26 independent reviews for Luxury Greek Island holiday accommodation

These full and frank independent reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through Responsible Travel. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.


review 30 Aug 2015

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

Beautiful location for accommodation and Ithica is an idillic island. Wonderful little harbour villages and friendly people if you have a car its great to travel to all the little beaches.

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

Make sure you have a car and you can travel to all the little beaches and coves. Try hiring a little boat to discover the beaches that can only be reached by boat. Take beach shoes and the beaches are pebbly.

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

Our holiday definitely benefitted the local people. All our food was locally sourced. We ate in local restaurants no corporates involved at all, so refreshing. Food on the estate was from their garden and the little farm was greatly appreciated by the children.

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

This was a wonderful holiday which far exceeded our expectations. The Estate was such a tranquil and beautiful place and Mal and Spero were the most wonderful hosts and made us so welcome, we felt like part of their family. We loved their little coffee shop and they couldn't have been more helpful. All the special touches like the welcoming free breakfast and bottle of wine set us up for a perfect holiday. The estate is idilic and the pool area just perfect with wonderful views. The cottages were lovely and had two verandas from which to eat a tranquil breakfast and could read and chill throughout the day

review 22 Jun 2015

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

The location of the accommodation, our home for the next few weeks was simply stunning. The gardens lovingly tended to by the owners Marilyn and Spero, provide a perfect relaxing haven to unwind. The entrance to our cottage was awash with wisteria and the fragrance of white jasmine filled the air. Spotting a Pine Martin one evening was really exciting for all of us! The place is awash with all kinds of wildlife, green lizards, giant centipedes, and birdlife galore. A very exciting playground for adults and children alike. However it is the hosts Marilyn, Spero and family who made this holiday so special and memorable. We really enjoyed our 'coffee morning' chats and were made to feel like one of the family.

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

If you enjoy having whole beaches to yourself, swimming in crystal clear waters with perfect air temperatures, then May is the month for you to visit the beautiful island of Ithaca. We really enjoyed escaping the hubbub and the average temperature of around 24C was perfect for our 4 year old. Definitely order a home cooked meal for your arrival. You will find it cooking slowly away in your oven on your arrival. Our stuffed peppers and tomatoes were delicious and provided us with lunch the next day, with more to spare!

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

Most definitely. We ate in local cafes and restaurants. We shopped locally for daily provisions. At our accommodation we had a bountiful supply of organic leaves for our salads, all grown in Marilyn's garden. The accommodations have been cleverly built from local materials to keep them cool in the summer months. All food waste is used for compost and paper, glass and plastic is recycled.

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

Wonderful!

review 28 Jun 2013

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

The tranquility, the love and care in every detail and the warmth and generosity of our hosts.

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

Travel during June or September to avoid the busier times. Travel is April or May to see the best of the Spring - we heard the flowers are incredible.

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

We were able to eat out locally in British & Greek/Australian owned establishments. We recycled, and with few shops, purchased very little other than meals and drinks. Without the visitors, I doubt whether the hillside on which we stayed would ever have been restored as a working Olive farm.

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

Pretty much perfect!

review 23 Aug 2013

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

The wonderful view of the sea from the cottage, and the fantastic swimming in the clearest, blue sea water i have ever seen ...

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

Just go - you will be rejuvenated!

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

Yes - it is as they say on the tin!

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


review 31 Jul 2013

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

There were a lot of memorable things : from the beautiful scenery to the walk up to Odysseus palace, from Jamie's marine biology trip to Mal's morning waffles, from Katrina's morning pilates by the pool to the lovely ice-cream in Frikes. But having asked all the family members, the most exciting thing was hiring a boat and exploring and discovering deserted coves in this beautiful, unspoilt island.

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

Travel light - Mal has everything you could possibly need.

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

I believe it reduced environmental impact.

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

Initially I was concerned that my 13 and 11 years old children would complain about being bored but they didn't once. We found the perfect balance of activities and relaxation, so the holiday was a great success for all the family. The estate is absolutely beautiful and we really did feel at home. Overall - great holiday!

review 3 Apr 2013

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

A boat trip in calm and sunny weather - quite unusual for this time of year!

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

Ithaka is not up to speed at this time of year. We really were not prepared for the restaurants and other ammenities to still be closed - obviously they had not yet expected tourists - so be careful if you are travelling before the end of April!

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

Absolutely! Levendi's goes out of it's way to be eco-friendly providing organic food, using local staff and amenities, etc. wherever possible!

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

We had a wonderfully relaxing week. The weather was not great, but that was to be expected with the current conditions worldwide! It is a haven on an island that must be one of the most untouched, unspoiled places on Earth!

review 23 Aug 2011

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

The location. Ithaka is stunningly beautiful and the accommodation is located to take maximum advantage of the natural beauty.

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

You won’t need to take much luggage with you but take masks and snorkels we spent most of the holiday underwater. If you enjoy long distance open sea swimming this is made for you; plenty of beautiful swims in swimming pool temperature water

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes

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


review 21 Sep 2010

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

Arriving at the estate - we came directly from our wedding reception (via a couple of hours sleep at Gatwick) - Mal & Spero met us and their welcome was so warm and friendly that we know we would have an amazingly relaxing and wonderful time. This is such a beautiful, peaceful and unique place - difficult to put all the memories into words.

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

Do it - you won't regret it. Just don't tell anyone else!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Very definitely on both counts - Mal & Spero were incredibly conscious of how their activities impact the local community and the environment - maximising the positive!

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

Amazing.

review 20 Aug 2010

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

There are so many memorable experience it is very hard to pick just a few. The whole feel of this accommodation is very special, in our cottage comment book another guest had described the experience like slamming your brakes on whilst doing 70 on the M25 and that's exactly what it felt like for us. The accommodation estate has stunning views across the bay from every view point, the peace and tranquillity forces you to stop take a deep breath, completely slow down and relax. All you hear around you are the natural living sounds of the estate, the sea crashing into the cliffs below, the cicadas chirping, various buzzing insects and the distant bell tower chiming the hour. With 2 young active boys we were slightly worried there might not be enough for them to do, however with in a couple of days we slipped in to a relaxed routine of coffee, waffles and Mal's biscuits at the coffee shop every morning with Mal and Spiro helping to organise our day, then short drives to the beach for snorkelling and back to the estate for afternoons by the pool. We did one day trip - The Marine discovery trip with Jamie Stirling a marine biologist, who operates day trips from Ithaca and Kefalonia, in his traditional Greek caique boat. This was much more than just a snorkelling trip, as we were introduced to the natural history of the region and a detailed low-down on what to look for under the waves and local history of the areas you are sailing by. He catered for all abilities and ages with snorkelling lesson for those who need it and tailoring the information to children onboard, ours were totally fascinated. During the day, you cruise to different swimming and snorkelling locations, including beaches, shallow reefs, caves and 3 wrecks all the time encouraged to look for and carefully pick up creatures including on our trip sea urchins, Octopus, starfish and our children's favourite, Sea cucumbers! No one misses out on the experience as those who aren't confident in the water can stay on board whilst Jamie brings back what ever he has found and adds it to the "aquarium" He will then chat though each creatures habits and lifecycles, which our children loved and then everyone get a chance to handle each one before putting them all back. It was a really great day out and which our boys are still talking about. We ate really well, including ordering in from the menu one night, which was the best meal we had, it also meant we were able to stay down at the pool until 7ish wandered up to the cottage and have a full evening meal delivered to our terrace, which with 2 young children it was great not having to get everyone dressed and ready to go out. This was also the night we saw a total of 5 shooting stars. The night skies are incredible here.

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

You really don't need to take a lot with you, Mal and Spiro have thought of everything, if you are traveling with children, there are beach toys, arm bands, beach towels, insect repellent, juice and water by the pool and lots of shade. Go to the private beach, even though it was a bit of a hike, mostly because we ended up carry the boys back, our boys spent nearly 3 hours climbing and sliding down the rocks.mStavros is a lovely little village with some great local food. We managed to go to one of the many festivals on throughout the summer and had a great time. Lots of singing, dancing, wine and food. It didn't really get going until about 11 pm and finished finally around 5am. We only lasted a few hours but it was great fun. Ithaca is a cash only place and only one cash point nearby which runs out of cash at weekends so take out what you need. Just chill out and enjoy the estate.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Everyone we spoke to has something positive to say about the accommodation, Mal and Spiro are happy to recommend local businesses, tours, boat hire and restaurants. Local people supply services and food on the estate You are encourage not to use a lot of chemical products like sun cream etc Both Mal and Spiro are very knowledgeable about natural products they produce on site and happy for you to try them out.

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

This really was the best holiday we have ever had, we have struggled in the past to find somewhere that everyone enjoys which is difficult with young active children, but this accommodation and Ithaca really did mean we relaxed and enjoyed time with them whilst they also had a great time. None of us wanted to leave and we will definitely go back.

review 9 Jul 2010

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

We had so many relaxing days of enjoying secluded beaches and beautiful villages but there were two drives that will stay with me forever. The first was along the unpaved road from Marmaka Beach back to Stavros. The road winds through very rugged but stunning terrain and takes you into some amzing countryside. Bumping along with kids in the back was a great adventure and felt more like a safari at times bouncing along in our little hire car. The views from the final ridge and accross the bay to where we were staying were incredible and if we'd had more time I would have walked back up there. The other great trip was an impromptu exploration early one morning coming back from the village where I took Mal and Spero's advice and followed the road to Anogi. This goes up and over to the North Eastern side of the island and has incredible views to the outlying islands. Having said this, every day was an adventure but in a very relaxed and enjoyable way.

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

We travelled out of school holidays and enjoyed almost complete isolation in terms of other tourists. Ithaca is blessed by the fact that it doesn't have an airport and so even in peak season it is still very relaxed and completely unspoilt.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Absolutely. Mal and Spero have changed an olive grove and forest on a hillside into a mini garden of Eden. They are committed to promoting the natural and cultural heritage of Ithaca and all its products. This means that you can either buy your food and meals there or Mal will direct you to a range of liocal shops and suppliers. Either way local people get direct benefit and you get to enjoy great produce. In terms of environmental impact everything is designed in a way that minimises harm and utilises natural products. Both Mal and Spero are very knowledgable about natural products and we had some very interesting coversations at their coffee shop about this as well as setting the world to rights.

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

We have two young kids and this was the most relaxing holiday we've been on with or without them. I'll definitely be going back!

review 28 Jul 2009

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

The whole holiday was memorable for so many reasons. However, perhaps the best thing of all was simply the estate itself. The grounds and the views from the estate are simply breathtaking. The pool is stunning and it's a sheer joy to be in it, looking out over the bay. Beginning each day at the coffee shop, collecting our fresh bread and chatting to Mal and Spero was a treat. We took a boat trip one day with a picnic lunch and snorkelling - it was a real touch of luxury and such fun. I had a massage in the forest - being in the open air with only the sounds of the insects chirruping and the sea was very special. The whole ethos of the holiday is to help you to unwind and ease away the pressures of normal life. I have not felt so well in years. Mal and Spero are so thoughtful and helpful; from the moment you book your holiday, you feel that they really care about your welfare. From helping to organise your activities to providing delicious barbecues or sorting out your shopping and meals, Mal and Spero make everything easy for you.

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

Enter into the spirit of relaxation and rejuvenation. Ithaka and the estate are not about action packed holidays. They give you a taste of simpler times and a chance to simply enjoy the dramatic beauty of this island. Sit and enjoy the view. Linger over coffee with Mal and Spero. Stand outside and look at the stars. Enjoy the healthy, organic food produced on the estate. The magic of the estate and Ithaka will soon take hold of you.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. The estate is sympathetic to the history and geography of the island. Everyone we spoke to - taxi driver, restaurant owners - told us that this is a special place so they obviously feel it benefits their community. Mal thinks carefully about how she sources produce. Bins are provided for recycling waste. Energy saving lightbulbs are used. The whole ethos of the estate makes you feel content that your holiday will have as little negative impact as possible.

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

We are all agreed that this has been our best holiday ever. Leaving was a real wrench. Every single person we met was friendly and helpful and we have returned full of praise for the people of Ithaka. It is a beautiful island with dramatic scenery. We did not have one problem - Mal and Spero simply make everything easy for you. There is no doubt that we will go back to enjoy their hospitality and warmth.

review 18 Aug 2009

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

Marine biology trip and visiting the ruins at Delphi and Athens.

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

I presume this relates to the accommodation which was not a package. The place was amazing and very beautiful and relaxing. I'd go with a group of friends next time as I had imagined our kids would hook up with others but as there's no dining together it's not very easy to meet others.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

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

8 out of 10.

review 1 Jul 2008

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

This holiday was all about relaxation and it's hard to imagine a better place to do just that. The most memorable part of the holiday was the view from the Estate over Alphales bay, stunning.

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

Take very little, have breakfast in the cafe, just enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the Estate.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Local restaurants and shops benefited from our holiday. The owners of the Estate are very environmentally aware, compost bins in the cottages and an organic vegetable garden, which we ate salads from most days. With only four cottages on the Estate, the impact on the environment feels as minimal as it's possible to be!

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

Understated luxury. We went with very high expectations and we were not disappointed. A special place run by people who really care.

review 28 May 2008

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

Everything! This really is not an understatement. The estate is truly one of the most special places on the planet. The peace, tranquillity and beauty is second to none. We went to Ithaca 4 years ago and loved it and we were not disappointed as nothing has changed on this beautiful island, if only we had discovered this accommodation then!

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

Don't hesitate in anyway to book your holiday, just do it or you will regret it! This is the perfect place to spend your holiday, whether you are a couple or a family. We took our 15 month old son and it was our first family holiday and it could not have been better. I would completely recommend going if you have a baby or toddler. The transfers to the estate from when we arrived on Kefalonia were seamless and stress free and we arrived feeling relaxed, which we really did not expect! Mal will have everything ready that you will need for a little one (cot, highchair, buggy, nappies, wipes, food, toys, books etc). Ben just loved his cot from the moment he saw it and slept so well the entire time. We were able to enjoy being in our garden, at the barbeque or the swimming pool whilst Ben slept if we wanted too, as it is totally safe. We always left our cottage with the door open whether we were there or not. Every morning we met Spero to feed the two sheep and I think this may have been the highlight of Ben's holiday along with throwing pebbles into the sea! Most of our mornings were spent up at the coffee shop, enjoying the company and conversation of Mal, Spero and Kate (and not to mention the gorgeous coffee and cakes!), whilst Ben played. This was our much needed 'adult' time. Whilst we were 'busy' at the coffee shop, a lovely lady called Alina, cleaned and tidied our cottage so beautifully every day that I wanted to take her home! Enjoy the gardens, exploring the forest and being in or by the lovely swimming pool. The view of Aphales Bay from your own private garden is wonderful but it is especially so from the barbeque area. Make sure you get Mal to make a barbeque pack for you; delicious! Speaking of delicious, Kate's (and Mal's) chocolate truffles and cakes are divine!! You drink, bathe and swim in the local Kalamos spring water, which is just great. I could just go on and on but I think you will have got the message by now!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Absolutely. The whole ethos and ethics of the estate is superb and is a testament to what can be done even on an island as small as Ithaca. The estate is a total benefit to the island and the local people. Mal, Spero and Kate are just so passionate about what they do and most importantly about who they are, it's truly refreshing and infectious. Enjoy the organic fruit, vegetables and herbs which are hand picked each morning and also the lovely bread which is provided for you. Alina uses only natural ingredients to clean the cottages. The natural products are just so lovely to use, you will want to take lots home with you! The sunscreen is the best I have used.

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

Definitely the best holiday we've ever been on and we just can't wait to go back.

review 19 Aug 2008

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

In all honesty, every aspect was quite amazing. Having travelled quite extensively, on a global basis, I have never experienced a setting as beautiful or as breathtaking. The island, Ithaca, was unspoilt and around every corner was another breathtaking view which over a two week period never ceased to impress. The resort was small and highly personable and we were made to feel very special, being constantly spoilt and pampered yet with total privacy. Be prepared for the clearest and most beautiful seas I have ever seen, with clarity in places over 30m and water as blue as anywhere in the world.

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

Book it before it is too late! The island is just wonderful and one of the most unspoilt venues in Europe.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

We eat and shopped in all the local villages and Tavernas and took care to enjoy as much local produce as possible, whilst on the estate enjoyed must fresh produce that was grown on the estate itself, resulting in lovely and plentiful vegetables etc. The area is very laid back and it was a delight to be away from any electronics and to spend two weeks in such an eco-friendly environment where even the cleaning products were environmentally friendly.

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

A truly amazing and wonderful break on a paradise island :-)

review 3 Jun 2008

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

Marine biology trip including snorkelling and contact with marine invertebrates and snorkelling over a wreck. But more generally the owners are available every morning for chats and this is very reassuring - you can ask everything you need to and they are completely accountable for everything and good company.

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

Take some food with you. Not a huge choice unless you eat out. Also take some activities for kids as there isn't much once the pool has been exhausted. Go for two weeks unless you live very near an airport - it took nearly a week to settle in.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I think so. We ate in local restaurants, hire boats and boat journeys with local people and visited the museum. The food available was largely organic.

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

Excellent. Stunning scenery, lovely accommodation, very well run. Cleaning service excellent and the swimming pool first class. Great to have the owners there to chat to every morning. It misses out on the 5 stars only because of the slow pace forced upon us by our toddler. Perhaps we should have used the baby sitting service which I'd be happy to do now I know the babysitter.

review 27 Jul 2007

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

*The warmth and hospitality of the owners, Mal and Spero and their extended family of helpers. *The thoughtfulness that went into the planning at the Ithaca end *The natural beauty of the island, and the holiday site *The sharing by the owners of their experience of simple things like little coves and rock pools *Most exciting speedboat ride for our 4-year-old * For us, the peacefulness, and the snorkelling

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

Go and enjoy! Take about a third of what you think you'll need. Book a massage with Karen. Order the barbeque food. Enjoy the local beaches.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Very much so. As far as we knew, only local people were used to supply services and food. Much food and products were made on site (and were outstandingly good). Guests were discouraged from using chemical-laden products. We were happy to use our shower very sparingly. No air-con in the cottages was no problem - fans were there for the days when the temp. reached the 40s but otherwise we were fine. We did have a car, like all guests - can't imagine one could manage without. Overall we liked the ethos of the place which seemed to be that you could have a wonderful, peaceful, luxurious time without damaging the environment. A good lesson for us all including the children.

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

Excellent, though for us it was expensive.

review 18 May 2007

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

The views over Aphales Bay, the delicious home produced meals, swimming in the gorgeous pool, excellent morning coffee and local tips from Mal and Kate at the coffee shop.

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

Don't hesitate - just book it ! Although Ithaca doesn't have its own airport, don't be deterred at the prospect of a short boat journey from Kefalonia to Ithaca. The accommodation handle all the arrangements and our transfer was seamless. We had 10 month old twins with us and even they were fine and very unfrazzled by the trip from London. Take advantage of the home cooked meal service - the food was delicious and hearty. Be sure to have a couple (many!) of Mal's home made chocolate truffles - very good indeed!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, very much. The property is owned and run by a family on a site which has been in their family for generations. There is an emphasis on natural food production (including an organic veg plot guests can help themselves from, home produced sheep yoghurt, milk and eggs every morning, oil from their own trees) and organic use of nature's bounty - the owner's produce a range of organic beauty products which are beautfiul (and have made wonderful gifts).

4. Any other comments?

We booked this holiday desperate for a restorative break after a year of huge upheavel and change (new house, new jobs, becoming parents to twins). Our high hopes were more than exceeded and we enjoyed one of our best trips ever! It is the perfect place to holiday with babies - all the baby kit (cots, high chairs, strollers, car seats) can be provided, along with special requests for food and (very reasonably priced) childcare. We also found the rest of the island very baby-friendly with the twins warmly welcomed in restaurants. We are already planning to return - the accommodation, and the welcome you receive there, is the most perfect tonic for the stresses of modern life.

review 5 Aug 2007

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

The view of Aphales Bay, the warmth of Mal, Spero and everyone at this accommodation and the sense of peace.

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

If you are fair, avoid the very hot months, expect to relax, don't expect much sightseeing or entertainment - it is a retreat rather than a stimulating experience.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes - this accommodation lives its ethos.

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

A great retreat, peaceful and calm - houses could be larger if travelling with a family so consider if two bedrooms will suffice when booking, but it is otherwise wonderful.

review 16 Jul 2007

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

This accommodation is beautiful. A perfect place to unwind. Memorable days of doing nothing much and feeling very relaxed - a real feat with a 1 year old and a 4 year old in tow.

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

Travel light - this accommodation has everything you need. The beaches are all stony, no sand - not a major problem, but be aware if you are traveling with kids. Likewise for a family holiday - get into the rhythm of organizing your food with Mal at the estate and you will eat well and stress free.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, careful approach to the environment shone through. Small local team took care of everything and were very friendly.

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

A very easy family holiday. Made traveling with small children stress free from the minute we arrived. We came home refreshed and relaxed, much of it due to the care and attention of the team at this accommodation.

review 28 May 2006

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

Without doubt, being able to relax, look at the sea, enjoy the warmth and the lovely produce in such sympathetic surroundings and to know that our 18 month was also having the time of her life both with us and for the four half days she spent with the accommodation's carer (a most marvellous woman).

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

This accommodation does live up to the photos and the hype on its website.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes although because of Ithaca's history, there are very few "local" people and many people who have instead moved back to Ithaca. However, that does not diminish the fact that Ithaca is now their home and the accommodation is clearly very careful about employing and using local sustainable resources wherever feasible. I felt that this accommodation was much more interested in maintaining and protecting their environment than the local authorities and had more respect for their environment.

4. Any other comments?

I recommend this accommodation without hesitation to anyone. Definitely "I am reborn!"

review 1 Oct 2005

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

What can I say, the break to this accommodation was just what my wife and i needed, totally relaxing without the maddening crowds! The most memorable part I think was the boat trip from Kefalonia to Ithaca. Strange I know, but after the charter flight out and the hustle and bustle of the airport it was lovely to have the 45 minute crossing in blazing sunshine with just the two of us on a small fishing boat with different islands scattered all around us. By the time I got off the boat the other end I had forgotten all about the flight and felt as though I had been on holiday for a week already! Going back was just as memorable, more for the fact it was force 7 winds and slightly rougher! We knew we were on the way back home!

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

My tip would be, do not leave it until the very last minute to book your flight to Kefalonia. This is the easiest airport to fly into for Ithaca. I have never known it so difficult to get a flight and we always book at the very last minute! Up until the day before we went, we thought we were off to Jersey as this was our plan B. Excel Airways came up with the goods. Ithaca was beautiful in September, the island was quiet, the people all very friendly. My wife and I will be going back to Ithaca and if this accommodation is available we will be stopping with them.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Mel and Speros, who own this accommodation, along with their children live just down the road from where you stay and lovely Nina, the cleaner, is only a stone's throw away. So you know the biggest chunk of your fare is going to the local community. Not forgetting that the whole estate has been built in partnership with the environment which includes an organic vegetable patch where you have to go and help yourselves to the lush tomatoes.

4. Any other comments?

No question I would rate the holiday overall at 5* but I would not go so far as to say it is the best holiday I have ever been on, for that you would have to go to Australia.

review 20 Aug 2005

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

The view from the Estate. A simply wonderful place.

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

Try to fly directly from Kefalonia - saves time.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

This was a wonderful place blending right into the landscape.

4. Any other comments?

I give this holiday six stars. The best family vacation yet. Hosts were wonderful, food great and the view awesome.

review 24 May 2005

We had a really great holiday. The journey to our destination was a real enjoyment and the trip across the water from Kefallonia to Ithaca in a Greek Fishing Boat was breathtaking (if a little noisy) with the moonlight tracing a silver path on the glassy sea for us to follow as we gazed about us in absolute amazement at the peaceful starry sky and the mountainous coastline. Ithaca is the perfect holiday for people looking for quiet, calm beautiful scenery and the sea. The island is very small so the sea is a feature wherever you go. There aren't any sandy beaches and this would probably be a terrible holiday for folk looking for long days spent on crowded beaches and evenings at the nightclub. It is perfect for people who like rocky pebbly coastline, clear sea with lots of little fish popping up to say 'Yassu', and a chance to sample life in the almost stationary lane. If you are nervous of driving on narrow roads with sheer drops down to the sea, you might want to think again - but traffic is minimal at the edges of the season (when we went) and so not too nerve racking. The accommodation itself is run, owned and staffed by friendly helpful people and the organic garden is great for lettuces and herbs. I actually lost weight on holiday because of all the fresh air, exercise and healthy food. The Stavros local takeaway/taverna/pizzeria - Yanni's is the only place you really need to go to for meals - organic chips!!! - yum, and great pasta and chicken dishes. We explored as far as food was concerned but kept going back to Yanni's. We did our shopping at the local supermarket in Stavros, they have just about everything you might need, including cholesterol reducing margarine, my usual brand of shampoo, and varieties of wheat free bread as well as the basic staples of life. Except for the plane ticket - I think all our holiday spend went into the local economy. We did need to drive or take a motor boat everywhere so not a totally footprint free holiday, but driving is a slow leisurely affair and the actual mileage fairly low - lower than at home so overall less petrol used, and we were very careful of water and recycling. The swimming pool is fed from collected rain water and our drinking water at the estate was real spring water from the estate which feeds the taps! We'll be going again - as soon as we can!

review 13 Aug 2005

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

Sitting out in the garden most evenings, looking at the stars, spending time with my husband, relaxing and drinking a bottle of wine or 2, in complete privacy. We were really able to relax after a particularly stressful couple of years.

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

Make your own lunches from the fresh ingredients provided by the estate. Vegetables and fruit picked that day, along with fresh bread are provided - nothing beats it! Go to Kioni and hire a boat for a day. You will find the most gorgeous private beaches/coves, and plenty of good snorkelling and swimming. go to the coffee shop for breakfast – a lovely way to pass the time, chatting, reading, making plans over a lovely coffee and tasty breakfast. If you have children, take a break and let Nadia look after them – she is wonderful with children.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, everything about the holiday was geared to helping the environment and local community. A mixture of sophistication and luxury, coupled with organic produce, locally produced bread, a chemical-free way of life, healthy food and good wine! A unique concept which we found totally refreshing.

4. Any other comments?

The holiday was fantastic - the hosts are wonderful, the concept, location, scenery and everything else was superb. We will definitely recommend to others. Thanks

review 12 May 2004

The two of us spent two weeks on our honeymoon here in May and it was even better than we could have imagined. The location was a private paradise with organic gardens, a beautiful sea view, and natural terrain along with wonderfully kind hosts. Our purely relaxing accommodations were mixed with the opportunity to "rough it" in the mountains hiking on old donkey trails, prepare our own meals with local foods, and get to know many friendly folks. It was exactly what we were looking for and so much more!

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Unedited reviews from other travellers

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
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