Ref: GR38, Cephalonia, Ionian Islands, Greece, £5350 to £7650 pw
Villa Euterpe has been designed in the elegant style of a typical Cephalonian manor house neighbouring the beautifully landscaped grounds, ancestral olive groves, and stands of Italian cypresses of the historic Migliaressis Estate on the Ionian island of Cephalonia (or Kefalonia). It is the only "architecturally-listed" estate on the island, and with its old restored Olive Mill the estate has been in the same family since the 17th century. The lush gardens, with their rich variety of indigenous trees and flowering shrubs, create a unique Mediterranean atmosphere of unspoilt natural surroundings. With the excellent service provided by the in-house staff, Villa Euterpe is an ideal retreat for those seeking elegant and relaxing holiday accommodation.
Living/dining room, kitchen, 2 double bedrooms, 2 twin bedrooms, 1 shower room with wc, 2 bathrooms with wc
Washing machine, dishwasher, dryer, cot available, highchair, telephone (incoming and local calls), WiFi, satellite TV, DVD player, CD player/Hi-Fi system, iPod dock, central heating, air conditioning, barbecue only in the presence of the cook, helicopter landing site
- Daily maid service 6 days per week.
- Breakfast preparation and service (food extra - payable locally).
- Services of cook for one main meal per day (food extra - payable locally).
- Change of linen twice a week. Pool towels provided.
- Guests' laundry twice a week in peak season. Rest of season supplement payable.
- Airport transfers in peak season. Rest of season supplement payable.
- Other services can be arranged with the manager or housekeeper, including in-house massage, beauty treatments, restaurant reservations, vehicle hire and boat charter arrangements. Services are payable locally.
Prices quoted are subject to change.
Villa Euterpe is set in a lush Mediterranean garden with stunning views over the countryside and the Ionian Sea, as well as the undulating olive groves, fruit orchards, and the mature gardens of the adjacent Estate stretching all the way down to the sea. The large Tuscan-style swimming pool with Roman steps is set in a sunny lawn with plenty of comfortable sun loungers, parasols, and a hammock for relaxing by the pool. There is a large covered terrace to one side overlooking the pool, for delightful al fresco dining, and the main, open flagstone terrace off the living areas, with comfortable, high-quality outdoor furniture and cushions. A spacious balcony off the master bedroom on the top level has the most glorious views over the gardens and down to the sea. There is covered parking for two cars, and a helicopter landing site on the estate if required.
Elegantly furnished with exquisite items and beautiful decorative objects from the owners' family collections as well as a few antiques, the villa strikes an excellent balance between traditional style and modern comfort, in the midst of calm, unspoilt natural surroundings. The large living/dining area gives on to the spacious, bougainvillea-fringed terrace, and is very nicely decorated with comfortable furnishings, and is equipped with all modern entertainment facilities. The extensive, fully-equipped modern kitchen adjoins the dining area. Also on the ground floor are a twin bedroom which give onto the main terrace, a double bedroom, and a shower room/wc. The other two bedrooms and bathroom are on the first floor: a twin bedroom with a small balcony and a double bedroom with a terrace with wonderful landscape and sea views.
Please note that smoking is not permitted in the house.
Occupancy is limited to 6 persons outside of the peak season of 2nd week of July to end of August. Further details on request.
EOT (Ellinikos Organismos Tourismou - issued by the Greek tourist board) licence number: 0830K100589401
Changeover day: Flexible
Villa Euterpe is surrounded by an enchanting olive grove and is adjacent to the 25,000sqm Migliarissis Estate, 12km from Argostoli, the capital of Cephalonia. It is only a relatively short walk to Trapezaki Beach, and the slightly more distant other blue-flagged sandy beaches of Kanali and Lithero, as well as the popular Lourdas Beach, a total stretch of 4km of fine beaches with crystal clear seas. There are one or two delightful seafront tavernas, a bakery, and other services within walking distance. Picturesque Koroni Beach (7km) is more secluded. Near the villa on the estate is an 18th-century olive mill, one of the very few structures on the island to have survived the devastating 1953 earthquake, and now restored into a fascinating showcase of agricultural life on the Estate through the centuries.
The island's capital Argostoli is 11km away, and is a modern town but also preserves some aspects of its traditional character, and has lovely views over the Koutavous Lagoon. There are interesting museums to visit in Argostoli, including the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Folklore, and the famous Korgialeneios Library, one of the largest in Greece, with a good collection of Byzantine icons.
Cephalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands of the western coast of the Greek mainland. Its name translates as “the head”, as it is thought to resemble a goat’s head in shape. It is a popular destination for holidaymakers from nearby Italy, and was the setting for the 2001 film “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”.
Believed by some to be the original homeland of wandering Odysseus, Cephalonia boasts ancient archaeological remains going back 40,000 years. The Roman era from the 2nd century BC to the 4th century AD is evidenced in a well-preserved theatre and several necropoli. During the Middle-Ages it fell under Byzantine rule, then under the Kingdom of Naples, then the Ottomans in 1479. Sharing much of its history with nearby Zakynthos, it was ceded to France at the breakup of the Venetian empire, then became a British protectorate. In 1864 Cephalonia became a member of the newly-founded Greek state. Its darkest hour came in September 1943 when the occupying German army massacred 5,000 Italian soldiers who had resisted them after the Allies’ armistice with Italy. After the traumas of the Greek civil war, the great earthquake of 1953 destroyed most of the villages and town on the island (except in the north) and their elegant old Venetian architecture; the island is replete with ruins as a reminder of this catastrophic event.
Cephalonia enjoys a pleasant variety of enjoyable towns and villages as well as some exceptional scenery and natural attractions. The capital and main port is Argostoli, on the bay of Koutavos in the south of the island. Largely rebuilt since the earthquake, it has a pleasant waterfront and harbour and a lively central square, the Platia Vallianou. The Archaeological Museum, rebuilt in 1960, has an important collection from the Mycenaean era of 1500 – 1100 BC. The second largest town is Lixouri, which faces Argostoli across a long, narrow neck of the Ionian Sea, and is home to the fine Typaldos-Iokovatos Museum in one of the few mansions spared by the earthquake. Fiscardo, on the northern tip of the island, is popular with the yachting set, and is a quaint, pretty village with its rebuilt pastel-hued Venetian buildings. Quite lively during the summer, it is ringed by a number of lovely little coves that can be visited by boat and which are a favourite habitat of the Mediterranean seal. Skala, on the southeastern tip of Cephalonia, is a friendly resort, a former fishing village with plenty of tavernas, and nearby Potomaki beach is a haven for the loggerhead turtles, with organized night-time turtle watches. Sami, on eastern coast, is a ferry port to the mainland; hardest hit by the earthquake, it has a long waterfront, and was one of the main film sets for “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”. Above the town are the ruins of ancient Sami and the Monastery of Agrillon. The coastal road from Peratata to Markopoulo offers especially stunning views over the shoreline.
Inland, there is some spectacular scenery, ideal for hiking and cycling. Mount Ainos is the highest point on the island at 1627m, and is topped by a nature park full of beautiful Cephalonian firs. The subterranean Melissani Lake can be explored in a small rowboat, and the Drogarati Caves have impressive cave formations. The Monastery of St Gerasimus of Cephalonia nestles in the hills overlooking the busy resort area of Lassi, and there are Roman remains behind Aghia Barbera beach near the quiet resort village of Katelios. Lourdas, in the south of the island, is a little slice of paradise, set in acres of lovely olive, cypress, and palm trees giving onto a quiet beach. The forests on the upper flanks of Mount Ainos, the highest peak among the region's islands, is a pristine and highly significant ecosystem of the original and endemic Cephalonian fir tree. It has been designated a National Park, and ideal for glorious walks and hiking.
Cephalonia has a wide variety of beaches along its long, convoluted coastline, and most are pleasantly undeveloped and pristine. Myrtos Beach is perhaps the best, a beautiful beach with stunning white sand and ringed by stark cliffs with views of Assos to the north topped by a Venetian fortress. Anti-Samos beach, near Sami, is a beautiful pebble crescent, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The red sand beach of Lepeda has lovely views of the gulf of Argostoli and Mount Ainos, with the monastery of Aghia Paraskevi just inland. Xi Beach, near Lixouri, is famous for its clay cliffs, which are reported to have medicinal properties when mixed with seawater and applied to the skin. It also has water sports facilities. The beaches around Lassi are wide and sandy, but also the most developed, with rows upon rows of sunbeds. The sandy beach of Lourdas is 2km long, and set against a beautiful dramatic backdrop of forested hills rolling down to the sea. Ammos beach in the south is wild and unpopulated, but accessible only by a steep climb down a cliff, and the waters here are deep and with strong currents.
Kefalonia Island International Airport is only 9km from Argostoli, and is served by scheduled and charter flights from many UK airports with Easyjet, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Monarch, and others, as well as internal flights from Athens. Ferry connections from the mainland at Patras and Killini land at Argostoli, Sami, and Poros. Car hire is readily available from the airport, and at many of the towns throughout Cephalonia.
We had a super time at the villa. It is very nicely appointed and has a super feel to it, with a lot of attention to the design and layout and the quality of the furniture, fixtures and fittings, the kitchen etc. The owner is clearly a thoughtful fellow and has used his experience to create a very pleasant and high quality environment for guests.
The staff are superb. Yolande is an excellent cook with a good range/repertoire. We have three hungry growing boys (25, 23 and 19) and they did not complain of being hungry. She has a good mix of international classics (chocolate soufflé of a high quality, tiramisu and schnitzel for example) and local dishes (souvlaki, tzatziki, various local salads, a couple of very good chicken dishes). Breakfast was excellent too with fresh fruit, eggs done as you want, toast and homemade preserves and local honey. Yolande worked very hard, but always very cheerfully and unobtrusively, we liked her a lot and she could not have been more helpful. Effie is a lovely lady, very welcoming and very unobtrusive. This is a very good team.
The owner was there to welcome us on Sunday evening, he was charming. He explained things well on when we arrived and came back the next morning to show us a few places, first Trapezaki beach and Taverna Dennis (very good food there and the new sun-lounger area (grassed!) was very good. We ate lunch there three times, at the table the owner recommended and the food was high quality and very reasonably priced. He then took us to Lourdas Beach and showed us another good restaurant where we ate a super lunch.
The Olive Press next door adds to the atmosphere and was very interesting to look around one evening.
Our boat excursion from Fiskardo was excellent if somewhat expensive at Euro 1500 when I compare it with other such things we have done in Spain and Portugal. The boat was very good and the captain Constantine was very good too. We went to lots of interesting spots around Ithaca, Lefkas and other islands.
Car hire worked well with the car being delivered to the villa so we did paperwork there and not when arriving at the airport which was a nice touch.
Overall we were all delighted with the holiday and would recommend it highly. Many thanks to you for all your help and guidance.
We spent a most enjoyable week at here this summer. The interior is pleasant and attractive, but the outside space is the real star of this property and it was here we spent 95% of our waking hours. It consists of an extremely well maintained landscaped garden where the inviting pool is situated, and large terraces that are equally ideal for morning coffee or evening drinks, for conversing or reading and relaxing. Dinner is served al fresco which is a real delight, particularly for us sun starved Brits! On the subject of food, the villa comes with a cook who prepares breakfast each day and either lunch or dinner. And what a cook! To eat Yolanda's freshly prepared and delicious culinary offerings, under the stars, was a real joy. The advantages of having a cook on board are obvious; no shopping, cooking or clearing up, and you get to eat fresh, homemade and absolutely delicious food in the comfort of your own villa. Before arriving we were, however, a little ambivalent about whether the presence of someone so much of the time would compromise the privacy that makes renting a villa so appealing in the first place. We need not of worried. Yolanda was charming and discrete in equal measure and did not infringe at all on our sense of having the place to ourselves. Mention should also be made of the generosity of Lysander, the owner, who, on the morning after we arrived, devoted a couple of hours of his time showing us some of the best local beaches and tavernas. The latter recommendations also proved to be excellent. We were so impressed by the quality of the food-and certainly by London standards-excellent value of money. In all a delightful stay, in an absolutely charming villa, which combines the best of both worlds: the privacy of your own space with the facilities of a high end boutique hotel.
This is a villa full of classical elegance and style, set in a lovely vast olive grove. Beautifully furnished and comfortable, with sunny terraces and a great pool, and with service by the marvellous staff to ensure a fabulous holiday.