December 22, 2015 | Sunvil Holidays
Expert independent specialist, Sunvil, has launched its 2016 real Greece & Cyprus brochure, featuring an enticing range of holidays to the more authentic areas of both countries. Sunvil’s 2016 programme is one of the best – and certainly the most comprehensive – Greece and Cyprus offerings in the UK.
New highlights for 2016 include two special events – the 2,400th anniversary of Aristotle’s birth and its accompanying celebrations in the pretty fishing village of Olymbiada on Halkidiki’s least-developed peninsula, Athos, adjacent to Stagira where the renowned Greek philosopher was born, and the chance to become a Greek athlete for a day at the modern Nemean Games in the scenic Peloponnese (www.nemeangames.org).
Amorgos, one of Greece’s most remote and beautiful islands, has become more accessible; it is now possible to book a two-hour catamaran transfer from Mykonos. Sunvil’s new brochure also features an expanded programme on the beguiling island of Milos in the Cyclades and new accommodation options on the little-known Pelion peninsula, offering well-preserved mountain villages, pristine beaches and verdant forests. Zakynthos, with its temperate climate, fertile valleys and loggerhead turtle nesting grounds, has also been re-introduced to the programme.
Sunvil Cyprus continues to feature a unique selection of hand-picked hotels, villas and village apartments, located in traditional villages away from the busier coastal resorts. Sunvil’s chosen regions include Polis and Akamas, Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca, the Troodos Mountains and buzzing Nicosia with its old town and new Leventis Gallery.
Dudley der Parthog, Programme Director, comments: “With over 45 years’ experience of seeking out lesser-known, characterful spots, we are confident that no other operator can match Sunvil’s passion for, and expertise in, holidays to Greece and Cyprus. We offer an unrivalled range of hand-picked accommodation, from simple self-catering options to five-star boutique hotels, plus flexible, carefully devised island-hopping and fly-drive itineraries, and a range of experiences to enjoy, from painting and walking to sailing and watersports – plus in 2016, the once-in-four-years opportunity to run 90m in an ancient stadium that hosted the Pan-Hellenic Games, forerunners of today’s Olympics, some 2,500 years ago.
“We pick areas that offer a slice of the real Greece, away from over-commercialised resorts. Value for money and a highly personal level of service remain at the heart of what we do.”
Happy Birthday Aristotle, Halkidiki
Halkidiki’s least-developed peninsula, Athos, is home to the birthplace of Aristotle – tutor to Alexander the Great – and will be celebrating the 2,400th anniversary of his birth with an array of festivities, including walks along the newly-opened Aristotelian trail, a free guided tour of recently-excavated ancient Stagira where he was born and talk by a professor from the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki (the latter is sponsored by Sunvil and takes place on 21/5, 4/6, 18/6, 2/7, 3/9, 17/9 and 1/10). From £677 pp (two sharing), including seven nights’ half board at the charming Liotopi Hotel in the seaside village of Olymbiada (adjacent to Stagira), return flights (Gatwick) and transfers.
The Nemean Games, North Peloponnese
Take a step back in time and experience the Games as they were when they first began. Located in Greece’s scenic Peloponnese, the Nemean Games – first staged in 573BC and one of the original four Pan-Hellenic Games, which included Olympia – has been revived and is looking for international contenders. Departing 5 June, the Tolon and the Nemean Games trip costs from £749 pp (two sharing) if booked before 29 February 2016 and includes flights (Gatwick), all transfers, seven nights’ self-catering at the Lido Apartments in the seaside town of Tolon, local winery visit, meze night, walking tour of ancient Assini (where Agamemnon launched his ship against Troy) and two hours’ motorboat hire. Register to run by 1 May 2016 at www.nemeangames.org. A weekend trip, departing 9 June, costs from £715 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), all transfers and three nights’ B&B.
Patrick Leigh Fermor’s house, South Peloponnese
Visits to renowned travel writer and war hero Patrick Leigh Fermor’s former home by the sea are now possible. Sunvil features Kardamili, designated a village of special beauty, located on the unspoilt central Mani peninsula between the towering Taygetos peaks and the sea, where Fermor lived for 50 years. From £645 pp (two sharing) if booked by 30 April 2016, including seven nights’ self-catering at the Anniska Apartments, return flights (Gatwick) and transfers.
Painting and walking, Crete
Greece’s largest isle is well known for its excellent walking and painting opportunities and Sunvil is offering a flexible itinerary combining the two for 2016. Five guided morning walks take in the scenic hills and valleys around the town of Kissamos and the surrounding area, as well as ancient sites and traditional villages. In the afternoon, enjoy painting workshops for beginners and more advanced artists. From £996 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Gatwick), seven nights’ B&B, five walks, four painting sessions, welcome dinner and a party on the last night.
Olympia and more, West Peloponnese
In the year of the Olympics, a new itinerary takes clients back to where the Games began. Tread in the footsteps of ancient Olympians at Olympia in the western Peloponnese, discover the delights of Delphi, one of the locations of the Pan-Hellenic Games, and stay in modern Greece’s first capital, Nafplion, with its Venetian architecture, pretty narrow lanes and hilltop fortifications. The Olympic Games itinerary costs from £754 pp (two sharing), including seven nights’ B&B, return flights (Gatwick), transfers on arrival and car hire.
Amorgos now more accessible
Remote, wild and historically hard to reach, this picturesque island located in the far reaches of the eastern Cyclades is now a
step closer with the introduction of a two-hour catamaran trip from Mykonos. The setting for Luc Besson’s The Big Blue, Amorgos offers excellent walking, a natural paradise and traditional way of life now lost on many of the more developed islands. From £726 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Gatwick), seven nights’ B&B at the Lakki Village, all transfers and a free walking guidebook.
New island-hopping itineraries
An expanded programme of island-hopping options, that include the Eastern (Paros, Naxos, Santorini, Mykonos), Western (Milos, Sifnos, Folegandros) and Small (Amorgos, Koufonissi, Schinoussa) Cyclades, the Sporades (Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos), North Aegean Islands (Ikaria, Samos, Patmos), North Aegean with Turkey (Kusadasi) and the Dodecanese, which is also possible to combine with Turkey. Prices start at £653 pp (two sharing) for a two-centre trip to Paros and Naxos, including return flights (Gatwick), self-catering and all transfers.
Five new properties feature on the striking volcanic isle of Milos, with its curved sandy beaches and bleached, smooth moonscapes, including Eleni’s House, a village home just 150m from the sandy beach in Apollonia, known for its excellent fish tavernas. From £801 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Gatwick), seven nights’ self-catering and all transfers.
On the verdant and little-known Pelion peninsula, the newly-introduced Diplomats Hotel Apartments, with pool, in the serene hamlet of Horto, offer a restful retreat above the sea. Here there are just two tavernas and two small beaches. From £634 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Gatwick), seven nights’ self-catering and transfers.
Sunvil is rarely impressed by resort hotels but the luxurious Costa Navarino Westin Resort – with its impressive sustainability credentials and prime location in the corner of south west Messinia – is the exception. Spread over hundreds of acres, the activities on offer range from climbing, golfing and scuba diving, to cycling, cooking workshops and walking on one of the many scenic trails. The facilities – various swimming pools, restaurants and activities for children – are second to none. From £1,040 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), seven nights’ half board and transfers if booked by 29 February 2016.
The brochure lead-in price is £533 pp (includes early booking discount if booked before 29 February 2016) for seven nights’ self-catering at the Villa Olga in Corfu, including return flights (Gatwick) and transfers, based on two sharing in May.