We are located on the western side of the island of Crete, near to the town of Kastelli. See the map below for more detail.
Our holidays are based around the rural Bay of Kissamos outstanding for its long quiet strand of golden sandy and occasional shingle beaches. The sea is clean, warm and shallow making for easy swimming. The town of Kastelli/Kissamos serves the local agricultural population and is a seaside resort attracting Greek tourists in July and August. It has banks, cafes, tavernas, a hospital and post office.
On the edge of town Peli Hotel is right by a delightful beach called Mavros Molos. Cafes fringe the beach each providing umbrellas/loungers and showers. There are open sandy areas too with shady trees.
Mithimna Beach is part of a long strand of gently shelving sand and shingle. We choose the best rooms in the district. It's rural and you'll see donkeys, sheep and goats. From the beach the sunsets are wonderful, turning the sky rose red. It has a quiet retreat atmosphere with just a couple of tavernas, a mini market and bus access nearby to Kastelli and Hania.
On the beach the great thing is that sunbeds and brollies are free of charge.
The Old Olive Mill is the home of your hosts, Dave and Juliet and provides a small retreat in our villa style accommodation Stafilia House which sleeps up to eight people in a well appointed apartment and studio with lots of space indoors and gardens outdoors. The mountain views from the house are just stunning and our accommodation is spacious. Yoga is either on the roof or under the lofty arches of the 17th century olive mill.
This mountain backdrop makes for easy grade walks, the chance to see birds of prey, vultures and wild flowers and old rural ways like donkey tracks.
Hire cycles are available at all venues and cycling is easy - everything is on the (almost) flat coastal plain.
There are wonderful beaches on the west coast - we particularly like Falasarna which is only a ten minute drive from Kastelli and, further away, Sfinari. Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay are worth the boat trip for their stunning white sands and bright turquoise waters.
In late July and August Kastelli has its annual Gramvousa Festival. During this period there are frequent music, food and dance events around the district with a centrepiece event of a traditional Cretan wedding with the wedding party arriving on horseback. An evening of music and dance follows in one of the main squares with side events in tavernas and cafes all round the town.
Gorge & Hill Walks
You can choose any grade of walk from the gentle to the really taxing: Sirikari, Mouri and Deliana gorges are all easy to walk and the latter has griffon vultures. The famous Samaria Gorge is within easy reach (please ask for details). People are generous here and we often pick fruit to eat as we walk, mulberries, figs etc.
There are many villages in the hills with their churches, some with richly decorated screens and other artifacts of interest and spectacular views across unspoilt countryside. One of the churches in Spilia is set in a wonderful cave with long views across the bay to Chania and the Akrotiri peninsula. Greece has only two circular Byzantine churches – we have one nearly on the doorstep!
Chania (town) is a walled city with 8,000 years of history, a Venetian harbour, Turkish quarter, quaint narrow streets and markets. There are plenty of specialist art/craft shops and bustle, in great contrast to the peace of country life.
Kastelli has over 20 Romano Greco ruins and just walking round town you find excavations. There's a wonderful, newly opened museum with really impressive pieces indicating the sheer wealth of past times from nearby places that you will have the chance to visit while you are with us. Two city states: Falasarna (also a beach) and Polyrhinnia (a fabulous hill walk) both have showcased artefacts. In the hills we know an ancient temple enclosed in the walls of a church, both now in ruins – a magical place.