Went on holiday in June this year with my girlfriend for our first holiday away together, and we just wanted somewhere quiet where we could relax, and with a mix of recommendation from friends, and also that my girlfriend loves the film Mama Mia , we decided to look at Skiathos. The same friends who recommended the island also told us how they had enjoyed their stay at Apollo, so I did some research on Trip Advisor and it seemed to be everything they had said it was. I mailed the Villa and explained dates we were looking at to come over, and got a very prompt reply saying that it was no problem and to just confirm to them when our flights were booked. With that, flights booked and mailed them back, and within a few hours got a mail back saying that we were confirmed and that they looked forward to seeing us.
We arrived in Skiathos to lovely sunny weather and walked straight out of the terminal and got in a cab immediately, and less than 10 minutes later we pulled up at the gates. Got a lovely welcome from the owners, Dounia and Captain, and my first taste of Mythos (wasn't the last !) as they gave us a welcome drink and told us to relax. We sat at the bar taking in the amazing view over the bay which they told us was Achladies Bay, and before we knew it were chatting with others there, a lot of who told us they were regulars and that they came back year after year. However, there was another couple and family there who, like us, were first time visitors who had been there a few days already and they seemed to love it to.
We got shown to our room and it was small, but was clean, had a really nice bed, aircon, small kitchen area with toaster, microwave, kettle, fridge, electric hobs and all the pots and pans you would need if you wanted to cook. We only really used the kettle and the fridge as breakfast was included in the price, and we'd already decided we were on holiday so we didn't want to be cooking. There was a safe in the room too which we did use for things like passports etc, but to be honest the whole time we were at Apollo we didn't think we needed it.
We ate at Apollo the first night and 2 more times, including the last night - food was great - big portions (the Greek Salad is for 2 people), and one night I ignored the advice of some of the regulars and ordered the mixed grill all for myself, having been told it feeds 2, and it was HUGE. Didn't go to waste though as Dounia wrapped what was left in foil and back to our room and into the fridge and we had it for lunch next day ,It was so nice to sit looking over the moonlit bay, and one night we were lucky enough to see "the silver path" coming across the water towards the shore. We tried a couple of other places in town,which were suggested to us by other guests, and can say we never had a bad meal on the island, but have to admit that the food at Apollo would have been more than good enough for us to eat there every night, but we wanted to get into Skiathos Town and look around. Speaking of the town, definately the best way to get into town is by the water-taxi from the beach below Apollo - but would recommend getting bus or taxi back, so much easier than the walk back up from the beach when you've had something to eat and more than a little wine or beer. Getting the water taxi in was really nice, seeing the coast as we traveled to town, nice breeze, the blue sea right next to us and then chugging into the harbour and seeing it's bustle - quite magical really. Had breakfast every day at Apollo, with eggs, bacon, cocktail sausages, beans, toast, and continental style breakfast items, along with cereal and coffee/tea/juices available and it really set us up for the whole day - normally meant at best we'd share a shack during the day until dinner. Sundays Dounia did her special breakfast with champagne cocktails, lots of lovely pastries and cakes and breads as well as the normal breakfast menu.
Went to the cinema while we were there (at the girlfriends insistance - Mama Mia was showing) and it was so nice to sit in the open air watching a film - wouldn't want to try it at home though - really don't think we have the weather for it. Apparently it used to have a roof on it but one winter the snow caused it to collapse (we didn't believe they had snow there until Dounia pulled out an album of pictures showing their swimming pool full of snow !) and the Greeks just did the practical thing and decided to have it as an open-air one. The films are in English with Greek subtitles, so no need to worry about that.
The beaches on the island were really nice, went down to Achladies a couple of times and also to Mystique which was down at the end of the island - took a bus down and then a walk up and over the hill - Dounia had recommended it and it was just what we wanted, relaxed, secluded enough and the sea was lovely. We found it fun getting on the bus to and from the beach - they should get the Guiness Book of Records to the island - I'm sure they'd win the category of "cram the most people on a bus at once".
We had a lovely time - the island was perfect for us, the beaches wonderful, good food, nice evenings, but what really made it for us was where we'd chosen to stay. We've read the reviews since our stay, including one which left us totally confused by the criticism of Dounia, which in our experience was so far off the mark it's not true, but also, was nasty and personal, and no need for that. We found Apollo to be clean, comfortable, and well equipped for a self catering/ bed & breakfast. It was nice to sit on the balcony and relax before getting ready in the evening, and the bed was lovely and comfortable and the aircon was great, made the room lovely and cool. But we weren't there to spend our holiday in the room, it was perfect for what we wanted, to sleep, shower, and change and chill, it was the people who were at Apollo that made it for us, and especially Dounia and Captain. I read what one person wrote about Dounia not accepting money immediately when you ordered something - how can you complain about that - we felt it showed a huge amount of trust in us, especially as we were first time guests. And whenever I wanted to know how much we owed, Dounia would pull the bill out of her bra (the famous Dounia "bra-bill") and let me know, and then would break it down for me if I asked (I only did that once - I realised after that there was no need to worry about being ripped off). It was nice not having to carry money by the pool if we were lazing out - speaking of which we never had a problem getting a sunbed, nobody "hogged" them. It was nice to find we were given towels to use by the pool and on the beach, if only we'd known before we went then could have left ours at home.
Anyway - think you get the idea - we loved it there - Dounia was lovely and helpul to everyone in the time we were there, and she worked very hard (we asked her once what time she started and she got up at 6am every morning to get breakfast ready and would go to bed about 1am, often without break during the day) to make us welcome and help us if we needed it. Captain was larger than life and real fun - and has mastered the art of being a "blokes bloke" with the men and a smoothy with the ladies - if you go ask him for an afternoon anti-biotic and do try his cooking - what everyone has said about the spatchcock is true, and one night we had fish and it was tremendous ( if you want fish you ask Captain or Dounia and they go and get it from the fish market for you). Speaking of fish - we compared the prices for fish at Apollo to what they charge in town - in town the same piece of fish was about 300 % more expensive !
They are lovely, as were their staff, and the Apollo was just what we needed - we came back recharged and feeling like we'd been going there for years, which we probably will do - in fact we're seeing if we can get out there before the season ends to tide us through the winter.
Thank you Captain and Dounia for making us feel so at ease and not in the least like strangers and making our holiday so good - we hope to see you again soon
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