February 26, 2018 | GIC – The Villa Collection
Want to holiday like the A-listers? GIC The Villa Collection offers a range of villas in authentic Greek towns and villages frequented by the stars, from glamorous large group villas for hosting your entire entourage, to romantic, secluded retreats for getting away from it all…
Adored by stars the world over, the Greek islands offer wonderful options for stylish, luxurious getaways featuring sunlit azure seas, charming fishing villages, and authentic cuisine.
GIC has featured villa holidays to Greece for 49 years and knows the islands better than any other company. Its hand-picked villas offer premium accommodation with private pools set in wonderful locations, allowing guests to discover the real Greece, with special touches to make each visit unforgettable. Why not pre-book a chef, a gourmet picnic or a restaurant using GIC’s concierge service?
From private, off-the-grid hilltop cottages to sprawling, stylish villas with private swimming terraces, here’s a selection of A-list properties to enjoy in 2018:
A small tranquil jewel in the Ionian, Meganissi is populated by just over a thousand people and is untouched by any sign of mass tourism, which could explain its popularity with a host of heavyweights including Prince William, Bruce Willis, James McAvoy and Neve Campbell.
The combination of Villa Aleka and its next-door neighbour Villa Eleni (combined, the two villas sleep twelve), each featuring a swimming pool and jacuzzi, offers a family-friendly option near the beautiful hilltop village of Spartohori. With modern interiors, manicured gardens, and beautiful sea-facing vistas, Aleka and Eleni provide a feeling of blissful seclusion, away from the pressures of modern life. Their hillside terrace location offers complete privacy, and these quaint Greek villas feature a balcony off every room for front-row sunset seats, open-plan living areas for long, lazy breakfasts, and barbecue areas to enjoy sea-fresh grilled fish with a glass of chilled white wine. A seven-night self-catering holiday costs from £796 pp (six sharing) in Villa Aleka, and from £791 pp (six sharing) in Villa Eleni, both including flights (Gatwick) and car hire.
Skiáthos, in the Sporades, is a favourite haunt of family acting trio Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, and is also where Ferrari chief Sergio Marchionne likes to moor his yacht. It boasts shimmering clear waters, sheltered by lush, green pine-topped hills. This tiny island – only eight miles long and six miles wide – is host to more than 60 beaches, and its rolling hills and hiking trails make it perfect for exploring on foot. Its cosmopolitan, lively main town boasts attractive architecture with pretty red-roofed houses and steep stone-paved streets, and the waterfront comes alive at night with an array of charming tavernas, restaurants and vibrant café bars. The northern shore remains virtually untouched, offering a very special experience to anyone exploring by boat.
Villa Pefka (six guests), near Skiáthos Town, is a spacious and ideally-located villa, perfect for families, featuring a sociable open-plan lounge, kitchen and dining area, 8m x 5m swimming pool and expansive lawns, ideal for children to play on. A relaxing patio is the perfect spot for a sunset barbecue, set against the backdrop of the tranquil surrounding woodland. In Skiáthos Town, family-run Sue’s Taverna – which is owned by Villa Pefka’s owner Sue, and has been visited by Goldie Hawn – offers delicious, authentic Greek cuisine. A seven-night self-catering holiday costs from £808 pp (six sharing), including flights (Gatwick) and car hire.
The smallest of the Ionian islands, Paxos is a haven of rare tranquillity. Frequented by A-listers Angelina Jolie, Keanu Reeves and Will Smith, the attraction is its truly magical atmosphere, with sheltered beaches on the east coast, dramatic cliffs in the west, olive trees and pines inland, and crystal waters, caves, grottoes and unpopulated islands surrounding this little jewel.
Villa Andromeda (eight guests): with spacious living and outdoor areas, guests can relax with a sundowner on the first-floor balcony and take in the dramatic sea views, silvery olive groves, Greek mainland and southern tip of Corfu. Close by, the traditional village of Fontana offers an authentic glimpse into Greek life, including a charming village shop, 15th century church with beautiful frescoes, and busy tavernas serving home-cooked Greek specialities. For a larger group trip to the island, the neighbouring Villa Perseus, sleeping up to four, can be booked alongside. A seven-night self-catering holiday costs from £773 pp (eight sharing) in Villa Andromeda, and from £771 pp (four sharing) in Villa Perseus, both including flights (Gatwick) and car hire.
The delightful port town of Fiscardo, on the north-east coast of Kefalonia, is surrounded by pine trees and filled with beautiful Venetian architecture, charming colourful houses, and a sixth century basilica. This stylish spot is a favourite of Tom Hanks (who recently chatted on the Graham Norton Show about his regular holidays there) and football royalty Roman Abramovich.
Villa Nichola (sleeps eight) is a glamorous three-floor property set directly on the sea front, with an exclusive private sea terrace for the ultimate A-list experience. Hear the waves lapping from your bed and enjoy the sea breeze in this elegant whitewashed villa. It features two spacious open-plan lounge areas, stylish interiors throughout, and an inviting terrace area for swimming from your own private platform, al fresco entertaining, and sunset cocktails. If you crave sand between your toes, Foki beach is a quick ten-minute walk away, while the buzzing harbour and vibrant tavernas of Fiscardo offer evening entertainment a short distance from the villa. A seven-night self-catering holiday costs from £720 (eight sharing), including flights (Gatwick) and car hire.
Known as Kensington-on-Sea, the north-east of the Ionian island, from Nissaki up to Kassiopi, is a stunning and uncrowded destination, frequented by Prince Charles, the Rothschilds and the occasional Russian oligarch.
Foodie hotspot Nissaki offers sparkling white shingle coves, breathtaking snorkelling opportunities, and stunning traditional villages in the surrounding hills, well worth exploring by motorbike or car. The town of Kassiopi is a livelier alternative, with buzzing night life and stylish boutiques if you want to dress à la glitterati.
Aklavi Beach Villa (nine sharing), located just two minutes’ walk from the pebble beach and crystal-clear waters of Aklavi Bay, is ideal for large groups or families. Enjoying a private setting in an unspoilt part of Corfu, the villa is surrounded by spacious patios, gardens and fragrant fruit trees, and features a large swimming pool.
Nearby, Alklavi beach offers a sailing centre, kayak and paddle board hire, and the authentic Greek villages of Kassiopi and Acharavi are a short drive away for those wishing to explore this picturesque part of the island. A seven-night self-catering holiday costs from £851 pp (nine sharing), including flights (Gatwick) and car hire.
For a smaller, more intimate option away from prying eyes, the tiny island of Antipaxos offers complete seclusion. Spanning a mere five square kilometres, it has a population of around 50 people, just four quaint tavernas and no shops. Its complete privacy and separation from the modern world have proven an attractive draw for the likes of actors Will Smith and Alex Kingston.
The perfect destination for a honeymoon or romantic getaway, this breathtaking island is peppered with undulating hillsides, small vineyards, fruit trees, and herb-bordered pathways leading down to sandy bays and clear blue waters.
Bacchus House (sleeps two) is a cosy hilltop retreat on the island’s east coast with heart-stopping views of the crystal clear Mediterranean waters beneath, and offers the ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. This one-of-a-kind villa features an open plan living and dining area opening out on to a seafront terrace, a small swimming pool, and all that you’ll need for an off-grid romantic retreat, including DVDs, games, books and optional motorboat delivery with provisions from nearby Paxos. A seven-night self-catering holiday costs from £1030 (two sharing), including flights (Gatwick) and car hire.
All GIC properties enjoy a complimentary welcome pack on arrival, plus maid service and linen change twice weekly.
Add a touch of luxury with a personal chef, gourmet picnic or beauty treatments, or make life easier by booking a restaurant or childcare in advance with GIC The Villa Collection’s concierge service.
For more information, or to talk to an expert, call GIC The Villa Collection on 020 8232 9780 or visit www.gicthevillacollection.com.