I couldn’t believe it when I received the call telling me I had won a villa holiday in Cephalonia…. Surely there was a catch? But no, GIC The Villa Collection really had given us a full holiday (flights, transfers, villa accommodation) – how marvellous!
And the icing on the cake was that the week we would be away happened to include my 40th birthday – what a present…So at the crack of dawn in late May my husband and I, together with our two boys aged 9 and 12, set off for Villa Atlantis in Katelios, Cephalonia.
Villa Atlantis is truly special – I challenge anyone to not have a perfect time there. We had drooled over the pictures on the website but the reality was even better. When we arrived we were overawed by the sheer amount of space there was – both inside and outside.
All rooms are tastefully decorated, and the bathrooms (of which there are 4!) are of a very high standard with big, powerful showers and plenty of room.
But it is outside where the magic really begins… Two of the bedrooms have balconies that give wonderful views across to the mountains and down to the sea. Opening the shutters to sunshine and views like that is just the most wonderful way to wake up.
The outside dining area has the same magnificent outlook, and while sitting there you are surrounded by lavender bushes, vibrant bougainvillaea and other lush vegetation. A few steps (or a slope if you prefer) take you to the pool area, with another table and chairs, ample sun loungers and again – that view.
The great thing about Villa Atlantis is that you have total privacy – you are not overlooked at all, but a 10 minute walk brings you right down to the beach front of Katelios. Here there are several local bars and tavernas lining the sandy beach – all very friendly, relaxed and serving delicious Greek cuisine and freshly caught fish. Katelios would suit anyone looking for a relaxing, slow-paced escape. The tavernas are very family-friendly, and you can watch the children play on the beach when they get bored with sitting at the table. I would have felt totally comfortable going alone, or with a female friend, too as everyone I met was so open and welcoming.
This is the Greece I love – simple, friendly, unpretentious. And of course all against a backdrop of mountains and bright blue sea. Heaven. Thank you GIC  The Villa Collection, it was truly wonderful and made that rather significant birthday much less painful!
Mrs Gibbs,
GIC The Villa Collection client