The Villa Review: The Villa Collective, Villa Selene, Alonissos, Greece
Review: Julie Ford
- Air Conditioning (Included) – in both bedrooms
- CD Player
- DVD Player
- Swimming Pool (Private) – ‘L’ shaped pool. Pool depth 0.35-1.60m
- V. (Satellite)
- Washing Machine
- Beach – Chrissi Milia 15 minutes drive
- Boat Hire – Boat hire from Patitiri Port
- Restaurants – Alonissos Old Town within a 15minute walk/10minute drive
- Shops – Alonissos Old Town within a 15minute walk/10minute drive
- CAR HIRE HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Greece has many well-known islands, which for several years have been popular holiday destinations, but if you are looking for something a little off the main tourist track, the island of Alonissos offers a wealth of natural, unspoilt beauty and is the only permanently inhabited island within the National Marine Park of Alonissos, Northern Sporades.
Explore the pebbled limestone coastline by hiring a small boat and you will discover secret caves, secluded coves and bijou beaches. Keep a lookout to spot the Mediterranean Monk Seal or a dolphin or two if you’re lucky. Previous boating experience is not required as full instruction from the vendors is offered to allow visitors to take the boats out at their leisure. There are three dive schools with specialist trained (PADI) instructors which offer open water, wreck and night dives. The island offers wonderful walking trails winding through idyllic olive groves.
In-keeping the laid back vibe of the Island, there is just one local excursion to partake in for visitors; a trip to the island of Kyra Panaghia (located in the north of Alonnisos), which is accessed only by a specialist boat trip. Kyra Panaghia is home to the stunning Monastery of Megisti Lavra which sits grandly on Mount Athos where visitors can take the walk up the hill to see the Monastery and take in the unspoilt panoramic views. This iconic residence has recently been renovated and is still a working Monastery complete with a resident monk.
“The trip to Kyra Panaghia leaves Patitiri at 10am and returns at 6pm via Peristera. It is fully catered and the vessel is a traditional caïque, with plenty of space either in the sun or shade.”
We flew from Manchester to Skaithos where we were collected at the airport by a GIC representative Julia who collected us for our transfer to the port area where we then boarded a Flying Cat (catamaran) for the 90 min trip to the the island of Alonissos. We were then transferred with Julia for a mere 5 minute car ride to our home for the week; Villa Selene. The journey from Skiathos airport to our villa was flawless and we loved the fact the transfers were so well taken care of and the excellent level of service we received from GIC.
Ground Floor: Open-plan lounge with kitchen and dining area | Double bedroom | Bathroom
First floor: Twin/double bedroom with en suite bathroom | L shaped swimming pool
An open plan lounge and kitchen with dining area makes this a great sociable space. The living room had patio doors leading onto the pool terrace. The kitchen had all the utensils and appliances you could want for a family self-catering space, and was well laid out for small families if in-villa entertaining is going to be a big part of your stay. With that in mind the Alonissos Old Town is only 15 minutes walk along the track-style pathway. Alonissos Old Town is home to a supermarket shops, bars, restaurants and offers a laid back and friendly vibe. Chrissi Milia Beach is 15 minutes drive away and its a lovely spot, but be aware that the beaches are mainly pebbled, so not the greatest for sunbathing or kids.
However the highlight of this holiday was our villa stay and most certainly the pool. With water clean as crystal, this was the epitome of an idyllic villa retreat. The location was peaceful and quiet and the outdoor space was just made for a week of relaxation. The pool was surrounded by really comfy sun loungers and bouncy cushioned lounge chairs, and all pool and bathroom towels are provided.
The villa was also home to a group of four toistoises where my partner (AKA Dr Dolittle) was in his element.
Excursion to the island of Kyra Panaghia and Monastery of Megisti Lavra.
We did prise ourselves away from the pool to partake in the boat excursion to the island of Kyra Panaghia and Monastery of Megisti Lavra. We arrived at the port of Alonnisos in the morning where we set sail towards the island of Kyra Panaghia, as our boat hugged the coast. As we docked the island we walked up the dusty donkey track where we had a info talk by the boat crew and we were then left to wander around the Monastery. The monks make their own wine which is available to buy at the honesty bar along, with some little souvenirs such as postcards trinkets – this is all used as a fund to help maintain the building. The original floor centre piece in the central court yard features a pebble mosaic with the date it was built. The walls were adorned with paintings and the paint is so protected and fragile that cameras with flashes as prohibited in order to preserve the artwork.
We headed back to the boat and sailed around the island where we spotted mountain goats while keeping our eyes peeled for dolphins.
This is a perfect family villa located in an unspoilt, Mediterranean destination where you can visit natural sites of beauty, see wonderful wildlife, and just spend some quality family time in a relaxing environment knowing that GIC will take care of all your family needs. We can’t wait to return.
Departing 22 May 2020, GIC The Villa Collection offers a one-week stay at Villa Selene from £1,141 pp (three sharing), including return flights to Skiathos, return ferry from Skiathos to Alonissos, car hire, a welcome pack and the services of an expert local representative. Call GIC The Villa Collection on 020 8232 9780, or visit www.gicthevillacollection.com.
•20kg hold luggage per person
•The services of an experienced local representative
•A welcome pack
AIRPORT PARKING – MANCHESTER
Holiday Extras is the market leader in UK airport parking, hotels, lounges and transfers, and in 2018 customers who pre-booked their parking with Holiday Extras saved an average of £59 each vs the price they’d have paid on the day. Booking Airport Parking ensures that you can enjoy more holiday without the hassle – to book the Multi-storey T2 West at Manchester Airport £39.99, visit HolidayExtras.com or call 0800 316 5678. Price searched on 30th Oct 2019 for arrival on 9th November 2019.