In Gavalohori in the Apokoronas area of Chania, a traditional village awarded "protected status" because of its local architecture, four very old stone-built houses, lovingly restored with full respect to tradition and fully equipped, welcome those who seek a unique vacation in a traditional environment close to the every day life of the village.
Erghina is a perfect example of traditional architecture of the houses of the area of Apokoronas (the so-called "kamarospito" i.e. house with arches). Stone and cypress logs/wood are the construction materials used for centuries. So it is in Erghina. One can still see elements dating back to the 16th century (the carved stone doorway inside the house). Two old stone arches span the length of the sitting and dining rooms showing visible signs of centuries of use. Erghina offers views to the village and the White Mountains and has been awarded a prize by the Ministry of Culture for its restoration.
Pery, Olive Press and Hermit are three adjoining houses, each one separate and on different levels with different interior layouts and decoration, separate courtyards and entrances.
"Pery" and the "Olive Press" with unobstructed views to the White Mountains and over the village, have been designated "traditional" by the Ministry of Culture and awarded "Protected Status" by a Ministerial decree as examples of the local architecture. During the restoration of the Hermit, left many items could be saved, such as stone walls and floors. The Hermit has its own veranda with a splendid view over the village and the White Mountains. On the ground level, in front of the entrance there is a courtyard (flagstone paved) shaded by one of the olive trees and a carob tree.
About 3 kms from Gavalohori is the small village of Almyrida with its clear blue waters, and sandy beach (every year Almyrida is awarded the "Blue Flag" by E.U.). Here one can find tavernas serving superb dishes - ideal for those who want to try the renowned, unrivalled and scientifically recommended “Cretan Diet".
Simply, the ideal place for a vacation.
Ergina is a detached house a few meters from the village square, ideal for vacations and can accommodate up to 5 guests.
The entrance leads us into an enclosed courtyard, typical of the area, paved with flagstones and shaded by a plane tree. In the corners old earthenware pots (pithoi), once destined to store wine and oil, are now being used as decorative artifacts.
From the courtyard we enter the kitchen, once the stable of the house, and from the fully equipped kitchen, we go down a few steps into the dining-room (kamarospito) and from there, through the 16th century carved stone doorway, into the sitting room with its fire-place, two sofa-beds (sleeping galleries above either side of the arch accessed by wooden stairs) and a couch/bed. There is also a bathroom en suite with bath and washing machine.
From the bedroom there is direct access to a terrace overlooking the courtyard, also shaded by the plane tree and also to a large terrace with views to the village and the White Mountains and a shady pergola.
Built on the upper levels of an olive grove of 3.000 m2, can easily accommodate 4 guests and has unobstructed views to the White Mountains and over the village.
The entrance leads directly into the inner flagstone paved courtyard. The cisterns, carved out of stone, once used for washing and for watering the livestock and as the working well, collecting the rain water, give an idea of life in the past.
From the courtyard we enter a hall and then the "fournospito" - oven-room, with its high interior chimney, now transformed into a fully equipped kitchen. The hall leads into the large sitting/dining room with its fireplace, a Cretan couch/bed and a long stone bench that can sleep two guests.
A staircase of cypress wood and logs leads to the upper floor (ondas) where there are two double beds. The house is fully air-conditioned.
Olive Press House
Large stone paved steps take us from the olive grove to its private courtyard with sun beds and the outdoor furniture. From here we enter the Olive Press, a typical "kamarospito" with dining and sitting rooms an old fireplace and a double bed. Its kitchen is also fully equipped and there is also a WC/shower. The house is fully air-conditioned.
A staircase of cypress wood leads to the upper floor and the two bedrooms with double beds and ceiling fans overhead. One of the bedrooms has an extra single bed.
A private terrace offers an even more spectacular view than that from the courtyard. A superb view over the village and towards the White Mountains, covered with snow until May. Around the house are olive groves and flower beds..
This house can accommodate up to seven guests.
Originally this was the stable of the house. Today it's a cozy maisonnette with one room and one WC/shower on each level. Hermit is ideal for a couple or a couple with a child.
The entrance, from the olive grove, leads into the sitting/dining/kitchen room (fully equipped) where there is a wooden bench that can also serve as a single bed. The stone steps of the staircase lead to the upper level where the old double bed is situated close to the old fire-place. The house is fully air-conditioned.
The Hermit has its own veranda with a splendid view over the village and the White Mountains. On the ground level, in front of the entrance there is a courtyard (flagstone paved) shaded by one of the olive trees and a carob tree.
* PERY house has a telephone (shared with the OLIVE PRESS) and the shared use (together with the OLIVE PRESS and the HERMIT houses) of a washing machine installed in the storeroom at the back of the building.
Region: Apokoronas, Chania
relevant routes: Frangokastelo-Sfakia-Askifou-Vamos
Cretan Traditional Villas are located to Gavalochori, in the Apokoronas region about 25 km south east of Hania. From Heraklion:
From the airport or the port, follow the New National Road for Rethymnon – Chania.
A few kilometers after the exit for Georgioupoli, follow the direction for Kalyves – Armeni and, in continuation, for Kalives-Almirida-Plaka-Gavalochori and finaly, from Almirida to Gavalochori (3 km) From Chania:
From the airport, follow the direction for Souda and, in continuation, for Rethymnon, by the New National Road. When you pass the exits Megala Horafia-Agrepa and Kalami-Kalyves, turn right at the exit Kalyves - Armeni - Vamos, then follow the signs for Kalyves – Almirida-Plaka-Gavalochori and finaly from the small village Almirida, with its clear blue waters and sandy beach, to Gavalochori (3km). One cottage is located by the main square of the village, the other 3 cottages are located 200m further. "Tavernas serving superb dishes, coffee shops, a bakery, and mini-market are there to serve the visitors." Gavalochori is perfectly situated for exploring any part of Crete : Knossos , Sfakia, Frangokastello, Loutro, Faestos, Askyfou, the Samaria Gorge, Omalos, Lissos, Falassarna, Elaphonissi, Elyros, Preveli and many more. The "night life" of Hania and Rethymnon are also within easy reach
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