Although the Greek islands are very much associated with summer holidays, we are hoping that the recent announcement from the Greek Tourist Office, that‘Greece will continue to extend the country’s tourism season’, will tempt more people to Greece outside the busy summer season.
Greece does tick a lot of boxes as an all year round destination – especially for those of us who are feeling more than ready for a therapeutic change of scene by the sea, enjoying long coastal walks, exploring mountain villages, enjoying the country’s iconic cuisine, visiting local museums, and indulging in some Greek history.
Historically, the Ionian islands have a strong connection with Italy, having been ruled by the Republic of Venice from the mid-14th century until the late 18th century, which is very much witnessed in the architecture on all three islands suggested below.
Built on a promontory, Corfu Old Town is a UNESCO world heritage site, displaying a unique architecture particularly influenced by the Venetians, and also later, to a lesser extent, by the French and the English. The legacy of its long Venetian history, from the 12th – 18th century, can be witnessed in the Venetian fortresses and historic Venetian buildings, as well as its quaint narrow cobbled streets and vaulted passages.
Outside the town, the island also offers the chance to indulge in a large variety of interests, including seaside and mountain walks, discovering picturesque towns and villages, discovering beautiful beaches, and exploring flora and fauna – the latter influenced by the Lawrence Durrell books and TV series, which have drawn many visitors to Corfu over the years.
12 Guests | 6 Bedrooms
Situated on a hillside, overlooking the pretty village of Kassiopi, which is just 350m away, guests here can enjoy both the sunrise and sunset. The views extend to nearby beaches, such as Avlaki, and also the Albanian coast and mountains.
Built to the highest specifications, there is a temperature control system, air conditioning and an underfloor cooling and heating system, as well as a home cinema room with DVD player and PS3, a gym, Sonos music system, satellite TV and Wi-Fi.
The rooms open to a front terrace with a 15 metre infinity swimming pool, furnished for relaxing and dining outdoors, including a barbecue. A maid and a cook service are included in the price.
8 Guests | 4 Bedrooms
Situated within an olive grove overlooking Agios Stefanos Bay on the north-east coast of Corfu, this villa offers the perfect getaway. In a quiet location on a hillside, with amazing sea and mountain views, it is just two kilometres from the beach and pretty fishing village of Agios Stefanos, with tavernas, bars and food shops.
The property has both air conditioning and heating, satellite TV (including BBC, CNN), Plasma HD with Home Cinema, DVD/MP3 Player, as well as a Printer / Fax and Wi-Fi/. A welcome basket will await guests here, with wine, olive oil and homemade organic jam. Maid service is included.
12 Guests | 6 Bedrooms
A large residence, our Villa Lefki is also close to the small fishing village of Agios Stefanos and features with incredible views over the Ionian Sea.
The spacious interiors are very comfortably furnished, and the 6 bedrooms all have air conditioning, and two of the bathrooms have jacuzzi baths. The many amenities include satellite TV (including BBC, CNN, Plasma HD with Home Cinema, DVD/MP3 Player, printer/fax and wi-fi internet access. There is also a gym area. Outside is a swimming pool, and an outdoor dining area with barbecue.
On arrival a nice welcome awaits guests, with a selection of finest Greek wines, bathrobes, slippers, toiletries, a complimentary fruit basket and a welcome food hamper (with home made organic jams, local olive oil and organic vegetables and eggs). Maid service is included, and pool heating is available on request.
18 Guests | 9 Bedrooms
Rated as one of the best locations on Corfu, well away from the tourist crowds, Villa Kanoni sits in a spectacular setting, 40 metres above the sea, with stunning views and beach access. Just a 10 minute drive from Corfu town, guests here will have easy access to the historical buildings and museums, as well as shopping and restaurants.
Originally one of the neighbouring estates to “Mon Repos” the summerhouse of the King of Greece, the property has also been featured in the James Bond film, ‘For Your Eyes only’. The villa is surrounded by a 10 acre estate with beautifully tended gardens and a large seawater swimming pool and a terrace, also with kitchen, barbecue area, and a bar. Fully staffed and perfect for entertaining, and with a chapel in the grounds, the property also offers a great venue for a wedding celebration and features its own gym, a large fireplace and heating.
The third largest of the Ionian islands, Zakynthos, like Corfu, has a history very much influenced by the Venetians which, despite the devastating earthquake in 1953, is still apparent in its main town.
Many buildings here have since been renovated in Venetian style, including the Venetian Castle which overlooks the town. There is also the Byzantine Museum and its collection of Greek art from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
The island is loved for its beautiful vegetation, including over 7000 species of flowers, and is also home to two endangered animal species — the caretta sea turtle and monachus seal.
Better yet, Zakynthos boasts a number of picturesque hilltop villages and centuries-old monasteries, not to mention the mesmerising beaches, including the iconic Navagio Bay - a true miracle of nature that you can explore on our bespoke boat tour.
Our selection of villas here are in the north of the islands, near the famous Blue Caves, as well as two villas below, both in the south of the island.
6 - 8 Guests | 3 Bedroom
Situated on a hillside, just a 5 minute drive from the traditional village of Keri, this villa offers breathtaking views over Keri Lake Bay, Marathonisi (Turtle Island) and the Ionian Sea. Zakynthos town and port are around 15 kms away. The villa has many benefits for a long stay, with its beautiful garden and large heated swimming pool, which also features hydro-massage, aero-massage and a shallow end for young children.
Further luxuries include a bar with a variety of drinks, and an outdoor dining area with barbecue. Inside there are 3 bedrooms, each with en-suite bathroom. Further amenities include central climate control, satellite TV, play station and board games, a laptop and printer and a sound system, CD/DVD player and an iPod dock.
The beautiful small island of Paxos is the ideal place for a total getaway. There is no airport, and the best way to get to Paxos is via a regular ferry service, or a sea taxi, from Corfu town port to Gaios, the island’s capital.
The capital of Gaios, is a charming and picturesque small town, also with some historic Venetian influence in the architecture of its castle and waterfront buildings. Much of the town is pedestrianised, and the narrow streets offer plenty of restaurants and cafés. Activities, which should not be missed, include a day trip (around 90 minutes each way by ferry) to the tiny island of Anti-Paxos, with its beautiful sandy beaches and clear sea, perfect for snorkelling.
Another unforgettable experience is an early evening visit to Erimitis Bar and Restaurant, on a hillside on the west coast of Paxos, where you can enjoy the exceptional sunset while having a drink or dinner.
Paxos is also known as one of the best islands for walking, with recommended walks which include the walk between Gaios and the village of Lakka, or along the west coast of the island, and a walk to one of the islalnd’s most popular attractions, the Tripitos Arch (a naturally formed rock structure over 20m high).
10 - 13 Guests | 5 Bedrooms
Nestled on the edge of the limestone Ostria cliffs, this stunning villa benefits from uninterrupted south westerly views which encompass the cliffs, down to the pine and olive trees and the Avlaki Creek below, to the blue of the Ionian Sea.
From its quiet location, within grounds of one and a half acres, the property, is only a 15 minute walk to the island’s main town of Gaios.
With outdoor space including gardens, terraces, a basketball court, table tennis and an infinity swimming pool, there are also both indoor and outdoor dining areas. Inside, there is also plenty to keep guests occupied, including is a games room with gym equipment, an American pool table and comfortable cinema area.
Further amenities include satellite TV (including Sky Sports), underfloor cooling and heating, and Wi-Fi. Maid service is included.
From 5 November to 2 December, 2020, travelling away from home, including internationally, is restricted from England except in limited circumstances such as for work or for education. Different rules apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You must follow all the rules that apply to you.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides guidance on COVID and non-COVID risks overseas. The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to many countries and territories on the basis of COVID risks. You should check the travel advice for your destination.
Addressing the Greek public in national broadcast, PM Mitsotakis said that as of 6 am Tuesday, November 3, Greece will be divided into two risk zones (from the four at the moment) and that the following measures will be in force for one month:
– Mandatory use of masks in all public spaces (indoors and outdoors).
– Late night curfew from 12 midnight to 5 am.
– Mandatory teleworking for the 50 percent of employees in the private and public sector
– University lessons will take place only via tele-education.
– All public gatherings are banned.
If you travel to Greece, you will need to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before travel. Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a 500 Euro fine on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter the country.
Every traveller, including children, must have their details included on a PLF. If you’re travelling with others outside of your household, you should all complete your own form. If you’re travelling together as a household, the Greek authorities ask for you to complete one form with all adults and children included. You can add additional members of your household at the top of the form before you submit.
Follow the latest updates here.