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Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands, which means it can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to deciding where to base your stay. It stretches for 160 miles and the landscapes are incredibly diverse. But to help you make your choice easier, you might consider spending at least part of your time at the Luxurious Stone Villa in the small village of Kaliviani, one of the closest places to base yourself for a visit to Balos Beach, one of the most famous in Crete.
The villa is also within easy reach of Kissamos and renowned stretches like Elafonissi, with its stunning pink sands, and Falassarna too. Plus, day trips to popular Chania and its Venetian harbor are within easy reach.
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This gorgeous one-bedroom “cave home” is more than a stay, it’s an experience. Carved out of natural rock in 1850, it was originally the owner’s family’s residence. It also served as a place for storage and refuge during the Second World War. In 2005, Katoi became a unique place for guests to enjoy beautiful Crete, luxuriously renovated while retaining the original style by using natural materials from the area.
One of the reasons it’s so special is the owners themselves. Kostas and Nadia offer guests a very warm welcome that includes an authentic Cretan home-cooked meal, items for breakfast, coffee, snacks, and even a bottle of wine. Of course, the signature Raki liquor is included too. Exceptionally helpful and friendly, they’re more than willing to provide any tips you need about exploring the area, offering suggestions for the perfect itinerary.
You won’t want for anything while you’re here, but when you want to dine out there are fabulous authentic tavernas just steps away.
Odds are, you’ll have one of the local cats follow you back. The felines seem different from those elsewhere, looking for love wherever they can find it and providing plenty of purrs to those who give it.
While you might want to spend all of your time right here, it’s worth waking up early to make the trek to Balos Beach, a bumpy 30-minute drive to the trailhead.
From there, the trek takes around 30 minutes, only because you’ll want to take advantage of the breathtaking photo-ops along the way. Plus it’s a great workout for burning all those calories you’re bound to consume while you’re here, especially on the journey back. If you make it here early enough (before 8 or 9 am, you might even enjoy it all to yourself).
After your return, relax while enjoying a glass of the local wine paired with some of the fresh local produce as you gaze out at a stunning view and listen to the songs of the birds and the sounds of the goats bleating on the hills nearby.
There’s a CD player with CDs for setting the mood and an exceptionally comfy bed that ensures a peaceful night’s sleep at the end of the day too. While you might think Wi-Fi would be non-existent in a cave home, it works perfectly here, so you’ll be able to show off all the photos of your luxury Crete retreat with friends back home.
It includes a great shower, a kitchenette with a stovetop, oven, and coffeemaker as well. The only downside? Eventually, you’ll have to say goodbye. But there’s always next time, right?
Luxurious Stone Villa in Crete
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Kaliviani, Kissamos, Crete, Greece