May 19, 2024

The best beauty and wellness spots in Athens, Greece

Address: The Apivita Experience Store, Solonos 6, Athina 106 73

Hammam Baths, Thiseio

Even though hammams are of Turkish origin, Ancient Greeks were fond of them too and they are considered to be a “silent healer of daily life”. And these baths in Thiseio, an upbeat historical area near the Acropolis known for its cafes and bars, are one of my favourite places to relax with friends.

As you enter this old preserved building in downtown Athens, the spa-like scent of the space instantly calms you. The marble hammam room is relatively small, but the entry is timed, so it doesn’t ever feel too crowded. You are given olive oil soap, and a natural loofah and can add a face or hair mask too. If it gets too hot, you can exit the room for a few minutes, or splash some cold water on your head and body and return. You can also choose from just the hammam entry (‘self-bathing’), or pick treatments like deep exfoliation or try a signature Greek massage based on Hippocrates’ teachings.

Post-hammam you are given tea and can relax for a little longer in the adjacent room, filled with wooden furniture and plants. It’s a casual space that’s designed to be functional, and it’s open to all genders – just bring your bathing suit and get ready to relax.

Must try: The traditional Hammam, €30/£25 for 1 hour, plus €5-10/£4-8 for the face/hair mask (optional), or book a private space for you and your friends, from €330/£282.

Address: Hammam Baths, Melidoni 1 & Ag. Asomaton 17, 10553 Athens

Sofi’s Eatery, Vouliagmeni

This space opened a year and a half ago, by entrepreneur Alexandros Triantafyllou, who was inspired by the cult brunch restaurants and tiny artisan bakeries he found on his travels around the world. He noticed a gap in the market for good brunch spots that didn’t serve gimmicky drinks and novelty items, but just focused on good food. Located in the heart of Vouliagmeni, Sofi’s Eatery boasts a Scandinavia-meets-LA decor with vintage furniture, industrial details, aged hardwood floors and bright white walls that is truly unique here in Athens. Here, less is more and the food speaks for itself. You’ll find classic brunch options, New York-style sandwiches, salad bowls, fresh desserts and vegan chia puddings.

Everything from the granola to the bread is hand-made every morning and the rest is responsibly sourced and delivered to their kitchen daily. The quality of raw ingredients is of the utmost importance, Triantafyllou says and it’s obvious in every bite. Afterwards, head to Vouliagmeni Lake that’s a natural thermal lake, with healing properties, or walk up to Faskomilia Hill and take in the views.

Must try: Avocado toast with dinkel bread (made from a German-inspired spelt-based recipe), cream cheese, avocado, lemongrass and poached eggs, €8/£7. Triantafyllou tells me their bread is made fresh every morning, which is rare, as even in many Athenian bakeries you’ll barely find fresh bread made daily.

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