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Melanie Haralambous

MV Properties > Articles by: Melanie Haralambous

Reflecting back on summer 2023

Filiatro Beach, location of Birthday party, Ithaca Greece

As Autumn kicks in, and those long summer days are fading away, we would like to flashback over the summer season highlights here at MV properties.

We had yet another busy, hot and vibrant season on Ithaki. We loved welcoming all of our clients either at our Stavros or Vathi office. Many people coming for holiday are captured by the beauty, the uniqueness and authenticity of Ithaca and so they find themselves, at our door, interested in finding their perfect home.

As a result, our days were filled with many property viewings, helping our clients find exactly what they were looking for. We pride ourselves in taking the time to prioritise property viewings knowing that for each client comes their own personal aspirations of which we like to meet. 

Rental Properties

Whilst we had many property viewings, our rentals also comprise most of what we do in the summer; managing the many visitors arriving and departing Ithaca, at all our various rental establishments.

One of our rental villas in Stavros, upgraded their property adding a swimming pool to its facilities, and how the guests enjoyed this feature along with the privacy that it had to offer. Amongst all the different rental properties in the North and the South part of the island, we loved welcoming and meeting visitors from all over the world, who came to our small island, to enjoy the magic that Ithaca has to offer. 

Event Management

At MV properties, we also offer a service of event organising and planning.

This summer, we had the honour of assisting at a wedding for 200 people on Lazaretto island and the reception at Filiatro beach. Normally we would organise the entire event ourselves, from the catering, to the decor, the DJ, to every small detail involved in making a wedding ceremony and reception come to life exactly as desired. In this specific wedding this summer, the client had a passion for event organising, herself, and so she only needed our services as assisting on the wedding day, of which we were happy to undertake. It brings us such joy to see people choose the beautiful Ithaca as their wedding destination to begin their marriage on our beautiful island.

We are currently working on all the planning and organising for several weddings that are scheduled for next summer already, and we will keep you posted with those events, as they unfold. 

Secondly, we had the privilege of organising an intimate 50th birthday party at Filiatro beach.

Taking place in the middle of October, it was the end of the season, and the beach was private, peaceful and serene. It was the perfect setting to host this event of a close group of friends, about 40 people in total. We organised everything, including the Catering company from Kefalonia, to cater an incredible menu of simple Greek flavours at a very high standard.

We had our team at MV properties to set up the lights, and take care of all the decor, flow of events and management of everyone involved. There was a fantastic DJ who mixed a great variety of music, keeping the whole party going, and creating a wonderful atmosphere. The guests could enjoy the perfect sun setting, with an array of colours scattered throughout the sky.

The event was truly a great success especially due to the weather playing its role. After a mild storm the day before, we had luck on our side, with the most calm and tranquil backdrop. 

As this season drew to a close, we look forward to the end of Autumn and start of Winter and all that they have to offer. The shops have begun to close down, we are all taking a breath from the non-stop summer. We are starting to chop wood, to prepare for our heating for the winter months that will roll around.

As we enter the middle of November, the Olive picking season will take place; an important time of year, where the olives are raked and harvested and pressed in order to supply oil for us and our families for the next year ahead.

Event Planning: MV Properties 50th Birthday, Filiatro Beach, Vathi, Ithaca Greece IDMVBI003VAT

table setting at birthday party, Filiatro beach, Ithaca Greece

At MV properties, we had the privilege of organizing this intimate 50th birthday party at Filiatro beach.

Summer is Here

Welcome Summer, where the days are long, the roads are busy, the beaches are full, and the love and laughter is heard at every taverna. We love this time of the year, as we welcome many returning clients, family and friends to Ithaca. 

We would love to take the time to showcase what Ithaca, the gem of the Ionian, has to offer. Take a look at what summer island life is like.

The Beaches

The very reason that attracts all the visitors. With the crystal blue water glistening in the sun, hearing the water rush over the white pebbles, and the warm sunshine pouring down upon us.


Boating plays a major role when you come to visit our special island. There is only one way on and off this island and that is via boat. We truly believe this is what makes Ithaca so unique, it takes a little more effort than just one click to book a flight.

As a result, Ithaca is still so well kept, it is unspoilt and holds true to an authentic Greek island experience. One can also rent a boat to enjoy exploring ithaca to the limit, finding hidden beaches, one can’t get to by foot. This July, here at MV properties, we organised a private boat day out for some clients, wanting to celebrate the renewal of their vows with a private chef to cater an exclusive lunch on the beach.

The Night Life

Island life encompasses the slow, relaxing, hot summer days, but it also draws us in with the vibrancy at night. A long summer day always ends well with a wonderful sundowner to welcome in the evening. The shopping comes to life, as you can enjoy so many handmade local creations. The restaurants are all buzzing with excitement to share what brings so many people together. Food. There is such a range of traditional authentic Greek food, to modern Mediterranean cooking. It is so rewarding to see people enjoy what makes Ithaca so special.

Here at MV Properties, we love to take the time to enjoy summer island life for what it is, and although it is our busiest time of year, we welcome the business along with the beauty and uniqueness of all that Ithaca has to offer.

Here at MV Properties, we are also full steam ahead. We have been busy on several renovation projects that are coming together so nicely and we should have them completed by the start of summer. Watch this space for photos and updates regarding our progress.

Spring in our Step

We have started off this 2023 year with a bang! Here on Ithaki, we had a very mild winter, and we can not believe that spring has already snuck up on us! We have all begun clearing up our shops and businesses, whether it be painting, fixing, or small renovation jobs, everyone is preparing for the busy summer months that lie ahead. 

Carnival Celebration

Let’s take a look at the last couple months that have led us here to Spring.

The festivities in February were at an all time high! After 2 years of not celebrating, this year everyone pulled out all the stops to celebrate Carnival in a big way. There were several parties, dances, and festivities for the children and adults throughout the month of February.

This was a highlight for the children to take the opportunity to dress up in all sorts of outfits, one party after the next. Not only were the children getting involved, but the adults seemed to be having just as much fun!

The build up of festivities ended with the Carnival weekend parade which took place in Vathi. There must have been almost every person on the island at this parade, and what a fantastic celebration it was. We all came together, young and old, to perform our acts that we had all worked so hard on over the past month.

Celebration of Tsiknopempti

We then arrive at the celebration of Tsiknopempti. This Tradition takes place on a Thursday, which marks the beginning of the last weekend that the Greek Orthodox Church members are allowed to eat meat before the fast for Easter begins.

This is how it gets its name; “Pempti” meaning Thursday and “Tsikna” meaning the smell of burning meat. There are often clouds of smoke seen all around, from everyone cooking their different kinds of meat on the fire, and so this celebration is often nicknamed “Smoke Thursday.”

There was a wonderful atmosphere, especially in Vathi square, with the smell of delicious meat all around, it was a gorgeous, sunny day that people could enjoy being outside together. 

Kathara Deftera

Shortly after the Carnival month of February, we enter into the next traditional celebration of Kathara Deftera. This means “Clean Monday ” and marks the beginning of the 40 day fast before Easter, which was inaugurated in a Sunday evening service the night before. This is a national holiday across Greece.

Traditionally, people will gather and eat Calamari, octopus, prawns, olives, taramosalata, skordalia, Lagana (which is a type of flatbread) and Halva for dessert.

Also on this day, many people will fly kites. The symbol of flying the kites is said to be rooted in the Orthodox Christian belief being linked to one’s spiritual state of mind. After several weeks of partying and feasting during the Carnival month, this day symbolises a period of healthy habits, purity and self care.

Latest Projects

Here at MV properties, we are also full steam ahead. We have been busy on several renovation projects that are coming together so nicely and we should have them completed by the start of summer. Watch this space for photos and updates regarding our progress.

MV Properties and Rentals

We have also been on the go with adding many new properties to our portfolio, doing all the groundwork, so that we have a great variety of properties to show our clients over the busy summer months.

Furthermore, we are receiving a lot of interest for our holiday rentals, as people begin to plan and prepare for their summer holidays in Ithaki. If you haven’t had a chance to book your holiday yet and are still looking for the perfect rental for your summer holiday, click on the link below.

That’s a wrap for 2022!

We have headed into the last month of the year. As we look back at 2022, we can’t help but be grateful and thankful for such a wonderful year.

Here at MV properties, we have accomplished so much this year and we are proud of the hard work from all of our team members. Likewise, we are so thankful to all our clients and to all of you who support us in any way, we appreciate the support immensely. 

If we take a look at some of our highlights for 2022, we are thrilled that we were able to complete so many projects this year. Transforming any home/addition or outdoor space is truly a rewarding experience. To see what can be done; the possibilities of how something can become better than it was before, is such a satisfying and valuable process that we enjoy doing. Here are some highlights of our projects.

Project Management

Another highlight for us, would be welcoming many new sellers to our portfolio and growing our properties database. This way, we have a wider selection of properties for sale, allowing us to truly help our clients find exactly what they are after because of the diversity in our portfolio.

New Properties

Thirdly, we couldn’t leave out the highlight of actually selling the properties themselves. There is nothing that gives us greater joy and satisfaction than when we are able to help someone find their forever home/holiday home, or piece of paradise here on Ithaki. It is such a privilege to be on this journey; to help one sell a property and to help one find exactly what they are looking for. Here are a few properties that we sold this year, and we wish the new home owners all the best with their new venture. 


As we know December is the month of Christmas, a time to have quality time with our families, to take time out and recharge our batteries for the upcoming year. We wish all our family, friends and clients a very Merry Christmas. We hope you will enjoy the festive season, as much as we do!

This is a wonderful time in Ithaki, it is quiet and peaceful; the smell of Greek sweets at every bakery is in the air; the lights twinkling in all the shops, the cold setting in with the contrast of the warm fires lit in each home, where families gather.

We are pleased as the year comes to a close, and we are eager for the new year that lies ahead.

So, we can proudly say, “that’s a wrap!” We can’t wait to welcome the new year in. We are so looking forward to getting back to business in 2023. Until then, have a wonderful holiday season from all of us here at MV properties. 

Change of Seasons

October brings a clear change of seasons in Ithaki. There is such a peace and tranquility in the air, as the taverna’s begin to close up for the winter months ahead, the visitors on the island are few and far between, mainly cyclists and avid walkers, enjoying the most breathtaking nature walks in the cooler autumn weather. 

We started off this month with the annual Fish festival at Poli beach, where local businesses donated toward the event happening. There was a great spirit of everyone dancing and enjoying a good meal together with the local fish and traditional accompaniments. The cars were parked all the way up the hill of Poli bay, it was a great turnout and very festive indeed.

Another item on the agenda for the locals coming up is olive picking season, which will begin at the start of November. The olive trees are all ripe with olives, the branches are heavy and ready to be harvested. Olive picking is no easy task, it takes days of hard work, pruning the trees and raking all the olives off the branches, onto a drop cloth below. The Olives are sorted, and then packed and sent off to the press to make Olive Oil. One can also keep a selection of some of the olives to preserve in a salt and vinegar brine to make one’s own tasty olives.

Here at MV properties, we welcome the change of seasons, and although the liveliness of summer is over, we are by no means slowing down. We have many upcoming renovation projects planned over this autumn and winter time. We look forward to sharing with you some of our before and after photos as the projects get underway. We also have some new and exciting properties for sale that have just been added to our portfolio! So keep a close eye to our social media posts to see these.

At the end of October was of course Halloween. Although we don’t really partake in it here on the island, we would like to wish a Happy Halloween to all our American clients and those that do take part. Some of the children still find it fun to dress up and we try our best to make it fun for them.

We wish you all the best for the change of seasons in your own lives, until next time.

Event Planning: MV Properties Wedding in Stavros, Poli beach, Ithaca Greece IDMVW007STA

Table flower arrangement detail at beach wedding reception, Ithaca Greece

Rachel and Geoffrey chose to celebrate their union of marriage on Ithaki. Their desire was to have a simple beach wedding, and their choice of Poli Beach, pulled out all the stops with the natural backdrop of the water, pebbles and island mood showing off at its best! 

Summer Highlights 2022

Let’s take a look back at the highlights of this summer as the season draws to an end.

What a fantastic, busy season it has been. It seems after the 2 years of Covid restrictions, people were extra eager to embark on a Greek island holiday, as all the islands, including Ithaki were very busy this year.

Early on, at the beginning of the summer, we had the “Return to Ithaca” diving campaign come to Ithaki to clean our seas. What a privilege to have such dedicated people come to our small island to make sure our seas are rid of all the fishing nets stuck on the bottom of the ocean floor.

Stavros Panayiri

Another highlight for us this summer was the Stavros Panayiri. For the last 2 years, we have not been allowed to have any Panayiri’s due to the covid pandemic. This year, the village of Stavros hosted the iconic 2 day street festival. With music, dancing and feasting, this was truly a memorable 2 nights. People were able to gather and Stavros village had a hum of enthusiasm leading up to and even after the event took place.

The Yachts

Let’s take a look at another highlight of the summer. The yachts. What a privilege that Ithaki is now on the map, not only with the small sail yachts, but also some of the bigger superyachts. These yachts bring great business to many people on the island as well as boosting our tourism. This has been so encouraging to see, as it showcases Ithaki, as a great holiday destination.

The Beaches

Lastly, summer would not be what it is, without the exquisite beaches we have to offer here on Ithaki. Whether you are looking for comfort and luxury of sunbeds, umbrellas, and a vibing canteen on the beach, or something a little more rustic and low key, Ithaki has it all. You can find your rental accommodation or your holiday home with us that is within close reach of all these types of beaches.

It really has been a summer with lots of happenings, and what better way to enjoy it than to have your own property. This month our three featured properties are all in Vathi. As the sun goes down, on another busy summer season, we look forward to Autumn, and all that’s in store for us in the upcoming months.

As we wave goodbye to another very busy and successful summer season, it is a great time to reflect on all that has been achieved and use the up coming quieter months as a time to plan and prepare for the last few months of the year.

Event planning: MV Properties Baptism in Kioni, Ithaca Greece IDMV003KIO

MV properties was privileged to organise another baptism this time for precious George Paizes. The ceremony took place at the iconic church in Kioni. It was an intimate service with family and close friends. 

MV Properties Renovation Projects

We hope everyone had a wonderful May here on the island. Here at MV properties, we certainly did! The atmosphere on Ithaca has certainly picked up, with everybody gearing towards summer, the restaurants are open, the shops have all cleaned up, the people are arriving…there is a real ‘buzz’ in the air, everybody is excited for the summer months that lie ahead.

We have had a very busy winter season with many renovation projects on the go. As we move through spring, we see many of these wonderful projects coming to an end and the fruit of all our hard work coming to completion. Our clients are holding their breaths to come to the island for the summer to stay in their newly renovated homes.

Take a look at some of the transformations below or view them all online here.

Basement Renovation – PROJ006STA

This quaint house in Stavros, has a basement area that was craving to be uplifted and we jumped at the opportunity to use this space to create another self catering studio. Keeping the original stone, our team stepped into clean the rock and plaster it well so that all the stone was secure and looking modern. Then we installed all the plumbing and electrics for this studio underground and laid the cement. We finished the flooring in a stylish, contemporary tile. This is still an ongoing project which we can’t wait to see come together.

Full Scale Renovation of Vathi Home – PROJ002VAT

This small house in Vathi underwent a full renovation. Our team demolished most of the inside walls, we replastered and painted, laid new flooring in certain areas of the house and working on the existing floor to allow the floors to blend well. All new plumbing and electrics were installed with two bathrooms created from scratch. A full modern chic kitchen was installed with gorgeous marble countertops. To see the full project online click here.

Sunset Views Home Extraordinary Renovation – PROJ001LEF

Our next project we’ve been working on is in Lefki. the outside area has been transformed from a very basic, futile space, to an incredible outdoor entertainment area with a swimming pool to overlook the gorgeous view. Our team had to do a large excavation in order to install the pool. We levelled the area to lay the concrete and outside tiles as well as created a smooth cement outdoor table around the existing fruit trees. we replastered and painted some of the outside walls as well as re-did the staircase leading from the pool to the outdoor area below. Click here to see all the before’s and after’s of this renovation project on our website.

Village Home Swimming Pool Renovation – PROJ005STA

Our last project to mention is this tucked away house in Stavros village. This outside area underwent extensive remodelling. We began with the swimming pool, which was drained, scraped down, cleaned and then the entire pool was tiled in a gorgeous state of the art outdoor tile. We then installed all new stone paving around the pool and the lower outside area below. we built an outdoor barbeque are and outdoor smooth cement seat which wraps around this outside space so elegantly. to see the full project click here.

Whether you are looking to buy, rent or renovate, we are your go too property experts.

We hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at the process of renovating. Thank you to all our local trade teams and contractors for their dedication to meeting deadlines and working within budgets. Their dedication and expertise made these projects all come together.

Until next month,