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  • Heathrow
    Stuart Messham
    Airlines and routes, Shopping, Food and drink,
    After battling through ‘Grexit’, Athens is back as the bustling, chaotic, sunshine destination it always was, but with an invitingly voguish new veneer…
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    Shop, sup then stare up at Acropolis Hill.
    Staying on-point in the Historic Triangle

    If you’re looking for some traditional Greek shopping with a bit of bartering, bar-hopping and chinwagging thrown in, a lazy afternoon prowling the Historic Triangle should be just the ticket.

    There’s natty specialist shops selling stuff like door handles and industrial lighting.

    There’s kaftans, kimonos and intricately crafted footwear.

    There’s sumptuous bed linen and Mediterranean towels that will be the envy of beachgoers back home.

    And there’s plenty of top-notch drinking establishments to cogitate your next moves and debrief once you’re done and dusted.

    Situated between the beautiful Syntagma, Omonia and Monastiraki squares, a trip to a revolutionised Athens is not complete without a visit to the brilliantly bustling Historic Triangle.

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    Astir beach in Vouliagmeni on the Athenian Riviera.
    Soft sands with a trendy edge

    The southern suburbs of Athens – known as ‘Nou-Pou’ by the locals – are the place to bask in the sun while remaining the right side of cool this summer.

    As well as savvy tourists, you’ll see well-dressed locals, bronzed millennials and shrewd surfers all patrolling the pictureseque waterfront boardwalks.

    Limanakia promises sleepy resorts, rocky coves and the rather awesomely-positioned Lefteris canteen. Vouliagmeni vows epic swells and the unmissable Waffle House. Glyfadda has a stunning open-air cinema. Krabo covets cool kids, Bolivar hosts incredible dance parties and Zen is the perfect spot for some family frolics.

    The sand is soft, the water is perfect for six months of the year and the vibe is laidback and moreish.

    Who needs the Greek Islands when you have the Southern Suburbs?

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    Michael Landy's Credit Card Destroying Machine
    Dream On in a Public Tobacco Factory

    NEON is a nonprofit organization that works to bring contemporary culture closer to everyone. Committed to “broadening the appreciation, understanding, and creation of contemporary art in Greece” it was founded in 2013 by collector and entrepreneur Dimitris Daskalopoulos.

    Two years ago the collective reimagined an abandoned Public Tobacco Factory into a gigantic exhibition space, installing an exquisite glass and metal atrium at the centre to quite literally shine some light on all the creative talent.

    Dream On is the name of the current exhibition and it features luminaries such as Helen Chadwick, Wangechi Mutu, and Michael Landy, the latter of whom is keen for you to scupper your AmEx in favour of some original modern art. Just pop your plastic into the Credit Card Destroying Machine and a spirograph will create you a unique piece of art for your hallway back home.

    Come on now, it doesn't get much more contemporary than that.

    ✈️ 

    See Athens' voguish new veneer for yourself with Aegaen via Heathrow.