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Our Expert Team

Our team at GIC The Villa Collection is a tight band of travel experts, here to help you get the most out of your Greek (or Cypriot) villa holiday. With firsthand knowledge of our properties, the islands and what you can do whilst you are there, they can provide a level of service which ensures that your holiday will give you memories for years to come.

Chris Wright

Chris Wright

My first introduction to Greek Islands Club was at the Earls Court Boat show at the age of 11. At the time, GIC operated the Greek Island Sailing Clubs on the islands of Paxos ,Kefalonia and Ithaca and, as an avid sailor, I decided to write to the company asking what qualifications were needed to become a sailing instructor.

After leaving school, I studied for a diploma in Travel and Tourism and, on finishing the course, was offered a position by a youth tour operator called B&W Travel as administrator of their holiday park in the Southern Netherlands. In 1991, during the height of the UK recession, the company folded and I was forced to return to the UK.

A short contract as Marketing and PR officer for a Theatre followed and it was during this time that I dug out the letters sent to Greek Islands Club 8 years earlier.

Despite concerns that, at 19 years old, I was too young for the company, I was offered a position as resort representative on the Island of Paxos. Unfortunately, the year I joined, Greek Island Sailing Club was sold to Sunsail holidays and so my dreams of becoming a sailing instructor were dashed.

During the summer of 1994 I fell in love with the Island and was desperate to return the following year. Over the next two years I was lucky enough to spend my summers in Paxos and Kefalonia and swore I would never leave.

After three summers in Greece, I agreed to spend some time in the UK office with the promise of returning to Greece the following year. However, in 1998, Greek Islands Club joined the Sunvil Family and my role changed, meaning that I didn’t return to Greece for several years. As Operations Director I was kept busy in the UK looking after the expanded Sunvil programmes to Latin America, Africa, Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily, Cyprus and Scandinavia.

It wasn’t until 2010, when I took over as Managing Director of what is now GIC – The Villa Collection, that I was allowed to rekindle my passion for the Greek Islands. During 2011, I was lucky enough to travel to Corfu, Paxos, Kefalonia, Ithaca, Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and the new resort of Sivota. I like each of the areas that we feature for different reasons and my choice of destination changes, depending on my mood and the reason for my travels. However, Corfu Town, the island of Paxos and Argostoli in Kefalonia will always be my favourites.

Claire Kalatzis

Claire Kalatzis

I came to Sunvil and GIC directly after living in Greece. I joined in 2005, having lived in a small Greek village on the beautiful island of Lesvos for 6 years. Married to a Greek and with 3 beautiful ‘Gringlish’ children, I have been lucky enough to experience the culture, warmth and hospitality of the Greek people first hand.

I started travelling when I was young, being lucky enough to be taken abroad by my parents from the age of 8. I have been privileged to travel to a variety of different countries but, Greece was the one that captured my heart – literally! Previously working in PR, I moved to Greece in 1999 and experienced a variety of different employments; selling homemade cakes to local tavernas, teaching English, running my own business and working as a rep. Versatility is the key to living and working in a country like Greece.

Since joining Sunvil, I have visited the majority of the islands in the programme and 90% of the villas for GIC-The Villa Collection. All the islands we feature are so diverse and beautiful. Speaking Greek has allowed me to immerse myself in the local culture. Having said that, it’s still difficult to choose my favourite but, the changing landscape of Kefalonia and the elegance of Skopelos, just gives these two the edge for me. It’s a gift to work with a country you love for a company you admire.

Graeme Neill

Graeme Neill

My first trip to Greece was in 1979 at a time when the simplicities of life on a greek island were the major attraction for me. I booked my own flight and accommodations for a week on Crete in what was then a sleepy village named Elounda followed by a week on Mykonos. The only snag was that I had to get between the two islands and back to Crete again for my return flight!!Distances on a map of Greece look to be small but this is deceptive. In reality it involved three long ferry journey’s and one inter island plane trip! Thankfully my well researched study of ferry schedules worked and from then on I was hooked on island hopping. For the next 15 years my holidays were spent visiting different islands but this is not difficult when there are so many to choose from!

My background had always been in catering and hotel management but I decided in 1995 on a career change and I was lucky enough to swap the heat of a kitchen for the heat of a summer on Ithaca. I went there as the representative for Greek Islands Club. I was instantly impressed by the hospitality of the people, simple village life and loved the lush greenness of this legendary island surrounded by turquoise clear waters. I was quickly made to feel at home and worked four summers before moving across to the Sporades Islands as head representative for Alonissos, Skopelos and Skiathos.

By this time GIC had become part of the Sunvil family. These three islands may be close to each other in proximity but couldn’t be more different in character and it gave me a good insight to the different styles of tourism in Greece. Alonissos with its laid back, gentle and almost reluctant approach to tourism. Skopelos with it’s sense of maintaining greek traditions and Skiathos which has fully embraced tourism as the main economy and life blood of the island. Something it does it very well!

I am now employed as overseas manager for Sunvil & GIC and split my year by working at head office during the winter months assisting the reservations team and base myself in Athens during the summer season so that I can visit the different locations we feature.

Everyone asks me ‘’which is your favorite island or destination?’’ This is not an easy question to answer because Greece is now in my blood and I just love being there. However if I could take some of the best bits and put them all together to make one imaginary island I would take Santorini for its stunning landscapes, Corfu for its Venetian Town, Skiathos for its golden sandy beaches and Ithaca for it’s charm and hospitality.

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