5 of 5 Stars -
This is an exceptional villa. Carmelina and Salvatore are excellent hosts and provide all you need for a relaxing holiday in Sicily. Nothing is too much trouble. Their website gives a very clear, detailed and accurate description of what you can expect (www.villagioiosavacation.com). The numerous very positive reviews are testament to what a good find this was for us.
The villa is about 5 minutes north of the town of Favara which provides good bakers, greengrocers and supermarkets so you don't have need to go far. It is very easy to while away the hours sitting by the pool. It is certainly not an area overrun with tourists but the locals are very friendly indeed; a chance to discover the real Sicily.
For the more adventurous be aware that Sicily is a big island and there are lots of sites to visit. The nearest beach at San Leone (a beautiful expanse of sand!) is only 20mins away as are the temples of Agrigento. It's just a little further to the Turkish Steps or Eraclea Minoa. A drive eastwards along the coast takes you to Castello di Falconara. Taking the main road to Catania gets you towards Etna.
Carmelina's excellent English is very reassuring and we would highly recommend her tour around town as she points out some useful shops as well as providing a little background about the town itself. She has provided plenty of information in a well stocked file at the villa too.
Search out "La Buca di San Francesco" for an evening meal, super food at reasonable cost. For pastries and ice cream don't miss "Caprices"! The local Morreale vineyard is just down the road and sells good wines at very reasonable prices.
You won't be disappointed by Villa Gioiosa and if, like us, you enjoy good weather, it provides really first class accommodation. With temperatures in the high twenties, we had a wonderful October break enjoyed by grandparents, parents and young children. The tough decisions were which table to eat at, which shower to use, to swim or play in the sand pit or which toy to play with.
There are so many different areas in the spacious villa you’re spoilt for choice. Two kitchens and since it was well used the pizza oven is a brilliant facility and is one which we don't have at home!!
A wonderful time was had by all. It was hard leaving and we certainly wouldn't hesitate to make a return trip in the future. The fantastic range of equipment for the children (aged 2 and 3 months) was a real bonus as it meant we could travel “light” without buggies, push chairs etc.
Fabulous Family villa in real Sicily”
Reviewed October 4, 2014
We had a fantastic 10 days at the villa . It is wonderfully equipped for children and families. My 3 year old daughter was so excited when she saw all the toys.
We loved the outdoor kitchen and used this for all our meals. The outdoor living was fantastic. We really enjoyed the outdoor pizza oven and had a pizza bake off one night. Dough can be bought from the local bread shops in town. The very drinkable and incredibly cheap wine from the vineyard down the road was a wonderful experience. Around 1.5 euro a litre and poured straight from the barrel into reusable water bottles.
San Leone beach which is only 15-
Carmelina was wonderful. We had a meal waiting for us when we arrived and she was always around to help when we needed her. She gave us a tour around town and helped when my daughter was sick.
This part of Sicily is very traditional and give you a tasty of real Sicily. We did a day trip to Syracuse which was fantastic. A stunning city. Also enjoyed out day in Agrigento which is just 15 mins away.
Reviewed September 26, 2014
Our hosts Carmelina and Salvatore were wonderful, welcoming hosts. Thoughtfully preparing an evening meal for us on our arrival which included several delicious local specialities, including some lovely local wine.
The villa was spacious, clean, and ideal for our family. The pool area was fantastic, the trampoline a definite hit, and when we ventured away from it the local area provided amazing beaches, food, wine and ice-
Carmelinas recommendations for where to go and which restaurants to try never dissappointed!
We spent an amazing week, thank you Carmelina and Salvatore for a wonderful holiday!
“Fabulous family villa”
Reviewed for a stay in August 2014 on tripadvisor
We chose this villa as the best family villa we could find to suit our twins and baby girl. Although bigger than we needed, the play area, toys, and seperate small pool were ideal for us, So much to entertain the family.
The villa is very well equipped with everything you need although I am sure if it didn't the owner Carmelina would find it for you! More than enough crockery and cutlery to take a break from cleaning up and so much space to enjoy.
The bathrooms are great, with plenty of showers!! This town is perfect, everything you need is 5mins down the road. Carmelina kindly offers a tour of the town panting out useful shops, cafe's, bars and restaurants, followed by a trip to the local vineyard where we bought 7 litres of good wine for less than 8 euro's!!!!!
Our favourite places to eat and drink were the King Bar for cheap and tasty meals, Caprice for coffee and delicious pastries but you need to be there by 9:30am or everything goes! A great "a la Carte" meal in the Travaggole in the old square -
We went to the Valley of the Temples in the evening as it cooled down, taking a taxi to Temple Juno and a stroll down. Its great for the whole family and the lighting at night makes it very misterious. Another good night out is San Leone Beach -
If you like dessert you will not be dissapointed, take it in the restaurant or head to a nearby gelateria!
The best part of the villa is the owners, Carmelina and Salvatore, who go out of their way to help and welcome you. Always on hand if needed but the distance for you to relax and enjoy the privacy of the villa. We were so lucky to have samples deliveries from Carmelina of traditional Sicilian pizza's, risotto and local breads and wine.
On arrival we were suprised with a hamper of supplies and supper laid out on a table on the balcony!!!
We will definately be back, it seems a shame now we know where all the best shops and cafe's are not to sample them again next year! Don't worry about language barriers, the people of Sicily are kind and patient, making it easy not to speak italian -
Thanks for everything
Ben, Michelle, Chloe 14, Anna 14 and poppy 1 year old
from Chalfont in Buckinghamshire
“Perfect Family Getaway”
Reviewed 29 July 2014 for a stay in June 2014 on tripadvisor
Thank you Carmelina and Salvatore, for a wonderful holiday. This is the first time we have traveled as a family (5 adults and 3 children ages 2.5 and 10).
The villa is beautiful, the views are breathtaking! The pool and the playground are so kid-
Carmelina's tour of the town was very helpful. We found out where to go to buy sandwiches, pizza and cookies! The villa is conveniently located near the valley of the temples, turkish staircase and the outstanding beach!
We are already telling all our friends! We hope to return soon as our grandson wants to go home and take Italian lessons so he can come back and talk to your children!!
The Pistilli family from USA & NEW YORK
“Fantastic villa for kids”
Reviewed 11 July 2014 for a stay in June 2014 on tripadvisor
We started our holiday off with a warm welcome form Carmelina. The traditional Sicilian food laid on for us was amazing and very welcome after the day's traveling.
The villa gave us everything we needed for two small families to have a wonderful and enjoyable holiday. Carmelina's tour is a must and doesn't take long, without it we would not have found the fresh seafood shops and got our whereabouts around town.
It also allowed us to discover the nearby vineyard that produces the 'wine that gives you no headache!'. It is also one euro twenty cents a litre and delicious!
The outdoor kitchen at the villa is amazing and along with the fresh local produce, allowed us to have some memorable evenings, once Salvatore had again kept us in supply of wood.
Carmelina and Salvatore are so friendly and can't do enough for you, Carmelina has a real pride about the villa and Sicily and is always there to help.
This villa lets you experience the real Italy. It is not touristy so google translate or a freshen up on Italian phrases is a must. The local people are very friendly and can't do enough to help you. The nearby supermarkets are well stocked. However there are so many local shops for meat and excellent fresh shellfish. The fruit and veg is also some of the freshest you can get.
The villa is well suited for holidaying with young children. The villa is well secure and the gated pool means not having to worry about the little ones and allowed us to suit back and relax. We holidayed with a 4,3, and 1 year old and never had a problem.
I will definitely return one day!
"Perfect relaxing family break in the sun"
Reviewed 30th June for a stay in june 2014 on owners direct
A fantastic villa for an enjoyable Holiday for a large family. Lovely location, absolute freedom and we were blessed with great weather! The villa is very well equipped. The boys had a 'ball' in the swimming pool and we were sad that our Holiday in Sicily came to an end. Carmelina had been most helpful throughout our stay Arrivederci The Harris Family from England and Australia
“Family friendly villa for a perfect week of relaxation”
Reviewed 8 June 2014 for a stay in June 2014 on tripadvisor
Such a lovely week's holiday -
The villa is airy, spacious and easily accommodated grandparents, parents, aunt and uncle, and two kids without us feeling like we were on top of each other.
Best bits: pizza oven, fruit trees, fabulous produce from local markets, cheap local wine direct from the vineyards, rolling fields of wheat and wild flowers, ancient ruins, and the soft sandy beaches at San Leone.
Carmelina is so helpful, and even arranged a gorgeous birthday cake for one of us. She knows the best places to shop (the supermarkets are only really good for groceries rather than fresh stuff) but it was also easy to wander around town and find things for ourselves.
We had a thoroughly relaxing week and would recommend the villa.
Reviewed 7 May 2014 for a stay in April 2014 on tripadvisor
As a big group of people we had a lovely and comfortable stay in this big and beautiful villa. This villa has everything, it felt like a home from home.
Children had a wonderful time and had plenty stuff to do without even searching for the Tv!! They mostly enjoyed swimming pool, the play area & toys that were on offer at the villa.
Carmelina and Salvatore were very kind and helpful. Always at hand if needed.
We visited most places suggested by the owners which we found very interesting. We tried a restaurant " La collina" in Palma di montechiaro, very attractive with a lovely atmosphere with most delicious food and a nice view of the sea. There is a castle just near by, worth visiting!!!
Thank you for a lovely stay we had in Sicily!!
“Authentic Sicilian Villa and friendly locals in Favara.”
Reviewed 27 April 2014 for a stay in April 2014
We arrived at the beautiful villa to be met and shown around by Carmelina and Salvatore. As it was late they had set out authentic Sicilian food and wine for us which was beautiful and very thoughful. A selection of breakfast food was also available.
The next morning our children went straight out to the pool and didn't want to leave!
Carmelina took me on a very useful tour of the local town and pointed out the best shops and cafe's. Salvatore kept us stocked up with wood for the pizza oven and the lemons from the orchard made beautiful Sicilian lemonade!
The villa was fully equipped with 2 outside dining areas. The children loved the pool and toys. Wine from the Morreale vineyard was beautiful and less than a mile away.
We had a great time -
Thank you Carmelina and Salvatore for a very memorable holiday.