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Julie in Greece

Julie Gooding went to Greece with Exsus in May.


An Easyjet flight to Preveza airport, then transfer by private vehicle (via Parga) to Elix, Mar-Bella Collection. (approx 1.5 hours)

Thesprotia is a hidden gem on the coast of mainland Greece, opposite Corfu. Mountains meet the ocean and pine-forested hills lead down to beautiful beaches. Take a scenic hike or bike ride, or kayaking trip in the crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea, or soak up the sun on the sand.


"A day trip to the charming town of Parga blew me away. Set around a secluded bay with the remains of a Venetian castle on a hilltop above the town. Lunch was at a typical Greek taverna. How Greece would have been 30 years ago, traditional, and it felt very authentic like you were in the real Greece. The sea is stunning vivid aqua blues.

Elix, Mar-Bella Collection hotel is not adult-only, but I'd say it's not really geared up towards families, although children can stay. The hospitality is outstanding, facilities are very 5 star*. The hotel, on a pine-forested hilltop, overlooks the stunning Karavostasi beach. Enjoy sweeping views of the Ionian Sea from a contemporary room with private balcony or terrace.

Breakfast at Saffron as you overlook the sea. Dine at Pearl for fine dining. End your day at Ruby terrace bar to watch the sunset. Dive into cooling waters of the infinity pool, visit the gym or tennis courts. Indulge in treatments in the luxurious spa. For the adventurous, there's hiking, cycling and water sports with magical views of Paxos, Antipox and the Corfu islands.

Thesprotia – Corfu.

We took the hotel’s wonderful luxury catamaran to Corfu as part of an excursion. They offer stop-offs to the island and it’s fantastic for twin-centre stays. Corfu is a stunning island with amazing landscapes, idyllic beaches and turquoise waters, with villages nestled in the hills and rugged mountains. Corfu has an eclectic cultural heritage, and Venetian influences. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Corfu Town has fortresses, an impressive palace, grand mansions and squares, as you stroll down labyrinthine lanes.

We explored Mar-Bella a 4-star hotel, great for families, all-inclusive plus a-la-carte options. There are 440 rooms - quite spread out – I got lost with my sense of direction! There are 21 room categories – something to suit everybody. Some of the buffets had queues but others were quieter. Taste fresh seafood at the Mediterranean-inspired Deck Bar & Grill by the beach. Sample local Greek cuisine at La Terrazza, gourmet French fare at Celeste and pan-Asian dining at Kum Kuat. Listen to live music at the Eleonas Bar, or head to the Cascade Pool Bar for a sundowner.

Rooms and suites offer spectacular views through large floor-to-ceiling glass doors and look out over the gardens or the sea from a balcony or terrace. The decor is contemporary and minimalist - its neutral tones contrast with the green of the resort's gardens and the aquamarine waters. Dip in the freshwater or saltwater pools, relax in the Jacuzzi, experience a traditional Hammam treatment or visit the sauna at the spa.

Walk down the winding underground passage to the private beach, or explore on foot or mountain bike. Adventure is just around the corner at the protected Natura Beach; try water sports, snorkel in crystal-clear waters, or take a boat trip to one of the many dive sites.

We also enjoyed a delicious lunch next door at incredible 5-star hotel Mar-Bella Nido. This hotel is worlds apart, adult-only, luxury food, and service is tip-top. Loved the Venetian artwork, the olive oil tasting, gastronomic, food, and delicious scallops!"

For more info contact Julie at Abbotts Travel at 134 George Lane, South Woodford, E18 1BA, on 0208 989 9445 or email





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