Nestled on a hillside above the pretty fishing village of Alyki, The Olive House is a dream holiday home for many a young family, not least the Greek/American family who own it. Designed by renowned Athenian architect Stefanos Hatzopoulos it combines classic Cycladic architecture with contemporary interiors, plus all the neccessary ingredients of family life.
Inside, the cubist lines are offset with funky fabrics, colourful cushions, linens and original art works. Whilst, its simple, elegant furnishings are supplemented by contemporary luxuries in the form of a flatscreen televisions, wireless internet access, Bose iPod speaker dock, espresso maker and washer and dryer, plus useful built-in barbeque, fireplace, outdoor shower. Outside, there are vast gardens with the house' own small vineyard and car port, plus hypnotically relaxing views over the countryside and coastline beyond from its main dining terrace and cosy private terraces, furnished with cushioned benches.
The Olive House sleeps six very comfortably, with three bedrooms and three full baths, and comes with a very useful list of nursery gear and toys for babies and toddlers making it ideal for family life. But it is also a very romantic hideaway, offering its guests true seclusion and peace. Parents generally make a habit of enjoying long lazy evenings sitting out on the veranda sharing a bottle of wine whilst watching the sun go down over Antiparos. Or even enjoying the same beautiful views from the master suite's oversized bathtub for two.
At around 70km in length Paros is one of the larger of the many Cyclades islands and perfect for a grown-up island hopping holiday being in the heart of the fast ferry route that brings together the more commercially popular Santorini (approx. 3.5hrs) and Mykonos (approx. 45mins) with the lesser known Antiparos, Tino and Naxos. The latter are do-able as day trips, whilst the former are now served by direct flights from London with easyjet and therefore useful as twin-centre holiday options.
If Mykonos is all about glamour and nightlife, and Santorini all drawdropping views, amazing Minoan ruins, volcanic beaches and cruise-ship crowds, Paros is all about gentle tourism and charm. Its main town is bustling and just enough touristy to feel confident about finding an English speaking doctor (should you need it), its second biggest town, Naoussa, is considered to be one of the most beautiful fishing villages in the whole of Greece and has some fabulous seafood tavernas to site outside, eat, drink, relax and saok in the views.
The Olive House is set on a hill about 5km inland from the fishing village of Aliki on Paros' south west coast with views over to Antiparos, Paros' little sister island.
Temperatures: During the high season (June through September), temperatures range from the low to mid 20s C (70s–80s F). For the most part, visitors can expect warm days with bright sun and frequent island breeze, thanks to the Meltemi, a north-westerly breeze felt throughout the pretty Cyclade islands.
Getting There: There are no international direct flights to Paros but it is now very easily (and often cheaply) reached from London since Easyjet began offering several weekly flights from London Gatwick to nearby Mykonos (45-55mins by ferry) and Santorini (3-5hrs by fast ferry), both from May to October - Why not plan a twin-centre with a few nights in Mykonos first and a Santorini last? Although, Santorini's many terraces aren't pushchair friendly and black volcanic beaches hot on mini feet. So, whilst it's so beautiful it should be seen, a few days is perfect.