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Mykonos activities, tours & other things to do 2022

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Activities and tours available on Mykonos in 2022

Images from some popular Mykonos activity and tour providers, from top left: Mykonos Horseland; Mykonos Raceland go-kart center; Mykonos Kayak; Maria-Eleni Sfaellou from Bespoke Mykonos guided tours; a cooking class at Mykonos Spiti & Farm; Kite Mykonos; a Mykonos Phototour picture of the Armenistis lighthouse; Yummy Pedals e-bikes; animals at the Mykonos Spiti farm; kids on a horse riding lesson at IPPOS Mykonos.

 

 

Editor’s note: This post is still under construction, as we continue to add more activities and attractions

 

Beyond the bars and beaches: Mykonos may be famous for its beaches, boutiques and nightlife, but there’s a lot more to do on the island than just sunbathe, swim, party or shop ’til you drop. Activities abound for visitors, whether they’re travelling solo, as a couple, with family or in a group — either visiting the island just for the day on a cruise stop, or staying on Mykonos for a few days or an extended holiday.

Want to go sightseeing? There’s a wide variety of guided tours available that will show you scenic off the main tourist path parts of the island either on foot, by bicycle, on horseback, or in a jeep or other vehicle.

Are you a foodie who’d like to take a cooking class, taste traditional Greek dishes, or learn about olive oil or cheese making? Or are you more interested in sampling local craft beer or wine, either at a craft brewery or local vineyard, or on a private scenic tour? There’s a number of tours focussed on food and wine, as well as specialized cooking classes and demonstrations, wine or beer tastings, and more.

Looking for fitness, fun outdoor activities or watersports?  You can choose from kayaking; horseback riding; windsurfing, kitesurfing & boarding; yoga, pilates & other fitness classes; go-karting; and boat, sailboat and yacht tours and excursions galore.

If you’re a history and culture buff,  the ruins and archaeological site of Delos island — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — are a must-visit, and easily reached by boats that depart from a pier near the town hall in Mykonos Town. There’s several interesting museums, along with a municipal art gallery and a number of excellent private art galleries that showcase works by Greek and international artists.

And for evening entertainment, how about watching a movie under the stars at the Cine Manto outdoor cinema in the heart of Mykonos Town?

Below, and on page 2 of this post, we spotlight those and other top Mykonos attractions and activities:

 

 

Guided tours, sightseeing excursions and day trips to other islands

 

Two Delos Tours vessels docked at the Delos island port

The most popular partial day trip/tour excursion available on Mykonos is one of the daily boat trips to nearby Delos island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important and historic archaeological sites in all of Greece. (Admission to the site costs €8 per person, payable at the entrance gate.) Since the 1970s, the Mykonos-based family business Delos Tours has been operating boats that ferry tourists to Delos to explore the ancient ruins of what was once a thriving and wealthy cosmopolitan port city. From April until the end of October, the Delos Tours boats make daily return trips (weather conditions permitting), and visitors can either buy €22 per person tickets for just the boat transfer so they can see Delos at their own pace, or they can purchase €60 per person tickets for organized tours that include the boat trip, entrance to the site, and a guided tour of the ruins by a certified tourist guide. (Guided tours are free for children under 6 years old, and €30 for kids aged 6 to 12.) Full details of boat and guided tour schedules, and online ticket booking, are available on the Delos Tours website.

 

Tour activities offered by Kyklomar Tours on Mykonos

Operating for the past 27 years, Kyklomar Tours will resume its popular series of excursions and private tours this spring. Its City and Island Tours start on April 3, while its Jeep Safaris will begin on April 18. Tours to Delos island start May 2, Tinos island day trips on May 3, south coast boat cruises on May 21, and sunset cruises on May 22. A Wine & Culture tour can be booked anytime upon request.  The company also offers transfer services. Full details of the tours, including start times, meeting points and prices, are outlined on the Kyklomar Tours website

 

Yummy Pedals Mykonos bicycle and hiking tours

Open for bookings and requests throughout the year, Yummy Pedals began operating its guided bicycle and hiking tours on March 15.  Yummy Pedals offers a variety of half- and full-day adventures for people of all ages and abilities, with excursions tailor-made for singles, couples, families, honeymooners, and cruise passengers.  Romantic escapes and special events can be arranged, and electric bikes are available for booking.

 

Mykonos Excursions tours and activities on Mykonos

A part of the Mykonian Spiti farm and cooking class business, Mykonos Excursions offers an extensive array of adventures and activities, including cooking demonstrations and classes; farm visits; hiking, walking and jeep tours; sunset and southern beach cruises; island tours; and even a day trip to Andros island.  Their season started in March.

 

Blue Lion jeep safari tours on Mykonos

Again this year, Blue Lion Safari is offering its selection of private and semi-private specialized Jeep tours of Mykonos.  The options include 5-hour private and semi-private morning tours and sunset tours through northern regions of Mykonos; a 10-hour full day private tour; and a special occasion private tour that will be customized to private a unique adventure experience on Mykonos. The tours include a meal and wine stop along the way. Maps and descriptions of the tour itineraries, along with contact information, are available on the Blue Lion Safari website.

 

Mykonos Photo Tour

Mykonos Photo Tour returns April 24, offering private island photo tours and photography shoots, location guides and travel coordination services hosted by its founder, Achim Eckhardt

 

Maria-Eleni Sfaellou of Bespoke Mykonos private guided tours

 Private guided tours on Mykonos are available now from licensed tour guide Maria-Eleni Sfaellou of Bespoke Mykonos. Starting on April 1, Maria-Eleni also will be available to provide guided tours at the Delos island archaeological site. 

 

 

 

Food, beer and wine-focussed tours, classes and activities

 

Photos of Mykonian Spiti and Farm on Mykonos island

One of the island’s best-known food and farm attractions, Mykonian Spiti & Farm hosts cooking classes and demonstrations, wine tastings, and tours of its farm. Located in the island’s Messaria district, Mykonian Spiti offers day and evening cooking classes hosted by Teta Fragedaki. The spiti’s other activities include wine tastings, traditional lunches and dinners, a farm bakery class with lunch, a farm barbecue, olive oil tasting, and a variety of experiences — ideal for children — on the farm.

 

Rizes Folklore Farmstead on Mykonos

Photo collage from the website for Rizes Folklore Farmstead & Restaurant Mykonos

A 5-acre property in the Maou area near Ano Mera, Rizes Folklore Farmstead offers guided tours of a re-created Chorio (traditional Myconian farmstead), including its house; chapel; vineyard, olive grove and vegetable garden; wine pressing vat; cheese workshop; folklore exhibitions; stable, dovecote and chicken coop; and a visit with the domestic farm animals. Cooking and bread baking classes also are offered.  In addition, the farmstead has a popular restaurant where visitors can enjoy freshly-cooked traditional meals, including  homemade pies, salads and spreads, and vegetable and meat dishes, all prepared according to Greek and Myconian recipes and techniques, and made primarily with local ingredients and products.  On Sundays, Rizes presents live Greek folk music entertainment, and hosts party feasts to celebrate national holidays and important religious events. During winter, Rizes was open only on weekends, but since April 16 has been open every day from noon until 9 p.m.

 

Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm & Winery

April 1 is opening day for Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm & Winery, located in the Maou area near Ano Mera. Operated by the Asymomitis family, the farm offers daily free guided tours that show visitors its biodynamic cultivation and wine making techniques. The farm also hosts tastings of their wines and local products, and kids can meet and play with the farm’s four-legged residents. 

 

Tour in Mykonian Land on Mykonos

The unique Tour in Mykonian Land experiences return on April 1. The two-hour guided tours of an estate in the Marathi area take visitors through an olive grove, vineyard and wine press facility, and conclude at the on-site taverna. There, guests are treated to traditional live music entertainment while they sample local food delicacies and some of the estate’s wines and olive oil. 

 

 

Mykonos Farmers cooking class workshop

Located in the Agios Lazaros area, Mykonos Farmers is a facility that specializes in the production of Mykonian cheeses (including the spicy Mykonos Kopanisti cheese) and other dairy products using traditional methods. Visitors are welcome to drop in for a tour of the facilities, and to sample the products. Mykonos Farmers also offers interactive cooking workshops that will introduce participants to cheese making, along with recipes to take home. Tours and workshops are available for large and small groups alike.

 

Anita Zachou of Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting

From May 15 to October 15, Anita Zachou of Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting will again host her group tasting workshops every afternoon. Private tasting sessions, special event tasting parties, on-yacht sessions and children’s workshops also are available. Full details of the company’s tasting sessions and activities, as well as booking and contact information, are available on the Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting website.

 

Mykonos Brewing Company

Mykonos Brewing Company is the island’s first, and only, craft brewery, and makes the local Mikonu brand of beers.  Located in the Argyraina area just outside Mykonos Town, the brewery is a complete brewhouse and taproom in an underground facility that once housed the island’s bowling alley. Visitors can advance book tours and tasting sessions, or can simply walk in to visit the taproom and sample the brews.  The taproom has windows offering a view of the brewery production area, and “is a family friendly, pet friendly, snack friendly, board game friendly space with a bar and table seating area.” The taproom is open year-round; its hours of operation for the spring and summer are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

The Wine Society Mykonos

The Wine Society exclusive wine tastings return on April 1, along with other unique holiday experiences curated by Georgia and Stelios, co-owners of Your Concierge. Their company’s one-of-a-kind activities include a variety of walking tours (a morning excursion that includes a breakfast break; an evening tour that includes a stop for a cocktail, and another that features a beach picnic); a souvlaki cooking class; a Greek cocktail masterclass; and a fish meze picnic at a secret beach. Your Concierge also can create customized private tours and memorable activities for visitors celebrating special occasions. Their experiences can be scheduled for anytime between April 1 and October 31. Full descriptions and details of the various experiences can be found on the Mykonos Experiences page of the Your Concierge website.

 

 

Open-air movie entertainment

 

Cine Manto outdoor cinema on Mykonos

Cine Manto is an outdoor cinema located in a beautiful botanical garden oasis in the heart of Mykonos Town.  Open from the beginning of June until the end of September, it presents a nightly roster of original release, first-run movies (usually in English, with Greek subtitles).  Besides the nightly Hollywood entertainment, Cine Manto boasts a cafe-restaurant which operates from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily, offering a unique, tree-shaded spot to escape the hustle and bustle of Mykonos and relax with a reasonably-priced breakfast, lunch or BBQ dinner meal and beverages.  The garden also hosts special events as well as mosaic workshops and morning yoga classes offered by Sweat Vacay (you’ll find information about both of those activities on page 2 of that post.

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading on page 2, where we profile fitness, sports and outdoor fun activities; cultural attractions and activities; and boat, sailboat and yacht tours and excursions.

 

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

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Taste Greece at Mia Feta, the only-one-of-its-kind feta bar and food shop in Thessaloniki

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Mia Feta Feta Bar in Thessaloniki Greece

Mia Feta and some of its many dishes and products are seen in a collage of images from social media pages for the Thessaloniki restaurant and retail shop

 

“Nettle risotto with feta mousse, truffled feta ravioli, feta panacotta with bee pollen and tomato jam. Who knew feta wasn’t just for Greek salad?” — the Mia Feta website

 

Feta fanatics: We absolutely LOVE feta. It’s our favourite cheese, and it seems we just can’t eat enough of it during our trips to Greece. 

Want to see big smiles instantly appear on our faces? Just watch when restaurant or taverna staff serve us a crunchy Greek salad topped with a thick slab of delicious, creamy feta!

We love feta when it’s baked into food, too — savoury spinach and cheese pies, or stuffed peppers and eggplants — and enjoy it as a component of bean, briams or vegetable dishes (called ladera in Greece).  It’s great on its own, as well, or with bread that’s been toasted and brushed with olive oil and a dusting of oregano. Fried feta with a sesame crust and honey drizzle is heavenly, while a watermelon salad with feta is a refreshing cool treat on a hot sunny day.

So you can bet your bottom Euro that, when we finally get to Thessaloniki for the first time, we’re going to make a beeline for Mia Feta, which bills itself as “the world’s first feta bar.”

 

 

 

 Mia Feta recently celebrated its 8th anniversary of business as the flagship store of Kourellas, a family dairy that has been operating in Greneva, a town in the mountainous western Macedonia region of Greece, since 1960. Not only is Mia Feta a farm-to-table restaurant and bar, it’s also a retail food shop that sells the Kourellas line of dairy products as well as Greek wines and artisanal gourmet food items — such as cold-pressed olive oils, jams and spreads, olives, hand-made pastas, herbs and beverages — from producers around the country. And while feta is its signature product and namesake, it isn’t Mia Feta’s only cheese specialty — the restaurant and shop both offer a range of creative dishes and innovative products made with other cheeses, including anevato, anthotyro, graviera, kefalograviera, kefalotyri, kasseri and moschotyri.

Mia Feta is open daily for breakfast/brunch, lunch and dinner.

For breakfast and brunch, there’s a yogurt bar that features a variety of toppings such as fruits, nuts, seeds and sauces, while customers can choose from a menu selection of cheese pies and tarts, omelets and other egg dishes, sandwiches, coffee, tea and more.

The all-day menu lists a range of hot and cold dishes: soups; salads; cheese, vegetable and meat appetizers; mains like burgers, pastas, risotto, sausages and chicken; an extensive variety of cheeses (besides feta); a cheese fondue; cold cut plates; light bites and sharing plates; and desserts.

We would particularly love to try their chickpea and lentil salad with beetroot humus, feta, red pepper, sun-dried tomato, lime, bacon and kale; the Santorini fava beans with mushrooms, wild greens and crumbled smoked feta cheese;  and the cheese variety plate featuring feta, anevato, kessari, kefalograviera, and moschotyri cheese with tomato and oregano. Among others!

 

Products available from Mia Feta Feta Bar in Thessaloniki

An image from Mia Feta’s Facebook page shows a few of the specialty food products available in the shop and its online retail store

 

For  anyone who can’t make it to the feta bar in person, products can be ordered online, through the e-shop on the Mia Feta website. Delivery is available throughout Greece and by DHL courier to anywhere in the world.

If you’re interested in reading more, have a look at the following:

♦ The Travel.gr Greece experience website profiled Mia Feta in its November 7 2021 article Three superb Thessaloniki delicatessens and a feta bar;

♦ In the post A feta bar in Thessaloniki, published on the Madame Ginger food, cooking and recipe website,  writer Eleonora Kanaki called Mia Feta “one of the best places in Thessaloniki” to eat drink and shop. 

♦ The Insights Greece travel, culture, design and style website wrote about Mia Feta in the article Thessaloniki: Home to world’s first feta bar

And for extensive information about feta, see the Greek Gastronomy Guide tribute to feta.

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Mia Feta Feta Bar is located at 14 Pavlou Mela Street in Thessaloniki (Tel: +302310221120).

Web: Mia Feta Feta Bar

Instagram: @miafeta_fetabar

Facebook: @miafetafetabar

 

Mykonos restaurants, bars, clubs & more: What’s new for 2021

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Baboulas Ouzeri on Mykonos

Baboulas Ouzeri has returned to the Mykonos Town harbourside alongside one of the island’s most-photographed landmarks — Mathios, the oldest hand-hewn fishing boat on Mykonos

 

Updated on August 25 2021

 

Island unlocked:  After a long winter of Covid-19-related lockdowns ended and Greece reopened its borders to international tourists in the spring, Mykonos quickly bounced back to life.

Visitors arrived on Mykonos to find many familiar faces — their favourite bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels and shops — open and anxiously waiting to welcome them back.

Also eager to greet them were dozens of newly-established businesses opening their doors for the very first time — bakeries, cafes, coffee shops, bars, cocktail lounges, street food and casual eateries, fine dining restaurants, live entertainment venues, retail stores, hotels, rental accommodations, and more.

These new traveller-focussed enterprises further expand the already vast variety of drinking, dining, leisure and lodging choices on Mykonos, further cementing the island’s solid position and reputation as one of the top summer holiday destinations in the world.

In this post, we will introduce you to many of this year’s newcomers, along with some of the noteworthy newbies from last year. (We’re including them since this is essentially their first full summer of operation — the 2020 season started late and ended early due to disruptions caused by the Covid pandemic, while few people were able to visit Mykonos because of international travel restrictions.)

 

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Azul Condesa

Azul Condesa modern Mexican restaurant in Mykonos

With its “modern Mexican cuisine” and sweeping patio views of the sea and sunset, Azul Condesa has been drawing crowds since it opened on May 28.  The menu includes nachos, soups, salads, starters, ceviche, tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, fajitos, burritos and main courses, along with beverage list ranging from classic and frozen margaritas to sangria, tequila, shots and a  selection of popular cocktails.  The restaurant takes pride in its homemade corn tortilla flours for tacos and burritos, and in its picanhas, beef tagliata and other meats seasoned in “unique and exceptional marinades of our Mexican chefs.”  You’ll find Azul Condesa in the Argyraina area, along the peripheral highway above Mykonos Town.

Facebook: @azulcondesamykonos

Instagram: @azulcondesamykonos

Web:  Azul Condesa Modern Mexican Cuisine 

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Mykonos Social by Jason Atherton

Mykonos Social restaurant on Mykonos

Michelin-starred British chef Jason Atherton has chosen Mykonos as the location for his first restaurant in the Mediterranean. Designed as “a bespoke, all-day dining destination,” Mykonos Social opened June 16, and boasts impressive sea views from its open-air patio perched above the private beach of the luxurious  Santa Marina Resort at Ornos. When they’re not mesmerized by the views, guests will be gobsmacked by the food — the menu features Atherton’s creative interpretations of  Mediterranean and Greek cuisine. The restaurant bar serves Tiki-style cocktails and fine wines, while an in-house DJ plays the perfect tunes to match the clientele’s mood and the sublime resort atmosphere.

Facebook: @MykonosSocial

Instagram: @mykonossocial

Web: Santa Marina Restaurants & Bars

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Platis Souvlaki Grillbar

Platis Souvlaki shop on Mykonos

People staying in the Platis Gialos beach area won’t have to travel into Mykonos Town anymore to get a taste of Greece’s favourite fast food treats — gyros and souvlaki. With the June 11 opening of Platis Souvlaki Grillbar, at the Argo Hotel, visitors can now grab a budget-friendly gyros on their way to or from the beach. The grillbar menu includes gyros and souvlaki served in either pita sandwiches or meal portions, vegetarian pita, sausage and kebab pita, chicken skewers, salads, appetizers and more, all at reasonable prices. Platis Souvlaki joins three other shops that opened at the Argo Hotel last summer — a bakery, fashion boutique and hair & nail salon, which you can read about on page 2 of this post.

Facebook: Platis Souvlaki Restaurant

Instagram: @platissouvlaki

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Woba Street Food

Woba Street Food Project on Mykonos

The Lakka area of Mykonos Town is always bustling with pedestrian traffic since it’s home to the Fabrica bus station and dozens of cheap ‘n cheerful cafes and bars.  Woba Street Food Project by Haris Papazoglu has been drawing even more people to the area since it opened on June 12.  Woba’s handmade, steamed bao buns have practically been flying out of the kitchen since opening day.  The buns come with a choice of main ingredients including chicken, port, tempura shrimp, creamy mushroom, Caesar, rib eye and duck. There’s even bao buns with hot dog or chicken nuggets, and sweet boa with Buenno or banofee.  The menu also offers buckets of chicken wings, nuggets and fried chicken; four varieties of fried potatoes; shrimp chips, crap popcorn and other finger foods; and Thai chicken or crispy duck salads.  

Facebook: Woba Streetfood Mykonos

Instagram: @woba_streetfood_mykonos

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La Barran

La Barran Bar on Mykonos

Owned and operated by a couple of young lads who were born and raised on the island, La Barran  cocktail bar quickly captures attention with its slick and curvaceous white bar and its distinctive illuminated ceiling. It’s situated on Enoplon Dinameon Street, which winds through one of the busiest bar and nightclub districts of Mykonos Town. (Regular visitors will know the location as the premises previously occupied by the Replay clothing store.) La Barran opened in late  April, and has been a popular hangout for locals and visitors alike ever since.

Facebook: labarranmykonos

Instagram: @labarranmykonos

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JackieO’ Cantina

JackieO Cantina on Mykonos

 Mykonos welcomed a new arrival to the JackieO’ family on June 21. The JackieO’ Cantina is a casual  eatery situated right next door to its eldest sibling, the highly popular JackieO’ Town Bar on the Mykonos Town seafront. (The middle child of the family is the JackieO’ Beach club at Super Paradise.) The cantina menu includes a selection of dosas, gyros, souvlaki, salads, sides and beverages. Customers can either dine indoors or sit at tables on the open-air patio overlooking the harbour — a great spot for people watching.

Facebook: JackieO’ Mykonos

Instagram: @jackieomykonos

Web: JackieO Mykonos

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Koozen

Koozen restaurant on Mykonos

For summer 2021, Aeolos Resort has opened a new in-house fine dining restaurant, Koozen, which offers a menu of Greek and Mediterranean “comfort cuisine” created by renowned Greek chef Athinagoras Kostakos, culinary director of the Meraki restaurants in London and Riyadh, as well as Scorpios and Noema on Mykonos. For Koozen’s a la carte menu, Kostakos has conceived dishes that will take diners “on a trip to the traditional flavours of Greece, with modern touches,” says the Aeolos Resort website.  Guests seem to be enjoying their culinary journeys; in reviews posted on TripAdvisor, they have praised the service, flavours and high quality of the food, and have commented that Koozen’s prices are very “reasonable” and “affordable” by Mykonos standards.  Koozen opened in May, and operates from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Instagram: @koozen_mykonos

Web: Aeolos Hotel Restaurant

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Drunk Monkey

Drunk Monkey bar on Mykonos

The Covid pandemic forced restaurants and bars around the world to add delivery and take-out service options to keep their businesses afloat during lockdowns. On Mykonos, two young entrepreneurs saw a promising opportunity and  established Drunk Monkey, a take-away cocktail bar that also offers delivery service. The bar opened in early July of 2020, inviting visitors to “explore the island with a cocktail” and reminding them: “Cocktail first — Because no great story ever started with a glass of water.” The bar’s distinctive take-out containers and logo were soon spotted all over the island. You’ll find Drunk Monkey next door to Niko’s Taverna, behind the Mykonos Town Hall.  This year the bar opened July 20 for its second season.

Facebook: @drunkmonkeymykonos

Instagram: @drunkmonkeymykonos

Web: Drunk Monkey Mykonos

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PERE UBU Mykonos

Pere Ubu Mykonos restaurant at Kalesma hotel on Mykonos

PERE UBU, the in-house restaurant at the new Kalesma luxury hotel, has been making its mark as one of the island’s top destinations for fine dining under the direction of Chef Costas Tsingas, whose gastronomic philosophy “blends fresh local produce with high-end culinary craft”  to take diners on a refined journey through flavour.” “From Athens to New York, he watches, listens & tastes, creating a culinary tapestry that touches on the best of global gastronomy. Connected to the world, rooted in Greece, PERE UBU Mykonos is a journey into contemporary dining,” the restaurant’s social media pages say. “We serve small ‘mezes’ plates, full meals or light lunches by day, and by night PERE UBU transforms into a vibrant social hub with innovative cocktails and gratifying menus,” the Kalesma website states. Indeed, the restaurant has regularly hosted sunset entertainment by DJs Yiannis Mitsokapas and Evridiki from Zucca Radio, and on July 22 held a special summer barbecue feast “guided by the culinary craftsmanship of Beastalis.”

Facebook: @PereUbuMykonos

Instagram: @pere_ubu_mykonos

Web: Kalesma Mykonos Fine Dining

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What a Ride

A collage of photos of the What A Ride toasteria in Mykonos

The take-away shop What A Ride quite literally became the toast of the town when it opened in early July, offering a satisfying and scrumptious street food alternative to burgers, gyros and souvlaki. Its signature toasted sandwiches — “no ordinary toasties,” as the shop proudly proclaims — have been taking its customers’ tastebuds on a deliciously fun ride.  The menu includes such tantalizing toast fillings as steak, cheese, and lobster, and What a Ride sells a selection of craft beers and wines to complement its custom toasties-to-go. You can find the toasteria on Polikantrioti Street near the harbourside promenade. It operates from early evening until the crack of dawn, so it’s a perfect place to grab a late-night bite to eat while clubbing and bar-hopping (or an early breakfast if you manage to party until daybreak).

Facebook: What a Ride Mykonos

Instagram: @whataride.mykonos

 

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Farma House

Farm House music club on Mykonos

A “new concept” venue spotlighting the “experimental sound of Mykonos,” Farma House is an open-air lounge where guest DJs play sets from sunset until late at night. It describes itself as “the other place” of the after-hours Sanctus club in Mykonos Town, and features some of the artists who perform there. Farma House opened on June 25, and  its DJ lineup so far this summer has included Brina Knauss, Patrice Baumel, Arodes, Ivory and Joy Rapotez. The club is situated at Ftelia beach on the site of the former Farma restaurant.

Facebook:  @farmamykonos

Instagram: @farmahouse_mykonos

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Baboulas

Baboulas Ouzeri on Mykonos

There’s always plenty of new things to discover on Mykonos, but occasionally something old is suddenly new again on the Island of the Winds. Like Baboulas Ouzeri, for example.  Long-time visitors to Mykonos will remember Baboulas, which is situated on the harbourfront area of Mykonos Town called Kaminaki. With its traditional tables and chairs positioned on the rocky shoreline alongside a brightly painted fishing boat named Mathios, Baboulas was one of the most picturesque places in town — a veritable magnet for photographers long before Instagram existed. Mathios was an island icon, attracting tourists eager to snap pictures of octopus hanging from its sail ropes against a stunning backdrop of shimmering turquoise water and the whitewashed buildings lining the opposite side of the harbour.  Starting around 2012, the Baboulas location began operating as a restaurant called Salparo Seafood. But this year Baboulas is back, offering simple and authentic Mykonian cuisine, ouzo and Greek spirits — and friendly service — “just like the old days.”  And while much has changed on Mykonos during its hiatus — especially the island’s culinary scene, which has seen the arrival of scores of high-end restaurants — Baboulas is proud to call itself “the least gourmet restaurant on the island.”  Baboulas re-opened on June 14 and will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year. 

Facebook: @baboulasmykonos

Instagram: @baboulasmykonos

 

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Parthenis Cafe

a collage of photos of Parthenis Cafe in Mykonos

The Parthenis men’s and women’s clothing shop at Alefkandra Square has been a Mykonos retail icon since it was opened in 1978 by internationally-recognized Greek fashion designer Dimitris Parthenis.  The boutique has long been a must-visit shopping stop for fashionistas, who appreciate the Parthenis  aesthetic  that combines “comfort with simplicity, enveloped through a timeless twist of elegance, deeply linked to the essence of Greek summer.” This summer, the shop added a cafe and lounge, which has been designed to exude the same characteristics — “simplicity, comfort and elegance” — as the clothing brand and the historic house in which its flagship Mykonos is situated. The outdoor space offers visitors a place to enjoy the Little Venice scenery and sunsets while relaxing with a cocktail,  glass of wine or a meal, with a DJ playing music curated to follow the local mood, rhythm and flow.

Facebook: @partheniscafe

Instagram: @partheniscafe

Web: Orsalia-Parthenis

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading on page 2, where we preview more of the exciting new places to drink, dine, party and relax on Mykonos.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

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A look back at our fabulous Greek Easter feast on Lesvos

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Roasting lamb on the spit at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

Lamb roasting on the spit at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

Staff at Delfinia Hotel in Molyvos roast lamb on the spit — the main course for the hotel’s special Greek Easter holiday meal in 2019

 

Memorable meal: Today — Sunday, April 19, 2020 — is Easter in Greece, the country’s biggest and most important holiday event of the year. Last year, we got to celebrate Greek Easter for our first time ever while vacationing on Lesvos island. Although it was only 12 months ago, it feels much, much longer, since time seems to have slowed to a crawl during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

We were staying at Delfinia Hotel & Bungalows in Molyvos at the time, and jumped at the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Greek Easter meal that the hotel was hosting on its open-air, seaview breakfast patio. 

It cost us €25 each, an absolute bargain for the excellent quality and splendid variety of delicious food that was served. Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the afternoon feast, we managed to snap a few photos of some of the delightful dishes we enjoyed, and have posted them below. 

Delfinia Hotel Lesvos Greek Easter menu 2019

The menu for the Delfinia Hotel’s Greek Easter meal

 

Greek Easter dinner salad buffet at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

Greek Easter salads and cheeses at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

Two views of the wonderful salad and cheese selections on the buffet

 

Greek Easter dinner side dishes at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

Rice and baked pasta side dishes on the buffet 

 

Greek Easter dinner side dishes at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

Three of the side dishes:  mushrooms (top), zucchini fritters (center) and cheese pies

 

Greek salad at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

We started the meal with a Greek salad, olives and tzatziki

 

Greek Easter side dishes at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

Next up was a plate of yummy baked pasta, cheese, rice, cheese pie, zucchini fritter and mushrooms (all so delicious, we went back to the buffet for seconds)

 

Greek Easter kokoretsi dish at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

The first main course was a large serving of kokoretsi. If you love organ meats, you would love this spit-roasted traditional dish.

 

Greek Easter lamb and potatoes at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

The centerpiece of the meal: spit-roasted lamb with roasted potatoes

 

Red dyed eggs for Greek Easter

Baskets of red-dyed eggs for the Easter game of tsougrisma 

 

The buffet  included an array of mouth-watering Greek sweets and pastries, which we unfortunately forgot to photograph before devouring them.

The afternoon feast lasted a few hours, following which we took a long walk through Molyvos to get some exercise and work off some of the gazillion calories we had just consumed. [Click here for links to previous blog posts in which we have published photos from our walkabouts in the beautiful town of Molyvos.]  

Greek Easter won’t be the same this year because of social distancing rules and lockdown restrictions in Greece during the Covid-19 pandemic, so there won’t be any group festivities like the one we enjoyed at Delfinia Hotel. With luck, though, things will return to normal for next year and, with even more luck, we might get an opportunity to experience another wonderful Easter meal in Greece. 

Top Greece travel reads of 2019: Greek food and wine

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Screenshot of Aegean Blue Magazine Issue 80 article about Vegan food in Greece

“Long before it became a fashionable trend and part of a new philosophy, dishes without any meat or animal products were a fundamental part of Greek cuisine, and they remain so today,” says the introduction to an Aegean Airlines in-flight magazine article about vegan food.

 

Feta. Greek Yogurt. Plant-based cuisine. Local Greek Island specialties. Wine bars in Athens. Vineyards open to visitors. These are a few of my favourite things in Greece, and they’re also the subject of magazine and newspaper articles I found particularly informative and instructive to read in 2019.  If you love food and wine yourself, and have a trip to Greece in your sights for 2020 (or later), the publications I spotlight in this post will give you an advance taste of the culinary and oenophilic delights you can plan to experience.

The articles I have selected as best reads for 2019 cover some topics that interest me personally, and others that will be useful to people who have emailed me or asked questions on social media or online travel forums that I regularly follow, like the Greece forum on TripAdvisor.

For instance, there’s a question that has become increasingly common in the past couple of years: “Will I be able to find vegan food & restaurants in Greece?” The answer: “Absolutely!” Brand-new restaurants specializing in vegan cuisine have been popping up in Athens, Mykonos and other major tourist destinations in recent years, while many existing eateries have been adding a range of vegan dishes to their menus to meet rapidly rising customer demand. But even in off-the-tourist-path places, travellers won’t have any trouble finding delicious meals that haven’t been prepared with meat or animal products.

As writer Nana Daroti notes in the article Vegan: Made in Greece, which starts at page 110 in Issue 80 of Blue, the Aegean Airlines on-board magazine,  Greeks are devoted to vegetable dishes known generally as ladera, and which can be found everywhere from “summer seaside tavernas to mountain retreats.”

“Olive oil, vegetables, beans and grains play leading roles in Greek recipes, not because they’re fashionable, but because they’re encoded in the Greek DNA,” Daroti explains.

For me, a far more difficult challenge than finding vegan food is shopping for wine in Greece, and not just because the labels on many bottles are written only in Greek.  Since we’re not familiar with local varietals and vineyards, we can never be certain what might suit our palates, and often wind up choosing a bottle at random and hoping we like it. We’ve found some pleasurable hits that way, but also some sorry misses. Happily, buying wine should be considerably less confusing on future holidays thanks to Wine Plus Magazine, which devoted its 2019 summer edition (Issue 57, pictured below) to all things a visitor needs to know about Greek wine.

In a welcome message, Editor Maria Netsika says the issue takes readers on “a journey through the wines of Greece … a travelogue to pleasure.” The Wine Plus trip itinerary includes the regions of Thrace, Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Aegean islands, Ionian islands, and Crete, and visits not only the country’s leading vineyards, but also lesser-known wine makers. For each region, the magazine suggests “must try” and “must buy” local cuisine and food products, and provides directions to vineyards and wineries to help visitors plan their “oenotourism stops” in whatever area of Greece they may be travelling. Directories highlight specific regional wines, and conveniently include photos of the bottles.

Cover of issue 57 of The Wine Plus Magazine special issue on Greek wines

The Summer 2019 edition of The Wine Plus Magazine is a veritable encyclopedia of Greek wine, packed with everything you need to know about Greek grapes, vineyards, wine regions, production, and more.  

 

Please turn to page 2 to see more of my favourite articles about Greek food, wine and beverages from 2019.

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A guide to Kini, the laid-back beach village on Syros

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Greece, Greek Islands, Cyclades, Siros, Syros, Kini Bay, Kini beach, Kini village, landscape, coast, seaside, beach, Kini Beach, Kini Beach Syros, village,

Greece,Greek island, Siros, Syros, Syros Greece, Kini, Kini Bay, Kini Bay Syros,

Greece, Greek Islands, Cyclades, Siros, Syros, Kini Bay, Kini beach, Kini village, landscape, coast, seaside,

Greece, Greek Islands, Cyclades, Siros, Syros, Kini Bay, Kini beach, Kini village, landscape, coast, seaside, village

Greece, Greek Islands, Cyclades, Siros, Syros, Kini Bay, Kini beach, Kini village, landscape, coast, seaside, village, mountains

Above: Views of the Kini area from five different vantage points

 

What’s there:  My earlier post, Colourful Kini Bay on Syros island, was essentially a photo tour of the beautiful beach village area where we have stayed during two holidays on Syros. In this companion piece, I have compiled a mini-guide to Kini, highlighting accommodation and dining options as well as attractions and things to see and do in the immediate vicinity, based primarily upon personal experience.

I actually started preparing this article several years ago, following our second trip to Syros, but I never managed to finish the project. It languished in a folder of draft articles until this winter, when a Travel + Leisure magazine profile of Syros caught my attention and reminded me of the post I had never completed. Comments and inquiries about Syros from readers  of my blog gave me further impetus to have another go at writing the guide. Besides, it presented an opportunity to see what, if anything, may have changed and keep us up to date on what’s happening in Kini, since we do plan to go back.

Greece, Greek islands, Cyclades, Siros, Syros, Syros island, Kini, Kini Bay, Kini Syros, Kini village, monastery, Agia Varvara Monastery Syros,

Kini is best known for beaches, food and  scenery, but it’s also home to two attractions that tourists can visit: the Agia Varvara Monastery (above) and a small aquarium and boat museum

 

While checking to see if familiar tavernas and accommodations were still around, I was pleased to discover that two new restaurants and a hotel have opened during the past couple of years — Aphrodite Boutique Hotel, Thalassa Beach Bar, and Aeriko Mezedopoleio.  Aphrodite and Thalassa have opened in centrally-located buildings that had been vacant and somewhat shabby-looking during both of our Kini holidays, so their reincarnations have spruced up the area and greatly improved the look of the village landscape. Aeriko opened two years ago in the premises previously occupied by Ammos Beach and Kitchen Bar.  (There’s more information on all three new places later in this post.)

I also noticed several hotels and studio rental properties have undertaken significant upgrades in the past two years, while others have been renovating this winter in preparation for the 2019 season.  The good news for travellers is more (and improved) choices for lodging, along with additional places to drink and dine. Happily, the changes have been for the better, and haven’t had a negative impact on Kini’s comfortable atmosphere and charm.  

Greece, Greek islands, Cyclades, Siros, Syros, Syros island, Kini, Kini Bay, Kini village Syros, sunset, sunset view,

We have seen many remarkable sunsets from Kini (this one was from our holiday in 2015), with vivid sky colours that were more stunning than any we’ve seen on Santorini, the island that’s famous for sunset views.

 

The low-key, laid-back ambiance is what we personally enjoy about Kini, along with its scenic location, marvellous sunset views, sandy beaches, interesting walks and excellent restaurants. (Its close proximity to the island’s vibrant capital, Ermoupoli, is another appealing feature.) On both of our visits, Kini won our hearts as one of the most chill and relaxing places we’ve stayed anywhere in Greece.  In fact, we often muse about going there for an extended period — a couple of months in spring or fall, for instance — since we find it particularly inspiring for our creative pursuits of writing, painting and photography.

I know others share our appreciation for Kini just as strongly; online, I have chatted with a number of people who have made repeat visits and are planning to return this year because they love Kini for the same reasons. And when we have spoken to other tourists while we have been in Kini, everyone has commented about how much they were enjoying the place. We never heard anything negative.

Kini might not be your cup of tea if your ideal island getaway is a crowded and glitzy tourist magnet, like Mykonos, where you can spend all your time and money shopping in designer boutiques, dining at gourmet international restaurants, and partying at exclusive nightclubs and trendy beach clubs.  But if your goal is to rest and recharge in a peaceful, picturesque village with good Greek restaurants and nice sandy beaches, Kini could well be paradise. It’s my hope that the photographs, descriptions and personal anecdotes in this guide will give you a solid sense of what Kini has to offer, and will inspire you to consider including Kini in your future holiday plans if it does look like a place you would enjoy.

Greece, Greek island, Siros, Syros, Syros island, island, Google map,

Kini is situated on the west coast of Syros, approximately 9 km from the island’s port town and capital, Ermoupoli

 

Please click on the links below below to continue reading and see dozens of Kini photos.

Page 2 highlights Kini sights, attractions and things to do, with descriptions of local beaches, boat trips to remote beach areas, and scenic walks.

Page 3 spotlights places to eat and drink in the village.

Page 4 profiles hotels and many of the room and studio accommodations available at Kini.  

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Two nights in Marathopoli: Where we ate and slept

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Artina Hotel & Artina Nuovo Hotel Marathopoli

We enjoyed our spacious, comfortable rooms at the Artina Hotel, seen here in an aerial image shared on Google by Nikos Tsiak

 

Panorama Fish Tavern Restaurant in Marathopoli

On our first night in Marathopoli, we had dinner on this seaview patio at Panorama Fish Tavern Restaurant …

 

Artoinos Μεζεδοπωλείο Marathopoli

 … while the next night, we enjoyed mezes at Artoinos Μεζεδοπωλείο, seen in a photo from its Facebook page

 

Great food & accommodations: We ate well and slept well during our brief 2-night stay in the small seaside town of Marathopoli last spring.  Our only disappointment? Not having more time to enjoy our lovely hotel room longer, or to try other restaurants besides the two where we had delicious dinners.

As I mentioned in my March 20 2018 post describing Marathopoli, we had chosen to base ourselves in the town so we could easily access top sites and attractions in Messenia during our road trip through the region. 

Though Marathopoli has fewer than 700 residents, it has a surprising variety of accommodation options, ranging from a budget-friendly campground to 2-star hotels, studio apartments, and luxury suite hotels. Choices include:

♦ the 15-room Hotel Rania (shown as Rania Apartments on Google Maps);

♦ the two-star Porto Marathos, a 33-room property with single, double and triple rooms, as well as four apartments;

♦  Artina Hotel and Artina Hotel Nuovo, two connected hotel buildings with apartment-style suites and a shared swimming pool, breakfast room, and gym;

♦  Megalos Kampos Hotel & Resort, a property offering four large studio apartments and two maisonettes;

♦  Pefkides, a complex of five separate luxury apartment residences that share a large garden area and a swimming pool; 

♦  Agrikies Country Retreat, a complex of four maisonette guest houses that can accommodate up to 5 persons each;

♦  Camping Proti, a full-service campground with spaces for tents and trailers, and facilities that include a cafe-bar, minimarket, TV room, swimming pool, laundry, kitchen and shared refrigerators and freezers;

♦  Esperides, a complex of five independent holiday apartments; 

♦  Faros Luxury Suites, a seaside hotel with 11 kitchenette-equipped luxury apartments; 

Mesogeios Hotel, a group of studios and apartments situated between Marathopoli and Lagouvardos beach;

♦  Lagouvardos Apartments, a collection of seven small, furnished houses near Lagourvardos Beach;

♦   Edem Suites, a collection of standard and family-sized maisonettes near Lagourvardos;

♦   Dialiksari Villas, a complex with six individually decorated houses, and

♦  Messinian Horizons, a complex of 5 luxury maisonette villas situated about 3 km south of Marathopoli.

Our travel companions had suggested we all stay at the Artina Hotel Nuovo, and it proved to be an excellent choice: the location was good; the breakfast buffet was enjoyable; the sea and sunset views were wonderful; and our spacious, well-appointed rooms were extremely comfortable. The nightly rates were very reasonable, too. I would love to stay there again. (You can see photos of our room and the hotel on page 2 of this post.)

For dining, we were again spoiled for choice and had to decide from such top-rated restaurants as:

Panorama Fish Tavern;

Argyris Fish Tavern;

♦  Maistrali Restaurant & Fish Tavern;

♦  Artoinos Mezedopolio;

♦ Miggas Vassilios Taverna;

♦ Riki Mediterranean Restaurant (operated by the proprietors of the Megalo Kampos resort);

♦ Faros Restaurant in the Faros Luxury Suites hotel;

♦  Pame Bounti grillhouse;

♦ Entheon Italian cuisine and pizzeria; and

♦  De Novo Cafe Bar

(A bright new arrival on the Marathopoli dining scene, Opos Palia (Όπως Παλιά_Μεζεδοπωλείο-Ψησταριά), didn’t open until after our visit.)

For a late dinner on our first night in town, we went to Panorama Fish Tavern on the restaurant and bar strip that residents call The Sidewalk. Every dish we ordered — the calamari, horta, grilled local cheese, and meatballs — was tasty and enjoyable, while the service was very good.

The next night we chose Artoinos Mezedopolio, which had received great reviews on travel websites and restaurant apps. Our selections there included skordalia, gigantes, chick pea balls, spetzofai sausages, fried pork in white wine, and pleuvrotos mushrooms. We loved everything and would be hard-pressed to list a favourite, but all of us agreed that the sausages and mushrooms were stand-out dishes.  The wine and service were excellent to match. Artoinos would probably be the first place we’d go for dinner next time we return to Marathopoli.

And what about the Marathopoli nightlife? We didn’t experience any of it ourselves, but the town does have a lively bar and nightclub scene, especially during the main summer travel months. Popular spots for drinks, music and partying include:

♦  Albatross Seaside Cafe-Bar

♦  Aithrio Music Cafe

♦ Animus Wine Bar and Cafe

♦  Rodanthos Club

♦ Puerto Club

♦ Loco Bar, and

♦ Diva Club

If we had stayed out late for a night on the town, though, we certainly would have enjoyed coming back to the Artina Nuovo to crash in our super-comfy beds and awake to the calming panoramic views of the harbour and sea.

Below are panoramic photos I shot on my iphone, showing the interior of our spacious room at the Artina Nuovo as well as the morning and sunset views from our balcony:

 

Artina Nuovo Hotel room interior

Artina Nuovo Hotel room view

Artina Nuovo Hotel sunset view

 

More photos of our room and its views, plus pictures of the hotel, can be viewed on page 2 of this post. Of course, more photos and information about the Artina Nuovo, and its sister Artina Hotel, as well as online booking, can be found on the official hotel website.

For customer reviews of the various places to eat in the town, check the Marathopoli restaurant listing on TripAdvisor.

 

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KateRina’s traditional Greek cuisine hits the spot

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KateRinas Taverna

KateRinas Taverna

Exterior views of KateRina’s Restaurant in the Romanos area of Messenia, a short drive from Voidokilia beach and the town of Pylos

 

Late lunch: We felt famished after our hike to the Old Castle of Navarino and a long walk during our visit to Voidokilia beach, and all of us agreed that a hearty lunch of traditional Greek cuisine would really hit the spot. KateRina’s Restaurant near Romanos had been recommended by several reliable sources, and was only a 10-minute drive away, so we piled into the car and headed right over.

We arrived shortly before 3 in the afternoon, so the lunch crowd had moved on and the few customers still in the taverna were all close to finishing their meals. Restaurant proprietor Katerina greeted us with a warm welcome and showed us to a table at the edge of the veranda where a light breeze — plus beer, wine and water — helped us cool off after our half day in the hot sun.

 

KateRina's Tavern Restaurant

The main entrance to Katerina’s Restaurant

 

KateRina's Tavern Restaurant

Tables in a cozy corner of the open-air dining veranda

 

Given our ravenous appetites, we weren’t sure how much food to order, but KateRina assured us that our selection of Greek salad, tzatziki, zucchini balls, meat balls and a local pork dish would be probably be just the right amount for four hungry people.  So we sat back to relax and enjoy our beverages while KateRina and her kitchen staff prepared our lunch.

The taverna was celebrating its milestone 50th anniversary in 2017, and once we tasted Katerina’s traditional cuisine we immediately understood why her restaurant has been highly recommended for so long: the food was superb.

The zucchini balls — a house specialty which has long been a customer favourite  — were delicious, as were the pork (served in a yummy tomato sauce) and the tender, juicy meat balls (accompanied by a heaping side of scrumptious fried potatoes)We also loved the large horiatiki , which included two ingredients we’d never seen before in a Greek salad: cooked beets and potatoes. (They added nice flavours and textures to the dish.) Then there was the restaurant’s signature tzatziki, served with a platter of grilled bread. It was simply outstanding. Tzatziki has never been one of my favourite starters, but KateRina’s version was almost to die for. 

 

KateRina's Restaurant

Katerina’s tzatziki was divine (and the portion was huge, though it’s not obvious in my photo)

 

KateRina's Restaurant salad

KateRina’s Greek salad includes chunks of tasty beets and potatoes

 

The service was excellent and Katerina was a delightful hostess. At the end of our meal, she took time to join us for some conversation about her taverna and the local area before returning to the kitchen to prepare for a very busy night — a group from a nearby resort had booked the entire restaurant for dinner.

 

 

If you’re travelling in the southwestern Peloponnese, plan to stop by KateRina’s for a lunch or dinner of fabulous Greek cuisine or delicious fresh fish. It might be wise to make a reservation, though, since the restaurant is quite popular with tourists visiting the nearby town of Pylos or Voidokilia and other close-by beaches. Large groups from the five-star Westin Costa Navarino and Romanos Luxury Collection Resort often bus over to the taverna, as well, so the place can get very busy or even completely booked out.

Contact information and hours of operation are indicated on the KateRina’s Tavern website.  If you want to read what other people have said about the restaurant, check the Katerina’sTavern listing on TripAdvisor, where more than 250 customers have posted reviews.

KateRinas Restaurant

A red marker pinpoints the location of KateRina’s Restaurant on this Google image of the Navarino Bay area of the Peloponnese. The taverna is very close to the Westin Costa Navarino Resort (top left) and is a short drive from the town of Pylos (bottom center).

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