|Minimum Stay||3 - 5 nights|
Villa Athena is located in Kato Gouves, inside a big olive grove and 10 minutes away from the beach. The property consists of a traditional villa, a stone studio, two apartments and two maisonettes. There are two identical maisonettes/houses next to each other, which you can rent together if you like. The size of the maisonette/house is 120 sq.m (1290 , with a spacious outdoor area and a magnificent garden, full of colours, fragrances and local flora. The relaxing setting and view of the mountains and the sea, combined with the surrounding olive grove creates a tranquil and comfortable environment. The first floor of the house consists of one bedroom, with two single beds. On the first floor of the residence there is a big living room, dining room and kitchen, together with a bathroom and a fireplace. The living room has a big sofa (which can sleep an extra person if needed), an armchair, chairs and tables. The bathroom of the first floor has a bathtub and a shower. On the first floor, there is also a very big balcony with a marble table and chairs for the family and friends to gather around. The view from the balcony is unique, with view of the sea, the surroundings mountains and the olive groves. On the next floor is the master bedroom with a double bed and its own ensuite bathroom. The bathroom has a jacuzzi bathtub and a shower. The master bedroom has a fireplace and also its own big balcony. The balcony has a table, chairs and a sunbed, in order for the couple or the family to enjoy the magnificent view. All bedrooms have a closet, drawers and a LCD TV. The kitchen on the first floor has an oven, a fridge, a coffee machine, a dishwasher and all the necessary amenities of a modern kitchen. There is also a table with four chairs, where you can enjoy your meal. On the same floor, there is a small storage room with a laundry machine. The outdoors of the property is very scenic, with a big well preserved garden, a barbecue facility and a traditional stone-oven to prepare delicious meals. A lot of tables with colourful chairs and big sun umbrellas with sunbeds are there to help you relax under the Cretan sun. All this setting is surrounded by our family's century old olive grove, that gives the property a traditional Cretan touch. After all, Cretan olive oil is considered to be the best extra virgin olive oil in the world. The area is open and spacious, perfect for a family with children, in order for the kids to play and be close to nature's environment. Finally, the view towards the sea, the olive grove and the hills around is relaxing, while a walk towards the sea is 10 minutes away. The parking space of the property can easily fit up to five cars.
I grew up in Athens, where I still live and work. I spent all my life's summer and Easter holidays in Crete, in the property where today lies Villa Athena. The property was purchased by my great-grand father (died at the age of 101) and was cultivated with olive trees from my grandfather (died at the age of 94) and grandmother. From that day on our family gathers the olives in December and January to produce an olive oil of the best quality in the world. On this setting my parents extended and renovated the house, thus creating the beautiful Villa Athena.
George Papachristos purchased this house in 1925
This property is valuable for my family, because it goes back two generations. It carries with it our Cretan bloodline, our family's history and our cultural heritage. For us, and Greeks in general, family is the most important thing, it defines us in our life path. So, this property is closely linked with our memories as children, with images, fragrances, sounds and sentiments. Today, for our family this property, apart from producing our olive oil, which is the base of our diet, acts also as our retreat from the noisy and stressful city.
The unique benefits of Villa Athena is its tranquil environment that makes it feel as a perfect retreat from the city, while being a 5 minute drive from anything one could miss from the city. The beauty of its gardens, the audors and colors makes the environment as relaxing as it can get. Its strategic location close to all the main roads and sights makes touring in Crete very comfortable. Together with the local tastes and drinks that you can enjoy in Crete, it feels like life cannot get any better. It is very difficult for one no to fully recharge here.
This is an immaculate property located in the midst of the olive grove, close to the beach. The location is perfect - close to the airport and touristic areas of Heraklion, yet it is very secluded. It is a 10 min walk to the beach through the nature preserve. There is a small authentic taverna on the beach - you absolutely must try the homemade meatballs there! They also provide sunbeds and umbrellas. There are a few apartments on the property, all belonging to the same family. The grounds are very well tended and very beautiful. My kids (14, 7 and 3) loved it. The apartment has been only recently built to the highest standard. You get all the amenities you would expect. It is our 10th year of vacationing in Greece and this is one of the nicest properties we have been to. The owner, George, is a sweet heart. The location is very convenient for exploring Crete by car. We went to the south coast, the Amari mountain range, Chania, and Agios Nikolaus - all within a 2 hour drive.
The great advantage of Villa Athena is that it is strategically located close to all nearby attractions, not only of the area around, but of the whole Iraklion and western Lasithi prefectures. The basic must-see sights of the region are the palace of Knossos in Iraklion and the Archeological Museum of Iraklion, in the city center. A walk inside the walls of the Old town of Iraklion is absolutely recommended, as is the 'bougatsa' delicacy, which you can enjoy at the Lions Fountain. Another route that I would strongly recommend is a visit to the beautiful town of Agios Nikolaos to the east, together with the beautiful villages of Milatos and Kritsa along the road. Of course one should not miss to swim in the beaches of Elounda Bay (where all the high-class resorts lay) and then have a seafood lunch or dinner on the waterfront of the village Plaka, with a breathtaking view of Spinaloga (a small island in the bay with a Venetian castle on top, which used to be a quarantine town for lepers). Finally, another great sight would be a trip to the Lasithi plateau, on the Diktis Mountain, where one can see the famous windmills and ride a donkey up to the cave, where Zeus was born in Dikteon Andron (over the village of Psihro). Some close-by attractions that you should not miss are the Cretaquarium in Gournes, one of the most interesting aquariums in the Mediterranean, and the numerous Orthodox monasteries in the region. Finally, if you are into hiking the various gorges and mountain paths will satisfy even the most demanding hikers.
* Approximate monthly price. Actual pricing will depend on the days of the month you stay.