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ABOUT US:

Travel ŕ la carte has been a specialist operator to the Greek islands for 32 years. It was founded by a Greek, Mary Wells nee Papadatos, who left her home on the island of Corfu for England at the age of 21, married there, and a few years later, in 1980, set up her company, offering holiday accommodation on her native island. While Mary ran things from her office at home, her brother Stefanos, who had stayed on Corfu, looked after the Corfu side of things. Still with the company, as Greek director and our Corfu agent, Stefanos continues to look after all our ground handling arrangements and to welcome our Paxos and Corfu clients at the airport. With his years of experience of the tourist business and his excellent local contacts and knowledge, he will be an important source of news and information for this news blog. 

In 1985 Mary expanded the company’s range to nearby Paxos, an hour’s boat ride south of Corfu, and forced a change of name from Corfu ŕ la carte, as it then was, to the more general Travel ŕ la carte.  And other islands were subsequently added, first Skiathos, then Symi and Halki. We have resumed our expansion this year, starting our first programme in the nearby Ionian island of Kefalonia.  As it happens, both Mary and Stefanos had a connection with Kefalonia, having spent part of their childhood there when their father was working on the reconstruction after the 1953 earthquake. They had always hoped to expand to that island, so we are doubly pleased to be starting there.  

These very close connections the family had with the Ionian islands have been continued on Paxos.  This tiny paradise in the Ionian Sea is today our main destination and it is also the permanent home of our longstanding marketing director, Chris Griffiths, and his family.  Chris moved out to Paxos with his wife Christine in 2002, just before the birth of their daughter Natasha, and they have lived there ever since, becoming part of the social fabric of the island and educating Natasha at the local school in Gaios.  The wonders of modern communications technology allow Chris to run our entire marketing and much of our sales operation from their home in the hills behind Loggos, while Christine (and Natasha) welcome all our clients on arrival and look after them during their stay.  Chris also runs the Paxos Property Agency, the real estate arm of Travel ŕ la carte, which advises buyers and sellers of property on Paxos and other islands, helping them in all aspects of their dealings with local bodies, builders and tradesmen.  As with Stefanos on Corfu, it is hard to exaggerate the importance of Chris and Christine’s local knowledge and years of experience. They will be another main source of local news and information for this blog, for both their home island of Paxos and nearby Kefalonia, where they have been responsible for setting up our new programme.   .    

Over on the other side of Greece, in the Dodecanese islands, we have another British expat looking after our customers and accommodation.  Melanie and Paul Sharp decamped from Nottingham to Symi in 2000, buying and restoring their own house a few years later, and Melanie joined us as our local representative in 2005.  She is our eyes and ears on Symi and nearby Rhodes and will be our source of up to date local information for that part of Greece.  

Lastly, myself, Tony Wells – the only one still in the UK!  I married Mary in 1984 and became closely involved in the company in 1996, when I left the BBC World Service to help her run what was a rapidly growing business. Tragically, and completely unexpectedly, less than two years later Mary was diagnosed with cancer and survived only four more years. It was as the disease began to take its toll that I started to take up the running of the company, taking over completely when she died in 2003.   

Since that time, thanks to the dedicated and highly professional work of the people already mentioned here, we have managed to steer the company through some difficult times and towards what we hope will be calmer waters.  In the meantime, I am proud to launch this new service for our customers, old and new,  and for anyone else considering a Greek island holiday this year.  As we can testify from over 30 years of providing such holidays, no matter what may be happening to Greece, and indeed the world, at large, the life of the far flung islands of this beautiful land continues in its age-old traditional pattern, providing a haven of peace and tranquility for all who venture there.

Tony Wells
February 2012.

 

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WEBSITES:
Travel a la carte - Paxos Villa Holidays - Studios, apartments and villas with pools on the island of Paxos
Paxos Property Agency - Properties for sale on Paxos - Villas, Land and Old Houses


Contact:

Tony Wells - Travel a la carte - dir@travelalacarte.co.uk
Chris Griffiths - Travel a la carte - chris@travelalacarte.co.uk
Chris Griffiths - Paxos Property Agency - chris@paxospropertyagency.co.uk
 

 Travel a la carte Ltd. & Paxos Property Agency.