Best of Greece tailor made holidays to Greece
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We found this article from the Daily mail which we believe that you will find very interesting!
Enjoy the read!
Peloponnese paradise: Deserted beaches and ancient olive groves in the 'new' Greece
By LEE MANNION
If anyone needs your holiday money at the moment, it's Greece.
The birthplace of modern civilisation, philosophy and medicine has become the sick man of Europe and those mental images of beautiful, sunkissed beaches have somehow been replaced by news footage of violent protests and riots.
But there's no sign of drama and destitution down in the Western part of the Peloponnese - Greece's southern peninsula - only a bullish determination to focus on the country's lucrative tourist industry with a new Mediterranean development.
Costa Navarino, in the south-west region of Messinia, didn't exist five years ago. If you'd visited the area back then you would have experienced a rough and ready coastline with hot and dusty countryside that mostly existed on olive agriculture.
The place to be: The Costa Navarino hopes to be the next big thing in the Mediterranean
But that was before a local shipping magnate spotted the coastal area's potential and vowed to make it Greece's new must-visit destination.
Captain Vassilis Constantakopoulos dreamt up a plan to create a high-end resort that would fit in with the natural beauty of the area and provide enough local jobs so that young men wouldn't have to keep leaving to head for the cities and tourist areas.
The result is a surprisingly subtle development featuring two hotels, the Westin Resort - which I was to call home during my stay - and the Romanos Luxury Collection, both set among olive groves with views out over the Ionian Sea.
While the hotels offer all the resort facilities we have come to expect from a luxury Mediterranean holiday destination, including multiple restaurants and golf courses, 90 per cent of the area is reserved for natural or cultivated greenery, as per the orders of Captain Constantakopoulos.
The strict environmental regulations maintain the quiet ambiance and rugged scenery that is so associated with the Peloponnese, an area that, although known as the garden of Greece, has remained surprisingly untouched by mass tourism.
There are still stretches of serene sandy beach and pretty white-washed villages as well as little-visited Mykenaean palaces and Byzantine churches dotted around the Messinia province.
Take a dip: Voidokilia Beach is one of the best in the world according to the New York Times
And the culinary offerings are enough to have anyone salivating. No wonder Costa Navarino has decided to cash in on the food of the gods by offering cookery courses. All the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet are taught here and the food is so local, you can go and pick it yourself.
The head chef is Doxis Bekris, who has worked with British big hitters like Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White, and has previously helped guests conjure up dishes like succulent roasted chicken fillet, stuffed with aromatic herbs, butter and a yogurt sauce.
Chop chop: Lee gets to grips with some local produce in the kitchen
And his own protegees are on hand to help this novice with everything from how to chop properly to recognising which vegetables in the kitchen garden are ripe enough to be picked.
But finding fresh produce to cook can be a hair-raising business. The ingredients don't always grow where you want them to.
Wild fennel, for example, prospers around the golf course, leading to Monty Python-esque scenes featuring chefs dashing across the greens in their whites, halting golfers mid swing so they can find what is needed for the night's dinner menu.
Olive trees are everywhere (6,500 of them were successfully transplanted as the resort took shape) and the estate makes good use of them. Aside from the olive oil produced, you can find some unusual local delicacies.
Mixed with herbs, spices and dough, the oil is the vital ingredient in koulourakia, moreish cinnamon smelling biscuits traditionally baked at Easter.
Then there is Elea, a single olive softened and sweetened with honey offered on a silver teaspoon as a welcome to guests. It may sound strange, but it tastes a little like a syrupy date.
Further use is made of Greece's most famous export in the hotel's serene Anazoe spa, which offers oil-based wraps and massages.
Back at the Westin, I retire to my room after a morning spent picking and chopping, to lounge on the terrace, which comes complete with my own infinity pool and view to the sea.
The other hotel on the complex, the Romanos, even offers rooms with three levels of water: You can recline in your bath, overlooking your pool and the sea beyond.
Down at the beach, a five minute stroll away, staff proffer towels as I arrive for a swim and I am assured that if I want to indulge in a more energetic pastime, paddle boarding and windsurfing can be arranged.
Ten minutes down the road lies Voidokilia, one of the best beaches in the world according to the New York Times and well worth a visit. Its shallow, crystalline waters are overlooked by a crumbling 13th Century castle and just set back from the coast is the Gialova wetland, a favourite stop-over for 225 species of birds migrating to Africa.
Although Voidokilia means 'belly of the ox', from the air this great curve of a sandy beach is shaped more like the Greek letter Omega Ω.
When the evening rolls around and my stomach begins to rumble again, it is time to find out what Doxis could do at another Omega, one of several restaurants on the complex.
True retreat: The to hotels offer serene pools and plenty of space for lounging around
The name of the restaurant here alludes to the philosophy behind the menu, which is created around foods that contain healthy Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
It is haute cuisine of outstanding invention. Of all the courses on the tasting menu, my particular favourite is a broad bean soup into which a divine nugget of tahini ice cream slowly melts.
Doxis' promise that, after several courses, I would feel well fed but not bloated, holds true.
Like the great classical heroes of old, Costa Navarino signals that the Greeks are putting up a decent fight for their economic and ecological future.
If the contented bellies and relaxed smiles of the punters are anything to go by, things are about to start looking up.
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