Crete On The Road

The Sunday Telegraph.

Crete on the Road: the Best Driving Tours around West and Central Crete by Frankie Miles. Frankie is from Villas Crete Holidays and she is very knowledgable about this part of the island.

Read the full Article.

Low Prices in 2017 starting from 1050 Euro per Week

2 double bedroom, 2 twin bedrooms. 

Private swimming pool (8m x 5m & depth 1.00m to 1.60m)

Free WIFI internet access

A private track leads to the hidden grounds of Villa Maris which is an exceptional property with an amazing hilltop setting that has commanding 360 degree views over the valleys of olive groves, pine forests and picturesque villages below, to the spectacular White Mountains in the south, and to the sea and coast all the way to Rethymnon in the east. With total privacy and no neighbours at all the silence is only broken by the humming of cicadas and the occasional tinkling of sheep bells. The extensive grounds include fruit and olive trees, grape vines and a vegetable garden from which the guests can help themselves to a large variety of fresh seasonal produce, as well as enjoying the home-made wine and olive oil that are gifts from the friendly owner, Sifis. Built in traditional Cretan style the villa has all of the facilities and modern comforts that one could wish for, and the secluded location belies the fact that Villa Maris is only 5 minutes by car to the many amenities in the riverside village of Vrisses, 10 minutes by car to the sandy beaches at Georgioupolis, just over half an hour to the beautiful Venetian towns of Rethymnon or Chania, or 45 minutes to the Imbros Gorge and the south coast ferry port of Chora Sfakion.

Villa Maris has been lovingly designed and built by Sifis, on land that has been in his family for many generations and that was previously used for wheat, barley, cows, sheep, and olive oil production. Sifis was given the property by his grandfather because he had loved the awe-inspiring beauty of the place from a very early age. Instilled with the hospitality and generosity that the Cretans are famous for, Sifis initially built a tiny chapel on the land in order to share this magical location with the world. The stone chapel is surrounded by mulberry and cypress trees and is dedicated to Saint John the Hermit. Every year on October 6 or 7 a high-spirited celebration is held and Sifis’ entire extended family comes to eat, play music and dance. Any clients staying at the villa at this time are treated as the guests of honour. Sifis then restored the stone shelter that his grandfather used when tending his sheep, and he finally built Villa Maris on the highest point of the property using cypress wood, and grey and cream stone that was mined from the land.

The charming combination of stonework and cypress wood enhances the villas interiors and helps to keep the rooms naturally cool. Family heirlooms and traditional features such as handmade wood furniture from the workshop of a local craftsman, stone arches, a stone fireplace and raftered ceilings blend effortlessly with many modern facilities that include: beautiful tiled modern bathrooms, free WIFI internet access, satellite TV, a DVD player, a stereo system with CD player, a fridge/freezer, a microwave oven, a dishwasher, a washing machine, a kettle, a coffee maker, a toaster and sandwich toaster, an enormous kitchen inventory, and air conditioning units in the bedrooms and living area. The a/c units also double up as heaters, and there is a fireplace for the cooler nights early and late season. There is solar powered hot water with a back-up immersion heater, and a very large private parking area. In the wide upstairs hallway Sifis has thoughtfully provided a writing desk with a selection of books.

Despite the gorgeous interiors our guests seem to spend most of their time outdoors by the very private pool or relaxing on one of the many terraces whilst being mesmerised by the incredible views. One of the many benefits of the elevated position is that the villa and grounds are often blessed with cool summer breezes during the long, hot Cretan summers. The main living area and the downstairs bedroom lead out onto the main veranda which has been tiled with flagstones and has a pergola covered dining area which is furnished with a large wooden dining table and comfortable chairs. On one side of the main veranda is the spacious pool terrace which has sun-beds, umbrellas and a 4m x 2.5m pergola for shade, and which is surrounded by a lawn which is ideal for children to play on. The lawn leads around to the terrace at the back of the villa which is equipped with a table and chairs and which in turn leads to the full size barbeque and traditional style bread oven. A ramp leads from the barbeque area around to either the parking area, to a grassed area with a mature pear tree, or up on to the main veranda in front of the villa. Set just below the villa is a fantastic vegetable garden which has every type of vegetable that you can imagine. All around the property there are colourful rose bushes, prickly pear cacti, purple daisies, yucca trees, and a variety of fruit trees including, pear, apple, plum, apricot, mulberry and pomegranate. The property also has an area of grape vines which produces wonderful black grapes which the guests can enjoy as fresh fruit and in Sifis’home-made wine and tsikoudia (raki). The upstairs balconies have been equipped with tables and chairs, and there is a further marble dining table set under the ancient olive tree near the vegetable garden. The nearest “neighbour” to Villa Maris is Cleopatra, a 3 year old thoroughbred black Cretan mare who lives in a fenced-in area to the south of the villa. Cleopatra is very friendly towards children and Sifis loves her dearly.

It would be difficult to sum up this magnificent property in a few words but it would be fair to say that it is ideal for those seeking a high quality villa with total privacy, tranquillity and breathtaking views.

Villa Accommodation

Ground Floor (A ramp and 1.5 steps up from the driveway to the back door, or 13.5 steps to the front door, level with the pool terrace and main veranda: Open plan living room, kitchen and dining area, 1 shower room, 1 twin bedroom. The extra wide front door opens into the open plan living room and dining area which has a large stone archway through to the kitchen. The main feature in the living room is the fireplace that is made from cream coloured stone and has carved shelf features which hold objects such as an old iron and a clock. There is a built-in captain’s bed/bench, a 2 person couch and 2 large armchairs that are all covered cream coloured cushions, and which are next to a window that looks out to the front veranda and the mountains. The living room also has a coffee table, a stand with the CD player/stereo unit, a cabinet with the satellite TV and DVD player, a coat rack, a beautiful side board/dresser which contains a large china set that has been in Sifis’ family for many years, a plate rack and a dining table and chairs for 10 persons. The kitchen area has built-in cabinets made from dark wood which matches the villa’s furniture. The kitchen window looks out to the lawn, a flower bed with rose bushes, and the old well and natural stone wall, and there is an extra wide door that opens out to the furnished rear terrace and barbeque area. The kitchen has a small dining table, a very large kitchen inventory and a number of stainless steel appliances such as: a large fridge/freezer, a built-in oven and ceramic hob, a microwave, a dishwasher, a toaster, a coffee machine, a kettle and a sandwich toaster. A small hallway just off the living room leads to the staircase and has doors to the shower room and the downstairs double bedroom. The downstairs bedroom, like all of the bedrooms, is very spacious. It has a hand carved double bed, a bedside cabinet, a TV mounted on an adjustable shelf, a dressing table, wall mirror and stool, a wardrobe with hanging space and drawers, cream and brown traditional style curtains, a window that looks out over mulberry trees to the chapel, and double doors that lead out to the pergola covered area of the front veranda. The shower room has lovely multi-coloured mosaic wall tiles, a shower, a toilet, a sink and a mirror.

Top floor (17 steps up from the ground floor): a wide hallway, 1 double bedroom and en-suite bathroom, 2 twin bedrooms, 1 full bathroom, and a long front balcony with mountain views, and rear balcony with sea views. The wooden staircase comes up from the lounge to the wide landing which has a door that opens out onto a rear balcony. The rear balcony has fabulous 180 degree views of the entire area across acres of olive groves and wild almond trees to the sea and the town of Rethymnon in the distance. The hallway has a large wooden mirror, a framed tapestry and a writing desk with a selection of books. At the top of the stairs is the door to the first twin bedroom. This twin bedroom has 2 single beds, a bedside cabinet, a dressing table, wall mirror and stool, a wardrobe with hanging space and drawers, cream and brown traditional style curtains, a window that looks out over mulberry trees to the chapel, and a window that looks out over the front of the property to valley below and the White Mountains. In the middle of the hallway is the door to the second twin bedroom. This bedroom is exactly the same as the other twin bedroom except that it does not have 2 windows but instead it has double doors that open out onto the front balcony that is shared with the master bedroom. This balcony has a table and chairs and spectacular views of the valley below, the White Mountains, the front veranda, the pool terrace and the chapel. The master bedroom is at the end of the hallway and it has a double bed, 2 bedside cabinets with hurricane lamps, a dressing table, wall mirror and stool, a wardrobe with hanging space and drawers, cream and brown traditional style curtains, a window which faces north to the pool terrace and double doors to the front balcony. The master bedroom has an en-suite shower room which has cream and beige tiles, a shower unit, a sink, a mirror and a toilet. Also at the end of the hallway is the large and beautiful main bathroom. The main bathroom is fully tiled with cream and beige tiles, and has a full bath with shower attachment, a long vanity unit with a sink, a marble top, and dark wood cabinets, a mirrored medicine type cabinet, a frosted window and a washing machine.

Villa Location


The lovely village of Alikampos is only 2.5kms from Villa Maris. Alikampos is set on a terraced hillside. The wonderful chapel of “The Koimeses” is situated in a tranquil spot below the village, overlooking a gorge that is thickly forested with conifers, olive and orange trees. Built in 875A.D. the interior walls are completely covered in impressive frescoes that date from the 14th Century. Also near Alikampos is the Dourakis Winery which produces delicious local wines. A tour around the winery and delicious home-made food are all available. 3.25km from Villa Maris is the village of Vrysses which was built on the River Voutakas in 1925. A number of tavernas have been built under the tall plane trees on the banks of the river. Vrysses is primarily a working village that is rich in agricultural products and is famous for its cheese, yoghurt and honey. There are many shops in Vrysses including 2 bakeries, 2 butchers, 2 supermarkets, a bank, a chemist, a post office, clothing shops, a book shop, a jewellers, and a fantastic cake and ice-cream shop.

The beach resort of Georgioupolis is 8km’s from Villa Maris and it has many kilometres of sandy beaches as well as an abundance of shops, cafes, and tavernas. Set at the mouth of the Almyros River, there is a small fishing harbour and the Chapel of Saint Nicholas which set at the end of a small causeway in the sea just off the beach. Water sports, miniature golf, and horse riding are all available from Georgioupolis, and the younger members of the family particularly enjoy taking a canoe or pedaloe up the river to feed the turtles in the summer months. The villa is perfectly situated to explore both the north and south coasts. The road that leads to the south coast runs 500m below Villa Maris and leads to the Imbros Gorge, and then onto the Aradeina Gorge. The Imbros Gorge has higher walls that the more famous Samaria Gorge and takes approximately 3 hours to walk through. The small port village of Chora Sfakion is only 45 minutes from Villa Maris. Here you can take ferries to Loutro or to Agia Roumeli, the village at the bottom of the Samaria Gorge. Villa Maris is also only 25 minutes from the lovely beach village of Almyrida which is lined with excellent tavernas, has a scuba diving centre, a watersports station, a children's play centre, pedalo rental, and Villas Crete Holidays for tourist information, boat trips, private boat hire, horse riding, big game fishing, waterskiing, and guided walking and coach tours. For those of you looking for even more activity, the historic town Rethymnon is only 35 minutes away by car and the stunning town of of Chania is only 45 minutes away.

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Villa Amenities

Washing machine
Microwave Oven
Fridge / Freezer
Satellite TV
Air conditioned bedrooms
Air conditioned lounge
CD player
Free WIFI internet access
DVD Player
Mosquito screens to windows
Central heating
Iron and ironing board
Welcome Grocery Pack

Number of bedrooms
4 - 2 Twin, 2 Double
Number of bathrooms
Pool depths
1.10m to 1.60m
Pool size
8m x 5m
Type of shade by pool
Umbrellas and a 4m x 2.5m pergola with sail fabric
Sofa bed
Maid service
2 times a week
Distance to nearest taverna
3.25km : 60 minutes on foot, 5 minute by car
Distance to nearest beach
8km : 150 minutes on foot, 15 minute by car
Distance to nearest mini market
3.25km : 60 minutes on foot, 5 minute by car
Distance to nearest cash machine
3.25km : 60 minutes on foot, 5 minute by car
How far from airport
60 minutes
How far from nearest large town
35 minutes
Any steps? How many? 13.5 steps from the parking area to the front door of the villa or a ramp and 1.5steps to the rear door of the villa, 17 steps from the ground floor to the first floor.
How private? Completely Private.
Nearest neighbour? 1km

Villa Rental Prices

The following prices shown EURO are for the Villa, Per Week - Not Per Person!

From :
To :
01.10.16 31.10.16 1100
Winter 2016/17    
Long term rentals only - Please Ask
02.09.17 15.09.17 1155
16.09.17 31.10.17 1050
Winter 2017/18 30.04.18 Long term rentals only - Please Ask

The above prices shown are in EUROS, per Week. These prices include a Free Welcome Pack, representative services, a villa information book, and detailed directions to all the sights from the guide book “Crete on the Road ” by Frankie Miles.

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