Orchard Villa is a traditional Aegean Sporades islands family villa ideal for 6-8, in a private terraced hillside garden with pool and absolutely stunning views, and 'Excellent' reviews averaging 4.5 out of 5.0 It's within 5-25 mins drive of most of the 60 or so mainly sandy beaches and coves, 10mins to Skiathos village, harbour, and airport, and within 12 mins. walk of three Skiathos top-10 (but affordable) taverna-restaurants.
... nestles in a half-acre hillside olive-grove, amongst several villas scattered across the Katsarou ridge overlooking the sandy beaches below, with stunning panoramic views over Skiathos Bay. It's only 10 mins drive to Skiathos village and harbour, with tavernas, cafes, bars, and shops - and 10-25 mins to the many beaches. More details, click here: "About Skiathos", and for how to get here,Travel to Skiathos, Getting to Skiathos, and Skiathos Flights. (the recently extended Skiathos Airporthas brought fares down, with direct daily UK and European charters, or budget flights to Athens and onward by local airline or express hydrofoil. It's also surprisingly quick and practical as a car tour).
There's a shared gated entrance and the whole setting is very peaceful and quiet. It's a traditional Greek island villa with blue shutters, red-tiled roofs, and - rare on Skiathos - its own Cycladic-style roof terrace. There’s a large cool flag-stoned living room, split-level to the winter log fireplace and sofa, four air-conditioned bedrooms with exposed timber beams and roof, and a fully-equipped open-plan kitchen, with a bar and stools. You can sleep 2 - 8 in cosy bedrooms, with an en-suite wet room and two shower rooms. The villa's pretty pool is fenced and gated, and set into the terraced garden with beautiful views across the bay to the nearby islands.
DINING - inside, and in courtyard The split-level living room is open-plan to the well-equipped kitchen, and doors to two guest wings with four air-conditioned bedrooms. There’s a wine rack, full cook-book library, and lots of books for that rare rainy day. Four French windows open onto a tastefully furnished vine-covered split-level courtyard overlooking a half-acre hillside olive-grove garden with three terraces for sunbathing, partying, and drinks by the pool. You enjoy unmatched views over Skiathos bay and channel with its nine islands, and over sixty mostly sandy beaches and hidden coves.The courtyard with its tasteful wood furniture is your extended living-room, sheltered from breezes and warm enough for dinner and drinks 'til after midnight; with the garden lights and moonlit sea views across to the lights of the villages on Skopelos and Evia Islands.
Open-plan KITCHEN Open-plan across bar and stools, with modern ceramic-hob cooker and hood with fan oven, microwave, toaster, electric kettle, filter coffee, two fridges with freezer compartments, work surfaces, double sink, dishwasher, and loads of storage. And there’s a washing machine, ironing board, and steam iron - plus a large outdoor ‘umbrella’ drying rack.
BED / BATHROOMS 4 air-conditioned bedrooms, 3 shower rooms. Double master bedroom with en-suite shower room, double vanity unit with counter-top bowls, and w-c … Plus - three twin bedrooms sharing 2 shower-rooms with vanity unit and w-c.
SUPPORT-SUPPLIES Although the contract is for a furnished unserviced villa lease (not hotel-type "serviced accommodation"), your payment includes rent plus support and supplies requested by your booking. These are: weekly bed- and bath-linen; basic domestic supplies, end-cleaning, pool servicing, gardening, maintenance/breakdown, welcome. If pre-booked (but payable locally), we may be able to arrange 'at cost' ... extra cleaning, barbecue party, shopping delivery, etc.
INTERNET There's a strong signal for 3G-4G-5G mobiles, as good as a wi-fi hot-spot to connect tablets or laptops (no fixed-line wi-fi - sorry, not manageable). ... plus free wifi access at most tavernas, cafes, and bars, on beaches and in the village and harbour-side.
GARDEN, TERRACES and POOL (see villa Photos) The villa and grounds are quiet and not overlooked, fenced, with parking for 4 cars on a private drive.
There are 5 terrace areas, all with superb views ... rooftop; split-level courtyard with four French windows into villa; top ‘party’ terrace with sun-loungers; pool-side terrace with slate-top drinks table and seat; grassed picnic slope below pool. The large secluded roof sun-terrace has 360° views, from Skiathos Bay with the ‘7-islands’ view, round to the wooded hillsides of Kechria valley to the Skiathos north coast.
The pretty POOL has its own terrace with slate-top aperitifs table and bench. Pool level access is by two steps down to a safety gate, and for full child security from all directions it's fenced/gated beside the terrace. The pool is 8m x 5m x 1.2m deep - more for a cooling dip and enjoying the stunning panorama over Skiathos bay and beaches.
CERTIFICATION Orchard Villa has been offered via 'Owner’s Direct' since 2005, and the press since 1992. It is certified by the Greek Tourist Authority (see photos) to be short-leased on the regulatory basis of landlord to tenant (not as hotelier to guest).
BEACHES, FACILITIES - all close (full details, click: About Skiathos) PicturesqueSkiathos Village(10 mins) and harbour saw the ‘arrival of the fathers’ in "Mamma Mia" (with the wedding in Agios Ioannis church on nearby Skopelos). Paved traffic-free alleys lead to two taverna-lined harbours and marinas, scores of shops tavernas, night-clubs and bars, and all services.
Skiathos has a world-class scenic coast and views, with literally scores of beaches and coves - most sandy – and the dozen or so larger ones with tavernas and water-sports. All are within 5-25 mins drive, or by water-taxi from the harbour, and maybe a scramble down to a favourite secluded cove.
Away from the beaches are dozens of village and country tavernas; hill and forest hikes and drives, horse-riding, trail biking; and restored decorated Byzantine chapels and monasteries (sorry, no classical ruins!).
But - if you prefer not to drive, or spend most of your time at the villa, local transport is good - bus, reliable radio-taxis, bus, water-taxi… and ferries for inter-island or mainland excursions.
The villa is 12 mins walk to three top-10 (and affordable) taverna/restuarants - "Olive View"; and "Anastasia" (Paradise Hotel), and Kivo Gourmet Wine-bar (Kivo Hotel) both with scenic pool-bars usually open to you.
Local transport is good - bus, taxi, water-taxi… and ferries for inter-island or mainland excursions. The villa is 12 mins walk to three top-10 (and affordable) taverna/restuarants - "Olive View"; and "Anastasia" (Paradise Hotel), and Kivo Gourmet Wine-bar (Kivo Hotel) both with scenic pool-bars usually open to you.
Photos of Orchard Villa - inside, patio, garden with terraces and pool, and views.
Photos of Skiathos are on the main menu tab, "About Skiathos" and sub-menu "Skiathos Photos"
If you would like more photos, let me know what would interest you, in an "Enquire Now!" message
- Please use this form to ask me anything about Orchard Villa - you do not need to enter any holiday dates or party make-up
- This is an enquiry only - it is not a request to book a villa, or even to use the 'Skiathos Greek Villas' site. (take care, even a simple enquiry on the rogue 'Villa Rental' sites will 'lock you in' to a fee if you eventually book - see 'Fair Pricing')
- I normally reply to enquiries within a couple of hours, they come to my phone and P-C. If you have suggested dates I will let you know if the villa is available, and at what price - and also send rental ageement details. (If you do not receive a reply, please send an email to my website provider as follows: firstname.lastname@example.org, to say you have sent an enquiry to 'Vivienne of SkiathosGreekVillas.com' and had no reply. They are very reliable and will get back to you normally same-day)
- On the enquiry form...
- please include your email address and a tel. no - and in the box for 'Your Message', tell me if any dates you give are flexible, and if you want me to call you back rather than email ... also, please tell me if you would like now a copy of the 'Villa Guest Guide Part 2, Skiathos and the Islands'. I send you 'Parts 1 and 3 - 'Welcome'; and 'Food, Drink, some handy Greek' - after you've booked, because ... - Part 1 is all about ... 'How to turn on the garden lights and dishwasher ... ' etc. Good fascinating stuff, but not much use until you get here! - Part 3, like books on love and cooking, is also not much use until you have the means for a trial run to hand!
- If you decide to book, I'll send you a formal offer as soon as we agree dates and price, with time to make travel arrangments before you need to send a deposit
All 15 reviews (none adverse, averaged 'Excellent' and 4.5 / 5.0, 5 x 5*, 6 x 4*) sent to "Owners Direct" and myself over the past 6 years to 2017*
* until 2017 reviews were to the former "Owners Direct" site, with unalterable comments and ratings. After I stopped using O-D to avoid the HomeAway take-over 20% booking charge (click⇒ "Fair Pricing"), reviews are replies to my guest-experience questionnaire (asking about areas for improvement - which I've left in).
From:LK Date of email : Aug 15 2018 Source:response to my review questionaire (including problems)
Hi Vivienne, We have had a superb holiday, thank you! Your advice before we went was useful & we really enjoyed having the 4x4 which meant we could adventure a bit and find some quiet places. We enjoyed the pool a great deal,andhaving food there on arrival was a blessing too, thank you!
I had underestimated the mosquito situation and we did all get quite bitten, despite the plug ins and lotion. There's not a lot you can do about that though! The water pipesmade 'rushing' noises at times, but apart from that all was good, we enjoyed getting to know Kevin a bit and found him most helpful.
Thank you once again - LK
From:GS Date of email:Jul 12 2018 Source:response to my review questionaire (including problems)
Hi Vivienne Just to let you know that we had a fantastic week in your villa. The photos really don't do the villa justice, the views all round are as good as I've ever seen from a holiday let. All four of us had some (pleasant) life-changing issues to celebrate, and we couldnt have found a better place to chill out before all starting new adventures.
The booking, communications, car hire and meet and greet with Kevin, couldn't have gone any smoother. The pre-holiday information you sent us was perfect and we used it as our "Rough Guide"
We didn't get to see the whole island, as we were happy to laze around the wonderful terraces/pergolas and pool area of the villa. The added bonus for us boys, were England football performances in the world cup, so Kevin directed us to the only big sports pool bar, where we had a couple of riotous memorable nights!!
All in all it was the most memorable relaxing holiday we have ever been on, and a lot of that is down to the detailed information you provided, and the teamwork with Kevin who looked after us well.
One or two minor issues (not complaints!) , like only one tea-towel (we don’t use the dish-washer), a couple of storms and a short power cut, and some wood-wasps nibbling the wooden ceiling!
We are all sad to be back home and looking to see if we can come again
Thanks again, GS
From:SH Date of email:Aug 10 2018 Source:response to my review questionaire(including problems)
Good afternoon Vivienne,
Sorry for the late reply. Our flight was delayed, and we were two days late home ... so have been busy catching up. We had another wonderful holiday! We love your villa and the views and we really enjoyed ourselves thank you. I have been coming to Skathos since I was 13 and love the island (I hope to move over eventually) and love your family Villa.
The flowers in the garden looked so lovely, I am now working on a series of paintings inspired by your plants and flowers.
We did have minor problems with drains and insects but we are very easy going people and Kevin as always, was excellent help fixing the problems. The pool had a slight problem with algae, but It is great on hot days so we do enjoy using it.
Hopefully it will be clearer for next time. Yes, we would love to book again! We are looking at our dates and loved June so will be back in touch shortly to rebook ASAP.
Kindest regards, SH
M.S. - June 2018
We enjoyed our stay on Skiathos and the wedding went very well, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the bride looked lovely, despite the 33 degree heat!
The villa setting is beautiful and the villa is so well equipped, the terraces are beautiful with lots of sitting areas. The views are stunning – day and night, we were lucky with the full moon
Lucinka E August 2017 - Unforgettable getaway - 5/5
If I could come here every year I would! The views alone would do it - truly spectacular view of the sea from the terrace and a lovely pool that we struggled to tear ourselves away from despite having come to spend time at the beach. One of the best things about this place is that it is family owned and run, so it is beautifully cared for and feels like a home rather than an agency letting. That said all v well organised and clean. ..... The villa is comfortable, spacious, with a beautiful outdoor space organised with tables and sun loungers on different levels, surrounded by fig trees, grape vines, flowers.... You could happily hang out at the villa and not go anywhere for a week!
That said it would be a shame as Skiathos is so lovely. It's really worth having a car on the island as there are so many lovely beaches and restaurants and sites to visit, but not impossible by bus. The nearest beach to the villa is walkable - we did it a couple of times - but a long steep schlep in high temperatures.
Lovely Olive Thea restaurant round the corner (also walkable but take a torch at night!) with incredible views and lovely food, but our favourite place to eat was the fish taverna on Sklithri beach, lovely and laid back by day and intimate and romantic at night, with tables right on the beach, dinner by lamplight.
The monastery was also a fantastic place to visit, incredibly serene and stunning setting. The other briliant thing about the villa is that the owner Vivienne is incredibly helpful and was always available to answer questions, offer advice, help with organising travel or car hire - and clearly knows the island very well and loves it. We left feeling fully recharged, rested and relaxed.
Steve G.May 2017 - Perfect family villa with stunning views - what a great place for our family get-together - 5/5
From our booking through to our departure we were impressed by the care and dedication of Orchard Villa's owner Vivienne and her support team.
Vivienne furnished us with all the information one could wish for to help get our holiday on Skiathos off to a great start. Info included travel suggestions, places to shop, eat and visit etc.. and this was before we had even left the UK!
We were met by the property manager and given a comprehensive tour of the property and an overview of the facilities including the do's and dont's of life on a Greek island.
The 'welcome pack' was very impressive and included EVERYTHING we needed and more for our first night at the villa, we have travelled extensively and have never been so well looked after.
The gardens are a delight, mature vines over trellis and copious flower pots and planted beds, a grassed area off to one side and plenty of seating, dining and chill out areas. There is a sun deck with loungers and a pool deck with a generous sized pool overlooking the gorgeous views. All in all a perfect holiday.
Fiona M. July 2016 - Rustic Paradise - 4/5
We spent a magical 12 nights at Orchard Villa, the pictures do not do justice to the magnificent views.
The detailed info pack about the Villa and Skiathos (emailed by Vivienne) was spot on and we concur with all her suggestions of beaches and restaurants. Even for our day trip to Skopelos, where we had no idea where to eat, Vivienne came back to us in moments with a fab suggestion.
We have suggested Vivienne needs to refresh the towels and have plastic cups and plates for kids and I'm sure will take it on board as she is most eager to make sure her guests have a pleasant stay. I have already recommended Orchard Villas to friends who enjoy the rustic life and laid back approach Orchard Villas and Skiathos have to offer.
Debbie R.July 2015 - 5/5
We had such a wonderful stay at Orchard Villa in Skiathos. The villa was well stocked with everything we need and there was a welcome pack of wine and beer and food enough to make a basic meal. The views for the villa were so beautiful and well positioned for town too. Very quiet, and Vivienne had provided a comprehensive guide to everything about the villa and Skiathos which was really helpful. We would definitely come again.
Graham, EssexJuly 2014 - Great Views - 4/5
We stayed for a week at Orchard Villa in July 2014 to experience the island of Skiathos before departing on a week flotilla sailing around the other Sporades islands. The villa was a perfect size for a family of four or more. Our two teenage girls had a room each and spent most days chilled out by the pool. We hired a car and used it for exploring the island including the more remote beaches on the north side. We would recommend a 4X4 as many of the roads on Skiathos are really dirt tracks and our hire car struggled a little with the steep hills and ruts. The views from the villa were amazing and it made a relaxing start to our holiday. The local taverna within walking distance of the villa is superb, but we regularly drove into Skiathos town for the restaurants and bars. Great villa and location with excellent service from Vivienne and her local team.
The villa was ideal for a family group of 2 grandparents. three adults and 2 young girls.The bedrooms were great for the family group and the master en-suite wet-room was always in great demand. The villa was well maintained and the kitchen and utility very well equipped. The views from the terraces were truly superb and the gardens delightful and very safe for the young children. A car is essential because the hill up to the villa is extremely steep. This is definitely a 5 star villa.
Paul NorthumberlandJune 2014 - 4/5
Myself and my wife were looking for a relaxing, peaceful holiday & that is exactly what we got ! we love Skiathos and this was our third visit (first in a private villa). The location is stunning with amazing views. There is lots of room inside and out. Walking to the villa is about 20mins from main road up a steep hill so would recommend car hire, alternatively taxi, ask the cost first and get good deal. Great & friendly service would definitely recommend!
Deb East AngliaAugust 2013 - Place to chill - 4/5
Stayed for a week as a couple having left the children behind. The location is superb with breath taking views over the bay. The villa is very private making it the ideal place for a totally relaxing holiday without having to worry about dressing up for breakfast! The kitchen is very well equipped if you do want to rustle up a meal or at least a Greek salad or two. Would recommend the Olive Thea for a nice meal within walking distance.
Vittorio & Isa MilanAugust 2013 - Wonderful seaview - 4/5
The garden and the panoramic view from the villa (and swimming pool) are terrific beautiful! we received a kind welcome and assistance from the team; it was a pleasure to meet them. The villa is on the hill, andnot too close to the busy and noisy village. It is perfect for a walk or jogging at the sunshine, and close to a delicious family restaurant ('Olive Thea'). Perfect for 8 people even only one room has a double bed. Vivienne gave us a lot of information and suggestions for our time on Skiathos.
Joanna M. July 2013 - Heavenly Views - 4/5
We loved this villa! - really traditional and full of character. The views from the terraces are stunning and totally private. The kitchen is really well equipped and has everything you need to enjoy outdoor eating. The 'Olive Thea' restaurant is wonderful, fantastic service, food and views. Get there in time to watch the sun go down. Easily done as it is only a few minutes walk from the villa. We would certainly recommend Orchard Villa and would love to stay there again.
Vernon JohannesburgJune 2013 -Mediterranean Delight - 5/5
Our family of seven in total had little difficulty in finding Orchard Villa a "home-from-home" and had a holiday of a lifetime. The superb view, refreshing pool and all the amenities house were a delight.This comfortable villa is very well equipped for family meals and outdoor living, and is situated in a lovely olive grove in a quiet and peaceful area well above the main road.
Villa Facilities and Holiday Themes
Holiday themes from Orchard Villa
- Holiday Themes and suitability for your party
- Seaside, resort, and countryside Relaxation, Sports, and Activities
- Village and harbour exploring -shops, tavernas, cafes, bars, shopping and all services - see "Skiathos Island"
- Hill-country hikes and exploring;
- Villa life and sun - vine-covered courtyard, terraced garden, roof terrace and pool (both secure for youngsters, fenced and gated), all with panoramic views
- Family and group holidays and events (Skiathos weddings v popular! - call for info)
- Greekambience, eats, and drinks(see 'Villa Guest Guide' part 3)
- Affordable 'food-guide' standard tavernas and restaurants (three of the 'top-10' within 12 mins walk of Orchard Villa)
- traditional tavernas and 'zacharaplasteos' (ice cream and cakes)
- Cafés, bars, and night-clubs
- Sports & Activities
- beaching, swimming,snorkelling,SCUBA (booked in village or on Tzanerias beach)
- water sports on all main beaches - water-ski, wind-surf, speedboats, sailing dinghies
- sea and pier fishing
- hill and forest walking (accompanied available)
- cycling (MTB/VTT)
- tennis and social club (in village)
- horse riding
Facilities in Villa and Grounds
- Easy villa access
- Easy access to front-door porch from drive - 2 shallow steps only (see villa 'Photos' - many island villas don't warn you about long steep stone stairs !)
- Three steps between split-levels in dining room and coutryard, and a gentle path with shallow steps to the middle and pool terraces
- Split-level dining/living room for 8, and high-chair
- Open-plan across 'pub' bar and bar stools to kitchen
- Most guests prefer meals and drinks (until midnight!) outside in the courtyard (tastefully wood-furnished for 12)
- Traditional Skiathos fireplace inside looks lovely, but not in summer (fire risk)
- Sofa, easy chairs
- Smoking outside only (wood beams and ceilings inside!)
- Bed and bathrooms
- Master bedroom has king-size bed, en-suite wet room with shower, wc, and double vanity unit (twin counter-top wash-basins)
- Guest wing has 3 more (twin) bedrooms, and 2 shower rooms with shower, small vanity unit and w-c, all with bath linen (please BYO beach towels).
- Bedrooms have air-con, bed linen, fitted wardrobes, small dressing table, bedside tables/lamps - plus 1 hair dryer.
- ... and mosquito nets if need (but easier to keep windows shut and air-con on).
- Good 3-4-5G signal for Wifi hot-spot in villa, and free WiFi in virtually every taverna and beach-bar! (no fixed line or router; sorry, not manageable)
- Plenty of cook-books, maps and guides; DVD; Board games; Hi (-ish) Fi (CDs - even cassettes ... C&W, 60s rock, classical); TV (mainly Greek - sorry, no DVDs, BYO)
- Garden and outside living
- Terraced private olive-grove garden with pool, fabulous views have never failed to stun every guest (see our great 4-5 starreviews!)
- Split-level dining courtyard with tasteful wood furniture for up to 12; small 'wheely' barbecue (care - fire risk in summer)
- Fenced/gated pool (5 x 8 x 1.2m) on its own terrace with attractive slate-top aperitif table and bench, and stunning view
- Private secure parking for 4 cars
- secure from wandering tourists and sheep, with private fenced grounds and drive gates (shared with the next - separately fenced - villa)
Picturesque Skiathos Village and taverna-lined old port, traffic-free paved streets, and all its shops-services-facilties - are 10 mins drive, and most of the 60-odd mainly sandy beaches within 5-25 mins - except the handful needing a water-taxi from the port!
You can also walk down to the village in about an hour, on the last remaining part of a cobbled mule track after you pass the Kivos Hotel - see 'Villa Guest Guide' Part 1, 'Routes', or the 'blue book' guide on the villa bookshelf (to see these Skiathos mule-tracks as in the old days - actually up to the '60s - take your walking boots for a couple of days on Alonissos).
Full details - click "About Skiathos" and drop-down tabs 'Skiathos Overview', 'Skiathos Photos', and 'Skiathos Facilities'
How to get to Orchard Villa:
Your 'meeter-greeter' will meet you on arrival and lead you to the villa. There are maps and guides on the villa bookshelf; and see the 'Villa Guest Guide - Part 1' which I send you on booking, for detailed directions to the villa by car, taxi, and on foot.
Orchard Villa is in the 'Katsarou' area ('Katsaros' on maps) on a low ridge with a stunning '7-island view' overlooking the main beaches. Nearest to Orchard Villa are 'Vassilias' ('King’s' beach, also now called 'Randa') and 'Achladies' ('Pear-tree' beach, and hotel), both at 5-8 mins drive, or 15-20 mins walk down the hill - but check seriously before committing yourself to having to walk back up in the heat of the day.
All other beaches are within 5-25 mins drive, or by water-taxi services by caïque from Skiathos harbour.
And within 10 mins walk of Orchard Villa are three of the islands top-10 rated (but affordable) restaurants:
Athens-Thess'iki line, hydrofoil to Volos, 1¾ hrs 60 km
Nearest Motorway Junction:
Athens-Thess'iki M-way, hydrofoil to Volos, 1¾ hrs 70 km
Your rental contract prices/terms on this page are combined with those under main website section 'Pricing/Terms all Villas'and in owners' contract offers.
- Prices are 'Seasonal' fromend May to September as: 'Low-'; 'Mid-'; 'High-'; 'Mid-'; 'End-'.
- 'Off-' season pricesmay be possible October to April; May is usually unavailable, as I am there readying the villa for you!
- Prices are for 7 nights/8 days, for occupancy by a maximum of 8 adults
- The dates in the chart below indicate Friday changeovers, but any days are possible subject to other bookings
- Prices include basic short-lease rental for the unserviced furnished property, and costs of materials* and maintenance* you are considered to have requested us to arrange and pay for on your behalf, all of which is confirmed in the proposed contract when you request an offer to rent the villa to you. * such as: domestic materials and starter provisions, equipment breakdown, pool management, bed/bath linen laundry, end cleaning, property (but not personal) insurance, etc.
Quoted Currency: British £
Rental rates are for the entire property.
24 May 19
21 Jun 19
21 Jun 19
12 Jul 19
12 Jul 19
30 Aug 19
30 Aug 19
20 Sep 19
20 Sep 19
04 Oct 19
Changeover daysareflexible.Although seasonal price dates below are shown as 'Friday to Friday' and for '7 nights', flights are available most days, and any dates are possible subject to other bookings - to discuss when we talk.
- You canmove in to the villafrom 16:00 p.m., and need to leave before 10:00 a.m. - other timings may be possible subject to other bookings
- I update theavailabilitydatechart as accurately as possible, but cannot confirm your booking enquiry until we have all made sure the villa fully suits your needs, and we have received your deposit for a firm booking (please call or send an "Enquire Now" message for details).
-Occupancy is for a party of up to 8 adults, subject to any agreed party-size or age reductions - which may be on offer out of high season.
- Fill out form on "Enquire Now" tab, I respond within 2 hrs. Please include your tel. no. so we can discuss any special requirements.