Author Archives: Sotiris Michael

Greece hopes to open to tourists from May 14th

Greece hopes to reopen its doors to visitors on 14 May, the country’s tourism minister has said as he announced a much-awaited date for the tourist season to officially begin.

Haris Theoharis told the IBT Berlin tourism fair, that Greece would after this date welcome anyone who had been vaccinated, had antibodies or had tested negative for coronavirus.

“We aim to open tourism by 14 May with specific rules and updated protocols,” he said. “Until then, we will gradually lift restrictions if conditions allow.”


Greece Opens World’s First Underwater Museum Around a 2,400-Year-old Shipwreck

Greece’s first underwater museum allows visitors to dive down in time to the era of the Peloponnesian War while viewing ancient shipwrecks and pristine coral gardens.

Diving down to depths of 80 feet, guides are able to show visitors the 90-foot-long Peristera shipwreck sitting where it sank 2,400 years ago while carrying a cargo of wine and black-glazed clay tableware.

The optimistic opening, COVID-19 permitting, will be June 2021.

Located in the National Marine Park of Alonissos and Northern Sporades, the first Marine Protected Area established in Greece and the largest in Europe, divers will also have the chance to come face to face with over 300 fish species, Mediterranean monk seals, and beautiful coral beds.

For those not intending to dive, five underwater cameras can show visitors a glimpse of what’s underneath the waves, including one which runs on a 24-hour live stream.


Greece is Second Top Holiday Country for TUI Group Travelers in 2018

Greece is TUI Group’s second holiday country of choice for Europeans, after Spain, according to the holiday bookings made through the travel giant this year.TUI’s top five includes Italy, Turkey and Cyprus.

According to TUI’s announcement on Wednesday, company’s vacationers from Europe this year rank Crete first in the destination list. The other top destinations are Majorca, Antalya, Rhodes and Larnaca in Cyprus. Moreover three of the five most popular destinations for Germans are found in Greece: Crete, Rhodes and KOos. Other most popular holiday regions of TUI holidaymakers from Germany include Majorca and Antalya. Greece is also very popular among Scandinavians. For Norwegians, Swedes, Danes and Finns, Greece is even the number one holiday destination, as it also is for the Poles and French. The same is the case for Austrian holidaymakers. Austrians have a preference for Crete and Rhodes, with both destinations ranking first and second in the Austrian top five. Also, the French also want to spend their holidays mostly in Crete and Athens, and a in Italy, with their absolute favourite destination being the Sicilian capital of Palermo.


The Hellinikon project

The Hellinikon, a new way of living in Athens

Athens has always been an attractive destination, for holidays, for business, for education, and for investment. The combination of Mediterranean climate, fascinating historical treasures, culture and gastronomy all contribute to the wealth and multifaceted attractions of Athens. And now, a new project will add yet another dimension to the appeal of the Greek capital, and it goes by the name of HELLINIKON.

Where and what

The Hellinikon is by the largest urban regeneration project in Europe, destined to become a vibrant lifestyle destination. Located just 11km from the city centre of Athens and the Acropolis, 17km from Piraeus port, and 30km for Athens airport, the project’s site covers a total area of 6.2million sqm, with a coastline of 3.5km.

A closer look at the master plan reveals a microcosm of Athens, only better, smarter, greener and more attractive. Zoom in and you will identify the following different areas:

  • A business District for the contemporary business community
  • A retail district that promises to be the new retail destination of Athens
  • Residential districts featuring green homes
  • The regenrated marina district which is destined to become an international yachting destination
  • Hotels to accommodate tourists in this new and magnetic environment
  • A 2 million sqm Metropolitan Park, the largest coastal park in Europe, set to rival London’s Hyde Park and New York City’s Central park in size, beauty and functionality
  • 600,000 sqm of communal green and open spaces
  • Music, culture, and art venues
  • Leisure and entertainment venues for everyone
  • Restored coastal front, fully accessible to the public, including a 1km free-access beach

Getting around at Hellinikon is easy, as public transportation includes metro, tram, bus lines across the huge development. For those who enjoy walking, strolling and cycling, plans include a 50km network of paths for pedestrians and cyclists.

Boosting the economy

What a project of this size means for Athens and the economy of Greece in general cannot be overstated. With a total investment value of €8 billion, and apart from the incalculable benefits to the environment and society, the Hellinikon is expected to generate some 10,000 jobs during the construction period alone, and some 75,000 jobs for operation after completion. Expected revenue from taxes is estimated at €14 billion, and the project’s estimated contribution to GDP is around 2,4%.

In the long term, the Hellinikon project will also reinforce boost year-round tourism to Athens, both domestic and international. In fact, analysts foresee that this project alone will add some 1 million tourists to the current number of arrivals, while extending the stay of visitors and increasing their holiday spending.

Making it happen

The landmark project is the brainchild of Lamda Development, and will be undertaken with the support of the Global Investment Group, an international consortium comprising the Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group, Eagle Hills from the United Arab Emirates, and Latsis Group of Greece. According to government officials, plans are moving in the right direction, and work is expected to begin in 2019.

Given all the benefits mentioned above, it is not surprising it anticipated with great enthusiasm, as the public, entrepreneurs and investors recognize its value and appeal as a lifestyle destination, and a powerful magnet in Attica.

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Life in Athens

Athens is so much more than just a European capital worth visiting. Athens is a vibrant dynamic city that offers remarkable quality of life.
There are so many different neighbours and various residential areas for every taste. From Athens ‘alternative’ neighbourhood Exarxeia to the really close by posh district of Athens Kolonaki and from the northern residential suburb Kifisia where neoclassical mansions blend with minimalist modern houses along tree-lined streets to the coastal suburb Palaio Faliro that includes a promenade and a marina, Athens presents a hundred reasons why is one of the most exciting cities in the world right now.
Moreover, the wonderful thing about Athens is that the city’s heritage is still remembered, whilst also keeping up to date with modern society.
Because of the crisis and the tough financial conditions of the recent years many people are wondering: ‘‘Athens? Really?’’ Actually, it was Greece’s financial crisis has kept the prices extremely competitive in every way, meaning you’ll be pleasantly surprised when the bill comes.

Taking all these under consideration and also the smooth way of incorporating a mixture of Greek history and culture with today’s modern aspects and the Greek nature and beauty, Athens is a wonderful place to live and to invest.