This place is a real gem, hidden well away from the hustle and bustle but, if you choose, you can get to anywhere really easily.
Tasos, Pavlina and family are so very friendly, nothing is too much effort for them. I am saddened to read the only poor review by 'Alpha something or another. ' They are so, so off the boil it is untrue. I suspect espionage...see what you think! =)
The villas are first class, classic Greek build with first class cleanliness and thoughtful decoration- but not over done.
We stayed in two villas as the larger villa was taken for the first week. However as soon as it was free, Tasos and family moved all our gear whilst we were out. How very kind.
I write this retrospectively, as the first time we went was July 2007. It was our honeymoon. On arrival, Tasos met us at the airport, offered to go to the shop for us and had left a beautiful bottle of bubbly for us in our bedroom.
Each room is air conditioned(free) and a welcome cool relaxed feel from what can be a very hot day.
The villas are arranged around a sort of horse shoe shape, making the most of the inviting and beautiful turquoise sea, only feet from your from your front door. ( NO pool-??? Please- who needs a pool when you have such a fantastic beach and ocean to play in.)
The sea has such a gentle gradient on it, that it is ideal for young children and adults alike. If you wish to swim out about 50 meters, the sea gets deeper and drops away , slowly to about 10 meters or so. Nice and cool for some swimming.
On booking again, Tasos recognised our names immediately and recounted some of our antics. Such a friendly family, it would be a shame if it were not co habited with them. They are discreet but there if you want them.
We hired a car through Tasos' contacts and it was delivered to the villa the next morning. He armed us with some secret spots about the island and we set off. That day we found some of the most stunning and amazing spots that no one knew of. As the coach tours trundled to the well worn areas in the south, we enjoyed a stunning fjord system on the West coast...thanks to Tasos. - It's out there, just got to find it.
The food and drink is gorgeous at Porta Del Mar. Yes it's a little more expensive...but wouldn't you expect it to be??
Nearby, are a selection of about 4 tavernas. They are small, charming and well priced. The sea food one, about 10-15 mins walk is just brilliant- overlooking the beach.
You can drive around the island, in half a day... a day is better though, taking time to enjoy the odd iced coffee here and there, take a few snaps, have a swim etc. The north is much quieter than the south and has a selection of little villages to muse through.The south is not without charm, but is very busy at the height of the season- like anywhere. If you want it, it's there though.
Suitable for all ages i'd say, save if you're after a nightclub holiday.This is not that...just a relaxing, welcoming and beautiful setting.
This is a really charming and well priced intimate complex of quality villas. The family are so very lovely, the setting will surprise you and amaze you in equal doses. Once bitten....
* Just a footnote bout the airport. Like most Greek airports they are small and a little chaotic at peak season. You feel obliged to stand in the snaking queue arranged by tour reps. My advice is 'DON'T. If you've booked here, you've no need to queue in this in and out of airport snaking queue. If you do, like us, you'll nearly miss your flight home. You cannot hear the tannoy's when you've exited the airport to queue in a marquee style make shift canopy. My advice? be non British for a little bit, get to the front of the queue as soon as you can! :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Porta del mar is a small family-run resort of 8 stone villas for summer holidays with direct access to a sandy beach. Amazing sea views obtained from the gardens and inside the villas! The villas are self-catering and accommodate from 2-6 persons (one or two bedroom villas). They all form a horse shoe design, facing towards the sea and are traditionally and nicely decorated. They have spacious living rooms, large bedrooms with queen-size beds or twin single beds, all with solid, wooden ceilings and air-condition. Fully equipped kitchens include cooker, big fridge/freezer, wooden table that seats 4-6 and a full range of utensils. Their verandas are spacious and offer panoramic sea views. The villas are situated directly on our sandy, quiet beach and are surrounded by well kept and relaxing gardens. The beach is safe for children and the waters are clear, crystal and rather shallow. Everything you need is within short walking distance from the villa (groceries, bakery, taverns). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Porta Del Mar Beach Hotel Ammoudi, Zakynthos