What our guests had to say

“Saintfridays - heaven for a fortnight”

My family and I had a wonderful time at Saintfridays . The villa was beautifully clean, the directions were very clear and the views were amazing. This isn't a package holiday, it's unique and the drive from Athens is part of the adventure. We stopped in the mountains for breakfast and stopped at Kalamaki for a swim. On the way back we went to Ancient Corinth and the canal and spent a night in Athens which was great fun.

Paul and Hilary the owners gave us a great welcome and bent over backwards to make sure we were comfortable and had every thing we needed. The children have begged us to return this year and it's a promise we will keep.

The beach at Gargarou is lovely and the sea is crystal clear. We ate in the village at Nikos - do order the roast pork for Sunday lunch by Saturday night at the latest. Koroni is great for evening strolls and so safe for the children. We also took the opportunity to visit a few sites - Olympia , Ancient Messini, Mystras and Voidakilia Beach near Nestors palace.

Memories of sitting out on the balcony at night seeing the twinkling lights over on the Mani and Koroni to the sound of crickets and cicadas kept me going all winter knowing that I had secured my little patch of heaven.

Susan Peters
From: Manchester, UK / Stayed: Saintfridays
“Peace and quiet, the perfect get away from it all location.”

When you find a Gem like this you are torn between telling everybody with great enthusiasm or keeping it to yourself in the hope that it doesn't get changed too much.

We have stayed at Saint Fridays three times with the next trip already booked. I think that says it all.

If you go to saint Fridays and you expect it to be like a 5 star hotel, you will be bitterly disappointed. But if you go for a peaceful holiday in beautiful part of unspoilt Greece you will have to look at lot harder to find a better location.

The accommodation maybe a little basic, but clean and comfortable with everything you will need. I agree with one of the other reviewers that the description on the website does give the impression that they are all detached bungalows but this is a technicality.

And why have a pool? You have the biggest pool in the world 500yards away.

The villas are all very quiet, private and have superb verandas with spectacular views over the Messinian Bay, making the most of the beautiful sunrises, if you can get up that early in the morning. On our first visit Hilary and Paul were very welcoming and friendly. We are veterans to the area, so we know our way around quite well. On the second and third visit, we were looked after by Andreas and Sylvia who were just lovely.

The nearest town with its tavernas is a 2Km uphill walk, older people than me do it everyday and it does make coming home easier after your night out on Greek food and local wine at Nico's taverna! Bring a torch. Koroni with it's many and varied restaurants and tavernas is only a few minutes drive away and is great for watching the Greeks on holiday. Get your Greek phrase book out if you plan to venture to some of the smaller villages during the day, a lot of people don't speak any English, but why should they?

The local beach is one of the best in the Peloponese, and made us very lazy about going elsewhere to find another. You can reach this by taking a stroll downhill through the olive groves which takes me with my dodgy knee about 10- 15 mins.

If you want lots of activity, nightlife and amusement arcades for the kids outside your door, this is not the place.

If want to sit on the veranda and take in the tranquil views and NOT hear people coming home drunk singing kareoke songs, yelling and banging doors all night, come here.

There is only one bad thing I can say about saint Fridays: it makes me very very sad to leave and go home

citori
From: Brentwood, UK / Stayed: Saintfridays
“One of the most beautiful places in Greece”

This is a unique experience. It is not a five-star resort, rather a collection of villas set in an exqusite olive grove with views down to the sea and across to the Taygetos Mountains. There is an uncrowded beach about ten minutes down the road. The accommodation is simple but comfortable, with an enormous verandahs - a wonderful place to sit and read and look at the view. The atmosphere is friendly and informal. Up the road at Charakopio, an unspoilt Greek village, are two really good tavernas Yianni's (Fouli cooks old-style Greek food) and Niko's, which does good bbq . The more touristy, postcard-pretty Koroni is only minutes away. It's a short drive to Methoni and Pylos and Kalamata is an hour away; the museum is a must. We will return.

AlanK35
From: Sydney, Australia / Stayed: Saintfridays
“A classic 'get away from it' holiday”

This is a wonderful location with all you would expect. Views of the sea and mountains, olive trees, mountain roads and dirt tracks to drive along.

The apartments are simple, and for us that was their charm. No TV's etc to distract from the view and the silence (except the cicadas of course) but they had everything we needed.

There really is a beach about a 10 minute walk away, which is small, is great for swimming but not busy and is used by locals. The bigger beach is the other side of Koroni, about a 10 minute drive away.

Paul and two of his daughters were there during our stay, and they could not have been more helpful. They were very relaxed and easy going, giving our children the freedom to explore. Paul is very knowledgable about the local area, and can suggest local places to eat and places to see and when the markets are on. But, they were not overly attentive and were not disturbing us every day which was great.

Unfortunately we had a bit of a medical emergency with one of our children whilst there (nut allergy related), and Paul and his eldest daughter really helped us out with their knowledge of the area. Invaluable.

If you want simple (not basic) accommodation in beautiful surroundings and are looking for a classic 'get away from it' holiday, with local villages where Greek is still the main language spoken plus Koroni which is more of a tourest trap (Castle, English spoken well by all) then this is the place for you.

TLERM
From: Southampton, United Kingdom / Stayed: Saintfridays
“Staying at Saintfridays”

I actually e mailed another site for information but their facility was closed and they recommended Saint Fridays. Why ??? My wife and I wanted to stay a minimum of 3 months commencing October. The original site does not operate in the Greek 'winter'. So from the moment of e mailing Hilary and Paul and later phone calls I had no reservations in paying up and catching the last UK charter Flight they recommended . It was the last for Kalamata ...after that flight one had to fly to Athena. (I explain we were long term house sitting in France and later UK and promised ourselves a long break in a special (for us) area.) As arranged Paul was there to greet us (at an agreed price) and off we went at 10pm to St Fridays... about an xxxx hr trip.

Look at the site and all you see is true. there is no 'photoshop' used or smoke and mirrors information. What you see is what you will experience. If you want the RITZ ... go somewhere else.

Now the area, Yes , it is alone hidden in the Olive Groves with a view out over the Sea and further . With the exception of one power line in the distance it was the same views as the ancients would have had. My wife an Archaeologist was over the moon. St Fridays is a 30 minute lovely undulating walk to the shops which is a traditional Village. If you expect Marks and Sparks (UK)or Macy's (USA) forget it...Try more like small individual dimly lit friendly individaully owned shops (but not between 2 and 4pm...which might sound strange but you will enjoy the later night shopping as the result.) We purchased what we wanted .So in answer to . ...Can I buy all groceries clothing Medical goods and eat at restaurants ???YES you can.

Languages ??? We overheard a few languages between traders and customers and we had no problems. We got what we wanted at various old shops and we made wonderful assoccations with local business people. Is there an ATM or Bank there..??? NO Is there a coach service passing through that can get you to a Bank and ATM E Mail bigger coffee shops etc etc...Yes. The town on the coast is KORONI and is 15 minutes away by bus. You see ; we use Public transport in all countries . So change down a gear and do what locals do in very up market aircon coach which is regular if you note scheduled timings.. But if you are not used to buses there are Taxi's at each town. Our suggestion is you need to adapt to what is available e.g. get a bus time table and have the right fare. Dont tender a huge note.

We mainly stayed local for a few months and later hired a car for further expeditions ( for my wife Archaeology sites , for me Cafes). We used local school and regular buses to search other Regional areas and enjoyed everything.

The Beaches from St Fridays are down thru the Olive groves and down a made road for a 15 minutes walk to the beach (which extends for miles/ks).

We were lucky as the owners were insitu for a time and I guess we were spoilt BUt after they left the local friendships (Greek and others )we made continued to make us welcome. In summary in todays world when first choosing to arrange things (by E Mail ) it can be a fraudulent risk .I can state that the Family Greek Cypriot/Scottish owners (both professionally employed also in UK) are above reproach. My advice to help you find good places to stay like Saintfridays, when you are booking anywhere, don't hesitate to arrange things direct with the owners by e mail and follow up with phone calls to avoid the fraud risk. We are going back there.

“Email and tell the owners what you would like. they will listen and find out what's best for you. Double beds, twin bedrooms, large terrace.”

JohnHC H
From: Queensland / Stayed: Saintfridays
“Three super holidays at Saintfridays”

Saint Friday's, nestling at the foot of the Peloponnese is a cluster of 4 small bungalows, and two apartments, with mostly 1 bedroom, living-dining with a sofabed, kitchen and bathroom, which are very modern and clean. They are close to the coast and and look over to the lights of the town of Kalamata in the distance. A ten-minute walk leads to the beach and walking along to adjoining beaches is a delight. It is approx. 4 hours drive from Athens Airport (mostly motorway). A hire car is of great benefit but there is a bus from Athens. I have visited 3 times. Sylvia and Andrew who were looking after the small group of villas are very familiar with the area and Andrew speaks Greek and was able to help me out when I wanted to find out about routes to Olympia and Ancient Messini.They were excellent hosts. The nearest small village is about 5 minutes drive and Koroni a much bigger village on the coast is about 10 minutes drive. Kalamata - the nearest city is about 1 hours drive around the coast road which is a pretty drive through small villages, olive groves and citrus and watermelon farms, the fruit market on on Wednesday in Kalamata should not be missed . The Peloponnese is full of historical landmarks and dotted around with beautiful little monasteries.The information on the website of Saintfridays was very useful for finding out about the area before I set off and was helpful for finding out about ways for getting there. I hope to return soon. Well worth a visit!

Room Tip:“I thought it would be great to come with my children and their grandchildren - me in one villa and them in another. It is a safe place to give the children a safe place to play.”

Phyllis K
From: Glasgow, United Kingdom / Stayed: Villa Nestors
“perfect family holiday for those that are uncomfortable with the usual tourism trappings”

We are a busy couple who run our own business and have two small children. My husband does not enjoy normal holiday park holidays and this was perfect for us. There was no TV so we relaxed on the veranda for the morning until the afternoon, at this point we would walk down to the beach and spend the afternoon swimming in the sea. We made a couple of trips out to the local town and bought fresh fruit and veg, we ate out a couple of times at the local taverns that paul recommended and visited some great ancient monuments. If you want to get off the well beaten tourist track then this holiday is for you. We flew in and out from Athens and the journey was straightforward and the roads good. We loved this holiday and so did our children who will now eat anything if I tell them it is from Greece!

Paul was great, he gave us all the information that we asked for but left us to enjoy our time as a family.

Richenda T
From: Blakeney, null, UK / Stayed: Koroni Apartment
“Peace and quiet, blue skies and clear seas”

We've stayed at St. Friday's twice for 2 weeks in July/August. Set in olive groves and winding dirt roads, the bungalow overlooks the sea and mountains, with the charming town of Koroni and its fortress part of one's daily vista. The veranda is expansive and provides both shade for reading and a wonderful table for eating, as there is a kitchenette. The owners, Paul and Hilary, are attentive, generous, and ready to share history, travel directions, and information about the local tavernas, beaches, and trails. The location makes it an ideal "base camp" from which to go on day trips to historical sites and to over 12 beaches, some "developed", all within an hour or two's drive and some within walking distance through the hilly olive groves. We surely hope to return again and again!

SGRBoston
From: Boston, USA / Stayed: Villa Methoni
"A holiday to remember”

We had a truly memorable, holiday at Saint Fridays. A real Greek experience with outstanding hospitality from Paul Hilary and their girls.

The accommodation and setting were just what we had hoped for. So much to see and do within striking distance and a perfect view and nearby beach for easing away the cares of a busy working life. We would recommend a holiday here without reservation.

Room Tip: Flying to Kalamata rather than Athens would make sense if you have less time.

Julian R
From: Steyning, England, UK / Stayed: Villa Nestors
“Ideal family holiday”

I really recommend this place, especially for families with children. We had a great time. We enjoyed having our independence and our peace and quiet.

The apartment was clean and comfortable and had a wonderful balcony with the most amazing view of olive groves and the sea.

From the balcony there is also a view of the picturesque town of Koroni and its semi-ruined mediaeval castle.

We loved Koroni....we especially enjoyed exploring the castle with our daughters and then swimming in the sea in the shadow of the castle. Methoni, not far away, also has a mediaeval castle.

We were impressed by the beaches in the region and by how clean the sea was. For those who are not interested in beaches, the Peloponnese has many cultural attractions, including renowned archaeological sites. Paul was very helpful and his daughters were charming with our children. Our older daughter keeps asking if we can go back again next year. In our view, the Southern Peloponnese can rival any Greek island but is much quieter and unspoilt.

Kataki
From: Athens / Stayed: Koroni Apartment
“That peace (even with a wee baby in charge of our hols) and those views, the sun coming up over the mani every morning in a diff”

Really clear guidance ahead of the trip and friendly help whenever we needed it made it very easy to quickly relax into our clean, comfortable accommodation which was simple but had enough interesting features to make it far from generic.

It was tempting to stay each day and enjoy the changing view from the comfort of the generous terraces but there were lots of beaches, ruins, stories and great food to go and explore.

Enough within an hours drive to make for a busy 2week itinerary.

Happy to give 5/5 across the board and not just because Paul and Banana are such lovely people!

DCAHW32
From: USA / Stayed: Villa Methoni
“Most relaxing vacation ever”

We spent six amazing days staying at the Villa Nestors at the end of August 2012.

Nestors has a spectacular 180-degree view of the Messenian gulf, Mani mountains and nearby Koroni Village from the amazing balcony.

A typical day involved waking up and watching the sunrise over the Mani mountains and listening to the ocean in the distance.

We loved the fresh bread that Paul provided every morning, before a short walk to the beach and swim in the ocean.

We had complete silence and it was one of the most relaxing vacations!

The Villas are simple, but clean, and nearby a local greek town (although not walking distance) with shops restaurants, cafes, etc. The area is amazing. With a car you can explore the entire coast line. Villa Nestors was extremely private and Paul and his family were extremely helpful with providing any advice we needed.

Our only suggestions for improvements would be to upgrade the beds to more comfortable mattresses and more kitchen equipment.

Regardless, we would recommend staying at the Saint Friday's Holiday Villas without any reservations, and we hope to return ourselves.

Room Tip: We would highly recommend Villa Nestors. It has the best view!

Greg T
From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Stayed: Villa Nestors