Hey, Bears! Back in August, the very first Bearly Athens event happened in Athens, Greece, and from what we hear it was the perfect beary summer send-off before Greece starts giving us fall vibes.
Well, we’re right smack in the middle of fall now! So, why not plan a quick, fun fall getaway to Greece – specifically Athens and Mykonos – during the country’s shoulder season?
Instagram is usually blowing up with pictures of Greece and its perfectly blue skies, whitewashed churches, and marble ruins in July and August. However, those blues and whites are equally stunning (and much less crowded) come September and October.
The weather is still lovely – and particularly for any walking around the city, much more comfortable – plus the dollar and the euro are still almost equal, so it’s a great time to take advantage of the €1.01/$1 exchange rate. And Bears, if you haven’t noticed Greece is FULL of great places to party, drink and EAT!
The cradle of democracy is a must-visit, especially climbing up the Acropolis hill to see the Parthenon up close (the massive temple is over 2,500 years old) and the views of surrounding Athens.
For more recent additions to the city, the new xenodocheio Milos hotel straddles the historic Plaka and the fashionable Kolonaki neighborhoods. The hotel opened this year, and it is home to Greece’s first estiatorio Milos in-house.
It also has an exclusive partnership with Naxos Apothecary, the incredibly chic shop around the corner that creates creams, cosmetics, and even herbal teas (the hotel is the only one in Athens to have these products in-room). Guests can also schedule a session to have a bespoke face cream created at the Apothecary.
Just a 30-minute walk from the hotel, queer travelers can explore the Gazi gayborhood, which includes Big, Athens’ first bear bar as well as a few other LGBTQ+ bars such as Noiz Club, a popular lesbian hotspot, and Moe Club, an after-hours hangout for the Greek boys.
Much like any other city, Athens has other queer-friendly neighborhoods and businesses for LGBTQ+ folx to socialize. Head to the city’s Metaxourgeio neighborhood to grab a bite to eat at Myrovolos, a café to enjoy the great food and lesbian crowd, or visit the Victoria neighborhood to check out Colourful Planet, the city’s first and only gay book shop.
While certainly the spot to see-and-be-scene all summer, when fall arrives, Mykonos starts to radiate a more local feel once more. The Harvest Festival is held in mid-September at the Agricultural Museum, and all of the bars and nightclubs begin to have their closing parties for the season – a gradual stretch between the end of August through October, depending on the venue.
Join the locals in their regular meet-up spots like Porta Bar, great cocktails at Lola Bar, drag shows at the waterfront lounge Jackie O’ Bar, or watch the sunset at the cabaret restaurant Elysium Sunset Bar. But first, you may want to grab a bite to grab a slice of pizza at gay-owned Catari Ristorante Italiano or try traditional Greek food at Jackie O’ Beach Club and Restaurant.
About a 12-minute scooter ride away from the queer-friendly town of Chora, at Kalesma Mykonos, guests still gather around the aloni (an original threshing stone found on the property) to watch the sunset over the Aegean. Try the Greek Salad Margarita, a cocktail made with tomato and pepper-infused spirits and a dusting of oregano on the rim of the glass. The perfect way to end the day on a Greek island.
This article first appeared in our sister publication, Vacationer.