The £6.8 billion Ellinikon Project is a colossal initiative unfolding on the grounds of the former Ellinikon International Airport, which was shuttered in 2001. Touted as Europe’s most extensive real estate venture, the project is poised to encompass many amenities, including five-star hotels, 8,000 residences, multiple shopping centres, restaurants, a casino, and a marina with moorings for mega-yachts.
A key highlight is the Riviera Tower, which is slated to be Greece’s inaugural residential skyscraper, soaring to 200 meters with 169 apartments spread across 50 floors. The tower promises panoramic views of the Athenian Riviera and the iconic Acropolis.
In a commitment to sustainability, the development company Lamda aims to incorporate recycled materials as much as possible in the construction process. The Ellinikon Project envisions a car-free environment, except for emergency vehicles, relying on an extensive public transport network with a tramline and two metro stations.
However, not all residents are enthusiastic about the project. Some express concerns about the potential exclusivity of the development, viewing it as catering primarily to the ultra-rich. Critics argue that alternative solutions should have been explored for repurposing the former airport, voicing worries about the potential transformation of the area into a mini Dubai.
As the Ellinikon complex takes shape, Greece offers alternative destinations for those seeking diverse experiences. One such destination is Patmos, attracting celebrities like Julia Roberts, David Bowie, Richard Gere, and Tom Hanks. Less frequented by British tourists, Patmos boasts winter temperatures of 22°C, vibrant beaches, whitewashed houses lining the coast, and charming local seafood eateries in the town of Chora.
The port town of Skala adds to the allure with its shops and bars, featuring the local Mythos beer and island-grown wine as affordable beverage options. The island of Naxos also presents a more economical alternative, characterised by a higher goat population than human residents.