Tag: Ionian islands

Where to go in Greece: Paxos island for scenic coasts, quiet coves and secluded luxury

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Travel + Leisure December 27 2021 article on Paxos island in Greece

 

The headline touting a quiet island with no crowds is what initially piqued our curiosity when we noticed the Travel + Leisure magazine article For a Greek vacation without the crowds, head to the quiet island of Paxos, published December 22 2021.

What stoked our interest in Paxos even more were vivid descriptions of the island in writer Rachel Howard’s trip report, illustrated with blissful scenes captured by photographer Loulou d’Aki. The two had travelled to the little “green speck” in the Ionian Sea during last year’s travel season.

Rachel certainly paints a pretty portrait of Paxos as she cites its ample attractions: Verdant landscapes lush with pine forests and olive tree groves; craggy coastlines carved with cliffs, sea caves, secluded coves and quiet beaches; charming villages and scenic harbours; quaint tavernas serving delicious Greek cuisine and seafood. And, best of all, “no ritzy boutiques or champagne bars, no fancy resorts, and scarcely any hotels.”

It sounded like a Greek island paradise we would love — until Rachel noted that the same features so alluring to us also happen to be highly coveted by “the European aristocrats and upper-crust Brits who are stealthily building palatial pads camouflaged by the hills, hovering on the edges of plunging cliffs, or poised on pristine coves with private moorings and speedboats for exploring the turquoise coastline.”

And the two luxury properties she stayed at — the Aperghis Estate villas to begin with, followed by “the most sensational estate on the island,” the ultra-exclusive Paxos PTR rental villa owned by architect Patrizia Peracchio of Milan — aren’t the types of accommodations we would feel comfortable booking for just the two of us.

But if we were travelling with family or friends and needed a holiday hideaway offering style, space and privacy for a large group, either of those luxe lodgings would probably be perfect — and the rental rates of up to $27,000 (U.S.) per week much more affordable.

While a big group holiday isn’t likely in the cards for us in the near term, it was still fun and interesting to read Rachel’s report and daydream of a trip to Paxos sometime. 

Could Paxos perhaps be the perfect place for you?

As an aside: The Paxos PTR estate that Rachel wrote about was mentioned in another travel article last year, The Greek islands holidays to book for summer. In that piece, published in April by The Times of London, Susan D’Arcy said “Paxos is villa heaven but even so, Paxos PST is the one that stands out, an architect-designed one-off with Instagrammable green marble pool and lovely gardens.” 

For specific details and rental rates, you’ll have to request details from Five Star Greece, which manages the property.  In the meantime, you can see aerial views of the estate’s spectacular clifftop location in the video below:

 

Drone views of the stunning clifftop perch for the Paxos PST and PTR villa properties are shown in this short clip by Greece Villa Videos. The camera doesn’t begin changing position until around the 30-second mark, so we suggest fast-forwarding to that point to begin watching the film.

 

Countdown to Kefalonia

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The beautiful landscapes and scenery on Kefalonia look tremendously inviting even in winter, as this short film by Yiannis Prassadis reveals

 

Finally going: Kefalonia has been on our bucket list for quite some time, but we have never been able to fit a trip there into any of our past island-hopping holidays — largely since we were usually travelling in the Aegean or Dodecanese regions of Greece, too far away to conveniently slot any of the Ionian islands into our vacation schedule. We kept expecting that we would devote one entire holiday just to see Kefalonia and some of its island neighbours, but it never happened.

Notions of visiting Kefalonia were rekindled this past January when I discovered the Explore Kefalonia — Winter video (posted above) while working on my blog articles about snowfalls and severe weather conditions in Greece.  

I was captivated by the video scenes of beautiful coasts and landscapes, and that led me to start watching more Kefalonia videos, almost all of which were filmed during the summer tourist period, rather than during the off-season winter months. Those videos, in turn,  made me conclude that we had to bump Kefalonia higher up our “must see” list of places to visit sometime in the next five years.

 

 

I never thought for a moment that we might get to Kefalonia as early as this year, but when friends invited us to join them on a road trip in the western Peloponnese this spring, and asked if we would like to go to Kefalonia from there, we couldn’t pass up the golden opportunity.

We will be on the island later this month for almost a full week — clearly not long enough to see all the fascinating places and attractions that have intrigued me so much in the videos. But if we do wind up loving it Kefalonia as much as we have enjoyed so many other islands, we’ll return another time to get to know it better.

Now it’s just a matter of contending with the steadily growing anticipation of finally getting there. With the countdown to our flight to Greece in its final days, we won’t have to wait much longer.

Below are three of the videos I enjoyed watching during the winter, never realizing that a trip to Kefalonia would be in the cards for us so soon.

 

James Brook published his Kefalonia  video in October 2016

 

Greg Stachura released his Amazing Kefalonia video last November

 

Island Paradise was posted last summer by Buytheticketandgo.com

New Ionian Islands travel guide available

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Ionian Islands travel guide

The cover of The Ionian Islands online travel guide, published by the Greek National Tourism Organisation, features a photo of a sailboat anchored near Navagio beach on Zakynthos (Zante) island

 

 

Free download: A new online travel guide for the Ionian Islands is now available from visitgreece.gr, the official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO).

The 88-page guide features maps, useful phone numbers, descriptions of must-see sights and must-do activities on each island, plus dozens of gorgeous full-colour photos. It’s organized into seven separate sections: Corfu, Diapontia Islands, Paxoi, Lefkada, Kefalonia, Ithaca and Zakynthos.

The guide is available in English, German, Italian, Spanish, French and Russian versions. To obtain a copy of the guide, click on this link to the GNTO downloads page, scroll down, and click on the flag that represents the language you prefer.

Don’t be surprised if you start dreaming of a holiday in the Ionians after seeing just the first few pages of the guide! Below are two of the images that appear in the publication. click on each photo to view a fulls-size version.

 

G. Augoustinators photograph of Antisamos on Kefalonia island in Greece

The Ionian Islands guide credits photographer G. Augoustinatos for this beautiful image of Antisamos on Kefalonia

 

 

Porto Katsiki beach on Lefkada

The gorgeous sky-blue sea off Porto Katsiki beach on Lefkada. The GNTO guide credits this photograph to the Lefkada Prefecture.