Content on Compass & Fork about Greece, the Greek Islands and Cyprus
One of the world’s great destinations for culture and cuisine. On this page you can find all the travel and food content for Greece, the Greek Islands and Cyprus. It includes what to see and do, what to eat and authentic local recipes you can make at home.
Content includes recipes, travel tips, travel guides from our travels through this region includes: Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos, Athens and Cyprus. To help get you in the mood, there is a hand curated selection of books, cookbooks and movies about Greece. And if you would like to share an authentic Greek feast at home with family and friends, there is a four course dinner party menu complete with recipes and wine suggestions to make entertaining at home easy.
If You’re Planning a Trip to Greece, the Greek Islands and Cyprus
Beautiful Accommodation Options
The Greek Islands are quite seasonal. Not much is open in the winter on many islands, and they can be very crowded in the summer months. And don’t forget the cruise ships stopping at many of the islands. They can bring a large influx of day visitors.
THE GREEK ISLANDS!
Lots of great information about
Greece and the Greek Islands, plus
tips and resources for planning your trip!
So best advice is to book early so you get the best selection. If you would like to browse hotels in Greece, the Greek Islands and Cyprus and see availability and prices for your dates, you can check Booking.com
There are plenty of vacation rentals and apartments on many islands. To find these you Booking.com and on the left hand side you can filter by accommodation type. Lots of private rentals can be found on AirBnB. If you are new to AirBnB, our tips for AirBnB users provides a handy guide. (and if you have any questions at all, just send us an email- we are happy to help.) If you want to get started, here’s a coupon you can use when you register to save on your first stay. We stayed in apartments we found on AirBnB in both Athens and Cyprus.
Renting a Car in Greece, the Greek Island and Cyprus
Driving is not necessary or recommended some places due to traffic congestion. We managed without a car on Santorini, Mykonos and in Athens. We did rent a car on Naxos and depending what you’re planning in Cyprus, a car would be more convenient than public transportation.
For car rental overseas we recommend Holiday Autos. Horror stories abound of people arriving to pick up the car or returning it and getting a bill much more than they planned due too surprise fees on the rental car that were not included in the quote. You can find out more about why we recommend Holiday Autos and download our rental car checklist to use before you rent a car
And for traveling through Greece, the Greek Islands and Cyprus we highly recommend you have travel insurance. Greek ferries are notorious for cancellations and delays. You may have coverage through a credit card or other means, to learn more about travel insurance and how you might be able to save some money read our post with what you need to know about travel insurance. You need to organize it before your trip begins.
We use and suggest World Nomads if you do not have other coverage. You can learn more about Travel Insurance and selecting appropriate coverage and get a quote for travel insurance from World Nomad’s Travel Insurance here.
Food and Travel from Greece, the Greek Islands and Cyprus on Compass & Fork
Looking for creamy rice pudding? Why not try this easy Greek rice pudding, a simple recipe you can make on the stovetop. And, you can make it in advance and then just leave to chill in the refrigerator, making it very convenient if you have guests. It’s also a gluten free rice pudding which delivers a creamy result! I researched the background and history to Greek rice pudding and I was surprised. Do you know how popular creamy rice puddings … Read More
To help you plan your Crete itinerary an overview of Heraklion, Chania and Rethymnon with suggestions for where to stay based on interests for 1,2 or 3-week itineraries. Includes information for getting to Crete and traveling around the island. Crete is known for its food and wine in a country known for great food so that says a lot. Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands, at over 150 miles (250 kilometers) wide and taking about five hours to drive … Read More
Like the idea of a Greek barbecue and looking for a simple Greek chicken breast recipe? Authentic Greek lemon chicken is full of the great flavors of Greece and only 15 minutes total preparation and cooking time. And, all made with everyday ingredients. The key to this dish is its simple flavoring. Like the idea of a Greek barbecue and looking for a simple Greek chicken breast recipe? Authentic Greek lemon chicken is full of the great flavors of Greece … Read More
If you are looking for beautiful accommodation in Crete offering the chance for complete relaxation and beachfront access, The Theodore Boutique Hotel near Chania is the perfect choice for you. The Theodore Boutique Hotel One of my favorite hotels from our recent travels, The Theodore Boutique Hotel achieves an ambiance perfect for its beachfront location. Arriving at The Theodore Boutique Hotel, it doesn’t look like much from the outside, it is somewhat unassuming and doesn’t give any clues as to … Read More
Simple ingredients, individual flavors and healthy meals is the basis for traditional foods in Crete. Here is a list of all the best food, wine and drink for you to try in Crete or any Greek restaurant. The diet of Crete forms much of the basis of the now famous Mediterranean diet known for its health benefits including reduced cardiovascular disease and cancer rates. Within Greece, Crete’s cuisine stands out for its flavors and traditional dishes. Wine and bread usually … Read More
Excellent service, friendly staff, delicious food and luxurious room make the historic Kapsaliana Village Hotel a beautiful accommodation choice in Crete. Well located, only a short drive inland from Rethymnon, the Kapsaliana Village Hotel offers great views, excellent food and service all within the historic setting of a restored rural Greek village. The Story of Kapsaliana Village Hotel: A Labor of Love for 40 Years Originally the homes of the workers of the olive oil press owned by the … Read More
Strapatsada Greek eggs make a simple, easy to cook breakfast, brunch or lunch. Only six ingredients including the seasoning and garnish. These tasty scrambled eggs with feta and tomatoes are so popular in Crete, the home of the Mediterranean diet. But there is a secret ingredient which really brings this dish to life! Yes, that’s right, in Crete, there is a secret ingredient, they use in every meal of the day, which is incredibly good for you. It’s one of … Read More
Kalimera Archanes Village provides an opportunity to stay in a traditional village house in the beautiful village of Archanes on Crete. With its antique décor, it is a step back in time, but still offers all the modern amenities for a most enjoyable stay. And there is great hiking, cycling and wineries nearby! The Houses at Kalimera Archanes Village The village of four beautifully restored 19th century stone houses in a delightful walled garden creates a peaceful and relaxing ambiance … Read More
Slow cooked leg of lamb fills your home with mouthwatering aromas. It’s one of winter’s great pleasures when it is cold outside, and you have slow roasted lamb gently cooking away in the background while you potter around. Not sure how to slow cook a leg of lamb? It’s easy, find out how easy here. If you always wanted to try cooking lamb, this is the perfect recipe to start. Winter is a time for slowing down, keeping warm inside … Read More
If you are looking for beautiful accommodation in Crete, complete with a chance to learn and sample the local wines of Crete, staying at Scalani Hills Boutari Winery & Residences is the perfect boutique accommodation choice for you. Scalani Hills Boutari Winery & Residences: Beautiful Accommodation and Great Wine Too on Crete! The landscape dramatically changes from flat, sandy, landscape to lush green hillsides as we drive from Heraklion Airport toward Scalani Hills Boutari Winery & Residences, our first accommodation … Read More
Syros. Never heard of it? We think Syros is one of the best kept secrets in the Greek Islands. And I don’t think it is going to stay a secret much longer! Read on to learn why we think Syros is the best destination in the Greek Islands for 2018! Why Syros is the Best Destination in the Greek Islands: 9 Reasons to Visit Syros Several, well actually nine, reasons for my enthusiasm for Syros: (click on the link to … Read More
Many people pass through Athens on their way to the Greek Islands. Is it worth stopping to take a look? We look at the best things to see and do in Athens (including where to eat) and where to stay and I share the one thing that really surprises me about Athens! Athens, Greece is one of those places many people pass through on their way to the Greek Islands. And you’ve probably been wondering if it’s worth stopping to … Read More
Terrific entertaining at home with this Greek Feast. Your Greek dinner menu and recipes included. Invite friends and family around for a terrific night in! There is no denying Greeks and Cypriots enjoy having a great time with their family and friends. Picture a seaside or mountain taverna, plenty of sunshine, some wine, healthy Greek food, laughter and good times. That is life on the Greek Islands. Greeks and Cypriots love to share good times with family. It is one … Read More
Traveling in the Greek Islands is relatively easy. There is a ferry system running all year between the large islands and an additional seasonal service in summer servicing and connecting the smaller islands. In addition there are airports on many of the large islands. Aegean Air and Olympic Air are the primary airlines in Greece and the Greek Islands. There are over 200 inhabited islands in the Greek Islands, the ones we hear about frequently are but a small subset … Read More
Today we feature a popular dessert eaten throughout Greece and Cyprus. Authentic loukoumades are basically Greek donuts. They are drenched in a honey-based syrup, sprinkled with cinnamon, sesame seeds and crushed walnuts. And they’re easy to make. Our version of authentic loukoumades comes with a twist. For the batter we use labna (strained yogurt, also sometimes called labna cheese) and no yeast. The use of the labna delivers a lighter batter, precluding the need for the yeast. The sweetness comes … Read More
Today we feature a classic, Greek stew – beef stifado, or should that be the famous, Cypriot dish? Whatever its origins, we are featuring it today! Commonplace throughout the region, it is a robust flavored stew, containing slow-cooked beef that just melts in your mouth. Beef stifado is traditionally served with orzo (small, rice-shaped pasta) or hilopittes (egg pasta). This is a great dish to enjoy in the cooler months. Simple to prepare, it just slowly simmers away while you … Read More
The town of Paphos (or Pafos) is located on the south western tip of Cyprus. It is known as the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek godless of love and fertility. Cyprus is a very old culture, with a civilization predating the Greeks. Evidence of both Greek and Roman civilizations are still present and some of it is amazingly well preserved. There are a number of areas designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites in Paphos Cyprus. Paphos (or Pafos) is both … Read More
Genuine, Greek spanakopita is a classic, spinach pie, surrounded with filo pastry. Filled with spinach or silver beet, cheeses and mildly spiced, Greek spanakopita is a great way to increase your or your children’s green veggie intake. I can promise you, they will be coming back for second helpings! Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like pie made from filo pastry? And the filo pastry? It’s very forgiving and despite ripping a few sheets here and there, it really doesn’t matter. … Read More
The Parthenon in Athens, Greece is the icon of the city. I can remember wanting to visit since elementary school when we had the “Greek Games” at school. And yes it was a long time ago, but that is where my fascination with Greek mythology and civilization began. It also is the most visited attraction in Athens so here’s Your Survival Guide to the Parthenon in Athens. A Brief History of the Parthenon in Athens The Parthenon in Athens is … Read More
Greek tzatziki is one of those quintessential, Greek dips known and loved throughout the world. A classic of Greek cuisine, it is perfect as an easy-to-make appetizer you can enjoy on a sunny day prior to a BBQ or just for accompanying a chilled beverage with family and friends. Gluten-free? Perfect when accompanied with julienned carrots, celery, red or green bell peppers (capsicums), and of course, cucumber. Also great with ciabatta or Turkish bread. Our Greek tzatziki is actually a … Read More
Santorini is the stunningly beautiful Greek Island so often featured in photos of the Greek Islands. The setting dramatic, scripted in a Hollywood movie, with villages set high atop, steep jagged cliffs. To add to the drama the cliff faces are black, as it is actually the rim of a volcano or caldera upon which these precarious, stunning villages have been built. Add the crystal clear turquoise waters, sunshine and azure blue skies and it is indeed hard to resist. … Read More
The village of Halki in the center of the Greek Island of Naxos is well worth a visit. It has great things to discover. It’s like traveling back in time! The Highlights of Halki Halki (or Chalki as you will also see it written) was once the capital of the island of Naxos and the buildings and churches reflect the considerable wealth from the region. The area around Halki, Naxos is still largely agricultural, growing olives and citron. In … Read More
Ever heard of Gigantes Plaki? No it’s not some Greek, mythological monster from Jason and the Argonauts (remember that fabulous film?), although you could be forgiven for thinking so! They’re basically a version of Greek baked beans made with larger beans such as butter beans or lima beans in a typical, Greek sauce. The sauce is quite thick and the dish is hearty for the cooler times of the year in Greece, including on the islands. Greece and the word … Read More
Craft distilling is all the rage these days, creating small batch high quality spirits from fresh, often local ingredients. This is a return to the way spirits used to be made before mass production. So while I enjoy finding a new venture returning to the traditional ways, I also really enjoy when we find a place that still makes spirits in the traditional way, as it has all along. The traditional distilling of citron liqueur on Naxos has been going … Read More
Is there anything more traditional than cooking Greek lamb on Easter Sunday? Not for a Greek there isn’t. Celebrate Easter with what is the best meat you can roast, either in an oven, on the Weber bbq or if you are lucky enough, on the spit (rotisserie). Today we cook Greek Lamb, one of our favorite lamb dishes. Greek lamb roasted using traditional herbs and spices as a marinade Simple to prepare and cook greek lamb is a great dish … Read More
Easter is the biggest celebration and feast of the Greek Orthodox religion. The customs and cuisines of how the Greeks celebrate Easter provide a great opportunity for the traveler to learn more about Greek culture and traditions. As parts of the world prepare to celebrate Easter this week, it is a great opportunity to learn about the traditions of the Greeks and how they celebrate Easter. First off, many of us would be surprised to learn Greek Easter is not … Read More
It’s no secret one of the sublime pleasures of spending time in the Greek Islands is to enjoy the healthy lifestyle. Sunshine, swimming, relaxation and of course the incredibly, healthy cuisine. It’s a laid back culture and this is reflected in the food. Nothing too complex. Just simple, healthy food, including a Greek village salad. Salad is a staple, served at every meal, it is hard not to eat well in the Greek Islands when you have a healthy salad … Read More
Greek Olive Oil Greece has a long and proud history of pressing Greek olive oil and it is very closely linked to the food and culture of the country. Evidence has been found of olive cultivation and Greek olive oil production going back over 50,000 years. Over the years, olive oil has been used for cooking, religious ceremonies, for lighting in oil lamps and for personal skin care products including soaps, cosmetics and lotions/oils. Greece is the third largest producer … Read More
Most experts will say drink white wine with pork. Today we feature a dish very commonplace throughout the Greek Islands and Cyprus which turns that theory on its head. Drunken pork is a simple dish to prepare and full of robust Greek flavors including red wine. A simple marinade made from everyday ingredients and then slow cooked. The result is a rich, slightly dry and full-flavored Greek classic. Once you have cooked this dish you will surely return to it … Read More
In Greek Mythology, Dionysus the god of wine, drunken merriment and fertility is said to have been born on Naxos. Which makes a great reason to visit Naxos and see it for yourself, but that’s not why Naxos is the best of the Greek Islands . . . Why Naxos is the Best of the Greek Islands Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades Islands and there is a lot to see and do. It is less touristy than some … Read More
Steamed Greek mussels feature in today’s first food post coming from Greece. A simple, happy dish, full of Greek flavors. They are sure to put a smile on your face. Think oregano, white wine, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Very common flavors throughout Greek cooking. Accompanied with grilled ciabatta (yes Italian for sure but popular in Greece nonetheless) and a crisp, chilled white wine, be transported to those laid-back Greek Islands with this dish. Laid-back is a great choice … Read More
Mykonos is One of the Best Greek Islands to Visit One of Greece’s iconic islands featuring whitewashed buildings, beautiful Greek churches, a resident pelican as the island mascot and of course the famous and often photographed windmills. Indeed the nickname of Mykonos is the “island of the winds.” Mykonos is one of the best Greek Island to visit for first time visitors. In Greek mythology, Mykonos is the site of the battle between Hercules and the Giants, and many of … Read More
There are a lot of books, cookbooks and movies about Greece. Everything from ancient Greek mythology to modern novels. Movies run the gamut from hilarious comedies to historical sagas. And for cooking, well the Mediterranean Diet has been well publicized over the years as one of the healthiest ways to eat. Some of its many benefits include good health, reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes, improved mental clarity and longevity. Just search the Mediterranean diet and you will find … Read More
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