Hellenic holiday

Greek-Australian make-up maven Napoleon Perdis shares his family’s top 10 Greek holiday experiences, from swimming in Paxos to sailing on the Aegean.
Napoleon Perdis

[1. Dinner at Akrotiri, Athens

]( “It’s a great bar and restaurant on the coast just south of the centre of Athens that comes alive in the summer season. They do an excellent Dirty Martini and then I usually order the seafood risotto, which is just spectacular.”

**2. Monemvasia, Peloponnese

** “My family and I like to walk up to the medieval castle at Monemvasia in the Peloponnese. After the 1.2km walk we reward ourselves with a sunset cocktail at any of the bars there. They have views down to the most beautiful beach. It really is a phenomenal experience.”

3. Belvedere Hotel, Mykonos

“The Belvedere was really happening this summer. It’s a part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group and it’s in the heart of town; it’s almost impossible to get a room in summer unless you’re in the know. They have a great Martini bar right beside the pool and a real party vibe – you just never know who you’re going to bump into. Actors, models, shipping heirs… I love it here for people-watching.”

**4. Grilled octopus in Gythio, southern Peloponnese

** “There are fish tavernas everywhere in the port town of Gythio, and you can’t really go wrong; the seafood is impeccable.”

**5. Swimming in Paxos, Ionian islands

** “The water is emerald with beautiful sandy beaches. My daughters couldn’t believe how warm and still the water was – just like a swimming pool.”

**6. Lobster spaghetti in Avlemonas, Kythira

** “My mum is from the island of Kythira, so we made a special trip there in August to see her family and the village where she was born. There’s a tiny port called Avlemonas where we love to go and eat lobster spaghetti, or astakomakaronatha, at Sotiris’s taverna. The lobster is caught daily and they make the most incredible red sauce. It’s one of my favourite meals.”

**7. Antique shopping in Monastiraki, Athens

** “I love the flea markets in the Monastiraki area and can easily lose an hour or two trinketeering for treasures for my homes. On my last trip I found a 1920s art deco aeroplane model for a fifth of the price that I’ve seen them going for in the US. I always look out for antique tea sets and silverware here too.”

**8. Saganaki by the sea at Paralio Astros, eastern Peloponnese

** “I love eating homemade kefalograviera saganaki at Barba Yianni’s Taverna in Paralio Astros. It’s one of the most spectacular harbours by a little village. Dangerously delicious.”

**9. Butcher Shop, Gazi, Athens

** “We have an apartment in Athens and always make sure we visit Gazi whenever we’re in town. I think it’s the coolest place in Athens right now, rather like West Hollywood. There’s a place called the Butcher Shop, and Soula-Marie and I like to go there for lunch. They make amazing homemade sausages but I find it hard to go past the rib-eye.”

**10. Chartering a boat on the Aegean

** “We’ve holidayed on a boat before, but this past summer my family and I were fortunate enough to spend a few weeks on an incredible 35-metre cruiser. It was crewed and large enough to fit the family comfortably and we entertained a few friends and relatives. The chef cooked phenomenal food – from very simple traditional Greek to really innovative, modern dishes – and we could just dock at any port we wished when we felt like exploring. It really was like a private world where we could truly relax. I think it’s been our favourite family holiday so far.”

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