Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The London Family Who Built a Greek Island Home; the Children Can Go Native All Summer Long at This Villa on a Tiny Ionian Island, Says Cathy Hawker

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The London Family Who Built a Greek Island Home; the Children Can Go Native All Summer Long at This Villa on a Tiny Ionian Island, Says Cathy Hawker

Article excerpt

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 PS3,966 to PS10,163 a week. …

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