Is there anything better than basking under the Mediterranean sun in a hammock in the sea?

Well, how about the moment you savour a delicious iced coffee after a gentle cycle through scented pines or the adrenaline rush of bouncing over the waves behind a speedboat, clinging to an inflatable sofa?

The latter was something I never thought I’d be doing but it wasn’t the only “first” experienced on a taster trip to the latest Mark Warner resort – Paleros Beach.

Let’s start with the warm welcome from manager Sue Thomas at the resort nestled in a bay backed by olive-grove-clad mountains on the west coast of mainland Greece.

On hearing I’d forgotten a hairbrush, she presented me with her own comb. Any suspicion that I was getting special treatment as part of a press trip was quickly dispelled watching her mingle with other guests, who all sang her praises.

And the resort – with its two pools (one adult only), two restaurants, three bars, tennis courts, cycling centre, spa and more – came in for plenty of positive comments too.

Mark Warner’s multi-million pound refurbishment of an existing property has created 130 contemporary doubles, suites and family rooms set in beachside gardens on an unspoilt stretch of coast near the sleepy seaside town of Paleros.

It’s a short walk along a coast-hugging road to the picturesque town with its taverna-trimmed harbour… and an even quicker cycle ride on one of the resort’s complimentary bikes.

For those who haven’t come across the independent British tour operator; it specialises in sun and ski holidays with signature extras.

Those at Paleros Beach included the expected – direct flights, transfers (40 minutes from Aktion/Prevesa airport), accommodation (half board for five nights of a seven night stay with the chargeable option to add two nights’ dinners and lunches) and free childcare clubs for ages two to 17 (with nanny services for babies over four months available for a fee).

What was unexpected (at least to me) was the wide variety of sports and activities on offer.

Free of charge watersports included sailing and windsurfing (with tuition), kayaking and paddleboarding.

There was also the option to pay for scuba diving, wakeboarding and water skiing or a ride on the “crazy sofa”, which had me screaming from a mix of terror and delight.

On land there are plenty more opportunities for sports: there are tennis courts where you can enjoy social matches and book courses with LTA accredited coaches; free guided bike tours and an array of fitness classes.

Oxford Mail:

With a small gym and spa also on-site it struck me that, as long as you had the willpower to make healthy choices at breakfast and dinner buffets, it would make a great alternative to pricey health retreats as a place to chill out, tone up or slim down.

If you tire of lounging by the pool or on the beach directly across the road from the resort, there are captained boats to be hired (the enthusiastic and friendly resort staff can help you with booking).

We took a trip to the island of Meganisi – where we stopped off to swim at Fanari Beach, and found a reggae bar and those sea hammocks – and then had lunch at a waterside taverna.

There’s nothing quite like arriving at your table by boat. Back at Paleros Beach it was time for the weekly Rock the Room Friday-night party in the beach bar. I usually hate organised “fun” entertainment but after a laughter-filled group tennis lesson with ebullient Leeds lass Leah Oldroyd, who hosts the event, I thought it was worth a look.

Oxford Mail:

If anyone had told me I’d be wrestling other holiday makers for a place on the “name that intro” chair; cheering on middle-aged, middle class women being hoisted aloft on teenagers’ shoulders to dance along to cheesy pop songs and end up sitting on the floor (with everyone else in the bar) singing along to Wonderwall, I’d have said you’d had too much sun.

But that’s just what I did: it was brilliant bonkers mayhem and I loved every minute. That’s quite a first!

  • To celebrate the opening of Paleros Beach Resort (, Mark Warner is offering a one week stay from £599pp based on two people sharing, including flights from Heathrow, resort transfers, five nights half-board and signature activities.
  • For further info or to book, contact Mark Warner on 0333 305 9795 or