OUR GREEK IS­LAND HOME

The chil­dren can go na­tive all sum­mer long at this villa on a tiny Io­nian is­land, says Cathy Hawker

London Evening Standard (West End Final B) - ES Homes and Property - - Front Page -

UN­LESS you are a sailor you’ve prob­a­bly never heard of Me­gan­issi. It is one of the Io­nian Is­lands in west­ern Greece but at less than nine square miles it is over­shad­owed by its much larger sis­ter is­lands — Corfu and Le­fkas.

Get­ting to Me­gan­issi from Lon­don in­volves an easy­Jet flight from Gatwick to Preveza air­port on the main­land, a 20-minute drive over a sea-cross­ing bridge to Le­fkas and then 20 min­utes by sea taxi. Trav­ellers pass the pri­vate is­land of Sko­r­pios, once owned by Aris­to­tle Onas­sis, be­fore ar­riv­ing on green Me­gan­issi with its coves, beaches and white­washed vil­lages.

It’s a jour­ney that Os­car Ty­mon knows well. In 2005 he and his wife Sue, both for­mer City work­ers, bought a 10-acre plot on Me­gan­issi and two years later started build­ing a home there. “Door to door it takes eight hours from our house in Brom­ley,” says Os­car. “Or five hours from when the plane leaves Lon­don.”

SAIL TO SE­CRET COVES

By early 2009 the pro­ject was com­plete. Os­car, Sue and their four chil­dren, Abby, Alexis, Eve and Char­lie, now aged 16 to 27, have loved their Greek hol­i­day home ever since.

“Me­gan­issi is won­der­ful for boat­ing with safe wa­ters and good wind,” says Os­car. “The sail­ing com­mu­nity know it as a place with un­touched coves and bays. We have a boat and love to ex­plore Ithaca, Ke­falo­nia or Le­fkas where even in sum­mer there’s al­ways some­where to moor for a wa­ter­front lunch.”

Peace­ful and pri­vate, Me­gan­issi is un­spoilt with a year-round pop­u­la­tion of 1,500. There’s a su­per­mar­ket, a few bou­tiques, butch­ers and patis­series, sev­eral tav­er­nas and ho­tels and one night­club. “It is like the land that time for­got,” laughs Sue, an award-win­ning gar­den de­signer. “All the nec­es­sary in­fra­struc­ture is there, it just doesn’t al­ways look like it is. And you can­not over­es­ti­mate the friend­li­ness of the lo­cals.” Their house, Akrothea, has five dou­ble bed­rooms and a large in­fin­ity pool over­look­ing the Med. The fam­ily visit for six or seven weeks a year and oth­er­wise rent it through The Think­ing Trav­eller for £3,966 to £10,163 a week.

An acre build­ing plot on Me­gan­issi would cost £128,000 to £170,000, and on Corfu it would be £ 215,000 to £256,000. New-build three-bed­room vil­las on Me­gan­issi start at £280,000 through Rokka Vil­las. On Corfu, Sphere Es­tates has a four-bed­room de­tached east coast villa with pool for £467,000.

The Think­ing Trav­eller: the­think­ing­trav­eller.com Sphere Es­tates: (sphereestates.com) Rokka Vil­las (rokka­con­struc­tions. com)

Top: Os­car and Sue Ty­mon of Brom­ley, with chil­dren Abby, Alexis, Eve and Char­lie, hol­i­day for up to seven weeks a year in the villa the cou­ple built on Me­gan­issi, above

From £1,779 to £4,093 a week: lux­u­ri­ous Kala Filia villa on Me­gan­issi sleeps four to six, with an in­fin­ity pool and sea views (the­think­ing trav­eller.com)

Greek getaway: peace­ful, un­spoilt Me­gan­issi has a su­per­mar­ket, sev­eral tav­er­nas and one night­club

£3,966-£10,163 a week: Os­car and Sue Ty­mon’s villa, Akrothea, sleeps 10

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