Indulge in Greek Cuisine and Hospitality: The Best Places to Wine, Dine, and Stay
Greece, the land of mythology, ancient history, and idyllic islands is also a food lover’s paradise. With a cuisine rooted in the Mediterranean principles of freshness, simplicity, and quality ingredients, Greek food is a symphony of flavors, colors, and textures that evokes a sense of well-being and happiness. From the iconic souvlaki and moussaka to the lesser-known but equally delicious dishes like taramosalata and dolmades, Greek cuisine has something to offer for everyone. And what better way to experience the joy of Greek food than by indulging in the authentic hospitality of the locals? Here are some of the best places to wine, dine, and stay in Greece.
Wine and Dine
The capital city of Greece is a culinary melting pot that blends traditional and contemporary tastes with a cosmopolitan vibe. From the bustling street food scene to the Michelin-starred restaurants, Athens has it all. For a taste of the old-school tavern-style food, head to To Koulouri tou Kokkinou (The Red Bagel), a popular eatery that serves souvlaki, gyros, and other grilled meat dishes at affordable prices. If you’re in the mood for seafood, visit Psariston, a restaurant located near the harbor that offers fresh catch of the day dishes. Another great option is Cookoovaya, a sleek and edgy restaurant that serves innovative Greek cuisine with a touch of international flair.
Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, has a rich culinary tradition that spans several millennia. The island’s fertile land and long coastline have contributed to a diverse and flavorful cuisine that showcases the best of the Mediterranean. For a taste of Cretan cuisine, visit Thalassino Ageri, a seaside taverna that serves fresh fish and seafood dishes made with local ingredients. Another must-visit place is the Bottega del Vino, a wine bar that offers a great selection of Greek and international wines paired with delicious tapas-style dishes.
Santorini is a dream destination for foodies and wine lovers who appreciate the finer things in life. The island’s volcanic soil and unique microclimate have resulted in some of the best wines in Greece, particularly the Assyrtiko grape variety. For a wine tasting experience, visit Venetsanos Winery, a stunning cave-like winery that offers panoramic views of the island and the Aegean Sea. As for dining, the island has an abundance of restaurants that serve delicious Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. Some of the most popular choices include Amoudi Fish Tavern, a seafood restaurant located in the picturesque port of Amoudi, and To Briki, a cozy taverna in Fira that specializes in classic Greek dishes with a modern twist.
If you’re looking for a luxurious stay in the heart of Athens, the Grande Bretagne Hotel is the perfect choice. Located on Syntagma Square, the hotel boasts breathtaking views of the Acropolis and the city skyline, as well as opulent rooms and suites, a rooftop terrace, a spa, and an impressive selection of restaurants and bars. For a more casual and affordable option, check out the Perianth Hotel, a boutique hotel that features sleek and modern design, comfortable rooms, and a great location in the trendy Psiri neighborhood.
Crete is a great destination for those who want to experience the authentic Greek island life. The island has a wide range of accommodations, from rustic guesthouses and traditional villas to luxury resorts and spa hotels. For a unique and scenic stay, check out the Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel, a five-star resort that is located on a private peninsula with stunning views of the Mirabello Bay. Another great option is the Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas, a contemporary resort that features private pools, fine dining restaurants, and a beach club.
Santorini is a popular honeymoon destination and a favorite among luxury travelers. The island’s distinctive architecture, white-washed buildings, and blue-domed churches make for a romantic and scenic backdrop. For a lavish and unforgettable stay, book a suite at the Grace Santorini, a boutique hotel that offers panoramic views of the caldera, an infinity pool, a spa, and a restaurant that serves Mediterranean cuisine with a modern twist. Another top choice is the Canaves Oia Suites, a five-star hotel that is located in the picturesque village of Oia and features luxurious suites with private plunge pools or hot tubs.
Q: What is the best time to visit Greece?
A: The best time to visit Greece depends on your preferences and itinerary. The high season is from June to August, when the weather is hot and sunny and the tourist crowds are at their peak. The shoulder season (April-May and September-October) is a great time to visit as the weather is still pleasant and the crowds are thinner. The low season (November-March) is ideal for those who want to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more authentic and affordable experience.
Q: What are the must-try dishes in Greek cuisine?
A: Some of the must-try dishes in Greek cuisine include souvlaki (grilled meat skewers), moussaka (layers of eggplant, minced meat, and béchamel sauce), spanakopita (spinach and feta pie), taramosalata (fish roe dip), dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), gyros (roasted meat in a pita bread), and baklava (sweet pastry with layers of phyllo, nuts, and syrup).
Q: Do I need a visa to visit Greece?
A: Citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, and most European countries do not need a visa to visit Greece for stays of up to 90 days. However, it’s always a good idea to check the latest entry requirements and travel advisories before planning your trip.
Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Greece
1. The Acropolis, Athens
2. The Palace of Knossos, Crete
3. The Monasteries of Meteora, Thessaly
4. Delphi Archaeological Site, Central Greece
5. The Samaria Gorge, Crete
6. The Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, Peloponnese
7. Mykonos Island, Cyclades
8. The Archaeological Site of Olympia, Peloponnese
9. The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
10. The Navagio Beach, Zakynthos Island