We loved the hotel, our room with balcony and the place. Thank you so much for your suggestion and recommendation
Fantastic service and support throughout adding a sense of security to the trip. I received friendly advice and back up from Jay some years back and also from Jessica
Thanks to Marie Mckeown for putting together a stress free and memorable holiday to Iceland
Noah was very helpful and knowledgeable
Very personal service from all the team
I had issues when checking in online to allow our group of four to sit together.
You are all brilliant! I already knew this, but I can confirm it again. Nicole's support as always continues to be fantastic!
Thanks Billy, we had a wonderful time. Hotel was wonderful, great staff, comfortable rooms and great food at their restaurants.
A great holiday if a little tiring
When we did find problems checking in these were quickly renedied by Manny.
Everything went to plan
All went very well: excellent apartment in a lovely city. A great antidote to the English winter…
Amazing experience from start to finish. Ivor and his colleagues are simply exceptional. Keep up the good work.
Scandic Hotel recommended and was great. Flight connection on return was a rush but made it.
We had a BA City break ruined by a bomb - and needed to find a break for the same price within 20 hours. Ian as always came up trumps.
From first phone call to every arrangement requested. Everything happened perfectly with Sean and Oliver guiding the process. Thank you for making it happen and giving me assurance when concerned, you are brilliant!
Have already recommended
Unfortunately our flight was delayed 8 hours at Heathrow termimal 5 because of fog - all very frustrating but no one's fault. It's a risk one takes when flying
Big thanks once again to Jack and his team. Five star service - wouldn't book anywhere else.
Always a great service from Samuel
Always very helpful and fast to respond - Colin Barlow very helpful in particular.
Everything went smoothly and as expected.
As always brilliant!
Howard suggested a wonderful holiday within our means. The accommodation was good with loads of activities and places to go.
Thank you Troy. Would highly recommend
It was a shame that our flight was cancelled by British Airways coming home. But Des sorted it out. We had a lovely time in Copenhagen and we are all looking forward to booking our next trip
All went very well. Jonathan always looks after us
Appreciate the help and confidence you gave me booking this holiday….have used many times in the past
Up to the usual high standard.
Vassilis was born in a boat.
His mother was trying to make it from her home on the island of Ammouliani only a mile across the Aegean to the mainland, but she was too late.
And so a boy came into this world at sea, and there was only one life he was fated to live.
Today, tall and bronzed, like a warrior from the legions of Alexander the Great, Vassilis is at the wheel of a speedboat thrumming across the sparkling seas off the Mount Athos peninsula in north-eastern Greece.
As we fly along like a turbo-charged bronco, dolphins breach the surface and plunge below, and then a sea turtle, almost 5ft long, slides alongside.
Vassilis's eyes instinctively scan the water - and then he shouts with delight. The man who has sailed these waters all his life hasn't seen a turtle here in 25 years.
Vassilis is the boatman at the Eagles Palace, a long-established family hotel designed to look a little like one of the many monasteries further along the coast.
It's 90 minutes' drive from the airport at Thessaloniki along a road that meanders through olive groves and low-lying wooded valleys into a corner of Greece that's a world away from the fleshpots of the party islands far to the south. We were afforded the warmest of welcomes.
Set on tumbling levels down to its own beach, the hotel is a labyrinth of terrace restaurants (serving food and wine from local farms, vineyards and its very own olive grove), cooling courtyards, beach bars and a large saltwater pool.
The beach itself shelves gently into water, which is astonishingly clear because the Aegean sweeps into the bay and then out again every 20 minutes.
There is a kids' club, probably more suited to younger children than our son, Mike, 11, and daughter Alice, seven.
Pavlos is the man if you want to take out a sea kayak or do some light paddle-boarding or more strenuous mountain-biking.
Unlike most dudes you meet at a watersports hut, he's got an MBA from New York — oh, and he runs ultra-marathons, too. He does a brilliant job of shepherding Mike on his first sea kayak outing, helping him steer his boat nimbly around rocks jutting from the sea bed.
Pavlos has just introduced a specialist course for children, which will see them developing their skills on the water as the week goes on.
If Pavlos is the urbane young face of adventure sports, Mr Dinos, the watersports supremo, is the salty sea dog who looks as though he might have sailed in his youth with Odysseus. Crinkly blue eyes smile out from under his weather-beaten cap as he waves his walnut arm and asks: 'What will it be today?'
Somewhat more costly adrenaline watersports include parasailing (70 euros for two people for ten minutes) and jet-skiing (50 euros for quarter of an hour). But, hey, you're on holiday.
While Alice yells to go faster on the jet ski, Mike chooses the more sedate but vertiginous thrills of parasailing.
As he is winched up into the piercing blue sky attached to a harness in front of his nervous mum, his face cracks into a huge grin and, despite his legs jiggling around like a demented frog, he calls it the 'best fun ever'.
This area of Greece is known for its astonishing panoply of monasteries.
Prince Charles is a regular visitor, spending time in the company of the monks in the Simonos Petras monastery, which crouches on top of a rock high above the sea.
Such is said to be Charles's fascination with the Greek Orthodox religion that he has installed Byzantine art in his Highgrove garden. Far above the twinkling domes, on the peak of Mount Athos itself, sits a stone building.
Who would build a chapel on top of a mountain 6,000ft high?, I wonder out loud.
'They have faith,' Vassilis tells me.
Then he recounts the story of the monk who tumbled over a cliff and plunged 150 metres. Surely, his fellows thought, he is dead. But he dusted himself off and trundled back up the hill. Miraculous, you might say.
One morning, Pavlos takes us boys on bikes into the town of Ouranoupoli - where an ancient watchtower stands sentinel above seafront tavernas - then we head out along a gravel track. Here, trees heavy with wild figs strain over the roadside and olive trees offer dappled corners of shade.
And at the end of the path? A monastery which is probably 10th-century, and the first of all those built along this peninsula.
It is a reminder of the history that seeps through the earth in this land — and courses through the veins of Vassilis and the other descendants of the ancients who shaped this Greek marvel.
First published in the Mail on Sunday - July 2015
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