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Villa Idi: pure relaxation in the heart of Crete

Bedrooms 3
Space 1,506 sq. ft.
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 2 - 3 nights


About the property

Pure relaxation in the heart of Crete

Overlooking the terracotta rooftops of Amari Village and a valley of unspoiled natural beauty, Villa Idi is an ideal base to explore the undiscovered Crete. It is a great spot for anyone who wishes to get away from the crowded touristic areas, yet being close enough to visit them. Carrying a family history of 150 years, the stone building has been fully restored offering a private pool and spectacular views.

Villa Idi is part of a traditional, stone-built complex, being once the owner’s grandparents home. It started about 1.5 century ago, as a typical residence of Cretan farmers with just one room, storage and a small patio for a donkey and a few goats, but gradually expanded as the family was growing. It used to be the place where the owner spent every summer holiday of his childhood, with “papou” and “giagia” (grandpa and grandma). Today an engineer, he has restored the building for the sake of those sweet summers and transformed it into a holiday home.

Amari is a delightful, living, traditional village in the heart of Crete, enjoying a unique, direct environment of excellent climate. The property is set at the top of the village, with marvellous views across the rooftops and away across the valley to the mighty Mount Idi. The elegant traditional furnishing and the family’s handmade embroidery form a relaxing blend of calm and comfort. Staying here, one can feel the natural tranquillity as the scene is completed by the clear, transparent atmosphere and the sounds of nature. Watching the Mount Idi turning red during sunset and the moon rising over the valley is an unforgettable experience.

The villa can accommodate 8 people in an area of 140sqm, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The capacity may be extended to 9 people, on request.

Free Wi-Fi and full air conditioning (in every room) is included. The house is very ample and has a fully equipped kitchen, dining area and living room with fireplace. Flat screen TV with DVD/home cinema and CD player (iPod compatible) is provided. The private swimming pool is surrounded by astonishing views and features BBQ facilities, outdoor shower and a romantic dining area, under the little oak tree.

Regular changing of linen/towels and all cleaning services are included. Also, free beach towels, pool accessories, water toys and life jackets for kids and babies are provided.

COOKING SERVICE of local cuisine is offered exclusively for our guests, on request. Mrs. Rumy, the housekeeper, will introduce you to a healthy and delicious Cretan diet, with recipes that are totally homemade, using olive oil and fresh, seasonal products only, from the village and the close area.

A WELCOME TREAT with local and home made goods and wine will be waiting for you, upon arrival.

FOR KIDS (…and adults), you’ll find toys, games, books, music and movies. For babies, we offer baby-cots and high-chairs, free of charge.

For your better INFORMATION, we will provide maps and book guides for the entire area and our personal recommendations about food, daily trips, events and places of interest.

PRIVATE PICNIC AREA: Located in the nearby fields, the family owned “aloni” (threshing yard) is one of the last remaining in the area. A few minutes walk away from the villas, it is waiting for you to have a picnic under the shade of a giant oak tree.


Area and activities:

The Amari is one of a few areas in the island where the genuine spirit and the way of life of real Crete is still present; A unique blend of local people, nature, history and tradition.

In Amari Village, there are 2 little museums and the Bell Tower, the symbol of the area, built on a rock where a Venetian castle was standing once.

The close area has some great walks crossing the beautiful fields and the ancient olive groves. Hidden among the trees, little byzantine temples of the 13th century, remain yet undiscovered.

For kids, the Amari Village offers a playground, a basic basket/volley-ball court and the old school yard, all of them at a distance of 50m to 200m from the villa. The village is safe, with friendly people and minimum traffic conditions.

We encourage our guests to take part in the local, everyday life. Also, we constantly keep them informed about all kind of activities and events that could be present in the area:

- Walking or hiking on the E4 path

- Cheese making “on the spot”, with the shepherds of Mt. Psiloritis

- Participating in agricultural activities with local people like milking sheep and goats, olive harvest, wine making and “tsikoudia” distilling

- Observation of the Cretan wild flowers in the springtime

- Bird-watching in the gorges

- Daily excursions in the valley

- Sea kayaking/canoeing

- Bike rental

- Local village festivals with Cretan music and dance

- Musical events and other cultural happenings

Set in the middle of the island, the villa offers equal access (from 25 to 35 km) both to the crowded north coast and the quiet south coast beaches.

Some of the local sites are (2 to 15km): Minoan Monastiraki, Ancient Syvritos, Platania Gorge, Patsos Gorge, Potamoi lake, Veni Monastery and Arkadi Monastery. The Ancient Eleftherna (23km) excavation site and its brand new Museum have opened to public for the first time in 2016.

Major sights like Rethymnon Venetian Town, Phaestos Minoan Palace, Matala beach, Preveli Palm Beach and Preveli Monastery are also easily accessible by car (less than 1 hour).


Many local taverns and restaurants can be found in the close area and they all serve genuine Cretan food at good prices. One of them is on the main square of our village (Amari), the rest are in the neighbouring villages (within a distance from 2 to 5km).

Supplies, Shops and Super Markets:

Gas station, pharmacy, pastry shop and supermarkets are at 6km away, in Agia Fotini Village.

Several times a week, local farmers come down the street to sell their goods honking at the villas’ doorstep. You can find groceries, fruits, dairy products, etc. Fresh bread is delivered every day at "kafeneion" (cafe) on the main square of Amari Village.

Moreover, we assist our guests to buy products directly from the village families, like eggs, cheese, herbs, fresh goat's milk, honey, raki, wine, olive oil, etc.

Local Amenities and Authorities:

Medical centre, Post office and Town hall: 6km away, in Agia Fotini Village.

Police station: in Amari Village (200m from the villa)

More Details

About Us

Manolis Papadakis
74061 Rethymnon
E.O.T., MHTE: 1041K910028943
VAT Reg No998802195

Manolis Papadakis
Member since: 2012
Speaks English, Spanish, Greek
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
23 October, 2017


Nearest Airport
100 Kilometres
Heraklion (HER) or Chania (CHQ)
Nearest Barpub
50 Metres
Teziaki Cafe in Amari Village Square
Nearest Ferry
37 Kilometres
Nearest Motorway
30 Kilometres
Nearest Restaurant
2 Kilometres
Klados & Panakron
Nearest Beach
30 Kilometres
Car: necessary


Amari village is located at the centre of Amari Valley. It remains untouched by massive tourism and it is one of the most picturesque in Crete, with interesting architecture and unsurpassed tranquillity.

The old bell tower is the symbol for visitors, offering spectacular views of the area (located just beside the villa).

There are 2 small museums, one with folklore items from the village houses and one with the representation of the old school classroom.

In the main square there is a kafeneion (coffee shop) beside the old school, under the shade of pine trees. You can feel the slow tempo of life, sitting together with the locals with a coffee or a raki.

You can also experience refreshing walks through the fields and rest under the shade of ancient olive and oak trees or discover the 7 byzantine churches, dating from the 13th century, which are hidden in the countryside.

If you like hiking, the path to the Samitos summit (altitude 1050m, 1.5 hour, easy) starts from the village. The mountain was once dedicated to the worship of Pan, the ancient God of nature.

Moreover, you may participate in agricultural activities with the local people like milking sheep and goats, olive harvest, wine making and tsikoudia distilling.

Children will be happy to enjoy the old schoolyard, the open basket/volley ball court and the playground.


The Easter celebration remains the same for centuries. The local people follow a series of traditional rituals that will lead eventually to the impressive “Judas burning”, beside the Bell Tower.

The Amari Green Festival (last week of July) is organized by the Municipality and takes place in an area 2km from the village. The main events are the music concerts but there are also various workshops of local cooking, music, dance and pottery.

The Amari Village Festival, dedicated to the name day of Hagios (Saint) Titos, is organized by the local Cultural Club and usually lasts 4 days, from the 22nd till the 25th of August. It includes a race event around the area (for all ages), a bazaar of local products made by the women club, 1 or 2 concerts, theatre and the final event, on the 25th, which is the traditional celebration gathering on the square of the village, with music and dance all night long.


The scenic Amari valley, in the heart of Crete, lies between 2 mountains: Psiloritis (Idi) and Kedros, both belonging to the Natura 2000 protected areas. The landscape is exceptional, with high mountains, little rivers and green fields. The most common trees found are olives, oaks and cypresses and the whole scene is decorated in springtime with countless wild flowers. The clean environment and the healthy climate are ideal for relaxing, walking, climbing, cycling, or exploring by car. Numerous paths, starting from Amari and the nearby villages will guide you to magnificent natural sites (plateaus, caves, mountaintops, gorges, etc). Moreover, a tour by car to the 27 beautiful villages of the valley would be a worthwhile experience, as each one of them has its own charm.


Agios Antonios or Patsos Gorge starts beside the ruins of an ancient temple and crosses a forest with waterfalls, bird watching points and picnic facilities.

Potamoi Lake is a refuge and immigration station for birds, suitable for walking or cycling.

Platania Gorge follows an exciting track amongst the vultures’ nests offering spectacular views of the valley.

The mighty Psiloritis or Idi Mt. (2456m) with a history full of myths and legends dominates the area, being the highest point in Crete and crossed by the international E4 path. It is the home of the last surviving Gypaetus and Golden eagles. Not necessary for someone to go to the top; there are several lower hikes and interesting possibilities for exploring by car.

Kedros Mt. (1777m), also crossed by the E4, is wild and rocky near the top but, in its lower area, it is peaceful, forming little valleys with springs and fruit trees.


The area near Amari Village is rich in history, with several sites of the Minoan and the Byzantine era:

The Ancient town of Syvritos (meaning “sweet water”), near the village of Thronos (7km);

The Minoan palace, in the nearby village of Monastiraki (2km);

The abandoned “Veni” monastery (10km), located beside a unique plateau and featuring a temple in a cave with stalactites;

Some of the major archaeological sites of Crete are within 1 hour drive from Amari: Arkadi monastery (15min), Ancient Eleftherna (30min) excavation site with its brand new Museum, Festos Minoan Palace and the Roman capital of Gortys (60min), Preveli monasteries (55min), Rethymnon Venetian town (45min).


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday villa in Amári in Sivritos

Property Type:
  • villa (detached)
  • Catering available
  • Breakfast - Booking Possible
  • Lunch - Booking Possible
  • Dinner - Booking Possible
  • Housekeeper Included
Floor Area:
  • 1506 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 16:00
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • beach
  • mountain
  • rural
  • village
  • Adventure
  • Family
  • Farm Holidays
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Air Conditioning
  • Basic Soaps
  • Broadband Access
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Mosquito Magnet
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Sunbed
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Free Wifi
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
  • There are two full bathrooms, one in each floor. Both of them have windows. We provide traditional, Cretan toilet soap, made of olive oil and honey. Also, we provide hand washing liquid soap and toilet paper. Bed linen, towels, beach towels and all cleaning services are included in the price.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Green master suite - 1 Double Bed , 1 Cot
    Guest suite - 1 Double Bed
    Old Attic suite - 1 Double Bed , 2 Single Bed , 1 Cot
  • All 3 bedrooms enjoy the view and plenty of sunshine. The Master suite has 1 double bed and is located on the first floor. It is very spacious, with excellent views facing north, east and south. The Old Attic suite is also on the first floor, facing east, opposite to Psiloritis (Idi) Mt. It is a 2-level quadruple room with 1 double bed downstairs and a wooden attic with 2 single beds, upstairs. The 2 single beds may be joined together to form another double bed. Both, Master and Attic suites have access to the 1st floor terrace with stunning view on the village and the mountains. The Guest suite has 1 double bed and is located on the ground floor, beside the garden, facing east. Bed linen, towels, beach towels and all cleaning services are included in the price.
  • Books
  • Books - Fiction / Non-fiction
  • Books for Kids
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Games for Kids
  • Music Library
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Toys
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Deck Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Binoculars
  • Terrace
  • Gated Community
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Veranda
  • Terrace
  • veranda
  • 10 garden chairs
  • 4 deck chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Private Pool
Onsite Services:
  • Private Chef
  • autumn foliage
  • caves
  • churches
  • forests
  • museums
  • naturist beach
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • theme parks
  • waterfalls
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • caving
  • swimming
A welcome treat will be waiting for you upon arrival, with local produced organic food supplies, olive-oil, wine, 'raki', honey & herbs from our village. Mrs Roumy, the housekeeper, cooks genuine Cretan food, on request. products. For kids, according to their age, we'll be happy to provide toys, games, books, movies, baby cot and highchair, at no extra cost. Any other baby equipment can be provided on request. For the pool we provide kids and babies life jackets and water toys. Free wood supplies for the fireplace and the barbecue. In the villa you'll find local, traditional hiking sticks. Also, maps and book guides for the entire area and our personal recommendations about food, daily trips, walks and places of interest.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(29 traveller reviews)

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Villa Idi: pure relaxation in the heart of Crete
average rating of 5.0 based on 29 reviews

Second stay at Villa Idi

  • 5 of 5

This is the second year we have stayed at Villa Idi and as before it was superb.

Manolis and Rula are amazing hosts and made our stay very special, introducing us to local events, giving great recommendations on things to do in the area and beyond and helping with any questions and queries.

Mrs. Rumy's home cooked food is probably some of the best you will find on the island and the taverna at Meronas is also excellent.

The Villa, outside space and views are fantastic - a perfect place to relax and unwind.

We will be back again I'm sure.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 6, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Amari stay

  • 5 of 5

Well designed villa with all facilities. Charming host Manolis provided us with masses of information on the Amari valley and the rest of Crete, which was very useful not only when in Amari but also on our trip around Crete. Great views of the village and surrounding countryside from the outside areas. We were only one couple and so had loads of space and though there were 2 outside seating areas we felt it might have been a bit of a squeeze if you had 6 or 8 people staying. The steps up to the villa are also quite steep and this could be a problem for those with serious mobility issues. Amari village itself is very quiet with no taverna and one very small cafe. There are, however, some great tavernas a few kilometres away. Housekeeper/cook Mrs Rumy was also a great bonus. It was a really great stay in a spectacular area of Crete

  • Review Submitted: Jun 24, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Wonderful Villa and hospitality

  • 5 of 5

Amari is a delightful, living, traditional village in the heart of Crete. Although the villa is in the village, it is at the top, away from the main road, with marvellous views from the terrace across the rooftops and away across the valley to the mighty Mount Idi after which it is named. The villa itself has everything you would need for all seasons and is a delightful place to stay. Chief amongst the treasures to be found in the villa is the housekeeper, who unobtrusively looked after the villa better than anywhere we have stayed and also provides excellent meals when and if you require. The owner also showed us outstanding hospitality, spending his time to ensure we were comfortably and showing us around the village area, of which he is justly proud. We thoroughly recommend Villa Idi for families, groups or couples, and remember there is also an adjoining villa if you party is large.

  • Review Submitted: Nov 14, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Oct 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Great place ,great people

  • 5 of 5

Beautiful place in the mountains. A bit far from the city and all other tourists. Perfect for couple/ family who wants privacy, or group of friends that wants to have fun and.

  • Review Submitted: Oct 8, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Wonderful silent place to relax and simply enjoy!

  • 5 of 5

Beautiful redecorated house in the mountains of Crete! They thought about everything. Very clean, convenient and luxurious. Nice swimming pool. Very warm welcome. All kind of groceries available at arrival. No need to cook! Mrs Rumy is one of the best cooks ever. You taste the love she puts in preparing the dinner.

  • Review Submitted: Oct 3, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Wow - We loved our stay!

  • 5 of 5

We recently spent four nights at Villa Idi. It was one of four properties that we stayed at while touring Crete and Naxos. We travelled with another couple and we all agreed that it was by far our favourite.

From the beginning, Manolis (the owner) was so helpful. His directions and Villa information were thorough and easy to follow and understand. How he got the wild goats to appear at the exact time that he told us to look out for them in the directions is a fun mystery. He was also a great source of information about the local area directing us to some places that we may not have discovered on our own.

The Villa is beautiful and lovingly restored with 3 bedrooms plus a loft, two full bathrooms, a kitchen, living area and an amazing terrace with a pool. It is peacefully surrounded by beautiful mountains. The pictures do not do it justice. When we arrived there was a variety of goodies waiting for us in the kitchen. Such a nice touch. The villa is in a quiet valley centrally located for exploring the beautiful villages and beaches in the surrounding area.

All of this was lovely but the jewel of the villa is Mrs. Rumy. She is the onsite housekeeper who will help you if you have any questions. She is also an amazing cook. Prior to arriving you will receive a menu of the items that she can prepare for you. Before arriving we thought we might have her cook one or two nights. The first night we had the best lamb that we have ever had along with a smoked eggplant salad, potatoes, and yogurt for dessert. That sealed it, we asked her to cook every night for us and they were the best meals of our trip. She has an apartment close by and would help when needed but was careful to respect our privacy. It was wonderful to have a friendly face to greet us with a delicious meal after we returned from exploring each day. We were sad to say goodbye to Mrs. Rumy!

It was such a special experience that we are thinking of returning next year to explore the parts of Crete that we did not get to see this trip. Eight days is not enough on this beautiful island. For sure we will start our next trip by recharging our batteries at this beautiful and peaceful Villa.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 28, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday villa in Amári, Crete

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event Price
Low season
1 Oct 2017 - 31 Oct 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Low season
1 Nov 2017 - 21 Dec 2017
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
High Season
22 Dec 2017 - 7 Jan 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Low Season
8 Jan 2018 - 31 Mar 2018
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
Low Season
1 Apr 2018 - 30 Apr 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Low Season
1 May 2018 - 31 May 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Mid Season
1 Jun 2018 - 30 Jun 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
High Season
1 Jul 2018 - 31 Aug 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Mid Season
1 Sep 2018 - 30 Sep 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Low Season
1 Oct 2018 - 31 Oct 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Low Season
1 Nov 2018 - 23 Dec 2018
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
High Season
24 Dec 2018 - 6 Jan 2019
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Low Season
7 Jan 2019 - 31 Mar 2019
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees

- Minimum stay 3 nights, daily rate is calculated on a pro-rata basis.
- Long stay policy : Please contact us for long stay discounts (10nights or more).
- The prices show the Total Cost of the Booking, including full air-conditioning, internet access (Wi-Fi), a welcome basket with local goods upon arrival, all taxes and all cleaning services, beach towels and change of linen/ towels. Also, central heating is included for the winter period.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
Ask Owner a Question

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