Dream Destination: Lefkada, Greece

I wouldn’t normally share what was essentially a quiet family beach holiday that we took recently, but given the recent controversy surrounding Greece I thought I would share and try to encourage more of you to travel there if you were reconsidering. Pete and I have travelled extensively round Greece as students and since, so it holds a special place in our hearts and we were really excited to go back with Bea.

We went to Lefkada, essentially one of the Ionian islands (just above the better known Kefalonia,) but actually only separated from mainland Greece by a small body of water. You fly into Preveza airport and drive to the island – over a causeway. It took about 45 minutes to get to Agios Nikitas from the airport.


We had actually been to Agios Nikitas several years earlier but I didn’t remember much of it as we went early in the season and the weather was shocking. What we did remember was a quiet small village with a single restaurant and shop lined street leading to the sheltered beach. It’s a perfect family resort, with very few English people (we only heard/saw one couple all week,) with a couple of bars and no clubs so mainly couples and young families.

The beach is gorgeous and was perfect for us because it started getting shaded at one end from about 2pm which meant we could sit with Bea, without worrying about keeping her from roaming out from under a brolly and she could swim in the sea in shade too. It’s a pebble beach, which we had varying degrees of success at preventing Bea from eating!


For true sun worshippers, over the headland is Milos beach which would start the day in shade but faced west so kept the sun until it set. We got the water taxi around the headland once but we also trekked up for the view one night after dinner too. It’s a serious hike in the heat but doesn’t actually take that long. Maybe 10 minutes up and the same down.


Our days were lazy, starting with breakfast on the balcony, then a swim with Bea in the pool before nap time. We often spread a towel out by the pool as a play mat and headed down to the beach for lunch or afterwards once the shade started to arrive.


We took toys to the beach, tried to get another nap out of Bea and took her swimming in the sea – she loves swimming! We took snacks too and around 6 would head up to one of the beachfront bars for a drink before dinner. Each night we ate on the way back to the villa then headed up for bedtime and a drink if we weren’t too exhausted ourselves!



As for the financial crisis, we were there just as the banks closed and everybody was tut-tutting when we announced we were going to Greece (we had pre-booked, but somehow blissfully unaware a couple of weeks prior.) We compensated by taking a LOT of cash – we brought home half of what we took and paid for the car and hotel for the last night online before we went. We didn’t really hear mention of it or see any difference at all. It’s not an expensive village and we weren’t doing much so it was cheap but the hotel we stayed at on the last night was cheap to eat in too – the evening buffet for example was 15 euros each.


We loved it so much as a family holiday we are thinking of making it a regular trip for (early or late) summer sun. I do hope you haven’t been put off Greece – they certainly need our tourism right now and I imagine much of the islands are unchanged by the situation – in terms of what a holiday maker would experience at least. We had the most amazing week! 🙂

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS.
Where we stayed: Villa Dioni & Ionan Blue
Travelling with a baby – gadgets and kit we took with us that made the trip easier

Found: AirBnB – Villa Dioni

It’s the first week of the holidays (or second for some of you) and I reckon many of you will be heading off for summer breaks, or if not, wishing you were, so I thought I’d share some info about my recent holiday.

When we went away 2 weeks ago it was booked not long before we went and I decided to give AirBnB a go for accommodation booking. In my experience accommodation in Greece is often rather basic and unfortunately not in the simple white washed walls and pretty blue painted furniture way… We wanted self-catering, ideally a private villa, with a pool and 2 bedrooms. We totally lucked out with Villa Dioni 🙂

Before I go on, the villa was up a STEEP hill, and a lot of steps – thats what gave it that glorious view, but there was always the pool to dive into after the walk up and we certainly earned our dinner. 😉 It was a really short walk to the main area of Agios Nikitas, (it’s a really small place,) but if you can’t hack a bit of a hike, this isn’t the place for you! We also didn’t take the pushchair and just put Bea in the woven wrap everyday – which made life a lot easier.

The Villa actually has 2 downstairs bedrooms and a bathroom, a main kitchen and living space on the ground floor which goes out onto the pool area and has a balcony for eating on, then a mezzanine with another sleeping area. The main attraction however was the outside space and the pool – wow to the view and wow to the space.

We weren’t sure what to expect from AirBnB but our host Thanasis was great – communicated brilliantly and so quickly. I’m sure keys handover varies from rental to rental but he met us to give us the keys and there were some Greek provisions in the fridge – wine, fruit etc. A cleaner came once and more fruit appeared. As you might know from my other post about travelling with a baby, it wasn’t remotely child friendly. There are steps, stairs, steep drops as the villa is on a hillside, and no child provisions, but Bea wasn’t running around yet so it was ok for us and of course, she never left our sight. Thats might be more difficult with an older child.

I’ll be writing more about the holiday later in the week – the village we went to – its such a lovely place I almost don’t want to share it! 😉

Love,
Rebecca
xo

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