Peloponnese: Where to stay, shop, eat and relax
Grande Bretagne Hotel
Five-star luxury in Syntagma Square, Athens, opposite Parliament. Lovely views from the rooftop restaurant, plus a spa and pools.
Small and friendly, this funky, four-star Athens hotel is just minutes from both Syntagma Square and the Plaka district.
Grande Bretagne Hotel
Nafplion has lots of pensions and small hotels. This one (different to the Grand Bretagne above) is the classic, packed with old-world charm, right on the waterfront.
Costa Navarino resort
Tucked away from it all in the southwest Peloponnese, two beachside five-star hotels – the high-end Romanos and the family-friendly Westin – have golf courses and a spa. Extensive activities are offered: Philosophical Walks led by scholars; regional cookery lessons; trips to Nestor’s Palace and Messini; weekend wine tastings with Greece’s only MW, Konstantinos Lazarakis; vineyard visits and olive-picking.
Kinsterna Hotel & Spa
Picturesque boutique hotel created out of a Byzantine mansion, with stunning views over Monemvasia and the Aegean. Set amid olives and vines, the traditional tsipouro spirit is distilled here in the autumn. There’s a spa, pool and wine tastings.
A beautiful neoclassical house in Athens with a stunning courtyard garden for summer meals, the young chef here has a formidable reputation.
Good modern food with the best view in Athens, on Lycabettus hill looking down over the Parthenon.= Take the funicular railway from Aristippou Street in Kolonaki.
In Athens, book a rooftop table for close-up views of the Parthenon. Classic dishes.
On the road from Athens airport down to Nafplion, stop at Pachi. This is authentic Greece: a small village with fishing boats, and tavernas selling the daily catch.
Tucked inside the historic town of Monemvasia this offers traditional taverna cooking, with lovely views.
3 Sixty wine bar
Nafplio’s daytime coffee-shopcum- night-time-disco, with an excellent selection of local wines.
In the Plaka quarter of Athens, there are lots of small shops selling olive oil, olives, herbs, honey and more. Best known is this one on Sofokleous St.
+30 210 3234612.
Set aside two days in Athens for visiting the key sights – the Acropolis and its museum has a good restaurant (theacropolismuseum.gr). The National Archaeological Museum houses treasures from Mycenae (www.namuseum.gr) and, close by, the Ilias Lalaounis Museum displays an astonishing collection of gold and jewellery, both historical and modern (lalaounis-jewelrymuseum.gr).