Easter in Paros: spiritual, vivid, Dionysian!

Every year, at the dawn of the tourist season, Greece slips into a devout state from top to bottom. It is the time of year when Greeks gather to celebrate Easter, or Pascha, which commemorates Jesus Christ’s suffering and resurrection.

Easter, as one of Christianity’s most important holidays, holds a special place in the hearts of the locals. Throughout Greece, countless customs honor this holy time of year, making every corner of the country a hotbed of spirituality and religious experience.

Some of these corners can be found on the island of Paros. A few weeks before high season, this ever-popular summer destination offers an incredibly colorful plateau of Easter celebrations and rituals. From mystical ceremonies to vivid reenactments and Dionysian feasts, Paros will not disappoint the early bird visitor. On the contrary, anyone who has spent Easter there has yet to partake in anything comparable.

The Passion of Christ in 12 living snapshots

On Great Friday, one of the most memorable customs on the island takes place in the small traditional settlement of Marpissa.

Late on Maundy Thursday, the women of the village gather at church to prepare the Epitaphios, a cloth bearing the image of Jesus Christ’s dead body. The cloth is then carried around the village on the night of Great Friday, followed by a chanting crowd. However, unlike similar processions, the one in Marpissa makes eleven stops for the people to witness the reenactment of eleven scenes from Jesus Christ’s Passion.

This one-of-a-kind tradition was conceived by a local teacher in 1924 and has been faithfully carried out ever since. Today, over 200 people of all ages take part, and similar reenactments take place in neighboring villages.

The night the heavens cried rose petals

The Great Friday rituals find the perfect sanctuary at Panagia Ekatontapiliani, a centuries-old magnificent Byzantine church, in Parikia, the island’s largest settlement.

There, the faithful gather in mass to chant, “O, My Sweet Springtime,” in chorus. Overwhelmed with piety, they sing about the women anointing Jesus’s grave with myrrh when something incredible happens; heaps of rose petals start falling from the historic temple’s imposing dome to everyone’s awe.

When the clock strikes midnight, the Epitaphios’ carriers from the three major churches in Parikia (the other two are Taxiarchis and Zoodohos Pigi) join each other in a glorious single procession around the port town’s neighborhoods.

Discover Paros’ treasures

Nonetheless, Easter is not the only reason to visit Paros. With fewer beachgoers, a more relaxed atmosphere than during the high season, and acclaimed water sports facilities in top condition, the island’s coastline can be enjoyed like no other time of year. Picture yourself diving into the crystal-clear Aegean Sea, basking under the Mediterranean sun, and strolling along the golden sand beaches, taking in the mesmerizing views.

When you’re ready to explore more, venture through the island’s charming villages and towns. You’ll discover white-washed houses with colorful doors, bougainvillea-filled courtyards, and picturesque tavernas serving fresh seafood and traditional Greek dishes.

For a truly unforgettable experience, make sure to book a stay at Olive Villa Rentals. Our luxury villas provide the perfect base for your day trips and outings, allowing you to fully enjoy the diverse, culturally rich Easter celebrations and the natural beauty of Paros Island.

So come to Paros and experience the vibrant culture and natural beauty of this Greek paradise.


Spetses: An All Year Destination

When we think of small picturesque islands, we likely see them as perfect for romantic getaways but not ideal vacation spots for families or adrenaline buffs.

But what if we told you there is a little island not far from Athens that offers a diverse vacation experience almost all year long?

Spetses is blessed with beautiful landscapes, crystal-clear beaches and a rich cultural and historical heritage. One of the few car-free locations in Greece, its charming port-town invites you to endless promenades around its cobblestone alleys. Here, you can relax on a serene beach, enjoy a summer read at a sophisticated cafe or try a traditional Greek dish at a local fish tavern. Alternatively, you can explore the island’s natural attractions by bus, bike, or hike. Or sink your teeth in local history and culture through the many sites, museums and chapels.

For those looking for an extra reason to visit, Spetses is also home to many cultural and athletic events that welcome thousands of participants and visitors. So, if you are a fan of cycling, running, swimming, sailing, or historical reenactments, why not take advantage of these exceptional occasions.

A Weekend in Tweed: time-traveling in style

What would be more fitting for a throwback tribute to the old-world lifestyle than a car-free island with a timeless cosmopolitan aura?

A Weekend in Tweed is a three-day celebration of retro bicycles, clothing, and attitudes. The event is organized by the Poseidonion Grand Hotel, with the support of the Hellenic Bicycle Museum. During the weekend, participants ride classic bikes around Spetses in vintage attire. They go sightseeing, bike through nature and enjoy chef-prepared English picnics, relaxing tea breaks and other fun activities like the colorful beauty pageant.

Spetsathlon: swim, run, bike, triumph!

Can a small Greek island be home to a world-class multi-sport event? Yes, and Spetses is living proof.

The Spetsathlon is an athletic event where participants can compete in one out of five different races. The Saturday appetizer consists of a 25k cycling race, two swimming events (1k and 3k) and a 5k run. On Sunday, it’s time for the main course. The world-renowned triathlon race comes in a short and a long version, respectively named Sprint and Endurance. Between races, visitors and athletes enjoy a string of social and cultural events where they can talk sports, have fun and make new friends.

Classic Yacht Regata: sailing at its purest

What’s the best backdrop for a classic sailboat race, if not a place with a rich naval and shipbuilding history?

Every June since 2011, Spetses becomes the ultimate hotspot for sailboat enthusiasts from Greece and around the world. The renowned Spetses Classic Yacht Regata is a three-day sailing competition featuring four types of classic and traditional vessels: yachts, caiques, lateens and dragons. It’s a magnificent spectacle that draws thousands of visitors each year and the only event of its kind where such diverse vintage boats race together.

The Armata Festival: history, in replay

The Spetsiotes were the first Greek islanders to raise the revolutionary flag against the Ottoman yoke, and they don’t forget to celebrate it. With a bang!

During the second week of September, locals organize a series of cultural events that build up to the commemoration of a glorious moment in Spetses history. The Armata is a week-long festival full of traditional dances, popular plays, art shows, and live concerts that end with a spectacular reenactment. As a narrator recounts the historical events, the port turns into a battleground where an effigy of the Ottoman Flagship is attacked by fireships until burned to ashes.

Mini Marathon: around Spetses in 90 minutes

Before the Spetsathlon became a big hit with sports fans, Spetses was home to another riveting athletic competition.

The Mini Marathon takes place close to the end of the touristic season, in October, when the island welcomes thousands of running and swimming fans from Greece and abroad. During the weekend, professionals and amateurs may compete in one of six different distances, at sea (1,5k, 3k, 5k) or on land (5k, 10k, 25k). The main event is the 25k race, a half marathon circling the island, giving runners the chance to enjoy a memorable route through the unique Spetses landscape.

So, how about adding a unique Spetses event to your bucket list?

Porto Heli: Simple Pleasures Meeting High Life

Porto Cheli areal view

On the resort-packed Greek coasts and islands, few places stand out as bona fide high-end destinations, untouched by mass tourism and uncontrolled development. Such is Porto Heli, a seaside village that has doubled as the ideal summer hideaway for the Greek elite for many decades.

Welcome to the “Hamptons of Greece”

What combined qualities do you look for in a holiday spot? Discreet surroundings, check. Superior amenities, check. Authentic experiences, check. Welcome the Mediterranean paradise righteously called the “Hamptons of Greece.”

Porto Heli is a picturesque port surrounded by a seamless blend of rural landscapes and luxurious residencies. The first one, the Tower of Elli, was built in 1930 by a wealthy Athenian couple that approached the area by yacht and instantly fell in love with its beauty. A few decades later, Porto Heli won the hearts of Greece’s shipping magnates, wealthy industrialists and top celebrities. Soon, the coast was brimming with palatial summer estates that welcomed VIP guests all year long.

Today, the greater Porto Heli area is home to some of the most expensive resorts in Europe while boasting a large selection of lavish villas for rent. To its advantage, the place maintains all the qualities revered by the rich and famous: superb facilities, inimitable scenery, elegant lifestyle and the ability to enjoy it all incognito.

Simple pleasures with a cosmopolitan edge

The sheltered Porto Heli bay is pinned on the tip of the Argolic peninsula, a couple of hours away from Athens by land (or 25 minutes by helicopter). Ideally, you can reach it by sea and lose yourself in the breathtaking view of the winding shoreline and the hidden coves where the pine trees kiss the waves.

Upon arrival, you’re greeted by the picturesque village and its waveless harbour that provides shelter to hundreds of yachts every summer. Here, you’ll find some of the finest restaurants in the area, where you can taste the freshest local fish and seafood (like the pink Kilada shrimps). In the evenings you can enjoy a refreshing cocktail while mingling with the jet set in one of the many cozy nightlife spots.

The beaches here are beautiful and inviting, with crystal-clear waters and calming vibes. On the sandy or pebbly shores of Porto Heli, Kounoupi, Hinitsa, Agios Emilianos, Ververonda, Petrothalassa, and Kosta you’ll find everything you want, whether it’s a relaxing swim or a day full of watersports and fun. What’s worth mentioning is that apart from the renowned beaches, smaller ones exist on every gulf that can only be accessed by the villas laying on top of each gulf.

An upscale neighbourhood

Porto Heli offers an ideal getaway for a quiet, restful summer. But it’s also a great starting point for day trips to neighbouring destinations. Close by, Ermioni offers excellent dining and bustling nightlife. On the hillside, looking over the bay, stands Kranidi with its imposing neoclassical mansions. To the West, you’ll meet the traditional fishing village of Kilada and the palaeolithic Franchthi cave.

Conveniently located across Porto Heli are Spetses and, a bit further, the island of Hydra, both renowned for their timeless beauty and cosmopolitan aura. Here, you can enjoy a walk in the car-free cobblestone alleys, taste fine dishes like fish “a la Spetsiota”, and have a rich cultural experience in the local museums and landmarks.

The whole Argolic peninsula is a hotbed of Greek history. On the top of the gulf, you’ll find Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece and home of its first Parliament. Further West, you can walk among the ruins of Mycenae, one of the dominating city-states of ancient times. And on the East Coast, you can admire the archaeological site of Epidaurus and the preserved ancient theater that hosts the world-famous high-brow festival.

In a nutshell, Porto Heli combines a perfect summer sanctuary with a wholesome traveler’s experience. So, are you ready for a genuine high-end holiday?

Check out our luxurious villas in the area

Villa Rafaella

Villa Rafaella

A combination of Neoclassical and Mediterranean style form the ideal holiday destination. An excellent location on the southern-eastern cape of Peloponnese, very close to Porto Heli and Spetses island, makes Villa Rafaella a unique reference point. A large swimming pool and beautiful tennis court create a peaceful and serene atmosphere.

Villa Eleganza

villa eleganza

A villa with a unique modern architectural design that is meant to offer the utmost privacy and relaxation. Enjoy the elegant indoors and unwind yourself in the spacious outdoors by the infinity pool.

Villa Pigna

Villa pigna

Villa Pigna is the perfect getaway for families with young children to spend quality time together and relax. Guests will most certainly enjoy the lush gardens and the dining areas, while children will love the wooden playground, the basketball court and the large swimming pool.

Villa Mneme

An idyllic location and modern design with an influence from local traditional architecture, are what make Villa Mneme so special. Decorations inspired from the Greek marine culture, and furniture arrangement according to the Feng Shui, create the perfect accommodation for moments of complete tranquility.

Villa Liberia

Villa Liberia is a brand-new addition to our portfolio. With modern design and spacious areas, the villa invites you to gaze at amazing sea views, to make refreshing dives in the large swimming pool, as well as swim at the beautiful beach that is within walking distance.

Villa Anais

A charming residence with a unique position, in the area’s most beautiful cove. Villa Anais awaits you to experience the perfect Greek holiday. Charming gardens along with tennis and basketball courts will give you the perfect setup to unwind. At the same time, a beautiful beach is located right next to the villa to enjoy beautiful summer moments.

Spetses in Fall: A Fiery Bite of Greek History

arial picture of spetses

If you find yourself in Spetses during early September, you’re in for a special treat. It’s the time of year when locals commemorate their victorious battle against the Ottoman fleet during the Greek War of Independence. The renowned Armata festival offers locals and visitors a colorful blend of cultural events that peaks with the annual re-enactment of the historic naval battle.

Relive a heroic moment in time

The War of Independence of 1821 is a momentous period in Greek history. A large part of that war transpired at sea. The small island of Spetses was home to many brave men and women who left their mark on the victorious campaign.

In September 1822, the Greeks besieged the city of Nafplio by land and sea. The naval forces sent by the Ottomans to relieve Nafplio met resistance from a Greek fleet based in Spetses. As history goes, the decisive moment was when local captain Kosmas Barbatsis charged his fireship at the enemy Flagship. The Ottomans fled and eventually lost the battle in the clash that followed.

Thankful for their victory, the people of Spetses believed it came with divine help from Virgin Mary. Their tribute was to build a chapel in the old port and name it Panagia Armata after her.

Share the Spetsiotes’ pride

The Armata is a week-long festival, annually held in glorious memory of the victorious Naval Battle of Spetses. As a unique tourist attraction, it offers visitors an opportunity to dive into the island’s rich cultural heritage and salute world-famous historical figures, like the fearless naval commander Laskarina Bouboulina.

Every second week of September, local authorities organize a string of diverse cultural events, like traditional dances, popular plays, live concerts, art exhibitions, etc. On September 8th, the day Virgin Mary was born, a special mass is held at the Panagia Armata chapel and the town’s main church.

Eventually, it all builds up to the festival’s most anticipated attraction for locals and visitors alike: the live re-enactment of the battle. That night, makeshift fireships sail back and forth while a narrator recounts the historical events amidst repeated cannonades. In the grand finale, the Spetses sky lights up by the ritual burning of the Ottoman Flagship and the spectacular fireworks show that follows.

Enjoy a wholesome experience

Greek summertime is often prolonged to mid-fall due to good weather conditions and a steady flow of foreign visitors. In most islands, the tourist season lasts until the end of October, albeit without the bustling beaches and lush nightlife of mid-summer.

Such loud contrast is unknown to Spetses, a place with timeless qualities, an enchanting cosmopolitan aura, and a noble but low-key character that stays the same all year long.

In autumn, when hot days become warm, it’s the perfect time to savor what the island has to offer. Without the summer heat, you can enjoy strolling around the car-free town’s picturesque cobblestone alleys. Far from the high season, you can experience the serenity and calming vibes of the island’s beautiful beaches. And free from summertime idleness, you can appreciate the cultural wealth of Spetses through its museums, sites, and one-of-a-kind events like the Armata festival.

As for the sportive types, in October the island becomes the ultimate hot spot for running aficionados. The Spetses mini marathon is a three-day sporting event with long-distance races for both runners and swimmers that welcomes more than five thousand visitors every year.


Villa Arte 

Villa Arte aerial photo

Villa Arte won the Gold Award in Tourism Awards 2022 as the Family Villa of the Year!
It’s the ideal accommodation for families who seek luxury and privacy in the island of Spetses. The stone built Villa is a magnificent residence with a soothing, welcoming atmosphere, creating a tranquil environment.

Villa Aloni

Villa Aloni view during sunset

Villa Aloni is a brand-new construction (2020). Following the unique architecture of the aristocratic Spetsian Mansions, the property is located in the heart of a 22-acres plot of Mediterranean lush plantation. This iconic property offers for isome memorable relaxing holiday experience. At the same time, the vivid center of Spetses remains a mere 10 minutes walking distance.

Villa Filotimi

Villa Filotimi Pool

This bohemian island oasis offers a minimalistic design concept inspired by the Wabi-Sabi philosophy. Focused on accepting the imperfect nature of life and things. ‘Wabi’ refers to a sense of understated rustic elegance or natural simplicity. Meanwhile ‘Sabi’ is an ode to imperfection, or seeing beauty in the flaws that come with time.

Villa Lilium

Villa Lilium by night

Enjoy the panoramic views from Villa Lilium’s balconies, as the sea meets the sky on the horizon. The modern design of the villa offers an amazing escape opportunity for visitors who are seeking seclusion and relaxation moments.

Villa Pegasus

Villa Pegasus

Neoclassical and Mediterranean influences give form to Pegasus. Large, spacious rooms await to host your holidays with comfort. Outside, patios with pergolas invite you to spend your days under the sun, between the green gardens of jasmine and vines. The swimming pool is a suitable alternative for those preferring a refreshing morning dip within the privacy of the property.

Villa Marelia

Villa Marelia

Peacefully located on the cosmopolitan island of Spetses, the lavish Villa Marelia invites its guests for endless moments of tranquility. The Villa offers majestic sea views of the Argosaronic Gulf. It is the perfect getaway for a wonderful and private experience. The two-level property offers spacious indoor and outdoor areas creating a relaxing atmosphere and is the ideal getaway for families or large groups of friends.

So, are you ready for a unique, unforgettable autumn vacation?

Daydreaming of Summertime

Corfu town aerial picture

Corfu: Where European sophistication meets the beauty of Greece


The island of Corfu, located in northwestern Greece and a part of the Ionian Archipelagos, is one of the top travel destinations all year round.

Its rich multicultural heritage is evident in every aspect of the island, from architecture to gastronomy. Picturesque allies, a cosmopolitan town and traditional villages hidden in the mountains create a perfect mix of European modernity and Greek tradition, an immaculate aesthetic.

The heart of Corfu, known as the Old Town, offers sights of astounding buildings and villas that emerge from the Venetian era, as well as impressive museums and ancient ruins; Making it a beautifully preserved center of culture and a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Things to do in Corfu
In the Old Town, you’ll feel like a vintage movie star.
The elegant buildings with neoclassical characteristics, such as the Palace of St Michael and St George, Liston Arcade, Reading Society, the Catholic Cathedral, Maitland Rotunda, Ionian Parliament and the Kapodistrias family’s residence, never fail to impress. You’ll feel like a star in a period film, strolling through Campiello’s renowned lanes.

Take your camera for a visit to the islands of Cannon and Mouse.
The famed Vlacherna islet, with its 17th-century monastery devoted to the Virgin Mary, joined to the mainland by a small causeway and the diminutive Pontikonisi, which translates as Mouse Island, barely large enough to accommodate the Pantokrator Monastery, are two signature sights of Corfu. On Easter Monday, Mass is held here.

Explore more sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters.
Glyfada, Dasia, Ermones, Paleokastritsa, Sidari, Kavos, Kontokali, Benitses, Halikounas… From hidden scenic coves to big, bustling expanses of sand with beach bars, taverns, stores and water sports, the choice of beaches is infinite.


Your luxurious getaway 

This month’s 4 favourite Villas are: 


Villa Sublime-olive-rentals
Villa Sublime by Olive Rentals

Villa Sublime

Villa Sublime at a glance
The high-end luxurious Villa Sublime is truly an earthly paradise of carefreeness and serenity for its guests providing the perfect retreat and a classic Mediterranean escape in the lush hills of the emerald island of Greece. Ideally located in the cosmopolitan Corfu Island, Villa Sublime is a spectacular hillside villa with an unparalleled 180-degree impeccable view of the Ionian Sea. The lavish 1000m² Villa Sublime lies on 2 levels.

villa Glow-olive-rentals
Villa Glow by Olive Rentals

Villa Glow

Peacefully located in the Kanoni area of Corfu, Villa Glow provides panoramic unobstructed sea views over the Pontikonissi island. The elegant and luxurious property is nestled among the forest, offering seclusion and privacy to its guests. The wonderful 750m² Villa Glow consists of three independent units.

Villa Harmony-Olive-Rentals
Villa Harmony by Olive Rentals

Villa Harmony

Villa Harmony at a glance
Situated within a magnificent green scenery by the sea, in the area of Dassia, on the east coast of Corfu. Spacious and functional, the fully-equipped villa combines comfort and quality, while it is furnished in minimalist taste by one of the most renowned Greek designers.


Villa Cleo by Olive Rentals

Villa Cleo
Villa Cleo at glance

The 540m² Villa Cleo has been designed to provide a fabulous island retreat, complemented by stunning 180⁰ sea views and a 22m x 5m infinity heated swimming pool, including tub, plus additional in-water sun loungers area. It is the ideal destination for guests seeking privacy and tranquility.

If you have been thinking of summer 2022 destinations, think no further. Check out all of Olive Rentals’ Villas in Corfu, start planning your trip and give us a call!

Spetses beaches by Olive Villa Rentals

Beaches in Spetses


Spetses Beaches

Spetses beaches


An island without beaches, is like a Greek salad without tomatoes! In Spetses you will not find the endless sandy beaches, but you will have the opportunity to swim in beautiful, crystal clear beaches, either in fully organized spots, or in hidden locations…even in some pristine coves! Just make sure you add this unique destination to your bucket list, and start packing!

The Beaches within walking distance

Agios Mamas

Agios Mamas is the beach of the city of Spetses, next to the port, with sand and pebbles. It is preferred mainly by locals and families with small children as an easily accessible beach, for a quick swim.

Agia Marina

One of the most popular beaches on the island. It is only 10 minutes’ walking time from the port of Spetses (Dapia). At the beach of Agia Marina, you will find a very organized beach bar with excellent cocktails, a fine restaurant, as well as an organized water sports school.


Kaiki Beach

Next to the old prestigious Anargyrios School, lies the famous Kaiki Beach, an organized beach with small pebbles, sunbeds and cabanas. There is also a restaurant and water sports as well as a beach bar for dancing, cool cocktails and fun.

Kaiki beach, Spetses
The cosmopolitan Kaiki beach in Spetses

Vrellos beach

The beautiful pine-covered beach of Vrellos is a safe option for anyone to combine a swim with sunbathing, as there is a Beach Bar and a canteen to relax. The beach has white pebbles and is a few minutes outside Spetses.

Vrellos beach, Spetses
Vrellos beach, just a few minutes outside Spetses town

Beaches outside Spetses

Most of the following beaches can also be accessed by public & private transfer. Heowver, they are most usually accessed by boat, independently or as part of a daily tour.

Zogeria Bay

The bay of Zogeria is the most picturesque place to swim in privacy. Blue-green bays appear in front of you, offering a unique landscape and an unforgettable experience. Do not forget to try the traditional recipes in Loula tavern, operating there for more than 20 years.

Zogeria beach in Spetses
The amazing Zogeria beach in Spetses

Agia Paraskevi

Agia Paraskevi is small beach located at the back side of the island. It is a semi-organized beach with crystal turquoise waters and small pebbles, and offers you the privacy you may be looking for when spending holidays on a cosmopolitan island.

Aerial View of Agia Paraskevi beach, Spetses
Capturing the turqoise water & green pine trees in Agia Paraskevi

Agioi Anargyroi

Like the beach of Agia Paraskevi, Agioi Anargyroi beach is located at the back side of the island. Apart from the water sports you can practice over there, there is also a unique possibility to explore and swim in the famous Bekiris’ cave, accessed either from the path that leads to the cave or from the sea. The beach in Agioi Anargyroi has small pebbles and sand.

Agioi Anargiroi beach, Spetses
Unforgettable sunsets in Agioi Anargiroi beach

Day trips

One of the most popular activities when in Spetses, is to explore the many private beaches and coves of the island by taking a day boat trip around the island. You can practically rent any kind of boat that you desire. From a local sea taxi, to a private caique (traditional fishing boat), or even a luxury motor yacht.

Another excellent option is to rent a speed boat or a motor yacht to enjoy a full day in the nearby islands and coastal destinations (Hydra, Dokos, southern Peloponnese).

Our experienced crew is always available to provide a unique experience that will make your holidays unforgettable!

boat trips olive villa rentals
Olive Villa Rentals Yacht Rental Services
*A huge “Thank you” to Michael Liaroutsos for sharing his beautiful drone photos with us 

Cosmopolitan Spetses, by Olive Villa Rentals


An introduction to Spetses


Geography & history


Spetses is a small gem in the Saronic Gulf, located very close to Argolida coast, in the western Peloponnese prefecture. The island of Spetses has an area of ​​27 sq.km., and a beautiful coastline of about 29 km. Its population is about 4,000 inhabitants, but during summer, the island hosts about 5 times this number, or even more.

During the 18th century, the island flourished and developed into a naval, spiritual and economic power of the time.  It is well known that the contribution of the Spetses’ fleet was decisive for the outcome of the Greek revolution.

Nowadays, the island has become one of the most popular holiday destinations both for the Greek and foreign upper classes, as it holds a strong connection with its proud, aristocratic past and provides excellent accommodation and recreational services.


Spetses on a quick view


​​Arriving at the new port of Spetses (Dapia), you cannot avoid falling in love with this small piece of paradise. The old captains’ mansions, perfectly preserved and in full harmony with the flowering bougainvilleas and the historic landmarks, create a capturing scenery.

Spetses is a small island and almost all activity takes place around the new & the old port, so your access to most of the parts of the island is very easy.


Villa Arte – Spetses, just a few minutes’ walking time from the port.

Visitors can enjoy the picturesque alleys, wander around the shops in the city center, taste unique dishes that combine Greek cuisine with modern touches in the many restaurants on Spetses. For the night lovers, the nightlife on the island is very vivid and provides lots of opportunities.

Most importantly, Spetses is a car-free destination! Most destinations are accessible either on foot or by bicycle/scooter. However, transfers can also be made by one of the very few taxis operating on the island or by the picturesque horse carriages. What could be more relaxing and romantic than a magical route on the coastal road of the island, gazing at the old traditional captains’ mansions, as the sun sets before your eyes, creating a fabulous color palette?


Spetses Chariot
A beautiful promenade with a horse chariot

How to get to Spetses


Spetses is one of the most popular destinations, because it is very easily accessible. You can get there either by car through Costa bay, or by boat from Piraeus port.

  • If you plan to travel by boat, there are hydrofoils leaving from Piraeus to Spetses on a daily basis. The trip lasts about 3,5 hours.
  • If you want to be flexible about your arrival/travel time, you can always travel by car. First you drive to Costa bay in the Peloponnese (distance from Athens is 180 km, about 2,5 hours’ drive). From Costa, a sea taxi will take you directly to Spetses in 5 minutes.
  • Another exciting option, is to travel directly from Athens  to Spetses in a motor-yacht, combining  your transportation with an unforgettable day trip!


Feel free to contact Olive Villa Rentals  in order to arrange for you a relaxing, safe trip with a private transfer.



Discover the Mountain of Centaurs

Discover the Mountain of Centaurs! Pelion is an all-year destination, where every season has a way to express its splendor.

The mountain Pelion is an all-year destination, where every season has a way to express its splendor. Whether you prefer spending your vacation on mountain or sea, Pelion will definitely suit your preferences. Vast plantation graces the landscape with vivid colors, while the green of the mountain is juxtaposed to the azure of the crystal waters, of either Aegean Sea or Pagasitikos Gulf, that lie below.

Pelion’s uniqueness lies in the endless possibilities it offers to visitors, all year long. Winter embraces the site and dresses the houses in white, creating the ideal environment for skiing or mountain hiking. The snowy spells slowly fade away, as colorful flowers bloom and spring comes and passes by to allow the intense sun to take over and warm the serene seaside areas. That’s when the crystal clear waters begin to sparkle and the golden beaches tempt you to spend the day lying on the sand, relaxing under the blue sky.


Pelion features many picturesque villages, (the largest of which are 25) of exceptional beauty, idyllic landscapes and verdant nature. The ones on the seaside have absolutely stunning sandy beaches next to the sapphire waters while most of them still preserve the traditional cobbled paths, leading the visitor to wide squares with great plane trees standing proudly in the middle, surrounded by small cafes and tavernas. The main villages are Makrynitsa, also known as Pelion’s balcony, due to the fantastic views it presents, Tsagaratha, a wonderful option for dining, not far from beautiful beaches where one can take up activities such horse riding and hiking, Zagora, Portaria, Milies, Argalaste (all these are large villages of traditional style), and Kissos which is the highest of the villages of the eastern Pelion, nestled deep inside the calm and rough vegetation of the majestic landscape.

Pelion offers exceptional beaches on both the Pagasetic Gulf and the Aegean Sea. Those facing the Pagasetic Gulf are characterized by their tranquil waters, as they are totally sheltered. Some well-worth visiting beaches there are Kala Nera, Boufa, Afissos, Kalifteri and Paou.

Those opening to the Aegean Sea are located on the Eastern side of Pelion and are well-known due to the shootings of Mamma Mia movie that took place there.

Favorite beaches are Platanias, Potistika, Plaka, Lambinou, Mylopotamos, Damouchare, Aghios Ioannis, Aghioi Saranta.

Restaurants and Tavernas

In Mt. Pelion one can discover a great palette of flavors that shouldn’t be missed. Taste every local delicacy that comes to your plate, such as Spetsofai, dishes with local meat, Olive bread (Eliopsomo) and Cheese bread (Tyropsomo), spoon sweets and, above all, Tsipouro with Meze (that is a local alcoholic drink accompanied by small bites of food).

Many taverns are scattered on the mountain, all worth discovering, but here are our personal favorites:

Aghria Volos: O Tzimis (Jimmys) – Excellent Tsipouro with seafood meze (estimated – €15 – €25 per person unless you order fresh fish).
Kissos village: Restaurant – Taverna  Makis 5Φ – Meat and local specialties (estimated 15-20 euro per person)
Agios Ioannis: Restaurant – Taverna  Ostria – Meat and local specialties (estimated 15-25 euro per person)
Tsagarada: Restaurant – Taverna  Alekas – Traditional greek cuisine (estimated 15-30 euro per person)

Sites worth Visiting

As for what to do and see in the area, besides visiting the picturesque villages where you can enjoy coffεe/food or a drink in the pebbled squares under the shade of the Plane tree, there are a lot of cultural sites to visit in the nearby area:

  1. Volos Archeological Museum (Athanasaki Str, 1, Volos, tel. 0030 2421025285)
  2. Kompoloi Museum in Portaria (Tel. 0030 2428090190)
  3. Historical & Folklore Museum of Portaria (Tel. 0030 2421039644)
  4. Museum of Folk Art & Histoy of Mt. Pelion at Makrinitsa village (Tel. 0030 2421039644)

Don’t forget to take a ride on Pelion’s ‘open train’(characterized as Listed Historical Monument) which travels from/to the villages of AnoLehonia and Milies. A variety of local events and celebrations take place all year round in almost every village, so be sure to keep your eyes open for an extraordinary Mediterranean experience!


In case you are interested in recreation during your holiday, here is a list of useful telephone numbers:

Horse riding (tel. 0030 2421086107)
Hiking and mountain biking (tel. 0030 2421032171)
Diving excursions (tel. 0030 6974413586)
The ski resort of Pelion “Agriolefkes” near Chania village (operates from the beginning of December to the end of March / tel. 0030 2428092600)

Need more info? Contact us!

Experience Tinos Like a Local

Tinos is an island with a variety of things to see and do, and it will enchant you no matter what you seek to find. Experience it like a local!

Tinos is an island with a variety of things to see and do, and will enchant you no matter what you seek to find during your vacation.Here are our personal favorites to give you an insight on how to experience Tinos like a genuine local:

A great choice is Agios Romanos. It is not crowded neither windy, so you will definitely enjoy each moment spent here. It has a great little cafe-restaurant named Kohili (Κοχύλι). The nearest way to find Kohili is to enter the beach from its left – as you face the sea – entrance.

Another good choice is Kalivia (Καλύβια) beach which is sheltered from the winds on its right side, it is not very crowded and a part of it is equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas. A small beach bar will meet your needs for refreshments.
Another option which is not too windy is Agios Ioannis Porto (ΆγιοςΙωάννηςΠόρτο), a beach that gives you the choice to have a bite or your coffee at the beach, again partially equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas.

A beach that is well-known and popular in Tinos is Kolibithra (Κολυμπήθρα).Truth be told, there are some days when the wind is strong, which causes big waves to rise. However, since the beach consists of two gulfs, the right one is rather wind-proof. On the other hand, the beach is well-organized with sunbeds, umbrellas, water sport activities, cafes, tavernas etc. that make up for the few windy days during summer.

Another interesting place to swim is a part of Agios Fokas beach, called Marathia. Marathia is actually a beach bar (as well as a tavern) where you can enjoy finger food, coffee, fresh juices etc while relaxing on the sunbeds. We would recommend Marathia tavern for a lunch after swimming – the cost is about €25 per person.

Two more choices that are suitable for a quiet time by the sea are Santa Margarita (Σάντα Μαργαρίτα) and Livada (Λιβάδα). Keep in mind though that you in case you want to grab a bite you have bring food home –the same goes for water as well. Santa Margarita and Livada have two primary disadvantages: i) they maybe get windy sometimes (Livada sometimes has big waves as well), and ii) there are country road parts on the way that makes it a little difficult to access them.

All the above, except for Livada – which is rocky and relatively unique, are sandy beaches, as most of the beaches in Tinos.

Restaurants and Taverns
Villa Alcyone

1) The tavern called Vasilis (Drosia) – Βασίλης (Δροσιά) at Ktikados (Κτικάδος) Village (mostly meat and traditional Greek cuisine, Tinian Products, priced €15-25 per person, great views).
2) A small tavern called Tsampia (Τσαμπιά) at Kionia beach (mostly meat and traditional Greek cuisine, Tinian Products, €15-25 per person)
3) A small well-hidden tavern called Katoi (Κατώι) at Smardakito (Σμαρδάκιτο) Village (traditional Greek cuisine, Tinian Products, €15-€20 per person)
4) A tavern with fish and mostly seafood, in Hora (Χώρα) – the town of Tinos – called Agira (Άγκυρα), €20-€30 per person.
5) A little tavern in Hora (Χώρα) – the town of Tinos – called Malamatenia (Μαλαματένια) mostly traditional Greek cuisine and some seafood as well, about €15-€20 per person)
6) A tavern called Thalassaki (Θαλασσάκι) at OrmosIsternion (Π. ΌρμοςΥστερνίων). This one is the most famous tavern in the island. It is greatly placed (by the sea) and has Mediterranean creative cuisine based mainly on fish and seafood, around €40 per person.

Villages Worth Visiting
You should definitely visit Pyrgos (Πύργος), home of some of the greatest Greek sculptors with great inheritance in marble carving. The Museum of Marble Arts and the Marble Carving department of the National School of Fine Arts are located there as well. The Village of sculptor GiannoulisChalepas (Γιαννούλης Χαλεπάς), Kardiani (Καρδιανή) offers great views and is ideal for a short walk. In Falatados (Φαλατάδος) don’t forget to visit House of Sketch (Σπίτι το υΣκίτσου). In Volax (Βώλαξ) you can admire the incredible scenery.

Although Tinos is not famous for its nightlife, it offers a variety of bars that will definitely leave you satisfied.

We picked out Karybu in the ‘sokakia’ of Hora, which is cozy and stylish and Kaktos on the hill over Hora that presents a great view with a variety of good cocktails. And don’t forget, Salva’s on the way to Kionia, which is perfect for an early drink.

Need more information? Feel free to contact us!

Cycladic Architecture

The Cycladic architecture is easily recognized by its unique characteristics. Learn about it.

Every time a visitor takes his first steps on a Cycladic island, he is instantly mesmerized by the complexity of the settlements and the elegant simplicity of the architectural forms. Narrow, cobbled streets mesh into what seems like a labyrinth of picturesque buildings with white-washed walls, juxtaposed to the emerald waters of the sea below. Colorful bougainvilleas add delicate touches of bright tones during the summer, tempting our sight to rest on them and revel in the dreamy image.

The Cycladic architecture is easily recognized by its unique characteristics. The plain construction and minimalistic design derive from both cultural and environmental needs that have developed through the centuries. As the Islands were prone to piracy, the houses were built on high altitude, in order to spot a private invasion on time. Protection from the pirates was also the reason behind the small windows and doorways. The natural environment also dictated a certain way of architectural development. The lack of wood led to short beams and, therefore, single – level houses of low height. Oriented towards the South-East to attract light, all houses featured thick walls to preserve the heat during winter while a petite window on the northern side was always present to keep the temperature low in summer with the help of the northern breeze (meltemi). The density of the settlements is anything but chance – it reflects the contemporary bioclimatic design in its past form.

Although the architecture of the Cyclades is usually perceived as a unity, it is really quite diverse. Each island has a unique set of characteristics that emerge from its rich history and cultural inheritance. The Venetian influence is evident in many islands where castles and towers can be found, (ex. Naxos, Andros), while the underground housing in the volcano Caldera in Santorini is an outstanding phenomenon. Some of the most impressive neoclassical buildings can be found in Ermoupolis, Syros while houses with red tiled roofs contrast the blue in islands such as Kythnos or Kea. The abundance of quality marble inspired some of Greece’s most famous sculptors, whose work is apparent in almost every building – Tinos is a wonderful example, where the department of Marble Carving of the National School of Fine Arts is located as well.

The overall experience of a visit in the Cycladic islands is truly magical and will lead you to a journey back in time, while the high aesthetics delicately construct a dream around you. Exceptional houses, churches, mills and dove cots create an image of unparalleled beauty that one can meet exclusively in the Cyclades.