KIM KENT branch manager, Spear Travels, Wolverhampton

To travel, or not to travel, that is

the question on a lot of our customers’ minds – and was on mine too. We did choose to travel, and decided on a twin-centre holiday to Ithaca and Kefalonia. I‘d been monitoring Covid figures on the Greek islands and they were consistently low for these areas. I knew it was a risk but it was not against Foreign Office travel advice. What I hadn’t bargained for was the mini-cyclone that hit the islands the day before we departed! Manchester airport was busy and social distancing was in place, apart from in the security lanes, which were a bit manic. We landed after a very safe and well- organised flight with Jet2. Everyone stayed in their seats wearing face masks; we boarded by row number; and we disembarked the same way. In Kefalonia everything was in place for a safe transit through the airport.

GREEK ODYSSEY Ionian Holidays then informed us that Ithaca (our first destination) had no water or electricity, so we were to spend a night in Agostoli. It was no real hardship as Agostoli is a beautiful place. Our hotel was just about a three-star, but in a great location. Ionian Holidays had to find hotel rooms for 120 people at very short notice as the storm was much worse than expected. On day two, there was still no


On my lovely warm holiday in Greece last month, the biggest issue wasn’t Covid but a mini-cyclone

water or electricity in Ithaca. We were told we could go if we wanted, or stay in Agostoli another night, which we did. We were constantly kept informed about what was happening. On the third day, we were on a

ferry by 8am, eventually arriving in Vathy, our original first destination. It was stunning; I was blown away by the scenery and the beauty of the bay. There was very little evidence of the storm, with everything open for business. Our hotel was beautiful and all services functional. We had a wonderful time, walking everywhere, eating delicious fresh food and drinking local wine at very reasonable prices.

On day eight, it was time to transfer to Fiscardo in Kefalonia. There had been news reports that this was one of the worst-hit areas. I didn’t want to go to a devastated area, but the rep reassured us that volunteers had helped clear up. The transfer took us on the coast

road, heading north. The roads were clear but we could see some storm damage. As we drove through Agia Efimia, we saw two large yachts washed up on the coast road, their masts leaning precariously towards shops on the other side. The town was full of mud, which was sad to see and a little concerning. On arrival at our cottage in Antipata, we saw no evidence of any storm damage. Our car was waiting for us and as the week passed we noticed how badly some areas had been affected. Many of the beaches were covered with rocks – one even had a car buried in it – while others were untouched. The damage was localised, so we were able to enjoy our time there with little disruption. What did surprise me was the post-storm weather, which was perfect. This year has taught us a lot of

things. I’d always thought Greece was a ‘no go’ destination in October, but now I know otherwise!


Long-awaited good news at last as we see the Canary Islands open up for business. This travel corridor has

certainly started tongues wagging and already we are seeing signs of an upturn. It is very encouraging to see folk start booking holidays again, albeit slowly. In the first week after the announcement, I had quoted on two and booked one Canaries holiday, not to mention the booking I made for myself to Lanzarote. It has made people think about other holidays again too. I have just secured a very nice 2022 cruise booking. Everyone needs something to look forward to and, let’s face it, there are some amazing deals out there.

David ClareM Sharon C MarkS diary



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