How I found Arillas!

Started by dimitris, April 03, 2008, 10:40:38 PM

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Hi John.  Worked hard to translate your post but loved it. You and Dot (Dorothy of course?) just reinforce what we tell the world about our favourite place. The number of times you say YES agrees with how Jen and I feel. YES Dimitris, YES Eggy YES Thalassa YES Filipos YES Brouklis YES Anna YES Graziella YES everyone. Welcome to Arillas.

YES Phil


How I found Arillas was  by accident.
I had lost my precious daughter Nichola in a tragic care accident in 2002 and never thought of going anywhere tilll 2 years later and I was just looking on  Teletext for something Greek but not so commercial, I got a phone number and  the agent went through varous  resorts none of which appealed to me (my heart wasn't in this holiday malarky) then he said Arillas in North West  Corfu , quiet, scenic I thought , whatever let's book it the price is ok. 
So then 3 weeks later me and my boyfriend arrived in Arillas Corfu and stayed at Kaloudis Village. I hated it the 1st day, thought it was just for pensioners!! Didn't help  that me and Ken had a blazing row!! Because bless him, I can be quite difficult with losing my precious Nichola  and I suppose he wants a happy life and I can't always  be happy. Anyyway I wanted to get on the next flight home but the next day I woke up to this beautiful pareaice place with the most chilled out, genuine people I could ever wish to meet.

I've been back 5 times since. It is a very "healing" place and I am coming back here , on my own on May 9th and there is no where else I would feel comfortable doing that other than Arillas. It's just got everything



Over the years we had spent many a happy hour discussing what it would be like to own a holiday one does!  In the early years we would return from our caravan holidays in Devon wishing we could afford to buy a caravan.  As more money became available we would take the children to Spain and it's now we were now dreaming of a holiday apartment in the sun!

In 2001 we decided to do something about it.  We bought a house in Edinburgh, renovated it in the evenings and weekends then sold it on making a hefty profit in the process.  We then bought a flat went through the whole process again.  It was all hard work and no play but it's not easy bringing dreams to reality!

All the time (during my day job!) I was researching, contacting Estate Agents and making phone calls.  Initially we wanted to invest in Spain..shock, horror I hear some say, but scratch the surface and it's easy to find the good parts of this country.  Cheap and plentiful flights from our local airport was a big draw for us, imagine finishing work on a Friday and spending the weekend in the sun!

After a few reco'  trips we still could not find exactly what we were looking for within our budget.  We wanted a village, 45 minutes at most from the airport and within a taxi ride to a large town for the kids to party in.

On the last day of one particular trip we were returning with long faces from the mountain side village of Competa, beautiful as it was it had one road in, one road out which would have driven me stir crazy!!!  As Keith tackled the twisting and turning road my mind was doing was time for a rethink of our plans.

We liked and still like Spain.  We had not been in high season for many a year as we would visit Greece for our main family holiday.

We loved Greece.  But surely Greece was such a pain to get to out of season without spending a lot of money on flights?

O.K lets think about where we have been to in Greece and where we would be happy to go back to.

We had all enjoyed our stay in Kassiopi in 1992 which offered something for everyone, it was important to us that we chose somewhere we could all enjoy, not necessarily just what Keith and I wanted.

Corfu was also one of the (slightly) easier islands to get to out of season via Athens, or cheap flight to Italy and onward by ferry. We always wanted to buy somewhere we could drive to in order to spend time in other countries thereby not spending all our holidays in the same place.

Meanwhile we had both received the good news that we were to be made redundant, Keith had been with his company for 36 years and I had been with mine 23.  Whey hey, just what we wanted...a forced change with redundancy packages at the same time!

All of a sudden our criteria for our 'place in the sun' changed.  The investment part became a bigger issue, we needed to put our redundancy payments to good use and not fritter them away (much as I would have enjoyed it!).

So a few days before Keith finished work I checked out a few last minute deals to Corfu.  We found Arillas and Ag.Georgios South at ridiculously cheap price. There was very little information about these two places on the net in those days, but we did find a photo of a very windy and desolate Arillas which swayed our decision!

The day after Keith finished work we were on our way.    It was low season, we arrived in our hire car in the early afternoon...the place was deserted...just like a ghost town!  Yegods where have I brought us!!! We checked into the Mathraki and were pleasantly surprised at our lovely apartments with their lovely welcoming family.

We spent the whole of the following week out and about, returning in the evening feed and refresh ourselves for the following day's reco'.  At the end of our first week we were sitting in Graziellas and it suddenly struck us that we had fallen for Arillas, no more days visting towns and villages...this crafty little place had crept up on us and into our hearts.

And that is how we found Arillas!!!

The rest is history....


Your holiday deserves a place like this...

Villa Linakis on FB


Lovely to read Eileen, I was wondering how long you had a place in Arillas.  Goes to show with a lot of hard work and patience you managed to make your dream work, and judging by your beautiful greek home it was worth it.
If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

Paul C

The tales of how people found Arillas are brilliant.Full of incident,happiness,tears and luck,as they say "full of life's rich tapestry". Please keep them comming,they are great.


Love this topic - it has been such a good read!

Like you, Phil and Jen, we had also visited other Greek Islands including Rhodes - but had always wanted to come to Corfu but not yet made it. 

After a few years going to varying places like Spain, Portugal, Iceland, Croatia and Antigua, last year I said it has to be Coru this time.  I googled for holidays and came up with a website called holiday hypermarket.  Just entered the dates I wanted for Corfu, and it came up with options for Arillas.

I then googled Arillas and found this fantastic website.  It didn't take much reading to decide to go for it, and we booked it the next day.

At the time I was going through problems at work with victimisation, yet 2 weeks in Arillas and I was a different person.  The people and the atmosphere just take you in, to say nothing of the food....

Unfortunately, I had to come back to the same problems at work, which took me right through to this year, but I have at last moved on to a new job at the end of last month, and the people are so much friendlier - or more to the point, the manager is!

We loved Arillas as soon as we arrived - and now looking forward to our next visit in just over 4 weeks!

Envy you, Dimitri, for being BORN in Arillas - superb!
Lynn x


We too have been holidaying in Corfu for many years. In the early 90s we looked for a "Small and Friendly" place on the beach and came up with the Nafsika Hotel in San Stefano. We loved it and came back every year. The children wouldn't let us go anywhere else. So in 2002 when we were able to finance a modest investment we decided to look for a house to buy in Corfu. There was only a fledgling housing market in Corfu but nothing really in the NW. We also wanted to live in a village amongst the Greek families. This wasn't going to be a remote holiday villa, just a traditional village house as our second home. There were a couple of renovation properties in Peroulades but that was all. So on an impulse, my husband decided to fly over on his own (this was March so via Athens) Just as he was leaving we heard about a small derelict house in Arillas not yet on the books. Although we had been going to San Stef for many years we didn't know much about Arillas, although some friends of ours were keen and we'd always been intrigued. After seeing the 2 properties in Peroulades he was taken to the house in Arillas and immediately knew that this was right for us. It was built in 1922 but had been empty since 1988. It had electricity but no water and an outside kitchen with an amazing old bread oven. It was close to a year-round shop and bakery, 15min walk from Arillas beach and had a glimpse of a sea view. So without me even seeing the house, we decided to buy it. So the journey began. Unfortunately our lovely little house had to be demolished and rebuilt but we have replicated the original house exactly using the same style doors/windows etc and paint colours. So we have a brand new house that looks like the old house.
Arillas is the perfect place for us as it is an authentic village, and a holiday resort, the best of both worlds. We love being amongst our Greek neighbours in Arillas (Dimitris' Auntie lives next door) and still see our Greek friends in San Stef. We had our first winter holiday last January and of course the shop and bakery were open as well as Mon Amour and Amourada so it was business as usual. How wonderful to have a house there and we feel very lucky, but it comes at a price both financially and emotionally, as others will tell you.


It was Rick Stein's Mediterranean Odyssey that got me interested in Corfu. Until then it had all the appeal of Blackpool with sun. How wrong I was.
We stayed at the Kaloudis apartments last Spetember and have booked the same week for this year.

The resort ticked all the right boxes for us - quiet, low key, no karaoke, no junk food, lots of Greek tavernas, lovely beach, great location for the apartment. I could go on.
We walked over to San Stefanos one day and decided that we preferred Arillas, not least because people were riding motor bikes on the beach. Not brilliant when you have got children.

Wendy n Stu

We were sat in a cold and wet Derbyshire one winter's morn and decided to cheer ourselves up by going to the Co-op and booking a hol!  We grabbed some brochures off the shelf, knew we wanted a greek isand and we sat in the car to go thro' the options.  I remembered a guy at work who constantly raved about a resort in Corfu but I couldn't remember the name so I phoned him and heard Arillas.  As soon as we found it in the brochure we loved the look of it and quickly returned to the travel shop to book.  We arrived 9 July 1999 and have never looked back.  We just fell in love with the place, the people, the beach, the food, the scenery, you name it, we love it!  We have returned twice a year ever since and we have made friends for life.  We even went one Bank Holiday weekend!!!!  Before Arillas we always tried different places, said the world was too big a place to stick to one resort alone.  Now we never venture elsewhere.  We have tried a few places since on other family holidays and whilst it's always lovely to be with family and in the sun, we just look at each other and say, it's nice, but it's not Arillas!  We think of it as home and in between our trips we live in Derbyshire.  Arillas is where our hearts lie.  W & S. xx

Paul & Denise

Quite a short one here. We took our grandson to see the plane(s) at Humberside airport and came away having booked a last minute suprise for my wife Denise! 2 weeks at the Rainbow to coincide with our 2nd wedding anniversary. I arranged for flowers to be in the room and the lads of their own doing placed a bottle of bubbly in the room too. Never seen us before but we felt like long lost friends. Never been anywhere else since. 10th anniversary coming up, same 2 weeks booked and looking forward to meeting friends old & new once more.


Even more and more lovely stories.

Is it really cold and wet in Derbyshire Wendy n Stu ???



i was made redundant , the receivers were called in on 06/12/00 and on the 06/01/01 i lost my job after 11 yrs . the pay off was an insult statatory goverment pay , i was only out of work for 2 wks , but it was the worst 2 wks of my life as i was at that time the main earner .
i was thinking god how are we going to pay the mortgage and bills
so i got the cash did a few jobs around the house and had a few bob left ! we had been to rhodes, kos and the main land and loved greece and thought we would look for something cheap and cheerfull
we were tied by dates so ended up booking for the last 2 wks of the season , off i trotted to smiths to look arillas and the weather up and could only find a few lines in the lonely plannet and the weather said to expect rain (didnt know how to use a computer then)
we were gutted !!
we arrived in arillas and stayed at the marina hotel the veiw was to die for , it was a fantastic relaxing holiday , it rained for at least 6 of the 14 days , were we botherd ?NO, it was great , one day we thought we would walk over the donkey path to san stef , we got about 100 meters up but it was just mud and slipped back down
that was our 1st visit to corfu and we fell in love with it . we stayed in paleo the next yr but ended up driving to arillas for a visit , as soon as we sat down in the marina george was over shaking hands
we love arillas , the place and most importantly the people

Ruth Potts

Well my story is quite boring and mundane to all the others. Chose Arillas in 2000 for the beach and Nafsika for the proximity to the pool with 3 small boys. We arrived after the usual quiet and short coach transfer (not) at about 4pm. Jimmy showed us to the apartment and within seconds the boys had put their trunks on and had dived into the pool.
We went to the bar for a "throat opener", Mike Brown (God rest his soul) was at the bar, and he and Spiros and Jimmy made us very welcome.
The only bad point of the holiday was the people in the apartment above - Sandy and family!!!!!! (No- joking apart, she also made us feel very welcome) We fell in love with the place and have returned many times since.
Each time, we are totally at ease as the boys are at ease. The last 2 years I have come out as a single mum with 1 or 2 of the boys and the place is still as magical as ever. Always feel it is like coming home.
Dimitris always makes us welcome, used to pick my youngest up by his ears and they were in awe and wonder of him!
So many happy memories.

Sandy x

Thanks Ruth....I'm sure we weren't that ....was that the year Michelle slipped on the stairs when Rory had left some water on them????
Sandy x


I don't think I have ever had so many goose pimples from a website, and I bet there have been a few tears.

Its a wonderful, emotional topic, Dimitris.