Sent by Nicholas Martin
Based in Cornwall
Whether you are booking a quick trip to Europe, at home in the British Isles or planning something special long haul, I can provide you with a quality holiday or business trip with the great attention to detail that is vital in making the trip memorable.
I have recently relocated, with my two children and two dogs, back to the UK to live in the beautiful region of Cornwall. Having spent the last 27 working in the travel and hospitality industry living and working in Greece, whilst spending many of my winters in Australia, becoming a Travel Counsellor has given me the perfect opportunity to use my wealth of knowledge doing what I love here.
I grew up as a Captains daughter so travel was really in my blood and have always lived close to the sea wherever I have been. My parents were extensively travelled before we were even born and we grew up with tales of Singapore and the Far East, and the wilderness of the African jungle, with my father living ten years in South Africa. My own love affair with travel started over thirty years ago when I moved to Athens at a young age to start my adventures there. I spent many years travelling the country selecting accommodation for an upmarket specialist and have spent the last 12 years running a country retreat for walkers and lovers of the rural countryside on the island of Crete, and have an instinctive understanding of the needs of the more discerning and independent traveller.
I look forward to helping you plan anything from the trip of a lifetime to a quick weekend away and can assist you with every aspect of your trip, as well as adding some amazing diversions to enhance any trip you are planning.
Although I have contacts and knowledge of a great many places my expertise lies in Greece, I also have a vast knowledge of Australia having spent nearly 2 years of my life there spread over nearly 20 years.
With the flexibility of working outside office hours and always being on the end of the phone, it is like having a personal travel agent in your pocket!
I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.
10 March 2021
We have all had such a terrible two years and nothing has been more missed from our freedom as much as travel. We are missing the sun, the adventure, the excitement and the thrill of the upcoming trip. A holiday is not just a break away, a change of scenery, a chance to get a tan, it is something that gets us through the winter months, through the day to day treadmill that we all seem to be running on. We have all looked forward to the chance when we can go back to blissful anticipation about our forthcoming trip, not the anxiety of whether we can get our money back if its cancelled, or whether we will in fact be able to go. It's time to start thinking about travel again and I couldn’t not be happier or prouder that Greece has been the first to welcome back visitors to their country this year. Having spent most of my life in this beautiful and diverse country I look forward to helping my customers find their perfect holiday for this year, whether they want quiet coves with turquoise waters, waterside tavernas serving fresh fish, or sandy beaches packed with activities, we have a huge selection of competitively prices accommodation and most importantly the ability to ATOL package your whole trip with Covid-19 protected insurance and 100% financial protection on every aspect of your booking; but most of all our personal caring service that goes from the pre-booking process right through to returning home. Many have experienced the downsides of booking online during this crisis; the frustration of no one to speak to; no-one to guide through the best options of what to do with your booking and no-one who actually cares! We will look after you from the first contact right through the entire trip, whatever happens! Voted as the best company to look after their customers through the entire crisis by Money Savings Expert, YOU are important to us, not your credit card!
06 September 2019
Destinations or islands such as Crete are so well known for their beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes and superb facilities for visitors that the history of the place is often forgotten. Crete is drenched in history going back nearly four thousand years, and though everyone has heard of the Minotaur from their Greek Mythology, few associate it with the island even though the site, Knossos, once the Palace of King Minos, is located a short drive out of the bustling capital city of Heraklion. Knossos is one of the most visited sites on the island. Though many puritans scorn the site since it was reconstructed in the early 20th century by the British Archaeologist Arthur Evans for altering the site, it does make it easier for visitors to understand the way the Palace would have been and helps them to visualise the scenes of the mythology that they know so well. Knossos was in fact the home of the Labryinth; underneath King Minos’ main Palace was a network of tunnels where the Minotaur (half man/half bull) was kept and who lived on the sacrificed virgins who were brought from Athens for him. The artefacts from the Palace can also be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion; located at the heart of the bustling modern city with its beautiful Venetian harbour and its own ‘labryinth’ of streets dotted with ancient sites and churches amidst the array of local eateries and shops. Heraklion is known for its food as the Cretans are very particular about what they eat and where the produce comes from, relying on the local vicinity as much as they can; the diet is well known amongst the Mediterranean diets for being one of the healthiest and regardless of whether you eat in the city or the surrounding villages you will most certainly experience the best of Cretan food. Despite its close location to the city Knossos itself is in an area of outstanding beauty with its green surrounding hills and shaded roads. If you wanted to explore a little further and move away from the touristy restaurants opposite the site you could head towards the traditional wine village of Archanes, also the location of King Minos’ summer Palace. The village is divided into lower and upper and though you will experience good food in both, the upper is certainly very pretty to visit. You could also visit the famous Boutari winery in the surrounding hills. The wonderful thing about Knossos is it easily accessible to most areas of the island, partly due to its central location and good road network. You can either visit with an organised excursion, though the smaller ones would most definitely be the way to go; or drive yourself and spend the day exploring the rural countryside and surrounding villages. Combined with the great beaches in the area and many family resorts, it is a great place to base yourself to absorb some of the history of the ancient Myths and Legends from Greece.
09 October 2019
The one thing I love about waking up in Australia is the sound of the Kookaburras outside the window; a strange almost ‘jungle’ like sound that appears to be from a group of monkeys though it is actually just from one bird; when you hear it you know you are in the tropics. Although Australian life in the cities is basically northern European life in a better climate, the feeling that I am on the other side of the world never really leaves me or is far from my mind. There is something almost bizarre about walking around air-conditioned department stores that could grace Bond Street with Christmas music blaring and Christmas paraphernalia whilst wearing summer clothes and shades, needed for when you walk outside into the blazing heat and sunshine. You feel like you are somehow in a bubble as everyone you know in the northern hemisphere is probably sleeping now, and this brings about an extreme tranquillity, a feeling that nothing needs to be rushed, that for the next eight hours or so no one is working, no one will try to contact you and no emails! Of course spending time leisurely wandering around the elegant shopping streets and malls has its advantages but is not the real reason we travel to the other side of the world for the festivities, that is definitely reserved for the never-ending coastline of Sydney with its mile long white sandy tropical beaches (with never a sun bed or a parasol in sight). The Australian beach culture is a long way from the ‘British’ obsession with sun; they are probably the most ‘sun-safe’ cultures in the world but this has nothing to do with the way they lather themselves in incredibly effective sun lotion but the fact that they have the Mediterranean mentality when it comes to sun. Early morning beach trips or late afternoon are always on the Aussie family agenda (though not too late or early; no-one goes swimming or surfing at twilight or sunrise as that is when the sharks venture into shallow water for feeding, a fact that horrifies us but doesn’t bat the eye of a local!) and never go out without your hat! During holiday periods and weekends the Sydneysiders love to also indulge in leisurely late breakfasts with great coffee, eggs and lots of avocado, or lunch in waterside cafe's. Food is great in Sydney, a melting pot of Mediterranean, Asian and European culture using fabulous ingredients, lots of fresh and unusual seafood (Balmain Bugs are a must to try!) Christmas Day is usually spent on the beach and quite often a 'barbie' in the evening ( many beaches have a special area with picnic tables and communal BBQ’s on gas stoves that you can cook your food on), whilst New Year’s Eve is either spent perched in a optimum location to view the Harbour Bridge fireworks with a picnic and glass of bubbly, or in one of the many waterside pubs with massive outdoor areas and great ‘beach’ music. Of course there is also the option of an elegant evening in one of the superb city restaurants that line Darling Harbour or Circular Quay, or a night at the Opera at the stunning Sydney Opera House. Whatever your objectives, Christmas in the sun (and our culture) is a definite must to do at least once in your life!
St Columb 03/06/2023
St Merryn 03/06/2023