Fall in love with Greece all over again
From plush party pads for friends to perfect peaceful retreats for couples, GIC The Villa Collection has something for everyone seeking to rediscover the idyllic Greek islands.
In spite of its recent economic struggles, and exaggerated newspaper reports telling us otherwise, Greece is still very much open for business this summer. Promising breathtaking scenery, great weather, fabulous food and friendly locals keener than ever to make your holiday a pleasure, 2012 is the perfect time to visit this enchanting country.
Whether you’re a beach bum or a culture vulture, in Greece there is an island for everyone. Honeymooners looking for idyllic isolation should head to Anti Paxos, where there are no shops and only 30 inhabitants; history buffs might prefer Ithaca – the island of Homer’s Odyssey; walkers will love scaling Mount Aenos and descending into the depth of stalactite-encrusted caves on Kefalonia; and groups of friends will enjoy relaxing in the stylish waterfront bars of Skopelos.
With over 150 properties in its portfolio and more than 40 years’ experience, GIC The Villa Collection promises to offer the perfect property for any exclusive escape.
Best for couples:
Hidden among olive groves on sleepy Paxos are Loulouthia Villas (three villas, each sleeping two). By day, enjoy the view from your villa’s sheltered hillside pool or explore the beautiful green island on foot. In the evening, the villas’ private terraces are perfect for watching the sun set over the Ionian Sea with a glass of local wine and olives from the surrounding hills. Until the end of August, a seven-night stay at Loulouthia Villas now costs from £863 pp (two sharing), a saving of 20% off the full rate.
Best for families:
The colourful, modern Villa Zaira (sleeps six) on Corfu is set in mature walled gardens, so kids can splash around in the pool as much as they like without disturbing the neighbours. Take them to nearby Halikounas beach, where they can chase each other around the sand dunes and try kite surfing, or visit Lake Korission – a haven for over one hundred bird species. Seven nights at Villa Zaira in July cost from £668 pp (six sharing), with the first child going free*.
Best for groups of friends:
Villa Psappha (sleeps ten) is a spacious, secluded property with the added bonus of only being a five-minute drive away from the waterfront shops, tavernas and bars of bustling Skiathos Town. Hire a motorboat and discover secret sunny coves on neighbouring islands. Then, as dusk falls, head back to the villa armed with lamb steaks and local wine for a slap-up barbeque on the pool-side terrace. Seven nights at Villa Psappha in July cost from £777 pp (ten sharing).
Best for budget breaks:
Vassili’s Apartment (sleeps four), on Kefalonia, sits in a quiet spot five minutes’ walk away from the heart of the attractive port of Fiscardo, and only 50 metres from the beach. Surrounded by bougainvillaea and with breathtaking views across the Ionian Sea to the cliffs of Ithaca beyond, it is the perfect base from which to explore this pretty island. Seven nights at Vassili’s Apartment in July cost from £679 pp (four sharing).
Best for blowing the budget:
For the ultimate organic spa break, head to Levendis Estate (four cottages, each sleeping four) on the peaceful Ionian island of Ithaca. This stunning seven-acre estate boasts an infinity pool overlooking Afales Bay, hidden-away hammocks, home-grown organic produce, yoga classes and a holistic treatment pavilion in a shaded forest. Seven nights at Levindis Estate in July cost from £1,670 pp (four sharing).
All prices include return flights (Gatwick), car hire or transfers, a complimentary welcome pack, plus maid service and linen change twice weekly.
*One child aged 2-12 per booking can stay free of charge in selected villas (i.e. a family of four taking advantage of the free child place would pay the rate usually charged for a family of three).
For more information, call GIC The Villa Collection, visit gicthevillacollection.com.