Kefalonia

F Zeen Retreat: Unwind and relax at the Greek island of Captain Corelli's Mandolin

This idyllic Greek Island should be high on your travel bucket list

Amy Brewster

Compared to Santorini and neighbouring Greek island Zante, Kefalonia is untouched. Finding fame in the 2001 film Captain Corelli's Mandolin, its clear blue water and brightly painted houses situated on the waterside are instantly recognisable and the perfect setting for a romance story. Kefalonia isn't just the ideal setting for romance – its tranquillity and unblemished surrounds will give you the break from the hustle and bustle you're looking for, and F Zeen Retreat is the place to do it.

Located in the hillside of Lourdas, half an hour drive from the island's capital Argostoli, entering F Zeen is like entering another world. Behind its grand gates everything about the boutique hotel is created in a way that oozes tranquillity and calmness to make sure your peaceful break isn't interrupted. From the therapeutic scent that fills every corner to the greenery that lines its stone stairs – it's a bubble that will send you into a trance and you'll never want to leave.

The size of the hotel is what makes F Zeen different. With only 28 rooms its restaurant, situated at the side of the pool and overlooking the sea with neighbouring Zante in full view, was small and cosy yet seating was always available when needed. Both pools were a good size but not over-bearing with their surrounding areas sparse and very few sun loungers - but there was always enough for every guest. F Zeen really perfected how to make sure guests were never left short without making the environment feel busy and crowded – no mean feat.

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Health and wellness is at the core of F Zeen's philosophy and the activities offered are there to help you unwind and relax. Daily yoga on the outdoor decking with a view of the Ionian Sea will start your day as you mean to go on. If a more strenuous workout is how you destress the outdoor gym will make your daily exercise much more enticing. For those wanting to take their relaxation to the next level the Idor Spa is the place for you. With a vast treatment menu, from a seaweed bath to a lavender scrub, you can leave the comfort of your sun lounger for a couple of hours of pampering and return a new you.

During your trip you won't need to leave the serenity of F Zeen but if you do venture out the Ionian Sea is metres away with a peaceful and undisturbed beach. Lourdas hillside is dotted with restaurants offering traditional Greek dishes in the most authentic surrounds – Lorraine's is a must visit for dinner and Klimatis Tavern is the perfect lunch spot and both are minutes' walk away.

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Earlier this year, F Zeen introduced a new level of luxury to the island with the opening of its new Raw Wing. With 25 new rooms, some boasting private swimming pools and incredible views of the Ionian Sea, the wellness retreat will give you the ultimate relaxation break. Along with its new rooms the hotel has a new restaurant offering traditional Greek dishes with a modern twist, an expanded spa and new experiences including watersports and private yacht hire – they really have thought of everything.

To coincide with the opening BA is launching direct flights to Kefalonia for the first time this year from London Heathrow. Summer-only flights will run twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays between 15 May and 6 October with return fares starting from £118.