Photo: Thomas Gravanis

As we approach our first anniversary of living with Covid-19, the word is out that Athens - with its winter sun and sea, warm nature, affordability and strategic location - makes an unbeatable base to weather the pandemic.

By Amanda Dardanis

A Fashionable Life on the Athens Riviera

Burak Cakmak, 46, Turkish: Global Fashion Executive for Kering (Gucci Group), Swarovski, Gap Inc.

A new working life on the Athens Riviera.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

"Athens is a great city for being able to mix business and pleasure."

A winter of sun, sea and serenity in Varkiza.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Daily inspiration courtesy of the Acropolis.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

The Acropolis Addict

Mégane Bambagha, 29, French: Freelance Digital Marketing Consultant

The daily rhythm of working in Athens was intense at first but I've come to love it. You never know how your day is going to end here! My working schedule has definitely changed. I used to get up at 5am. Now my day rarely starts before 10 and I go to bed much later. I don’t have breakfast anymore; I have coffee. I’ve forgotten the idea of making plans. In Athens, you better be ready to have an open house at the last minute; or meet friends for dinner instead of lunch. Greek people are very creative too when it comes to entertaining themselves: you don’t need a lot of money to do that here. Athens is definitely teaching me to balance my personal and work existence better, and to stop more often to enjoy life.

My main clients are small businesses in France but I have Greek clients too now. That was another reason I picked Athens. A lot of smaller Greek companies haven’t yet jumped on the train of digital marketing which is what I do. Greece is so beautiful but not always advertised as well as it could be. I see Athens as full of possibilities and huge potential. People here are eager to try new things and experiment: an attitude we completely lack back in France.

"Athens is definitely teaching me to balance my personal and work existence better, and to stop more often to enjoy life."

Working from home in Koukaki.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

A Family Affair

Keita Yamada, 33, Japanese: Customer Support at global remote work facilitator Doist

Open-air office, Athens-style.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

"Any place you go in Athens they take pride in what they do. I can see passion in every aspect of Athenian life."

Seaside strolls in Marina Zea.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Living a lighter life in Athens.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

The Sun Seeker

Safiya Mary Rose, 35, British-Indian: Conscious Copywriter & Creatress

We are renting a gorgeous neoclassical flat in Thissio near the Acropolis Museum, with two big bedrooms and a banana tree outside our window, for half of what we were paying in Crystal Palace in London. Our place is so nice and spacious, we don’t need to go hunting down cafes or co-working spaces. I do think we have the lockdown to thank for that. Otherwise it would have been full of air bnb guests.

I love wandering around Athens during lockdown. You can somehow feel the architecture more and connect with the monuments on a deeper level. Athens is full of light and colour—even in the winter, even in quarantine! The creative energy is palpable: from the street art to the cafe culture and galleries. It’s an inspiring and highly multicultural place: with all the modernity of a capital city, yet there are ancient temples literally peppered all over the place. There’s also this deep sense of history, culture and spirituality. I love seeing people sitting together, drinking coffee, playing music or chess. For me, the sun, blue skies and all those olive trees provide endless creative inspiration. The lower cost of living also means there’s more time and space to breathe.

"We are renting a gorgeous neoclassical flat in Thissio near the Acropolis Museum, with two big bedrooms and a banana tree outside our window, for half of what we were paying in Crystal Palace in London."

Soaking up the creative energy of Athens.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

This is Athens complied with all required health protocols and anti-Covid measures in the compilation of this article.