Greece is a wonderful place to visit over the Easter weekend - more specifically, Athens. Orthodox Easter is celebrated in Greece, meaning that shops and restaurants aren't closed in observance of western Easter. Athens is a surprising vibrant and cosmopolitan city. The seaside area of Glyfada is filled with fantastic cafes, bars, shops, restaurants and beach clubs. Psirri, an area in the center of Athens, has a booming nightlife and is full of a bohemian young crowd. There is, of course, also a wealth of historical and archeological sites to visit.
The average high temperature in April is 20.2 C/68.4 F and many locals swim in the sea year-round. There are low-cost flights available from the UK. It's a great place for a long weekend in Europe.
Wonderful horseriding opportunities at this Bavarian riding stables located near to Sami. The surrounding area is perfect for exploring the nearby mountain trails and old villages. The horses are beautifully cared for and easy to ride and the owner, Conny, is a welcoming and knowledgable host with a deep love for her horses. All levels are catered for and there's even the option of swimming with your horse in the sea!
Bavarian Horse Riding Stables
28080 Sami/Koulourata, Cephalonia
+ 30 6977 533203
Scuba diving is something that's definitely worth doing on Paxos - the caves around the cliffs are stunning - and the only guy who seems legit, amongst a lot of sketchy operators, is Paul, an English guy with a license, a compressor and a boat.
When you get to Lakka, in the north of the island, call him on +30 978 167 506
One of the most trendy fish taverns in Hadjykyriakio. Try the Retsina wine, the shrimps and the best Greek salad made by Lazaros the owner.
Tel: 210 4514226
Listen to the traditional sounds of the underground music scene in Greece (a strangely likable blend of blues and bouzouki) at this little club away from the tourist crowds of Plaka. Rembetiki Stoa Athanaton is a popular place with a fun crowd just north of the Monastiraki flea market. As with much of Athens, things didn’t start warming up until midnight.
Located in trendy Gazi among lively clubs, Sardelles has fresh Greek seafood at affordable prices. There’s a selection of decent salads and fish dishes, including delicious grilled sardines which are a bit of a specialty and where the restaurant gets its name. Tables on the pavement make it a pleasant al-fresco spot in summer.
Persefonis 15, Gazi
This Athens hostel has a great location just minutes from the Acropolis. Dorm rooms are cheap, airy and modern. It’s a great base for exploring the historic sights of the city on a budget but also for making the most of the lively nightlife. The rooftop bar has amazing views over the famous ruins and cheap drinks. There’s no curfew so stay out as late as you like!
12 Makri Street, Makryanni, Athens
Just below the Acropolis lies this enchanting area of whitewashed cottages which were built by migrant workers from Anafi island when Athens was first established as capital of Greece. Although the city is busy and loud, the old-fashioned style and quiet alleys make Anafiotika feel like a tiny island village.
Between Lysicrates Monument and Kanellopoulos Museum, Plaka.
Heading to the top of the Hill of the Muses (Museion) offers a great perspective on the Acropolis, Athens’ most famous landmark. There are no large structures between the two hills and fewer coach trips around so it’s the ideal spot to appreciate the sight from a distance – and snap a photo or two.
Indigo is a restaurant, formerly Maria's, in the New Market in Rhodes Town. It is adorned with billowing drapes so you feel as though you are eating in a tent. The food is wonderful, the service discreet and pleasant - no touting - and the wine is excellent. Despite all this, it is not expensive and offers great value for money.
105-106 New Market
A traditional taverna in the old town. No touting, no hard sell, just great food served by father and sons. Enclosed garden terrace with views. Reasonably priced with the best yigantes I have ever tasted!
This is a great budget hotel in Rhodes Town with a good restaurant and a wonderful Bar for people watching. The staff are, without exception, friendly, helpful and hospitable and the breakfast is great (full English buffet). The hotel is two minutes from the town beach and a pleasant stroll away from the amazing Old Town.
City Center Hotel
2 Iroon Polytechneiou
Set up 14 years ago by Vassilis Gialamarakis (ex Strathclyde University) this fabulous four-star hotel caters for independent travellers aged 20-80 with the bulk of guests aged 35-65 years. The fare is half board and the evening meals are wonderful.
While Patmos is one of the most beautiful of Greek islands, the port of Skala is a scruffy, utilitarian port with few tavernas and little to recommend it.
This website gives an honest opinion that you won't find in any of the tourist brochures and many of the tourist websites for that matter.
Pieria mountains are roughly in the middle of the Greek mainland and just beside Mount Olympus - the well known mount of gods from mythology. They are beautiful and green.
A hotel which has a great view of Mount Olympus is the Semeli Resort. It's small but cosy and is beside the forests. Great walking opportunities, birdwatching, mountain biking, skiing - when there's snow.
In 20 minutes' drive you can visit Dion, Vergina in one-hour drive, Thessaloniki with a vast collection of Byzantine churches and ruins, museums and the beach is 20 minutes' drive. I love this area - beautiful mountains, small villages with simple but genuine life. It is worth visiting.
Instead of staying in a hotel on Rhodes, I'd suggest renting an apartment. The town of Lindos is particularly pleasant and I recommend a company called Luxury Lindos Villas. Their apartments are very stylish and have their own pools.
Luxury Lindos Villas
+ 44 (0)1234 823 274
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