Friday, March 4, 2016

Greek Carnival! An Ancient Greek tradition alive at 21st century.

Greek Carnival is the official opening ceremony of the Spring.
Reborn of the nature and release from the winter period carnival has its influences from
the pagan past of the country dedicated to God Dionysus.
These days is the custom of the feast, entertainment and masquerade.
Is one of the oldest Dionysian celebrations of the Greeks where people
disguised, danced, they sang sipping wine reached its peak in honor of Dionysus.
Previously the carnival was everywhere in Greece with group masquerades, dances, feasts, satire and various special customs in every part. It was a chance to party, wine and thousands quips.
Nowadays places of carnival in Greece are Patras with the famous Patra Carnival, which has its roots in early 19th century, Xanthi with famous now Carnival of Xanthi and the Plaka of Athens.
In Plaka, and in general all parties, turning streets disguised people, young and old, drinking and dancing, tease and have fun. In recent years carnival of "Moshcato suburb" occupies the first place among the Attica municipalities.
 Enjoy these days and certainly Spring is by far the most beautiful and pleasant period of all year to visit Athens and Greece.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The endemic flower Acropolis!

On rocky hill of the Acropolis, where is the towering marvel of architecture, the majestic Parthenon, there is another smaller miracle that gave birth to the nature and genders well hidden from the eyes of tourists. A small plant not exceeding 20 cm, it turns pink flowers from May to June and you can not find it anywhere else in the world.
Collected on August 30, 1906 by the French botanists René C.J.E. Maire (1876-1949) and Marcel G.C. Petitmengin (1881-1908), who toured Greece during 1904 and 1906 in the Peloponnese and mainland Greece collecting plants. First recorded in 1908 by Austrian botanist Halacsy called Micromeria athenae.

Since 1908 and especially the postwar period the traces are lost. In 1998, Professor of Botany, University of Artemis Yannitsaros Athens speaks of "extinct from the Greek and generally the world flora" and in 2003, the botanist Theofanis Konstantinidis in his article refers to Micromeria acropolitana that "a century nobody He has seen either the Acropolis or somewhere else. "


2004 rediscovered by biologist Gregory Tsouni in the studies of the ecosystem of the Sacred Rock and identified in 2009 by the botanist Dr. Kit Tan from the University of Copenhagen. Τhe location of the plant is kept secret for his protection.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Athens Bike tour - Our biggest challenge - the biggest success

One of our biggest concerns when we started operating tours in Athens is how ideal is Athens to make a successful bike tour. Traveling for years to European capitals and having as one of my favorite destinations Amsterdam at Netherlands made me feel the big distance Athens has to cover over the construction of bike routes and to be established as bike friendly city.
The distance with the other European cities seemed chaotic and the though of a safe city center bike tour was one of our biggest challenges at Athens Walks. After almost a year of preparation and several attempts to inspire a safe and pleasant bike route (no bike routes at the city, busy roads, hilly landscape and very warm at summer) the results where beyond our expectations and easily I can name our Athens Bike tour the biggest success of all the activities we have ever done.
After almost 2 years of operation Athens Bike tour definitely can be named with some of the "best"  tags - best value tour - fastest way to see the city - most varied over the sights tour of Athens!
A 4 hours duration tour that gives you the opportunity to enjoy the history - the views - the food and the alternative hidden Athens  safe easy and most of all in almost the half price compared to other tours.
Our Athens Bike tour is our 3 walking tours together - Ancient Athens + Hidden Athens + Athens Food tour.
Bicycles  just give you the oportunity to make them in 4 hours than 12 hours you will need all together at the 1/5 of the price.
Despite the lack of the city over bike routes we took advance from the endless huge and wide pedestrians of the urban area that leads you from sight to sight. We also took advance of the comfort of the bike to include sights of the other tours that could not be covered with walking like the Meat and Fish market or the artistic and alternative area of Psirri.
"We have done many bike tours of Europe that was the best"
Laura from New York, USA.
 "Skeptical about a bike tour of Athens turned to be the highlight of our trip"
Steve from Berlin, Germany.
This enthusiastic feedbacks  and more  was a big reward for us and we Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We certainly enjoy this tour and we invite you to enjoy the experience!

Our sweet guest from Atlanta - ready to start
Greek donuts tasting during the bike tour


Monday, November 24, 2014

Restaurants in Athens you have to try!

One of our tours main concerns is where our guests will eat in Athens. It is unfair after our Athens Food tour with the stops at some of the best places to taste local flavors to see that our guests are out of suggestions for authentic places of Greek food or the end up at tourist traps of the basic triangle - Souvlaki - Moussaka - Greek Salad.
That's why I decide to make a list of some of our favorite places in the city for authentic Greek dining.
I hope you will enjoy them as we do. I start with the list of our restaurants at the city center.

Athens Restaurants

Historic Center of Athens



Kalamiotou street 19 (vertical to Ermou).
tel: +302103222458
Monday 12:00 - 18:00
Tuesday - Saturday 12:00 - 1:00
Sunday 14:00 - 22:00
Melilotos is a restaurant that is top on our list.
It serves Greek food with on updated version. They cook handmade pastas, they have a variety of excellent salads, "living well" type with fresh organic ingredients and they have a list of local microbrewery beers to try.
Dishes I suggest to try.
"Makrobiotiki" salad.
Railway beef.
Smoked sausages of Chania.

Mani Mani

Mani Mani

Falirou street 10 (10 minutes walk from Acropolis metro station).
tel: +302109218180
Monday to Friday 14:30 - 23:30
Saturday 13:00 - 23:30
Sunday 13:00 - 17:30
Mani Mani is named from Mani (the area south of Sparta at Peloponnese).
The characteristics of the cuisine of that region of Greece are the orange flavors, pork meat and fresh vegetables and fruits. However there is a variety of dishes and starters that it worth to order.
Dishes I suggest to try.
Mussels steamed.
Filo parcels filled with manouri cheese.
Mani Mani salad.
Mousaka (a classical dish that is made different at Mani Mani).

Tzitzikas and Mermigas

Tzitzikas and Mermigas

Mitropoleos street 12 (2-3 minutes walk from Syntagma square).
tel: +302103247607
Monday to Sunday 12:30 - 00:30
Tzitzikas and Mermigas is the exception within the touristic district restaurants at Syntagma. The food it serves has good quality and it is a great chance to enjoy some unique Greek dishes along with their refreshing red and white house wine.
Products and recipes from all the parts of Greece is definitely a history at the food scene of the city. Always packed with visitors and locals.
Dishes I suggest to try.
Mussels steamed.
Tzitzikas salad.
Grilled cheese with honey and bacon.
Mastihato chicken.
Bass fish fillet (a must).

Skoumpri restaurant

Skoumpri (Skoubri).

Drakou 12 street (5 minutes walk from Syngrou Fix metro station).
tel: +302109210994
Monday to Sunday 12:00 - 2:00
One of the biggest faults of the food scene in the center of the city was the lack of a good sea food place. For that reason you had to go to the beach coast of Athens to find a good sea food place that will not serve just a frozen code fillet and Indian ocean frozen calamari. This lack has been replaced with Skoumpri restaurant the last 2 years. Skoumpri within 2 years of operation brought t the city center the freshness and bless of Aegean sea and now you do not need to go far.
Dishes I suggest.
Shrimp risotto.
Sea food salad.
Fried baby calamari.
Cutlet fish (Sepia)

Mister Kostas

Souvlaki o "Kostas"

Saint Irene Square 2  
Aiolou street.
tel: +302103232971
Monday to Sunday 12:00 - 17:00
This hole in the wall place is established at 1946 from Mister Kostas. A street food place with lovely meat pork sticks and kebab souvlakis. Try them with their own spicy tomato sauce.

This is my current list for suggested Athens restaurants at your short or extended visit to Athens.
I hope you will enjoy them as we do.

Kali Orexi!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Portokalopita - Greek orange pie

About this recipe: Portokalopita is a deliciously different cake, and a must-try for anyone who is afraid of filo. Why? Because here the filo is shredded to bits - the messier the better! The gorgeous orange and cinnamon syrup ensures this cake stays beautifully moist.
Diana Greater London, England, UK


Serves: 12 

  • Syrup
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 350ml water
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Cake
  • 500g filo pastry
  • 3 oranges
  • 5 eggs
  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • 180ml olive oil
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder


Prep:25min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Extra time:1hr cooling  ›  Ready in:2hr10min 

  1. Combine all syrup ingredients, including the two orange halves, in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and boil vigorously for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool whilst you make the cake.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease a 20x30cm (9x13 in) baking tin with olive oil.
  3. Remove the filo from its packaging. Take each sheet and roughly tear into shreds, using your hands. Tear the filo directly into the baking tin, and leave to dry a little while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  4. Cut one orange in half, and slice that half into very thin half-moons to garnish the cake. Zest and juice the remaining oranges.
  5. Combine the orange juice, zest, eggs, yoghurt, olive oil, 100g sugar and baking powder in a bowl, blender or food processor. Blend together on high speed for a couple of minutes, till the mixture is frothy.
  6. Pour the orange and egg mixture over the filo in the baking tin. Stir together gently, right in the tin, to ensure the egg mixture is evenly distributed. Decorate the top of the cake with the thinly sliced oranges.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and the filling set. Once out of the oven, immediately pour the cooled syrup over the hot cake. Set aside for at least 1 hour, till most of the syrup has soaked in. Slice and serve!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tour Atene italiano - Athens Tour at Italian

Our love to our beloved neighbors now is transmitted to the addition of the Italian language in our tours.
The best Italian speaking guides of Greece now is part of the professional team of licensed guides of Athens Walks. Could not be a better beginning for this language addition in our tours than our newest review from our first Ancient Athens Tour in Italian!!

Abbiamo effettuato una visita guidata in italiano “Ancient Athens Tour” (museo dell’Acropoli, Acropoli, antica Agorà) con il sig. Thanasis che ci ha accompagnato, per ben cinque ore, con grande professionalità in una dimensione fantastica di cultura ed emozioni, tra passato e presente, coinvolgendoci in ogni momento e rendendo il tour interattivo ed indimenticabile. E’ stata una bellissima esperienza, veramente entusiasmante ed appassionante. Assolutamente da non perdere!!!

Grazie Mille!!!