You would think that because we have the travel agency and because I’ve worked in travel since forever, that finding our family summer holiday would be easy…
… Ok I will admit, it’s completely me that causes weeks worth of angst when it comes to choosing. I don’t even think that I’m that fussy ( Nick and Holly might disagree ) but I do have certain things that I know I really like and that would help make our family holiday perfect.
We aren’t talking luxuries here like spas, butlers and chandeliers. All I would like is to be in a small property with a lovely pool area and great views from our balcony, to be a stones throw away from the beach and easy strolling distance from traditional restaurants and we must have 2 bedrooms- Holly our teenage daughter is fabulous but very messy and, well she’s a teenager. We like to explore and Nick loves to pick up a fridge magnet or two so to be in a place that we can hop on the local bus or boat is really important – it sounds easy doesn’t it.
After weeks of too-ing and fro-ing finding something and then changing my mind, Nick took the reigns and decided we were going to have another Greek Adventure and we booked the Aegean Villas in Poros. Now we haven’t been self catering for a long time so we were excited about being able to do our own thing (secretly I think Nick was more excited about not having to get up for breakfast), we packed up the UNO cards and our favourite coffee and off we went…
… we flew from Manchester Airport, we hadn’t been to this airport for ages and to be honest that was the bit I was dreading the most but it was great. The meet and greet car parking was seamless and before we knew it we were through security having a coffee. Holly was in her element looking round all the shops and the time flew by.
Poros is one of the Saronic islands and is situated just one and a half hours by ferry from Athens, so after an overnight stay in the centre of Athens we jumped on the Sea Cat 6 and arrived in Poros Town and instantly we were blown away by its beauty and charm.
Our accommodation the Aegean Villas was located in a small town called Askeli and it was perfect. There was literally 8 apartments, all with either a pool or pool and sea view. We had a maisonette which gave us loads of room and the balcony was huge – perfect for watching the sunset and of course games of UNO (weirdly I have never played it before, it was great fun). They were cleaned daily and the apartments, pool area and gardens were kept immaculately.
I know I’ve mentioned this before but one of my pet hates is fighting for a sun bed by the pool and here we were in the peak season and no matter what time we went to the pool there was never a problem this may have been down to the amazing location, literally thirty seconds walk to the beach. There are areas here where you can lay on the rock platforms or throw your towels down on the sand for free, or you can take a set of sun beds and a parasol, buy a drink and they are yours for the day, it was incredibly cheap.
As I said before we had gone self catering and there were a couple of supermarkets nearby and a fantastic bakery. I wake up quite early so would pop up and see what delights I would pick up for breakfast and lunch or tea. I think the chicken, feta and cheese pie were a hot favourite ( and my hips would agree) along with anything featuring chocolate for Holly.
Askeli is great, it has a really lovely feel about it and loads of different facilities. On the beach there is a great water sports centre with banana boats, waterskiing, parasailing and all sorts of adrenaline packed fun. There are some great restaurants that have weekly live music and Greek dancing which was fun to watch and to eat out was very good value for money. We each had a different favourite restaurant, but mine was definitely Olga’s Restaurant – Poros Troizinias. I loved the way they took you to the food and told you what it all was, it really inspired you to try something different, the food was all homemade and delicious. For a sweet sensation the Once Upon A Time Cafe And Snack Bar made a fantastic Banana and Chocolate Crepe, they even delivered to the pool! To be honest we enjoyed all our meals out so it’s quite difficult to pick a restaurant. No matter what you would like to eat -seafood, pasta or traditional food there was all was a restaurant to suit.
It’s easy to get out and about from Askeli too. The local bus goes every hour to Poros Town which takes about 15 minutes. You could actually walk or hire a bicycle depending how energetic you felt. We got a taxi a couple of times and this was only 5-6 euros each way. From Poros Town you can take the ferry to Hydra (45mins) Spetses (1hour 20 Mins) and Aegina (40 Mins) or for some ancient history pop back across to Athens for a day exploring the Acropolis.
Poros Town is idyllic, built up into the hillside with a clock tower placed on the top like a cherry. Narrow winding streets, quirky little shops including the good old fashioned souvenir shop. Nicks eyes lit up when he saw the row upon row of fridge magnets and Holly is like a magpie for anything shiny so it was like Aladdins Cave for her. Walking to the top of the town is a must – the views are incredible. There are some great restaurants along the harbour front over looking Galatas on the Peloponnese and some amazing yachts, however if you walk away from the hustle and bustle you’ll find some lovely little tavernas, with great service, fab food and spare seats. A great thing to do from here is to jump onto one of the water taxis that take you across to Galatas. It takes about 5 minutes and cost a Euro, you will definitely get the best view of the town from here and there are some fantastic places to eat here. We ate one evening here in Babis Taverna / Ταβερνα Μπαμπης 1979. I choose beef stifado, it was amazing and so was the service. There is no need to panic about getting back across to the island either because the water taxis run every 10 minutes 24 hours a day.
If you want to try something really special try the Cine Diana, the open air cinema. They were showing some great movies whilst we were there, we just ran out of time to go, but it was highly recommended to us.
We will definitely come back to Askeli and Poros Island in the next couple of years. There is so much more to explore including Love Bay and the Russian Dockyard.
We would love to tell you more about our amazing trip and if you would like more information please pop in and see Nick and I.