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Archive for Freelance Holidays

August 7, 2019

Inspirational Villa on Crete for Late Summer Escapes

Between the beautiful beach at Kalives and the foothills of Crete’s White Mountains is an idyllic rural retreat that has inspired an artist: Villa Nikoletta, available through Med island specialist Freelance Holidays.

Professional artist and regular Nikoletta guest Matthew Berry has painted this corner of the island many times. Limited-edition prints of his work now adorn the walls of this white-washed house at the edge of the tiny village of Provarma.

“The house is ideally situated and has a very private feel with a lovely garden and pool,” says Matt. “The double bedroom with the views from its own terrace is quite special: a great place to chill out with a glass of wine or Tsikoudia!”

Villa Nikoletta sits behind double wooden gates and a stone wall, next to a small farm. Guests say the clucking of hens and the bells around the necks of the goats adds to the ‘away from it all’ atmosphere, while the country-style garden with tumbling bougainvillea, reclaimed millstones and huge terracotta pots is a beautiful backdrop for the free-form pool. A shady mulberry tree leans over the dining terrace beside the outdoor barbecue.

The double bedroom has its own terrace with far-reaching views over the village towards the coast seven kilometres away. An adjacent twin room shares the shower room upstairs, with a second shower room on the ground floor.

The villa works equally well for a couple or a young family with open plan living, air-conditioning and WiFi among the modern facilities that contrast with the rustic features of wooden ceilings, tiled floors and exposed stonework. The village of Stilos, a 15-minute walk away, offers several small and friendly tavernas plus a minimarket.

Available for stays of virtually any duration and any arrival day, a week in September (when Crete’s temperatures remain in the high 20s) costs £1143. Seven nights at October half term is just £723.

As with all Freelance Holidays rentals, car hire and flights are not included. Easyjet, Ryanair, Jet2, Tui and British Airways all fly direct from the UK into Chania airport, which is approximately 30 minutes’ drive away.

01789 297705, www.freelance-holidays.co.uk

June 26, 2019

Basket of Crete Treats Welcomes Guests at Brand New Villa

A brand-new villa on Crete, within easy reach of Rethymnon on the north coast, is newly featured by Freelance Holidays just in time for peak season holidays.

Built on the footprint of an old family property, Villa Xagnado is a cool white cube with private pool offering sleek, open-plan living perfect for a couple or family of four.

While the villa is new, the welcome from owners Stratos and Margarita is warmly old-fashioned: honey from their own bees, home-produced olive oil, wine and raki are all in the welcome basket.

Outside the kitchen door, beside a new terrace, is the original outdoor kitchen, with a traditional wood oven, sink and built-in BBQ for evening meals accompanied by cicadas singing in the gnarled olive trees. On nights when guests don’t want to cook or drive out for dinner, a family-owned taverna in the next village offers a dinner delivery service.

Villa Xagnado – whose name means view – has a hilltop spot outside the tiny village of Kato Valsamonero. The White Mountains dominate the view, though Rethymon and north-coast beaches are no more than 25 minutes’ drive.

A ground-floor double bedroom makes this contemporary, well-furnished villa a great choice for a couple looking for privacy and space, while a twin-bedded room (and additional shower room) on the upper floor makes it a good option for a small family.

Being newly built, July and August availability is excellent, with seven nights in August at £1633, and late season breaks only £891 (excluding flights and car hire).

Mediterranean island villa specialist Freelance Holidays offers the flexibility of any-day-arrival and any-length-of-stay over five nights, making it easy to mix and match flights to create great-value holidays of odd durations.

Freelance Holidays: 01789 297705, www.freelance-holidays.co.uk

June 3, 2019

Villa specialist launches video guide to Kefalonia Beaches

Mediterranean island villa specialist Freelance Holidays has created a video guide to Kefalonia’s beaches and nominated its five favourite beaches.

The four-minute video captures 18 of the island’s beaches as well as key locations like Fiscardo port and St Gerasimos monastery.

“‘Kefalonia – the Movie’ is our first video beach guide,” says managing director Paul Fogg. “Film is by far the best way to show potential customers specific locations of our villas and we’re gradually building a comprehensive video library of our Med islands.”

The company’s top five recommendations for Kefalonia beaches are:

  1. Katelios Beach on the southern tip. “Our perfect day is a morning on Katelios, a fish lunch at one of the restaurants, then walk around the headland to Kamina beach. Turtles lay eggs here in June and July, which hatch between August and the end of September.” Villa Poseidonia sits in a lush garden five minutes’ walk from Katelios seafront. Seven nights’ rental of the three-bedroom villa costs from £905.
  2. Antisamos Beach on the east coast. “Famous thanks to the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and with good reason: pale blue sea and white pebbles backed by sweet-smelling pines.” Set above the fishing port of Sami, just a short drive from Antisamos is Villa Nireaus, a two-bedroom villa for four. A week here starts at £973.
  3. Foki Beach, south of Fiscardo. “A picture-perfect inlet with trees running down to the shingle, turquoise water and a beach taverna.” Contemporary Villa Vassilis is a three-bedroom (sleeps six) villa just three kilometres away, with glorious sea views, from £1183 for seven nights.
  4. Skala Beach. “This long popular sweep of coarse white sand has plenty of sunbeds and parasols to hire and great facilities from water-sports to beach bars.” At the north end of the beach, Villa Korfos has three ensuite double bedrooms ideal for couples holidaying together. It has fabulous sea views, with a week from £903 for six people.
  5. Amandakiss or Rock Beach, near Spartia. “This natural rock platform offers guests at our villas on the Liakis headland a private beach experience, since there’s no ‘through’ traffic or sand to attract day visitors. The perfect spot for snorkelling.” Villa Penelope is one of 15 individual villas offered here. It’s a truly luxurious villa with jaw-dropping views over the sea and a footpath to the rock beach. A week starts at £1393 for six people.

Freelance Holidays offers 32 villas with private pools on Kefalonia. Flights and car hire are not included in prices.

Freelance Holidays: 01789 297705, www.freelance-holidays.co.uk

March 14, 2019

Crete Villas for Easter Celebrations, from £597 for a family of five

Mediterranean villa specialist Freelance Holidays is highlighting villas on Crete just perfect for Easter celebrations – both for UK holiday dates and the Greek Orthodox Easter.

“Late April temperatures in Crete can easily reach 20 degrees,” says managing director Paul Fogg, “and when your villa is only a stroll from the village square it’s easy to meet the locals – and if you’re there over 26-28 April – to join in their Easter celebrations.”

For example, Villa Avra has been reduced for arrivals on or after 20 April, with seven nights starting 20 April now just £597 (down from £793) and a week starting 27 April now £621 (down from £913).

This modern three-bedroom (sleeps five) villa combines contemporary kitchen and shower rooms with the character of exposed stonework. On three levels, there are far-reaching views over olive groves from the pool terrace. It is a five-minute drive to the tiny village of Maza where there’s a taverna on the village square, with more facilities at Vrisses 3kms away and the beach at Georgioupolis only 6kms away.

Other options close to welcoming villages are Villa Maragoudi within 500 metres of Armeni, available for seven nights starting 26 April at £653 (reduced from £811) for this four-bedroom villa sleeping eight. Set behind high garden walls, it is a perfect base from which to join in village events from the torchlit procession to the roast lamb on Easter Day.

A further 300 metres up the hill is the pink-washed Villa Galania, a two-bedroom property with bags of indoor and outdoor space ideal for a small family or a couple. Arrive 22 April for seven nights at £653, saving £210.

Flights to Chania and car hire excluded. Availability/prices correct at date of issue.

Freelance Holidays: 01789 297705, www.freelance-holidays.co.uk

February 7, 2019

Coastal villas lead Freelance Holidays’ Sicily expansion

A fabulous sea-facing villa, and a sophisticated new beach shack spearhead the 2019 Sicily portfolio for Mediterranean island specialist Freelance Holidays.

Villa Marianelli is set in a quiet residential area of the south-coast port of Licata. This wonderful house is newly-renovated to create a stylish holiday home that is both contemporary and comfortable.

The elevated salt-water pool area, the first-floor living space and beautifully-furnished terraces all take full advantage of the sea views. The three bedrooms (it sleeps six) are on the ground floor. Sandy Marianelli beach is less than 400m walk.

The high specification includes three satellite TVs, WiFi, a full music system, a sleek kitchen with all the white goods holidaymakers might need, and two luxurious shower rooms.  Comiso airport is approx. 75kms away for travellers flying Ryanair and Catania is under two hours’ drive. Licata offers a baroque square, 16th century castle and a choice of restaurants.

PRICE Seven nights in April starts at £2240; a peak summer week is £3878.

Also new is Dimora di Circe – originally a humble shack – which now fulfils any luxury beach hut fantasy! There is nothing except sand between the villa and the sea. The fabulous interior features local found and re-purposed items to create an effortlessly stylish holiday home, and a sunken hot tub off the deck extends the season.

Dimora di Circe has two double-bedded ensuite rooms, making it the perfect couples/friends retreat. It is set below the coast road in a quiet corner of the south coast. Restaurants and shops are 12kms to the west in Pozzallo while the Baroque town of Noto is 35kms. Comiso airport is 77kms away and Catania 120kms.

PRICE Seven nights in April starts at £2856; a peak summer week is £4998.

Freelance Holidays’ managing director Paul Fogg says: “The UK market is waking up to the fact that Sicily’s southerly position – on the same latitude as Tunis – offers early and late season escapes as well as peak season holidays. It’s our fastest-growing destination.”

Freelance Holidays: 01789 297705, www.freelance-holidays.co.uk

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