Luxury Greek Island vacation

“Whether you're on Ithaca for relaxation, contemplation or outdoor activities, this luxury estate promises an organic experience set against the deep blues of the Ionian Sea.”

Highlights

Saltwater infinity pool | Organic coffee & food shop | Traditional, organic meals on request | Outdoor massage pavilion | Hidden hammocks | Local taverna for evening meals | Babysitting service | 10 min walk to beach | Optional activities: self-drive excursions, dingy hire, crewed yacht charters, horse riding, cycling, snorkelling, wild flower walks

Map

Our top tip:
Take your time to do pretty much everything on Ithica as often the most treasured of rewards are only realised once you've returned to the real world.
Room description:
4 traditional houses, each with 2 bedrooms, living room with fold out bed, kitchen, bathroom, sea views and private verandah.
Amenities:
Set in a 7-acre organic olive farm with infinity pool and gardens.
Meals:
Self catering. Stocked with refreshments from the estate on arrival, with fresh bread daily. First breakfast included.
Also included:
Transfers, housekeeping, beach equipment, car (in high season).
SINGLE USE PLASTIC-FREE:
In creating accommodation on our Estate, we simply never found a need for the use of one-use plastics, especially living on an island where the transporting away of waste is quite an operation. Although single use plastic can have the tendency to creep into our lives if we are not careful, we have taken steps to ensure we continue on as those before us did, without the need for throw away plastics.
PRESERVING FOOD:
On our farm produce such as vegetables, fruits and eggs are provided to guests in baskets and hopefully used when they are fairly fresh.
Throw-away plastic products are unnecessary in our kitchens. Each of our kitchens are fully equipped in ceramic, stainless steel,and glass, including storage, cooking, food preparation and serving tools and equipment.
Meals are provided in stainless steel, glass or food-grade re-useable plastic bowls.
BAGS:
Guests are provided with cotton laundry bags, paper carry bags and material beach bags.
IN THE ROOMS:
Skin care and toiletry products provided to our guests are made here on our estate. We package them either in paper or re-usable bottles. We offer discounts when bottles are brought to us to refill. Paper bags go into recycle bins to be re-used, or composted after a few uses.
WATER BOTTLES:
All water on the Estate is underground spring water and we provide guests with glass bottles.
RUBBISH:
Our Chef’s kitchen Rubbish bins are washed daily rather than lined with plastic bags. The only plastic we need to deal sometimes is plastic wrapping on items guests buy whilst elsewhere on the island during their vacation. This could be a pair of swimming flippers, a child’s game or perhaps tetra packs containing juices. However, this has always been so minor, I daresay we are lucky in that our guests tend to be very well educated in all matters.
EDUCATION:
Prior to their vacation we send all guests a long list of the items which they don’t need to bring on vacation which, I think, educates them from the outset - they understand immediately that they will not need anything except clothes!
The local community is becoming far more aware of ecological issues such as the need to reduce and dispose of rubbish in a way which is kind to the planet, the need to keep the island, its beaches, hiking paths and villages clean and tidy. We like to think that we have had an influence on this over the last 20 years!
CHANGE MAKING:
We have always wanted to find an alternative to the one large plastic bag we use each day in which to collect non-recyclable, non-compostable rubbish to the local council’s bins. These have to be strong enough not to break in transit and previous attempts with a reinforced paper sack were unsuccessful. When Responsible Travel got in touch we reignited our search for a new solution and happily, we have tracked down potato and rice starch bags which are working well so far.
Multi generational:
This vacation is suitable for grandparents, parents and children.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
The first guiding principle of offering luxury Greek Island vacation accommodation was to invite people to share our lives and begin to learn about a new environment at the same time ? to offer the experience of 'living in Greece for a week or two' rather than mindlessly taking a vacation in a different country.

Producing organic olive oil has been extended to other farming activities - raising sheep and chickens; and providing a biodiversified environment which also includes gardens planted with native flora; vegetable gardens growing greens used in the local diet, a wide range of other vegetables, and Mediterranean herbs. We are a member of the National organisation for organic producers. We work to encourage the idea that vacation destinations offering high quality accommodation and services can be, at the same time, in harmony with a natural, living environment.

Providing organic foods and gardens rich in native flora and foods; having passive cooling and using our own timber for heating our accommodation; providing natural spring water; harvesting rain water for the gardens; using grey water for maintaining forest trees; recycling organic waste, we are providing a sustainable environment and encourage guests to become inquisitive about why they feel so at rest ? firmly believing it?s the affect of their ?whole? and peaceful surroundings.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Our second guiding principle is that tourism income should always 'stay at home', and so we operate independently rather than risking a compromise on this.

Our local community benefits because we provide a full time income to two people (and families); and local families own every service we recommend or routinely make use of ? taxis, car hire, boat hire, restaurants employing local people and sourcing foods locally, supermarkets, cafes, food producers such as shepherds and fishermen. The economy of the island therefore benefits from every guest being here.

Climate

10 Reviews of Luxury Greek Island vacation

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 18 Jul 2019 by

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


We have lots of lovely memories so it is difficult to single any one thing out. But as we have to choose we would say the beautiful views gardens pool and the charming cottages which provide a wonderful environment in which to relax and also the great welcome and inobtrusive support of the family who built, own and run the estate. Ithaca is a beautiful island with a landscape that tells a rich history so there are lots of interesting things to do and see quite easily. However the beauty of the estate and a couple of local beaches meant there was no need to go very far at all to make the most of our stay.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The breakfasts and roast peppers are not to be missed!

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


Yes, the estate belongs to local people who also work there, and it is an organically farmed estate. It was very hot for a couple of days while we were there but the cottages are so well designed and built there is no need for any air con.

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


Excellent

Reviewed on 22 Sep 2018 by

Our stay was a unique & happy experience, unlike any previous vacation. While it can be a challenge to get there, the effort is repaid abundantly. It’s an eco-chic vacation in a cottage where everything can be taken care of, according to one’s wishes. One returns refreshed in mind & body.

First, the location. An island where Nature reigns supreme… olive trees, a rich & varied vegetation, crystal-clear seas, pure air, beautiful scenery. Taking advantage of this rich environment, Spero & Mal have created four cottages beautifully integrated & terraced on multiple levels, all overlooking the sea where one can hear the waves softly lapping the shore, the birds singing, the cock crowing & just pure innocent silence.

Second, the people. Spero & Mal have single-mindedly pursued their joint philosophy of creating a space that takes advantage of the natural environment responsibly & that takes care of every individual need. Specifically, they offer local ecologically produced fruit, vegetables & meat, personal care products & every cottage comes with a small car included with descriptive brochures about the island. One very quickly gets settled in & forms easy relationships with the other guests. Two uniques features are the open-air cinema for guests & the massage parlour lost somewhere in the woods close-by. The swimming-pool is magnificent.

Third, the island. Simply a great place to be in September. On the roads, no traffic… 3 cars about every km covered. The people very friendly & relaxed. Restaurants close-by on the sea-front offering fresh fish every day with a friendly service. English spoken almost everywhere.

Finally, the most powerful endorsement has to be that the other guests were regulars in so far as they were all on their umpteenth visit to the accommodation happy to note how the place had evolved over time.

Gigi

Reviewed on 11 Jul 2017 by

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


Rarely would I answer 'the accommodation' to this question, however this place is so beautiful and peaceful that my favorite memories of the vacation are just
of being in the estate itself. Birds, bats, bees, lizards, pine martens, countless types of flowers and olive, eucalyptus and cypress trees blend in with the
traditional style houses. We loved the walks around the forest, swimming in the amazing pool, cooking with fresh veg from Mal's garden, watching the bats at
night, reading books in the hammock or just staring at the bay below our house. I could have spent the entire 10 days happily without leaving the estate at all.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Stay as long as you can. Vacationing here is all about switching off, forgetting your everyday life and escaping normality and the real world for a while. I
haven't slept this well in a long time, our concentration levels rose and everything felt so fresh and healthy. The immersion in natural surroundings is
undoubtedly the reason for all of that.

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


Yes, local people benefit economically in various capacities from visitors here. Tourism is hugely important for Greece at the moment, for every 30 visitors
to the country a job is created, so economically tourism is vital. Seemingly nearly all of the produce in the meals is sourced locally or indeed grown on the
estate itself, as are the home-made sun creams and toiletries. Environmentally, this vacation undoubtedly benefits the local ecology. The estate here is
hugely bio-diverse and I'm fairly sure that wouldn't be the case if it weren't for the beautiful natural gardens that Mal has created and maintained. It really
is a haven for wildlife.

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


Genuinely perfect, I can't think of a single thing that we wanted for. Mal and Spero are fantastic hosts, I really hope we get to spend time with you both again
somehow!

Reviewed on 30 Aug 2015 by

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


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 travelers booking this vacation?


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 vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Our vacation 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 vacation overall?


This was a wonderful vacation 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 vacation. 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

Reviewed on 22 Jun 2015 by

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


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 vacation 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 travelers booking this vacation?


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 vacation 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 vacation overall?


Wonderful!

Reviewed on 28 Jun 2013 by

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


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

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


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 vacation 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 vacation overall?


Pretty much perfect!

Reviewed on 23 Aug 2013 by

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


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 travelers booking this vacation?


Just go - you will be rejuvenated!

3. Did you feel that your vacation 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 vacation overall?



Reviewed on 31 Jul 2013 by

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


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 travelers booking this vacation?


Travel light - Mal has everything you could possibly need.

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


I believe it reduced environmental impact.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation 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 vacation was a great success for all the family. The estate is absolutely beautiful and we really did feel at home. Overall - great vacation!

Reviewed on 03 Apr 2013 by

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


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

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


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 traveling before the end of April!

3. Did you feel that your vacation 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 vacation 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!

Reviewed on 23 Aug 2011 by

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


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 travelers booking this vacation?


You won’t need to take much luggage with you but take masks and snorkels we spent most of the vacation 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 vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes

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



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