Villa Glaros is an idyllic Greek villa to base yourself for a holiday built for those who love luxury, privacy and the ability to station yourself on an island that most know anything about, in one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. The villa, a stunning retreat that cascades down a hillside through olive and cypress groves, is a testament to how taking your time when constructing the perfect holiday home, is more than worth it. I stayed at the villa recently, my first time to Paxos, and left completely enchanted and enthralled with all it has to offer luxury-minded travelers.
Paxos is a small island, roughly 90-minutes by hydrofoil from the larger island of Corfu – which offers direct flights to many European hubs. Of course Greece has countless islands to choose from, but many are over-touristed and too famous for their own good. It’s those that sit quietly in the sunlight, rising out of the blue waves, that have the ability to take you somewhere else entirely. Paxos isn’t easy to get to, and not difficult either. It’s just hard enough to keep the masses away and call to those who are a bit more adventurous. Villa Glaros is the diamond waiting for you at the end of that journey.
The villa can be found down a narrow dirt road, one that winds through countless olive trees and small houses, before it finally appears. Offering 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and the ability to sleep 14 people in multiple dwellings, this structure is large and able to house a family or group. Villa Glaros has the perfect set-up for a gaggle of friends traveling together, or extended family that do something special together each year. When you rent the villa, it comes with a house manager as well as a French chef, who can work with you to design perfect meals from breakfast through dinner. So, once you choose this villa as your final stop, most all your needs will be taken care of after that decision.
The large main home opens to panoramic views of the Ionian sea. Walking-in, you can’t help but be taken by the rising haze of purple mountains in the distance and the stunning art that has been collected by the owner of the villa throughout the years, which seems to punctuate every corner of the space.
There is a main living area and several nooks, an office, indoor dining room, open kitchen and several choices for outdoor dining as well.
I arrived with four colleagues to Paxos and none of us knew what to expect. Departing the boat and hopping onto dry land, I was met by a representative of Alfa Hire Paxos – the top local car rental company. She offered a quick orientation of the vehicle and, in a flash, we were off in a very comfortable automatic SUV. The house manager for Villa Glaros met us on the road to show us the way to the villa – which is important as you’ll never find it otherwise. But, after a few times of driving around this small but glamorous spec of rock in the sea, you’ll know exactly where it’s located.
Villa Glaros is the definition of pure peace and you really don’t have to leave the grounds for much. Of course, you’ll want to because Paxos is so amazing.
There are several terraces and outdoor perches to enjoy the sun. The perfect day consists of a morning breakfast of Greek yogurt, local fruit, Greek coffee, salads, eggs, cheese and pastry – all lovingly prepared to your liking. After breakfast, you can play a game of tennis, or work-out in the open-air, sea-facing fitness studio before making your way down to the pool or private beach.
Paxos is the playground for some of Europe’s most prominent families. And, for your time at Villa Glaros, you’ll feel like one of them. It is really only known by a group of wealthy Athenians who have homes here, and a handful of people from other European countries that have been clued-in over the years. The charming villages, delicious restaurants and lively bars add to an authentic landscape of that Greek island of your dreams, without being overdone. Everything here is simply, natural.
Villa Glaros not only offers acres of landscaped grounds to explore, but a tennis court, pre-stocked games, a private beach with some of the most blue water for swimming and accompanying kayaks, paddle boards and a high-powered speed boat to take you to the nearby jewel, Antipaxos.
After a few days at the villa and time exploring Paxos, you will want to hire the villa’s captain to shuttle you over to Antipaxos, a 30-minute journey. But, nothing will prepare you for what you’ll find here.
I have never seen as electric blue water in the Mediterranean as I have in Antipaxos (photos at the bottom of the article). This island almost resembles the island of Anguilla in the Caribbean and the water here rivals that of French Polynesia.
Along your journey you will stop at hidden rock beaches, grottos and swimming areas – all stunning in their own right. Drifting-in to Antipaxos, the tiny sister of Paxos, you’ll be ready for a light Greek lunch and floating around in the pristine lagoon of Voutoumi beach.
I loved Antipaxos so much, I went twice while staying at Villa Glaros. And, could have kicked myself for not going a third time. It was just so hard to choose between the serenity of Antipaxos and the perfection of Villa Glaros.
While in Paxos, you’ll find yourself exploring small art galleries in Gaios, taking-in market shopping, planning that evening’s meal with the chef and enjoying sunset drinks at Erimitis Bar on the cliffs – the most spectacular place for sunsets.
If you go out dancing, you won’t be able to help but be caught-up in the local vibes here, but you’ll want to stop on the terrace of Villa Glaros before bed to look through the telescope and take-in the magnified craters of a blood red moon. Even if your night out was raucous, you’ll somehow pop-up and be ready to go down to the villa’s beach to be revived by the sea.
After spending a week on the island of Paxos and after staying at Villa Glaros, I realized how much I truly love Greece. I have been so many times, but this is different. Staying here is like staying at the home of a well-to-do friend “in-the know”, someone who can truly introduce you to something special – even if you’re the most jaded of traveler.
When planning that perfect luxury Greek island holiday, Villa Glaros is the only place to look. But, once you experience it, you just might never settle for anything less.