Villa Kalos

near Frikes, Ithaca, Greece Book from Eur428

A stylish, secluded villa for 8 with a saltwater lap pool and glorious views (self-catering)
You can feel the love that’s been poured into this project; a painstaking renovation of a ruined Ithacan estate house, simply take a look at the crumbling former olive press to get an idea of the mind-bending ambition the restoration involved. After that, lie back by the lush pool, soak up the spectacular hillside vista of olive, cypress and almond trees, and reap the rewards. Inside, it's an architectural delight with 4 ensuite double bedrooms and an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area. Everything is top quality and it's a hymn to modernity, clean lines and polished concrete.

Located in the north of Ithaca, the villa is a restful retreat to return to after a day spent swimming in the clear turquoise sea, exploring sleepy villages or climbing the hills for views of the mythical Ionian homeland of Odysseus. ‘Kalos’ translates as ‘beautiful’ or ‘handsome’, and it’s a name this grand old villa justly deserves.

Highs

  • Amazing views from the saltwater infinity pool
  • Beautifully renovated while keeping the original spirit of the house
  • Great value for a group of 8 friends or 1-2 families
  • Peace and seclusion - this is a tranquil haven with few neighbours and lots of space
  • A spacious, sociable kitchen, with everything you need to cook up a storm, plus indoor and outdoor eating areas. For a change of scene, there are restaurants 15-20 minutes' walk away

Lows

  • Strictly a 7-night minimum rental, Sat-Sat only, and you will need to pay a security deposit
  • You'll need a car in order to fully make the most of the island
  • Only 4 sunloungers by the pool and not enough sofa seats in the lounge
  • Ensuite bathrooms have a large open window (no glass) through to their bedroom - not ideal for friends sharing
  • At the time of our visit (June 2013) the gardens had been recently landscaped and were still bedding in

Best time to go

The villa is open April-November. June and September are our favourite months to visit Ithaca, as the island can be swamped with visitors in the hotter summer months. The sea can take a while to warm up in June, but spring colours and deserted beaches mean that, at this time of year, it’s paradise found. There are plenty of religious festivals in July and August, giving an insight into traditional Greek life and an opportunity for all-night celebrations.

Our top tips

If arriving into Kefalonia or the Greek mainland by plane and hiring a car, it’s worth stocking up on supplies at larger supermarkets before catching the ferry to Ithaca. There’s a reasonable supermarket in Ithaca’s capital Vathy, but elsewhere you’re reliant on mini-markets and small grocery stores.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
Family
Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Villa
  • 4 double/twin bedrooms
  • Self-catering (restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 1 Dec 2015 - 31 Mar 2016
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Laundry Service
  • Laundry room
  • Cards and board games
Room:

Rooms

The 4 ensuite bedrooms can be configured as doubles or twins and are spread over 2 floors. All are decorated in cool muted tones of grey, white and stone, with plenty of storage space. Chrome ceiling fans combine with window shutters and screens to make the villa a cool hideaway from the island heat and beds are very comfortable with crisp linen and cotton throws.

The master bedroom is serene and airy, on the upper level with French doors that open onto a balcony and views across the hillside valley. A slightly smaller bedroom is on this same level. The 2 remaining bedrooms are on the lower level, which may not have the vistas of the upper 2, but the rooms are spacious and calming. Open-plan bathrooms have rainhead showers (no tubs), pebble floors, double sinks and expansive mirrors. Toiletries are lush Korres products.

The west wing of the villa is given over to communal living space - the kitchen, dining room and lounge are all under one light, airy roof, creating a jolly atmosphere. There’s a small sofa, an armchair and a low coffee table along with a well-loved dining table with seating for 6-8.

Small, creative touches throughout the villa give it style and flair: little alcoves hide candles and objets d'art, there are quirky floor lamps and we loved the jigsaw stag’s head mounted on a wall.

Features include:

  • Barbeque
  • Coffee tea making
  • Fan
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob stove
  • Internet access
  • Ipod dock
  • Iron
  • Oven
  • Pool towels
  • Radio
  • Swimming pool
  • Terrace
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

If you like cooking, you’ll be in your element. A shiny, modern kitchen awaits with plenty of workspace, a large stove with oven/hobs and, unlike many holiday villas, a wonderful array of kitchen utensils and crockery. Basic ingredients are provided (salt, pepper etc) and a welcome pack for booking through i-escape includes local produce such as olive oil, honey, olives, even ouzo! The lack of dishwasher is the only downside.

Under a shady almond tree outside you’ll find a barbecue and a long table that looks over the pool and valley. An indoor dining table seats 6-8. Nearby Frikes has a mini-market where you can buy basic provisions and lively Stavros has several grocery stores, cafes and a fishmonger. Note that water at the villa is from the outside well, which you’re advised not to drink (although we drank small amounts and were fine), so stock up on bottled. If you want a night off cooking, there’s a meal delivery service from chef Nadia who offers a diverse Mediterranean menu. For special occasions, an in-house chef can be booked.

There are plenty of choices for dining out. In Frikes - a 20-minute walk away - there’s Rementzo for fresh fish and perfect Greek food on tables by the sea. In Stavros you can try homemade ice-cream at Marguerita’s (a coffee shop frequented by the whole island); or have dinner in the sparkly garden restaurant Polyphemus. 15 minutes' walk from home is Yefuri - owned by a Scot and an Aussie, where you’ll find a classy drink, a warm welcome and a cosmopolitan alfresco meal.

Features include:

  • Chef on request
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cooking classes
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob stove
  • Meal delivery service
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Shopping service
  • Toaster
  • Welcome hamper
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Coves and pebble-strewn beaches are a 10-15 minute drive away. Polis, near Stavros (2.5km), has quiet waters, sunloungers and refreshments, while sheltered Cemetery beach (7km) has a kiosk where the menu changes daily
  • Our favourite beach (loved by locals, too) is Agios Ioannis (9.5km) - a gorgeous stretch of white pebbles lapped by gin-clear, turquoise waves and views across to Kefalonia
  • Visit the pretty seaside town of Kioni (6.5km), watch the yachts cruise into the harbour and stop for a swim along the way at one of the tiny, unmarked coves below the roadside
  • If you’re keen on tales of Odysseus, take a historical tour of the island with Britta, the very knowledgeable manager of Villa Kalos. Includes sites mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, the Kathera monastery and the museum at Stavros
  • Rent a motor boat from Kioni or Polis and explore pristine bays, or take a day cruise around the island
  • Drive down to the south of the island (18km) - have lunch in the capital Vathy and potter around the shops before cooling off in the dreamy cove of Sarakiniko
  • Hike to the top of Ithaca’s hills, accompanied by herds of tinkling goats, for views across the Ionian archipelago
  • Explore the ancient hilltop villages of Exogi and Anogi, scarred by the earthquake that shook the island in 1953

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming

Kids

A great family rental. The 4 bedrooms can all be configured as doubles or twins and each has an ensuite shower room (note, no bathtubs). Babysitting is available, there is a baby cot, and a highchair can be provided on request (extra cost). Older teenagers may find themselves at a loose end.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Babysitting:

On request

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cot
  • A highchair on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool
  • Board games and cards

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Beaches

Families Should Know:

The pool is narrow and unfenced, and there are lots of stone stairs, so you'd need to keep a close eye on young kids

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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Rates for Villa Kalos