Cities: Athens, Greece; Corfu, Greece
This July, we all left Philly heading to Athens, Greece. My wife Linda, 4 of my children, Lianda, Ian II, Lorianna and Dilan and Ian’s girlfriend Kristen. We landed and headed to the Grand Bretagne in the city and checked in to our suites and rooms overlooking the Syntagma Square and Parliament buildings. We arrived right after the demonstrations that had been occurring, but they were contained to an area and heavily secured by the local police teams. It is a beautiful city – a great walking city, which we immediately embarked on.
We had to buy some appropriate panama hats for our Greek experience and visit the many shops in the Plaka.
As we were heading for dinner, a local Greek man pointed us in the direction of his favorite taverna which we thoroughly enjoyed a fine seafood dinner at. Music accompanied the meal with personal musicians playing at our table!
Next day we had hired a guide who walked with us to the Acropolis, where we spent a couple of hours and then visited the new museum there. It is inspiring to see what the Greeks had so long ago, and it shows how far we have come (or gone) since then.
Dinner that night was at The Grand Bretagne’s restaurant on top of the hotel – GB Roof Garden with its 2 star Michelin Chef. Wow, the evening was incredible with unsurpassed views of the Acropolis and fine food and wine.
We sadly left the hotel and headed for the airport for a short flight to Corfu, about an hour north west of Athens in the Ionian Sea. We arrived and were met by the representatives from CV Travel , a 40 year old English company specializing in arranging villa vacations in Europe.
We collect our rental mini van, packed it to the brim with our luggage and headed north to Kaloura where our villa Scheria was located. CV had stocked our villa with food we had requested so once we arrived we were all set. Ian 2, Dilan, Kristem and I headed down the path to the beach, which was a small pebbly beach in a small bay about 5 minutes below us. We swam in the crystal clear waters until dinner.
We walked down to the local taverna (the taverna’s are restaurants scattered along the coast right on the water edge) enjoyed some fresh fish and of course, Greek salads.
The next day we had arranged to rent a small boat to explore the coastline, which is how you should see Corfu – from the water, it such a beautiful area. Cruising along we went in and out of small bays and coves and found one where the kids could do their cliff diving, which they all did safely. We then headed the next bay and were waved in to the jetty where we tied up and went ashore for lunch.
It is hard to describe the ideality of the situation here. Here you are sitting at the waters edge, enjoying some of the freshest produce with great Greek hospitality. You could spend several weeks just in the area and not dine at the same restaurant twice! And all of this with beautiful water, you can swim from the restaurants!
We did this for a couple of days, and then decided to split up and Linda and Lorianna went across on the hydrofoil to Albania to visit the ancient Roman ruins there while I went with the others to Paxos, a smaller island to the south of Corfu.
On Paxos we were met by the CV Manager there who showed us around this magical island in the morning and then we boarded a small boat and headed to Anti Paxos, an even smaller island again for lunch. Here we visited with a local family at their taverna which has been in the family for generations. On Anti Paxos, there aren’t many people – in fact has a permanent population of about 20, but during the summer months, about 600 people come in their boats for the day. Super yachts to small yachts are all there enjoying the sandy beaches and tavernas.
We headed back on the hydrofoil with some local, hand pressed olive oil and dined back in the villa.
Villa life is calm and serene. They all have pools overlooking the sea so a great way to spend many days with a good book and what we found, a great way to enjoy each other in a family environment.
We did some driving around the area to see some other villas and came across one called LIANDA, which of course is my daughters name, Linda and Ian combined. I went there to take a picture and met the owners children, who were from London. They had named their villa LIANDA, as their names were Ian & Linda, so it goes to show weren’t the only ones who could combine names, but what are the odds of that?
The Villas in Corfu range between 1 and 8 bedrooms – they range from first class to over the top and at SWAIN Villas we can assist in booking the right villa for your experience!
I am looking forward to my next villa experience, maybe this time in France of Italy!
Look for my next blog as we take a journey through Bhutan!