We stayed at the Meganissi Villas (Just outside Katomeri on the road to Spartahori - Thomson/ Simply Travel) in July/August 2013 for two weeks. We didn't want to leave...
The holiday was simply amazing - one of the best Greek holidays we have been on. The scenery is breath-taking, and the people are incredibly kind and friendly.
We plan come back for some serious rambling one day - we were told that September/October is best for walking on Meganissi - the weather is more settled than the spring, and somewhat cooler than July/August.
The villa was spacious with good air-conditioning and fly-screens on the wndows; the pool was fantastic - chlorinated, self-cleaning and big enough for some meaningful lengths. Dimitri pops in occasionally to check everything. The villas are on a hill and usually have a welcome light breeze that keeps them slightly cooler than Katomeri or Vathi.
We stayed in Villa 1 (furthest from main road). It has views over Katomeri and over to the moutains on mainland Greece (It is NOT Lefkas you see from the Villas!). The views are amazing, and much better than you see from photos. It also has a side view over countryside, olive trees, grassland etc, and has a bit of a rockery style garden to the side and back. Very pretty.
The villas (there are 3 and Dimitri's house) have a security gate, and a very steep (mercifully short!) driveway up to the gates. The villas are well separated with fences/walls/plants - we only saw our neighbours when we arrived and when we left!
There is plenty of crazy-paved, outdoor space, with 3 sheltered sitting/eating out areas with plenty of tables and chairs - 3 tables and 12 chairs dotted around. There is a lovely 3-seater swing sofa. There were 4 bed chairs, with plenty of space around the pool. Large barbecue.
The kitchen has everything you need - Double sink, full oven and grill, microwave, coffee machine, kettle, toaster ,plenty of pots/pans and nice crockery, iron and ironing board. There is a large fridge with good sized freezer section at the top - plenty of room to make ice, as well as keeping bread and a few pizzas etc. . There is a clothes airer and pegs outside.
There is a dining table and 4 chairs in the kitchen. Our grocery pack had a bottle of water, wine, olive oil, honey, butter, 4 yoghurts, feta, tomatoes, fruit, bread, a few tea bags, a small tin of instant coffee, sugar, washing-up liquid and washing up pad. (Enough to get you through first day).
The water is drinkable here - it tastes fine. We did take a water filter with us as I tend to get upset stomach if there is a high mineral content (which there is). It is fine for cooking, tea and coffee making etc.
The inside is pretty and nicely furnished - a cool blue theme in the twin bedroom and a good sized bed (king sized I think) in the double. Plenty of storage space with built-in double wardrobes (with drawers), chest of drawers in double bedroom; bedside tables and lamps. Both have ensuite bathrooms (nicely tiled) with a good shower (hand-held) in a small bath. Shower curtain. Plenty of hot water all day.
The lounge/dining/kitchen is all one open plan space. Lounge area is pretty with sofa and two arm-chairs. (The sofa is actually a sofa-bed).
There are lots of paperbacks in the villa – mainly Nora Roberts, Catherine Cookson, Maeve Binchy, James Patterson etc.
The people here are extremely friendly, and will go out of their way to help. The supermarket in Vathi will deliver your groceries for you (as will several others - just ask first - as will the 'bottle-shop' in Katomeri.). We had ours delivered while we were out - and they even put all our cold stuff in the fridge for us! (They even 'delivered' us back to our villa once too, when we got rather too hot on one of our walks and ended up in Vathi, and couldn't face th walk home back up the hill - we were going to get a taxi, but they wouldn't hear of it and insisted on giving us a lift back to the villa!)
The villas are cleaned and bins emptied on a Wednesday and Sunday, but they stay quite clean in-between. (You may want to take a couple of extra ‘small bin’ bags for the bathroom – I find nappy sacks are useful). T-Towel, sheets (thick, fresh, crisp cotton) and towels (huge fluffy ones!) are changed then; pool towels changed once a week. Take a couple of black bin bags with you for empty bottles/cans etc, as it will save space in the kitchen bin.
Traffic is light on the island, so walking is reasonably safe. There are lots of paths, and alos good roads all around the island – the coastal walks are pretty.
By car - Katomeri is very narrow and twisty, so it is easier to go the long way round to Vathi. Spartahori is car free – has a parking area on the edge of the village.
Spartahori, Vathi and Katomeri all well worth a visit. All are within walking distance, but take plenty of water. Spartahori is more commercialised and 'touristy' than Katomeri or Vathi, and we found people a bit less friendly here.
There are several reasonable small supermarkets in Katomeri and Vathi - and sell most things you need. We did not find it too expensive, especially if you buy local stuff. Locals shop here too, so you are paying local prices, but remembering that everything has to be ferried in and that most of the shops are family run and not part of major chains. There is a bakery in Katomeri; also a hardware shop that seems to sell everything!
Don't miss the 'Greek Night' at the taverna in Katomeri - usually Fridays - this is a proper Greek night for locals where they get together to practice and show off their traditional songs and dances - not a 'touristy' version!
Many people do not speak English here, though most shop keepers and waiters do. Everyone is thrilled if you have a few words of Greek - you cannot go far without having to say 'Yassas' - everyone greets everyone here.
The gift shop in Katomeri has some lovely jewellery and local crafts - but it is a bit pricey we thought - 3.90 Euros for a T-Towel...!
Be careful about letting children poking around the rockery - there are some SERIOUSLY scary insects and spiders here! I have been unable to identify the spiders we saw - but they were HUGE - one had a body as big as my fist... the hornets and wasps are also huge. We also saw a snake in the garden once, but it was too quick for us to identify. Lots of large grasshoppers – they can nip a bit too!
The only bad thing about the holidays was that Thomson messed up our bookings for the transfers - they assured us that we would be met at the ferry and taken to our villa - this was not the case and the local rep (Trisha) had not been informed of any of this. We were half expecting this since Thomson's rep-line had no idea how the transfers worked! We did not want the car hire, but the rep was not told this, despite twice checking with our travel agent, and emailing Thomson (unanswered). It even stated that we had transfers to the door on our tickets.... Even their reps' information line seemed clueless. The local rep was amazing though, and sorted it all out - I get the impression that this is not unusual! The rep (Trisha) gives you her own mobile number and has masses of information should you need it. She is based on the mainland, but comes over once a week or so just to check everything is ok etc.
For those who want the car hire:
You sign the paperwork for your hire car at Preveza airport, but you are then taken in a taxi to Nidri; you are then taken across in a private boat (or water taxi - the speedboat transfer no longer operates - it seems that the driver was not properly qualified, and he was dropped we were told...); your hire car and Dimitri will be waiting on the dock for you. The cars stay on the island all the time.
Ask Dimitri if you need anything – he really is as helpful as everyone says – he picked us up at Vathi when we arrived, and also gave us a lift back when it was time to leave – he wouldn’t hear of us ordering a taxi… he is there if you need him, but is not the interfering kind.
Take with you: Comfortable footwear, also reef shoes or crocs as the beaches are mostly stony/pebbly with lots of sea urchins etc., several bin bags, star-gazing book, a good insect repellent, coffee filters.
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- Also Known As:
- Meganisi Villas Hotel Vathy
- Meganisi Villas Greece - Vathy