Rich in its physical contrasts, the island has always been the source of legend and adventure. Fascinating archeological remains are sited all over the island, from the colourful reinvention of Knossos to the arid mystery of Phaestos. Three separate mountain ranges riven with spectacular gorges and rivers stretch from west to east, with lush valleys falling to a varied coast of small fishing villages and magnificent sandy beaches.
An absorbing mix of Minoan, Venetian and Turkish architecture, the island’s towns weave together palaces, churches, castles, and minarets alongside the bustle of markets, cafes and tavernas.
Lake Kournas is a haven for wildlife; the Samaria and Imbros Gorges will test the more intrepid explorers. Argiroupolis has Roman tombs and mosaics surrounded by small waterfalls; daily expeditions to varied archaeological sites can be made.
Many of the villages specialise in individual crafts: traditional furniture makers, bell makers, silk cooperatives, basket makers, glassblowers and lace makers.
- Commences - Tuesday morning
- Departure airport - London Gatwick and Manchester
- Arrival airport - Chania
- On arrival - Transfer to Villa (all within 1 hour)
AthermigoNear Gavalohori | Sleeps 2-10
Built around an eighteenth century olive press, Villa Athermigo has recently undergone extensive renovation by its owner, Despina Kotsifaki.
Isadora VillaNear Panos Stalos, Crete | Sleeps 2 - 6
This striking villa, with its landmark chimney rising amidst the surrounding hills, offers a rare mixture of comfort and seclusion, stunning panoramas and stone-clad terraces, dusky pink plasterwork and palm trees. While it dazzles over the private pool in the daytime, the sun as it sets seems to bathe the villa in a special, luminous glow.
Orpheus HeightsNear Panos Stalos, Crete | Sleeps 2 - 6
Whilst offering total privacy, almost hidden amidst olive groves and hillside forests, the rooftop terrace of this dramatically coloured stone villa provides truly spectacular views from every angle, all the way to the deepest blue sea.
Villa AnastasiaKalives | Sleeps 2-7
Villa Anastasia is the Kalives village house of the Tsigounakis family. The front entrance leads to the narrow village high street and the rear entrance leads to a small street bordering the sea.
Villa AphroditeNear Vrisses | Sleeps 2-4
Villa Aphrodite has a private, peaceful and countrified setting on the outskirts of the tiny hamlet of Maza.
Villa ChloeArmeni | Sleeps 2-6
It is rare to find a well-appointed villa close to Crete’s northern coastline and Souda Bay with total privacy and without immediate neighbours.
Villa Christinaat Lake Kournas | Sleeps 2-6
Villa Christina has a private and secluded hillside location with magnificent, panoramic views over the lake and out to the bay of Georgioupolis
Villa GeorgiaNear Vrisses | Sleeps 2-6
A five minute drive from the village of Vrisses to the foothills of the White Mountains and then a short access track lead to the dramatic hilltop location of Villa Georgia.
Villa KarinaNear Vrisses | Sleeps 2-4
Villa Karina has a private, countrified setting about one hundred metres away from Villa Kontis, on the outskirts of Maza.
Villa KontisNear Vrisses | Sleeps 2-8
Villa Kontis enjoys a peaceful and private location. The original house of stone has been restored and extended to incorporate traditional and modern features with attractive gardens.
Villa MarisNear Vrisses | Sleeps 2-8
A five minute drive from the village of Vrisses to the foothills of the White Mountains
Villa PatrikoKaliviani | Sleeps 2-12
Villa Patriko stands privately on the edge of the village with stunning views across the valley and out across the Bay of Kissamos. The north west coast is known for its stunning sandy beaches
Villa StathisVamos | Sleeps 2-6
Villa Stathis is situated on the outskirts of what has been described as the most delightful village in Crete – Vamos.
Villa StellaNerokouro | Sleeps 2
Villa Stella is a romantic retreat for couples. One of the few houses of the little hamlet of Nerokouro, Villa Stella provides a simple but peaceful and comfortable escape from the crowds.
Villa TherissoTherisso | Sleeps 2-4
Twelve kilometres south of Chania, Therisso village hides away in the foothills of the White Mountains. The surrounding hills and valleys of the Theriso Gorge provide many interesting walks and a drive up to the White Mountains introduces some of the most spectacular views on the island.
Villa VictoriaLake Kournas | Sleeps 2-6
Villa Victoria, with ample balconies and terraces, has a private and secluded hillside location with magnificent, panoramic views over the lake and out to the bay of Georgioupolis.