i s s u e
yo u r
c o p y
ta k e
h o m e
D o m o t e l K a s t r i , At h e n s D o m o t e l L e s L a z a r i s t e s , T h e s s a l o n i k i D o m o t e l X e n i a V o l o s , v o l o s D o m o t e l A r n i , K a r d i t s a D o m o t e l A g i o s N i ko l a o s , S y v o ta T h e s p r o t i a s D o m o t e l N e v e , Pa l e o s A g i o s At h a n a s i o s ( K a i m a k t s a l a n ) D o m o t e l A n e m o l i a , a r a c h o va - d e l f i
w i n t e r TA L E S
w i n t e r
2 0 16
2 0 17
e d i t o r i a l
reece is renowned internationally for its history and culture, while its wonderful climate and its more than 13,000 kilometers of coastline have made the country a highly popular summer destination. Thousands of travelers from all over the world visit both the islands and the coastal areas of the mainland during the summer in search of sun, sparkling blue sea and the charm of local communities that evoke another time, full of cheerful, hospitable, funloving people. But Greece is not just about islands and seaside destinations; there is another side, lesser-known, in the interior of the country, with bustling towns, picturesque villages and naturally diverse mountain regions. In this modern country with its vast wealth of history, located at the crossroads of East and West, the old and the new have left their mark on both the places and the activities available, presenting the visitor with a wide variety of unique experiences. Domotel Hotels & Resorts, operating with reliability and attention to detail, accommodates the modern-day traveler at seven different destinations throughout mainland Greece. Sustainability, responsibility and respect for the ecosystem in which each of our hotels is located are the values that underpin the hospitality we are so proud to extend to our guests. Whatever the reason for your visit, we promise that our hotels will provide you with a home away from home graced with local color and a distinct identity, and that our people, in a spirit of genuine interest and professionalism, will satisfy all your needs. In this publication, we sing the praises of Greece in winter, which is just as enchanting as the country is in summer. We wish you a pleasant read! Konstantinos Alexopoulos CEO, Domotel Hotels & Resorts
DOMOTEL - 1 - MAGA ZINE
DOMOTEL - 26 - MAGA ZINE
DOMOTEL - 27 - MAGA ZINE
c o n t e n t s
winter TALES 2016-2017
Columns 06 Concierge: Visit the Pella Archeological Museum, follow everyday human stories at the Volos City Museum and rediscover the Goulandris Natural History Museum. 10 My city: Mavri Thalassa restaurant owner and chef Alexandros Tokidis takes us on a tour of his Thessaloniki. Eleni Psyhouli, journalist and food critic, talks about the maritime side of Volos. Christos Arkomanis, publisher-editor of the free newspaper Pezodromio, praises the cyclist’s paradise of Karditsa. 14 Thessaloniki from above 20 Agenda: The most interesting arts events in the coming months in Athens, Thessaloniki and our other destinations. 26 Indulge: Authentic – and certified – Greek breakfast, imaginative cocktails by inspired mixologists, an ultimate guide to spa treatments and housekeeping with an attitude.
32 Interview: The players of Greece’s national deaf women’s basketball team, the 2016 European Champions, share their achievements and dreams. 36 Kaimaktsalan: Starting from Domotel Neve in Paleos Aghios Athanasios, we set off for high-altitude winter sports, head out on short excursions and dive into the unique experience of the Pozar hot spings. 44 Thessaloniki: We stroll around the center, leaf through fascinating pages of Greek history and see the city in a new light. 48 Arachova: New spots uncovered, classic haunts revisited and a pilgrimage to unmissable Delphi. 56 Formaela: The chewy cheese of Arachova enchants the palate. 58 Pilio: Food-lovers report back with a list of the best dining spots that the region has to offer. 66 Plastira Lake: Outdoor activities for everyone, from quiet bike rides to challenging enduro trails. 76 Restaurants: Around the world in the northern suburbs of Athens, starting with Kastri Bistro. 82 The capital of sweets: Sample the traditional sweets of Thessaloniki and discover new treats created by confectionery masters.
About us 86 Our hotels 102 Our News
Cover: PERIKLES MERAKOS
82 DOMOTEL - 4 - MAGA ZINE
DOMOTEL - 5 - MAGA ZINE
c o n c i e r g e
Glor y and Grace The majest y of Pella, bir thplace of Alexander the Great and royal capital, comes alive at Pella’s new museum.
ella, now a quiet, pastoral town, was once a great city by the sea (the shore has since receded). Chosen for its harbor, this became home to the Macedonian court after Aigai (now Vergina). At Pella’s new museum (opened in 2009), the lives of the ancient Macedonians are brilliantly illuminated. Explore their passions, their expressions of faith and the grace and luxury of their daily lives through the fascinating objects on display. Picture their domestic realms – opulent tesserae mosaics, gleaming marble, walls 5m high in ochre and red, and trompe l’oeil architectural details (what is called the Pompeian style actually originated here). Articles from their spiritual life bring the Macedonians touchingly close. In a terracotta hand from the sanctuary of the healing god Darron, we see the predecessor of the ex voto limb representations rendered in precious metals that we call “tama” in the Orthodox Church. Likewise,
the dark magic of a curse inscribed on a sheet of lead and placed in a grave is ancient, but its theme of unrequited love is eternal. At the excavation, see the source of the beauty - the Agora, ancient streets and foundations, even some mosaics remain intact. With its advanced infrastructure and civic grandeur, Pella set the standard for urban prosperity. In 334 BC, Alexander the Great led his army from here to spread Hellenism to the East, with Pella as a blueprint for the cities he would found along the way. Info: Pella Museum and Archaeological Site, Pella Town, 35th km of the Old National Road Thessaloniki-Edessa, Opening hours: Tuesday–Sunday 9:00 -16:00. Tel. (+30) 23820.311.60
DOMOTEL - 6 - MAGA ZINE
MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS/ EPHORATE OF ANTIQUITIES OF PELLA
By Amber Charmei
c o n c i e r g e
V OLO S
Human narratives on display The Cit y Museum, housed in a former tobacco warehouse, tells the town’s stor y in the most eloquent way. By Kostis Zafeirakis
hen it comes to the reuse of old industrial buildings, Volos is at the forefront of the movement. Since December 2014, the former Papantos tobacco warehouse has been home to what is in Greece a unique approach to museums, namely a city museum, which aspires to trace contemporary history through the lives of ordinary people and their activities. The museum’s first major temporary exhibition is titled “Volos – Nea Ionia: so close and yet so far.” It is dedicated to the contribution of Asia Minor refugees to the city’s rich cultural life. A wealth of fascinating audio and visual materials, documents and other archival objects takes visitors 90 years back in time, where they can “see” locals in the city center of Volos, refugees establishing the settlement at Nea Ionia, and between them, the natural border of the Krafsidonas River. The rivalry between the two groups is reflected by the city’s two biggest soccer clubs, Niki Volos and Olympiakos Volos, the blues and the reds; two longstanding adversaries who have competed with a passion in thrilling Sunday matches over the decades. Visitors will also hear people’s real stories, which are powerful narratives of their daily lives and the working conditions at tobacco workshops, the port and the factories. They’ll find out about the refugee
settlement, too, and the private and public life there, as well as about how people socialized and had fun; the tsipouro bars, the nightclubs and the cinema. They will discover the music of Asia Minor and “rebetika” songs from the legendary Milanos brothers, who claimed a place in local history with their renowned taverna, Scala of Milanos. The museum also presents the history of the city of Volos itself, whose neoclassical houses were devastated by earthquakes between 1954 and 1957, not to mention the terrible flood in 1955 which almost destroyed everything in the area, followed much later by the deindustrialization that desolated the city in the 1980s. The exhibits also cover today’s period of regeneration, as typified by the pilot program for the reuse of the city’s industrial architectural treasures, including the restoration of the very building which now houses the City Museum and tells its story so eloquently. Info: 17 Feron. Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10:30-13:30, Wednesday & Friday 18:00-21:00. Free admission Ε-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel. (+30) 24210.298.78
DOMOTEL - 7 - MAGA ZINE
c o n c i e r g e
Dedicated to Planet Ear th The Goulandris Natural Histor y Museum presents a fascinating over view of the natural world and ser ves as a reminder of the impor tance of protecting the environment. By Eleftheria Alavanou
manner, a number of environmental issues such as the greenhouse effect, the pros and cons of nuclear energy and the effect of waste and the trash it generates on animal life. For example, visitors are invited to enter a greenhouse in which interactive panels explain the carbon cycle, or they can look through a diving mask to watch a video about the coral reef and the fish, urchins and starfish that live there. The Goulandris Museum has an excellent gift shop, where you will find books, games and souvenirs that all relate to the museum’s exhibits, as well as a lovely café-restaurant. Info: Goulandris Natural History Museum - Gaia Center, 13 Levidou & 100 Othonos, Kifissia, Tel. (+30) 210.801.5870, www.gnhm.gr Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 9:00-14:30, Saturday and Sunday 10:00-15:00 Café-restaurant, Tel. (+30) 210.801.1170, www.museum-cafe.gr
DOMOTEL - 8 - MAGA ZINE
© ALEXANDROS KARAISKOS
he Goulandris Natural History Museum is housed in a well-maintained neoclassical building dating from 1875 and located in a quiet area of central Kifissia, a northern suburb of Athens. Angelos and Niki Goulandris founded this pioneering museum in 1964, at a time when environmental issues were of little concern in Greece. This is a charming museum, with exhibits focusing on botany, entomology, marine biology, ornithology, herpetology, geology, paleontology and mammals. They feature displays ranging from fossilized plants, shells and moths to taxidermic animals, including a red kangaroo, a koala and a Malaysian bear. While this tidy arrangement of objects in cases may be somewhat conventional, the more recently established Gaia Center offers something completely different. Covering 12,000 square meters over six floors, it is a modern, vibrant and imaginatively designed laboratory for adults and children. The center highlights, in a simple and easy-to-understand
c o n c i e r g e
DOMOTEL - 9 - MAGA ZINE
C I T Y
“No sashimi can beat my grandad’s poached fish” The owner and chef of Mavri Thalassa, a fish restaurant regarded as something of an institution in the cit y. know how to distinguish good fish. To keep coming back again and again, they want good service, consistency and a friendly ambience, details that give the food added value. Unfortunately, I have very little free time and don’t often enjoy the hospitality of other establishments. But when I can get away from the kitchen, I like going to Kato Toumba to the Palia Athina taverna, which dates from 1960, for a plate of lamb chops and some red wine or retsina sold by the carafe. I dream of spending an entire day with my friends, going around all the great places in town, like Canteen near the White Tower, which is great for coffee and people-watching all day long, or to B, the café in the garden of the Museum of Byzantine Culture, a lovely space to enjoy warm sunny winter days. Then we’d have a meal at Diavasi, best known for its spicy soutzoukakia meatballs in tomato sauce, and later head to Local for drinks and good music and to meet up with all sorts of acquaintances. Info: Mavri Thalassa, 3 Nikolaou Plastira & Chilis, Kalamaria / Palia Athina, 24 Imvrou, Kato Toumba / Canteen, 7 Dimitriou Gounari / Β, 1 Stratou / Museum of Byzantine Culture, 2 Stratou / Diavasi, 13 Pavlou Mela / Local, 17 Paleon Patron Germanou
DOMOTEL - 10 - MAGA ZINE
© JESSICA MORFIS
y grandfather came to Thessaloniki from Zonguldak, a province on the Black Sea coast, and in 1926 opened a kafeneio in Kato Toumba named Mavri Thalassa, or Black Sea, in honor of his homeland. My father and my uncle later took over the kafeneio and turned it into an ouzeri, so I basically grew up in there. I remember people coming from around the neighborhood, regular folk looking for a glass of ouzo and a meze, and we also served casseroles and excellent fried food. I remember steaming pots and fish simmering in a tiny bit of water – their natural juices basically, with olive oil and lemon and served with this thick sauce. Taking over when I grew up seemed the only way to go and I have never regretted it. I moved Mavri Thalassa from Kato Toumba to Kalamaria and slowly but steadily, it evolved into a destination for fresh fish: from sardines and anchovy, we went to European bass sashimi. Nevertheless, the restaurant’s top-selling dish hails from the old days, from my grandfather’s kitchen. The steamed fish with lemon sauce is like a reference point to me, like a good olive oil, and I’ve been cooking the same dish we served at the kafeneio for the past 30 years. My customers today are businesspeople, visitors from the Balkans, local couples and families getting together for a good Sunday lunch. The Thessalonians have very strong opinions about food and
C I T Y
“Wake up early to catch the fishermen coming in” The food writer and host of the popular Skai T V cooking show ‘‘Chef on Air’’ gives us a tour of her bir thplace, with its sights, flavors and aromas.
f Volos could be described as an aroma, it would be that of the sea and fresh fish. To really get your teeth into the town, wake up early morning, grab a homemade pie stuffed with greens from Paleos Fournos for breakfast and head down to the harbor, where the fishing boats come in with their daily catch. Chat with the bleary-eyed locals waiting for some super fresh monkfish, as the morning takes on the crisp scent of the mountain from the freshly cut wild greens being sold by peddlers nearby. Walk across the harbor from the silo to the Church of Panagia Goritsa – where the road leading up to Mt Pilio starts – with the sea on one side and, on your left, the people of Volos going about their business. Walk past old mansions, the university, the park, the museum, the Church of Aghios Konstantinos, the historic Domotel Xenia Volos Hotel and the yacht clubs. Here you will get a glimpse at a slice of city life: cotton candy and roasted chestnut vendors, bustling playgrounds and quiet cafes, tranquility and the buzz of life side by side, alternating like deep, cleansing breaths. Heading back towards the harbor, dive into the heart of town and wander its streets. Take in all the different architectural styles: from neoclassical façades to typical 1950s homes with tidy, flower-filled courtyards that emit that relaxing feeling that somewhere inside there are people worried about the real things in life, like what to
cook for lunch tomorrow and whether they should jump on their bicycle and head down to the fish market for some fresh anchovies. Wander along Ermou Street and check out the bargains (on Saturdays, this is where you’ll find the organic produce market). Get some classic loukoum scented with grape must from Pappous and a slice of halva from Papagiannopoulos. Walk around the old quarter behind the historic railway station and then stop for something refreshing on the balcony of the Domotel Xenia Volos Hotel. Lunch has to be fresh fish, so try Nikos-Gianna, Xifias, Bonis or Aivali. A siesta is a must after all this; take a long one, like a true Voliot. Start the evening with tsipouro and meze at Filaraki, followed by a retro almond cake at the historic Minerva pastry shop, and wrapping up the day with a drink at Poco Pico or a signature cocktail at Groove. INFO: Paleos Fournos, 56 Krokiou / Pappous, 135 Gazi Anthimou / Papagiannopoulos, Papadiamanti & 2 Vassani / Domotel Xenia Volos, 1 Plastira / Nikos-Gianna, Palaion Square / Xifias, 15 Kaisarias, Nea Ionia / Bonis, 314 Iolkou / Aivali, 15 Sefel Elmout, Metamorfosi / Filaraki, 3 Averof, Nea Ionia / Minerva, 53 Argonauton / Poco Pico Café Bar, 6 Koumoundourou / Grooove Cocktail Bar, 40 Koumoundourou & Kontaratou
D O M O T E L - 11 - M A G A Z I N E
C I T Y
“I feel luck y to live in Karditsa because...” Publisher and editor of the free publication Pezodromio
arditsa can be proud of the quality of life the city offers its 60,000 residents. One of the reasons for this excellent quality is the extensive network of bicycle paths stretching for over 15 kilometers which, on sunny days, makes the place a cyclist’s paradise. The attractive face of Karditsa is further enhanced by some marvelous examples of early 20th century architecture, including the building that houses the Municipal Market and the recently renovated Domotel Arni hotel. Traditionally, however, the city’s most alluring feature has been Pafsilypou Park: an extensive green space that offers visitors precious moments of cool relaxation. A few kilometers outside Karditsa is the Konaki of Prodromos, a traditional mansion that is certainly worth visiting. Built 150 years ago (during the time of the Ottoman Empire) as the residence of a large local landown-
er, the konaki bears irrefutable witness to the outstanding construction methods employed in what was then Turkish-occupied Thessaly. For nature lovers, the lakes of the prefecture hold the promise of memorable experiences. Plastira Lake and its surrounding villages are an ideal year-round destination. The incredible view from the area known as Malokedros in Neochori, particularly at sunset in the springtime, should not be missed. Lake Smokovo, next to the village of the same name, is another draw for travelers, along with its healing springs, celebrated for their curative properties for over two centuries. Lastly, one of the much-talked-about destinations for alternative tourism is Lake Stefaniada. There, you can learn how the locals fish for trout and – if you’re up to it – take a dip in the icy waters.
DOMOTEL - 12 - MAGA ZINE
DOMOTEL - 13 - MAGA ZINE
DOMOTEL - 14 - MAG A ZINE
t h essal o ni k i
f r o m
a b o v e
A SILENT WITNESS
DOMOTEL - 15 - MAGA ZINE
© SAKIS GIOUMPASIS
During the 19th century, it was known as Blood Tower and served as both a prison and a place for execution for convicts. Later on, after a prisoner whitewashed it in exchange for his freedom, it was renamed the “White Tower.” Built in the 15th century by the Ottoman conquerors as part of the general reinforcement of the city walls, it has stood sentinel ever since, gazing at the sea and quietly documenting the city’s life.
DOMOTEL - 16 - MAGA ZINE
t h essal o ni k i
f r o m
a b o v e
NEW SEAFRONT, NEW HABITS
D O M OT EL - 17 - M AG A Z I N E
ÂŠ SAKIS GIOUMPASIS
Sea and city have forged a stronger, more intimate relationship, thanks to the work of the architects Prodromos Nikiforidis and Bernard Cuomo. Their project, a revitalization of the old seafront extending from the White Tower to the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, is ideal not only for walks and bike rides, but also for moments of rest at designed areas offering nice views, relaxing environments and a space for children (and adults) to play, regardless of the season.
t h essal o ni k i
f r o m
a b o v e
THE PAST REVEALED During works for a new underground car park below the former Cypriot Fightersâ€™ Square, the cityâ€™s past met the present. From 1990 to 1999, excavations that actually began as construction work brought to light the remains of ancient public buildings that may have constituted the administrative center of the city during the Hellenistic and Roman eras. The underground parking plans were abandoned and today, the ancient ruins are a landmark in a neighborhood that has kept its urban feel for millenia.
DOMOTEL - 18 - MAGA ZINE
Â© SAKIS GIOUMPASIS
DOMOTEL - 19 - MAGA ZINE
s e l e c t e d
e x h i b i t i o n s ,
p e r f o r m a n c e s
X e n i a
a n d
o t h e r
c u lt u r a l
G e o r g i a d o u
Gone with The Wind To 22/1/2017
“A wind runs through our lives, whisking up moments and scattering them every which way. What might remain?” This is what Konstantinos Rigos asks in the notes for his new musical performance work ,“The Wind,” which comes to the Marika Kotopouli Stage of the Rex Theatre. In this work, the choreographer’s collaborators – musicians, actors, dancers – give expression through their bodies or voices to thoughts and feelings about love, art, creativity, death and their relation to the material world. www.n-t.gr
DOMOTEL - 20 - MAGA ZINE
e v e n t s
window with a view To 29/1/2017
Argyris Drolapas- Αcademias street
In January 2013, conceptual artist Ianna Andreadis came up with the idea of inviting Athenians on Facebook to photograph the view of the city from their window. The basic precondition was that at least part of the window should be visible in the photos, framing the urban landscape like a painting. The exhibition “Athina Thea: Athens Views” at the Pireos Street Annexe of the Benaki Museum includes 110 printed photographs and 400 digital projections, through which are revealed the character, history and poetry of the Greek capital. n
A fertile dialogue
Photo by Giannis Vastardis
The temporary exhibition “Urgent Conversations: Athens–Antwerp” at the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) juxtaposes 70 works from the permanent collections of the EMST and the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, inciting a visual and theoretical dialogue between the two institution that unfolds over 22 thematic units. According to EMST director Katerina Koskina, “The exhibition expresses the conviction shared by our two museums that works of art have the capacity to continually transmit new meanings, to pose questions, and to initiate dialogue, which is the fundamental launch pad for human civilization.” n
DOMOTEL - 21 - MAGA ZINE
A G ENDA
the Cyclades through the ages To 31/3/2017
Musical experimentation 20/12/2016
Drawing inspiration from the musical genius of legendary gypsy swing guitarist Django Reinhardt and the music scene of the 1950s and '60s, Gadjo Dilo take to the stage at Gazarte, covering favorite Greek songs and creating their own musical style with the gypsy jazz tradition. www.gazarte.gr
©Collection of Bolshoi Theatre
Hunter/warrior marble figurine. Post -canonical type. Athens, Goulandris Collection 308.
How did the inhabitants of the Cycladic islands entertain themselves in the Early Bronze Age? What were their religious beliefs and burial customs? What was their knowledge of seafaring? How did they cover their basic needs? What was the status of women in Cycladic society? The new archaeological exhibition “Cycladic Society: 5,000 Years Ago,” at the Museum of Cycladic Art, attempts, through 191 ancient objects, to conjure up the natural environment, the beliefs and occupations and everyday life of the early Cycladic communities. n
the world of bolshoi From 19/12/2016 to 12/2/2017
The pointe shoes belonging to Ekaterina Maximova, Maya Plisetskaya’s costume from “Anna Karenina,” scenery models, props, programs, photographs and other items feature in the exhibition “The Magical World of the Bolshoi Ballet” at the Megaron – Athens Concert Hall. The exhibition is part of the program of events marking 2016 as a cross-cultural exchange year between Greece and Russia. n
DOMOTEL - 22 - MAGA ZINE
A G ENDA
A modern version
18, 19, 22, 24, 25, 26/2/2017 and 3, 5/3/2017
The story of King Tutankhamun remained hidden until the discovery of his tomb in 1922 by the British archaeologist Howard Carter. The royal throne and chariot, death mask, furniture and weapons that accompanied the young pharaoh on his journey to the afterlife bore witness to a whole period of antiquity. The exhibition “Tutankhamun: Journey to Eternity” at the Hellenic Cosmos Cultural Center presents detailed, precise replicas of the archaeological finds from Carter’s excavations – the originals are exhibited in some of the world’s greatest museums, such as the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and the British Museum in London – inviting us on a fascinating journey into ancient Egyptian civilization.
Impersonating in turn a poor student and a piano teacher, Count Almaviva pursues the beautiful Rosina, who lives with her elderly guardian Doctor Bartolo. The renowned comic opera “The Barber of Seville” by Gioachino Rossini is being staged at the Olympia Theatre in a subversive new production by Francesco Micheli, which updates the story for the digital age. www.nationalopera.gr
Photo credit: Vassilis K. Makris
Life of the Czars
Photo credit: N. Mylonas
The exhibition “The State Hermitage Museum: Gateway to History,” which is curated by the Byzantine and Christian Museum, includes archaeological finds, family items and works of art – paintings, miniatures and sculptures – from the imperial collections of the Hermitage Museum. The exhibition is divided into two sections, and offers, through the personal belongings of the czars, a comprehensive picture of life and artistic expression in the Russian court, while the artworks cover the main trends in European painting and sculpture from the end of the 17th to the beginning of the 20th centuries. n
DOMOTEL - 23 - MAGA ZINE
A G ENDA
a matter of gender
The creations of 24 female artists from Greece, Europe and the United States, together with the work of one male artist, form “Whispers,” the new temporary exhibition hosted at the Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art. The works direct our thoughts towards issues of gender, identity, fear and observations concerning prohibitions and social codes. n
A guided tour of the city 28, 29/12/2016
For the second year running, the National Theatre of Northern Greece visits beloved city locations through the hit performance event “Thessaloniki: Excavation 3.” Using a number of texts by contemporary and earlier Thessaloniki writers, the performance sheds light on the history, people and neighborhoods of the city, both historical and present. The score includes music and songs by Dimitris Zbekos, Stavros Kouyioumtzis, Manos Loïzos, Nikos Papazoglou, Spyros Peristeris and Manolis Chiotis. For venues, check: n
Contemporary art To 21/1/2017
The Karditsa Municipal Art Gallery presents “Three Generations of Greek Painting and Carving,” a temporary exhibition of works from the collection of the Moschandreou Contemporary Art Gallery of Aetoloacarnania, based in Messolonghi. Through the 100 works on display in this exhibition dedicated to the postwar period, the visitor is offered a detailed exploration in the techniques, materials and themes that enriched the range of contemporary Greek art. www.dimoskarditsas.gov.gr
A landscape study From mid-January to early March 2017
“So far I have drawn this mountain over ten times. I drew it in biro, in pencil, in black Indian ink, in colored inks, in tempera, on different types of paper and on newsprint.” The exhibition “Chronis Botsoglou: To the mountain opposite,” hosted in the Villa Kapandji, includes 110 works – oils, watercolours and tempera – which depict the landscape as seen from the artist’s window in Petri on Lesvos. n
DOMOTEL - 24 - MAGA ZINE
© Ch. & S. Moschandreou collection
A G ENDA
Tsigoglou collection presented From 18/2 to 10/4/2017
© Tsigoglou collection
The Teloglion Fine Arts Fou ndation of the A r istotle University of Thessaloniki presents the collection of Stavros Tsigoglou, almost in its entirety. Among the Greek artists represented in the exhibition are Fassianos, Moralis, Mytaras, Papaloukas, Maleas, Karras, Steris, Tsarouchis, Zongolopoulos, Adamakos, Gaïtis and Papadimitriou. In addition, the exhibition includes art by representatives of the historical avant-garde (Picasso, Miró, Dalí, Kokoschka) and works by the collector himself. www.teloglion.gr
Witnesses of war
The exhibition “The Indiscernible Exoticism of Destination” at the Delta Art Gallery presents works by the artist Manolis Charos, who approaches the landscape not as a record of physical location, but as a destination, real or imagined. The horizon and the references to distance, near and far, are used to achieve the aim of the artist.
The Oionos Gallery presents a temporary exhibition of new works by artists with whom it has collaborated in recent years. The pieces – 15 in total – include portraits and landscapes by Maria Giannakakis, Nikos Kyriakopoulos, Tasos Matzavinos, Kostas Papanikolaou and Manolis Charos.
The exhibition “Satirical Cartographical Illustrations before and during World War I,” curated by Natasa Kastriti at the European Cultural Centre of Delphi, presents works from the personal collection of Professor Panagiotis N. Soukakos. The exhibits include the famous “Black Octopus” serio-comic map by British cartographer-cartoonist Fred Rose, created during the Russo-Turkish war, which shows Russia spreading its tentacles in all directions.
DOMOTEL - 25 - MAGA ZINE
Gedrangte Fruhjahrsubersicht von Europa im Jahre 1915. Masstab bis auf weiteres 3 gegen. By A.K. published by Lucas Grafe, Gebruder Ludeking, Hamburg 1915. Chromolithograph
Â© SAKIS GIOUMPASIS
DOMOTEL - 26 - MAGA ZINE
i n d u l g e
For discerning palates Traditional recipes and ar tisanal products give guests a small taste of Greece. By Nena Dimitriou
hether youâ€™re on a business trip or traveling for pleasure, the Domotel breakfast is a great reason to jump out of bed. The most important meal of the day is one of Domotelâ€™s greatest assets. The breakfast service at the hotels in Athens, Volos and Thessaloniki have, in fact, been awarded the Greek Breakfast certificate from the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels. The full sweet and savory breakfast buffets showcase the culinary traditions of each location, with local recipes and products. The continental breakfast served at all Domotel destinations, meanwhile, includes jams and spoon sweets made from locally sourced autumn and winter fruits. The rustic ambience and bracing air at Domotel Neve in Paleos Aghios Athanasios make you yearn for a bowl of hot trachanas soup, while in Volos you can find spetzofai, a hearty sausage stew and a staple of rural cuisine in this region. In Thessaloniki, the perfect breakfast begins with a crispy bougatsa pie stuffed with semolina cream or with a traditional sesame bread ring. In Kifissia, Domotel Kastri serves warm pies, fluffy pastries, yogurt and fresh fruit for that burst of energy you need for a big day in the capital. DOMOTEL - 27 - MAGA ZINE
i n d u l g e
cock tail s
A premium bar right at hand E xplore new and exciting flavors, or stick with well-executed classics. By Nena Dimitriou
elaxing with a drink of premium liquor or a cocktail at Domotel hotelsâ€™ smart and stylish in-house bars is a lot like going out to your favorite watering hole back home. At Kastri Bistro in Domotel Kastri, award-winning bartender Yannis Kedes has designed a menu of fragrant and flavorsome libations to suit the temperament of every guest and the tone of any occasion. Using a cornucopia of fresh ingredients, molecular technology and cutting-edge techniques, his team mixes wonderful classic and signature cocktails. Combinations such as gin with apple and mint, vodka with walnuts and passion fruit, and tequila with a dash of chili are designed to titillate the palate. From refreshing to spicy and from sweet-and-sour to bitter, every glass contains a range of flavors. Besides the cocktails on the list, the bars also serve classic drinks in their original versions for guests who would rather stick to those concoctions that shaped the foundations of the art of mixology, such as the dry martini or the Americano. From the popular Kifissia meeting spot of Kastri Bistro and the Point Nord premium bar, to the chainâ€™s city hotels in Thessaloniki, Volos and Karditsa, all the way to Syvota and Paleos Aghios Athanasios, the first or final drink of the day is sure to be a delight. DOMOTEL - 28 - MAGA ZINE
Â© DIMITRIS VLAIKOS
DOMOTEL - 29 - MAGA ZINE
i n d u l g e
Reaching nir vana Treat yourself to the ultimate rela xation and rejuvenation. By Alexia Amvrazi
or Domotel, the ultimate wellbeing, total comfort and luxurious relaxation of the guests is the highest priority, which is why they have created the best possible spa treatments. Pampering heaven awaits you at Domotelâ€™s award-winning spas where, after starting with a sauna, hammam or Jacuzzi, you can then relish a delightful series of therapies and other treats to leave you noticeably replenished. Rewarding massages and beauty treats, including exfoliating body scrubs, detoxifying wraps, regenerative face masks and innovative beauty rituals that will leave you glowing from head to toe, are carried out using sophisticated products based on pure essential oils, aromatic plant and flower extracts and top-of-the-range, high-tech active ingredients that create instant, yet lasting results. Among the classic massage therapies
available are exotic treatments originating in Ayurvedic, Mediterranean and southeast Asian traditions, as well as other holistic practices offered by our expert therapists. At Domotel Les Lazaristes, you can enjoy a private spa suite (depending on availablity) as well as a sauna, a hammam, a Jacuzzi, a fitness center and relaxation areas. At Domotel Xenia Volos, the spa center includes a hydrotonic indoor pool, a sauna, a hammam, a Jacuzzi, a solarium and other relaxation areas. At Domotel Neve, you can relax and warm yourself up after a day on the slopes with a dip in the heated pool or a visit to the sauna, the hammam, the Jacuzzi, the fog and tropical rain showers, the traditional foot baths, the fitness center or the tranquility areas, where you can sip herbal tea while decompressing from residual stress.
DOMOTEL - 30 - MAGA ZINE
i n d u l g e
Make yourself at home The secrets of a peaceful and enjoyable stay in the rooms of Domotel Hotels & Resor ts, cour tesy of the executive housekeeper.
hen you stay at a deluxe hotel, you want to feel cared for at every turn and in every way. Eleftheria Giortsou, the executive housekeeper at Domotel Ηotels & Resorts (based at Domotel Les Lazaristes in Thessaloniki), says that because she and her staff love their hotel, their top priority is to pay the greatest attention to detail. “We’re passionate about the hotel and every one of its rooms, which I know inside out. We approach our guests with love, discretion and respect – we make it our goal to anticipate their every need and to offer every comfort they require. The turndown service, when we prepare the bedroom for the guest’s rest in the evening, is a great example of that. We create a restful, tranquil and caring ambience by cleaning the room, drawing the curtains, folding down the bed, and leaving a chocolate and a card with a forecast for the following day’s weather.”
With so many years of Domotel experience, Giortsou has some excellent tips for proud housekeeping: “Keep up with the latest innovations in cleaning appliances and products, and always opt for the least toxic, most ecological detergents, and make sure to read the instructions. Clean rooms from the highest point (for example, the tops of shelves or cabinets) down, ending at ground level. Use your senses to make sure what you see, smell and feel is lovely. The fabrics should be soft and clean, the aromas soft and subtle – we use fresh laundry fragrance. In addition, the furniture and other objects should be placed logically so that one doesn’t have to bend down, stretch to reach something or move items around. Our ideal is to make our hotel – your temporary home – as comfortable and relaxing as possible!”
DOMOTEL - 31 - MAGA ZINE
© SAKIS GIOUMPASIS
By Alexia Amvrazi
I N T E R V I E W
g re e k national de af wome n’s basketball te am
“Some of us couldn’t hear the national anthem, but we all saw the flag being raised...” DOMOTEL - 32 - MAGA ZINE
I N T E R V I E W
From left: Athina Zerva, Nancy Tsiouli, Vassilis Papapanagiotou, Stefania Patera, Dina Balkoglou, Alexandra Kotsiafti, Ioanna Voudouri, Lucy Zourni, Stala Kotsirea, Lambrini Agagiotou, Hrysa Verani, Zois Hristou, Anthi Haina, Evaggelia Sarakatsani, Dimitra Mellini.
© DIMITRIS VLAIKOS
They may be considered disabled, but this has never stopped them from doing what they love and chasing their dreams. Let’s meet the 2016 European Champions. By Tassoula Eptakili
DOMOTEL - 33 - MAGA ZINE
I N T E R V I E W
Celebratory snapshot. The entire team poses together, following a crucial win against Lithuania on the way to the gold medal. The 2017 Deaflympics, to be hosted by the Turkish city Samsun next July, is the team’s next objective.
molecular biologist based in Athens, Stefania Patera believes that “the most important skills for basketball are brainpower and willpower.” Stala Kotsirea, who also resides in the capital, is a civil servant at the Ministry of Labor. She has a daughter and a son, seven and five years old, respectively. In the neighborhood where she grew up, there were two basketball courts. As a child, she spent hours watching the other kids playing behind the wire fence, until one day she decided to get in and play with them. Chrysa Verani, who works at the Ministry of Defense, describes basketball as her life. Married with a daughter, Dina Balkoglou, from Thessaloniki, is also a civil servant. Since she was eight – which is when she started practicing – the basketball court has been her second home. An architect, Evangelia Sarakatsani lives and works in Volos. She loves basketball, because “it builds strong personalities through the ‘we’ of the team and helps overcome the ‘self’.” Labrini Agagiotou, also from Volos, has been passionate about sports since she was a child. However, basketball won her heart. Alexandra Kotsiafti, who is unemployed, decided to get involved with basketball in 1987 when, as a young girl, she cheered the triumph of the
Greek national basketball team in the European Championships. Next to them is the ever-optimistic Anthi Ηaina from Halkida, a gym instructor. “There are neither problems nor difficulties. There are only paths that take you somewhere, no matter what,” she says. Gianna Voudouri, who lives in Peristeri, works at the offices of the Attica Regional Authority. And last but not least, Dimitra Mellini, a law student at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, appreciates the fact that basketball “teaches a disciplined approach towards the sport itself, the coaches and the teammates.” Ten women, ranging in age from 25 to 42, and either deaf or hard of hearing and officially recognized as people with a disability, are one tight unit and a great team. This is the Greek national deaf women’s basketball team, which last July won the European Deaf Basketball Championship in Thessaloniki. The team won all seven matches they played in the tournament. In the group stages, they beat Turkey, Russia, Poland and Lithuania. In the quarterfinals, the team knocked out Germany and in the semis, they overcame Italy. All that remained was one more game with Lithuania, a basketball superpower, whom they beat again in the finals.
DOMOTEL - 34 - MAGA ZINE
I N T E R V I E W
“They are strong, serious, united and dedicated to basketball,” says the team’s coach, Athina Zerva, about her players. “I have the best team in the world!”
“This was the best reward for our many years of effort,” says Melleni, the team’s youngest member. “In every other competition, we got to the finals but narrowly missed out!” Along with the athletes, their physiotherapists Lucy Zourni and Nancy Tsiouli, also members of the family, experienced first-hand the preparation fever, the stress over injuries and the thrill of victory. “I feel blessed because I was at the right place at the right time and was given the opportunity to live my dream alongside these girls. It is because of their sheer determination that we achieved this success,” says their coach, Athina Zerva. “This amateur team, with its professional attitude and devotion, proves that neither problems nor disability can crush your ambitions for distinctions or your desire to honor your national colors.” It’s been five years since Zerva was asked to take on the team. At the beginning, she was scared. On the surface, communication and comprehension appeared complicated. She was uncertain if she could respond to the requirements of such a team. But from their very first meeting, everything became clearer. “Right from the start, the girls emphasized that they wanted me to treat them as players, not as deaf people. Therefore, the language of basketball provided the solution. I also took sign language
lessons at the National Institute for the Deaf and there are now no communication barriers between us.” Becoming the European Champions was a milestone for the team. “We were known around the world, thanks to their continuous presence and distinctions in major tournaments abroad, but unknown in Greece,” says the coach, adding that players’ key strength is the spirit in them that keeps them going, despite the difficulties they face. “There are plenty of those, particularly during this time of crisis. But these ladies don’t give up! They are strong, serious; they love each other, are devoted to basketball and are responsible. When we gather together for training and games, they leave behind their husbands, children, parents, jobs. They even put their hand in their own pockets, if needed, and they do their best. How can I not say that I coach the best team in the world?” Their next target is the Deaflympics in the Turkish city of Samsun in July 2017. “Winning the European Championship encouraged us and fueled our tenacity. Some of us could not hear our national anthem, but saw our flag being raised in the middle of the stadium,” says the team’s captain, Kotsiafti. “This gives us the right to dream of an Olympic medal!”
DOMOTEL - 35 - MAGA ZINE
D e s t i n at i o n
Paleos Aghios Athanasios Mt Kaimaktsalan
Embracing Nature From the luxur y of your base-camp at Domotel Neve, explore the forests and lakes, enjoy winter spor ts on Greeceâ€™s highest peaks and wrap it all up with a rela xing soak at the Pozar hot springs. By Olga Charami Photos: Clairy Moustafellou
DOMOTEL - 36 - MAGA ZINE
01 Lake Vegoritida on the outskirts of Arnissa. 02 The sun sets but the adventure continues at the ski resort. 03 A warm shower at the Pozar hot springs. 04 Up here, the snow arrives early and stays for quite a while. 05 The forests of Kaimaktsalan impress all year round. 03
DOMOTEL - 37 - MAGA ZINE
D e s t i n at i o n
n excursion to Mt Kaimaktsalan, or Voras as it is officially known, can have it all: from regal services for pampered guests to the exhilarating experiences for the thrill-seeker. High up in the ski resort, the snowcats can’t keep up with the visitors looking to get to the top, while the rest are enjoying a hot beverage at the Snow Bar. Further away, on the plateau of Dobro Pole near the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), a shepherd named Trainos has the solitary task of tending to his flock and mixes Greek and Slavic in his sentences. “We’re all bilingual here,” he says, smiling. In the village of Aghios Athanasios, guesthouses and inns offer their visitors the succor of luxury, while in the village of Lykoi (the name means “wolves”), real wolves lurk at the edge of the woods eyeing the villagers’ livestock. In Kerasies, the village walls are filled with graffiti bearing the names and service numbers of the soldiers who, having finished their tour of duty, tagged the town on their way out: “Nikos 344 leaving,” “Tassos 250 leaving.” In Panagitsa, the walls of an art gallery serve as the canvas not of restless young men, but of one exceptional artist, Manolis Polymeris. The mountain of Kaimaktsalan, along with Pinovo and Tzena, form Greece’s natural border with FYROM. At its feet lie Lake Vegoritida and the plains of Edessa and Almopia, with their scattered farms and villages. There are rivers, waterfalls and lakes; forests of beech, black pine and fir; and apple and cherry orchards. The whole area is a green blanket in spring and summer that turns russet in autumn, and icing-sugar white in winter, taking on a magical sculptural quality under snow that seems to forget to melt. The mountain’s name is suggestive: it comes from the Turkish word kaymakcalan, meaning “cream thief,” hinting that this is the first mountain to receive snow and the last to give it up.
DOMOTEL - 38 - MAGA ZINE
01 The Thermopotamos River flows across the Almopia Plain. 02 The womenâ€™s cooperative of Arnissa. has a kiosk on Paleos Aghios Athanasios Square. 03 The chalet at the ski resort. 04 A lit fireplace, local delicacies and wine are the perfect antidote for the freezing weather outside. 05 Strolling in the renowned Mavro Dasos (Black Forest). 06 Greek coffee and sweet loukoumi for a good start to the day. 07 A neighborhood of Paleos Aghios Athanasios. 06
DOMOTEL - 39 - MAGA ZINE
D e s t i n at i o n
01 View of the artificial lake of Agra. 02 A shepherd in the Kaimaktsalan highlands. 03 Edessa’s impressive waterfall.
PalEos, Panagitsa and the lake This area was not much of a tourist destination until about 20 years ago. Freezing temperatures, an absence of infrastructure and a shortage of attractive traditional hamlets and villages meant there was little allure. The opening of the ski center in 1994, however, soon brought a boom in business, as butcher and café owner Petros Karamitsos explains. “Right after we abandoned Paleos (Old) Aghios Athanasios and settled in the new village to get way from the cold, the ski center opened and brought us right back. We opened shops and hotels, but kept our homes in the new village.” Paleos, as the village is known for the sake of brevity, grew into the main accommodation center for the ski resort because of its proximity (15 kilometers) and its traditional character. “The truth is that it had a lot of stone houses, but once development took off most were knocked down and rebuilt. They’re still made of stone, but they’re new,” says Eleni, as she serves us a slice of warm wild greens pie and homemade grappa in the Petros Taverna, which is known not just for its good food but also for the fact that is located in one of the village’s few surviving old buildings, once the owners’ family home. Outside on the main cobbled street, which has a gutter running down the middle to carry off rainwater and melting snow, the foot traffic is starting to build up as weekenders enjoy a stroll around the picturesque village. On the main square with the stone fountain, bars have stereo speakers outside their front doors to lure in customers, tavernas keep the hearth fires burning and dish out bean stews, soups and meat casseroles, and a kiosk dis-
plays all sorts of traditional goodies and products: pickles, herbs, frumenty, spoon sweets, spices and pasta, all made by the ladies at the Arnissa Women’s Cooperative. Within a few years, Paleos Aghios Athanasios became trendy and cool, much like Arachova on Mt Parnassos. “It even has live music clubs; that’s where we hang out,” says Ilias, a young man from the nearby village of Zervi. Business was so good, it started to trickle into the neighboring village of Panagitsa as well. “A lot of wealthy and prominent Thessalonians bought holiday homes in Paleos and come over on weekends with their friends. That helped develop this area as well,” admits Evi at the Petrino Taverna on Panagitsa’s
DOMOTEL - 40 - MAGA ZINE
DOMOTEL - 41 - M AG A ZINE
d e s t i n at i o n
main square. The village is not very interesting in terms of architecture, as nature is the star here, but it does have a few cultural highlights, such as the gallery in the Leventis Art Suites Hotel. Its walls are adorned with sculptures and paintings by the eccentric Thessalonian artist Manolis Polymeris and are oddly in harmony with the furniture – antiques and heirlooms that would normally belong in a folk museum. Moreover, there’s a fascinating camera museum with a collection of 2,500 pieces, the largest such collection in Greece. It also hosts events – music, stargazing, art shows, often in cooperation with the Benaki Museum in Athens – in its exhibition halls. The village has a group that offers outdoor activities such as horseback riding and lake canoeing, while nearby Zervi is home to a branch of the Edessa Air Club – the bird’s-eye view of Lake Vegoritida, the colorful plains and the mountains is something quite special. The village of Arnissa and Lake Vegoritida are just a few kilometers from the ski slopes of Kaimaktsalan. If you enjoy driving, the lake route is about 50 kilometers long and quite beautiful. Another option is a 30-kilometer drive to the town of Edessa for a walk around the waterfalls and the town’s old quarter. Along the way, you’ll see Agra, an artificial lake that powers the local electricity plant and serves as a significant wetland sheltering more than 150 species of birds. The lake is not very good for sailing as there are reeds at low tide and it freezes over when temperatures drop. A wonderful day The most popular daytrip is to the ski resort, reached after a beautiful uphill trip that winds through firs and beeches and affords a panoramic view of Lake Vegoritida. “The Kaimaktsalan ski resort is great because it has very good quality snow,” says skiing champion Theodoris Pantazopoulos. It is also the highest resort in Greece, reaching an altitude of 2,470 meters. It has nine runs ranging in difficulty from easy to moderate, six lifts (two of which are for children) and an artificial snow system. There’s a special snowmobile run, snow-kiting facilities and – for the less active – snowcats that shuttle visitors here and there, and can also take you up to the Church of Profitis Ilias and to a nearby monument dedicated to the Serbian soldiers killed in World War I. At an altitude of 2,524 meters, it offers a majestic view stretching all the way to the Thermaic Gulf, Mt Olympus and across the border into FYROM. After a day on the slopes, a drive down to the village of Kerasies is highly recommended. The road winds through Mavro Dasos (Black Forest); according to legend, it was from here that Alexander the Great obtained the wood from which he made his famous sarissa spears. You will also come across two livestock sheds built by the Sarakatsani, traditionally transhumant shepherds, and some amazing nature trails. From Kerasies, continue north for about 17 kilometers until you reach Loutraki, where the Pozar hot springs emerge from the mountain at a temperature of 37 degrees Celsius; they are said to help treat all sorts of skin ailments, aches and pains, and gynecological conditions. The landscape here is like something from a fairytale: steaming turquoise pools at the end of a long gorge, with running waters and a canopy of poplars. A section of the path is paved, but to reach the springs you have to trek across rather rough terrain. Nevertheless, they should not be missed. It is an organized facility with indoor and outdoor pools, the latter of which are simply amazing and a major attraction for people of all ages from all over Greece and the Balkans. The Thermopotamos River flows right beside the steaming pool, forming icy waterfalls for an invigorating cold shock after a long, warm soak.
Eating out In Paleos, Petros (Tel. (+30) 23810.317.95) is a great taverna with a private dining room at street level and a small room upstairs – both part of a former house, intimate and remarkable for its traditional simplicity. The local specialties prepared with care by Petros are very popular and include fasoulotavas bean stew, lamb in a clay crock-pot, trahanas, savory pies and stuffed cabbage leaves. The loukoumades dough
DOMOTEL - 42 - MAGA ZINE
fritters served at the end are light and fluffy. n Kalyva (Tel. (+30) 23810.320.60) is another good option, serving an excellent pork casserole, penne with beef cheeks, crock-pot stews and melt-in-your-mouth veal. n In Panagitsa, Petrino (Tel. (+30) 23810.340.33) is a must as it testifies to the Asia Minor roots of the family that runs it (and the entire village). The hunkar begendi with smoked eggplant,
spicy soutzoukakia meatballs in tomato sauce, kebab served with yoghurt and the savory pies (stuffed with pastourma and cheese, or with leeks and minced meat) are all delicious and wonderfully executed. n In Loutraki, Ydrolithos Restaurant (Tel. (+30) 23840.916.00) is known for its creative and modern cuisine.
info: Please note that on winter weekends you should make reservations, as finding a table can be difficult.
D e s t i n at i o n
01 Chapels appear in the middle of nowhere on mountain routes along the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). 02 The small lake at the village Panagitsa. 03 Detail from a house in the village of Kerasies 04 Tsipouro (a grape-based distilled spirit) production at a Zervi distillery. 05 Pozar hot springs 06 The Camera Museum in Panagitsa. 07 Petros, who runs the taverna of the same name, shows off one of his specialties. 07
DOMOTEL - 43 - MAGA ZINE
wa l k i n g
t o u r
Stories you (may) have never heard before The pages of histor y of fer a fascinating new perspective on the cit y. By Natasha Blatsiou Photos: Jessica Morfis
ur tour of the city begins with the rather extraordinary proclamation: “They’ve killed the king!” But our tour guide is also quite extraordinary. Armed with a tablet loaded with fascinating historical photographs and with an inclination for lively conversation, archaeologist Tassos Papadopoulos of Thessaloniki Walking Tours takes us through his lively narrative as though it were a film script. Together, we journey into the city’s past, which is studded with unsolved mysteries and political assassinations that left their mark on Thessaloniki, altered the course of Greek history and rocked Europe. His obsession with seemingly irrelevant details – such as the shoes worn by the king’s assassin or why the killer’s hand and ear are still kept at a museum – make the tour even more fascinating. We meet Papadopoulos at the statue of statesman Eleftherios Venizelos on Egnatia Avenue to end up at the port three hours and 70 years later, having covered the period from the 1876 killing of the German and French consuls by an Ottoman mob to the murder of the American journalist George Polk during the Greek Civil War in 1948. The narrative thread starts with a scene from the murder of King George I, Greece’s longest-reigning monarch. On the tablet, we see the photograph of a man who looks like a beggar, smirking as he is dragged away by two DOMOTEL - 44 - MAGA ZINE
01 Color lithograph depicting the assassination of King George I, from the collection of the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece. 02 The statue of statesman Eleftherios Venizelos at the northern end of Aristotelous Square.
DOMOTEL - 45 - MAGA ZINE
wa l k i n g
t o u r
01 The figure depicting Economy in the courtyard of the city’s National Conservatory. 02 The Holocaust Monument in Eleftherias Square. 03 The Government House, constructed in 1891, houses the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace.
policemen. The date is March 18, 1913, and King George, on the throne for 50 years, is returning home on foot from an inspection of a German ship, accompanied by his adjutant, Major Frangoudis, when he is shot in the back by the man in the picture. A passing motorist rushes the monarch to hospital but he dies en route; meanwhile, the police have already nabbed their man. Alexandros Schinas is an enigma who mocks interrogators when asked whether he’s an anarchist. He’s taken to jail, but the case is slammed shut quite unexpectedly shortly after. We get to hear the ignoble ending as we walk uphill towards Government House (Diikitirio), an electic-style listed building that is now home to the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace. The king’s murderer had been brought in to testify in one of the rooms where today clerks are busy putting stamps on official documents, but his motives would forever remain a mystery after he took a dive (or was pushed?) through a window, leaving behind a conundrum that would give birth to countless conspiracy theories. Was he an enemy of the political order? An agent of the Great Powers? Or was he simply a madman? No one will ever know. As we look up at the façade wondering which window Schinas fell from, Papadopoulos shows us a photograph of the assassin’s macabre remains: a hand and an ear, now kept at Athens University Criminology Museum.
The film-noir set changes as we head to the bustling junction of Egnatia and Venizelou, and transport our minds to the huge labor strikes of April 1936. As we try to get a feel for the zeitgeist, the street protests and clashes with mounted police, we imagine how on May 9, at this exact spot, police opened fire on the marching masses, killing 30-year-old cabbie Tassos Tousis and another 12 strikers. His death has gone down in the annals of history after a photograph of his mother mourning over her son’s body in the street shocked the nation and inspired the celebrated Greek poet Yiannis Ritsos to write Epitaphios, one of the country’s greatest poems, later set to music by Mikis Theodorakis and translated into multiple languages. Our group cannot help but note the similarities between that event and more recent ones that have sparked social upheaval in Greece, Europe and the United States. Commenting and arguing, we head to the old French quarter, known as Frangomahalas. We are now beneath the windows of the impressive edifice of Thessaloniki State Conservatory, enjoying melodies from music students stretching their knowledge of their instruments. Standing in the courtyard, we hear the fascinating story of this building’s nearly complete destruction, in the company of two “survivors,” the impressive statues depicting Economy and Credibility. Papadopoulos takes us to May 1,
DOMOTEL - 46 - MAGA ZINE
wa l k i n g
t o u r
01 Monument to Grigoris Lambrakis, the assassinated Greek politician, physician and track and field athlete. 02 The clock at the Stoa Malakopi, which stopped working during the major earthquake that struck on June 20, 1978. 03 The forecourt of the State Conservatory, which once housed the Ottoman Bank.
1903, when the same courtyard of what was then a branch of the Ottoman Bank was graced with some of Thessaloniki’s oldest statues from modern times. The Ottoman Empire was in decline and a group of Bulgarian anarchists dug a tunnel beneath the bank, stuffed it with explosives and blew the whole thing up – only the facade survived. This was part of dozens of bomb attacks their group carried out over a four-day period that spread terror through the city and claimed 50 lives. In the same neighborhood, we stop on the corner of Spandoni and Ermou streets, at the spot where leftist parliamentary deputy Grigoris Lambrakis was fatally wounded on May 22, 1963, by far-right extremists. He would die five days later. This very dark chapter in Greek history caused a public outcry and triggered developments that led to Prime Minister Constantinos Karamanlis’ resignation just three weeks later. Night has fallen by the time we reach the coastal promenade, the end of our tour. At Eleftherias (Freedom) Square, essentially a parking lot, pebbles and candles pay tribute to the dead at the Holocaust Memorial. On “Black Saturday,” as July 11, 1942, is known, hundreds of Jewish boys and men were corralled here by the Nazis to be assigned forced labor. For six hours under the scorching sun, they were subjected to humiliation, insults and torture. Not long after, the systematic extermination of the
Jews began, erasing within just a few short weeks a vibrant and creative community that had lived in Thessaloniki for four and a half centuries. In the space of a few hours, we were given the feeling that we knew Thessaloniki that much better. The paving stones we trod, the buildings we saw and the squares and streets along our path had all revealed their own stories – many of which are unknown to the general public. Even the tranquil sea we gazed upon has its own dark tale. On May 16, 1948, boatman Lambros Antonaros spotted a body floating on the surface. According to the autopsy, the arms and legs of the decomposing remains were bound together and there was a bullet hole in the back of the skull. The dead man was identified as 34-year-old George Polk, a reporter for America’s CBS News, who had been stationed in Greece and the Middle East. Who killed him remains a mystery as, 68 years since the launch of the official investigation into his death, every attempt at identifying his killers has led to a dead end. Info: The Thessaloniki Walking Tours team organizes walks all year round on special themes like gastronomy, rebetiko music and the city’s history. For more information and reservations, thessalonikiwalkingtours.com. Tel. (+30) 697.818.6900-1
DOMOTEL - 47 - MAGA ZINE
d e s t i n at i o n
DOMOTEL - 48 - MAGA ZINE
d e s t i n at i o n
The winter star From a cosmopolitan ambiance, wild nightlife and great shopping to any number of winter spor ts, Mt Parnassos has ever y thing and is near enough for shor t excursions to my thical places like Delphi. By Vassiliki Kerasta Photos by: Perikles Merakos
DOMOTEL - 49 - MAGA ZINE
d e s t i n at i o n
01 Corycian Cave, otherwise known as Pan’s Cave, at an altitude of 1,300 meters. 02 Tea road. 03 The concept store L’Escalier.
he indisputable star of Parnassos, Arachova stands proudly upon its rocky perch at an altitude of 973 meters. The main road that cuts through the town pulsates with life and is often clogged with cars. Fun weekends, wild nights and crowded cafés, tavernas and bar restaurants where patrons often end up dancing on the tables are all part of the Arachova experience. Don’t be surprised to find yourself standing on the bar swaying to the music, with paper napkins flying like confetti and champagne corks popping non-stop around you. But although this is the face of Arachova that gets the most exposure, it only shows itself mainly on weekends and holidays. On most other evenings, Arachova maintains a low profile. And that is when its many virtues shine through. Last year, the town witnessed the opening of several new eateries, some with delightful dining rooms for a memorable meal. One of these is Panagiota Plus, with chef Nikolas Laios heading up its sophisticated kitchen. New shopping options include the L’Escalier concept store with design items and jewelry, 2803 Ave Loft for
clothing or Local Bear for handmade leather bags. The main road resembles an outdoor mall, but the cool invigorating wind makes browsing the shops a pleasure, and the sinful chocolate soufflé at Bonjour, a cup of hot tea from Tea Route, good coffee no matter where you go, some locally made tsipouro at the ouzeries, or a brandy at Le Sapin will warm you right up. If you stay on till Monday, you will discover Arachova’s authentic mountain-town character: the locals greeting one another in thunderous voices from afar, the scrambling footsteps of schoolchildren at the final bell, pensioners in the cafés on Papaioannou Square who, having once served on opposite sides during the Greek Civil War, now share a table, the fragrance of wood burning in fireplaces and children listening to stories on their grandparents’ lap. It is worth climbing the 264 steps to the Church of Ai Giorgis, or losing yourself in the maze of backstreets, or visiting one of the traditional houses decorated with Arachovite woven textiles. The town’s Folk Art Museum (www.arachovamuseum.gr) offers weaving and goldwork embroidery lessons to keep the local textile traditions alive. It
DOMOTEL - 50 - MAGA ZINE
01 Local Bear, a concept store placing emphasis on handmade leather bags as well as some clothing and accessories. 02 The main road, quiet on weekdays, fills during celebrations and national holidays. Â 03 The joy of children growing up in the Arachova neighborhoods. 04 Livestock farming activity has remained active courtesy of the tourism industry. 05 A horse enjoys its freedom in Livadi. 05 02
ÂŠ CLAIRY MOUSTAFELLOU
DOMOTEL - 51 - MAGA ZINE
d e s t i n at i o n
is also worth watching the ritual of producing the excellent local tsipouro in huge vats. You can buy tsipouro from Stathis Sidiras, whose nickname “Vasilias,” meaning “king,” is also on the label on the bottles. Tsipouro is also available in bulk from independent small producers. In fact, before the Parnassos Ski Center was built, Arachova was famous for its robust brusco wine and distilled spirits. Thanks to tourism, there are more young people living in Arachova than in many other mountain towns: they start families at a young age and adopt a modern lifestyle influenced by the city visitors who come for the weekend. Most of the locals are also expert skiers. Some of them pick their olives, while others take over and modernize their parents’ cheese-making businesses, as they strike a balance between a traditional and a more modern, tourism-oriented way of life. The local highlight is the Ai Giorgis (St George) Festival, which takes place in spring. Everyone dons their
traditional costumes, tassel clogs and necklaces, and follows the procession behind the icon of their patron saint to launch a three-day celebration to the beat of “daouli” drums and the piping of “pipiza” flutes. Meanwhile, the bars, guesthouses and tavernas overflow, expensive Athenian vehicles are parked everywhere and Arachova fills with the denizens of the richer suburbs of the Greek capital. Livadi was built (rather haphazardly) in the last few decades and mainly consists of winter vacation homes, or “chalets,” as many prefer to call them. The setting is made complete by some good tavernas, such as Zachos, and café-bars like the Paramount and the particularly special Tsi-Tsi, which unfortunately may not open this year. Essentially, Livadi saved Arachova from uncontrolled construction and provides a practical back-up for the overflow of visitors during the holiday season. A panoramic view of this new settlement can be had from the Corycian
DOMOTEL - 52 - MAGA ZINE
d e s t i n at i o n
01 The Athena Pronaia Sanctuary (380 BC). 02 New combi-type cable cars at the ski resort. 03 Trees at Lakka Square adorned with Christmas lights. 04 Most families in the area rely on olive oil production derived from their own trees. 05 Laid-back winter scene with the sun’s sudden appearance bringing warmth to the square and alleys.
Cave, after a 3.5km uphill trek. It is also accessible by car, as long as the car is an SUV and the driver is experienced. The ancients dedicated the cave to the god Pan and the nymph Corycia. The section of the E4 European trail between the cave and Delphi (about 3.5 hours) is one of the most beautiful for hiking. The landscape around Delphi and the view towards the Crissaean Gulf and beyond to the mountain peaks of the Peloponnese is breathtaking, particularly at those moments when rays of sunlight shine through the clouds and light up the scenery. Delphi is easily reached by car. A 10-minute ride, and you’re in a completely different world. Here, you’ll find a quiet spirituality that has survived through the millennia – you can sense it in the harmony and incomparable beauty of the monuments. Your first stop should be the Castalian Spring for the inspiration that the ancients believed it provided, for its refreshing coolness and mineral-rich content and for the magical landscape with the majestic Phaedriades, the two enormous cliffs rising above the Sanctuary of Apollo.
Worship began here between the 11th and 9th centuries BC, and the first stone temples – one dedicated to Apollo and the other to Athena Pronaia – were built in the late 7th century BC. Delphi flourished between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, when worshipers from far and wide would come to consult the oracle of Delphi before making any important decisions. The Sanctuary of Apollo dominates the archaeological site, with the theater located just above. A walk further up the slope leads to the ancient 5th century BC stadium. The Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia and the ancient gymnasium (south of the main road) are located in the part of the archaeological site where admission is free. With fewer visitors, it allows the peaceful sounds of singing birds and rustling leaves to be more clearly heard. No matter how many times you visit Delphi, or how many tours you join or books you read, there is always something new and enlightening to learn. The milder winter days are better for visiting than the hot, exhausting days of summer. Make sure to visit Delphi Archaeological Museum, which houses a
DOMOTEL - 53 - MAGA ZINE
© VANGELIS ZAVOS
d e s t i n at i o n
© VANGELIS ZAVOS
01 Young livestock farmer Lambros Raptis and his working dog. 02 The 264 steps leading to Ai Giorgis Church. 03 The road to the ski resort. 04 Horse riding at ATI.
large number of important artifacts, including the Siphnian Treasury (525 BC), the kouroi and korai, the exquisite statue of the Charioteer (478 or 474 BC), figurines and fine items of gold, silver and ivory. The village of Delphi stands somewhat awkwardly a short distance from the antiquities and shows signs of decline. The old Xenia Hotel seems to be crying out for a facelift. Fortunately, some efforts are slowly but steadily being made to renovate the aging tourism infrastructure. The village features numerous spots from which to admire the view of the olive groves of Amfissa below. The Corinthian Gulf in the distance is heart-stopping. The house of Greek poet Angelos Sikelianos, whose name is synonymous with the Delphic Festivals he established, is located high above the village and is sporadically open to the public. Before leaving, visit the new Frynihos Theater, which hosts the Delphi Festival each summer, and the exhibition area of the European Cultural Center of Delphi (www.eccd.gr), which periodically stages interesting shows and conferences. If you enjoy local color and traditions, you will find what the village of Delphi lacks in Chrisso, or Krissa in antiquity. It features charming homes and lush gardens filled with lemon and orange trees and clay pots overflowing with flowers. The village has a view of the Amfissa olive
groves and a main square ideal for enjoying a glass of tsipouro and some locally prepared olives beside the stone fountains. The path that connects Delphi with Chrisso and extends to Itea on the coast is one of the loveliest hiking trails around. It is the same path taken by the worshipers who arrived by sea to obtain a prophecy from the oracle. Info: In winter, the archaeological site and museum are open daily 8:00-15:00 and 9:00-16:00 respectively. Admission: €12 and €6 from November 1 - March 31. (Tel. (+30) 22650.823.12, www.culture.gr).
DOMOTEL - 54 - MAGA ZINE
WHAT TO DO PARNASSOS SKI CENTER Skiers and snowboarders will find the facilities at Greece’s most important ski resort much improved this year. The new lifts, which went into operation last year, have a larger capacity and a smarter configuration. They are also faster, giving skiers more time for downhill runs. It is now easier to reach the Kelaria and Fterolaka pistes, and getting from piste to piste has also been improved, as has overall safety. There are tentative plans to introduce artificial snow to the ski center, which would extend the ski season. Meanwhile, the first snowfall on Mt Parnassos came in early November. Snowskating, a new trend that combines skateboarding and snowboarding, has reached Parnassos from other European countries. It is particularly popular with the younger set who enjoy performing tricks and the extra rush of adrenaline it brings.
TREKKING HELLAS PARNASSOS With paths that wind through the fir tree-covered slopes, trekking and mountain-bike excursions are two great ways to explore Parnassos. One of the most impressive features is Eptastomo, a cave that is home to the southern-most glacier in Europe. n Τel. (+30) 22670.31901 & (+30) 6981-114041, www.trekking.gr
WHERE TO EAT
Horse riding and café-bar in Livadi.
In Arachova, at Panagiota Plus barrestaurant (Tel. (+30) 22670.292.29, 698.640.4606, fb.com/panagiota. plus) is the most interesting for good food and pleasant atmosphere. Tavernas such as Karmalis (Tel. (+30) 22670.315.11) and Kalderimi (Tel. (+30) 22670.314.18) are worth trying for home-style cooking; lovely little Tavola (Tel. (+30) 697.343.1969) for its Italian fare; and Le Sapin (Tel. (+30) 22670.311.08), an all-day bar-restaurant for fine French cuisine. Visit Roots (Tel. (+30) 22670.317.12, (+30) 694.579.7916) for a classy version of souvlaki, or Louis, kitty-corner across the street, for wellknown standard offerings. In Livadi, it is worth trying Zachos Taverna (Tel. (+30) 22670.321.59, (+30) 694.226.8050); in Delphi, To Patriko Mas (Tel. (+30) 22650.821.50, www. topatrikomas.gr); and in Chrisso, the popular Taverna Fourlas (Tel. (+30) 22650.829.08).
n Tel. (+30) 22670.312.98 or (+30) 22670.315.47 & (+30) 697.229.6169
ICE SKATING The Mountain Ice Rink will be operating in Livadi as it does every year. Aside from skate rentals, Mountain Ice also offers a caférestaurant-bar, child care and allterrain vehicle rentals. n
Τel. (+30) 22670.318.82
n Tel. (+30) 22340.227.00, www.parnassos-ski.gr
FOR A DRINK PARAGLIDING
Isidora (Tel. (+30) 698.019.5968) was one of the first bars to open in Arachova and is now a wine bar with rock and jazz music; Ε (Tel. (+30) 22670.311.58) is a more mainstream café-bar-restaurant; the friendly Bonjour café-bar (Tel. (+30) 22670.32.330) is a good place to stop any time of day; and tiny Gospel (Tel. (+30) 22670.316.86) is for those who like soul, jazz and electro funk in a pub-like atmosphere.
Weather permitting, it is the most extreme way of taking on Mt Parnassos. You can select the duration of your flight and what you would like to see from above. The launch point is a flat area near Livadi, from which you can glide over Delphi in about 20 minutes, or take a longer flight over the Corinthian Gulf. n Tel. (+30) 694.206.3154, www.paraglidingfun.gr
DOMOTEL - 55 - MAGA ZINE
a u t h e n t i c i t y
Formaela, the One and Only Long-time visitors to Arachova will tell you that there’s no chance of eating out and not getting a ser ving of formaela, a chew y local cheese that was granted Protected Designation of Origin 20 years ago. It is always the per fect snack, regardless of the time of day – be it with a glass of tsipouro or wine between meals, at lunch or at dinner. By Vassiliki Kerasta
straw baskets, which give each head its signature cylindrical shape. The baskets, known as tyrovolia, also enjoy protected designation. The baskets are then returned to the pot and boiled for around 40 minutes at 67-68 degrees Celsius. This part of the process is what brings out the cheese’s distinctive chewy texture. Unlike feta and other cheeses, you don’t need to add salt as a preservative. Once the boiling process is complete, the cheesemaker will turn the baskets over a few times so the cheese settles into its proper form, then coat the exterior with salt and let it rest for one day before it goes to market. Traditionally, formaela is grilled on a charcoal fire in order to bring out its delicious chewiness, or fried and served hot with a splash of lemon juice and a sprinkling of black pepper. Bakoloukas likes to harden it a bit longer in the fridge for five or six days, and either eats it raw or grilled. Matured formaela is entirely different from the fresh stuff; it has a much more pungent flavor and loses its chewiness. A more modern approach to the cheese is recommended by restaurants such as the Italian Tavola, which serves it fried with red pepper and truffle honey, or Panagiota Plus, where chef Nikolas Laios is constantly experimenting with new things. One of his more popular preparations is chargrilled formaela served with orange marmalade and a mixture of nuts and spices, with baby carrots on the side. Info: Formaela is served at every ouzeri, taverna and restaurant in Arachova. It can also be purchased from specialized dairies, at various grocery stores on the town’s main street and at selected delis in Athens and other Greek cities.
DOMOTEL - 56 - MAGA ZINE
© PERIKLES MERAKOS
hether it’s warm and gooey, sprinkled with pepper and offered as a starter in a taverna or raw and cut in fine slices and served by the fireside of the Isidora Wine Bar, formaela cheese is the quintessential flavor of Arachova, the popular winter and ski resort town on Mt Parnassos. But even on warm summer nights, the ouzeri on Papaioannou Square will serve it among the meze that accompany a glass of local tsipouro. The more Arachova grows as a tourist destination, the more popular formaela becomes. A hard, unsalted, chewy, light-yellow cheese that was granted protected designation of origin status in 1996, this traditional delicacy can trace its roots “back at least 100 years,” according to cheesemaker Costas Bakoloukas, while according to another dairy farmer, Ioannis Raptis, they are lost deep in antiquity. “It used to be called xirotyri and was a major commodity for barter among livestock farmers. If they wanted to visit a doctor, for example, they would pay him with a couple of heads of cheese,” says Bakoloukas. There was a time when dairy farmers would produce just 10 heads of formaela for their own household, but thanks to the boom in tourism over the past few decades, the cheese is being produced in much larger quantities by cottage industries and modern dairies in order to meet the spike in demand. Usually made with sheep’s milk, it can occasionally (in spring or summer) be made with goat’s milk, as long as the milk has low pH levels. The first stage in production is pasteurizing the milk at 65 degrees Celsius, and adding rennet, a natural whey consisting of a complex of enzymes produced in the stomachs of ruminants. The flavor of warm, fresh formaela at this stage of production is something quite special. The cheesemaker then works the curd by hand and places it in special
DOMOTEL - 57 - MAGA ZINE
f o o d
t r i p
ne of Greece’s most popular winter destinations, renowned for its architecture and wild natural landscapes, Mt Pilio is a great getaway if you’re visiting Volos, but also quite easy to reach from Thessaloniki and Athens as well. Its dense forests stretch all the way down to the sea, its pretty villages and hamlets are connected by winding rural roads and walking trails, and the rich soil yields a bounty of nature’s treasures: the succulent and world-renowned apples of Zagora, as well as pears, quince, chestnuts and a plethora of delectable wild mushrooms. All these plentiful fruits are used in marmalades and spoon sweets (don’t leave without buying a few jars) while the abundance of wildflowers and pine trees results in excellent honey, too. The local cuisine tends to be rustic, centered on recipes intended to nourish farmers and laborers, so there are a number of dishes using sausage, lamb and game. One of the more sophisticated delicacies is wild boar, cooked in tomato sauce with quince or plums. There’s bobari, too,
Flavors of Pilio
Nine per fect stops for gourmets and gourmands The clean, crisp air will cer tainly whet your appetite, so we scoured the countr yside in search of great tavernas and recommend those that made the best impression on us. By Nena Dimitriou Photos by: Dimitris Vlaikos
a homemade sausage stuffed with a mixture of ground pork, offal, rice and herbs, and usually served as a meze with a glass of fiery tsipouro. A classic local dish that you’ll find almost everywhere – with the cook inevitably boasting that he or she has the best, most authentic recipe – is spetzofai, a medley of sausages and peppers. The food here is simple and flavorsome, and most of the tavernas are no-frills establishments, with just a few trying new things to push traditional Greek cuisine a little further and introduce slightly more exotic flavors from the broader Mediterranean. Most serve only a small selection of wine, usually by the carafe, while dessert is almost always on the house. As business tends to be slow during weekdays, many village tavernas will be closed on one or more days, so you’d better call and check in advance. On weekends, however, it’s an entirely different story, and reservations are a must.
Right: Lamb (zygouri) in red sauce with pasta and xynomizithra cheese at Kritsa in Portaria.
DOMOTEL - 58 - MAGA ZINE
DOMOTEL - 59 - MAGA ZINE
f o o d
t r i p
01 Table setting at To Meintani, Zagora. 02 Eleni serving greens at Paradisos, Tsagarada. 03 Aghios Georgios Church, Tsagarada. 04 Clusters of chestnut trees bear their fruit in winter. 05 Rabbit with aniseed and red sauce at the Agnanti taverna in Tsagarada. 04
DOMOTEL - 60 - MAGA ZINE
Zagora To Meintani: In the land of delicious apples, Niki is the affable owner and hostess of a simple taverna, the first to introduce a grill-house in the area 25 years ago, frequented today mainly by locals. All of the dishes in this small space overlooking the Aegean are seasonal and traditional, such as the rich stews bubbling away on the stove in the dining room. Try the beef in tomato sauce, the herb-and-vegetable fritters, the meatballs served with golden fries or the goat , either slow-roasted in baking paper or cut up and cooked on a spit. On weekends and holidays, the grill is in full swing, with a selection of hearty meat dishes available. Every meal is topped off with a slice of halva or a spoon sweet made with fruit from Niki’s garden. n Tel. (+30) 24260.226.26
Tsagarada Agnanti: Located on the town’s main square (known as Taxiarchon), Agnanti is a modern taverna revamped in 2007 by owners Maria José from Spain and her husband Constantinos, who took over his parents’ business. Here, familiar Mediterranean dishes are given a bit of twist, such as the star anise added to a classic rabbit-and-tomato stew. We also
recommend the mushroom soup, the rooster in tomato sauce served with pasta, and the beef with smoked cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. Sit by the fireplace and bask in the warmth while enjoying a glass of red wine from either Argalasti, Nemea or the Tyrnavos Cooperative. n Tel. (+30) 24260.492.10
Tsagarada Paradisos: In the restaurant of the inn that has been open since 1965, owner Constantinos Rigakis strikes a fine balance between past and present, serving traditional dishes in a rustic, low-key environment. In the evening, you’ll see locals enjoying a glass of tsipouro with a slice of galotyri, a soft, creamy cheese made in-house. The specialty here is wild greens cooked in tomato sauce and served with fried eggs, once a staple midday snack for farm workers. The kitchen also serves an excellent spetzofai with a selection of different sausages, peppers and tomatoes, as well as a hearty zucchini-and-cheese pie prepared by the owner’s mother, Eleni. This is one of the few tavernas in the area serving bottled wines; it has a list of around 50 reasonably priced labels. n Tel. (+30) 24260.311.21 & (+30) 6942.016.166
DOMOTEL - 61 - MAGA ZINE
f o o d
t r i p
Tsagarada Dipnosofistis: Inspired by what is believed to be the oldest cookbook in the world, “Deipnosophistae,” a study on the art of eating from the early 3rd century AD, this elegant taverna/restaurant in a beautiful building with a garden has been around since 1992. The cuisine is Greek/Mediterranean and makes excellent use of fresh, seasonal products found in the locality. Crab apples, for example, are used to make a wonderful syrup that finds its way into both sweet and savory dishes, and there are mushrooms and wild legumes picked from the nearby mountains, too. Order a meal of mushroom soup followed by slow-roasted pork knuckle with caramelized crab-apple syrup and, for dessert, the apple tarts served with vanilla ice cream. The wine list comprises about 20 labels, most Greek. n Tel. (+30) 24260.498.25 & (+30) 6977.975.082
Neochori Germanos: Owner Yiannis has named his taverna after his own nickname – “The German” – given to him by his fellow-villagers because he spent several years in Germany. Renowned for its grilled meat, Germanos is strategically located on the main square of Neochori, above the Church of Aghios Dimitrios, so that on a clear day you can see all the way across the Pagasetic Gulf to the Sporades. This simple venue, with rustic wood paneling and a large iron stove, serves coffee and tsipouro with meze to locals during the day, hearty meat dishes in the evening and, on weekends and holidays, fires up the spit rotisserie. Other great dishes include rooster in wine sauce, wild boar with quince and pies made with wild legumes and cheese. Organic wine from the local Patisti vineyards is served in carafes, while there are also a few bottled labels. n Tel. (+30) 24230.553.90 & (+30) 6946.934.183
Lefokastro Stefanos: The taverna of Stefanos (known by some locals as Pappou’s Taverna) is located on the beach of Lefokastro, which can get very busy in the summer but is charmingly tranquil off-season. You may be disappointed if you put a lot of stock in décor, but the taverna’s 25 years of expertise in fresh fish is more than adequate compensation. It serves seafood appetizers and entrées, wild greens and other simple, authentic dishes, and also makes an amazing fish stew (which needs to be ordered a day in advance). The drinks consist of wine by the carafe, ouzo and tsipouro. The atmosphere is very friendly and most of the patrons are regulars.
n Tel. (+30) 24230.335.51
Kato Katichori Ortansies: The Vronti family taverna has been in the same spot since 1950 and is now being run by Nikos, the third generation to take up the reins, and his mother Dimitra. It serves classic Greek cuisine and a few local specialties that are very well prepared, such as the gioulbasi (lamb roasted with garlic and butter in baking paper), stuffed cabbage dolmades and, of course, bobari (a traditional sausage made with offal, herbs and rice). Beef tail is slowly baked with traditional pasta and tomato in a dish known as giouvetsi, while the tongue is turned into a hearty stifado stew. Dessert is on the house and comes from a large jar of homemade spoon sweet or from a tray of cakes (milk, walnut, orange of any other kind) prepared by Dimitra. n Tel. (+30) 24280.994.24 & (+30) 6936.908.552
DOMOTEL - 62 - MAGA ZINE
f o o d
t r i p
01, 02 Neochori Square for grilled meat at Germanos. 03 Spetzofai, a spicy sausage and pepper dish, at Ortansies Taverna in Kato Katichori. 04 Fish at Stefanos Taverna in Lefokastro. 05, 06 Dimitra Vronti takes care of the flowers and the food at Ortansies Taverna in Kato Katichori.
DOMOTEL - 63 - MAGA ZINE
f o o d
t r i p
01 A cozy table at Kritsa in Portaria. 02 Creative cuisine at the Gefsokratoras restaurant in Portaria. 03 Traditional Pelion wine mugs. 04 Heading up Portaria. 05 At the atmospheric Gefsokratoras Restaurant.
Portaria Kritsa: On the square noted for its tall poplars, across from the abandoned Theoxenia Hotel, sisters Niki and Eleni have run this restaurant without a single day off since 2000. The taverna is spotless, with a corner fireplace setting the tone, while the traditional food is quite marvelous in its elegant simplicity. For starters, order the pie – the filo pastry is handmade and stuffed with seasonal ingredients – and the spetzofai, prepared with thin sausages, whole roasted peppers and a bit of grated tomato. As an entrée, order the trahana soup with sausage, the beef cooked in tomato sauce with wild mushrooms, or the wild legumes with fried eggs. The milk, eggs and some of the meats come from the family’s Karaiskos Farm, located outside Portaria, while the wine list is an eclectic selection of reds and whites.
Gefsokratoras: This space on the wide cobbled street just a few meters from the village’s entrance was once Portaria’s first grocery store, later taken over by self-taught cook Antonis Tsolakoudis, who was looking for a better life for his family. The taverna retains some of the elements of the original store, such as the store shelves and a mural by the naïve folk artist Theofilos, while the rest of the décor (a blue wall decorated with birds, chairs dressed in red velvet, a large fireplace and soft lighting) come together to create an atmosphere that is quite grand. The food is not by the book; instead, it is the product of the cook’s creativity: beef tongue served with pumpkin soup; French-style veal in a wine sauce; and chicken in a pepper sauce served with sweet potato, chicory and pumpkin. The selection of wines is good.
n Tel. (+30) 24280.991.21 & (+30) 24280.900.06
n Tel. (+30) 24280.999.19
DOMOTEL - 64 - MAGA ZINE
DOMOTEL - 65 - MAGA ZINE
a c t i v i t i e s
Peace and adrenaline An all-year destination just half an hourâ€™s drive from Karditsa, this area of fers visitors a plethora of activities, from a quiet day on the lake to white-knuckle dir t-bike rides. By Olga Charami Photos: Clairy Moustafellou
DOMOTEL - 66 - MAGA ZINE
a c t i v i t i e s
DOMOTEL - 67 - MAGA ZINE
a c t i v i t i e s
Canoe-kayak Fun explorations Young Dimitris and his dad saw a great opportunity for a race; Mom preferred to take it slow. This is one of the great things about the canoe and kayak rides on Plastira Lake: you can set your own pace and pick your own route, so you can explore the shore and watch the birds, or race off to the fjords. Choose your method of transportation depending on what youâ€™re after: a competition-style craft with two paddles designed to cut through the water adroitly, or the single-paddle Canadianstyle pirogue that takes up to three people and is particularly popular with families because it is very steady and unlikely to tip over. You can either rent your watercraft for an hour and go where you wish, or join the organized three-hour tour that includes a stop at the islet near Neochori or on the beach of Lamberos. When the lake is at its deepest in the late winter and spring, the best route is to the mouth of the Megdova, where you can paddle among beautiful willows, dip under the canopy of huge poplars and even venture briefly into the river.
DOMOTEL - 68 - MAGA ZINE
HYDROCYCLE STRESS RELIEF Serenity is the only word that describes the feeling you get while gliding across this man-made lake. Every season has its highlights: in winter, it’s that special silence that only a blanket of snow can bring, while in the summer it’s the golden hues of the bright August moon. The Tavropos Activity Center can help you to experience the lake in all its glory; among their other services, they rent out hydrocycles, available for periods as short as 30 minutes. These water bikes are suitable for all ages, and you don’t need any special skills or particular strength to operate them. What’s more, Plastira is a placid lake without obstacles or hazards, so it’s almost impossible to fall from the bike into the lake. All of the hydrocycles are equipped with a waterproof pocket where you can stow your cameras or other personal belongings, and there are even a few with baby seats so the entire family can enjoy the ride. Guided hydrocycle tours are on offer, and start from Kalyvia in Pezoula. The short version lasts three hours and includes a snack break at the islet off Neochori, while the day tour takes you all the way to the lacework of fjords on the opposite shore, nearly as far as the dam.
DOMOTEL - 69 - MAGA ZINE
a c t i v i t i e s
Τake aim at archery “Close your eye; focus on the bull’s eye and gently let the arrow go,” advises our guide as we stand staring at the targets set out in the woods. A steady hand is all you need for this rather cerebral activity, which relies more on the power of concentration than on physical strength, making it ideal for the entire family. You get 10 shots in every session, and the adult bows provided by the company are top of the line, similar to those used by Olympic athletes, while older kids get to try their hand with special bows designed for ages 8 and above. There isn’t much adrenaline involved here, unless, of course, the archer beside you is doing a much better job. The odd side-bet isn’t out of the question, either, although wagers usually don’t run to more than a round of coffee or the fee for the next activity.
DOMOTEL - 70 - MAGA ZINE
Horse riding A healing pleasure For horse rides through nature, stop in at Saloon-Farma Zambetas on the Karditsa-Kerasia Highway. Youla, Aris, Emilios, Fatme and Naomi are just four of the 11 extremely well-trained horses waiting for you there, and their calm temperaments make them perfect companions for children and novices – in any case, guides are always on hand to show you the ropes. The individual or group tours last for 15-30 minutes and take you across beautiful meadows, a meandering stream and clumps of woodland for the full cross-country experience. The team also does therapeutic riding for children with physical and mental disabilities, while proprietor Antonis Zambetas stresses that there is no age limit for enjoying this wonderful way of exploring nature: “I’ve had children as young as two and a grandfather of 83 ride my horses.”
DOMOTEL - 71 - MAGA ZINE
a c t i v i t i e s
DOMOTEL - 72 - MAGA ZINE
a c t i v i t i e s
Mountain bike Hitting the dirt This is an alternative way of exploring Plastira while immersing yourself in the natural surroundings. The main off-road bike route runs along the shore; it starts at a base camp at Kalyvia in Pezoula and ends at the botanical garden near Neochori. The route there and back is 8 kilometers but you can opt to continue further if it hasn’t snowed. The best time to do the full circle of the lake is during the summer or autumn, when the water level is at its lowest. To explore the entire lakeshore, take the all-day guided tour – the route covers a distance of 75 kilometers along terrain that can get tricky at points, and a guide can provide a lot of valuable information. In the summer, the experts will also point out all the good swimming spots along the way. If you’ve brought your own bikes, the Tavropos team will be happy to point out the best routes and which parts are difficult or of particular interest. The route from Kalyvia Pezoulas to Neraida and from there to Neochori, for instance, is of particular interest and has challenging variations in altitude. You can also explore the lakeshore on a regular street bike or on foot by following the paved road; however, don’t forget that this is a 60-kilometer route that also includes significant changes in altitude. For the experts, however, nothing beats a mountain bicycle for an adrenalinepumping experience, although they do not recommend bringing along children below the age of 12.
DOMOTEL - 73 - MAGA ZINE
Hiking Becoming one with nature Take a hike through a dense forest of firs and oaks that offers fleeting views out across the lake; cross ravines and explore waterfalls and caves, all thanks to a large network of well-signposted trails around Plastira. Experienced hikers recommend three routes in particular. The most popular one starts at Anthochori at the flour mill (where, on your way back, you can buy some for home-baking) and leads through a poplar-covered ravine to two waterfalls. It takes about an hour to make it all way to the second, higher waterfall (some 12 meters in height), about 1.5km from the starting point. The second trail, starting on the main road between Belokomiti and the dam, takes two hours roundtrip and offers constant views of the lake as it winds through the fir forest, ending at the observatory where you can enjoy a rest with an amazing vista. The trail to Gakiâ€™s Cave, starting just past the fish farm, is also very interesting. The cave itself is not much to look at, as it hasnâ€™t been developed for tourism and you can only spot a few stalactites from the entrance, but the trail up to it leads through the gorgeous Kerendan Gorge (it starts just before the village of Karvasaras). The route there and back takes about three hours and is best attempted with the help of a guide, as it is not signposted. All of the trails (except for the one to Gakiâ€™s Cave) have been marked with GPS coordinates so you can chart your progress on your cell phone.
D O M OT EL - 74 - M AG A Z I N E
a c t i v i t i e s
Motorsports Adrenaline rush Whether you’re into motocross, hare scramble or enduro racing, Plastira Lake is the place to go, as it attracts motorsport fans and other adrenaline junkies from all over the region. There’s a proper motocross racing track at Mitropoli, which has hosted national competitions, as well as two more training and scramble tracks at Fanari and Mavrommati. There are also two clubs, one in Karditsa and the other in the Municipality of Mavrommati-Mouzaki, which work closely together. The club in Karditsa has mapped over 100 kilometers of breathtaking trails across the countryside, while the group in Mavrommati-Mouzaki is currently in the process of developing a new network as well. Agrafa is the most popular destination for motorsport enthusiasts, as it has trails that cross difficult terrains, plunge into virgin forests and zip past streams, testing even the most seasoned riders. n Karditsa Motorcyclists’ Club, Tel. (+30) 6946-164106 (Giannis Thimiopoulos) n Municipality of Mavrommati-Mouzaki Motorcyclists’ Club, Tel.(+30) 6981.208.830 (Nestoras Doumanas)
Info: For all of the activities (apart from the motorsports and horse riding), get in touch with Tavropos, Tel.(+30) 24410.925.52 and (+30) 6977.740.066 (www.tavropos.com). At Saloon-Farma Zambetas, Tel. (+30) 24410.928.55 & (+30) 6945.593.807, you can try archery and hydrocycling as well as horse riding.
DOMOTEL - 75 - MAGA ZINE
01 The stylish lounge and bar at Kastri Bistro. 02 Detail of the fine art de la table at Kastri Bistro. 02
DOMOTEL - 76 - MAGA ZINE
d i n i n g
Around the World in
Restaurants A gastronomical journey through Athens’ nor thern suburbs, complete with cilantro, sushi, guacamole, tikka masala and lahmajoun. By Nena Dimitriou
Κastri Βistro - Καstri The Domotel Kastri Bistro is located in a sun-washed space with large picture windows overlooking the beautiful garden, while the food is fresh and vibrant, featuring classic Mediterranean ingredients and advanced techniques to deliver local Greek recipes with high-end flair. Dishes such as the Messinian pie of seasonal wild greens and yogurt are presented in a modern way but still retain the traditional rustic flavors that transport you to the Greek countryside. Wild Greek truffles flavor a dish of creamy potatoes and San Michali cheese from Syros, while fresh eggs are married with eel from Epirus, arseniko cheese from Naxos and wild Cretan chicory in a dish that sings with inspired and titillating flavors. The entrées are also rich and fulfilling. Try that ravioli “pastitsada” made with oxtail and a blend of spices typical of Corfu, or
the impressive wood oven-baked lamb, presented three ways: the leg is cooked sous vide in its own juices, the rack is covered in an Aegina pistachio crust and the breast is cooked in a crispy pastry flute. Kastri Bistro has also joined forces with the Macelleria Oberto in Piedmont, Italy, to bring top-quality meats from carefully-raised breeds that are matured and presented in different, perfect cuts. These fine meats are served in a special dining room abutting the main restaurant, where the mystical atmosphere, together with a large monastery table seating 22 diners, creates a deserving setting for such fine fare. The wine list is very comprehensive, with a good selection of Greek and international labels. n 154 Eleftheriou Venizelou & Romilias (next to the entrance
of Domotel Kastri Hotel), Tel. (+30) 210.350.7100, www.domotel.gr
DOMOTEL - 77 - MAGA ZINE
d i n i n g
01 K for Kiku. 02 Steamed rice cools the fire of the spicy dishes at Little India.
Buba Bistrot Exotique – Kifissia In one of the loveliest neoclassical villas of this leafy suburb – complete with a gorgeous backyard – Buba is not a mainstream all-day restaurant but an idiosyncratic reflection of the owner’s global travels, with an obvious emphasis on Asia. Designed with the enthusiastic whimsy and pomp that is so characteristic of Asian kitsch, the decor is a marriage of disparate objects, many brought in from the Far East: grand porcelain vases, paintings, wall hangings, lanterns and more. Over in the kitchen, the Thai cook prepares rich and succulent comfort food (with fresh herbs and local ingredients) which stays true to its origins. Try the skewers of homemade Vietnamese sausage and pork wrapped in iceberg lettuce with herbs and kimchi pickle; Thai-style barbeque chicken marinated in coconut milk and served with Asian coleslaw, sweet chili sauce and sticky rice; or the steamed shrimp and fish dumplings served in a fragrant broth. To bring it all together, order an exotic fresh-fruit cocktail. Buba is a great option for Sunday lunch – especially if you’re looking for something different. n 4 Papadiamanti, Tel. (+30) 210.623.1151
Dos Ηermanos – Kifissia Although Mexican cuisine has never really taken off in Athens, this colorful hacienda-style restaurant has been around for 24 years. With a
bright decorative color palette, a pretty dining room with mix-and-match furniture and stained-glass panels on the ceiling, plus an inviting green yard at the back, it puts you in Guadalajara mode in an instant. Pay attention to the differences between all the tacos, burritos, fajitas, quesadillas and enchiladas, or you may end up pinching your fellow diners’ food. There’s plenty of melted cheese, sour cream and spice, along with a few particularly noteworthy dishes such as the Mexican-style burger and the popular chicken salad, the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else in the city. Drinks include many versions of frozen margaritas (we recommend the Golden and the Blue) and sangria, while live Latin music nights on weekends give you a chance to burn off those excess calories by hitting the dance floor. n 24 Kyriazi, Tel. (+30) 210.808.7906
Oozora The House – Kifissia Housed in a luxurious villa with an exotic backyard that is particularly beautiful in spring, the style and architecture of this restaurant exudes a sense of extraordinary richness thanks to details such as the gold bamboo, the dark wood, the glossy marble and the large imposing table with ethnic motifs. The food is multifaceted Asian, beautiful without being pretentious. Inspired by street food in Vietnam, China, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia, the dishes combine authenticity with modern
DOMOTEL - 78 - MAGA ZINE
01 Authentic retro Mexican experience at Dos Hermanos. 02 The delightful ethnic-styled outdoor area at Buba Bistrot Exotique. 03 Hearty tacos at the Ancho Mexican Grill.
flair, and elegance with the essence of comfort food. Highlights include the baozi lobster rolls with sesame oil and sweet potato; the bass tartare flavored with cinnamon and coconut milk; the Cantonese shrimp dumplings; the Siamese bao buns with satay chicken; and, from the entrées, the Pad Thai and the curried mussels with sea urchin. If you’re a large group, order the sushi combo – the impressive presentation is a feast for the eyes. There’s a good selection of cocktails, as well as an extensive wine list with selections from around the world.
priced (€30 and €35 respectively). You can also sample soybeans sautéed in butter, pisco and fleur de sel; fish cakes with a creamy Peruvian pepper sauce; salmon ceviche; and a beef patty on a steamed bun with tonkatsu-mint barbeque sauce. Depending on which flavor profile you’re leaning towards, order sake or piso with your meal. Leave some room for the rich desserts, such as smooth crème brûlée with espresso, vanilla ice cream with lemon and ginger biscuits, or the chocolate trilogy served with cocoa bean ice cream.
n 54 Diligianni, Tel. (+30) 210.801.8515
n 7 Perikleous, Tel. (+30) 210.677.6759
K for Kiku – Psychiko
Ancho Μexican Grill – Halandri, Kifissia
The music is loud, the vibe clubby, the motif purple-and-black and the lights all aimed at the open kitchen: K is the “light” version of the high-end Kiku chain (Mykonos, Athens, Vouliagmeni), which set the foundations for good Japanese cuisine in Greece 23 years ago. At the Psychiko venue, the food is Nikkei, a marriage between Japanese and Peruvian which has given birth to a series of Asian dishes with Latin American flair, executed by a Japanese sushi chef and a Greek executive chef who play with techniques and ingredients. Chilies, Peruvian purple potatoes, Greek sea bass, lime and miso, pickled ginger and cassava chips make their way into dishes wafting aromas of citrus, cilantro and sesame oil. For an introduction to Nikkei culture, the chefs have created two six-dish menus, the Motohaba and the Ηabaki, both very reasonably
The Ancho restaurants serve slow food fast, giving you a fiery chili rush. Both venues have the appearance of elegant fast-food joints, with plenty of natural light, minimal urban design, a few plants here and there, and one or two colorful details to liven up the atmosphere. The owners say that the philosophy is all about combining Mexican street food with the ambience of a California burrito bar, using top-quality ingredients and, of course, authentic Mexican peppers (chipotle, ancho, habanero, de arbol and morita), to produce a range of excellent sauces made in-house. Nothing goes through the microwave, while the vegetarian dishes are prepared with organic tofu and black beans. The eco-friendly approach is even evident in the serving platters, which are made of biode-
DOMOTEL - 79 - MAGA ZINE
d i n i n g
01 Middle Eastern food at Mandaloun. 02 Asian style in the dining space of the luxurious Oozora The House.
gradable bamboo. You can make your own combinations by choosing from 40 different flatbreads, sauces and fillings, such as quesadillas, tacos or a burrito bowl, filled with chili con carne, roasted chicken, roasted vegetables or grilled Black Angus steak, with a dollop of sauces that can be as hot or as mild as you like.
the wood oven. If you don’t have a taste for Lebanese arak, the wine list has quite a few good selections, mostly Greek. And when it’s time for dessert, try the kanafeh, a magical combination of crispy, buttery kataifi thread pastry stuffed with soft cheese and drenched in syrup. n 226 Kifissias, Tel. (+30) 210.677.7637
n 9 Grigoriou Gyftopoulou & Kolokotroni, Halandri,
Tel. (+30) 210.680.1097
Little India – Nea Erithrea
9 Cassaveti, Kifissia, Tel. (+30) 211.183.1882
Μandaloun – Halandri This bright, lively space, decorated with disparate yet well-harmonized furniture, serves Middle Eastern cuisine, with an emphasis on Lebanese and Syrian. Classic dishes include the kebab of mixed meats and the roasted lamb or chicken on the skewer, all prepared with vibrant herbs and spices, according to the traditional recipes. Sit down with friends or family and share lots of nibbles, including eggplant dip with garlic and walnuts, creamy hummus or a spicy lahmajoun with ground beef. The salads feature fresh herbs and refreshing flavors: tabouleh with couscous, lots of fresh mint and parsley, diced tomatoes, onions and cucumber; or fattoush with tomato, cucumber, peppers and radishes in a vinaigrette of lime and pomegranate. For the main course, try one of the traditional meat stew tajines or a crispy savory pie freshly baked in
This is a simple, low-profile eatery, with lots of windows all around looking out onto the neighborhood, which doesn’t put on a big show to stress the point that it’s Indian. The flavors are also toned down to suit palates that are not accustomed to a lot of heat, while many of the dishes are also inspired by traditional Pakistani cuisine, since this is where the chef comes from. Popular menu choices include the korma and the masala, with beef, chicken or lamb. The rice is perfectly cooked, the sauces thick and mildly spiced. All the dishes are presented on attractive ceramic plates and in metal bowls. If you’re a first-timer, try the tandoori combo of meats cooked in the traditional tandoor oven. There are plenty of vegetarian options, as well as fiery madras and vindaloo for those who do enjoy that extra heat. For drinks, the Indian beers are the best choice, though a few Greek wines are also served. n Patriarchou Ioakeim & 2 Krinis, Tel. (+30) 213.032.8876
DOMOTEL - 80 - MAGA ZINE
DOMOTEL - 81 - MAGA ZINE
f l av o r s
The capital of sweets Greece’s second cit y is a living museum to a luscious legacy fused from its many culinar y cultures.
reece’s beguiling blend of East and West makes for some fabulous confiseries. There are delights to discover in every corner of the country, and Thessaloniki’s culinary heritage is particularly rich. The city’s many specialties come from family-owned establishments run by artisans devoted to preserving and perfecting old traditions, and sometimes creating new ones. If Proust had come from Thessaloniki, his madeleine would have been a thick slice of tsoureki. The aroma of butter, sugar, yeast and a whisper of something a little exotic (maybe mahleb or mastic?) will guide you to Terkenlis at the corner of Tsimiski and Aristotelous Square. Rich with butter and eggs, fluffy braids of tsoureki in their turquoise boxes are a popular takeaway item, or you can order a slice with one of a variety of fillings (the chestnut is a favorite). The family-owned store with its fairytale windows has been serving the city since 1948 with a full menu of Greek classic pastry done just right. Like many of the city’s charms, bougatsa, the popular hot, crisp filo pie filled mostly with semolina cream (or spinach, cheese or minced meat), has eastern roots. When the Greeks of Asia Minor came to Thessaloniki in the 1920s, they brought the recipe for this rich, delicate filo
with them. Bougatsa, first a workingman’s lunch, became a fashionable teatime snack in the grand houses of Smyrna (now Izmir in Turkey), and that’s when it got dressed up with the fillings we know today. But bougatsa is really all about the filo, so if a place offers it sketi (plain, no filling), you know it’s the real thing. It takes the right touch – third-generation confectioner Philippos Bantis casually tosses a disc of dough the size of an LP out in front of him until it’s as big as a tablecloth to make his tender, crisp bougatsa. “My grandfather wasn’t a baker when he came over from Cappadocia; he worked at a hani – like a small caravanserai or inn, it had a stable for animals, rooms for travelers and a kitchen. That’s where he learned to make bougatsa. He taught my father, who opened our family shop in 1969, and I learned from him. It took a lot of practice.” His cream-filled bougatsa dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon is the best you can find, but at Bantis the sketi sells out first. Bougatsa fresh from the oven is worth getting up early for. Or just stay out late. In the best Thessaloniki style, Bantis opens every day at dawn. When the Chatzis family opened their first shop in 1908 on Sabri Pasha Street, the sounds of Turkish and Ladino (the language of the
DOMOTEL - 82 - MAGA ZINE
© SAKIS GIOUMPASIS
By Amber Charmei
DOMOTEL - 83 - MAGA ZINE
f l av o r s
01 Choureal specializes in choux pastry-based sweets. 02 Fluffy sweet brioche-type tsoureki at Terkenlis, a renowned spot. 03 Loukoumia and sweet preserves at the Papageorgiou confectionery shop. 04 Traditional syrupy trigona (filled pastries) at the Elenidis family store. 05 Harris Chatzis, faithfully maintaining a tradition established in 1908. 01 03
Â© JESSICA MORFIS, ALEXANDROS AVRAMIDIS, KONSTANTINOS TSAKALIDIS, SAKIS GIOUMPASIS
DOMOTEL - 84 - MAGA ZINE
f l av o r s
city’s Jews) still mingled with Greek; it was another world, with its own flavors. The street is called Venizelou now, but the creams and pastries at Chatzis haven’t changed – this is where you come to see what the city used to taste like. Chatzis specializes in politika, the heavier Constantinople (or Istanbul)-style siropiasta (syrup pastries) and puddings that recall the Ottoman era: the specially-made filo of the hanoum bourek, tender and golden with egg yolks, is filled with cream and drenched in full-bodied syrup. Crème brûlée’s infinitely bolder predecessor kazan dibi (“bottom of the pan”) is cooked until it just starts to burn and stick to the pan, its toasty dark crust perfuming the cream with an elusive hint of smoke. For something truly exotic, try taouk yiouksou – a rich sweet pudding full of minced chicken breast (you can absolutely taste the chicken, and it’s delicious). The house favorite is the venerable ekmek kataifi – shredded filo, double toasted, syrup-soaked and served with a fat slab of ekmek (cream) on top. A slab? Ekmek is no ordinary cream – it comes from a species of small, hardy buffalo prized for milk so rich in butterfat it makes a cream you can slice. Dedicated to authenticity, the Chatzis family keeps their own herd on the shores of Lake Kerkini (“they just love the water”), so they can make things the way they always have. Say you want a word for something so tender it melts in the mouth, like slowly roasted meat that falls off the bone. In Greek, the word to describe that texture is loukoumi. At first glance you might think loukoumi is just like the chewy, sugar-dusted confection known in most places as Turkish delight. But loukoumi – originally from the Aegean islands – is all Greek, softer and sweeter than its Turkish relative. Papageorgiou, now in its third generation and its 90th year, is a Thessaloniki institution specializing in the most Greek of confections and sweets – loukoumi and glyko koutaliou. Glyko koutaliou or “spoon sweets” are basically anything you can imagine, like small fruits, flour petals, nuts, citrus peel, even baby vegetables (like miniature eggplants scented with whole cloves, which Papageorgiou still makes), preserved in sugar syrup. It is still not at all uncommon to be welcomed into a home with a jewel-hued serving of glyko koutaliou in a tiny dish, a tall glass of chilled water on the side to balance the explosively aromatic sweet. Old-fashioned but by no means unfashionable, these are a contemporary classic. Try some spooned over thick Greek yogurt, like some restaurants offer as a kerasma (a treat offered on the house after a meal). Tradition is safe in Lazaros Papageorgiou’s hands. “We want to emphasize quality, do a few classic things as well as we can.” It’s a reassuring thought. In addition to the loukoumi and the many varieties of glyko koutaliou, they have jam, vanilla or mastic fondant for making “submarines,” a children’s treat (a fat spoonful of fondant in a glass of cold water), and vyssinada – sweetened sour cherry concentrate. Loukoumi is easy to pack and comes in three different flavors (rose petal, mastic and bergamot), so it’s an ideal and tasty souvenir. Another Thessaloniki tradition, introduced by the Elenidis family in 1960, are trigona (triangles) – syrup-drenched filo triangles that shatter when you bite into them, yielding to a rich mass of crème patisserie.
There is no secret ingredient – just classic technique and impeccable quality. At Konstantinidis, people are very happy to stand in line for one of their just-made mille-feuille, crisp puff pastry layered with crème patisserie and covered in whipped cream or the same combination in a puff pastry cone or cornet. Like any serious bakery that sells such products knows, for pastries that depend on the textural interplay of crisp and creamy, freshness is a question of seconds, not hours. Amid tradition, Thessaloniki also welcomes new pleasures. The adorably named Choureal specializes in everything made with a choux paste (the egg-enriched cooked dough used for eclairs). Their profiterole, reimagined in the classic French image with ice-cream filling and bittersweet Valrhona chocolate sauce, is the darling of the city’s dark chocolate desserts. Lastly, no tale of the sweet life of Thessaloniki would be complete without mentioning the modern classic bougatsan. This elegantly named hybrid of bougatsa and croissant tastes as good as it looks (which is really saying something, given its wild success on Instagram). Visit Estrella to try it, and sample some of chef Dimitris Koparanis’ latest inventions, many inspired by traditional flavors of the city.
info: Terkenlis: 30 Tsimiski & 4 Aristotelous, Tel. (+30) 2310.271.148, Sun-Thur 7:00-23:00, Fri-Sat 7:00-midnight Bantis: 33 Panagias Faneromenis, Tel. (+30) 2310.510.355, Mon-Sat 6:00-15:00, Sun 7:00-13:00 n Chatzis: 50 Venizelou (just up from Egnatia), Tel. (+30) 2310.279.058, daily 8:00-1:00 n Papageorgiou: 11 Aghiou Mina, Tel. (+30) 2310.278.562, Mon, Wed, Sat 9:00-15:00, Tues, Thurs and Fri 9:00-15:00 and 17:00-20:30 n Elenidis: 13 Dimitriou Gounari, Tel. (+30) 2310.257.510, daily 9:00-23:00 n Konstantinidis: 117 Mitropoleos & 7 Pavlou Mela, Tel. (+30) 2310.227.956, Sun-Thurs 8:00-23:00, Fri-Sat 8:00-23:30 n Choureal: 7 Paleon Patron Germanou, Tel. (+30) 2310.252.766, Mon-Thurs 10:00-23:00, Fri-Sat 10:00-midnight, Sun 11:00-23:00 n Estrella: 48 Pavlou Mela, Tel. (+30) 2310.272.045, Mon-Sat 8:00-23:00, Sun 8:00-18:00 n n
DOMOTEL - 85 - MAGA ZINE
h o s p i ta l i t y
OUR HOTELS Domote l K astri, athe ns Domotel Les Lazaristes, thessaloniki Domotel Xenia Volos, volos Domotel Arni, karditsa Domote l Agios Nikol aos , sy vota thesprotia Domote l Ne ve , paleos agios athanasios (k aimak tsal an) Domotel Anemolia, arachova-delfi
Each proper t y has its own histor y and personalit y. What they share, however, is the high level of comfor t and the amenities they of fer, as well as our commitment to providing an unparalleled hospitalit y experience.
D ISH E
Edited by: Maria Coveou
DOMOTEL - 86 - MAGA ZINE
h o s p i ta l i t y
DOMOTEL - 87 - MAGA ZINE
h o s p i ta l i t y
Domotel Kastri Metropolitan luxury The newest member of the Domotel family, the historic hotel Kastri in the northern Athenian suburb of Nea Erithrea first started operating in the late 19th century as a gathering spot for the Athenian elite. Nestled in a half-hectare pine grove and now fully renovated, Domotel Kastri opened its doors in October 2015 as a luxury boutique hotel, retaining its original architectural style but providing a contemporary approach to luxury lodging. Guests are welcomed by the retro fountain and the imposing wood-framed entrance, topped by an art-deco metal canopy. But once inside, the atmosphere takes on a more modern feel. The 86 minimally styled rooms of Domotel Kastri – featuring custom-made Italian furnishings – promise comfort and relaxation. The Contemporary, the morning restaurant, serves a rich “certified-Greek” breakfast (the Kalimera buffet breakfast), inspired by traditional recipes. The Kastri Bistro (winner of a Toque d’Or for its Greek cuisine), offering a view of the lush copse and well-tended gardens, is open from early morning to late at night, with selections of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, as well as for delightful cocktails at the bar. Inside the Kastri Bistro, the Macelleria is a unique space designed for private meetings and high-end dining with handpicked wines from its well-stocked cellar. Another option for drinks is the contemporary premium bar Point Nord, in the hotel’s private garden. The hotel is ideal not only for city
breaks and business travels, but also for large conferences, corporate events and training workshops in the state-of-the-art Excelixi Convention Center, designed by renowned architect Alexandros Tombazis. Bathed in natural light, it features a modern amphitheater (the only one of its kind in an Athenian hotel) with three simultaneous interpreting booths, a multi-purpose conference hall that can accommodate up to 550 persons with two simultaneous interpreting booths, 16 meeting rooms for up to 50 persons and four 33-person computer rooms. Also available are a business center, a library and technical support, resulting in very well-organized events. AT A GLANCE • 86 rooms (28 superior & deluxe singles, 41 superior doubles, 15 deluxe doubles & 2 suites) • 2 restaurants (Kastri Bistro, The Contemporary) • 2 bars (Point Nord, Kastri Bistro Bar) • Excelixi Convention Center (196-seat amphitheater, 550-seat conference hall, 16 meeting rooms with 50 seats, 4 computer rooms with 33 seats each) • Business center • Library • Gym • Free WiFi • Private parking. WHERE TO FIND US • 154 El. Venizelou & Romylias, Kastri • Tel. (+ 30) 210.350.7100 • e-mail: email@example.com • www.domotel.gr
DOMOTEL - 88 - MAGA ZINE
01 Within a year of reopening, the elegantly renovated Domotel Kastri has become a landmark for the northern suburbs of Athens. 02 A view of the hotelâ€™s gardens from Kastri Bistro. 03 Kastri Bistro. 04 Detail of the main entrance. 05 A deluxe double room. 06 The lobby. 07 The auditorium of the Excelixi Convention Center and the comfortable and well-designed function rooms lend themselves to the success of any business meeting or conference. 08 Detail of Kastri Bistro. 09 A deluxe double twin room.
DOMOTEL - 89 - MAGA ZINE
h o s p i ta l i t y
Domotel Les Lazaristes A hotel for the arts Nothing about the dynamic and yet elegant appearance of this luxurious five-star hotel, with its geometric designs and eye-pleasing palette of colors, is reminiscent of its past life as a mid-20th-century tobacco warehouse. Now dedicated to the arts, it gets its name – Domotel Les Lazaristes – from the neighboring Moni Lazariston Cultural Center, which houses the National Theater of Northern Greece, the School of Fine Arts and the National Museum of Contemporary Art. The hotel’s creators, intending it to be a home for the arts, endowed it with spaces to highlight the works of contemporary artists and honor the work of older ones. Its 74 luxurious rooms and suites are distributed on five levels, each dedicated to a particular form of art. The fourth floor, for example, is dedicated to sculpture, with its suites named after famous Greek sculptors, such as George Zongolopoulos. Meanwhile, the dining areas are devoted to dance, with the Fred and Ginger Restaurant serving Mediterranean fare while paying homage to the legendary dancing duo. The Papa Lounge Bar, dedicated to Ernest “Papa” Hemingway, features a classic Mojito made the way the legendary author liked it. In the summer, you can cool off by the outdoor pool with
a cocktail from the Pool Bar, or enjoy some relaxing spa time at the Elxis Spa, which offers a sauna, a steam room, a tropical rain shower stall, a Jacuzzi, and special Mediterranean-inspired treatments, such as the Ancient Greek Treatment (with two masseuses attending every guest), that will rejuvenate body and spirit. The hotel is also available as a conference center and a location for special events, with six fully-equipped deluxe venues, including a roof garden with a panoramic view of the city. AT A GLANCE • 74 rooms (9 singles, 40 superior doubles & 25 suites - 9 junior, 12 executive, 3 tower, 1 penthouse) • 1 restaurant (Fred & Ginger) • 2 bars (Papa Lounge, Pool Bar) • Elxis Spa • Fitness room • Outdoor pool • Roof garden • 5 multi-purpose venues • Card for free parking in the city center WHERE TO FIND US • 16 Kolokotroni, Thessaloniki • Tel. (+30) 231.064.7400 • e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • www.domotel.gr
DOMOTEL - 90 - MAGA ZINE
DOMOTEL - 91 - MAGA ZINE
01 The architectural firm Makridis Associates turned a 1962 tobacco warehouse into a modern, luxurious hotel combining the comfort of a large hotel with the warmth of a boutique establishment. 02 Metal design elements, including canopies, awnings, balconies and horizontal blinds lend dynamism to the building. 03 Part of the breakfast buffet. 04 The Fred & Ginger Restaurant impresses with its unique decor. 05 The high-ceilinged lobby is bathed in natural light. 06 Detail from the bathroom of the Superior Double room. 07 The Lazaristes Monastery, directly opposite the hotel, was built in 1886 by the monks of the Order of St. Vincent de Paul. 08 The Elxis Spa. 09 The modern lounge in the lobby. 10 The 55m2 Penthouse Suite offers panoramic views of the city.
h o s p i ta l i t y
Domotel Xenia An urban seaside resort Fully renovated in 2006 (but with due respect for the innovative architecture of the original Xenia Hotels, a groundbreaking chain of modern resorts dating from the ‘50s to the ‘70s), the Domotel Xenia Volos proudly stands on the same Volos waterfront where the building has been since 1960. At the foot of picturesque Mt Pilio, the hotel is ideal for both business and pleasure, or as a year-round base for excursions to the Sporades and Pelion. Upon entering the lobby, one is immediately impressed by the long corridor leading to the garden near the sea. All of the hotel areas have been designed with functionality and comfort in mind. Its 79 modern and understated rooms let you relax with a view of either the water, the city or Mt Pilio, while at the Open Kitchen Restaurant the chef prepares breakfast right before your eyes. During the summer, the Pool Bar serves refreshing cocktails which you can also accompany with food at The Corner Lounge. For a livelier, more cosmopolitan experience, visit the Yacht Club, frequented by many of the city’s socialites and soon to
be your favorite late-night hangout. A state-of-the-art conference venue with a capacity for 600 persons is flooded with natural light and can be divided into smaller, individual spaces to host smaller events. The Elxis Spa, with its elegant esthetics, boasts a rejuvenating and relaxing sauna, a steam room, a tropical rain shower stall, a jacuzzi and a solarium. There is also a fully-equipped gym. AT A GLANCE • 79 rooms (18 singles, 59 doubles & 2 suites) • 2 restaurants (Open Kitchen, The Corner Lounge) • 2 bars (Pool Bar, Yacht Club) • Elxis Spa • Outdoor pool • 600-seat conference venue WHERE TO FIND US • 1 Plastira, Volos • Tel. (+30) 242.109.2700 • e-mail: email@example.com • www.domotel.gr
DOMOTEL - 92 - MAGA ZINE
08 01, 02 Built in 1960, the Domotel Xenia Volos was fully renovated in 2006, and now offers five-star comfort. 03 The garden is ideal for enjoying a coffee, some food or a glass of wine, and for hosting events of all kinds. 04 A table in The Corner Lounge. 05 Mediterranean flavors with a gourmet touch. 06 Double room with sea views. 07 The outdoor swimming pool. 08 The conference center. 09 The Elxis Spa offers a wide range of treatments to rejuvenate you after a day exploring the city or Pilio. Seen here, the spaâ€™s indoor pool.
DOMOTEL - 93 - MAGA ZINE
h o s p i ta l i t y
Domotel Arni A historic hotel One of the first hotels in the Balkans, the Arni welcomed its first guests in 1921. A rare example of Rococo architecture and a listed monument of cultural heritage, it exudes aristocratic grandeur. After a complete restoration in 2006, it was transformed into a first-class hotel, while still retaining its former glory. Today, tradition, history and architecture blend with modern functionality. From here, you can explore nearby mountain areas such as Pertouli and Elati, visit stunning Meteora, or get your adrenaline flowing by taking part in various sports on beautiful Lake Plastira. The Domotel Arni experience begins in the lobby. Marble floors meet an elegant wooden staircase leading to the Ali Pasha mezzanine, a traditional sitting room, perfect for a restful break after exploring the city. The hotel’s 31 rooms are decorated along modern lines without sacrificing classic touches, while functional spaces have been added for guests who need to combine their holiday with work. The elegant Arni Bistro, with decor evocative of its past (it was one of the first theaters in Greece)
is ideal for both business and private meetings, and is a popular meeting place for many locals. Start your morning with mouth-watering traditional breakfast treats including savory pies, homemade jams and bread; lunch features Mediterranean dishes paired with select wines from the private cellar. The events and conference hall – Theatro – can accommodate up to 110 persons, and the support services available will guarantee success. AT A GLANCE • 31 rooms (8 singles, 17 doubles, 2 triples & 4 suites – 2 junior, 2 premium junior) • 1 restaurant/bar (Arni Bistro) • Conference hall (Theatro) with 110 seats WHERE TO FIND US • 4 Karaiskaki, Karditsa • Tel. (+30) 244.102.2161 • e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • www.domotel.gr
DOMOTEL - 94 - MAGA ZINE
01 The beautifully renovated Domotel Arni is considered a unique example of Rococo architecture in Thessaly. It was designed by a French architect and opened in 1921. 02 The Arni Bistro, with its impressive bar, beautiful chandelier, leather sofas and meticulous attention to detail in its decor, is a beloved meeting spot in the city and is open from morning till evening. 03, 04 From traditional Greek coffee to gourmet creations, Arni caters to all tastes. 05, 08, 10 Decorative elements in the hotel help recreate the magical atmosphere of a bygone era. 06 Detail from the main entrance. 07 A junior Suite. 09 The Î¤heatro conference hall. 11 The marble bath in the premium junior suite. 03
DOMOTEL - 95 - MAGA ZINE
h o s p i ta l i t y
Syvota , Thesprotia
Domotel Agios Nikolaos Heavenly resort On the hillside of Syvota, overlooking sandy beaches and a cluster of verdant islands in the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea, the pristine landscape has created an idyllic setting for the Domotel Agios Nikolaos luxury suite complex – open from May to October. Built in stone with style influences from the architecture of Tuscany and the Arte Povera movement, it is the ideal holiday resort for families and for couples looking for serenity and privacy. It is also perfectly situated to serve as a base for exploring the region, with Parga, Paxi and even Corfu within reach. In summer 2017, the luxurious resort will have 27 additional rooms of 36 square meters each, nine of which will have their own private infinity pools. All rooms have sea views and offer comfortable but refined luxury, with earthy decorative tones giving them that homey feel. Stone-paved lanes lead you to the Thalassa Restaurant, where you can start your day with a hearty breakfast, while for a snack or a lunch by the pool you can visit the Islands Bar Restaurant, surrounded by beautiful, blooming gardens. For dinner, a new a-la-carte restaurant is slated to open next summer, offering delicious dishes to satisfy even the most demanding palates.
For an invigorating dip, our hotel’s private beach with its plush sun loungers allows you to bask in the beauty of the Ionian Sea while sipping on one of the colorful cocktails at the Skipper Beach Bar and gazing at the islet of Aghios Nikolaos. Alternatively, you can relax by the hotel pool.If you’re in the mood for boating, rentals are available, and the hotel marina is perfect for mooring your own private boat. The dreamy setting of the Domotel Agios Nikolaos is also ideal for weddings and other special occasions. AT A GLANCE • 40 rooms (11 doubles, 18 one bedroom suites, 11 two-bedroom suites) • 2 restaurants (Thalassa, Islands Bar Restaurant) • 2 bars (Islands Pool Bar, Skipper Beach Bar) • Outdoor pool • Private beach • Marina • 180-seat special events and conference venue WHERE TO FIND US • Syvota ,Thesprotias • Tel. (+30) 266.509.3017–20 • e-mail: email@example.com • www.domotel.gr
DOMOTEL - 96 - MAGA ZINE
01 With its idyllic green seaside location, Domotel Agios Nikolaos will become your personal Eden. 02 The Islands Bar Restaurant, which will win you over with its Mediterranean cuisine, rich wine list and excellent cocktails. 03 Sunset is the best time to enjoy a romantic break on your balcony. 04 The wooden deck and the marina of the resort, a starting point for sea excursions along the beautiful coast. 05 The ideal start to a vacation day. 06 A twin double room. 07 Night view of the pool. 08, 09 Built in harmony with the natural environment and with respect to tradition, the resort looks and feels like a well-kept village. Everything is designed to ensure the privacy and comfort of the guests.
DOMOTEL - 97 - MAGA ZINE
h o s p i ta l i t y
PalEos AgHios Athanasios / Kaimaktsalan
Domotel Neve Mountain retreat Fans of higher altitudes will find their own private paradise on the slopes of the imposing Mt Voras (also known as Kaimaktsalan, a name dating back to the Ottoman era). At the heart of the traditional settlement of Paleos Aghios Athanasios in Pella is the Domotel Neve. Clad in stone and wood and in harmony with the natural setting, the resort is open from October to May. It makes for an ideal destination for those interested in skiing or snowboarding down the slopes of Kaimaktsalan Ski Center, only 16 km away. Alternatively, walk through the mystical beechwood forests and explore the pristine landscape of mountainous Pella, go horseback riding around the settlement or into the forest, or try gliding and parachuting. The 39 rooms of the hotel combine stone with wood for a rustic style, and most include an eco-friendly fireplace for extra warmth during the cold winter months. The Lobby Lounge is ideal for groups, the perfect place for board games or quiet conversations over a cup of hot cocoa, or for personal quiet time in front of the fireplace with a glass of your favorite
whisky. The restaurant, with its tables in an atrium with a view of the village and Lake Vegoritida, serves a variety of traditional local dishes. At the end of a busy day, you can escape to Neve Spa for some serious relaxation, aided by the holistic treatments that reinvigorate the body and the mind. If you need to combine your winter holidays with work, the hotel provides two fully equipped conference rooms, each with a capacity of 70. AT A GLANCE • 39 rooms (13 standard doubles, 21 superior doubles, 3 family rooms & 2 two-bedroom suites) • 1 restaurant • 2 bars (Lobby lounge, Restaurant bar) • Neve Spa • 2 conference rooms with 140 seats total. WHERE TO FIND US • Paleos Aghios Athanasios • Tel. (+30) 238.103.9800 • e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • www.domotel.gr
DOMOTEL - 98 - MAGA ZINE
01 Domotel Neve in white: built in the heart of the traditional settlement of Paleos Aghios Athanasios, on the slopes of Mount Voras (Kaimaktsalan), the hotel offers excellent views of Lake Vegoritida. 02 The spaâ€™s indoor pool 03 A glass of brandy next to the fireplace in the lounge is the best choice for cold winter days. 04 View of the restaurant. 05 The bathroom, bathed in candlelight, in the double room suite. 06 Superior double room with fireplace. 07 Night view of the hotel. 08 Suite.
DOMOTEL - 99 - MAGA ZINE
h o s p i ta l i t y
Arachova - Delfi
Domotel Anemolia Mountain charm Situated only a stone’s throw away from the idyllic stone-built town of Arachova, Domotel Anemolia is open all year round and provides ideal mountain lodging from which to explore the ancient site of Delfi, the quaint fishing village of Galaxidi, the Byzantine Monastery of Hosios Loukas and the mountainsides of Parnassus, where you can ski in the winter and hike or mountain-bike in the summer. Original, locally made hand-crafted objects adorn the reception and the lounge area, where the fireplace creates a warm atmosphere during the winter, while in the summer, the open terrace offers a beautiful view down into the Delfi Valley. There are 101 rooms for you to choose from. The “mini-chalet” suites are decorated in a traditional fashion and demonstrate the local culture; they are undoubtedly the best choice for lovers of the rustic style, while those who prefer more modern esthetics can choose from among the executive suites and rooms. The Domotel Anemolia bar/ restaurant is open for breakfast daily, offering a rich buffet of local prod-
ucts, and you can drop in any time during the day as well to enjoy delicious Greek food or simply have a drink. Last but not least, the hotel has a long tradition of hosting conferences and other kinds of events; it provides modern equipment and four rooms that can accommodate up to 400 guests in total. AT A GLANCE • 101 rooms (60 doubles, 16 executive, 4 family chalets & 21 suites - 11 of them mini, 3 of them executive, 7 of them family executive) • 1 Bar/ Restaurant • Indoor heated swimming pool with views to Delphi Valley • 4 conference rooms with 400 seats total WHERE TO FIND US • Arachova • Tel: (+30) 226.703.1640 – 1 • e-mail: email@example.com • www.domotel.gr
DOMOTEL - 100 - MAGA ZINE
01 The fireplace in the hotel lounge offers warmth on cold winter days. 02 The indoor swimming pool with a view of the surrounding mountains and the Delphi valley. 03 The executive suite features more modern esthetics. 04 Comfortable armchairs and sofas make the lounge ideal for all types of meetings. 05 Dining with a view of the sunset and the Delphi Valley. 06 Chalet-style mini suite.
DOMOTEL - 101 - MAGA ZINE
o u r
n e w s
Training Tomorrowâ€™s Tourism Executives Given that the heart and soul of every tourism organization is its staff, we collaborate with educational institutions in order to establish a link between academia and the tourism sector and thus facilitate student access to the labor market. One such strategic collaboration is already in place with CITY College-International Faculty of the University of Sheffield in Thessaloniki. At the same time, we are working with
other Greek hotel chains to support a new series of academic programs in tourism and hospitality inaugurated by the American College of Thessaloniki (ACT), part of Anatolia College, which will provide comprehensive undergraduate and postgraduate curricula to future tourism industry staff. The tourism and hospitality programs are being conducted in collaboration with top forDOMOTEL - 102 - MAGA ZINE
eign academic institutions: Cesar Ritz Colleges and Hotel Institute Montreux, both in Switzerland, and St. Thomas University, in Florida in the US. Through these initiatives, we aspire to train highly competent professionals, give them a strong theoretical background and practical skills, and prepare them to excel in the tourism sector.
o u r
n e w s
Caring for the environment and society The philosophy of our hotels begins with an acceptance of the fact that we are integrally linked to society as a whole through our operations and our interactions. For this reason, we recognize our responsibility towards the environment and operate with respect for the principles and values of local communities. Last year we actualized energy preservation and recycling programs and gladly offered our support to related solidarity and awareness campaigns. More specifically, through the framework of work carried out by the organization Make a Wish Greece, a support group for children with serious illnesses, we helped young Mihalis become a pilot and young Nicolas become a spy, boosting their morale. In addition, we supported the Cancer Patients’ Association of the Prefecture of Magnesia by providing a hall for its activities, as well as the association Support the Child (Stirizo to Pedi) by making available a hall for art exhibitions, the proceeds from which went to the association.
EFQM Certification – Committed to Excellence Domotel Hotels & Resorts has firmly established itself in the hospitality sector as an enterprise undergoing constant improvement through both a process of ongoing self-assessment and the systematic training of its personnel. In order to gain a clear picture of its current performance and to set future priorities, always with the aim of further enhancing its competitiveness, Domotel Hotels & Resorts sought and obtained EFQM certification for excellence. On November 23, during an evening dedicated to Business Excellence which was organized by the Hellenic Management Association and held at their Giorgos Kontogeorgis Conference Center, Domotel Hotels & Resorts received its EFQM Committed to Excellence certification. This certificate is awarded to companies and organizations starting their journey towards Business Excellence and demonstrating, by their actions, their commitment to achieving that goal through the maturation of the basic management systems so necessary for their continuous development.
Pia Alexopoulou, Quality Manager of the Domotel chain of boutique and lifestyle hotels, accepts the EFQM Certificate.
Partners As part of the ongoing development of Domotel Hotels & Resorts, management has undertaken the management of hotels under other brands as well. For this endeavor, we are developing a completely new chain of destination spas, starting with a facility in the Peloponnese. In addition, we have already been accredited as an «Operator of Marriott’s Full and Select Service Franchise Brands» by the Marriot chain to operate its hotels in Greece. At Domotel Hotels & Resorts, we believe in cooperation and partnership, and we prove it at every opportunity.
DOMOTEL - 103 - MAGA ZINE
l a s t
pa g e
Pilioâ€™s historic train photographed by Nikos Stournaras in the 20s (colored lithograph).
DOMOTELLING W IN T E R T A L E S 2 0 1 6 - 2 0 17 BY
OWNER: Domotel Hotels & Resorts, 16 Kolokotroni 16, 56 430, Thessaloniki, tel. (+30) 2310.647.400 PUBLISHER: Exerevnitis - Explorer SA, Ethnarchou Makariou & 2 Falireos St, Athens, 18547, Greece iss n: 2529-0673 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Giorgos Tsiros (firstname.lastname@example.org) Creative director: Thodoris Lalagas (www.youandi.gr) COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR: Natasha Bouterakou (email@example.com) DEPUTY EDITOR: Natasha Blatsiou CONTENT COORDINATOR: Maria Coveou TRANSLATIONS: George Kolyvas, Georgia Nakou, Vassiliki Prestidge, Danae Seeman, Christine Sturmey COPY EDITING: Don Domonkos, Damian Mac Con Uladh, Christopher Stone PROOF READING: Don Domonkos, Omaira Gill, Christine Sturmey Photo editors: Maria Konstantopoulou, Marika Tsouderou PHOTOSHOP: Christos Maritsas, Michalis Tzanetakis, Stelios Vazourakis ADVERTISING: Sophia Tsepa (firstname.lastname@example.org) ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT: Tel. (+30) 210.480.822.7 Domotelling is a biannual publication distributed for free. Domotel Hotels & Resorts does not necesarily share the opinions expressed in the magazine. It is illegal to reproduce any part of this publication without the written permission of the publishers.
DOMOTEL - 104 - MAGA ZINE
EAT & DRINK