Traditional villa ideal for 6-8; pool, stunning view, 5 mins beach-village-port
- english, french
We're an English couple who've spent a lifetime abroad, mainly in Greece, the Alps, and the middle-East, and now retired to France. We're always delighted to chat about summer and winter/ski holidays in Greece and France, and their food, wine, and language - so don't hesitate to call us. And while you're on your holiday with us, we're always at the end of a phone for any help you may need.
Vivienne purchased this Villa in 1986
Why Vivienne chose Skiathos
We combed Greece and the islands for ten years, for a dream villa plot with stunning sea and island views, and local building all in traditional Greek style - white walls, low red-tiled and flat roofs, blue shutters, sun-terraces, porches and pergolas - and no high-rise shoe-box hotels (or 'rave-up' resorts ... but still a v. cool night -life!). In 1990 architect friend Angelos Altsitsoglou realised our dream as "Orchard Villa", in its own olive and fig grove still with over 50 fruiting trees - but careful picking your figs - the leaves can sting! We found the land overgrown head-high, and had scramble up an ancient olive tree (still there!) to be sure we had the stunning panoramic view you now enjoy, equalling the very best coastline scenery anywhere in the Mediterranean!
What makes this Villa unique
We used the plans of our favourite Cycladic villa, with split-level flagstoned lounge, British 'pub'-style bar, and open-plan kitchen. Four French windows lead you onto a sun-trap split-level courtyard/patio with its vine pergola; and up to a roof sunbathing terrace, or down broad steps to the two garden terraces. The fenced pool below has level (child-gated) access from its own 'ouzo sundowner terrace', and the ultimate panoramic view over the bay and "7-islands" view ... Skiathos, Skopelos, Arkos, Marengo, Panormos, Tsougria, Tsougriaki, Evia ... and on the far blue horizon, even to Skyros .
Pool / Spa
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 11:00 AM
To avoid uncomfortable breakdowns, run air con only when room occupied and windows-doors shut.
Supervise children at all times, avoid garden shrubs.
No smoking inside villa (wood roofs), great care in country
Canceled bookings will not receive a refund
Lovely Rustic villa
We stayed for a week in early July and had a fantastic week. The views are wonderful, Kevin the onsite manager is helpful and fantastically quiet. You do really need to hire a car because it is a ten minute drive out of Skiathos Town with only one restaurant within easy walking distance. The villa is full of Vivienne's personal possessions so it feels very homely but some might think its a bit cluttered. Warm pool, plenty of sunbeds, effective aircom and several sunbathing decks. Charming.
If I could come here every year I would! The views alone would do it - truly spectacular view of the sea from the terrace and a lovely pool that we struggled to tear ourselves away from despite having come to spend time at the beach. One of the best things about this place is that it is family owned and run, so it is beautifully cared for and feels like a home rather than an agency letting. That said all v well organised and clean. We were there as two friends with a child but it would work for a group of families of friends as there is a large double room plus three small twin rooms and lots of outdoor space. The villa is comfortable, spacious, with a beautiful outdoor space organised with tables and sunloungers on different levels, surrounded by fig trees, grape vines, flowers.... You could happily hang out at the villa and not go anywhere for a week! That said it would be a shame as Skiathos is so lovely. It's really worth having a car on the island as there are so many lovely beaches and restaurants and sites to visit, but not impossible to get around by bus. The nearest beach from the villa is walkable - we did it a couple of times - but it's a long steep schlep in high temperatures. Lovely Olive Tree restaurant round the corner (also walkable but take a torch at night!) with incredible views and lovely food, but our favourite place to eat was the fish taverna on Sklithri beach, lovely and laid back by day and intimate and romantic at night, with tables right on the beach, dinner by lamplight. The monastery was also a fantastic place to visit, incredibly serene and stunning setting. The other brillaint thing about the villa is that the owner Vivienne is incredibly helpful and was always available to answer questions, offer advice, help with organising travel or car hire - and clearly knows the island very well and loves it. We left feeling fully recharged, rested and relaxed.
Perfect family villa with stunning views.
"What a great place for our family get together"
From our booking through to our departure we were impressed by the care and dedication of Orchard Villa's owner Vivienne and her support team.
Vivienne furnished us with all the information one could wish for to help get our holiday on Skiathos off to a great start. Info included travel suggestions, Local Car Hire (you will need to check your insurance cover with international car hire firms as 70% of the islands roads are NOT paved therefore your included insurance will not cover you) Places to shop, eat and visit etc.. and this was before we had even left the UK!
We were met by the property manager and were given a comprehensive tour of the property and an overview of the facilities including the do's and dont's of life on a greek island.
The 'welcome pack' was very impressive and included EVERYTHING we needed and more for our first night at the villa, we have travelled extensively and have never been so well looked after.
The Villa was well prepared, clean and well appointed with everything needed for a family with 6 adults, two young people and a small child including a new Cot, play pen, highchair and bath.
The property has a master suite with double bed and ensuite with a view through the gardens and across to Skopolos.
The other three bedrooms are situated at the front of the Villa and all have twin beds and are of reasonable size with Two shower/toilet rooms in the corridor directly outside. All rooms have ample wardrobe/draw space.
The living room kitchen and diner has a kitchen diner divided by a breakfast bar then on a split level a small seating area with easy chairs and fireplace, these areas have plenty of access out to the garden and have windows overlooking the views to the sea. There are hundreds of books, guides, maps etc and a good selection of games.
The kitchen has all the required equipment including Dishwasher, two fridges (with small freezer) washing machine, microwave, cooker/oven, kettle, coffee maker and all the cooking/eating utensils you might need, and a well stocked cleaning cupboard with all the basics required.
On three split levels the gardens are a delight, mature vines over trellis and copious flower pots and planted beds, a grassed area off to one side and plenty of seating, dining and chill out areas. There is a sun deck with loungers and a pool deck with a generous sized pool overlooking the gorgeous views.
All in all a perfect holiday.
We spent a magical 12 nights at Orchard Villas, the pictures do not do justice to the magnificent views. The detailed info pack about the Island (emailed by the owners) was spot on and we would concur to all their suggestions of beaches and restaurants to eat at. Vivienne was most helpful and the few blips (of which where no fault of the owners) where dealt with quickly. Even on our day trip to Skopolos where we had no idea where to eat - Vivienne came back to us within moments with a fab suggestion. We have suggested that they need to refresh the towels and have plastic cups and plates for kids and I'm sure they will take it on board as Vivienne is most eager to make sure her guest have a pleasant stay. We hope when we next visit they will have installed wifi as the 3G was intermittent. This did not spoil my trip (but my husband needs to be connected). We came away with many wonderful moments to add to the memory bank! I have already recommended Orchard Villas to friends who enjoy the rustic life and laid back approach Orchard Villas and Skiathos have to offer.
I am delighted that you had such a great time at Orchard Villa.The villa is very special as is the beautiful island of Skiathos.
Thank you so much for your lovely comments and for your suggestions, I will be getting some children's unbreakable mugs and plates for our kitchen, a great idea!
You were very unlucky with the 3G/4G signals. We now receive a strong signal at the villa and our smart-phone 'wifi hotspots' give us wifi access for our laptops etc.It is now a really good option with roaming charges being dropped.
Many thanks again for your lovely comments and I look forward to you and your family staying at Orchard Villa again.
We had such a wonderful stay at Orchard Villa in Skiathos. The villa was well stocked with everything we need and there was a welcome pack of wine and beer and food enough to make a basic meal. The views for the villa were so beautiful and it was well positioned for town too. Very quiet and Vivienne had provided a comprehensive guide to everything about the villa and Skiathos which was really helpful. We would defnitely come again.
We stayed for a week at Orchard Villa in July 2014 to experience the island of Skiathos before departing on a week flotilla sailing around the Sporades. The villa was a perfect size for a family of four or more. Our two teenage girls had a room each and spent most days chilled out by the pool. We hired a car and used it for exploring the island including the more remote beaches on the north side. We would recommend a 4X4 as many of the roads on Skiathos are really dirt tracks and our hire car struggled a little with the steep hills and ruts. The views from the villa were amazing and it made a relaxing start to our holiday. The local tavern within walking distance of the villa is superb, but we used the car to regularly drive into Skiathos town for the restaurants and bars. Great villa and location with excellent service from the owners and their representatives.
MORE ABOUT SKIATHOS
SKIATHOS VILLAGE and HARBOURS
You maybe saw the harbour for the "arrival of the fathers” in "Mamma Mia" (the wedding was in Agios Ioannis church, on nearby Skopelos Island). As well, quaint Skiathos village has a paved traffic-free main street and back lanes, a taverna-lined old port.
There's a huge choice of TAVERNAS, CAFES, BARS, SHOPS, and NIGHT-LIFE … and all services: BANKS/ATMs, GARAGES, HAIRDRESSERS, and HEALTH, TRAVEL, POST, TOURIST AID, etc.
BEACHES and TAVERNAS
Skiathos has literally dozens of sandy beaches ... all within 10-25 mins or so drive of Orchard Villa (bar a few coves needing boat hire or water-taxi, and some a little further with a short walk through the woods, or a scramble down to the smaller coves.
The dozen or so main beaches have one or more tavernas and bars, and water-sports such as water skiing; parascending; inflatable rings and tube 'rockets' towed by speed-boats; dinghy sailing; canoes or pedalos; windsurfing; SCUBA diving. Some of the small coves have old-style outdoor ‘cantinas’ with a barbecue and palm-frond sun-shades.
Orchard villa is 'on top of' 6 of the 12 main beaches - Vassilias, Achladies, Sklithri, Tzanerias, Kanapitsa, Megali Ammos. All are sandy and within 10 mins drive, with over 60 beaches/coves within 25 mins drive -
The nearest main beaches (Achladies and Vassilias) are 5 mins drive or 20 mins walk down the hill, but twice that back up in the heat - not good with beach bags, shopping, and children. So timings all assume you have a hire car - I can put you in touch with a reliable hirer who knows me well, and goes the extra mile for my guests.
If you prefer to spend most of the time at the villa, there are reliable radio-taxis or the bus, water-taxis to the beaches and village, and ferries for local island or mainland excursions.
My favourite 8 beaches and 24 tavernas are all in Part 2 of the 32-page 'Orchard Villa Guest Guide', plus plenty of ideas to discover more of your own.
For walks and horse-riding, there’s plenty of pine-forest cover with woodland paths and tracks, wild flowers, and a couple of streamlets running all summer from high-level springs. Skiathos rarely suffers the extreme heat of Crete, Rhodes and Cyprus, or the often continuous meltemi winds that can blast the Cyclades islands and Crete... and most beaches are sandy, not the limestone shingle the holiday brochures don't tell you are the feature of so many other islands!
To find "all the above" - and your way round the island - there are lots of maps on Orchard Villa bookshelf – including the ‘Sky/3D’ maps (free in shops that don't actually sell maps!) to find shops/services etc. in the village. But - don’t rely on their road/footpath map, use the 'Anavasi' etc maps on the villa bookshelf.
Also, see ‘Useful Tel Nos’ in the 'Orchard Villa Guest Guide’ part 2' - particularly for Pharmacies, Doctors, Dentists, Taxis, and Travel.