Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Welcome to Mumsnet's holiday forum. Discuss all international travel here, including both shorthaul and longhaul trips. Related topics: UK holidays & day trips, skiing, camping & campervans.

Holidays

Greek water sports holidays that aren’t Mark Warner

21 replies

BlackandBlueBird · 05/06/2022 11:03

I’m looking for something that might not exist…

We would love to take the kids to Greece next year. I’ve travelled there a lot OTBT. DH has done lots of Mark Warner holidays. I went to Mark Warner once and hated it BUT can really see the appeal of having all the watersports equipment readily available.

So - is there such a thing as a holiday on a Greek island that isn’t a soul-less AI but that does have easy access to kayaks, toppers, etc?

Or do we just need to rent a villa and accept that we have to rent gear daily from a beach?

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Wideawakeandconfused · 05/06/2022 11:20

Rent a villa and then rent the equipment on a weekly basis. Many do this, and deliver to the Villa with the exception of boat hire. Alternatively, buy your own and take it with you. Just add extra sports equipment.

Please
or
to access all these features

BlackandBlueBird · 05/06/2022 13:23

Ok that’s good to know. We can’t bring our own gear on the plane - it’s all way too big.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Wideawakeandconfused · 05/06/2022 13:50

It’s a pain I agree but even one paddle board if you can do it is worth it. In terms of location, Paxos is the place to go if you’re really into boating etc. Its a really small island to drive around - and it’s so quiet on the roads, it’s not at all scary compared to other areas.

Please
or
to access all these features

BlackandBlueBird · 05/06/2022 13:53

Oh I went to Paxos as a teen and loved it! Can you recommend a rental place there?

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

CottonSock · 05/06/2022 14:00

Neilson do active holidays

Please
or
to access all these features

CottonSock · 05/06/2022 14:01

Please
or
to access all these features

EgonSpengler2020 · 05/06/2022 14:04

Club Vass or Neilson which is next door to it in vassiliki.

Please
or
to access all these features

foobio · 05/06/2022 14:06

Neilson no longer have many / any in Greece, but Jet2 have taken over their Lesvos resort, with watersports still available.

Please
or
to access all these features

Buildingthefuture · 05/06/2022 14:12

Peligoni club on Zakynthos, in the beautiful north of the island. Not AI, a series of fabulous, individual villas (not on a complex) with access to all the facilities in the club. Massively expensive but hugely popular with families who enjoy water sports etc.

Please
or
to access all these features

Wideawakeandconfused · 05/06/2022 14:19

Anywhere near Gaios is great as it’s the main town but honestly it takes 20 mins to drive from South to North. Taxi services aren’t great and it’s hot so walking a few miles can be harsh. You definitely need to hire a car, as well as a boat which is the best way to explore.

We usually rent large villas for 12plus people so not sure if I’d recommend the ones we’ve used to people. Simpsons do some nice villas, and then there are some local agencies who have some fantastic places. CV villas are top end.

Please
or
to access all these features

Cookerhood · 05/06/2022 14:25

foobio · 05/06/2022 14:06

Neilson no longer have many / any in Greece, but Jet2 have taken over their Lesvos resort, with watersports still available.

Certainly they had several in Greece last year. I know for sure they have Messini & Rhodes.
May be too similar to Mark Warner though? They often swap sites. I like the fact that only 4 nights out of 7 are catered though.

Please
or
to access all these features

AlannaOfTrebond · 05/06/2022 14:36

I used to work in the industry in Greece and I think you might struggle to find anywhere to hire watersports kit for a week as a pp suggested. (SUP's may be an exception).

There are some places that let you hire sailing kit by the hour without being one of their hotel guests, but even they often say no in high season.

Wildwind on Lefkas offers a variety of accommodation if you aren't keen on the AI resorts, they have some of the best sailing kit in the business and also offer land based activities like mountain biking, yoga and pilates for a bit of variety.

Bit of a left field suggestion, but if you like Greece and sailing, have you considered a flotilla holiday? Sailing Holidays are brilliant for beginners www.sailingholidays.com/flotillas.

I know the Ionian pretty well as I worked there for years and still go back most summers, so happy to answer questions about anything in that area.

Please
or
to access all these features

Bobbins36 · 05/06/2022 14:39

Not Greece but we did a DIY waterspouts hol in Cyprus - based ourselves in Latchi and used these guys www.latchiwatersportscentre.com

Please
or
to access all these features

AlannaOfTrebond · 05/06/2022 14:39

Cookerhood · 05/06/2022 14:25

Certainly they had several in Greece last year. I know for sure they have Messini & Rhodes.
May be too similar to Mark Warner though? They often swap sites. I like the fact that only 4 nights out of 7 are catered though.

Neilson took over Sunsail Club Vounaki in the Ionian a few years ago and that is definitely still open. It wouldn't be my first suggestion though if the OP wasn't keen on Mark Warner style resorts - and it's notorious for having very little wind....

Please
or
to access all these features

User6761 · 05/06/2022 14:43

We went to Vassiliki with Ocean Elements a few years ago. Only time I've done a holiday like that - sailing/surfing lessons, plus kayaks, mountain bikes, paddle boards etc.

Please
or
to access all these features

BlackandBlueBird · 05/06/2022 16:58

Thanks so much for all these tips. The place on Zakinthos looks incredible but I haven’t dared check pricing!

Im assuming Neilson is pretty similar to Mark Warner? I’m not completely opposed to AI but my experience of Mark Warner was very dim - I particularly disliked the way they effectively forced kids and adults to eat separately and gave the kids absolute junk for their meal. But also I love Greece, so don’t really want to be staying somewhere that feels nothing like Greece, if that makes sense.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Midgetwithaplan · 05/06/2022 17:03

I've just got back from Neilson at Messini and apart from the fact that the kids had the option of eating high tea at 5pm if they couldn't wait for dinner at 7, they were there for all meals and did dinner as well as high tea. The food was really good, chatting to one of the chefs they buy as much locally as possible and cook according to what was looking good at the market, mushrooms featured heavily for a few days, then roasted cauliflower, always loads of Greek options but with some pizza/pasta. Rooms were a little strange though, bathrooms did not have the expected level of privacy!

Please
or
to access all these features

Tslade123 · 05/06/2022 17:04

Another vote for Wildwind in vassaliki.

Please
or
to access all these features

jamesspaderismine · 06/06/2022 06:00

Aolian village in lesvos is ex neilson and still has all the watersports gear. Walking distance to Skala eressos which is a lovely village with lots of beach bars. Not a lot around there though so you'd need a car to explore further. Someone upthread mentioned Jet 2 run it now.

Please
or
to access all these features

BlackandBlueBird · 06/06/2022 11:11

@Midgetwithaplan That sounds much nicer. For me the weirdest thing about MW was that - oddly - it just didn’t feel kid friendly. Or maybe I should say family friendly. The whole place felt very set up to keep kids and parents separate.

Being in a resort but walking distance to a normal village would maybe be a good compromise. Or having a hire car!

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

MsMartini · 06/06/2022 14:14

My dh and then young teen ds loved their Wildwind Vassiliki hols - small scale set up, friendly, relaxed.

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?