Athens combines history and hipster coffee culture with guaranteed sunshine. Start planning your trip …
Stay downtown at the Gatsby Athens, one of the city’s newest hotels, a ten-minute walk from the Acropolis. It’s on a side street leading to Syntagma Square, home to the Greek parliament, and is perfect for people watching from one of its cafés. The vibrant Kolonaki neighbourhood, famous for its art, fashion and food, is close too. From €179, based on two sharing; www.gatsbyathens.com. Also new is Xenodocheio Milos, with 43 elegant rooms and suites from €371; www.xenodocheiomilos.com.
A terrace suite at Xenodocheio Milos.
After worshipping at the altars of various gods represented in the Acropolis, stop by the workshop of Stavros Mellissinos – the late poet-shoemaker of Athens. His son has since taken over, but Stavros’ legacy lives on in beautiful footwear. Allow some time for browsing at the Monastiraki flea market for first-edition books, vintage vinyl, antique religious icons and modern artisanal pieces. For homewares, try Graffito Concept Store, A Future Perfect for clothes in quirky prints and patterns, and ceramics at Val Goutsi Worskhop. Seek shade at the National Garden or within the Benaki Museum. Explore the expansive grounds of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre and do head for the sleepy hillside village of Anafiotika. Just below The Acropolis hill, this tiny village feels more like a Cycladic island than a capital city with its labyrinth of alleyways and whitewashed houses.
What to wear:
Woera the Athenian label founded by Natalia Georgala: crisp tailored shirts, relaxed trousers and Bermuda shorts. From €185; www.woera.co.
Cobalt draped swimsuit, €29.99; www.parfois.com.
Demellier Santorini basket, €245, at Brown Thomas.
Lily espadrilles, €35; www.schuh.ie.
Lagoon earrings, €72; www.aria-v.com.
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