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At the moment, travel is off the table—but that's not going to stop us from having a staycation inspired by our favorite cities. So far, we’ve explored Paris, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Peru, and Japan from the comfort of home. This week, to celebrate the sunny weather we’ve so looked forward to, we’re writing about everyone’s favorite blue-and-white paradise: Greece.
Tour Ancient Sites—Virtually
Dive into ancient Greek culture, history, and architecture with a stunning, life-like virtual tour of the storied Acropolis via Acropolis Virtual Tour, an innovative app that uses high-resolution gigapixel images and panoramas of major attractions like Athena Nike, the Parthenon, Propylaia, and more.
Make Greek Food
There is no shortage of terrific Greek food that is fitting for summer weather. From Greek yogurt to tasty spanakopita and stuffed grape leaves, these fun cooking projects will transport you from your kitchen to a sunny island paradise while you cook.
For menu ideas, we turn to Michael Psilakis, executive chef and owner of both MP Taverna and Kefi in New York City. Psilakis was trained by his mother in classic techniques for Greek cooking—and his flavorful recipes reflect his solid foundation in Greek cuisine. For breakfast, try out his authentic Greek yogurt recipe. Come dinnertime, if you’re in the mood for seafood, we recommend trying his Greek Paella. Alternatively, you can’t go wrong with his recipes for grilled lamb chops and a fresh Greek salad.
Enjoy Greek Wine and Spirits
Pick an afternoon and treat yourself to an authentic al fresco Greek wine tasting. Set up small pours from a few Greek Vineyards (this is a wonderful beginner’s guide to Greek wine) and enjoy the tasting notes while basking in the sun. If you’d like a truly authentic experience, you can sign up for a virtual wine tasting event from Athens-based wine bar Cinque. The wine bar will send you Greek wine and fresh appetizers, and you can choose the best date for your tasting, which will be guided by an expert.
Now if you’re in the mood for a cocktail, order a bottle of Stray Dog Wild Gin, which is distilled in the Greek town of Aridea. (Fun fact: this gin is made using molasses, and a portion of the proceeds go to a no-kill animal shelter in Greece.) Mix up this refreshing, botanical spirit with tonic and lime for a Greek-inspired gin & tonic or gin mule at happy hour.
Enjoy Film and Literature Set in Greece
Hunker down with your freshly-made Greek snacks for a wanderlust-inducing screening of Mama Mia! The modern remake of this classic story, featuring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfreid, was filmed largely on the island of Skopelos, east of the mainland. The movie is a montage of white-washed architecture and vibrant blue water—and, of course, there is no shortage of ABBA. We have a feeling you’ll be planning your bucket-list Greece trip in no time.
If you're feeling up for an adventure, settle in with a copy of Homer's The Odyssey ($13, amazon.com), one of the oldest works of literature in the world, and arguably the best epic in the Western literary canon.
Redecorate Your Living Space With Grecian Design Elements
Start with a little inspiration courtesy of Assouline. Page through Mykonos Muse by Lizy Manola ($95, net-a-porter.com) and absorb her stunning images of everyday life and culture in Greece. If you feel especially inspired by her work, consider doing a bit of online shopping to add some Grecian decor to your home interiors, like a key-embroidered duvet cover for the bedroom ($200, williams-sonoma.com), a piece of modern wall art ($138, anthropologie.com), or perhaps a classical Greek bust.
For more inspiration, we recommend checking out Amanzoe, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property in Porto Heli. With striking vistas of the Aegean Sea and sprawling olive groves of the Peloponnese countryside, this Aman property is replete with remarkable classical Grecian architecture. Check out the hotel’s digital gallery for transporting video footage and images of the property and design elements.