Holiday retreat in Greece, Saronic Islands

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Responsible tourism

Holiday retreat in Greece, Saronic Islands

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Since we live on a very small island with 800 inhabitants and a community that just changed hands to a very open-minded mayor, the whole population including us raised money to buy a little boat that connects Agistri to Aegina [18000 inhabitants]. This boat is essential for all inhabitants of Agistri, serving as transport for the high-school, shopping and tourism. We encourage guests to travel with this boat. People staying here visit different restaurants and also buy goods from the island, like oregano (which grows wild in abundance), figs, oil, mushrooms, retsina wine, vinegar and fish.

Our rooms use energy efficient lightbulbs, and rainwater from the ceramic roof goes in a deposit which we use for watering. We inform our guests to be careful with water, because, although the island is covered 90% with pines, we do not have any water resources. We change towels every 3 days and bedsheets once a week. The local laundry service uses rainwater, wellwater and water delivered by watertank. We only use showers in our rooms, and toilets that can be adjusted to half flush.

The garden around the complex is natural. All the organic waste from the kitchen we compost, while food waste is consumed by local wildlife. We have dogs and cats and some donkeys in the village that get watermelon waste, and we make trips to a deserted island with peacocks and goats where we send the stale bread. Clothes, books etc are donated to the 'Animal Respect Shop' on Aegina island, who then sell in order to purchase medication, vaccinations and pay doctor's fees for the big shelter they have on the island.

We employ people that live on the island and train staff to work in the kitchen of the restaurant. Our kitchen products come mainly from the island, while our fishermen provide the restaurant specialities in smoked, grilled and cooked fish. We serve a variety of vegetarian dishes, and all our dishes are homemade (we use no frozen or prefabricated food). We started our own garden last year with tomatoes, paprika, aubergine, and spices...and people enjoy that immensely.

We also use the local butcher, who operates a small stable with cows, chicken and turkey. We use the market on Aegina island for things we cannot find here. For maintenance, electrical work, plumbing, and mechanics we employ a young talented guy from the island who left Athens to have a more tranquil life on Agistri, living just 1 km away.

5 Reviews of Holiday retreat in Greece, Saronic Islands

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Reviewed on 07 Oct 2016 by

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


Just relaxing on the sunbeds, looking out at the beautiful, serene view.
The boat trip from the hotel that took us to fabulous swimming spots.
A two and half hour yoga workshop - we were not booked on to the yoga holiday but were able to join in and pay by donation. Amazing yoga with Joy!

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


Bring mosquito repellent (preferably something natural so as not to toxify the environment!). Breakfast is a bit monotonous so it might be worth getting room only and having breakfast elsewhere.

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


Yes. Locals working at the hotel. Minimal impact on the environment.

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


Gloriously relaxing, in a beautiful, calm environment. Exactly what I needed to recharge.

Reviewed on 01 Jun 2011 by

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


Nothing particularly exciting its just a lovely place to relax.

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


Book mid season like we did, its lovely and quiet.

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


It benefited local people in that it gave business to a small island.

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


A great holiday, very relaxing.

Reviewed on 20 Jul 2010 by

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


Swimming in our own bay daily with nothing but the sound of lapping waves and cicadas around us was fabulous.

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


Take more money than you think you'll need. Greece is no longer a value-for-money destination with a 50cl beer costing 3 at the accommodation, it is expensive. I pay that for the same amount of beer in London.

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


Yes, the important factor for us was that the accommodation is a family-run business and it works well.

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


Agistri is ideal for a week's stay and I would recommend it.

Reviewed on 24 Apr 2010 by

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


The most memorable part was being stranded for four days because of the volcanic ash. The most exciting part was taking a water taxi back to Pireaus because the transport and harbour workers were on strike. We weren't looking for excitement, so we could have done without this.

However, if we had to be stranded anywhere, this was the place to be. Rosy was so helpful and generous with her facilities - and good company too. What could have been a trying experience turned into a slightly longer holiday. Thank you Rosy and Nondas!

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


If you want a quiet, restful holiday where you can read, walk, swim, eat good food, watch the ferries come to and fro and generally chill out, this is for you.

Yiorgos restaurant, directly above the jetty, is great - fresh fish off their boat nearly every day, but don't feed the cats if you don't want them to bother you. The bakery in Skala is excellent and we also made good use of the mini-market opposite.

Skliri (sp?) beach just beyond Rosy's is very pleasant and the swimming there felt safer to me than below Rosy's, because it was shallower.

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


Yes - there seemed to be a lot of local people involved with Rosy in doing various bits of work on the Little Village and she certainly knew lots of useful people (eg doctor, water taxi pilot, hoteliers in Piraeus and Athens).

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


Great - despite the volcano and the additional expense, we're very glad we went and hope to go there again.

Reviewed on 12 Apr 2010 by

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


Lying on a small, secluded beach with the sun shining down on me with only the lapping of waves to hear - no people at all out of season; discovering the hidden beach; enjoying the local food - especially the Pizzeria not far from the house for soups and pasta, and especially being able to walk along sandy beaches, pebbled beaches and also in the forest - Agistri has it all. Rosy and her husband are incredibly kind, fiercely intelligent and so great to chat to and relax with. I also had a sea view from my room and the sunrise was fantastic.

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


It's easy to get to, even though Agistri is remote. From Athens, leave the airport by exit 5 to buy a ticket outside (3euro) for the X96 bus to Peirius port (validate your ticket in the orange machine on the bus). The bus takes just over an hour and you can't miss the ferry port, which is huge with a lot of gates. Go to gate E8 to buy a ticket for the ferry (5euro), but be aware there are only two a day to Agistri - one in the morning and one at 8pm. If you miss the ferry you can get a Flying Dolphin speedboat regularly (15euro). There are lots of companies selling tickets for different boats, so you can ask around. Rosy will then likely pick you up, although it's a pleasant walk to her place. Agistri is the second and last island stop from Peirius.

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


Yes. Rosy runs retreats at her place as well as running a holiday home, so she brings responsible tourism to the island, which is what Agistri survives on. Her place is very homely and not at all showy, they have many friends there to help them keep the place maintained, so it's a natural environment and not excessive. Organic foods are used for cooking. It's also advised that drinking water is precious.

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


Agistri is a little piece of heaven and I'd recommend it to anyone who'd like to truly unwind and relax in a remote place, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. You can only get to the island by boat and the island is very small, so you really do feel truly 'away from it all'. You can rent a vespa, walk or cycle (bikes are free at the house) around the island easily. There are plenty of places to eat traditional Greek food and small, inexpensive supermarkets for water and basics. I went in spring, so there were hardly any tourists and the land was green and blossoming with flowers; people were very friendly, the water was aqua and the heat was just perfect - I often had the beach to myself. I recommend Agistri for anyone, definitely.

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