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Restored Stone Thimonia (Small Barn)/Cottage: a Poet's Retreat

Bedrooms 1
Space sq. ft.
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 14 - 90 nights
Popular Features
  • Internet
  • Washing Machine
  • non smoking only
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fireplace


About the property

Cottage, 1 Bedroom + Other (See Description), 1 Bath, (Sleeps 2-3)

~MINIMUM STAY 2 WEEKS~Rebuilt/restored (in 1999) 'Thimonia' (small Barn) in style of traditional whitewashed stone cottage--but with all modern conviences and comforts. Situated on edge of residential village of Exambela, with two small fields of 31 olive trees. There are two stone terraces and flower, fruit, herb and vegetable gardens. Private and serene with panoramic views of sea and mountains (ideal Feng Shui). Perfect Retreat for Artists, Writers, Academic Sabbatical.

Sleeps two ideally: one bedroom w/double bed. Living room has two couches which are 'proper' single size beds. BUT house is small with only one bathroom, so couches are really only sutiable for very short-term ie. a weekend guest(or two). It's 10 minutes by local bus to most beaches or a car or motorbike can be rented locally. Security deposit required. Year round rental of house is possible if booked adequately in advance.

Keywords: Traditional Cottage

More Details

Elaine Moore Hirsch
Member since: 2005
Speaks English
Response time:
Within 2 days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
26 March, 2017

About Elaine Moore Hirsch

I'm an artist and a writer and a native born New Yorker, USA. My family is not Greek (background is English & Irish), but we love the country, the islands, and especially the people. My husband died in '94 and I had to finish the house and property myself with a local architect, builders, carpenters, landscape gardeners, etc. AND, being dyslexic, I can hardly speak a word in Greek. This listing site say 'Year Purchased' but it should read 'Year Finished'. I have a talented son who's a writer and my daughter-in-law is a playwright. She has inherited--along with her sister--a house of their own in another village. I don't get to Sifnos very often these days, since I've gotten old and creaky, that's why I have 'The Thimonia' listed for rent on VRBO. My 'stuff' is still there--that's why the house is cozy. I feel it's not good for a beloved home to be empty.

Elaine Moore Hirsch purchased this cottage in 1999

Why Elaine Moore Hirsch chose Greece

My husband, my young son and I came to Sifnos for the first time in 1982. Over the next 10 years we came back-on and off- for summer vacations, renting houses in different villages. We liked Exambela village best because it's just residential (with only a mini-market) and there is a small community of ex-pats. We finally bought land there in 1992, but it took us until 1999 to completely rebuild the Thimonia: originally a goat barn-- adding stone terraces, landscaping the grounds, and adding the gardens and olive groves.

What makes this cottage unique

The property has a great view of the Aegean Sea looking East, and of the mountains behind to the West. It's just on the northern edge of the main village of Exambela, which has no roads for cars: just donkey paths or motor bikes. It's very private and quiet--but five minutes walk to the village's mini-market and the bus stop.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Southern Aegean in Greece

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy 3
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • not suitable for children
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
Location Type:
  • Mountain View
  • Ocean View
  • rural
  • village
  • Away From It All
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Broadband Access
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Fireplace
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath with Shower , Bath (no shower)
    Bathroom 2 - Outdoor Shower , Hot and Cold Water, Great view of Aegean Sea
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 3
  • Other (See Description) - 1 Double Bed , 2 Single Bed , the 2 single beds are also the couches in living room.
  • Double Bed (1), Twin or Single Beds (2)
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Music Library
  • Television ...
  • Video Player
  • Terrace ...
  • Garden ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Onsite Services:
  • Staff
  • churches
  • festivals
  • marina
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • Boating
  • horse riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • Shopping
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain climbing
  • Rock Climbing
  • sailing
  • diving
  • snorkelling
  • Snorkeling/Diving
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • wind-surfing
Bedroom Air Conditioned; Central Oil Heating; TV & DVD (Satlite Available); Kitchen, Stove with both bottled gas & electric; Full sized Refrigerator; Full American Bath w/Tub; Cooking utensils and local pottery tableware provided; Ralph Lauren sheets & towels & comforters; Clothes Washer; Hot & Cold water OUTDOOR SHOWER on Terrace; Internet Connection with Broadband; Cleaning Lady Available; EXTRA CHARGES: (Local area only: 22840, telephone service, & electricity are included in the rent.) Heating Oil to be paid by tenant for the length of their stay in winter months. One full day house cleaning about 75 euros is required.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(29 traveller reviews)

Restored Stone Thimonia (Small Barn)/Cottage: a Poet's Retreat
average rating of 4.965517 based on 29 reviews

Magical - ideal home on Sifnos

  • 5 of 5

Sifnos is a very special island and staying at the Thimonia makes it all the more special. The cottage is beautiful and has so many gorgeous small touches that have been made with love and care. If that wasn't enough, the courtyard with the outdoor shower and a stunning view means spending the days looking out at the sea and the nights looking up at the stars.

This truly is a magical home. It's my second time staying at Thimonia and I can't wait to go back.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 31, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Québec Canada

Un lieu pour prendre le temps de vivre

  • 5 of 5

Nous avons vécu dans cette maison de la fin du mois de mars à la fin du mois d'avril 2015. Nous avions deux buts: effectuer un projet de création et marcher. Nous ne répèterons pas toutes les belles choses dites au sujet de la maison et d'Elaine. Nous pouvons tout simplement les confirmer. La maison est un lieu agréable, calme, parfait pour prendre le temps de vivre, réfléchir, respirer et créer. Si vous êtes des amoureux de la randonnée et du silence, en plus d'être débrouillards, vous apprécierez la localisation idéale de cette maison. Nous conservons un excellent souvenir de cette maison, de cette île et de notre relation avec Elaine et Evdokia. Nous y retournerons sûrement un jour.

  • Review Submitted: Apr 24, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Apr 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Un endroit enchanteur sur l'île de Sifnos

  • 5 of 5

La Thimonia est une ancienne grange magnifiquement restaurée aux murs épais, aux fenêtres munies de moustiquaires et au sol dallé de larges pierres. L’entrée de la propriété se fait par l’arrière où l’on découvre un verger abrité. Un escalier de pierre mène à la première terrasse au niveau de l’entrée de la maison. Une oliveraie répartie sur deux terrasses séparées par un mur de pierre occupe la majeure partie du terrain. Au bout de la maison, la porte-fenêtre de la chambre accède à une petite terrasse à l’ombre d’une treille où pendent quelques grappes mordorées en septembre. En face la mer semble proche. Le village de Kastro est édifié sur un rocher au-dessus des flots. Vers le nord les villages blancs d’Appolonia et d’Artemonas s’étagent sur les collines.

L’après-midi le jardin de la Thimonia resplendit sous le soleil et un léger vent tempère son ardeur. Le banc à l’ombre des oliviers est un lieu agréable les jours de fortes chaleurs. Il fait presque frais quand l’après-midi avance et que le vent se lève. La vue est magnifique. La mer prend des tonalités plus denses. Les maisons blanches brillent sur les collines avoisinantes. Quelques nuages glissent occultant le soleil. L’ombre du vieux figuier grandit. Des colombes s’assemblent à proximité et s’envolent joyeusement, des corbeaux croisent, des oiseaux de proie guettent plus haut.

Vous vous sentirez bien en ce lieu enchanteur. La maison est agréable, et chose rare, elle dispose d'un vrai bureau avec un fauteuil confortable et une lampe où l'on peut travailler à son aise. La wifi fonctionne bien. Il y a deux supermarchés bien achalandés à 10 minutes à pied. Elaine, la propriétaire est la personne la plus amicale qu'on puisse imaginer.

  • Review Submitted: Nov 5, 2014
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Valence France

thimonia dream's house

  • 4 of 5

From one year , I was waiting to return in Greece islands .I choosed Sifnos for scenery , beaches and authentic country side.

Thimonia was exactely the house of my dreams .

In august , when I arrived I felt peace in my mind and in my heart

Every furnitures , objects trees and plants are selected with good taste .

Thimonia smels harmony

All windows open on hills , villages ,sea and islands .

If you desire walk, it is easy . The island offers a lot of paths in the country .

If you want swim, you can find differents beaches , naturels , simples .

This island and specially this house are authentics losts paradises

Thank you Elaine to open your house

  • Review Submitted: Oct 6, 2014
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Brooklyn, NY

A beautiful haven!

  • 5 of 5

Like some of the other reviewers, I came to the Thimonia to revise my novel in the winter (of 2014). The house was perfect for retreating from city life, for contemplation, inspiration, and personal (as well as artistic) growth. The space is beyond charming and elegant-- it's a work of art, with the sea visible from nearly every window. One perceives immediately the thought, time, and love that went into creating this haven. I suspect that everything -- from the bathroom's gold fixtures, to the Turkish (?) lamps dangling on both sides of the bed, to the rug that keeps your feet warm as you write write write through the night -- was meticulously selected by Elaine, who wants nothing more than for her guests to love the house and the island as much as she does. Throughout my stay, she generously provided advice about things to see, do, and even eat on the island, and answered every question and concern I had quickly and thoroughly. You can not find a more attentive host than Elaine.

One of my favorite things to do was watch the sunset from the wall that faced out onto a sheep's pasture (sometimes they were there, too!). I'll never forget the colors! The pinks and purples, and the peace I felt at having put in another hard day's work. On "bad" writing days, the white couch beds provided just what I needed -- comfort, relaxation, and the warmth of soft, cozy blankets.

Other touching surprises came from the locals: spinach pies from the wonderful lady who runs Exambela's mini mart, fresh goat's milk from the shepherd across the way...I could go on!

Thank you, Elaine, for opening your home to me.

  • Review Submitted: Jun 24, 2014
  • Date of Stay: Jan 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Bloomington, IL USA

Beautiful Place

  • 5 of 5

There's something truly magical about Sifnos, and the Thimonia is the perfect place to stay. I will definitely rent this house again. I came to Sifnos for a writing retreat and stayed at the Thimonia for the month of May. It is a beautiful house with many amenities. It has all the comforts of home in a gorgeous location. The beds are firm, the kitchen is well stocked and the bathroom has a gigantic bathtub (which you will not find in most hotels)! I recommend it for up to three people. The master bedroom has a double bed (a bit too cozy for two adults, in my view, but I require a lot of room when I sleep!) The couches serve as very comfortable twin beds. Mosquito netting is provided around the bed, and it is necessary in summer. I would recommend that anyone sleeping on the couches have netting as well (I think there was one extra mosquito net in the closet).

The house is situated on a ridge with a view to the north east, so there is always a nice breeze. The landscaping is beautiful. There are many places to sit outside and take in the breathtaking view of the sea and surrounding villages. Every morning I watched the sun rise over Paros, and spent the day writing at the large wood desk in front of a window facing the sea. In the evening I sat outside with my ouzo, olives, and meze, breathing in the intoxicating fragrances of thyme, rosemary, oregano, fennel, lavender and roses that grow all over the island. The lovely garden at the Thimonia provides herbs and apricots in season for the daily meal. Exabela is a pedestrian-only village. During my time at the house I never heard one car or siren or airplane--only the sound of tinkling goat bells, roosters, birds, and farmers at work in their fields. I cooked at home most days, but there are lots of lovely restaurants and tavernas that serve traditional Greek food grown locally. The villages are small and charming. Even the port, Kamares, has a clean, sandy beach and great restaurants along one small main strip. (The Old Captain's Bar, run by Kelly, Tony, and Leftheres, is a fantastic place to have a drink at sunset.) Sifnos is very manageable for visitors without a car. There are buses seven days a week, but I walked everywhere. The island offers many groomed hiking trails that wind through the gorges and up into the mountains to beautiful churches and monasteries. Three grocers are just up the street from the house and the capitol, Apollonia, is only a 15 min. walk.

  • Review Submitted: Jun 4, 2014
  • Date of Stay: May 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday cottage in Southern Aegean, Europe

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event Price
Off Season-Spring
1 Apr 2017 - 31 May 2017
14 night minimum stay
for 14 nights
High Season
1 Jun 2017 - 30 Sep 2017
30 night minimum stay
for 30 nights
Off Season-Fall
1 Oct 2017 - 30 Nov 2017
14 night minimum stay
for 14 nights
Writer's Retreat
1 Dec 2017 - 31 Mar 2018
90 night minimum stay
for 90 nights

Additional pricing information

Cleaning Fee £81

Tenants must pay for the cleaning lady after they leave, regardless of the duration of their stay. The cleaning lady's rates range from 50-100 Euros depending on the length of stay.

Rates are subject to change until reservation is confirmed. PAYMENT IN US DOLLARS: If tenant is from the USA, a Bank check sent to my home address. If tenant is from Europe a money transfer from their bank to my bank. Or, a money order in Dollars to my home address. Rentals are mainly for 1 month: a holding deposit of one week's amount is required--fully refundable if given notice 2 months ahead.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 7 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing


Car: not necessary

Hiking & Rock Climbing to Mountain Top Monasteries, Churches w/Ancient Icons, Herb Sented Trails of Flora & Fauna, local jewelers, Sinfos is called 'The Potter's Island' having supplied terracotta cooking utensils since ancient times, local potters are still active. Tavernas open year-round w/island grown fruits & vegs, fish, meat& cheese and local wine. Many beach/seaside tavenas open in season.


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Portable wifi hotspot

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