January 9, 2017 | Sunvil Holidays
With 47 years of experience, Sunvil offers an unrivalled range of authentic, immersive and flexible holidays to more than 300 hand-picked properties across 47 islands, plus the Greek mainland and Cyprus.
Expert independent specialist, Sunvil, today launches its 2017 Greece & Cyprus brochure, featuring an ever-increasing range of holidays to the more authentic areas of both countries. New programme additions for 2017 consolidate Sunvil’s position – it has simply the most comprehensive Greece and Cyprus offering in the UK.
Highlights for 2017 include new islands in the Saronic and Cyclades archipelagos, new itineraries that highlight Greece’s second city, Thessaloniki, and Greek Macedonia – the region that surrounds it – as well as an expanded range of itineraries in Cyprus, focusing in particular on Paphos and its region, in celebration of its 2017 status as a Cultural Capital of Europe. There is also a wider choice of special interest holidays in Greece.
Dudley der Parthog, Programme Director, comments: “Every year we take time to research and find lesser-known, characterful spots and new way to visit favourite destinations; you might think that, after 47 years, this would be increasingly hard to do, but Greece remains full of promise and potential. Our additions this year mean that dedicated sun worshippers can lie on stunning beaches they’ve never heard of before, that culture-seekers can explore cities like Thessaloniki with talented guides and return to great boutique properties, that walkers who seek to get off the beaten track can do so with expert support and that parents can introduce their children to the charm and simplicity of a family holiday in Greece.
“All our guests can enjoy not just the warmest of welcomes from our team out in resort, but also the reassurance of our ABTA and ATOL protection should the unforeseen happen.”
2017 will see the addition of Serifos to the programme, to tie in with the other Western Cycladic islands that Sunvil already features – Sifnos, Milos and Folegandros. Still traditional in character, Serifos has untouched landscapes criss-crossed with trekking paths, plus charming villages and a beautiful coastline. At just over two hours from Athens by high speed ferry, it’s surprising that the island doesn’t attract more foreign tourism, because it’s blessed with over 60 beaches, most of them sandy, as well as a hilltop Chora (old town) that offers the most stunning views to the port of Livadi and across to the neighbouring island of Sifnos.
Sunvil offers a choice of three charming places to stay on the island. Aliktypo Studios are perfectly located for access to both Livadi and the beach; they are just five minutes from the harbour and 40m from the sea. Niovi Studios, also in Livadi, boast a hillside location with panoramic views and pretty sea-themed interiors, while Alexandros Vassilia is a small complex at the centre of Livadia’s sandy beach, where guests can dine at a sea-front taverna. Stay at Alexandros Vassilia from £756 pp (two sharing) in May 2017, including seven nights’ room-only accommodation, return flights (Gatwick) and transfers.
While Greece and her islands are perfect for summer sun, visiting in spring and autumn also gives the opportunity to walk in stunning landscapes and to revive weary limbs at the end of a day’s walk with a refreshing swim. New for 2017, Sunvil is adding a walking programme and accommodation on the island of Kythnos, a wild, mountainous island in the Western Cyclades, not previously featured. One of the least-known islands in the region, there are no developed beach resorts to speak of here. The heart of the island’s life is inland in the gorgeous villages of Chora and Driopida, which are surprisingly animated in the summer months.
Sunvil’s base on the island is Chora, a stylish village with a few tavernas, cafés and bars. Here travellers stay at the Messaria Hotel, just a short walk from the village centre. It offers a very high standard of accommodation for such an undeveloped island. Sunvil’s partner, Kythnos Walking Holidays, delivers ‘walking plus’ – the walking programme includes cultural events, visits to archaeological sites, museums, springs and a honey farm, as well as swim stops at the island’s many beaches.
Prices for a week-long walking holiday, including return flights (Gatwick), four full walking days and one short walking day, seven nights’ accommodation, most meals and an experienced guide start at £895 pp (two sharing). Without walking, seven nights’ B&B at the Messaria Hotel are from £824 pp (two sharing). Both prices are for May departures.
The smallest of the Saronic islands, Agistri, is also new for 2017. Less than an hour from Athens by high-speed catamaran or hydrofoil, it’s the perfect city and beach twin-centre. Agistri is a popular escape from the mainland and offers holiday makers good value holidays with a very Greek feel. It’s also heavily forested and very pretty, surrounded as it is by turquoise-hued waters that are perfect for snorkelling. Horse-riding, bike hire, kayaking, diving and boat excursions are also available, as well as trips to the mainland Peloponnese.
Accommodation is centred on Skala, with its blue-domed church and sandy beach, and here Sunvil features the Oasis Hotel, which is directly on the beach just a couple of minutes’ walk from the village centre. With a pool and garden, this 25-room property features a mix of suites, maisonettes and rooms, and owners Michalis and Dorina offer the warmest of welcomes. Seven nights’ B&B from £643 pp (two sharing) in May 2017, including return flights (Gatwick) and transfers.
CITIES AND BEYOND
Taste Greece’s coolest contemporary city on a visit to Thessaloniki – Sunvil has expanded its options both in the cosmopolitan metropolis and beyond. Boasting more bars and cafés per capita than any other European city, Thessaloniki is a buzzing base for drinking and dining, people-watching and culture. Mixing ancient and modern brilliantly, the city has an array of Roman, Ottoman and Byzantine sites; it’s been a cultural melting pot for millennia. The city is also the gateway to the region of Macedonia and the peninsula of Halkidiki. Make the most of the many options with fly-drives or a twin-centre with transfers or car hire – e.g. pairing Thessaloniki with Olymbiada, on the western-most peninsula of Halkidiki – as well as short breaks, staying in chic and central hotels.
Three-night short breaks include B&B in a five-star boutique property, return flights (Gatwick), private transfers and a walking tour, and start at £557 pp (two sharing), while a seven-night twin centre holiday (three nights’ B&B in Thessaloniki and four nights in Olymbiada on a half-board basis) starts at £763 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Gatwick), transfers in Thessaloniki and five days’ car hire. Fly-drives are tailor-made, but a typical 10-night fly-drive itinerary might encompass locations like Kastraki, base for trips to view the monasteries of Meteora, and the Pindus Mountains – home to the renowned Vikos Gorge – starting at £909 pp (two sharing), including return flights, transfers in Thessaloniki and eight days’ car hire, as well as B&B accommodation at carefully-selected small three and four star hotels.
Coastal Cypriot city, Paphos, is busy preparing to be one of the two European Capitals of Culture for 2017. Sunvil with nearly 50 years’ experience, is well positioned to offer advice and has the on-the-ground know-how to help travellers make the most of their time in and around Paphos, be it for a short break or a longer stay. Sunvil features three-night short breaks from £394 pp (two sharing) staying at the two-star Axiothea Hotel in Paphos and including return flights (Gatwick). Or explore the island with a seven-night fly-drive, staying at the Axiothea Hotel and the three-star Classic Hotel in Nicosia, together with the charming Linos Inn in the Solea Valley. Prices from £730 pp (two sharing), based on March 2017 departures and including return flights (Gatwick), B&B and car hire. Sunvil also offers discounts of £100 per week on selected villas if booked by 28th February 2017 for off-peak stays (excluding 1 July – 30 September) as well as a range of hotel early booking offers.
For travellers who would like to come home with a new skill as well as a tan, Sunvil has introduced four new contrasting special interest holidays in addition to existing holidays that focus on walking or painting. At the Ilaira Apartments in Chrani, on the mainland Peloponnese, guests can now learn and practice traditional dances from all regions of Greece over specific weeks in May and September 2017. Owners Panayiotis and Ioanna are semi-professional dancers and have performed across Europe. Prices start at £650 pp* for the accommodation package (Gatwick – Manchester supplement £45) and the additional cost for dance workshops is £314 pp per week. Greek Traditional Cookery and Wellness weeks (both at £418 pp) are also available at Ilaira.
In Olymbiada, in Halkidiki, Sunvil is offering two new photography options – a full-day Digital Photography for Beginners session, which costs from £81 pp, and Water and Light – Sunrise/Sunset Photography from the Sea, which costs from £99 pp. The latter is a 3-4 hour course and includes a boat trip. Staying at either the Akroyiali or Liotopi Hotels, a seven-night holiday in May starts at £740 pp (two sharing) at either property, including return flights (Gatwick), transfers and half-board accommodation.
The brochure lead-in price is £546 pp* for seven nights’ self-catering stay at one-bedroom Olga Apartments in Aghios Gordis, Corfu, including return flights (Gatwick) and transfers, based on two sharing in May.
*Early booking offers include reductions of up to £100 per hotel room, studio or apartment, per week on most departure dates, but the discount varies according to the departure date (book by 31st January 2017 – maximum discount £200).