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      19.11.2008 13:24
      Very helpful
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      I can't speak highly enough of this company who are outstanding.


      I have recently done a review of Cyprus and this review is designed to go hand in hand with that. The other one concentrated on how to see and experience the real Cyprus and now I want to tell you about the wonderful company I chose to book my accommodation through, and how like me you can have a wonderful holiday and save money over the traditional all in one package offered by villa holiday companies. If you have children these can be very expensive, and with most families tied to the school holidays it is nice to think you can enjoy a foreign holiday in luxury at an affordable price.

      I found out about Getaway- Villas by chance. I have a large family and in recent years our holidays have mostly been to Scotland, which we all love, but sometimes you just want sunshine and with my youngest son now 16 it was time to branch out and go abroad to allow the family to experience some of the cultures of another place outside the UK.

      www.getaway-villas.com is a web-site owned and operated by Safe Ventures Ltd which is a registered company based in Leeds. The company has strong links with Cyprus and act as agents to the villa owners who are themselves Cypriot.

      Having been to Greece many times I had thought about Cyprus but as we wanted to go in August and to a private villa- the prices seemed far beyond our means. That is until one day surfing the net I came across a company called Getaway- Villas. I read that they specialized in hiring out properties owned by Greek Cypriots. This appealed to me straight away.

      The website is clearly set out and on the right of the home page is a great feature allowing you to select the areas in which you would like to spend your holiday. I suggest you buy a Rough Guide to Cyprus and also consult a website called www.cyprus-maps.com so you can select the area which appeals to you.

      If you are still not sure then select the theme option at the bottom of the menu and you will see you are offered a selection of options so you could choose "away from it all" which is what I did. If you like beach holidays you can select this as well and there are many options. Please consult my other review on Cyprus if you like to be away from the tourist places as this will help you to pick a villa to suit your personality.They offer the opportunity to hire everything from tiny places for a cosy romantic time, to large mansions ideal for an extended family reunion.You pay per villa not per person so it can be very affordable.

      We chose for our first trip the Villa Nikoletta in Argaka. This was a 3 bedroomed villa in total seclusion with a swimming pool, and was in a Greek white and blue style. Everything about the villa was immaculate. We were met by the owner who was not an English speaker but he came with a translator and he was so friendly. The welcome pack in the villa was like a banquet and the location was stunning and peaceful. It was near to lemon and orange groves and was truly idyllic.

      I booked flights with First Choice Airways one year in advance which I would recommend because Cyprus is not a cheap destination to fly to, and the later you leave it the more expensive the fares so for a guide look up your flights early.

      The booking process is simple. First you make a booking request having checked that the property you require is available for the dates you would like on the availability chart on the website. Here the company is so much more flexible than an all in one package, as you may be able to book mid week or for an unsual number of nights. This may secure you a cheaper flight as weekend flights are often more expensive. Then you must wait while the company checks with the villa owner to make sure the calendar of availability was correct. They get back to you quickly and then reserve it for you with no obligation for 48 hours so you have time to book your flights.This done you then pay a deposit.

      If you go to www.moneysupermarket.com you can get a good price comparison of the various airlines that fly there. British Airways is a good option as long as you book ahead. The facility to check airlines also exists on their website which has a link to Sky Scanner and E Bookers.

      The main airlines to choose from are:
      Thompson Fly
      British Airways
      Cyprus Airways
      Easy Jet (Summer only)

      The site is extremely helpful and they are very conscious that individuals require different things so for instance if you have young children you can request a gated swimming pool which is safe. If you are scared of things like snakes then talk to them because they will point you in the direction where these are not likely to pay you a visit. I say this because snakes are common in Cyprus, there are six varieties of which three are poisonous. They are about in even beach front areas especially the long black whip snakes. These are harmless but they look scary, and they love the lemon and orange groves and if you choose a remote location they and some of their friends could be in the garden so just be aware if you don't like them!

      The company will also arrange car hire for you and don't forget travel insurance. Just note the price of things like air conditioning and heating of the pool if you are booking certain properties as these may be extra. If you are going in the winter you will need to find one with central heating as the nights are quite chilly.

      In conclusion I must say that I priced a similar holiday with several all in one firms at the time I went and I halved the cost by booking independently and acting as my own travel agent. I am not criticising these firms but just want to say that there is an alternative since you are paying them to do what you can do yourself.

      I have been delighted with every aspect of my holiday with Getaway- Villas and will be going to Cyprus again soon and booking with them will be my first thought.


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