August 2009

August 2009

Newsflash - temperatures and tomatoes getting into the red!

Newsflash - temperatures and tomatoes getting into the red!, August 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

It's that time of year again! Hot, hot, hot, with more hot to come. If nothing else, you can be assured of three things in the Ionian islands in August. Visitors, sunshine and salads.

Newsflash - temperatures and tomatoes getting into the red!, August 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Without doubt August is the hottest month of the year, with temperatures often reaching the mid 40s, and sometimes even higher. It is the promise of fabulous blue skies, sunshine, and a tan that says "I've just had a fabulous holiday", which is the ultimate draw for many visitors year on year. Combined with the beauty of the islands and the friendliness of the local people, you have all the ingredients for simply the best summer vacation you could wish for.

Newsflash - temperatures and tomatoes getting into the red!, August 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

And ingredients are something that the local people are good at. Greek rural folk have always been ardent gardeners, and in August many of the fruits of their labours are ready to harvest. There will be a constant flow of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers* and peppers, as well as many other fruit and vegetables, arriving in the kitchens and on the tables of every house, taverna and restaurant in the islands. Forget pre-packed, imported, mass farmed produce, the salads you will enjoy here are fresh, locally grown and often organic, bursting with flavours and colours - wonderful!

Newsflash - temperatures and tomatoes getting into the red!, August 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

If you are a returning visitor you will already know what we mean, but for anyone trying the Greek islands for the first time, don't forget to order a salad with your meal, or even for your meal. Healthy eating, especially if you are on holiday, may not be at the top of your agenda, but here it is a pleasure, not a chore.

(*At time of writing we have 13 cucumbers in our fridge, and several more ready to pick. It's salads every mealtime, plenty of tsaziki, and we're getting used to chilled cucumber soup, but does anyone have a good recipe for cucumber cake?)

Restaurant review - Vitamins

Restaurant review - Vitamins, August 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Vitamins Taverna is located on the main road in the heart of Nissaki, on Corfu's scenic east coast. Click here to see what we thought of the food and ambience at this very Greek taverna. Vitamins Taverna Corfu

Keeping your cool

These days many apartments and villas are equipped with air conditioning. Whilst it is a godsend when the temperatures soar, and indeed if you wander around any Greek village during siesta you will be lulled by the gentle hum of air con motors that cool the dozing residents; but you can have too much of a good thing. Here are a few handy hints for using, rather than abusing air con:

Keeping your apartment at a steady 16 degrees might feel great when you're inside, but the massive change in temperature when you go outside again can really make you feel more uncomfortable than ever. If you are using air con, keep it set at a reasonable temperature, say, 22 or 23 degrees.

When the air con is on, close doors and windows to enjoy the maximum benefit of it. There's no point in cooling the air if it all drifts out of the room.

Keeping your cool, August 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Don't leave it on for too long - it's costly, not particularly environmentally friendly, and it dries the air, which can be uncomfortable in itself. Instead, pop the system on for no more than an hour at a time, the room temperature will take a while to rise again.

Always remember to turn it off if you're out and about. Air con only takes a few minutes to achieve noticeable effects, so there is no need to leave it on it you're not there.

Turn on the air con in your bedroom half an hour before you retire for the night. Turn it off when you turn your light off though. The air will remain cool and aid restful sleep, and you won't wake up shivering at 4am (which may well happen if you leave it on all night).

Keeping your cool, August 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Try natural cooling methods. If you have mosquito nets at the windows open windows and shutters, but keep the nets down, closing curtains too if they are fitted. Even the slightest of breeze running through the room will help to bring the temperature down a little.

If your accommodation has metal shutters it's wiser to leave them open during the day. The sun on them turns them into radiators that will actively heat the rooms. Shut them at night though because when they are cool they help keep the room cool too.

At the end of the day, have a great, and chilled, holiday.

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Not just any old brochure

Not just any old brochure, August 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

In this constantly changing world we all strive to do well and improve. We at Agni Travel are no different, and earlier this year we decided to make some changes, one of which was to publish our very first 'hard copy' brochure.

As our clients will know, we have always provided full and accurate online information about the properties we represent. But our new brochure, 72 pages of vibrant Mediteranean colours and spectacular holiday retreats, is our opportunity to really showcase the villas and apartments that we offer on Corfu and Paxos, plus the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them.

Not just any old brochure, August 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Each glorious page features one of our properties, from established favourites such as the Marble House, light and spacious and with it's pool, gardens, tennis and basketball courts; to sumptuous new properties like the very grown up, yet incongruously named Shed, where you can step from your bedroom straight out into the infinity pool.

If you are seeking a truly memorable villa holiday in the Ionians next year we would be delighted to despatch a copy of our brochure to you. We still have some availability for September and October and we are already taking bookings for 2010. Contact for more details.

Agni - an easySponsor!

EasyJet Advert Agni Travel

If you are flying with easyJet over the next few months make sure you take a look at the Greece guide pages of their in-flight magazine. Agni Travel are proud to be a sponsor of the guide and have a banner, proudly bearing our smart new logo, gracing its pages.

Donkeys, dogs and dads. A day at the 2-1-3 Taverna.

It was a pleasant morning in the seaside village of Savalia. After several days of high humidity and airless atmosphere a light breeze was coming in from the sea, making the place far more comfortable if you had to do more than laze around the pool.

Janice was in the kitchen putting the Stifado onto a low heat before getting on with the serious business of baking baklavas and cheese pies in time for lunch.

Meanwhile, husband Kostas was outside in the small back yard pumping up an inflatable dingy. Once 'his boys', Akis, Makis and Takis, (confined to barracks until 2pm after an unpleasant incident involving a pair of boots and a large gecko) got home they were delegated to take their young nephew and niece, Nikos and Katerina to the beach. The dingy would add some extra entertainment to the trip.

The phone rang and Janice answered. It was her mother in law. Despite her normal fluency in the language, Janice still had problems with her mother in law's colloquial Greek, especially when, as now, she was shrieking and clearly very distressed.

Slowly Janice pieced together the information she was being given. Father in law had nodded off again when he was supposed to be pruning the grapes that grew abundant at their small farm.

For months now mother in law had been insistent that her husband was suffering from late onset narcolepsy. Personally Janice thought it was more likely to be early onset Gipperolepsy, brought about by the large quantities secreted in her father in law's apothiki, where he tended to spend long hours 'tidying up' from early morning onwards. However, it wasn't her place to question these things, as she often said to her many friends at the ladies group.

Donkeys, dogs and dads.  A day at the 2-1-3 Taverna., August 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

"Yes, Mitera, I understand. He's fallen asleep again. OK, so why is that a problem?"
"He's done what?"
"He's asleep hanging over the gate in the top field and the goats have got out."
"They're doing what?"
"Being chased by next door's donkey, who's being chased by the dog from the end of the road."
"And you can't wake him even when you hit him with your stick?"
"No, no, Mitera, there's no need to call the priest. I'll get Kostas to come and round up the goats; you see if you can give Pateras a good shake and get him back to the house".

She put the receiver back.

"Kostas, KOSTAS!! Your father is asleep again, the goats are out and the dog is likely to get a kicking from the donkey. Can you get up to your parents place QUICKLY please!" It was a statement, not a question.

A bemused looking Kostas poked his head around the door to see what on earth Janice was talking about. But before he could ask for clarification she had given him one of her best looks and said "NOW" in a voice that would accept nothing less than immediate acquiescence. So, grabbing the scooter keys, off he went.

They said that the explosion was heard a good 10km down the coast.

Janice thought that was probably something of an exaggeration, although she had been deaf for nearly a week afterwards. Still, it did no harm to encourage the story as it brought in extra customers from far and wide, eager to see where exactly the most exciting thing to have happened in Savalia for many a long year had occurred.

There was no real damage, although the tiny shreds of blue plastic that were blown along by that gentle sea breeze made an interesting addition to the confetti being thrown in the village square at precisely the same time. There, the wedding of the local taxi owner's daughter and her fiance, a chef in one of the big hotels in town was being solemnised. The local joke for many months to follow was that the marriage really did start with a bang.

Meanwhile, Kostas learned a sobering lesson. Never leave an inflatable dingy attached to a plugged in electric pump when going to retrieve your sleeping father from a gate or save rampant goats from marauding donkeys and dogs.

The goats learned as lesson as well. Go into the apothiki in a state of great fear and confusion having been chased by a yapping dog and a braying donkey, followed by a big bang, and you will find lots of bottles full of clear, smelly fluid that shatter when you kick them.

Donkeys, dogs and dads.  A day at the 2-1-3 Taverna., August 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Mitera though is convinced that she has found a cure for narcolepsy. A really loud and unexpected noise has perfect, and lasting, effects. Father seems much less happy these days, but at least he's staying awake until mid afternoon.

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