What an amazing 2 weeks we have just had at this villa. The pictures looked good but we were shocked at its true beauty as we approched the villa all lit up in the darkness as we arrived late at night. We were greeted by Areti who was lovely and had arranged for bread,milk,coffee,sugar ,beer,wine snacks etc so we didnt have to worry about getting food en route late at night with young children. we were a group ranging in age from 1 year old to 75 years old and we all absolutely loved the villa, it is huge and has eveything you would need including dvd's, gamesconsoles and books to keep everyone happy in the evening although most of us sat outside in one of the many seating areas enjoying the beautiful star lit sky and watching boats pass in the bay. It is in a very peacefull location so you are not bothered by traffic noise or noise from pubs, shops or other holiday makers but yet its only 3 or 4 mins in the car to the lovely town of makri gialos where you will find lots of shops and tavernas, a chemist, a butcher and an amazing bakery that we visited everyday for fresh bread and cream cakes . the local people are extremely nice and they are very helpfull, they also love children and would quite often give our boys free lollie pops and sweets etc when we were buying things in their shops.
we enjoyed sun bathing by the lovely pool but also did around 2000 miles exploring crete by car. we went up to sitia twice to do some shopping and site seing which is around 45 mins each way. Vai beach is worth a visit, its europes largest palm tree beach and the restraunt and water sports on site are brilliant, its about 35min from sitia and the old road has stunning views. Another place worth visiting is xerocampus, its just over an hours drive from the villa over a winding road, once you get the the top of the mountain looking at the beaches and winding road below you it is breathtakingly beautiful, once you follow the very windy road down you will have a choice of around 7 beaches.
the local beach in makry gilios is lovely, if you go o the bit right beside the harbour you will find a beautiful sheltered area with very shallow water suitable for children of all ages, our 1 year old could walk out quite far in it as their was no waves or stones . we snorkelled out and only had to go to the entrance of the harbour to find shoals of beautiful tropical fish and also a big octopus. keep going passed the entrance to the harbour and you will get to a big basin around the rocks where it gets to about 5 or 6 metres.
there is plenty little shops in makry gilios but if you want a little more choice you can drive to the next town along which is a 10 minute drive and is called koutsouras. if you want aldi or carrefour you can find them at lerepetra which is a 35 minute drive .
there is a brilliant dive centre on the beach at the calimera hotel just after ferma. i did 3 amazing dives their and the prices were great .
hire car is assential as the villa is a 2 hour drive from the airport but its a very easy road to follow. we made a trip twice back to that region to get to the aquriums , dinasouria and also the zoo.
there is a huge amount of walks in the local area including gorges. we took a 4 hour walk up the mountain beside the villa early one morning and watched the sunrise which was beautiful . the track up the the villa is awfull but you get used to it and it doesnt put you off staying at the villa
the villa was very modern and is the only villa i have stayed in where i felt at home, after a week their i felt like it was my own house. the pool is a great size and cleaned every 2 days . Steve also provides a baby pack which includes sterilizer, baby cup, cutlery and baby monitors which is great. our 1 year old never sleeps well away from home in travel cots but we were very surprised to find a proper cot in our room with lovely bedding and a nice comfy matress, he slept well every night and the Air conditioning can be changed to suit in every room. bathrooms were a great size as were the bedrooms, also 4 of the rooms have balconies and there is also the huge roof terrace .
the villa truly is 5 starts and the local area is safe and very unspoilt . all of the restraunts and shops speak good english too.
we needed a villa to suit to needs of our whole group rangin from 1 year to 75 years and villa Danae did this easily .
within 30 mins drive their is everything from mountain walks, watersports , diving, go karting, restraunts, mini golf and lots of greek history excavation sites
no bad points but only two small things i think steve could consider for the future to make the stay even better.
1. a baby gate for the bottom of the stairs
2. a pool table outside would be a lovely finishing touch