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Imagine… 326 days of sunshine a year

On the outskirts of Protaras in southern Cyprus, close to Konnos Bay and set back from the fairly busy Kavo Greko Road that runs between Ayia Napa and Protaras, lies Chloe Villa available through Imagine Villa Rentals (their reference CV614). It might not seem like much at first – it’s shielded from the road by a fence and electric gate and the first thing you see on entering is a forecourt where you can park your car if you choose to hire one; instead, we opted for a taxi ride from the airport at Larnaca which Imagine Villa Rentals can organise for you at a competitive rate since brothers Andreas and Angel from the IVR family run a round-the-clock taxi service. But walk up the steps to the property and you soon realise there is much more to this place than your first impressions might give you. This secluded four-bedroom villa not only has its own pool, but also plenty of outdoor space – sun loungers, large bean bags, gardens, a covered outdoor seating area and an outdoor barbecue. This is a place where you can truly relax and enjoy the Cyprus weather. This is after all a country that gets on average 326 days of sunshine per year and, in a recent survey of 14,000 expatriates around the world conducted by InterNations, ranked Cyprus as the second best climate in the world (Costa Rica was ranked first and Greece third). Step inside and you’ll continue to be delighted with the quality of the villa. There’s an open plan dining area with a kitchen off to one side and a generous living area beyond. And from here you can enjoy views out over the garden towards Konnos Bay. The kitchen is a very sociable space, with a large island in the middle, and is equipped with everything you might expect and more: We didn’t have plans to use it much as we were intending to eat out each evening, but it was nevertheless useful to be able to rustle up a quick lunch, such as some Greek dips and salad. On arrival, we had been kindly greeted with a bottle of white wine… …as well as a fridge stocked with some essentials for our first morning (bread, milk, butter, jams, marmalade, juice, etc.) – a nice extra touch which showed that they were thinking about their guests. The kitchen itself was well equipped with fridge, freezer, dishwasher, kettle, toaster, coffee percolator, milk frother, sandwich toaster, oven, microwave and blender, as well as pans, crockery, cutlery, kitchen utensils and even some Imagine Villa Rentals branded coffee mugs. Exploring the rest of the ground floor further, the airy living space is occupied by two large sofas and a corner devoted to a pool table and table football. This is a really family friendly space, with large patio doors that slide open to the outdoors, and where the kids can have a lot of fun, be it playing on these games or the table tennis outside, or going in and out of the pool. There’s also a large flatscreen LG TV here with access to several hundred satellite channels, including BBC and ITV, as well as channels in multiple other languages, and a JVC stereo system. There was also a router here which provided a good WiFi signal throughout the property, as well as to the outside seating area. Upstairs there are four bedrooms – a master bedroom with en suite facilities and a balcony… …another double-bedded room that shares the same balcony… …and triple and twin rooms that are particularly well-suited to groups travelling with children. In all the property can sleep up to nine people. There’s also a shared bathroom on this floor and complimentary Oliva toiletries are provided, plus there is a landing with washing machine, ironing board, etc. From these upstairs rooms, you can enjoy beautiful views out towards the area surrounding Protaras and the sea beyond. Maintaining the grounds outside must be a constant challenge given the consistently hot weather but the gardens are well kept and with a nice splash of colour here and there. Keep your eyes peeled in the garden and you might just seem some fauna as well as the flora. Lizards can be seen quite frequently but they are quite well camouflaged and soon dart away if you go anywhere near them. We were really looking to just put our feet up so didn’t worry about a hire car during our stay, opting instead to just take a taxi whenever we wanted to venture anywhere. There are some shops in walking distance, though, and Konnos Bay is reachable on foot also. There’s a beach there, protected on three sides; with its crystal clear waters, it’s widely considered by locals as arguably the best beach in southern Cyprus. And there’s a family friendly watersports centre there, too, offering everything from floating sun beds to luxury boat charter. The picture below, looking down on the beach from above, was just taken on my iPhone when we went for a run one evening, so please forgive the image quality! Our favourite place to eat out in the area was most definitely Kafkaros. They always made us feel so welcome, The fish meze was particularly good and very fairly priced, the calamari amongst the most tender I’ve ever had anywhere. The octopus (pictured) was also delicious! On another evening I opted for the kleftiko which was so soft and tasty, faland ling off the bone so easily; order early if this is what you fancy as they only do so many as, once all portions have been ordered, that’s it for the evening since it is cooked for so long. Another firm favourite, particularly with the children, is the lava cake which seemed to be on the menu of many establishments in the area. I was pleasantly surprised by the restaurant as our previous visit to Cyprus had been a little disappointing when it came to eating out, but Kafkaros is a traditional taverna that’s well worth a detour. Although we tended to take a taxi as there were five of us and it was quite dark, Kafkaros is actually walkable from Chloe Villa, and would take about 15 minutes to reach on foot. This would definitely be our recommendation when staying at this beautiful villa. Chloe Villa is available from €1,530 to €4,000 per week, depending on season. Disclosure: Our stay was the result of a joint collaboration with Cobalt Aero (sadly no longer operating) and Imagine Villa Rentals.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. Beautiful pictures of the garden. I guess these were taken in late October making your point about the climate.

    The climate league table is interesting. It would be interesting to know what contributes. Am I right in thinking that extremes of weather such as suffocating heat and below zero freezes count against a destination? Cyprus doesn’t suffer from hurricane etc so I can see where the ranking comes from.

    1. Thank you, Steve… and yes, this was late October – during the UK October half term, in fact.

      As for the ‘league table’, it was the result of a survey conducted a couple of years ago by an online expat community called InterNations. Interestingly, it was deemed that some nationalities rank weather and the climate as more important than other factors such as job prospects or security, so I guess it is a fairly important consideration.

      The full ‘top 10′ comprised of:

      1. Costa Rica
      2. Cyprus
      3. Greece
      4. Malta
      5. Uganda
      6. Kenya
      7. South Africa
      8. Spain
      9. Portugal
      10. Mexico

      Cyprus’ weather is characterised by a fairly long and dry Summer lasting from mid–May to mid–October, making it still an attractive destination in late October when many other European destinations are considerably cooler. The Winter from December to February is pretty mild, and the Spring and Autumn seasons quite short.

  2. I know that it is rather sad, and that when you are on holiday you shouldn’t be watching television, but it is rather reassuring to have access to BBC and ITV. Just imagine that you had one of the 39 days without sun and it was a bit of a grey evening, you could have a couple of hours of comfort TV. It’s always good to be able to keep an eye on the news.

    1. It wouldn’t be high on my list of what’s important – and to be honest we barely used it – but I’m just letting readers know that the facility was there. :-)

  3. My husband always says, “When I travel I want to stay in places that are more comfortable and more luxurious than my own home.” I think that he would approve of this villa.

    I think the white decor contributes to the aura of space and light. The pool looks magnificent and I would imagine that most visitors idle away hours around the pool, sunbathing and then having a quick dip to cool off.

    1. Thank you for dropping by to comment, Karen. And yes, the villa was very comfortable, much like a ‘home from home’. It certainly had a very airy, open feel and with the large sliding doors out to the pool and gardens, this just added to the sense of space.

  4. Planning our annual family vacation, this villa makes me want to travel the soonest time. I can’t wait to experience lounging by the pool achieving my perfect kind of tan while the kids play around. I also can’t wait to just sit on the couch watching my favorite TV shows while enjoying the white wine they give you as a welcome drink. I am now thinking of what to pair it with. The scenic view of the Konnos Bay is very relaxing and I can’t wait to stroll by Kafkaros with the family while trying out their scrumptious food. Looking forward to getting some quality R&R with the family.

    1. Hi Elizabeth – it is certainly a relaxing set-up and will suit families who want to do ‘not a lot’ whilst there still be plenty of places of interest a short drive away. The watersports centre at Konnos is walkable from the villa for anyone wanting to do something more active. It is quite a steep drop down to the bay, though, so walking back up in the heat can be a little testing!

  5. No, I can’t imagine 326 days of sunshine. This week has been so gloomy here that I doubt if we’ve even had 3 minutes and 26 seconds of sunshine.

    Seeing a palatial villa like this gives me hope. Maybe we can go searching for some of that sunshine in February of March. Maybe snap-up an off-peak deal.

  6. I’m in the market for some late autumn / early winter warm, probably in mid November. With this villa I may have hit upon the perfect location.

    Yesterday, I read a newspaper story saying that The Beast from the East could come back with a vengeance and last for much longer too. The report says that there’s a 57% chance that the next Beast could be colder. I think Cyprus could be a good place to escape to.

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