December 2010

December 2010

Editorial

Editorial, December 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel
The Joys of Travelling.....

It is never a dull moment at the Agni Office; we are always listening and reacting to the different ways people arrange their holidays. In these exciting times, it is becoming easier and simpler to plan a holiday. Until recently, you chose a holiday purely on the brochure description and a few photos. Now, the internet gives you detailed descriptions, reviews by previous clients and even instant booking. At Agni Travel we are keen to embrace these new dynamic technologies that help improve the
way that you plan and book holidays to ensure they are a success. Testament to this, we very much hope you will enjoy our new magazine format newsletter.

Crete

Crete, an island renowned for its natural beauty and diverse landscapes,speckled with mountain ranges and dotted with caves. The most dramatic features though are the spectacular gorges that cut through the mountains and spill out to sea. The rugged interior is interspersed with vast plateaux and fertile plains. The east boasts Europe's only palm-tree forest beach and the south coast has some of the most stunning beaches and isolated coves.

Property Review:

Crete is one of our exciting new destinations for 2011. Giorgos has been busy visiting the island and choosing the very best locations and villas to offer to our Agni Travel guests. With such a large island to cover, it was no easy task but he has come up with a magnificent selection for you to choose from. Below Giorgos reviews just one villa to whet your appetite!

Spiros Beach Villa

Spiros Beach Villa is a brand new two-bedroom villa with a private pool, fantastic sea views and just 150m (or very short walk) to the quiet sandy beach of Frangokastello.Spiros Beach Villa is a brand new two-bedroom villa with a private pool, fantastic sea views and just 150m (or very short walk) to the quiet sandy beach of Frangokastello.



The ground floor has an open plan sitting room and dining/kitchen and there is also a bathroom on this level. Doors from sitting room and kitchen open onto a large balcony which overlooks pool.Upstairs there are 2 bedrooms, 1 double and a twin, each with its own access to the front balcony. There is also a large bathroom upstairs.

The well equipped kitchen has everything required for a self-catering holiday and a BBQ and dining area are situated close by on a sea-facing, poolside terrace.The living room has a comfortable sofa which also doubles up as a bed to accommodate extra guests. From this room double doors open to the pool terrace.

Upstairs, the two bedrooms both have double doors leading to the large balcony with views over the pool and sea.

The villa is a short stroll from a child friendly sandy beach and an even shorter stroll to the taverna belonging to the owner of the villa. Here he serves mouth watering traditional Cretan dishes, fresh fish caught daily, a variety of grilled meats and local wine. The taverna has a few sun loungers and parasols on the beach for the guests and also a couple of bicycles that you can use. There is a mini market about 200 metres away and a larger supermarket in Frangokastello about 1.5 km away

Corfu

Family holidays...........

Corfu is one of Greece’s longest established vacation destinations. Popular with European visitors in the 1800s, whilst in ancient history it was here that Poseidon brought his bride. Thirty years ago package tourism rediscovered the island, and some of the once tiny fishing villages grew to accommodate the new influx of guests. Today it is again a destination for independent travellers, who are delighted to find that the island now offers an eclectic mixture of up to date activities and unspoilt charms.
For visitors looking for water sports, bustling shopping centres, great nightlife and a fabulous choice of dining experiences, Corfu’s resorts have it! But if you shudder at the thought of clubbing and shopping don’t turn the page. Corfu also has an abundance of beautiful locations and accommodations where you can, if you choose, not see a soul from one day to the next.
Agni Travel properties are located on the north east coast of Corfu. Here gorgeous villas nestle on the hillsides, commanding stunning views and absolute privacy. The beaches and coves are small and fascinating, some only accessible by boat (easily rented), many shelving gently into the calm waters making them ideal for youngsters.
Wind you way up the hillside along narrow lanes skirted by olive groves and discover the traditional villages, little changed over the centuries, whose old stone buildings and churches simply ooze history, as does Corfu’s Old Town, now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In short, whether you and your family crave a peaceful retreat, a sightseeing extravaganza, a fun filled escape or a little of each, Corfu offers you the best of both worlds!

Paxos

Loggos

The tiny island of Paxos may be just 10km long by 4km wide, but it is filled with unspoilt beauty and the genuine warmth of its locals. The pretty little fishing village of Loggos is on the island’s north east coast. Set against a backdrop of olive groves where a handful of attractive villas are dotted, its enchanting pastel-washed houses cluster around the crystal watered harbour that has long attracted photographers and artists alike. Loggos’s few shops ensure that all essential provisions are available, whilst the waterfront tavernas provide a welcome greeting and a mouth-watering choice of dishes. Fresh fish is always a firm favourite on the menu and diners are encouraged to enjoy wonderfully unhurried meals in true Greek fashion. A short walk brings you to the lovely Levrecchio beach, with safe swimming it is ideal for young families. Many other little coves and beaches can also easily be reached on foot, by car or best of all, by small boat. Exploring the coastline from the seaward side is a great way to spend a day! If walking, unwinding, exploring, relaxing, swimming, people watching, fishing, chilling and savouring great food sound like your idea of heavenly holiday ingredients then you need look no further. Loggos is the perfect recipe.

Paxos Airport?
Paxos does not have an airport so most visitors fly into nearby Corfu and take a hydrofoil over. It only takes 50 minutes and is a wonderful start to the holiday.

Kefalonia

The wonderful bays and inlets....

Kefalonia was badly damaged in 1953 by a massive earthquake. The one area that remained relatively unscathed was the picturesque fishing village of Fiskado.
The area is steeped in history; recent archeological excavations have unearthed Roman gold jewelry, pottery and bronze dating back to 146BC. Whilst Fiskado itself is named after the Norman pirate Roberto Guiscardo who died there in 1085.
Today beautiful Venetian houses still grace the waterside, watching the fishermen as they prepare their nets whilst their little boats bob alongside visiting yachts. Sleepy in the winter, Fiskado comes alive during the summer months. Cafes, restaurants and bars line the horseshoe-shaped harbour providing not only a wonderful selection of mouth watering dishes, but a great place to watch the world sail, or motor, to the quay, adding to the colour and bustle of the place.
Cypress trees and olive groves surround the village, where some lovely walks are to be enjoyed. And whilst Fiskado is a good base for discovering other parts of the island by road, it is also the perfect starting point for a nautical voyage of adventure, with motor boat hire being plentiful. These small vessels are the only way to reach some of the nearby coves and beaches.
Agni Travel is delighted to offer a choice of rooms, apartments and villas in Fiskado, jewel in Kefalonia’s crown!

Zakynthos

Zakynthos, December 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel Zakynthos, December 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel
First Look

My first experience of holidaying on Zakynthos was of an all-inclusive family package back in 1997 and, to be honest, I wasn’t very impressed, so, when I was given the opportunity to return in September 2010 I jumped at the chance to take a fresh look and from a different perspective. My impressions this time were quite different.
Zakynthos (Zante) is the most southerly of the Ionian Islands, approximately 40km long and 19km wide and lying about 12km off the Peoloponnese coast. Like the other Ionian islands of Corfu and Kefalonia, Zakynthos is very green and enjoys long hot summers and heavy winter rains.

Although Zakynthos has a reputation for mass tourism and ‘all-inclusive’ package holidays, you can still find many areas for a quiet and relaxing holiday.
From the rugged coastline and ‘Blue Caves’ of the north, to the long, sandy beaches and fertile plain of the East and South coasts, Zakynthos really does have something for everyone.
Zakynthos Town, was rebuilt in the 1950’s following the earthquake of 1953, and the new buildings have their own Zakynthian style which is basically Venetian with neoclassical elements. The church of the monastery of St Dionysios (patron saint of Zakynthos) dominates the harbourside, where you will also find some lively tavernas and bars.
There’s plenty to do on Zakynthos too: Boat trips around the island, taking in the Blue Caves and Shipwreck Cove, Turtle spotting trips to the breeding grounds of the Caretta Carett sea turtle, and the Askos Stone Park where you will find some lovely woodland walks, nature trails and glimpses of wildlife including chinchillas, African sheep and raccoons.
Getting to Zakynthos couldn’t be easier with twice-weekly charter flights (May - October) from most UK airports and four times a week with Easyjet from Gatwick. Domestic flights from Athens operate all year round.
Agni Travel is now very pleased to offer some superb villas with and without pools in the most beautiful areas of the island, Vassilikos, Gerakas and Ag. Nikolaos (N).

Villa Saranta

Villa Saranta is a lovely two-bedroomed villa, sleeping up to 6 people.  It enjoys the use of a large pool and has spectacular ocean views.

The front door leads into the fully equipped open plan kitchen, dining area and living room with sofa bed.
French doors open to a balcony with sea view. On this floor there is also a bedroom with double bed, and a wc with shower.A wooden staircase leads to the upper floor where there is a second bedroom with one double and one single bed, a small kitchen (sink unit with cupboard and fridge under, and kettle), wc with shower and furnished balconies with sea view.

Gerakas Beach

Close to Villa Saranda, on the eastern side of the Vassilikos Peninsula is one of the finest beaches on Zante. A long crescent of golden sand with sandstone cliffs curving around the bay offering good shelter and shallow waters with views across the bay to Laganas. Gerakas has often been voted among the best beaches in Europe and is a major turtle breeding ground; wardens patrol the nesting areas to protect the delicate nesting turtles.

Skopelos

Skopelos, December 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel Skopelos, December 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Skopelos is the second largest of the Sporades island chain after Skyros. Skopelos is virtually all forest, with 80% of the island cloaked in pine trees and several sleepy resorts scattered around the shoreline.

The town is built  like an amphitheatre around a natural, perfect, semi-circular harbour. Dating back several centuries, it is protected by a preservation order, and so has managed to retain its old world charm.


MAMA MIA!

Skopelos is, of course,  where Mama Mia! was filmed and several members of the cast stayed on the island at the time.


Skopelos is another new Agni Travel destination for 2011 and Fotini has carefully selected a number of villas for you to choose from.


Villa Eleonas

Villa Eleonas is a private family villa, in an idyllic secluded setting with private pool and fabulous seaviews. Villa Eleonas really is the perfect choice for a villa holiday to Skopelos especially with a fantastic selection of tavernas and beaches close by.

Stepping inside you are greeted by a light and airy feel. The villa has windows on both sides allowing the cool sea breezes to flow through all of the rooms, keeping a comfortable temperature any time of day. The local ceramic tile floors and inviting furnishings add to the cool, summery feel. Villa Eleonas has three air-conditioned bedrooms in the main house, two double and one twin and an annex with double bedroom. Each bedroom has its own en suite bathroom and French doors leading onto a private terrace.

Glossa

Close to Villa Eleonas is Glossa, one of the prettiest villages outside of Skopelos town. Situated in the North of the island it is arranged along a mountain ridge over the port of Loutraki. Most of the village has no cars, the only form of traffic being a donkey! The houses are brightly painted and famous for their wooden balconies (which were featured in the Mama Mia movie). Around the harbour of Loutraki is a selection of relaxing tavernas and bars.

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Turkey

Kalkan Calling

Once a Greek fishing village called Kalamaki, Kalkan is now a beautiful town that encapsulates a wealth of character dating back to the days of the Ottoman Empire. Its whitewashed houses and fascinating little shops line the narrow streets that lead to the harbour side, whilst behind the town are the majestic Taurus Mountains.

A lively, bustling community, especially along the waterfront, it offers a wonderful choice of restaurants and bars with both Turkish and international themes, as well as some wonderful shopping opportunities from local arts and crafts to designer clothing.

If you're looking to top up that tan, Kalkan has its own pebbly beach that is bestowed with blue flag status. Alternatively catch a Dolmus (local minibus) and take the short trip to the beautiful, sandy Kaputas Beach, or to the stunning 12km stretch of sand at Patara, regularly voted one of the world's top beaches.

Staying with things maritime, the coastal area around Kalkan offers some of the best diving in Turkey, with caves, tunnels and canyons to be explored. If you prefer to discover the coastline above water, boats and boat trips are available from Kalkan's harbour each day during summer.

All Agni Travel's Kalkan based villas and apartments provide exceptionally high standard accommodation and a fantastic location in which to enjoy a stress free, fun filled holiday.

Italy

Tuscany Fiasco

In English “fiasco” means an utter, complete failure, but in Italy it has a far more favourable meaning. A fiasco is the wicker basket woven around a traditional Chianti bottle!

Agni Travel has selected some superb villas and apartments in Italy to offer their guests, many of them located in the heart of Tuscany, in the Chianti wine area. Here the beautiful rolling countryside is patchworked with rows of Sangiovese grapevine, the principal grape used in the wine’s production.

However, Chianti wasn’t always a fruity red. Records dating back to the 13th century describe a white wine made from grapes that flourished in the “Chianti Mountains” around Florence. By the 18th century though growing areas had extended and the wine itself recognised as a red, albeit that white grapes accounted for up to 30% of the content. It was only in the mid 1990s that permission was given to make the wine from 100% Sangiovese.

The story of Chianti wine and its famous black rooster symbol is long and varied. Whether you visit a winery to learn about its history and production, or laze on the terrace sipping a glass or two as the sun slips away over the vineyards on a warm Italian evening, there is no better place to discover this wonderful wine than Tuscany!

Contact

This Newsletter is produced by: Agni Travel
We welcome your feedback and suggestions
Contact: magazine@agni.gr
Holiday enquiries: reservations@agni.gr
Tel: 0044 (0)20 812 31535
Web: www.agni.gr/travel

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