Other accommodation suggestions
Dear fellow travellers,
I absolutely love traveling! And one of the most important aspects of visiting a new area is the accommodation it provides. And not simply because I also love sleeping and therefore enjoy a comfortable room 🙂
More importantly, the place where one stays is also the place where one most intimately interacts with its inhabitants. And its inhabitants are of course the place’s spirit and soul. This is why I like to stay in small, family-run hotels, guest-houses, B&Bs. I love to be welcomed by the owner himself/herself and cherish the feeling of being a guest, not simply a client.
I know that I am not alone in this search for authentic hospitality and this is why I am providing the following list of cosy places to stay. These are places that I have been to and liked for their location, architecture, decoration, breakfast (another VERY important aspect!) and above all, for their warm, friendly, real welcome.
If your route takes you anywhere near these places, I think that they are worth a visit. And if you do go, I honestly hope that you will enjoy them as much as I did!
P.S. All the accommodation listed here is also reasonably priced, especially if you travel in the mid or low seasons.
Visited: May 2022
I discovered Skiaxtro, meaning scarecrow in Greek, while searching for accommodation around the surf-beach Lagouvardos on the West coast of the Peloponnese. We were 2 families traveling with 4 kids between us aged 6-15 and needed something relaxing for us, where the children could be free and safe to roam around.
So we discovered Skiaxtro, a glamping domaine, small and cute and very personal. Alexandra, the owner, is also an artist and runs workshops for children. There are large and comfortable tents, a common-use kitchen (indoor and outdoor), a big table for eating, an outdoor “living room”, space for yoga, toilets and of course Alexandra’s own space where she exhibits her work.
The domaine is very close to Marathoupoli, which has a many seafront tavernas to eat, if you do not want to cook. We stayed 2 nights, so we did both cooking and eating out.
I loved waking up in the tent in the morning (but having a real toilet and shower to use)! I also loved cooking in the open-air and the freedom that you feel in general in such locations. All in all a place to go back to!
Visited: every year since 2016
I fell in love with this place at first sight.
My friend from school Soumi passed by our hotel every year on a June Sunday, on her back from some mysterious place up in the mountains not so far from here, where she and her family spent a weekend picking cherries. It happened 3 or 4 times until I made up my mind to join her . It’s not that easy for me to leave the hotel on a June weekend, but the opportunity presented itself when Jaime, a friend from university visited me with his family and I was in need of a mountain location to take them for an excursion.
The funny thing about Cherryland is that it’s hidden, but just a few steps from the main road. Really, you cannot imagine what you will encounter as you take the stairs that lead from the parking lot to Cherryland. Well, the first picture below is what you encounter, immediately. I was enchanted. I felt that I had entered another dimension, or a fairy tale.
The owner, Suzanna, turned out to be an old friend, (we had done a sailing course together, a couple of decades earlier), whom I was fascinated to encounter in this newfound magical land of hers. We spent the weekend exploring the place and its surroundings. Suzanna and her mother Maria, who is an artist, had really created a Gaudi-esque homemade magical kingdom.
The accommodation itself is in stone houses, very traditional and very pretty. One even has a sauna. The food is cooked by Suzanna and her assistant with produce from the farm itself. For the children there is an upscaled playground, a petting farm and much natural space to roam freely.
One of the highlights is a waterfall that you can hike to (30 minutes mild walk and easy river trekking). We did this with a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old child, so I recommend it as family-friendly, if the family is an active one!
Visited: every year since 2015
“Garden paradise with Coco-mat beds”, that’s how I would describe this place! Located in the mountains above the Gulf of Corinth, Re-Green is a couple’s ecological utopia, but with a twist. The twist is the 18th century lovingly and luxuriously restored guesthouse. The ecological utopia consists in the experimentation with various techniques for farming, heating, cooking etc. Re-green hosts volunteers from around the world, who help out with the work, but also bring in their own know-how. Guests can also pitch their tents in the vast grounds. Among the highlights is the nearby waterfall!
2022 update: Re-Green now offers co-living arrangements for people searching for an alternative way of traveling.
Visited: April 2009
An old elegant stone mansion set in a well-kept citrus orchard, which I wanted to visit ever since I read about it in a coffee-table book called “Jacoline’s small hotels in Greece”.
A great place for holidays spent relaxing in the lush gardens, reading and walking around. Simple and authentic welcoming provided by the owner herself, Claire Xydas. This was a romantic visit, before having children, and we spent the day roaming the island and cycling around the hotel.
The island of Chios is known for its mastic-producing trees, so I had no idea about the beauty of the part of the island where our hotel was located. Home to rich citrus merchants for many centuries, the area of Kampos is full of beautiful mansions that bear testimony to island’s past wealth.
I was super-excited to visit the Citrus Museum, which traces the history of the production and export of citrus fruits. Today, the Citrus brand tries to recapture some of the island’s past fame, creating contemporary products from a centuries-old concept.
Visited: July 2004
Milia is a a real village that was found abandoned and reconstructed with love and care to become an authentic eco “hotel”. Hotel is not the right word though, although there is accommodation for daily rent. In Milia you feel transported outside time and space, as if you have found yourself all of a sudden in another dimension. This is so because the village is completely hidden from sight and only once you have parked you car and started approaching it, does it appear. And once you are “inside”, you are in fact inside the mountain, protected from view by the lush vegetation. The buildings are also hidden from view, thanks to the fact that they are built with stone from the area which blends perfectly with the landscape. The rooms are furnished with local furniture, real “reclaimed” antiques! There is little electricity, provided by sun and wind harnessing technologies. So be prepared to really relax, love and sleep! The village’s food is grown on the spot and there are also animals which provide milk and meat. The group of friends who brought Milia back to life (I met Yorgos and Zoran during my two trips to Milia) are always around, taking care of the houses, the animals and their guests!