If you are looking for something a bit different from a normal beach holiday choose Villa Eleftherna.
George and his family went to great lengths to makes sure our holiday was a complete success.
The Villa was exceptionally clean and well kept with immaculate grounds and swimming pool and not mentioned in a stunning location.
Close by are walks to Roman Archaeological buildings and other Historical Buildings and caves.
A car would be essential but it is only 25 minutes drive to the nearest beach in Rethymnon.
This villa provides the ideal location for a Greek holiday.
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Stayed here in with my family in August 2014. It takes a good drive to reach this house on the top of a mountain hill village, but it is worth the effort.
Setting the navigation beforehand is essential.
As many pictures will show, the venue is beautiful, highly functional and also well equipped. Local service and support is generous to say the least; George and his family totally spoil you with attention, maintenance and pleasant surprises during your stay.
When writing this back London in April 2015 I still remember the wonderful views overlooking the valley all the way to the sea miles away.
I also remember the invaluable peacefulness that in my view justifies the journey on its own. One really gets a geuine soul healing break from the big city concrete jungle. With the always refreshing pool and an excellent BBQ facility in the grown up and aesthetically manicured garden, nobody will miss busy hotel facilities or its accompanying tourist mess.
Up here. One can hear the wind whisper and birds singing. One can hear bypassing bees while enjoying breakfast in what almost feels like your own valley.
The village is great for walks. Supermarkets and butchers are some 15 mins drive downhills.
A top tip is a day-long excursion to the Matala Beach on the south side of Crete. Satnav is essential and make sure you drive a l l t h e w a y home too during daylight. Doing so ensures not only road safety but also magnificent mountain panoramas along the way.
I happily recommend this venue for anyone seeking a quiet family retreat in a luxurious setting and with ample opportunities for car excursions.
Where to start?
Booking and communication were excellent. Kostas was easily contactable before and during the holiday, if needed. His welcome and introductions were very friendly and reassuring.
On arrival, Kostas and his father,George,were there to greet us. We were provided with lots of Cretan specialities during our stay - George's own wine, honey and raki, as well as a huge fruit basket, coffee, delicious biscuits, bread, more wine, red eggs for Easter and more.
The villa is immaculate. The photos on the website show it exactly as it is. It is cleaned and towels, sheets etc freshened, every 3 or so days. It is well appointed, spacious and comfortable. The pool and garden are lovely. It has loads of seating outdoors and great views over the village and down to the sea. Just be aware this is a traditional Cretan village so there are other houses nearby, but for the most part you don't notice these given the siting of the villa, and the sounds and music from below simply add to the ambience.
We cannot fault the villa in any way. It does take a little while to get to a 'main' road, but, again that is part of the charm and there is much to be done nearby, whether walking or visiting historical sites.
A superb villa with owners who make sure you have the best possible base and start to your holiday.
We started our trip in Sweden, arriving at the villa a bit tired from the trip where we received a very warm welcome at Villa Eleftherna. The tiredness was gone and we realized that our high expectations was by far exceeded. Besides the very warm welcome, the villa and its perfection stunned us. The mixture of a luxurious villa and the genuine surroundings made our week an unforgettable memory, the only mistake we made was not to book another week:-).
The morning is heralded by the sound of the cockerel call, the dawn chorus of chirruping of birds with the cooing of a dove keeping time; the buzzing of a bee reporting for work and the tinkling sound of sheep moving to fresh pastures for the day. The sun rises at the Villa Eleftherna over a range of mountains spreading it's warming rays and basking it in a golden light.
This is my experience of most mornings in this thoughtfully appointed Villa, which I enjoyed with a soothing cup of tea.
Our arrival was greeted with a very personal welcome from George and his family, with a cornucopia of fruit. Including locally grown grapes, honey, olive oil, a bottle of wine and not forgetting some famous Greek raki. The house consists of four rooms (two doubles and two twin rooms) each with a balcony seating area; air conditioning with ample storage space. The kitchen is appointed with all the 'mod cons' including several coffee brewers, orange juicing machines, microwave oven, dishwasher crockery cutlery and even a waffle iron! The sitting room has a multi-channelled tv, wi-fi access, and a music system which can connect to your MP3 player. (Remember to bring a connection wire for this.)
There are several dining areas including one on the verandah, where we had the pleasure of having long lazy breakfasts. A high chair for the baby was provided. A further dining area is found next to the barbeque and outdoor oven, situated in the lovingly tendered garden which included herbs such as 'Cretan tea.' A hammock provides a small retreat to indulge in a good novel. The biggest highlight especially for the children was the pool which was a source of hours of creative fun. The pool area is gated with an inflated lifeguard ring; a maximum depth of 1.40 metres and an outdoor shower.
The house is cleaned approximately every three days, when the white bath and face towels are replaced. The blue swimming towels need to be washed in the villa's washing machine. Any recyclable waste items are encouraged to be collected in a separate refuse bag. There is a local shop around 10 to 15 minutes walk which opens until 2 pm and then re-opens at 6pm. For meat products you need to go further afield towards Rethymnon. A torch is recommended for evening walking excursions to keep an eye on local insects and critters. A mosquito cream is recommended during your travels around Crete, although this was not a particular problem at the higher altitude villa.
A lovely personal touch was that the Vasilakis family brought intermittent gifts of delicious sun ripened tomatoes from their garden, a home baked chocolate cake, and heart healthy, monounsaturated packed local olive oil.
Wonderful Cretan hospitality to match the resplendent sunsets over the Villa Eleftherna.
This place is a real Pearl- it is everything advertised and more.
The owner was waiting for us when we arrived and gave us a full explanation for operating the villa and more important the best things to do in the area.
The house is well equipped: It is on a large plot (around 1,000 sqm) with a beautifully kept garden and a good size swimming pool (there is even a volley ball net which was great fun as we are a family of 6). The kitchen is well equipped- microwave, oven, full size fridge ceramic hob and plenty of utensils. There seem to be sitting areas in every corner - on the veranda, down in the garden, on the roof- where ever you are looking for a piece of shade or sun. The bathrooms are fine - both with showers and instant hot water of the sun heater does not work for any reason. There is also a washing machine, 4 bikes (including a pump!), barbeque
The villa is located in a quiet peaceful village about 15 minutes from the nearest beach - this means its not quite as hot during the day and nice and cool at night- one evening we even put on long sleeves when sitting outside but this was an exception.
The house is extremely well kept, is clean and is new and modern (its only 5 years old but looks less) and the owners take real pride in it which is reflected in every corner.
I would also take the owners recommendations om what to see- the roads in Crete are far from to be desired and it takes much longer to go from place to place than one would anticipate.
Here is what we did (our 4 children are aged 7-17):
Rethymno (nice afternoon), Kourna Lake, Millie Gorge (beautiful taverna there), horse park near Rethymo (we started riding at 9 am but if you are in the summer I would start at 8 while its still cool), Go Kart near Rethymno, Chania, Margarites, Anogia, Bali beach, Plakias beach, Crete Acquarium (east of Heraklion) and Heraklion.
To summarize this is a lovely retreat and you certainly get good value for your money.
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From booking this villa everything was handled exceptionally well. Kostas handles all your queries quickly and efficiently.
On arrival we were met by George and his son, and shown around this beautiful villa. A large basket of fresh fruit, some wine, raki and honey were all left for us.
The villa is very well equipped with everything you could possibly need. My 2 teens were very happy they had wifi!
All the bedrooms are large and have air conditioning. Everything is spotlessly clean. There is a private balcony or terrace off of each bedroom.
The outside area is lovely. A large pool, which George comes and cleans every evening. Lovely gardens - we loved the hammock in the shade of a tree.
A very short stroll down the hill to the village and you have 2 tavernas to choose from. There is a small shop for essentials. But for a main shop a drive of 30 minutes to Rethymnon is required. You will need a car if you stay here, as it is in the hills in the countryside, but this is why we chose it - to see the real Crete. It is however easy enough to get to the coast, about 30 to 40 minutes by car.
I cannot speak highly enough of this villa. We take villa holidays every year, and this one is one of the best, if not the best we have stayed in.