‘Oh yes! I could easily spend my holidays in a place like this…’, was how I felt when I arrived at Urania on a hot summer day. Four lofty villas are built on the steep hillside of Lefkada, a good 200 metres above the sea level, looking out over the bay of Vasiliki, with Ithaki and the mainland in the distance. The uninterrupted views are breathtaking. The villas, each with a private swimming pool, are set sufficiently apart and there are no other buildings anywhere near, so if you long for privacy and a quiet environment you’ll be in your element. I was tempted to jump in the pool – each villa has its own – and relax. Instead I installed myself at the dining table and managed to get a lot of writing done. The combination of the views with the airy atmosphere of the villa inspired me. With parquet floors, cream-coloured walls, painted wooden ceilings and contemporary furniture, the style of the villas is fresh and summery. Beds are comfy and bathrooms (one for each bedroom) are excellent – generally, the comfort is great. You could stock up on groceries and simply not move, but I don’t think you will: some of Greece’s most stunning beaches are only 10-20 minutes’ drive away.
The location, the views, the comfort, the quiet, the invitation to do absolutely nothing...
The villas are in a rather isolated spot so there is no quick stepping out to get something to eat. You absolutely need a car, and it should be one that you can comfortably take a dirt road with.
2 villas for up to 6 persons with three bedrooms, a living room with open kitchen, a swimming pool
2 villas for up to 8 persons with three bedrooms, a living room with open kitchen, a swimming pool
(There also is a 5-bedroom villa for up to 12 persons, set a little further on the hill, but I didn’t get to see it)
En-suite bathrooms in all bedrooms (whirlpool bath or shower)
Television with DVD player (living room and all bedrooms)
Living/dining room with a fully equipped open kitchen (including dishwasher and washing machine)
Outdoor swimming pool
Cooking classes (Oct to mid-June)
Spa, aromatherapy, massage, manicure, pedicure
Be prepared to do some cooking. There are no places to eat very close by (the nearest is about 10-15 minutes by car), and as you will have a wonderful and properly equipped kitchen (and beautiful spots for al fresco dining) preparing your own meals is the best thing to do. Bring your favourite recipes; stock up on groceries – you will find shops in Vasiliki, and house staff can also do the shopping for you – and you’re all set. But if you feel too lazy to spend any time in the kitchen at all, you can also ask for a private chef to come to your villa and do the cooking for you. Finally, during the low season (October to mid-June), you can also ask for cooking classes to be organised for you, so you can learn the ins and outs of Greek cooking.
Children, of course, are welcome at the Urania holiday villas, and the setting is indeed perfect for family vacations. The houses are spacious; bedrooms are comfortable (and several have twin beds); you can cook your kids’ favourite meals, and of course the private swimming pools are a joy. Keep in mind that the pools are not fenced, so toddlers need supervision. The beaches of Lefkada are fantastic, and some of the best of the island are within easy reach from the houses (by car).
Urania “Luxury Villas” are in the southern part of Lefkada, in an isolated spot on a steep hillside that plunges down to the sea. The nearest village, Vasiliki, is about 4 km away (a good three of which are on the dirt road), while some of Greece’s most stunning beaches are only 10-20 minutes’ by car (with the first km on the dirt road). The closest beach, Porto Katsiki, is also the most famous (and gets very crowded in the summer), so make sure you don’t miss out on the next two: Egremni and Gialos. Porto Katsiki and Egremni have white pebbles, and Gialos has coarse sand. (Bear in mind that all three beaches are far below the road level and there are a lot of steps to get to them!)
Lefkada is an island you can drive to – it is connected to the mainland by a long and narrow causeway and a floating bridge. The drive from Athens takes about 4 to 5 hours. You can also fly to the nearby airport of Preveza: there are domestic flights from Athens several times a week and in the summer quite a few international charters fly directly to Preveza. The villas are in the south of Lefkada, about 45 km from the capital of the island. You will get detailed driving instructions after you make your booking. The villas are not hard to find but keep in mind that the last 1 or 3 km (depending on which way you come) are on a dirt road.