13 independent reviews for Luxury Greek Island vacation

Reviews for Luxury Greek Island vacation

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review 18 Jul 2019

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

review 22 Sep 2018

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

review 11 Jul 2017

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!

review 30 Aug 2015

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

review 22 Jun 2015

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!

review 28 Jun 2013

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!

review 23 Aug 2013

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?


review 31 Jul 2013

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!

review 3 Apr 2013

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!

review 23 Aug 2011

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?


review 21 Sep 2010

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

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 travelers booking this vacation?

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

3. Did you feel that your vacation 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 vacation overall?

Amazing.

review 20 Aug 2010

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

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 travelers booking this vacation?

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 vacation 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 vacation overall?

This really was the best vacation 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 vacation?

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 travelers booking this vacation?

We travelled out of school vacations 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 vacation 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 vacation overall?

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

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