Peloponnese self catering cottage sleeps 2, Greece

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Peloponnese self catering cottage sleeps 2, Greece

Environment

Being fortunate enough to own a property within a special historical site in Greece we are very aware of the need to keep it an unspoilt area, therefore we abide by the laws of the Greek Archaeological society.
We use only stone found in the location and build our walls in the style of the castle using as little cement as possible. We do not have solar panels or satellite dish for that reason, that it is not in keeping with the environment.
We also paint our cottage in the colours of the location.
Our garden is planted with Mediterranean plants and as many drought resistant species as we can find, we do not use chemical fertilizers on our olive trees, vegetables or flowers, preferring to use organic methods of horticulture.
We use a drip system to water our garden which comes on in the early hours of the morning so as to not disturb the water pressure for our neighbours, and when it is most advantageous to the plants.
We save all kitchen waste and produce our own compost to use on the garden.
We use energy saving lamps both in the cottage and in the garden and we have a toilet with a long and short flush.
We encourage guests to only use the air/con when necessary, we hope to install good quality ceiling fans so that we do not use air conditioning in the future. We also limit the use of the hot water boiler. We also encourage our guests to observe greek *siesta* and to be very aware of the dangers of fire in the hot, dry summer months, especially when using the bbq.
We hope that our guests will appreciate the very special environment that they are in and love it as much as we do.
We recycle wood and other materials whenever possible and a good part of the furniture in the house is made by us from recycled wood.

Community

We have been in Greece for nearly 12 years and although still not speaking the language we take lessons with a local man and we understand the language more and more. We try to integrate with the local people as much as possible and try to not let the language barrier be a problem.
We have wonderful neighbours in the Castle who are happy to give us fresh, free range eggs and lemons straight from the trees.
When we have guests we recommend the local restaurants especially those that use their own garden produce.
We buy from the local shops and buy freshly caught fish from a local fisherman who lives nearby. We always ask the best way to cook from the Greeks, they have much better knowledge of these things, and where possible will share any spare produce we have with them.
We recommend places of local interest to our guests with details of how to reach them and we tell them about how lucky we are to have our local beach home to nesting Loggerhead Turtles and how careful we all must be to observe and protect their nests. We also ask that they support the turtle volunteers who do such a good job.
We try and pass work to locals as we are aware of who is good at what in this area.
I help to organize bazaars locally, where people come along and sell their handicrafts, it has really taken off amongst the Greeks and we now have a lot of local talent on display.
We observe and respect the wonderfully diverse wildlife in Greece and when change threatens this special area i.e. open cast mining, we are there with Greeks and other nationalities to protest , we all know how blessed we are to live in this beautiful, as yet, unspoilt by mass tourism, area of Greece.

Reviews of Peloponnese self catering cottage sleeps 2, Greece

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 26 Sep 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Very difficult - So Many.Sitting in the Beautiful garden - Lots of different seating - in the shade or in the sun. Just loved looking round at the flowers, olive & pomegranate trees - many with twinkling lights and lanterns. Magic!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The cottage is extremely well equipped - Jina & Nick have thought of Everything and they're so friendly and helpful. There are mosquito nets at the windows and many plugs but I would recommend you still bring mosquito repellent.


3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Absolutely! The cottage and garden are very environmentally friendly. Jina
& Nick strive hard to support the local businesses & conservation. We did our best too.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We had an Amazing time! Koroni is just Lovely, VeryPretty - we ate out at many
of the tavernas - too many great places to choose from.
Gorgeous little gift shops, a well stocked supermarket - we really didn't need anything more!
So Much history - the Castle and grounds are fascinating. We visited the monastery and met a Sweet, Kind Nun who agreed to have her photo taken.
?? I'm Running out of superlatives!
Every day was a delight and so wish we were still there.
I give our Koroni holiday 5 ***** but have had some Great holidays. 4**** is more fitting but I don't want to drop a star*

Reviewed on 09 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The situation of the cottage is lovely and the location both to the town and to the long sandy beach, is really great. Being inside the wall of the fortress is also very lovely. We went in late September and the weather was really nice. The garden has been done beautifully and Jina and Pete were great hosts.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Koroni is a great base if you want to not use a car. We were picked up from the airport and dropped back by Jina and Pete. We hired bikes and electric bikes in particular are a great way to travel around if you want to access beaches and other villages. Public transport is possible but we didn't try to navigate this. Bring plenty of anti-Mossi stuff with you, as the only downside of
the holiday was we got badly bitten.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Not hiring a car is good and the electric bikes from Ulli on the sandy beach (it's a bit of a walk to get there....) is also good. We ate out in the local taverna and the food is good and local people are very friendly.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Really great. Restful, peaceful and enjoyable.

Reviewed on 04 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Staying in the grounds of the castle was special, and we loved the individuality of the cottage with its beautiful garden. The walk to the lovely beach, and down
into the town was all part of a great and memorable experience.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for mosquitos and cats

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We hope so. We ate and shopped locally and walked every day. We used our car on one day only.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Wonderful. The cottage is well equipped and comfortable and all we had to do was relax.

Reviewed on 05 Sep 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The walk through the castle down to the gorgeous beach at Zaga. Great swimming. And the other way down through the arch of the castle down to Koroni which has some great places to eat. The cottage garden is lovely. Loved the monastry.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Leave the car behind and walk everywhere.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Looking after the turtles which come up on the beaches. Bringing income to the local businesses.
However so many cats looking the worst for wear & always hoping for food. Very sad. Perhaps some sort of cat protection programme needed. Might help
the bird and rodent population if less cats!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A great time. Jina and Nick are lovely and met us on arrival. Great guy on the beach for sunbeds!
Would give it 5, but not sure of the statement I am reborn!!! I have had many great holidays so hard to choose one over the other.

Reviewed on 30 Jun 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Too many memorable experiences to pick one. The setting of the cottage
tucked behind the walls of an old Venetian castle in the owners beautiful
garden is definitely one. By day the garden was a delight: winding paths, a
choices of terraces and sitting places some in basking sun some in dappled
shade, unusual and beautifully kept plants and trees, little treasures and
artefacts placed artistically around the garden. Then at night, little twinkly
lights come on in the trees and along the paths and there is an amazing viewing
point to see the night sky with very little light pollution.

Other highlights were beautiful walks, the sunset and sea view through the
castle arch, the hospitality and charm of one particular restaurant. We will also
loved the fact that ancient history is never far away and we had a very
memorable visit to Ancient Messene.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Visit Ancient Messene - an extensive and fascinating archaeological site.

Take as many walks as you can from the cottage before getting in your car.
There are fabulous walks around the ruined walls of Koroni Castle looking out
to sea and also the walk up the hill to the convent and then down the old steps to the monastery and Zaga beach.

Visit Resalto restaurant - very good cooking, wonderful hospitality.

The cottage is exceedingly well equipped and is likely to meet all your needs so
can't think of anything in particular you need to take.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We used the local restaurants and shops, so we hope so.
We walked as much as we could and only took to the car in two days out of 7.
We took care on the beaches not to do anything that might harm the breeding
sites for loggerhead turtles.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Want to give it five stars as more than met our expectations but your ratings
describes 5 stars as 'the best holiday I've ever been on' which is a bit limiting!
We've been on several great holidays and would not want to single out any as
'best' so have used your 4 star rating. But this was a wonderful holiday in an
amazing little cottage in a beautiful place. We loved it and strongly
recommend it - and by our enjoyment would give it 5 stars.

Reviewed on 23 May 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Having a beautiful garden and cottage to ourselves with easy access to ancient Messenii the beach and Koroni town.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Worth hiring a car to go up the coast to Horseshoe Bay and Messeni

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes there is plenty to do in Koroni and we could shop locally and walk to restaurants and the beach

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very relaxing

Reviewed on 11 Jul 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Well-equipped cottage. Beautiful and quirky garden. Amazing location in castle grounds. Ideal for town and for stunning beach.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for steep climbs from town and from the beach (well worth it!).
Take plenty of repellent for the inevitable mosquitoes.
Family living in the neighbouring cottage responded positively to requests to be quieter in the mornings.
Note that there is an additional charge (50 euros each way) for lift to/from airport. While this is a reasonable charge, we weren't aware of it until planning our return journey. Luckily had sufficient funds!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Hopefully beneficial financially to local people, restaurants, gift shops, supermarket.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very relaxing, a very special and unique location.
Would certainly have rated this holiday 4 star had it not been for neighbouring family shouting and swearing.

Reviewed on 12 Sep 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


We enjoyed everything about it. We found the cottage suited us perfectly, we took our 21 month old and the owners provided a cot,mosquito net and paddling pool for her. The garden was beautiful with lots of areas to sit and relax. There all sorts of amazing plants and fruits including some delicious hot chillis growing in the garden that we used for cooking. The owners provided us with homemade olive oil and home grown olives which were delicious. We went to a secluded 'secret' beach just below the castle and to Zaga Beach too, which had trees for shade and a nice cafe just a few minutes walk for refreshments. The local restaurants in Koroni provided a good choice of food and the local shops and markets had everything we needed, including nappies for our little one. The locals were friendly and so were the cats! We spent time exploring the town and castle and relaxing, we swam in the sea every day.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It's a good place for couples and small families. The owners picked us up and took us to the airport which was convenient and saved haggling with taxi drivers. Make sure you take decent insect repellent for the evenings. Try sampling the fried cheese in the local restaurants (Flisvos on the seafront was good, they had baby chairs too). Our 21 month old ate everything that was put in front of her but it would be worth taking baby snacks such as pouches for fussier babies as there isn't really anything like that there. We used our baby carrier everyday but to get to the beach a puchchair was useful as our child could nap in it. We also took a beach tent, we went in September and it was hot but not too hot for younger children. They had brilliant wi-fi at the cottage so we could browse the internet and skype our family.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We didn't need a hire car because everything was in walking distance. We only ate locally and bought gifts locally.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Five Stars! We'll just remember the insect repellent next time!

Reviewed on 25 Jun 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


When we arrived at the castle, drove through the arch, up the cobbled track and arrived at Castle Cottage I knew that we were going to have a very special holiday. Walking around the ruins of the Venetian castle whilst admiring the stunning views across the gulf we felt privileged; returning to the very comfortable cottage and beautiful garden we instantly felt relaxed and England seemed very far away.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The Mosquitos are a real nuisance so take plenty of insect repellent. If you do get bitten the pharmacist in Koroni is very helpful.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We either ate at local tavernas or bought fish and barbecued. We used the local shops so I hope that this helped the local economy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


One of the best holidays we have spent in Greece, and we have been many times. Koroni is a beautiful unspoilt town.

Reviewed on 25 Sep 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


We had a lovely time in Jina and Nick's cottage- the best part for us was the beautiful garden, with loads of places to sit.
Our 9-month old enjoyed splashing about in the paddling pool provided and it was very peaceful with a local feel. We also liked the clamber down to the small private beach, which was out of direct sun in the afternoon for the baby. We wanted a relaxing holiday- Koroni is very quiet- but not if you're looking for nightlife.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If you have a baby, bring a sling as well as a pushchair- good for walks and the path is very bumpy. Don't miss the small private beach and make sure you visit the nunnery just up the road- the views are fabulous and the gardens very pretty.
There is a produce market on Sundays.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes- the cottage was very environmentally friendly; we bought as much as we could from local markets and used local businesses.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Great! We had everything we needed, and the cottage was very well equipped.

Reviewed on 30 Oct 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


I can't pick out one thing, all of it was wonderful. Koroni is a small traditional town that is not heavily developed. I was there for 4 weeks and never bored. October was a great time to be there, clear skies, warm seas, not too hot and very very easy to live in. You can see the mountains of The Mani, across the bay: spectacular, rugged, beautiful at all times but especially when glowing pink in
the sunset. Above the town, through the gate of the castle, you are in a cobbled roadway, lined with ancient stone walls and surrounded by olive groves. There are the remnants of defensive gates and bastions to explore.

The cottage has been beautifully rebuilt and is set in an enchanting garden. You have all you need there, especially as there is a hidden private beach you can climb down to in 5 minutes. Or you can walk down to the immense sandy beach to the south of the castle where there are beachside restaurants, but no huge hotels or apartment blocks, just low and small scale development. Koroni, with many small shops and bakeries, a supermarket, cafés, restaurants and harbour is a 5 minute walk down easy steps.

There are 45 steps which become easier and easier to climb back up! There are many places to sit and watch the sea and the boats in the Bay of Messini and The Mani, whether you want to sit by the harbour, in one of the seafront restaurants, or one of the two town squares eating pastries. There are the back ways of the town to explore, built on terraces above the sea and linked by stairs of every size and degree of steepness. It's known for its balconies, many and various but the architecture is wonderful too.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't forget to take high factor sunscreen as it's easy to forget just how much sun you are getting as you move about & even in October you'll get a great tan. The insects can be a bother while the weather is still hot, so extra strong insect repellent and antihistamine cream are useful too. The tap water is hard because of limestone, so you may want to use a water filter (jug provided) or drink bottled only. The roadside stalls have amazing fresh and local fruit and vegetables, though there is also a Sunday market by the seafront. Pastry shops seem to be open nearly always, useful if you've forgotten to shop before the afternoon closing...ask Jina and Nik for information and advice, they could not be kinder or more helpful. If you're driving, petrol is dearer than diesel, and in 2013 at least, petrol was dearer than in England.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, the cottage is within a protected site and is listed with strict conditions on all maintenance,renovation and development so going there helps with the extra costs involved for the owners. The cottage is very sensitively built and equipped, with an eye to minimising use of electricity, for example. There is an immersion system for backup, but the sun heats the domestic water through surface-
running pipework. I decided not to hire a car and walked everywhere, it was really easy to go down the 45 steps down into the town to shop, so supporting local shops and restaurants.I could have caught local buses very easily, though I chose to not do this. Both a tiny beach and a very large beach are only a short walk away on each side of the Castle. The cottage garden has wonderful planting;
places to sunbathe privately or eat outside and shady areas for sitting so one can live very quietly with light impact on the area. The household and Koroni waste disposal is via roadside large collection bins for both recyclable and non recyclable items, easy and satisfying to use. My money was spent on local things, in local shops.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Just the very best holiday I've ever had. The climate was ideal; the place superb. Nik and Jina are so helpful; you couldn't ask for more.

Reviewed on 03 Sep 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Staying inside the castle walls, we were able to walk out of the town or away from the beach at the end of the day to this much more
private and ancient place which was fun. The garden was beautiful, and there are two good beeches a short walk away.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?




3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We had a great time without needing to hire a car, for 10 days. At another time of the year or if you are there longer it might be worthwhile.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent. Our first time in Greece and a lovely family holiday, very peaceful and relaxing, we were outdoors a lot. It's a beautiful place to take photos or draw.

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