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Chrani Messinia Villas

Chrani Messinia Villas holidays

The Messinia Villas are located on a small (7-acre) private hillside estate, set within an enormous protected  conservation area.  From the estate, there are panoramic sea views (enjoyed from all the villas) across the huge Gulf of Messinia, culminating in the 2,400m Taygetos mountain range beyond, in the east.  The hillside is about 300 feet above sea level; it’s an easy walk down to two tavernas, and a slower return journey, best done early or late in the day to avoid the heat of the midday sun.  (Or, of course, you could always drive…)  Supermarkets can be found in either Chrani or Petalidi, both a ten-minute drive, and the nearest good beach, called Kalamaki, is only a mile distant and has a well-liked taverna directly on the beach.

Sunrises are spectacular, as the mountains opposite are often snow-clad until surprisingly late in the year, and keen photographers and artists alike will enjoy the challenges of capturing sparkling water with bright blue skies and the many different light patterns created.

The nine individual villas are all quite private, each with its own swimming pool and set within mature, semi-wild gardens with luxuriant vegetation.  They offer considerable flexibility for parties of all sizes. Two people in one villa will be as comfortable as a family of six in another, a group of friends occupying two nearby villas or a party of 40 holidaymakers occupying the entire estate.  The properties are an easy walk from each other, and are located on three different levels on the hillside.

The estate offers the perfect adventure playground for children; there are no cars except those parked by fellow guests alongside their villas.  Virgin woodland and Mediterranean maquis (a mix of sweet smelling herbs and plants) surround the properties, inspiring children’s imagination and creativity.  Wild tortoises and the occasional rabbit or badger can be spotted by those interested in nature, and in spring there are wonderful wild flowers, starting with anemones in February/March.

Messinia Cleo Villa, Chrani, Peloponnese

Holidays In Chrani Messinia Villas

Cultural sites worth visiting for day trips are plentiful – this is the Peloponnese region of Greece, where many say that civilisation as we know it today began. There is Koroni Castle, just over 20 km along the coast from the Messinia Villas, dating from the 13th century.  Byzantine Mystras, located on the foothills of the Taygetos mountains, with its impressively-located castle plus upper, middle and lower cities, could certainly absorb a very full day’s exploration; pack a picnic to enjoy while there, or find a local taverna at which to eat.  Insider tip:  start from the carpark at the top of Mystras, by the castle, and work your way downhill during the day; then bribe a fit member of your party to climb up the hill and to drive the car down to you all.  Mystras’ superb frescoes and huge number of well-restored buildings mean it’s justifiably a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It’s located near to Sparta, another name that will resonate with many from their history lessons.

Then, a little further afield, there are Olympia, Delphi, Corinth and Nemea, which together made up the four-yearly circuit of the original Games, created to stop warring tribes from fighting for just a couple of weeks a year and instead to do battle against one another in the sporting and cultural arenas.  Visit in June 2020 and you’ll be able to run in the Modern Nemean Games, barefoot, as did the ancients; this marvellous weekend, held every four years, will entrance and delight everyone from age 8 to 98 – and all can participate.  Nemea, with its stadium, tunnel, museum and nearby Temple of Zeus, is worth visiting in its own right at any time, as are its famed co-conspirators Olympia, Delphi and Corinth.  

Relaxing, reading, walking, swimming, exploring and good food are key components of a wonderful villa holiday to Greece.  In the local shops (10 minutes by car in either direction), you’ll find juicy tomatoes grown locally and tasting of sunshine; lemons picked from nearby citrus trees, and cucumbers and salad ingredients that are fresh and offer excellent value.  Barbeques, whether meat or fresh fish, are an easy way to cater for family and friends - BBQ equipment is provided with each villa - and local shops sell local specialities such as octopus in vinegar, taramosalata and many other starters and nibbles that will go well with an early evening G&T or an ouzo or two…

These villas are not state-of-the-art modern properties, but they offer good standards and great value for money in a lovely part of the Peloponnese that’s just a 30-minute drive from Kalamata Airport.  The Messinia Villas are simply the best-value villas with private pool in the entire GIC The Villa Collection and Sunvil programmes.  As a result of a special arrangement for 2018, the prices in the low and mid seasons - only with the exception of the five peak season weeks in late July and August - are between 5% and 10% lower than the 2017 prices.  They now start at £743 pp for 7 nights’ accommodation (two sharing), including return flights and car hire at Villa Erato (sleeps 2). At Villa Theresa (sleeps 4), prices now start at £633 pp (four sharing), including return flights and car hire plus 7 nights’ accommodation.  These prices are better value than many one-bedroomed apartments elsewhere, which include neither car hire nor private pool.

Should you prefer not to drive, Sunvil will arrange a transfer from the airport to the villas by taxi.  Alternatively, you can take the bus from the airport to Chrani and Koroni, which stops at the Sunrise Beach Hotel, on the seafront below the villas and a 20-minute walk from them.  Local taxi services can be booked from Chrani for local shopping or visits to Koroni, for example.

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