We just had a week at this accommodation situated a 5 minute drive from the popular holiday resort of Skala. For a 'self catering' holiday the price seemed high, but when we got there we could see why.
We had been allocated apartment 6 (out of 6), and it was fantastic. Two double bedrooms, a large lounge / kitchen area, a bathroom and another seperate WC made up the accommodation. The living room area lead out onto a roomy balcony which overlooked the beautiful gardens at the property and the sea beyond.
The bedrooms both had large built in wardrobes and drawers, and the kitchen contained all the cutlery and crockery you could want. All we had to buy was some washing up liquid. The lounge area had two large sofa's, which on closer inspection were actually sofa beds. There was a small TV, but it didn't work and other guests also reported theirs were the same but it didn't matter at all as we weren't there to watch Greek TV!
A practical tip - bring your own hairdryer as the hairdryer fitted to the bathroom wall wouldn't blow out a match!
The property is on the side of a steep slope, and you have to park your hire car at the bottom, so be aware you will have a bit of a uphill stroll to get to your apartment. The higher your apartment number the further you will have to walk up the hill, so as we were in No 6 we certainly got a workout.
The gardens at the property are beautiful and are a credit to the two ladies (possibly mother and daughter?) who tend them every day. Roses in particular gave off a lovely scent and made the walk up and down to the pool a pleasure.
Regarding the pool it is a fair size, 14m long by 7m wide and was about 6 feet deep at the deepest. It was a bit chilly when you first got in but you soon aclimatised. The pool was bordered by stone walls and again a beautiful selection of flowers and shrubs and a very roomy grass area. There are plenty of sunbeds and becuse there are just 6 apartments there was plenty of room for everyone to have their own space. What a contrast to a hotel where you feel like sardines.
There is a Taverna literally next door and a small snack bar, both of which are run by the same people. The food here was great, with a good choice of traditional Greek cuisine and fresh fish. A two course meal for two with a couple for drinks tended to be 25 - 30 euros, and although the climb up to the restaurant was equally steep as the one to the apartment you could drive up as they had a small car park at the back.
We were glad that there was literally just the beach, the sea, the Taverna and nothing else near to the property but if you have teenagers they may not agree. Skala is literally a 5 minute drive away though, and this has all the bars, restaurants and small shops you could want. It's nice that Skala never felt 'rough' or 'chavvy', and certainly in June when we were there it has a nice family feel to it and wasn't too crowded. This may be different in the height of the season in July and August.
We took a day to explore the island by car and visited most of the main resorts on a drive that took us up the coast road east from Skala before turning inland on a twisty road to Sami. The scenery was beautiful, with tall cypress trees and greenery giving a feeling of being in Tuscany rather than a hot greek lsland.
The road to the north of the island was a bit hair-raising in places, and if you are squeamish about heights and roads with no safety barriers it might not be for you. We ended up at Fiskardo, an attractive fishing village that everyone recommends you visit. It is pretty and the harbour is a pleasant place to have lunch but in reality there isn't much else there and its a long drive from Skala.
As long as you have a hire car for the duration of your holiday you are never more than a short drive from anything you could need to make your holiday complete. Add in some very nice people that were also at the accommodation at the same time as us for some friendly banter around the pool, and it was pretty much perfect.
To sum up Carettas Nest has changed our view on what we want from a holiday in the future. We have previously always chosen hotels, some all inclusive, some half board but compared to this wonderful find they all now seem noisy and crowded.
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