Our two families were very privileged to enjoy two weeks here in August 2017. We have been lucky to enjoy several villa holidays across Europe, but all-round this is probably the best we have stayed in – it ticks all the boxes.
Set up a little from sea-level, this spacious villa is cleverly-designed to make the most of stunning views across the shimmering Aegean, and enjoys much-appreciated sea breezes. With temperatures ranging between 32 to 37C we barely saw a single cloud during our stay, but we were never uncomfortable thanks to the constant breeze and many shady spots to sit outside, and AC throughout inside. Grapes vines, vegetables and lemons thrive in the gardens alongside rosemary, mint and basil, all looked after by Ajax the gardener who also cleans the pool twice a week.
The pool house is a major plus-point. We chose to take lunch there in the shade on most days, the pool-side kitchen with fridge-freezer keeping our beers ice-cold, and a dish-washer to clear up afterwards. Clearly this is a home much enjoyed by its owners. Everything works just as you would want. Wi-fi is fast and reliable and will comfortably stream movies and videos for the kids. They were happy to sleep in the self-contained apartment downstairs, which also allowed the adults some peace & quiet in the evening.
Legrena is a friendly place with two bakeries, a butcher, convenience stores and a cafe. There is a fruit & vegetable van which tours around. The bakery/shop next to the church sells inexpensive but highly drinkable white wine. There are also some really good local restaurants in the village which is easily walkable in the evening with flashlights (turn right out of the property then first left to get to the church). The fish restaurant Thodoros & Eleni is constantly busy with locals. Atrium a little further up was also excellent. Nearer the villa on the main road is Stamatis, again very good, and across the road is Neo Antigoni, run by big-hearted couple Ellie and Alex who will always rustle up something tasty and authentic.
Not too far away is Lavrio, with the big MyMarket supermarket next door to Jumbo for pool toys and everything else. Lavrio has a very good fish market (which also supplies next door restaurants), an outdoor farmers market every Thursday, a butchers, grocers, a really good gift shop, ice cream parlours, wine shops, clothes shops, umpteen coffee bars and bakeries selling the famous Galaktoboureko custard pie. Attractive restaurants line the bustling harbour in the evening.
From the Temple of Poseidon, it is equally breath-taking to take the coastal road West, overlooking crystal waters and sandy blue-green bays enjoyed in the evenings by the locals who bob around in the water just chatting and cooling off. The beach at Legrena is walkable and popular, but we preferred to drive a few minutes to one of the numerous organised beaches where you can use the loungers, sun umbrellas and loos, providing you are willing to buy an ice cream or a beer. Further along is Hotel Eden in Anavyssos and you can walk through a tunnel under the road to their well-organised beach with restaurant, bar and giant climbing inflatables in the sea at a reasonable day ticket.
Athens is an easy day trip from the villa. We set out just after 7am and drove to Elliniko, parking on a street near the Metro station. Metro tickets were inexpensive, and by 9.30am we were at the Acropolis ahead of any queues. Nikos was able to give us some great tips. We were extremely impressed with Athens, for some reason expecting it to be packed, hot, chaotic and full of traffic fumes but we could not have been more wrong. After a full day, we were back to the pool by 6.30pm to cool off and refresh. It is definitely a city will be returning to in order to explore more properly.
Immensely grateful to the owners for allowing us the opportunity to stay in their beautiful home, and for the great hospitality which was extended to us. Highly recommended.