Greek music: beyond Zorba

I am trying to recall my first introduction to Greek music. I was a teen when my parents took me on holidays to the island of Corfu. Was it during the taxi ride to the hotel – taxi drivers love their music, and they like it loud – or was it that night we signed […]

Globe Trotters

We’ve been out on the road this year…. a lot. At half-time on 2019, our trotters are worn smooth, and it’s time to take stock. The pictures above flooded my inbox when I naively wrote to our planning team to ask for a few shots from recent research trips. I was struck by the awesome […]

This little piggy went to the spa

Jacoline Vinke, Trufflepig’s Greece planner, heads to Euphoria Retreat in Mystras, and finds that taking it easy ain’t so rough after all… : Give me some Greek dirt to dig into and I am happy. I find truffles. An old man – son of a miner – taking me for a walk into abandoned mineshafts on […]

Trufflepig Recipes: Mayieritsa

We were saying. Mayieritsa. You’ve got to taste it to believe it. It smells quite good actually (that’s the spring onion), but it’s a kind of an, um, acquired taste. And I never quite succeeded in acquiring that taste. (Honestly, I tried.) My Greek husband swears by it. To the extent that during the years we […]

My Big Fat Greek Easter

It’s lent. The 40-day period prior to Easter, during which the Greek Orthodox church prescribes that we should all abstain from eating animals with red blood flowing through their bodies as well as whatever they produce (dairy, eggs), as well as fish. Boneless seafood – shrimps, octopus, fish eggs – is fine. Pretty much every Greek observes […]

LA-EE-KÉE spree

Take me to the shoe store, and all I can think of is blisters. (My toes prefer the feel of beach sand and water.) Shopping for clothes? As fast and infrequent as possible. Jewellery and accessories? I don’t care much. But set me free on the Athenian street market, something happens to me. I am […]

The Streets of the Cities We Are Still Building

My first tag was in Bangkok (I write that as if I did more, but there was only one lame attempt). It was premeditated, illegal, and fun as hell.  It was lame because I couldn’t even come up with my own tag idea, I bought a book of pre fab stencil tags in the Hong Kong airport and […]

Time for Greece

Greece is just about my favourite country in the world, and there’s little I don’t like about it, from the pom-poms on the shoes, to the grilled octopus, the arid islands, the lively people, the ancient marvels, and even the astonishing modern pop music. I’ve biked around it, walked across it, sailed through it, swam all over it […]

12 Reasons to Visit Greece With Children

Because travelling on ferryboats is cool. Because creamy yoghurt with fruits & honey make a yummy breakfast. Because the national guards in front of Parliament (with those pompoms on their feet) look so funny. There are umpteen reasons why Greece is a great country for family holidays. Here are my top 12. 1) Greeks love […]

Corfu’s Not-So-Ghostly Ghost Village

Palia (old) Peritheia is reputedly Corfu’s oldest village. The guides will tell you it’s a ‘ghost village’. The oldest it may well be, but a ghost village? Not really. Here’s the story. Go back to the 14th century. The island’s inhabitants, the corfiotes, were suffering regular pirate attacks, and many sought refuge away from the […]

The Town & Country Grand Tour

This Fall, Town & Country magazine had the hare-brained scheme of planning a 170-day Grand Tour around the world for their 100th anniversary. And then they had the wise idea of asking Trufflepig to plan 43 days of it. We were tickled pink with [false] modesty. There’s a world of difference between good trip-planning and most […]

Ain’t no village festival like a Greek island village festival

I write from a noisy, jam-packed café on the waterfront in Spetses. A small island, only an hour or so from Athens by boat. Tonight, in commemoration of  the famous warrior princess Bouboulina, a small boat will symbolically be set on fire in the harbour. As far as I can tell, the entire city of Athens […]

Ambling in Athens

On a recent trip to Athens, we had the good fortune to book a tour through those lovely and wise folk at Context. Their learned docent Smaro met us at our wee boutique hotel, The O&B on the edge of the Plaka, where we ventured through lanes and flower-strewn alleys on a sun-dappled late autumnal afternoon (it seems […]

Ouzeri Barbarossa

Barbarossa is the best sort of simple Greek ouzeri/taverna, in the picturesque little port town of Naoussa, on the island of Paros in the Cyclades. How do you know it’s any good? It’s easy: the locals come here. Unfortunately (or not, depending on your point of view) in order to discover this, you have to […]

Isles and Isles of Hiking

Thanks to a splendidly mis-spent youth, I am addicted to hiking on Mediterranean islands. There are islands to party on, and islands with beaches; islands for honeymooners and islands with Greek temples. Here are some islands that are just great for taking a stroll. First up, in Greece—the tiny island of Symi in the Dodecanese. […]

Zorba the Freak

Forget the crumbling ruins of Ancient Greece. Modern Greece is alive and kicking at the all-night-long bouzoukia. A night out at a Greek bouzoukia is like a high-decibel mixture of ‘Zorba the Greek’, ‘Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat’ and a gun-fight at a carnation farm. Sound horrible? Just try not to enjoy yourself… A bouzouki is the name of […]