Week 1: 02-09 June 2024
Week 2: 09-16 June 2024
Both weeks: 02-16 June 2024 (Sunday to Sunday)
After many enjoyable and successful holidays, we are thrilled to be returning to Greece in 2024. This will be our eighth year on the wonderful island of Spetses.
As before, we’ll begin and end the trip on a Sunday. You can come for the first week, the second week, or both.
We plan to go ahead with this trip unless the UK Foreign Office and Greek government restrict or strongly recommend us not to travel to our stated destinations.
We strongly recommend you take out travel insurance and check for COVID cover. Should you wish to cancel, cancellation charges will apply (see the cancellation charges table below).
Please read Greece’s entry requirements, particularly the validity required for a British passport: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece/entry-requirements
A SNAPSHOT OF THE HOLIDAY
This holiday is very different from our weekend trips. It offers plenty of relaxation time, lots of singing, friendly locals, optional excursions and events, great food and culture, and even opportunities for a boogie.
A typical day starts with a leisurely breakfast at your accommodation. Late morning, we hold a rehearsal in the villa gardens, learning songs that have been specially arranged for the holiday. After the rehearsal your time is your own to explore the island, enjoy a relaxing lunch, laze by the pool or head to the beach. In the evening we may meet up to go for dinner together or in smaller groups, as you wish. We usually end the day in one of the island’s excellent bars.
At the end of each week there will be a performance – either formal or informal – to the public on the island.
The holiday is open to non-choir members as well as existing or past members
There is no need to be an active member of London City Voices to join us. We have had several non-LCV members come along, immerse themselves in the friendly environment, idyllic location and really enjoy it.
Please note: this holiday is not suitable for children. There are no crèche facilities and the activities are very much based around adults.
THINGS TO DO ON SPETSES
As in previous years, these are just some of the activities we enjoy on Spetses:
Chartering a private boat to travel around the island for a day. We stop for a swim in a quiet, sheltered spot, followed by a rehearsal either on the boat or on the shore. We then stop at a restaurant for a leisurely lunch (overlooking a lovely bay) before completing the trip back at the old harbour. This is a very popular day trip and allows you to see the whole island at a very relaxed pace and from a different perspective.
Bicycle, motorbike or quad bike hire is a great way to take in the beautiful coast and island. You can cycle around the whole island in a matter of hours, and if you don’t fancy the hills there’s always the option of an electric bike.
Villa party. On one evening of each week we hold a party in the villa gardens with delicious food from local caterers (sadly, no swimming or pool activities permitted during this event). The evening concludes with an open mic and a good boogie.
Yoga and therapy treatments are generally available with a local professional whom we’ve used for all of our years on Spetses. She offers yoga at the villa exclusively to our group, as well as private treatments including massage, Reiki, meditative reflexology, breath and sound healing and more.
Gym & spa. The island’s iconic grand hotel, The Posidonion, offers a gym and spa for anyone looking to work out or be pampered. It’s in the main town 15 minutes’ walk from our accommodation.
Other possible activities include tennis, horse riding, snorkelling and, of course, watersports.
You have the choice of two Spetses accommodations (subject to availability). We have used both of these for all of our previous trips.
The properties are about a minute’s walk from each other, so they are very close. Both properties are walking distance to the beach and the charming old harbour which has a variety of restaurants and bars. The main resort centre is a pleasant 15-minute walk away and where you’ll find many shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. Each year we discover somewhere new.
We have exclusive use of a traditional Spetses villa with large gardens and a swimming pool. Its beautiful olive tree is perfect for relaxing in the shade, and this is where we hold our daily rehearsals.
The villa offers several twin/double rooms which each have their own shower room, fridge, television, air conditioning. Many of them alsohave a balcony or terrace. There is also one triple room.
There is no communal space other than the gardens, and there are no cooking facilities.
Note: A maximum of 4 rooms at the villa are available for sole occupancy (at the sole occupancy package rate) each week.
We also have a charming boutique hotel option. It’s about a minute’s walk from the villa. This offers a pretty, shaded courtyard and family-run hospitality. It does not have a pool and has only limited outdoor space, although man of the rooms have a balcony/terrace. However, if you stay at the hotel you are welcome to enjoy all of the villa’s facilities.
There are two x 2-bedroom apartments available at the hotel which can sleep up to four people.
Note: Some rooms at the hotel are available for sole occupancy(at the sole occupancy package rate) each week.
Athens stays (pre-/post-Spetses)
You may like to experience a night or two in this interesting, historically-rich city. We have a group booking at a centrally located 3-star hotel, which we’ve successfully used for the previous five years.
The hotel is in the centre of Athens, just a few minutes’ walk from Monastiraki Square (a hive of activity), with Plaka and Syntagma Square a little further. All the major sights are walking distance away.
The hotel has an amazing rooftop terrace with a 360-degree view of the city, and the sight of the Acropolis at night is especially stunning.
If you would like a higher star rating, or would simply prefer something different, we can help and book this for you.
A pre-Spetses overnight stay in Athens also means you can avoid the very early UK departure required on your outbound journey (see below).
Our 3-star hotel rates are as follows (includes breakfast):
Sole occupancy £92 per night
Twin/double £53pp, per night
There is also a Greek government tax for Athens of €1.50 per room per night. This is paid on arrival at the hotel.
UK TO ATHENS
You are responsible for booking your own flights to and from Athens. See Flights section below for some useful links.
Early flight: If you plan to travel from the UK on 02 or 09 June you will need to book a very early morning flight as you need to arrive in Athens by 1pm on the day of our departure to Spetses. Obviously, if you are spending a day or two in Athens before heading off to Spetses, this isn’t an issue.
ATHENS TO SPETSES
To get from Athens to Spetses we hire a private coach which takes us to Kosta, a port town at the bottom of the Peloponnese. From there it’s a 15-minute boat trip to Spetses, arriving early evening. There are no toilet facilities on the coach but we do include a short comfort stop somewhere along the way. It is vice versa for the return journey – boat from Spetses to Kosta, coach from Kosta to Athens airport.
The two departure points and times for the coach are (subject to change): Athens city (for those staying in central Athens the previous night) - departing at around 1pm, or Athens airport (for those flying in on that day) - departing around 2pm
On arrival in Spetses we can take taxis up to our accommodation, or it’s a 15-minute walk if you know the way. If you choose to walk, your luggage will be taken up to your accommodation for you. Then you can check in, freshen up and simply relax, or – as many of the group normally do – wander into the town to find some dinner.
ALTERNATIVE TRAVEL ATHENS TO SPETSES – BY SEA
Anyone who wishes to travel by sea can take the ferry from Athens’ Piraeus port to Spetses. Piraeus is around 40 minutes from the city and around 50 minutes from Athens airport. This journey would mean travelling independently from the group and possibly on your own. The sea crossing takes around 3 hours each way and an extra cost would apply, as this method of transport is not with the group and therefore involves extra transfers to/from Piraeus from either the airport or the city, plus a ferry ticket, which you can arrange and pay for yourself (or John can do that for you). All being well and depending on your Athens airport arrival time on the Sunday of each week, it is possible to arrive on Spetses at a similar time to the coach group. Summer ferry schedules and reservations are generally released around March, so extra costs for this option will be calculated around this time.
Currently, there are several airlines operating direct flights between London and Athens.
OUTBOUND ON 02 OR 09 JUNE 2024
IMPORTANT: Your flight into Athens on 02 or 09 June must arrive no later than 1300 as the coach is due to depart the airport at 1400.
There will be an earlier pick-up from Athens city (as mentioned above) for people staying in Athens beforehand. Currently, these two airlines offer flights that arrive before 1300 on both 02 and 09 June 2024:
RETURNING ON 09 OR 16 JUNE 2024
Please book an evening flight – from 1900 onwards – on 09 or 16 June as there will only be one coach journey back to Athens. Currently, these airlines offer departures from Athens to London after 1900 on 09 and 16 June 2024:
Unless you’re extending your time in Greece, please be mindful of the airline and times you book.
In summary this includes: Spetses accommodation with breakfast, transfers, short ferry and Greek government taxes. Full inclusion/non-inclusion details are stated further below:
Your balance/full payment will be required by: 17 March 2024 (for 02-09 June or two-week bookings) or 24 March 2024 (09-16 June bookings).
Greek government tax for Spetses has been included in the above costs. This was previously a small extra cost to pay on arrival.
Package cost includes (subject to availability):
7 or 14 nights’ accommodation on Spetses on a bed & breakfast basis.
Private coach travel from either Athens airport or the city (pick-up from our 3-star Athens hotel) to Kosta (Peloponnese) and vice versa. These journeys will include a comfort stop somewhere in each direction.
Short ferry crossings (15 minutes each way) from Kosta to Spetses and back to Kosta, along with transfers to/from your Spetses accommodation, if required.
Singing and teaching time on the holiday. This includes up to 90 minutes’ group rehearsal each day (subject to change), learning new songs that have been specially prepared for this holiday. The second week may have some new repertoire but may also repeat some of the songs from the first week.
Package cost does NOT include:
Extra night(s)in Athens
Travel insurance (strongly recommended and – if possible – including Covid cover)
Lunch, dinner, other meals and drinks
Additional organised tours/events
Please take out appropriate travel insurance to cover you in case of personal cancellation and check for Covid cover, if possible.
To make a booking for Greece 2024 we require a non-refundable £100 deposit per person.
We recommend you book your place as soon as possible as this holiday is already proving very popular.
Please note the cancellation charges listed above in the event you need to cancel.
Extension of holiday after confirmation:
If you decide to extend your singing holiday dates, especially once you’re out in Greece, we ask you to book and pay for any change or extension via LCV Travel and not to make any arrangements individually with our accommodation providers as we have agreements in place and confirmed allocation. This is an activity-based holiday and costs must be factored in accordingly.
Please do check with John in advance for any extensions toor deviations from the stated package.
If you are interested in joining our trip to Spetses or have any questions, please contact John Joannou (not Richard) on:
Tel: 07763 120452 or
A word from one of our regulars, Annie...
What to expect in Spetses
I’ve been lucky enough to go to Spetses with LCV since 2017. Here are a few tips on what to expect, so you can decide if it’s the holiday for you...
Rooms in both Villa Irini and Hotel Mimosa are typically Greek, with simple furnishings and tiled floors. All rooms have air-conditioning and a full-size fridge. Kettles and irons are not provided, so bring travel ones if you can't do without a cuppa or a crisp shirt. Bathrooms are small but functional with a shower, and they all have a hairdryer. Towels are provided but bring a beach towel for pool/boat/beach time - you can buy great 'compact' microfibre ones in the UK, or local shops sell traditional Greek cotton towels.
Breakfast is included at both the Villa and theHotel. At the Villa, breakfast is around the pool, under the olive trees, and includes hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, fruit, yoghurt, bread and cheese. The breakfast at the hotel is similar but has a wider range of fruit, breads and jams. Note that there's no communal indoor space at either the Villa or the Hotel, and no kitchen facilities.
Rehearsals are every morning, usually from around 11 to 1, outdoors at the Villa under the lemon trees. It's a beautiful place tosing, but bring a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent (the short grass can hide biting insects).
Many people buy supplies and eat a picnic lunch in the garden of the Villa, at the large picnic tables or on the small terraces outside ground floor rooms. There's a supermarket 5 minutes' walk away that stocks a wide range of fresh food, wines, beers, soft drinks and water as well as household goods, from shampoo and suntan lotion to flip flops and pool inflatables. There are also 2 bakeries within a short walk. The supermarket closes every day at 1.30pm and reopens in the evening. Lots of the shops in town do the same.
Except for the boat day, afternoons are completely free - many people will relax around the pool at the Villa. It's available to people staying in the hotel too; there are half a dozen sunbeds and loads of canvas chairs.
Several beaches are a short walk away - Paradise Beach is less than 10 minutes and has a beach club, with sunbeds to hire and food and drink available. Be aware that beaches in Spetses are pebble and shingle, and there can be sea urchins. Rubber beach shoes / jelly shoes are recommended, and you can buy them in the local supermarket, as well as snorkelling equipment.
If you're not a beach lover, bikes are available to hire (by the day or the week) and for the brave(!) there are mopeds to rent. There's diving available if you're qualified.
Most evenings will involve eating and drinking in the many local restaurants and bars in Spetses town. There’s any number of places to eat, but we usually gravitate towards the main square with the clock tower for anything from pizza to souvlaki, at prices that are very reasonable by London standards.
Except for an evening at the Olive Press (see below), John/Richard do NOT make arrangements. It's up to us where, when and with whom we eat. Keep an eye on theWhatsApp group chat to see if anyone is making plans and share your plans with others - there's no need for anyone to feel that they don't have a dinner or beer buddy unless that's their choice.
We usually have one evening at the Olive Press, a local restaurant overlooking the sea, where we sit at long tables on the jetty and have dinner with often spectacular sunset views. It’s a relatively pricey restaurant by Spetses standards, and there’s no obligation to come along, but it’s always a good evening. John/Richard will confirm numbers and make a group booking for this one.
There’s an open air cinema, and more bars along the waterfront than you can shake a stick at. We have some LCV favourites; keep an eye on the WhatsApp group to see where people have landed.
Spetses is a little island but can be a challenge if you have impaired mobility. It’s not at all suitable for wheelchair users – the accommodation isn’t accessible and island roads can be rough and unfinished. The walk from the villa or hotel into town takes around 15 minutes and involves some hills. There are very few cars on Spetses – they’re prohibited in the summer, and just half a dozen taxis operate from the harbour. Most islanders whizz around on mopeds (also worth watching out for when you’re walking home in the dark at stupid o’clock after a cocktail or two), and mopeds, quad bikes and pushbikes are available for hire. There are horse-drawn carriages that operate from the harbour, but in reality, to enjoy your Spetses experience you probably need a reasonable level of mobility.
This holiday isn't an organised 'package' and, outside of the singing stuff, very little is arranged for us. (It's Richard's and Kate's holiday too). Be prepared to be a bit self-sufficient about working out how you want to spend your free time, and make use of the WhatsApp group to share plans/tips/local knowledge.
If you want solo time and a chilled week you can certainly have that, but it's also a lovely opportunity to spend proper time with old and new LCV friends. While some people travel to Spetses with established friends, many come on their own or share with people they don't know well. The group dynamic seems to work best when everyone is prepared to be open to new conversations and new friendships. You'll get the most out of the trip if you're a bit proactive about sharing your time and your plans and if you're happy to join in with stuff.