The island of Santorini

The island of Santorini

Santorini lies at the south end of the prefecture of Cyclades islands in a distance of 128 miles from the port of Piraues. The area of the island is 75 square Km and its population 7.328 people. Santorini, one of the best-known of the Cyclades, differs from the other islands in the group thanks to its geological morphology, the result of action by a volcano now dormant.
Thousands of tourists visit Santorini every year to witness one of the most majestic sunsets, offered when on top of this wild rock. The most southern of the Cyclades islands has become a meeting place for romantics who wish to admire nature’s wild intervention in the south Aegean.
Santorini is like three islands. One side is the caldera with the villages of Thira, Fira, Firastefani and Oia perched so far above the sea that it may as well be a painting. The towns of Perissa and Kamari attract to their black sand beaches, thousands of people. The third part of Santorini is Akrotiri, known of course for the famous ruins from the Minoan period.


One of the more southerly islands in the Cyclades, Santorini (also known as Thira/Thera and, in Minoan times as Strongili) is, perhaps the most enigmatic and fascinating. Although part of an island group, and sharing that group’s general history, Santorini is unique in many ways. Although mainland Greece and the islands have suffered volcanic eruptions and earthquakes throughout their recognised existence, none has been more violent and catastrophic than those endured by Santorini. The exact date

Much myth and mystery surrounds the ancient inhabitants of the island we now know as Santorini and it has even been associated, tentatively, with the drowned civilisation of Atlantis. True or false as regards Atlantis, the island enjoys a well authenticated history of strategic importance and power dating from Neolithic and Bronze Age times with archaeological evidence that Akrotiri was an important Bronze Age port. Excavations at Akrotiri, started in the late 1960s, have uncovered a site from Minoan times that has become recognised as one of the best outside Crete. Preserved under layers of volcanic ash a prosperous, sophisticated city has emerged of buildings in streets and squares with walls and staircases still largely intact. Storage jars, Minoan frescoes, everyday artefacts and evidence of hot and cold running water systems have all been found pointing to the wealthy existence of the inhabitants. However, few transportable items of value, and no bodies have yet been found during the excavations so it is generally believed that there had been indications that the volcano was about to erupt and the citizens had taken their valuables and evacuated the island.

Over hundreds of thousands of years the island had seen volcanic eruptions and the formation of a drowned caldera which gradually filled again as the volcano re-established itself and erupted again. Before the catastrophic eruption of the Minoan times the outer ring of the caldera, small islands almost touching each other, was almost complete, with just one entrance between Thera and the tiny island of Aspronisi. The exact date of the eruption is still uncertain as carbon dating and similar tests seem to contradict some of the archaeological evidence that has been uncovered. It is, however, considered to have taken place some time between 1650 BC and 1500 BC. After this devastating eruption, thought to be 4 times the size of the Krakatoa eruption of the 19th century, the centre of the volcano collapsed completely taken with it the major part of the caldera above the water-line. Covered in volcanic residue and ash to a depth of 60m. the island remained uninhabited for generations until the Phoenicians established a base on the island and, reputedly, called it Callista. About 300 years later, around the 9th century BC, Dorians followed and founded a city high on the mountain Mesa Vouno and subsequently naming the island and city after one of their leaders, Theras, and only becoming known as Santorini (after St. Irene) in the 13th century when the island came under the jurisdiction of the Venetians.

Adjectives to describe this island have to be superlatives! Everything about the island is extreme …….. the steepness of the cliffs and mountainsides to which the gleaming villages cling, the depth of the water in the lagoon within the caldera, the stunning beauty of its famed sunsets, the taste of its wines, the drama of its beaches of black sand, the absence of rivers and the evidence of its ancient history at every turn. Add to this the tingle of excitement at the thought of all this perched precariously on the edge of a far from extinct volcano, which periodically rumbles and stirs to remind man that it does still hold power to destroy, and you understand the unique attraction of Santorini.

The main villages for visitors to the island and all with the instantly recognisable architectural styles of the island, include Emporio with views of the old windmills; Fira (Phira), the island’s capital with nearby beach, Gialos; Imerovigli, a traditional village near to Fira but higher up the cliffs with nearby beach, Paradise Beach ; Oia, a beautiful village from which the most marvellous sunsets can see with nearby beach, Cape Columbus; Karterados, Pyrgos, with nearby beach, Gialos; and Perissa, a traditional wine producing village.

Perhaps only one word can describe the Santorini mustique experience …………. unforgettable!


Athens to Santorini

Flights from Athens to Santorini

Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air have 9 flights per day (in high season) from Athens to Santorini. They are essentially the same airline (Olympic recently bought Aegean) and you can book flights for either airline on both websites (and at the same price). Flights with an Aegean flight code use a Airbus 320 (168 passengers). Flights with an Olympic code use a Dash 8 prop plane (70 passengers).

Ryanair has 1 flight per day (at 7:05am) starting April 1 and 2 flights a day (the other flight at 11:10pm) starting June 1. The evening flight runs until September 30 and the morning flight until October 24, 2015.

The flight from Athens to Santorini takes 45 to 50 minutes. The first flight of the day departs Athens at 5:15am and the last flight at 22:15. Flights leave about every 2 hours throughout the day. For every flight to Santorini there is a return flight to Athens that takes off from Santorini about 40 minutes after it lands. Tickets between Athens and Santorini cost between €30 and €150 depending on what’s available and how early you book. The cheapest tickets are on Ryanair.

If you don’t have any interest in staying in Athens there are direct flights to Santorini from London, Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, Dublin, Amsterdam, and many other European cities. Search for available flights. EasyJet and Ryan Air have the cheapest flights to Santorini.

Ferry Schedule: Athens to Santorini for Summer 2015

These are the 3 most popular ferry routes from Athens (Piraeus) to Santorini. The Blue Star ferry is my favorite way to get from Athens to Santorini and the best choice by far if you’re prone to seasickness as it’s the largest ferry with the least bumpy ride.

  • Blue Star Ferry: Departs Athens at 7:25 every morning (365 days a year) with stops in Paros, Naxos, and Ios (doesn’t stop in Ios on Wednesday and Saturday). It takes about 8 hours from Athens to Santorini and the ferry arrives at Santorini at 14:50. The return trip from Santorini to Athens departs at 15:30 and arrives in Athens at 23:15. In the summer months there are evening Blue Star ferries 3 or 4 nights per week from Piraeus to Santorini. They arrive in Santorini just after midnight. Spending a few extra Euros and getting reserved seats (in economy class) is highly recommended.
  • Hellenic Seaways Highspeed 4 or 6: For most days from April 8 to September 30, 2015 there is a morning highspeed ferry that departs from Piraeus between 7:15 and 7:30. It takes about 5 hours from Athens to Santorini. In July and August it will be a Highspeed 6 and only stop in Ios. In April, May, June, and September it will be a Highspeed 4 and also stop in Naxos and Paros (and not run on Sunday).
  • SeaJet2: From April 3, 2015 to October 31, 2015 this catamaran departs at 7:00am and arrives in Santorini at 11:40 with stops in Mykonos and Naxos. From June 12 to September 5, 2015 there is also an afternoon ferry that departs Piraeus at 15:30 and arrives at Santorini at 21:10. This is the smallest of the ferries and will have the roughest ride. The seating inside is cramped. It’s also the most likely to be cancelled due to rough seas. With a little bad luck a trip on a SeaJet can turn into a terrible experience. Take the Blue Star or Hellenic Highspeed if you can. The SeaJet and similar smaller catamarans (like the Mega Jet and Super Jet) are OK for short hops between islands but I would not recommend taking them for the 5 hour journey from Athens to Santorini.

What is the best ferry to take from Athens to Santorini?

The best way to get from Athens to Santorini is by the Blue Star ferry. It departs the Athens’ ferry port every day at 7:25am. This is obviously early. To get the ferry you need to be on the metro train from downtown Athens to Piraeus by 6:30am. During summer there is also a later Blue Star ferry in the afternoon/evening 3 or 4 nights per week – usually departing at 17:30 and arriving in Santorini after midnight.

On the Blue Star ferry you are able to walk around on the deck and enjoy the scenery and the sea air. It does take 8 hours on the Blue Star from Athens to Santorini. The beginning and end of the trip are exciting but the 4 or 5 hours in between can be pretty boring.

The Highspeed ferries that go from Athens to Santorini do not have open-air decks so you’re not able to see the scenery in the same way. You sit inside in airplane style seats and are unable to go outside except when a stop is made at a port. The windows are usually covered with salt and sea spray and don’t allow for much in the way of views. The Highspeed ferries do get you to Santorini in a little over half the time (5 hours instead of 8) so there is that advantage.

Pre-booking for the Blue Star is usually not necessary but if you do book directly with Blue Star. Highspeed ferries do sell out (especially in July and August) so pre-booking those tickets is usually a good idea if you’re on a set schedule.

If you’re already in Greece or planning to spend time in Athens then buying ferry tickets is very easy. Walk into any travel agent a day or two before your intended ferry trip and ask about ferry times and tickets. You can buy the tickets right there. Ferry prices are set by the government so there’s no need to shop around or compare prices: they’re all the same. Ferries rarely sell out so booking far in advance is not usually necessary (though there are times when you should buy Greek ferry tickets in advance ). Since the Highspeed Ferries are smaller and have assigned seating they are more likely to sell out in high season. The Blue Star ferry very rarely sells out.

Boarding the ferry will require lugging your bags onto the ferry and occasionally (depending on the ferry) up several flights of narrow stairs. With most ships there’s usually plenty of luggage storage as you first board the ferry.

The cheapest way of getting from Athens to Santorini

The cheapest way of getting to Santorini from Athens is the conventional car ferries (like Blue Star) followed by high speed ferries. Flights will be the most expensive but if you book early a cheap flight might be close in cost to a high speed ferry.

The fastest way from Athens to Santorini

Of course, flying is the fastest way from Athens to Santorini. But … if you’re already in central Athens and would need to get all the way back out to the airport and make your way through security then a high speed ferry might only take 2 or 3 hours longer than a flight.

Both Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air have flights from Athens to Santorini.

If you’ll be flying into Athens but do not intend to spend any time in the city then it’s easiest to hop on a flight directly to Santorini and save yourself the trouble of getting from the Athens airport to Piraeus for a ferry.

Should I book my ferry ticket from Athens to Santorini in advance?

Most of the time buying tickets in advance is not necessary and you can purchase tickets at any travel agency after you arrive in Greece.

In July and August it’s certainly not a bad a idea to buy Blue Star tickets 2 or 3 days in advance (but after you arrive in Greece as it’s much easier buying at a travel agency in Athens than pre-buying over the internet). Highspeed ferries sell out more often and for July and August I would recommend pre-booking tickets at least a week in advance.

If you do book in advance go through the websites for the individual ferry companies Blue StarHellenic Seaways, or SeaJets as opposed to purchasing through a travel agent which will charge an extra fee.

There are 3 situations when you definitely should book ferry tickets in advance:

  • If you’re traveling on the week of August 15th. This is a huge holiday in Greece when Greeks return to their hometowns and islands. Ferries are packed so buy tickets at least a few days in advance. (Full disclosure: I’ve traveled during this week and never booked tickets in advance and got on every ferry that I needed to.)
  • If you have a car and need to take it on the ferry. Automobile spots are few and sell out in advance.
  • If you want a sleeping cabin then you’ll (often) need to book tickets in advance.

What is the difference between economy, business, VIP, and Cabin classes on the ferry?

On Blue Star Ferries (and other large car ferries):

  • Economy or deck class gives you access to inside and outside seatting as well as all restaurants and cafes. For €4 you can upgrade to reservable airplane-style seats. If you don’t get a reserved seat you can be left searching for a seat throughout the trip or anytime you want to stand up. In July and August I would definitely get the reserved airplane-style seats.
  • Business Class gives you access to a lounge with comfortable seats and sofas, waiter service, and a less noisy and crowded environment. Some people enjoy the added comfort, but I prefer the airplane-style seating found in economy.
  • Cabins have beds and usually come in 2-berth and 4-berth arrangements. Inside cabins are inside the ship with no window. Outside cabins are on the exterior and have a window.

On the Hellenic Highspeed ferries there isn’t a huge difference between the classes:

  • Economy is at the rear half of the ferry.
  • Business is in front of that with a bit more room to each seat.
  • VIP is at the front of the ferry and has windows looking straight forward or is on the floor above (depending on the ferry). It will usually have leather seats.

Athens Airport to the Piraeus Ferry Port

If you’re going directly from the airport to a ferry then bus X96 is the best and fastest way to get to the port. It runs 24 hours a day, costs €5, and the trip takes between 50 and 90 minutes depending on traffic.

Taxis are 5 to 10 minutes faster and cost between €50 and €60.

Downtown Athens to Ferry Port

If you’re already in central Athens then the metro that departs from Monastiraki or Omonia stations will get you to Piraeus in 20 to 30 minutes. Metro tickets cost €1.20. Metro runs from 5:30am until about midnight. If your ferry leaves at 7:30am (like many do) leaving downtown Athens at 6:30am should give you plenty of time.

Taxis take 20 to 30 minutes from Syntagma, Plaka, or Monastiraki area and cost €25 to €30.

Remember to Validate Tickets

If you buy a ticket but fail to validate (with the machines below) you can be fined up to 60 times the price of the fare.

Map of Piraeus Ferry Port

Essentials to know about Greek Ferries

  • Ferry time from Athens to Santorini: 5 hours by highspeed ferry, 8 hours by car ferry.
  • Tickets can NOT be bought on board the ferry. Buy your tickets before boarding the ferry preferably a few days before at a travel agent in downtown Athens. Ticket agents are found beside gates E7 which is a short walk from the Athens metro station and the bus stop for the X96 bus from the Athens airport.
  • Ferry tickets can be bought at the Aktina Travel Agency on the arrivals level of the Athens International Airport when you arrive in Greece. This is a good compromise between pre-booking and buying the day-of-travel. If you’ll be in Athens a few days and buy the tickets immediately upon arrival then you’ll get to reserve tickets a few days in advance but not have the burden of booking online and arranging where to pickup the tickets.
  • Ferry tickets are one-way and point-to-point. You can not purchase a return ticket (you buy them as 2 one-way tickets) and you can not purchase a multi-stop ticket (e.g. Athens to Mykonos to Santorini) you buy them as individual one-way tickets.
  • Cost of ferry from Athens to Santorini: On the Blue Star ferry it costs €38 for economy, €53 for VIP, and €69 for a cabin berth. On the Highspeed ferry it’s €60 for economy, €63 for business, and €76 for VIP. And about 10% more for Piraeus departures on Friday and Saturday and Piraeus arrivals on Sunday and Monday.
  • Best website for Greek ferry schedules: GTP.GR – but booking is usually easiest through individual companies (e.g. Blue Star or Hellenic Seaways).
  • Piraeus – The Athens ferry port. Connected by metro to central Athens. It takes 30 minutes to get from central Athens to the ferry port by metro. The ferries to Santorini and the rest of the Cyclades are directly across the street from the metro station at gates E6 and E7 (ahead and slightly to your left). Don’t stress – it’s obvious, easy to find, and everyone is heading in the same direction. Just follow the crowd. Metro timetable and ticket infoMap of Piraeus ferry port.
  • Rafina – A second ferry port outside of Athens. It does not have as many ferries as Piraeus. There’s little reason to use it if you’re already in central Athens. But if you plan to go directly from the airport to the ferry then Rafina can save you the hassle of going into Athens. Mykonos, in particular, has good connections from Rafina. There is a direct bus from the Athens airport to the Rafina port. The bus from the airport to Rafina takes 30 minutes. It departs from just opposite the Sofitel Hotel not from the marked bus area where the X93, X95, and X96 depart from. You do not buy tickets from the kiosk booth adjacent to the X buses but instead pay the €3 fare on the bus.
  • Thira – The name of Santorini in Greek. You’ll see this name on some schedules so it’s good to remember.
  • Car Ferries – Also called Conventional Ferries or Slow Ferries. The most regular route to Santorini is run by Blue Star Ferries. It runs every day, all year, leaving Athens at 7:25am. There can also be a later ferry by Blue Star and other similar sized ferries run by Anek Ferries. They take automobiles and have large decks that are fun to walk about – especially as you pull into an island. The Blue Star ferry is large and the most stable in rough seas.
  • Highspeed Ferries – Also called by different ferry types: Highspeed4, Highspeed5,Highspeed6 by Hellenic Seaways and the NEL Highspeed. These are huge double-hulled catamarans that are faster than the car ferries but cost twice as much. They are fully enclosed with airplane-style seating and large windows but there is no deck to walk about and observe the surroundings like the car ferries. The windows get covered in salt and seawater and don’t provide much visibility either. More bumpy than the Blue Star ferry in rough seas.
  • Flying Cat – Also called Cat4, Cat5, Cat6. The Cat4 goes between Santorini and Mykonos but does not run between Athens and Santorini. More bumpy in rough seas than the Highspeed Ferries.
  • SuperJets and SeaJets – Smaller than the highspeed ferries, more bumpy during rough seas, and also less reliable. Stick with the Car Ferries and Highspeed Ferries.
  • Sea Sickness – If you’re prone to seasickness then only ride the large Blue Star car ferry. The Highspeed and SeaJets ferries can be very bumpy during rough seas.
  • Rough Seas and Cancellations – August is the windiest month and ferries can be canceled for 1 or 2 days in a row. The Blue Star ferries are the least likely to be canceled due to rough seas.
  • Food on Board the Athens-Santorini Ferry – All ferries have lounges, snack bars, and restaurants to buy food. There are several fast food/cafe/deli shops across from gate E7 that are open 24 hours and sell some pretty tasty sandwiches and pastries.
  • Boarding the Ferry in Athens (Piraeus port)
    The Blue Star ferry to Santorini departs from gate E6. The Highspeed 6 leaves from Gate E7. Both gates are directly across the street from the Piraeus metro station. (More pictures of the Blue Star ferry and the port in Piraeus.)
  • Arriving in Santorini – It’s very busy when a ferry arrives in Santorini. There is a bus that meets every ferry arrival so you’ll never be without a way into Fira. There are usually taxis too but these can be snatched up quickly. Ferries do not stay in port long – sometimes just a few minutes, so don’t slowly make your way down the stairs to the exit deck. Have your bags ready to go and be in line as the ferry approaches the island.
  • On booking sites you might see the follow abbreviations:
    IJ=SeaJets (SuperJet and MegaJet)
    ST=BlueStar Ferry Company (Large Car Ferries)
    MF=Hellenic Seaways (Large Car Ferries and Highspeed Catamarans)

More Photos About Ferries to Santorini

Recommended Hotels near the Athens Ferry Port

The ferry port is in Piraeus about 20 minutes by metro from central Athens. Many ferries leave early in the morning (between 7am and 8am) so it’s tempting to want to stay the night in Piraeus. But it’s not necessary. The metro starts running at 5:30am which gives travelers plenty of time to get to Piraeus. The Monastiraki station in central Athens has direct trains to the Piraeus port so staying close to it is recommended. (It’s also a fun neighborhood and close to the Plaka and Acropolis. Outdoor dining floods the small alleys around the Monastiraki Square late into the evening so you’ll be happy you stayed here for the night.) Piraeus on the other hand is not a place you want to spend a lot of time. The only way I’d recommend staying in Piraeus is if you arrived by plane so late that you wanted to go straight to bed and had an early ferry in the morning. In that case take the X96 bus straight to Piraeus and don’t bother going into central Athens.

  • A for Athens Hotel (Central Athens • moderate) – Great hotel directly across from the Monastiraki Square. 1 minute to Monastiraki metro station.
  • Plaka Hotel (Central Athens • moderate) – Very similar to A for Athens. Inside they’re very close in quality. Plaka has a nicer appearance from the outside and is on a quieter street. A for Athens is closer to the metro. Plaka Hotel is 3 minutes from Monastiraki metro station.
  • Triton Hotel Piraeus (Piraeus • budget) – There are some cheaper hotels directly across from the ferry but I prefer going a block or 2 away from the port and getting a little better hotel (though rooms and bathrooms are still very small). The Triton is a 3 minute walk to the Santorini ferries.
  • Piraeus Theoxenia Hotel (Piraeus • moderate) – A block farther from the port than the Triton and the nicest hotel in Piraeus. 5 minutes to the Santorini ferries.


Santorini  islandsantorini

Santorini is an island with a particular beauty that does not leave its visitor incurious. Caldera and the numerous volcanoes that hide in land and sea are those special characteristics that make Santorini divine. Although the last few years it is one of the most popular tourist’s destination it still astonishes and it hides parts where it maintains her particular islander colour. Continuing a tradition already known from the ancient times, it is worthy to meet Santorini’s cultural aspects but also the people who live and create in this island.
Equally interesting however is also the vineyard, the particular culture of vine and the people who, with real devotion, produce the tasty Santorini wines.

Traditional Santorini Greek Country Salad

The most traditional Greek salad recipe served at the Best Santorini hotels and restaurants, and the kind of Greek salad you will usually encounter in Greece, does not typically include lettuce, but is more a bowl of raw chunky vegetables with a little olive oil and lemon juice. The flavors just get better and you can store leftovers and use it sandwiches or pita pockets. The rich, zesty vinaigrette gets great authentic flavor from the fresh oregano, and is further enhanced by the fresh mint and parsley. Marinating the onion and cucumber slices in the vinaigrette helps tone down the raw onion in the salad.


3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice from 1 lemon

2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 medium clove garlic , pressed through garlic press or minced (about 1 teaspoon)

6 tablespoons olive oil


1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin (about 3/4 cup)

1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 2 cups)

3 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1/4 cup loosely packed torn fresh parsley leaves

1/4 cup loosely packed torn fresh mint leaves

10 large kalamata olives, each olive pitted and quartered lengthwise

6 oz. Mt. Vikos® Feta Cheese, or best feta you can find

1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano

Olive oil for drizzle

  1. Whisk vinaigrette ingredients in large bowl until combined. Add onion and cucumber and toss; let stand to blend flavors, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, bell pepper, parsley and mint to bowl with onions and cucumbers; toss to coat with dressing.
  3. Transfer salad to wide, shallow serving bowl or platter; sprinkle olives and feta over salad. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with dried oregano. Serve immediately.

Luxurious Hotels in the Small of Santorini

Luxurious Hotels in Santorini

santoriniSantorini is synonymous with lavishness, but that’s because some of the best luxurious hotels in the world are found there. Fantastic boutique hotels are what the towns along the caldera on the west side of the island (read Imerovigli, Oia, Firostefani, and Fira) proudly boast about. If you are looking for the best luxury, five-star hotels, then find your way to Santorini. Book early though, like 6 months in advance, as the finest hotels fill up very early and have fewer rooms.

Potatoes with Saffron

Potatoes with Saffron

This aromatic potato dish is and excellent  side dish for meats and chicken, but could also be a complete meal on its own along with a good piece of cheese or salad.


1 kg small potatoes
20 – 25 stigmata saffron soaked
1 glass of white wine Muscat
1 tsp spice grain
some olive oil
nigella seeds for sprinkling


1.  Warm some oil in a deep frying pan or a shallow pot. Cut the potatoes in halh if they are big.

2.  Throw in the potatoes and let them fry. They should all be one layered in the pan.

3.  Cover the frying pan with the lid and lower the temperature so they could become tender inside.

4.  When the potatoes are tender, add the salt, the spice, the wine and the saffron, remove the lid and stir often.

5.  When the wine has evaporated place the potatoes on a platter and sprinkle with the nigella seeds.

Moroccan Potato Casserole

Moroccan Potato Casserole

Herbs and spices can dress an ingredient in the most beautiful attire, making it more attractive, giving it more depth, bringing out its properties. This Moroccan potato casserole works as a perfect example of this; while being a favorite staple ingredient potate doesn’t carry any very defining characterstic.


6 cloves garlic
salt to taste
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2  bunch fresh cilantro
1/2 buch parsley
1 lemon, juiced
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lb red potatoes
1 large red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 large green bell pepper
4 stalks celery
1 pound tomatoes,
2 tbsp olive oil


  • Chop the peppers into 1 1/2 inch squares and the celery stalk into 2 inch pieces.
  • Cut the potatoes 1/2 inch thick
  • Cut the tomatoes each into 8 wedges
  • Finely chop the herbs

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)

1. Combine garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, paprika, cumin, and cayenne in a food processor bowl. Process until mixture forms a paste.

2. Add herbs, and pulse a few times to blend. Add lemon juice, vinegar, and 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil; blend. Season to taste with salt.

3. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, peppers, and celery. Season with salt and toss with herb sauce.

4. Transfer to a large shallow baking dish. Scatter tomatoes among the potato mixture. Drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons oil over top, and cover with foil.

5. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil. Continue baking until vegetables are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.



Aglaia Kremezi cooks for Sweet Beirut  mouth-watering Falafel. You can find more of her Lebanese and Mediterranean recipes, in her book “ MEDITERRANEAN HOT & SPICY”.

Several authentic ingredients in these recipes are available at SWEET BEIRUT.


2/3 cup coarsely chopped onion
4 garlic cloves
2 or 3 jalapeno chilies, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 cup dried chickpeas, preferably peeled, soaked overnight
1/3 cup dried red lentils or yellow split peas, soaked for 3 hours
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons fine bulgur soaked for 10 minutes and drained
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 or 3 scallions, including most of the green, coarsely chopped
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 ½ teaspoons Falafel Spices
Olive Oil for deep-frying


Put the onion, garlic, chilies, chickpeas, lentils and bulgur in a food processor and pulse to make a paste. Add the baking powder, scallions, fresh coriander, parsley, cornstarch, falafel spices and pulse to chop and incorporate all ingredients. (You can make falafel mixture coarse or fine according to your taste. Wet hands and shape tablespoons of the mixture into balls, then flatten them.

Heat 5cm of olive oil in a deep skillet or small saucepan to 180⁰C and deep-fry a few falafel at a time, so that the temperature of the oil will not drop and make the patties soggy. Remove with a slotted spoon after the falafel turn golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.


The falafel mixture can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days, but omit the fresh coriander and add it only when you are ready to cook, because it discolors quickly.