Thea

Western Crete

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Web Ref: 3163
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Accommodation

  • Ground floor: Living room (TV, DVD, WiFi, CD) with doors to covered terrace. Dining room with doors to terrace. Kitchen (oven, microwave, dishwasher). Bathroom.
  • First floor: Principal bedroom (A/C) with en suite bathroom. Double bedroom (A/C) with doors to shared balcony. Twin bedroom (A/C) with balcony. Bathroom.
  • Outside: In-built barbecue and wood oven. Shaded dining area. Covered and open terraces. Four poster day bed. Shower. Washing machine. Steps up to terrace from private parking area.
  • Shaped private swimming pool (10m x 5m) including dedicated children’s section.

With magnificent views of the brilliant blue ocean and all the way across to the curved coastline immediately opposite, Thea (aptly meaning ‘view’ in Greek) stands serenely above Souda Bay, one of the largest and most impressive natural bays in the Mediterranean. The wonderful pool terrace is perfectly furnished for outdoor living, with rattan sofas and armchairs in a shaded alcove. Colourful gardens and a verdant lawn offer differing perspectives of the sea and mountains as you recline on the sun loungers or four poster day bed!

Thea’s attractive interior is charmingly themed around the colour green; pastel cushions blend effortlessly with the white cupboards and dining suite, giving a modern style that fits perfectly with the more traditional stone arches and wooden ceiling beams. A rocking chair and gingham curtains lend a homely, comfortable atmosphere. One of the arches leads into a good-sized kitchen which is well equipped and has an appealing country farmhouse feel. Through another arch is the stairway to the first floor where a double and twin bedroom share a balcony with splendid sea views, the principal bedroom has an en suite bathroom and looks out to the same dramatic views.

The private swimming pool has a barbecue to one side, perfect for al fresco dining and is a delightful spot in which to relax and unwind as the sun gently disappears behind the hills in the west.

Megala Chorafia (2km) is typical of the traditional villages clustered in the Apokoronas Mountains, where the thyme-covered hills give the locally-produced honey an intoxicating scent. The population of just 300 (plus a huge flock of sheep!) share a couple of churches, a local ‘kafenion’, handy mini-market for essentials and two tavernas. The sandy beach of Kyani is just 3km (about a 7 minute drive) away. Testament to the island’s long, rich history the celebrated ancient site of Aptera and some well-preserved Roman cisterns are also close by and worth visiting, as are the ‘White Mountains’ (Lefki Ori) known for their scenic snow-capped peaks and which you will have the curious illusion are within touching distance of the property.

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Location of Thea

Locality

Great Things to Do Near Thea

Take a ferry over to Loutro

From the village of Hora Sfakia take one of the regular ferries over to this lovely tranquil spot.

Drive through the Amari valley

Perhaps the most breathtakingly beautiful drive on the entire island, in particular the stretch of road between Mount Idi and Mount Kedros.

Visit the Archaeological museum in Knossos close to Heraklion

Open Tuesday – Sunday from 09:00 till 19:00 and visit by far the worlds largest collection of Minoan artifacts.

Peddaloes across Kournas lake

This breath-taking lake is the only one in Crete, and the brillliant aquamarine waters are a wonderful backdrop for a spot of lunch. Afterwards, you can rent peddaloes or a small boat for half an hour and row yourself around the lake, and work up an appetite for supper!

Ela - where?

Elafonisi (Island of Deer) is like paradise on earth, and posessess a wonderful beach with pink coral sand and crystalline waters, a small islet connected to the rest of Crete by a shallow reef that can be crossed when the sea is calm. This islet is lying on the south-west corner of Crete, the journey itself is amazing, with a narrow tunnel and stunning wild Cretan scenery. Beware in high season, it can get very busy, but is so large, there is always a peaceful spot to be found. There is an excellent taverna at the beginning of the sand dunes.

Visit the wonderful Naval Museum in Chania

(Maritime Museum) - it delivers a superb introduction to the History of Crete and is by no means only for maritime mavens, you will learn more here in half an hour than most could teach you, about the events that filled Crete's moving past.

One Man's folly is another's delight

On the way out of the village of Kalyves going West to Kalami there is a sign and arrow to Koumos. This place is worth a visit and is known as one mans folly. A collection of buildings including a taverna and a chapel with a domed roof all built from local small misshapen stones. This eclectic mix of buildings are all made from small rocks and all built by one man over a period of 10 years. There are mosaics on the paths; whilst walls display images of fish, snakes and various animals. There are also stone tables and chairs. If you just want to wander around, take photographs or just be amazed,pop along as there is no admission charge. Look out for the occasional ostrich or even a llama - quite surreal as these weren't made out of stone!

Get Reading

The Cretan Runner written by Giorgos Psychoundakis is a great book describing some of the heroic exploits the Cretan resistance along with British soldiers and pilots got up to during the second world war. Giorgios was originally a shepherd but became a member of the resistance after the German invasion. His heroic and selfless exploits and the general population are described in the book. It is regarded as a classic book of its type. There are two British War cemeteries in Souda Bay, however, much of the action took place around Maleme where a large German War cemetery dedicated to German soldiers was until recently tended by Giorgos himself. The British cemeteries are in a beautifully kept place, moving and humbling.

Journey to Anogia in the Psiloritis Mountains and

enjoy a Greek coffee at the square in the upper village (Agios Georgios square), the atmosphere here is wonderful - hospitality and welcomes are surprising in their warmth. 740 metres up on the north face of Mount Psiloritis to be precise. It's a short hop from here to the stunning Nida Plateau, the Ideon cave (mythology: Zeus grew up here), the observatory at the top of the Skinaka as well as the ancient settlement of Zominthos. In Anogia, excellent local cheese and Raki are available to buy, at the shop on one corner of the square. You are more likely to see men wearing the Cretan baggy trousers tucked into their boots, heads decorated with nets, here than just about anywhere else. This is miles from designer name mecca. The small church of Agios Georgios is worth a visit if it is open.

Sail to historic Gramvousa and beautiful Balos

From May to October, you can take daily cruises from Kissamos port to Gramvousa and Balos (42 km west of Chania), leaving in the morning and returning in the evening.Gramvousa (also called Tigani peninsula) has a castle on top of the island built by the Venetians to protect Crete from a Turkish occupation. It was one of the last unconquered bastions and it was the first area of Crete to be liberated from the Turks in 1825 (Turks were expelled from all the rest of Crete only by 1898). 3000 Cretan rebels were planning operations from Gramvousa.During this period of turmoil, the residents of the island started looting boats passing through, which gained the island its pirate reputation! The Gramvousa/Balos region is a protected biotope. There are 400 different plants on Gramvousa, 26 of them endemic to Crete. The Anthemis glaberrima (a type of daisy), the Allium platakisi (a wild onion) and the Silene litegripetala are found only in this area and are protected species. In the shallow parts of the sea, the Mediterranean plant Posidonia oceanica thrives, providing shelter for marine life. 98 bird species have been reported in the area. 20 of them are protected and 14 of them are threatened species (like the vulture Europe Gypaetusbarbatus). The Mediterranean seal (Monachus Monachus) and the Caretta Caretta turtle find shelter in this area. Also, a flock of wild donkeys lives on the peninsula.!

Try the Cretan hooch!

Raki or Tsikoudia is distilled from the stalks and skins of grapes left over from wine pressing. It is drunk widely and you are likely to be offered a thimble-full glass of raki wherever you go. It can contain anything between 35-65% alcohol – you have been warned

Friendly and delicious

On the way from from Chania to the beach of Elafonissi via Drapanias there is a sign stating Wine museum, a bit like the Agroturismo places in Italy. The Pnevmatikaks Winery is a nice and delicious wine tasting place, a family business that grows grapes and olives. You can taste all they produce: different wines including a wine called Romeiko, produced the way it was done in Antiquity. The Romeiko has a taste similar to a nice sherry and is 14.5 proof.Recommended are their olive oil taste and Raki (tastes similar to Grappa). If you purchase wine and oil they pack the bottlesup in such a way that they arrive safely home.

Visit the palace of Knossos

Excavated in the year 1900 by an English archaeologist by the name of Sir Arthur Evans, this is a most impressive palace, and we recommend that you hire a guide in order to benefit from their wealth of information.

Go have a look at Souda

Souda Bay is one of the largest and deepest harbours in the Mediterranean. The word “souda” is derived from the Arabic language, and means narrow passage. This bay is now populated by the Greek Navy, NATO and a large American base and accounts for the eclectic and cosmopolitan feel to the former capital - Chania

Spend a day in Chania

The original capital of the island (since 1971 that honour has been passed onto Heraklion) Chania is one of the prettiest towns in the whole of Greece (perhaps on a par with Monemvasia, Nafplion and Corfu town). The city is reputed to be the oldest city in the world, and the mix and match of Venetian and Turkish influences and architecture.

Wine tasting at the Manousakis Winery Vatolakos

The Manousakis Winery is the culmination of the dream and passion of founder Theodore Manousakis. Ted, as he is more frequently called, was born in Vatolakkos in 1943, and spent his early childhood years in the village until the age of 11. For reasons much beyond his control and much too complex for a young boy to understand, he left his home to find a better future in the far away “Promised Land”, America. Following his university education in the U.S., he entered business and was successful in a number of business endeavours including industrial security, real estate development, and hotels. Meanwhile, he assimilated in the great melting pot of the world, America, and nearly forgot his native language and Cretan traditions. Yet during the years away from his native village he always yearned to return home and find his roots; if not permanently, certainly more than as a mere visitor. Wine was a way of life in the village for as long as he could remember from his boyhood years. What a way to pay tribute to and honour the Cretan traditions and way of life, he thought. And, what a wonderful and civilized way to bring people together to enjoy the simple joys of life! The combination of nostalgia or “nostos”, as the ancient Greeks made reference, along with the perfect soil, sun, and weather conditions of Crete were the driving forces behind our first vineyards in the foothills above Vatolakkos. For Ted, the Manousakis Winery represents his roots; his yearning to return, his tradition, his heritage, and, above all, his family. Our logo with the three flowers called “Manousakia” in the Cretan dialect, (from which our name is derived), represents his three daughters. It is only fitting that the inspiration of this symbol is a blending of the beauty and exquisite fragrance of nature and the warmth and comfort of family! Ted Manousakis has his permanent home in Washington, D.C., but the winery remains a family-run business. His youngest daughter, Alexandra, moved to Chania in 2007 following studies at New York University, and now manages the Manousakis Winery. - See more at: http://nostoswines.com

Chania harbour

Chania is the capital of the Prefecture of the same name and the second biggest town in Crete, with a population of 60.000 inhabitants.Chania is one of the nicest towns of Crete with wonderful houses, parks and squares.The old city has preserved the charm of the Venetian and Turkish periods. Entire Venetian, Turkish and Jewish quarters are saved, with many well preserved buildings in the narrow picturesque streets. On Leather Lane near the harbour selling all kinds and qualities of leather goods and a really interesting indoor covered market Chania Town is worth a visit just for the shopping. The harbour is beautiful with an old mosque providing interesting architecture. Museums from the Naval Museum to the Byzantine Museum there is something for everyone. Restaurants and Taverna`s Surround the harbour and Boats leave from here for 2-3hr trips and you can also catch a horse and buggy.Have a wonder around the back streets, they are mainly pedestrianised and the houses and shops are very Interesting and pretty, with little restaurants and Café`s tucked away in corners - very romantic.

Nearby

Towns

Chania 20 mins
Rethimnon 60 mins
Heraklion 120 mins

Beaches

Kalami Beach 5 mins
Kalives 10 mins
Almyrida Beach 20 mins

Airports

Chania 30 mins
Heraklion 120 mins
Times are approximate

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