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EXCLUSIVE: Inside a vacation to Greece by Jet2 to see if it lives as much as its billing because the UK’s No.1 bundle deal supplier…

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I am with my household flying economic system to Greece from London Stansted Airport – however at check-in we really feel like VIPs. And there is virtually a celebration ambiance.

We’re on a week-long bundle journey with Jet2holidays – and quick discovering why it was rated by Which? as 2023’s joint-best seashore and resort bundle vacation supplier. And the Which? Journey Model of the Yr 2022.

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Subsequent door, the Ryanair check-in space is mundane and purposeful, whereas right here on the Jet2 bag drop there is a cheery fun-fair vibe, with a comedy pilot and cabin crew ‘face in gap’ photograph board, pretend palm timber, deck chairs and an archway fashioned of red-and-white balloons marking the beginning of the queue system.

And Jet2holidays employees in bright-red T-shirts are positioned each 20 yards, prepared to assist with journey queries, distribute stickers to youngsters and provide help with the bag-drop machines.

Our 2.50pm July 22 Boeing 737 flight to the Ionian gem of Kefalonia is delayed by round 90 minutes as a result of air visitors management restrictions and congestion. And somebody tripping the hearth alarm on the gate.

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Ted Thornhill puts Jet2holidays to the test with a trip to the Greek island of Kefalonia. He stays with his family at the Electra Kefalonia Hotel & Spa (above), one of several hotel options that Jet2 offers on Kefalonia

Ted Thornhill places Jet2holidays to the take a look at with a visit to the Greek island of Kefalonia. He stays along with his household on the Electra Kefalonia Resort & Spa (above), certainly one of a number of resort choices that Jet2 provides on Kefalonia

Ted describes the Electra Kefalonia Hotel & Spa as 'fairly nondescript, but modern, comfortable and relaxing'. It's located just a few minutes' drive from the airport

Ted describes the Electra Kefalonia Resort & Spa as ‘pretty nondescript, however fashionable, snug and stress-free’. It is positioned only a few minutes’ drive from the airport

Ted pictured at coastal Kefalonia International Airport after his London Stansted flight touches down

The Jet2 check-in area at Stansted

LEFT: Ted pictured at coastal Kefalonia Worldwide Airport after his London Stansted flight touches down. RIGHT: The Jet2 check-in space at Stansted

The carnival ambiance dissipates.

However we perk up as soon as we’re airborne, regardless of our row – quantity 11 – having one of many dreaded ‘windowless’ window seats.

It is a enjoyable flight. The crew are chirpy, the pilots sound chipper over the PA and the meals we pre-ordered is a lower above the fare provided by rival price range airways flying out of the UK.

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We dad and mom have 4 Cheese Tortellini & Mediterranean Greens (£10) and a Moroccan Vegetable Tagine (£10), whereas our six-year-old daughter has Macaroni Cheese (£7.50).

The grownup meals include scrumptious pots of chocolate mousse, plus crackers and cheese, whereas the infant will get further treats together with Cadbury Buttons, Bear Yoyo fruit snacks and a smoothie – plus a bit exercise pack with crayons.

At coastal Kefalonia Worldwide Airport a textual content pops by way of from ‘Angie’, our Jet2holidays buyer helper, with a quantity to name in case we’d like assist – and reps are available to direct us to our hotel-transfer coach ready outdoors the terminal. It is not a protracted trip – round 10 minutes.

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We’re staying on the 34-room Electra Kefalonia Resort & Spa – which is pretty nondescript, however fashionable, snug and stress-free with pleasant and attentive employees, a stunning terrace-side swimming pool and views of the glistening Ionian Sea.

The Electra Kefalonia Hotel & Spa has 34 rooms and offers views of the glistening Ionian Sea

The Electra Kefalonia Resort & Spa has 34 rooms and provides views of the glistening Ionian Sea

Pictured above is the poolside restaurant at the Electra hotel, where 'consistently tasty food is served'

Pictured above is the poolside restaurant on the Electra resort, the place ‘persistently tasty meals is served’

Ted and his family check in to an executive room (above), which boasts sea views and its own private pool

Ted and his household examine in to an government room (above), which boasts sea views and its personal personal pool

We love our spacious sea-view government room with its big personal plunge pool, the persistently tasty meals served within the restaurant and the thumbs-up-worthy native white wine on provide (Kefalonia has a deserved popularity for high quality wine).

Jet2holidays says on its web site that ‘it is certain to impress’ and offers it a ‘four-star plus’ score, which feels about proper, although some might really feel the ‘plus’ is being beneficiant given the ‘Marmite’ location.

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The property is simply half a kilometre from the tip of the worldwide airport runway and airliners whoosh overhead as soon as an hour, so shut that their wake disturbs the palm timber on the entrance garden.

I discover all this fairly thrilling. There’s one thing enticingly unique concerning the pool/palm-tree/aircraft combo, however my associate is not fairly so enamoured and rolls her eyes as I stare on the airliners touching down after they’ve buzzed the Electra sunbeds.

Planes apart, we each agree that the Electra is an efficient base for exploring the island.

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We make our forays round its twisty, spaghetti-like thoroughfares in a Thrifty rent automotive booked by way of Jet2 that we choose up on the airport, the keys handed over on the desk by a splendidly cheerful woman.

And it is a scam-free course of.

Automobile-hire corporations are infamous for pushing their insurance coverage insurance policies. I’ve my very own insurance coverage although, and brace for a tough promote on shopping for Thrifty’s – but it surely by no means comes. My disclosure about already being lined is met with an exclamation of ‘oh, excellent!’

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Ted visits picture-perfect Assos on the north-west coast (above), which has a bijou, swimmable harbour with a small beach

Ted visits picture-perfect Assos on the north-west coast (above), which has a bijou, swimmable harbour with a small seashore

Kefalonia is a gem of an island located in the Ionian Sea

Kefalonia is a gem of an island positioned within the Ionian Sea

Electra receptionist Georgios, in the meantime, kindly steers us in direction of a few of Kefalonia’s most attractive seashores and villages, marking them out on a freebie vacationer map he palms us.

There is a Jet2 info folder at reception filled with concepts and excursions to ebook, however Georgios’s recommendation suffices for us.

Our automotive is a Toyota Aygo, which has a piddly sewing-machine engine and provides no pull in any respect in second gear up any type of incline (and on eye-catchingly mountainous Kefalonia there are inclines left, proper and centre).

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At first, I curse it, and are available near taking it again to Mrs Cheerful at Thrifty for an improve, however after a couple of days of discovering that the Aygo is a doddle to park in congested seashore automotive parks and to squeeze previous oncoming visitors on hair-raisingly slim village roads, I’ve a change of coronary heart. The larger the higher? With regards to vehicles on a Greek island, undoubtedly not.

The itinerary spotlight village-wise is picture-perfect Assos on the north-west coast, which has a bijou, swimmable harbour with a small seashore – and a number of taverna choices. Now we have lunch at Estiatorio Platanos, set barely again from the water, the place the service is pleasant and the child goat with lemon, yoghurt and rice an absolute winner.

Pebbly Antisamos beach (above two images) is highly rated, but on Ted's visit dance music is being played by one of the bars there at 'obscenely high volumes' and the atmosphere is further tainted by 'gangs of marauding wasps'

Pebbly Antisamos seashore (above two photos) is extremely rated, however on Ted’s go to dance music is being performed by one of many bars there at ‘obscenely excessive volumes’ and the ambiance is additional tainted by ‘gangs of marauding wasps’

Ted recommends visiting sandy Ai Helis beach (above), which lies a few minutes' drive from the Electra hotel in a small bay flanked by cliffs. Part way up one of the cliffs (to the left of the image), is a top restaurant - Sea Salt

Ted recommends visiting sandy Ai Helis seashore (above), which lies a couple of minutes’ drive from the Electra resort in a small bay flanked by cliffs. Half approach up one of many cliffs (to the left of the picture), is a high restaurant – Sea Salt

The roads in Kefalonia are often narrow and extremely twisty

The roads in Kefalonia are sometimes slim and very twisty

Ted's hire car displays the toasty temperature during his visit to Ai Helis beach

Ted’s rent automotive shows the toasty temperature throughout his go to to Ai Helis seashore

We additionally go to a couple of beach-only spots.

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Georgios had grow to be very animated about pebbly Antisamos seashore on the east coast, round an hour’s drive from the resort. ‘That is my favorite, that is my favorite,’ he’d exclaimed.

So we give it a whirl – and are spellbound by its location in a surprising forested bay on the finish of a seductively scenic street. Nonetheless, there are a number of bars there and one is enjoying dance music at an obscenely excessive quantity once we go to, which ruins the ambiance. Gangs of marauding wasps add additional irritation.

Now we have a significantly better time at Ai Helis seashore, which lies a couple of minutes’ drive from the Electra in a small bay flanked by cliffs. Parking areas close by are restricted, however we sneak the Aygo in and snare a few solar loungers.

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Al Helis is properly organised, with a lifeguard, a small bar and an at-lounger food and drinks service. It is also blessed with golden sand, although it is 39C on our go to and too sizzling to stroll on barefoot.

After a few hours we retreat to the shady Sea Salt restaurant, which overlooks the seashore from midway up one of many cliffs. There we devour top-end Greek salads as beachgoers beneath us dart forwards and backwards throughout the new grains between their loungers and the beautiful azure waters.

Jet2holidays was rated by Which? as 2023's joint-best beach and resort package holiday provider. And it was the Which? Travel Brand of the Year 2022

Jet2holidays was rated by Which? as 2023’s joint-best seashore and resort bundle vacation supplier. And it was the Which? Journey Model of the Yr 2022

Jet2's customer service has reached almost legendary levels

Jet2’s customer support has reached virtually legendary ranges

The in-flight Jet2.com macaroni cheese children's meal box Ted bought for his daughter

The in-flight Jet2.com macaroni cheese youngsters’s meal field Ted purchased for his daughter 

Getting again to the airport on the finish of our break for our 9.05pm flight is a breeze – a Jet2 switch coach picks us all up on the finish of the resort’s driveway, with the agency having texted beforehand with directions about the place to attend and easy methods to contact them by WhatsApp or by way of the client helpline within the occasion the switch would not arrive.

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The coach is on schedule and ready for us on the terminal are Jet2holidays’ sincerely chirpy employees, giving out extra stickers, partaking in light banter and doing their greatest to curtail the onset of back-to-work blues.

As we contact down in Stansted I mirror on our journey and conclude that Jet2holidays must hold the Brasso on standby for the Which? 2024 awards…

TRAVEL FACTS 

Ted and his household are hosted by Jet2holidays on a bed-and-breakfast foundation on the Electra Kefalonia Resort & Spa. The complete value of his peak-season seven-night bundle for 3 folks was £4,584, together with automotive rent at £366.28.

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Jet2holidays provides a number of resort choices for Kefalonia. 

Ted’s return flight lands at round 11pm. He stays along with his household on the Hampton by Hilton London Stansted Airport resort earlier than returning dwelling to London the next day.

THE VERDICT – WITH STAR RATINGS OUT OF 5.

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PROS: The just about legendary Jet2.com customer support lives as much as the hype, the resort impresses simply as Jet2 promised it might and the flights there and again are good as they get for a price range airline.

CONS: The resort location close to the airport, whereas extraordinarily handy, would possibly hassle some as a result of planes whooshing overhead. 

Jet2 customer support: *****

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Flight: ****

Resort: ****

Worth for cash: *****

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OVERALL: 90%.

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