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What keeps bringing you back to Tsilivi?

Essex
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What keeps bringing you back to Tsilivi?

After many years of doing the annual family trek to France my husband and I arrived at middle age with grown children and for the first time we could afford a holiday with flights abroad. So having seen the delights of Greece via Shirley Valentine :) I booked us a package deal to Tsilivi with Olympic Holidays. It was the first week of the season in May 2008. We arrived at the Zante Star (Yanni was still alive then for those who met him) and were amazed at the quality and service at the hotel.

Having ventured into town I was shocked. Of course I knew about Spain being very anglicised but knew nothing of the kind about Greece. English breakfast every where, English writing everywhere and then I passed Magdalena's Bar and Peter Kay was on the telly lol. I thought "am I really in Greece?" A part of me was a bit disappointed. Too many garish shop fronts. Having been used to little French villages and a holiday where for 3 weeks every summer we had to speak nothing but French to come to Greece and see very little that seemed to be Greek was a disappointment.

We enjoyed our trip but resolved to go to places that seemed more Greek if we returned to Greece in future. Since then we've been to Halkidiki, Symi, Samos and the most Greek we found was Agios Nikolaos in the Mani Peloponnese. While doing that we also returned to Tsilivi a further 2 times and this summer will be our 4th time there. There are many other areas of Greece I want to visit, and will, and also I must go back to Symi which took my breath away but Tsilivi seems to have a hold on me that I cannot quite understand and my husband feels the same.

I just love the interesting layout of the resort. The fact that it's not just one straight strip of shops and bars but a myriad of little off shoots all with tavernas and bars and shops. The resort is never boring even at the quietest times. I love taking a trip into Zante town and having a drink in the bars on st Marcos square and walking along the sea front watching the fish and the boats. Taking lunch outside near St Dionysius church in the restaurants opposite the sea. In Tsilivi I walk from one end to the other. From the Balcony Hotel to Alexander Beach Hotel and beyond. Usually finishing at the Olde Vineyard Taverna (now sadly closed) then inland to all the different areas. I have spent a wet October inside Planet bar and appreciated Gyroland when the resort was closing but it remained open until the last. Discovered Popeyes. Had always walked past thinking it was too fast foody looking. Popped in one day and had the best Moussaka ever and was back the next night for the chicken. Chicken like we used to taste in the UK. I love the Olive Tree and used to go to The Olde Vineyard also. I also love Magdalena's although I always move on when the Karaoke starts lol. Freddies Beach bar also. Beautiful food and wine. This years must do's are Balcony hotel for sunset drinks as it's never been open when we've been low season. I want to enjoy a peaceful drink by the beach in the evening. Will see what Alexander's beach party is like. If no other 50 + codgers are they will leave it to the kids lol. I want to go into Zante town a few times but also look at visiting another resort while there just to compare.

I looked and researched all over Greece for this years summer break and ended up thinking I'd like to see Tsilivi high season for a change. In all its gaudy glory when everything is open:) The resort I thought I'd never return to has me hooked. I think one word sums it up. COMFORTABLE. I feel comfortable, welcome, at home there. It all feels so easy and relaxed. I can see why so many keep returning. It's like visiting an old treasured friend.

Edited: 20 June 2013, 15:20
Manchester, United...
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1. Re: What keeps bringing you back to Tsilivi?

I really enjoyed reading that put a smile back on my face.I have only been back a week and already booked another two weeks in June next year.I like yourself have tried many places in Greece and many different countries Hanioti in Halkidiki being my favourite but Tsilivi has stolen my heart and it has to be something special to do that haha.I am taking my mother with me so this place is somthing really specicial that I want my mum to enjoy this paradise on earth too.When I was there I like you wanted to compare and see other resorts so I jumped into a taxi and went to kalamaki.On the beach I walked all the way to laganas and then onto cameo island (a must) spectacular I wouldn't of missed this opertunatey for the world what a way to spend your last day on this beautiful island June 5th /2014 can't come soon enough hope you have a fantastic holiday like I did

Essex
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2. Re: What keeps bringing you back to Tsilivi?

Yes we went to Hanioti too. Did you go to the Tropicana taverna then? That was our favourite there. Still prefer Tsilivi though by miles :)

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3. Re: What keeps bringing you back to Tsilivi?

That was a good post enjoyed reading it. Me and my wife and daughter think the same thing for some reason Tsilivi has a hold on you which keeps bringing you back every year. Most of the people are very friendly and the bars and restaurants are great. We are taking most of the family with us this year so can't wait. Fav bar is friends bar love it in there with Yannis, Thespina and the rest of the family. Roll on August.

Leeds, United...
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4. Re: What keeps bringing you back to Tsilivi?

I loved reading your post and totally agree with everything you say. We have been going to Zante since1982!! started in Argassi as a last minute thing didn't have a clue where we were going neither did anyone else, went when there were only 8 bars and restaurants it was bliss. Went to Tsilivi in 1992 and have never looked back, made some fantastic Greek friends who look after us so well. Been to many Greek islands and have loved everyone in different ways Parga is beautiful as is Symi, Santorini, could go on, but Tsilivi is just Tsilivi. Roll on August, can't wait!!

Warrington, United...
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5. Re: What keeps bringing you back to Tsilivi?

Can't put your finger on it but I bet a lot of resorts which they could package this attraction to Tsilivi.

Went for the first time in 1999, then again the following year .

Didn't go then until 4 or 5 years ago and a holiday I had booked to Halkadiki had problems with return flights ( there weren't any ! ) so 4 of us sat in the travel agents and they suggested Zante and Tsilivi.

Well it had been a few years since I had last been so I thought , why not ?

And I have never looked back. Sometimes there have been 4 of us , sometimes 2 of us.

Love this resort, favourite bar Two Brothers.

Going into The Med Grill which is at the front of Hotel Mediterranean one of the staff remembered me from when I stayed at the Hotel, she worked there then ( The Med Grill hadn't been built ), think her name was Christina, she had blonde hair , I went the following year and remembered to take a picture in of her from the previous time, 8 years ago and she still remembered me !

What brings people back to Tsilivi, it is a magnet from your heart to the people of Tsilivi, that's what I think !!

Leeds, United...
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6. Re: What keeps bringing you back to Tsilivi?

Forgot to say Two Brothers is the best bar in Tsilivi, those are the people I was talking about!!

Manchester, United...
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7. Re: What keeps bringing you back to Tsilivi?

Yes I did go to the Tropicana taverna lovely place can't believe I've found somewhere better than Hanioti.Ive also stayed in Kalithea

Essex
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8. Re: What keeps bringing you back to Tsilivi?

Try Symi. You have to fly to Rhodes then get a ferry across. Unbelievable. Sea view room in the Nireus Hotel is heaven. Nicer off season though as it's small and gets too hot and crowded high season.

Manchester, United...
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9. Re: What keeps bringing you back to Tsilivi?

I will have to keep that in mind sounds lovely thankyou

Essex
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10. Re: What keeps bringing you back to Tsilivi?

Here's a video of Symi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slrCDKou_zE

There's nothing like that moment when you first begin the journey into that stunning harbour. Absolutely breath taking. It's a totally different holiday to Tsilivi. More of a cafe culture. Tsilvi I can stay for 3 weeks. Symi a week to 10 days max as it's very small.

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