The Mediterranean lifestyle of sundrenched living, restful siestas, and nourishing diets with fresh olives and the oil they produce has long been promoted as incredibly healthy and encouraging a longer life span. I have often been tempted to up sticks and move to where the sun is stronger, the climate is warmer, and the whole approach to life is somewhat more gentle and laid back, but I’ve never actually taken the plunge, though many a holiday has been spent on the Mediterranean coast thinking what if?
If you too would like a taste of this enriching lifestyle, then a beautiful place to do it is the island of Rhodes in Greece. The largest of the Greek Dodecanese islands, Rhodes is known for its beaches, ancient ruins, remnants of the crusades-era, bustling café culture, and lively nightlife (especially in high season). A villa stay is a perfect way to get a true taste of what your life would be like in a different country as it fully immerses you into the local way of life and a beautiful, luxury villa available all year round in Rhodes is Villa Russelia near the traditional village of Kalavarda on the west coast. Travel to the villa is easy as it lies just 15km from the airport, 35 minutes drive from the main city of Rhodes, and it’s just 500m from the nearest beach.
Villa Russelia is set in a quiet and very private location on the west coast of Rhodes. The villa and its grounds appear like a lush green oasis amidst the lush Greek landscape that surrounds it. As you reach the villa, you will be met with sun-drenched stone walls and immaculately manicured gardens (which are impressive considering the climate) decorated with dainty stepping-stone-style pathways winding across the vibrant green lawns. Wherever you look, you are met with visions in blue, be it the endless blue skies or the wide expanses of the deep blue Aegean sea. You are made to feel very welcome by the hosts both in their communications, the pride they take in their home, and by the little touches like a welcome basket with a bottle of local wine, fresh fruits, and chocolates.
Villa Russelia has a traditional and elegant style that mixes both vintage and modern touches beautifully. Inside the 220m² villa, which can sleep 8-10 guests, you find three double bedrooms upstairs and one double bedroom on the ground floor. Each bedroom has been simply and tastefully decorated with high-quality furnishings, and they all offer magnificent views of the Aegean sea and gardens. There is a shared bathroom on each floor with a bathtub and modern amenities. In terms of living space, the ground floor features two spacious and comfortable open plan living rooms with comfy sofas, satellite LCD TV (there are also two more TVs in two of the bedrooms), a DVD player, and a variety of DVDs as well as a fireplace, perfect to gather around on colder winter evenings.
The fully equipped state-of-the-art kitchen (with stove, oven, refrigerator, espresso/filter coffee machine, dishwasher, food mixer, tea kettle, and toaster) and the open plan dining area and living room and this living space also feature access to a veranda with a big outdoor marble dining table which again overlooks the garden full of exotic flowers and hills and sea beyond. Outside the villa, you can enjoy the large 4000m² garden, which enjoys both bright exotic flowers and vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees (which you are encouraged to enjoy). Within the garden, there are chaise longues for you to relax on as well as a lovely large, sociable outdoor seating area by the barbeque and traditional wood fire oven.
If the heat all gets too much, there are plenty of shady spots to curl up with a book, including the very pretty half-moon shaped sitting area carved into the wall in the garden – perfect for a glass or two of wine in the evening admiring the garden and views beyond – bliss! In terms of facilities, the villa offers a weekly maid service, parking on-site, complimentary Wi-Fi as well as individually controlled central floor heating; a washing machine, iron and ironing board; bath towels and amenities, and beach towels, toys, and bags. The hosts are happy to assist with planning your trip and offer 24/7 guest support during your stay too. If you are happy to pay a little extra, arrival and departure transfers can be arranged as well as car, motorbike, and bike rental; a babysitting service; private yoga, pilates, or aerobic classes; beauty treatments; a limousine service or yacht/motorboat rental (inc. captain and crew).
Restaurants & Bar
This is a self-catering villa. However, a private chef can be arranged to cook for you in the property, otherwise, the nearest beach is just 500m away. It offers a beach bar and two traditional restaurants, or you can visit one of the many traditional tavernas and grill houses by the sea in the nearby villages that are frequented by locals and tourists alike.
Ideally placed between the traditional village of Kalavarda on one side and the Ancient City of Kameiros on the other side, Villa Russelia is excellently interconnected with the airport and the city of Rhodes, as well as with Lindos on the east side of the island. For those into their sports, there are plenty of activities in the area to keep you occupied, including kite-surfing, diving, fishing, swimming, guided hikes, and mountain biking tours. For nature-lovers, there is the Valley of the Butterflies, one of the most famous sights in Rhodes, where you can enjoy a refreshing walk amongst nature. The other sights to see in the area include the city of Ancient Kameiroswas, Kritinia Castle with its mixture of Byzantine and Medieval styles, Agios Nikolaos Foundoukli with its late Byzantine church, and 15th-century frescoes and the medieval cliff-top Monolithos Village and Castle with its breathtaking views of the sea.
So if a slice of this luxury, Mediterranean, sunshine living sounds right up your street, then a stay at Villa Russelia might be just what the doctor ordered.
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