina 105 54, Greece
©Facebook Dionysos Zonar's
Athens’ legendary restaurant, where the cream of society has dined since the 1960s, boasts a spectacular location affording one of the most impressive vistas to be found over the Acropolis. An elegance and sophistication that extends to its dishes.
43, Rovertou Galli St. 11742 Athens, Greece
For a quick bite to eat, head to this spot for a traditional Greek sandwich with a haute cuisine take (5 Athenian chefs: Periklis Koskinas, Manos Zournatzis, Spyros and Vagelis Liakos). The attraction? A tantalising choice of pittas filled with finely sliced meats.
Pl. Agias Irinis 9, Athina 105 63, Greece
This contemporary art gallery in the very chic Kolonaki district is considered one of the leading venues in Athens for the Greek artistic scene. Don’t miss out on a visit to discover the latest emerging artists!
20 Kolonaki sq, 10673 Athens
The Odéon of Hérode Atticus
Theatre and music reverberate off the sides of this incredible amphitheatre built in 161 (then rebuilt) at the foot of the Acropolis of Athens. A unique experience under the stars.
Dionysiou Areopagitou, Athina 105 55, Greece
Take in a movie
A trip to the open-air cinema when the weather turns fine is a staple fixture on the Athenian calendar. The seats at the “Stella” - named after the character played by Melina Mercouri in the 1955 film “Stella” - are even red like in the movies and the film listing is always top rate. Whatever the film, it’s worth it just for the experience.
Tenedou 34, Athina 113 61, Greece
Must-haves for your interiors, ceramic objects by the artist and winegrower Alexandra Manousakis make for the perfect souvenirs. Strokes in the style of Picasso and bold colours all decorate everyday tableware. Get yours at A Future Perfect & Friends, the chic boutique-bazar in Athens.
Praxitelous 23, Athina 105 62, Greece
Beauty from nature
©Facebook Olive Era
In the land of olive trees, there’s nothing like using extra virgin and organic olive oil from the olive groves of Crete to enrich your beauty regime. ‘Olive Era’ encapsulates natural antioxidants in its line of body, hair and face care.
Perikleous 13, Neo Psichiko 154 51, Greece
©Facebook The Naxos Apothecary
A modern herbalist store in the centre of Athens designed like an Ali Baba's cave filled with creams made from plants and herbs produced from organic farming on the island of Naxos. The added extra? A botanical bar serving teas, smoothies and organic cordials.
Κολοκοτρώνη 3-5 &, Voulis, Athina 105 62, Greece
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