Simpson Secret – Pandora Greece, Syros

If you were asked to conjure up the classic, Greek Island villa, with all the key essentials for a relaxed, spoil-yourself holiday, you’d probably come up with something pretty close to Villa Pandora. From the vine-covered terrace to the large private pool and the beach and village within walking distance, this charming house offers home-from-home comfort in an idyllic location.

The villa is set in its own gardens and is ideal for a group of friends or two families. Larger than average both inside and out, there is plenty of space for everyone to enjoy their own particular holiday pleasure, whether that’s messing about in the pool, getting lost in a novel or achieving the perfect tan. It’s really well set up for long lazy meals too, with a big dining terrace and an impressive south-west facing gallery where you can sit with a cool drink as the sun slips below the horizon. There’s a barbecue for easy family meals, or you can take advantage of the optional cooking service and let the local staff indulge you with some home-made Greek dishes.

The sea views from virtually every angle are stunning and there are six good beaches within 20-30 minutes’ walk of the villa, the nearest being Fetouris. Nearby Possidonia has an assortment of small shops, and there is a supermarket and other services, plus a number of tavernas just under 15 minutes away by foot. Possidonia is an attractive village with some ornate mansions and a bright blue church right on the edge of the village. There are larger supermarkets, a great beach and a full range of shops at Finikas. Ermoupoli, the island capital, is about 10km away and worth a trip to discover its impressive architecture, shops and top quality restaurants.

 

Accommodation:
  • 4 bedroom house (sleeps 7-8)
  • Children over 6 years of age only
Ground floor:
  • Living room with open fireplace; leads to internal courtyard
  • Fully equipped kitchen; leads to internal courtyard
  • Sitting/TV room; leads to covered terrace
  • Study area on mezzanine level with pull-out bed
  • Master double bedroom with en-suite bathroom with WC
  • Single bedroom (can be accessed from master bedroom)
  • Twin bedroom with en-suite bathroom and WC
  • Shower room
  • WC
Lower level:
  • Separate external entrance
  • Double bedroom with en-suite shower room and WC; pirvate patio/courtyard with steps leading to pool terrace

General:

  • Single bed can be added to any bedroom (except single)
  • Washing machine and dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Telephone
  • Satellite TV, DVD player, HiFi
  • Air-conditioned bedrooms
  • Central heating (on a meter, payable locally)
  • Open fireplace
  • Air-conditioning
  • Built-in barbecue and sink
  • Private swimming pool 11m x 4m (depth 1.2m – 2.3m), Roman steps
  • Security deposit £750
Complimentary wifi:
  • All properties with wifi are able to support basic functionality such as web browsing and checking emails
  • We aim to offer an uninterrupted service but sometimes due to factors beyond our control reliability can be affected
Services:
  • Bed linen, bath and pool towels provided
  • Weekly linen change for bookings of one week or more
  • Daily morning housekeeping included
  • Breakfast preparation included 7 days/week
  • Cook available on request
  • All services payable locally
  • Prices quoted are subject to change

This villa enjoys an excellent location with lovely views over the sea on the southwest coast of the Cycladic island of Syros.

The nearby village of Possidonia (1km) has an assortment of small shops, and there is a supermarket, other services and a number of tavernas just under a 15 minute walk. Possidonia is a lovely village with some idiosyncratically ornate mansions and a bright blue church right on the edge of the village. There are larger supermarkets and a full range of shops at Finikas (2.5km).

Ermoupoli is the busy commercial port and capital known as ‘The Sovereign of the Aegean’.  It is a very attractive and sophisticated town with some very impressive architecture as well as some good restaurants, a wide range of nightlife, shops, an excellent art gallery and a recently-restored opera house with programmes throughout the year. It is built in the hills that surround the harbour and is well worth a visit, with elegant neoclassical mansions, marble paved streets and a lively seaside ambience.

Syros, the Island of Hermes, Messenger of the Gods and the God of Trade, has remained unspoilt and traditional, with an old-world sophistication and elegance. Situated in the centre of the Cyclades, it is the capital of this unique group of islands, and in the 19th-century was the capital of Greece itself; it has much to offer in terms of historical interest, and the capital Ermoupoli (or Hermoupolis, city of Hermes) is renowned for its architecture. Syros is quite arid but is strikingly beautiful, with a mountainous north and a gentler and more verdant south. It is little known as a tourist destination and therefore has a wonderfully Greek atmosphere. It is ideal for families with older children and for adult groups, and is mainly popular with Greek tourists. There is a religious feast celebrated by the locals on 27 July in the honour of Aghios Panteleimonas, which is great fun for visitors.

The island's history

Syros shares the usual historical milestones of the Cyclades, from its early Bronze Age settlements, through occupation and influence by the Phoenicians, Egyptians, and Romans, to the predations of the Ottoman pirates. Under the Venetians the Christian community on the island grew in size and importance, as can be seen in its Cathedral San Giorgio behind Venetian battlements on the top of Ano Syros, or Upper Syros, which gazes over the lower town of Ermoupoli to the magnificent blue and gold dome of the Greek Orthodox cathedral perched on the hill opposite. Ermoupoli was founded during the War of Independence in 1824, mainly by Orthodox refugees and Greek revolutionaries escaping from the Turks, and became a chief port and shipbuilding centre in the 19th Century. Syros has long been a model for the peaceful coexistence of the Catholic and Orthodox communities.

What to do on the Island

Ermoupoli, with its neoclassical mansions, marble paved streets, and elegant plazas, offers much of interest and charm. The grand Town Hall was designed by the Bavarian architect Ziller, one of many European architects who contributed to the design and building of Ermoupoli; it was finished in 1898 and presides over the magnificent Miaouli Square, one of the most attractive plazas in all of Greece, where graceful palm trees shelter cosy cafés and restaurants. The Archaeological Museum is worth a visit, and an ornate marble bandstand on the square often presents lively local concerts. By night the city is beautifully illuminated, and the smartly dressed locals stroll to meet friends and enjoy the cool of the evening. As well as traditional charm, there are many good nightclubs and bars, and thus plenty of lively entertainment. Ano Syros, overlooking Ermoupoli and the Aegean, is the charming Venetian quarter, the oldest and highest point in the town. Possidonia, also known as Dellagrazzia, is the favourite summer resort of the Syrians, and has many ornate and flamboyant neo-classical villas surrounded by beautiful gardens. This is the area where our villas are located, and countryside blooms with vineyards and greenhouses.

Yacht and motor cruiser hire can be arranged in advance and there is windsurfing and water skiing available on the island. There is a sailing school for children at Finikas Bay and the owners have two Optimist sailing boats available for hire. There is also a diving school within easy reach and it is possible to arrange boat excursions to other bays around the island.

The beaches

The closest beach (Fetouris) is about 20 minutes away on foot via a small lane within the village – a fun walk for children of all ages. This is a small sandy beach (with low incline, good swimming and lovely sunsets) close to the pretty harbour. A larger beach (lovely, safe sandy beach with a small islet offshore) at Agathopes is another 10 minutes further down the coast, also easily reached on foot; you can walk beyond the beach to Komito, the end of the peninsula, where beautiful walks can be taken and another lovely beach, Voulgari, can be discovered. There are many other sandy beaches further up the coast, Kokkina and Psachno.

There are numerous unspoilt and uncrowded bays and coves to explore on Syros, as well as some more commercial beaches, and most can be reached by bus from Ermoupoli. Kini is a fine beach, with plenty of fresh seafood on offer, and is known for the best sunsets on the island. More secluded and sandy beaches can be found in the north such as Delfini, Varvaroussa and Grammata.  Galissas is a sandy beach but is very popular, its shores lined by beach bars; you can however scramble over some rocks to the nearby naturist beach of Armeos, which is much quieter. From the village of Possidonia there are some lovely sandy beaches such as Agathopes, Komito, and Ampela.

 

 
This Simpson Secret is booked on an accommodation-only basis, but for an administration fee of £25 per person we would be delighted to book your flights.  Further information on the most convenient arrival airports in Greece is shown below.
 
 
FLIGHT OPTIONS
 
Arrival airports:
 

Athens

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Gatwick easyJet Sat/Sun All season
London Heathrow BA Sat/Sun All season
London Heathrow Aegean Airways Sat/Sun All season
Manchester* BA Saturday All season
Manchester** Aegean Airways Saturday All season
Manchester easyJet Sunday All season

*Via London Heathrow
**Via Brussels

 

Mykonos

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Gatwick easyJet Saturday All season
Manchester easyJet Saturday All season
London Heathrow BA Saturday All season

 

Santorini

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Gatwick easyJet Saturday All season
Manchester easyJet Saturday All season
London Heathrow BA Saturday All season

 

 
For arrivals into Athens, fly onwards with Aegean Air to Syros.  
 
 
FERRY OPTIONS
  • Book your own transport (taxi or bus) to the port on arrival at the airport.
  • Book your own boat transfer with Open Seas, the Greek ferry operator. 
For arrivals into Athens, take a taxi or bus to the port of Rafina for a boat transfer to Syros:
  • High-speed hydrofoil (approximately 2 hours)
  • Ferry service (approximately 4.5 hours)
For arrivals into Mykonos or Santorini, take a ferry to Syros.
 
 

 

  2 April 9 April 16 April 23 April 30 April
Simpson Secret – Pandora 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
  7 May 14 May 21 May 28 May
Simpson Secret – Pandora 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
  4 June 11 June 18 June 25 June
Simpson Secret – Pandora 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
  2 July 9 July 16 July 23 July 30 July
Simpson Secret – Pandora 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
  6 August 13 August 20 August 27 August
Simpson Secret – Pandora 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
  3 September 10 September 17 September 24 September
Simpson Secret – Pandora 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD
  1 October 8 October 15 October 22 October
Simpson Secret – Pandora 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD

†  Flight availability is limited on your chosen dates.

Please call us for assistance with your holiday on 020 8392 5872.

Booking Conditions

YOUR HOLIDAY PRICE INCLUDES
  • Prices are in pounds sterling and are for the accommodation only for the guests named on your invoice
  • The assistance of the property owner, housekeeper or concierge
  • Information book in your accommodation
 
YOUR HOLIDAY PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
  • Any breakages, damage, losses, extra cleaning or outstanding accounts incurred during your stay 
  • Visas 
  • Holiday travel insurance
  • Airfares, car hire or transfers
 
INFANTS
One cot and one highchair are provided free of charge in our self-catering properties.  Additional cots and highchairs may be available upon request.
 
PLACING AN OPTION
In order to allow you to co-ordinate your holiday arrangements with friends and family, in many cases we are able to hold an option for up to 24 hours before confirming your booking.
 
PAYING FOR YOUR HOLIDAY
In order to confirm your booking a deposit of 30% of the accommodation cost is required.  This payment is non-refundable. The balance payment for your holiday should be paid at least 10 weeks prior to your departure. We accept most debit cards and credit cards, and personal cheques. All payments made by credit card will be subject to a 1.25% charge* reflecting our incurred costs. (*American Express is subject to a 2% charge.) 
 
Please familiarise yourself with our full booking terms including our cancellation policy here.
 
SECURITY DEPOSIT
Most of our self-catering accommodation is privately owned and sometimes it is the owner’s main residence, which they vacate for the summer season. In order to protect the furnishings and fittings, some owners require a security deposit which is collected 3 weeks prior to departure. The deposit will be refunded in full within 7 days of your return provided there is no damage or additional cleaning required and the property remains in the same condition as upon arrival. If a security deposit is applicable, the amount required will be stated in the Details section of the property. Please alert the owner/caretaker to any breakages or damages during your stay.
 
TRAVEL INSURANCE
It is compulsory that all our guests have comprehensive travel insurance and we will need full details of your policy at the time of booking or before you travel.
 
FINAL DOCUMENTATION
Your travel documents are available to download and print 2 weeks prior to departure via our Manage My Booking facility on our website provided you have paid in full.
 
PASSPORTS AND VISAS
It is your responsibility to be in possession of a valid passport and any necessary visas. EU citizens do not need a visa to travel to France. If you are a non-EU citizen then you should check with your own embassy for the entry/re-entry requirements necessary for your journey. Children not on an accompanying parent’s passport before October 1998 are now required to hold their own passport if they are under 16 years. If you do not have a passport, it is recommended to apply at least 6 weeks before your holiday. Passports should be valid for 6 months after your return date.
 
FOREIGN OFFICE ADVICE BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides up-to-date travel information to help British travellers make informed decisions about travelling abroad. Should you wish to check their advice or information about the destination you are travelling to, please visit their website: www.fco.gov.uk/en or call 020 7008 1500.
 
 
ACCOMMODATION AND USEFUL INFORMATION
 
Air-conditioning and heating
We have indicated in the property descriptions which accommodation has air-conditioning included in the holiday price. Heating is available in some of our properties during the low season weeks, which is normally included in the holiday price.
 
Animals and wildlife
As in all rural communities, indigenous animals are an essential part of the way of life. The braying of a donkey, crow of a cockerel or the barking of a dog is not a complaint that receives much sympathy from the locals! Care should be taken to minimise the presence of insects and animals in your accommodation. Keep surfaces clean, dispose of refuse regularly and ensure that food is not left uncovered. Cats and dogs are often resident where an owner or manager lives on the property. If you are allergic to cats and/or dogs please ensure that you check the suitability of your chosen accommodation with us prior to confirming your booking.
 
Barbecues
We have specified if a barbecue is available at your accommodation. Please note that often in summer, due to the hot weather, use of your barbecue may not be allowed and/or strict rules for its use may apply. The local or national government reserves the right to introduce new rulings at any time, often with little prior notice, prohibiting the use of barbecues to reduce the risk of fires. Where a barbecue is not provided, it is usually because the surroundings are considered a fire risk or inappropriate for the use of barbecues.
 
Beach/pool towels
Beach/pool towels are provided in all our self-catering properties and these are normally laundered weekly.
 
Beds
Please note that a double bed could be two single beds placed together. French bed sizes vary and can be 140cm.
 
Check-in and check-out
You will usually be able to occupy your accommodation between 4-7pm and you should vacate it on the day of departure before 10am. Please refer to specific property details for exact times. 
 
Cleaning
All our properties are cleaned for your arrival. The details section of each property has further information regarding the cleaning schedule. If additional cleaning is required, please contact us to arrange this in advance of travel. Please note additional charges will apply.
 
Distances and timings
Please note that all walking and driving times stated are approximate estimates only. Transfer times are also approximate estimates only and do not include any waiting time.
 
Health and safety
Simpson Travel is committed to raising the standards of health and safety throughout all our destinations. Our guests’ safety and wellbeing is of the highest importance to us. However, please note that since many of our properties are private homes, it is not always possible to meet the same exacting standards as in the UK. In your accommodation we will provide any necessary health and safety information. We ask you to familiarise yourself with this information and the property on arrival, particularly when travelling with children, and to raise any concerns with the Simpson Travel telephone representative.
 
Internet access and wifi
Internet access and wifi is available when stated in the relevant accommodation description details. Please note there may be restrictions with the availability and speed of the service transmitted by the local provider and technical issues may cause temporary withdrawal of internet facilities. We are unable to accept responsibility for any down time or consequences of using this service and refund/compensation cannot be offered due to circumstances beyond our control such as adverse weather conditions.
 
Linen and laundry
Bed and bathroom linen is provided weekly. For your convenience all of our properties in France have a washing machine and most have a tumble dryer.
 
Noise and building works
Traffic, farm work, roadwork, animals and other sounds form part of everyday life, however, what constitutes ‘noise’ to one person may not be a problem for another. Please let us know if you have any special needs regarding this. Occasionally, building work is unavoidable as we do not control such work and may not know about it in advance. Whenever possible, we will notify you of any work that we believe may affect your holiday.
 
Occupancy
Only guests named on your invoice are entitled to occupy the accommodation.
 
Satellite television
We cannot guarantee that a full selection of satellite channels will be available. Channels in English may be very limited and these are often only CNN or BBC World.
 
Seasonal facilities
Some facilities are subject to weather conditions and the general season, for example swimming pools, restaurant terraces and courtyards, pool bars, local restaurants, and they may be limited or unavailable at the beginning or end of the season. Please do not hesitate to check with us, should a particular facility be a necessity to you.
 
Swimming pools
Swimming pool details are given on our website. Pool dimensions are approximate only and, unless specified otherwise, pools are freshwater and unheated. Dates when pools are operational are subject to the prevailing weather conditions at the time of opening and closing and we cannot be held responsible if poor weather means the pool is opened later, or is closed earlier in the season.
 
Upon arrival at your accommodation, we kindly ask you to acquaint yourselves with the pool’s safety and hygiene rules. All our pools in Corsica and mainland France comply with French law and are fitted with one of the following forms of security: fence, alarm or cover. Some pools are ‘infinity pools’ which have an exposed pool edge with an unprotected drop. This maximises views and is an attractive feature of the pool. We recommend that you do not sit, lean or walk on the unprotected edge. Children must be supervised at all times.
 
Villa owners
Whilst the owners or staff of some properties may live on site and tend to the grounds, they are aware that you value your privacy, and will do their best not to intrude. We do ask you, however, to allow them reasonable access to the property so that they can maintain the grounds and keep them in good order.
 
Welcome Pack
We offer a welcome pack in all our self-catering accommodation consisting of a small selection of staple items.