Holiday in Greece… But Not As We Know It

SLIDESHOW: A small selection of the many sights and scenes that Kudos can offer on its bespoke holidays.

Forget all the stereotypes you have learned about holidays in Greece. Kudos Life Experiences offers a bespoke take on this traditional tourist destination, allowing visitors to penetrate to the heart of this fascinating country.

Even, perhaps, for the more well-heeled visitor, Greece is a country that evokes a number of familiar impressions revolving around villas, views of the Mediterranean, a certain type of cuisine and so on. These impressions are often overlain with images from a certain type of mass-market tourism that is often equated with Greece. Added to this, of course, have been the country’s recent economic travails, which have seen it garner a set of unwanted headlines as a so-called economic ‘basket case’ in Europe.

It’s a truism that there is always more to a country than the insights of your average flip-flop-wearing tourist or the unsophisticated workings of news headlines but, in the case of Greece, that seems more apparent than usual.

Kudos Life Experiences has a completely different take on the country, being in the business of offering bespoke, crafted holidays that offer high-end holidaymakers the chance to discover the ‘real’ Greece. Contrary to popular perception, its managing partner Vangelis Kassotakis feels that even cities such as Athens are not particularly geared up for tourists. “It is not so organised, whereas if you come to London, it’s much easier if you are a foreigner to find out information. In Athens, for different reasons, it is not so well presented and for years Greece has not been accustomed to receive top-end visitors.”

To fill this gap, custom-made visits with Kudos are developed in line with the interests of the traveller, whether these be in art, history, archaeology or architecture, for example. Kudos will source experts in these areas and is often able to organise tours of places not normally open to visitors or meetings with artists and museum directors. Travellers who want to get off the beaten track and spend their downtime in, say, the Greek countryside in the company of locals or working with fishermen, are also catered for. You can even attend a Greek wedding should you so desire.

So Kudos is definitely in the realm of what has been described as ‘experiential’ travel but what exactly does that much over-used term mean? Kassotakis says: “Everybody is talking about ‘experiential travel’. Some people say if you are already in a nice hotel, then it’s an experience but the aim should be to really go much deeper and connect with the culture; to go a little bit deeper than the outside image of a country. In order to do that you need to ‘live’ something to emotionally connect with it.” This outlook is connected with what Kassotakis sees as a particular trend among his high-end clients: “The more sophisticated they become, products start meaning less to them and the experience starts meaning more.”

Kudos is also able to move beyond a mere ‘show and tell’ for its more demanding customers, in the recreation of historical scenes and episodes — for example, the Olympic Games or the Delphic Oracle — involving scripts and actors. This poses the need for Kudos to ensure such experiences are well researched, factually correct, and engaging and enlightening, or, in the words of Kassotakis, “it needs to be authentic”. He adds: “This is difficult to do and there are a lot of things that, in theory, could go wrong. If it goes well, if you pay attention to every detail, this then becomes more memorable.”

Kassotakis should know what he’s talking about. Prior to Kudos he spent 10 years with Cartier but he combined his experience in the luxury industry with the itinerary of a well-heeled traveller, living in seven countries and exploring more than 40 others.

So, if you’re looking to step beyond a more stereotypical vision of Greece and even if you’ve visited the country before, Kudos could be a most effective port of call.

www.kudoslifeexperiences.com

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