Sometimes it just so happens that the unexpected happens. Something you couldn’t have planned for because well… you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s like surfing the internet. One site takes you to the next and the cycle continues until you land somewhere you’d never even heard of. And sometimes, that just happens to be in the middle of nowhere.
I’m not saying that the middle of nowhere is necessarily a bad thing, and for many of you I’m sure it’s the only place to be. But for this girl from the concrete jungle who’d rather dodge cars and motos than goats and sheep, the wide open expanses of the great outdoors can be a bit daunting.
Or, a bit awe-inspiring.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many places in my life. From Europe to Japan and many points in between. Most places I’ve liked, many I’ve loved, and some have left indelible marks on my mind. But it’s been a long time since I’ve had that OMG, kicked in the stomach, eyes wide open, mouth gaping feeling.
Until that is, we ventured up to Kastellos Village for the last few days of our Cretan vacation (and I promise, this is the last post about our Summer in Chania and then its all Napoli from here on out).
Three days (and two very quiet nights) in a Cretan mountain hideaway.
Okay, so it wasn’t actually up in the mountains, Crete’s Lefka Ori or better known as the White Mountains, but rather at the foot of them. At some 250 meters up however, it was high enough up for me to feel like I was on top of the world.
Panoramic views of one of the greenest plains on Crete, olive groves and vineyards like squares of a hopscotch board crisscrossing paths down to the sea. Tiny villages set here and there like the game’s little white chalk markers.
Okay, I’m waxing a bit too poetic, but… I was awestruck.
Awestruck by the tiny village of Kastellos that sits about 50 km south-east of Chania. The beautiful mountains and plains that surround it. The warm and welcoming greeting we received from the residents of the village.
Awestruck by the villas that go by the same name, Kastellos Village. Two complexes of four villas each, owned and managed by Yiannis, our host extraordinaire at Nostos.
There is much to say about these villas, Yiannis’ villas. He spent four long years sifting through the remains of his family’s homes in Kastellos. Brick by brick they came down. Brick by brick they went back up.
Each villa meticulously restored in the traditional Cretan style. Each villa decorated in the style of Yiannis. Each villa lovingly named for one of his relatives. His father, his uncle, his beloved Grandmother Anezina, the villa we stayed in.
Large wood burning fireplaces, bamboo ceilings, tile floors. Every amenity, every detail thoughtfully planned.
The small but very functional kitchen was more than I needed to create some fabulous meals. Fresh vegetables brought to us by a neighbor whose family “garden” I’m sure, feeds the entire village.
Inside, outside living, green shuttered windows all over the villa swing open to reveal spectacular views of the countryside.
A veranda on the main level for sunning, soaking in the views and watching the sunrise …
Another veranda on the second level…
Is not exactly roughing it I guess. But then again, a city girl’s gotta do what a city girl’s gotta do. Three days in a Cretan mountain hideaway. Who could ask for anything more?
Kastellos Village is open year round and in fact I hope my next trip there I will get to make use of the wood burning fireplace. Check out Kastellos Village for further information and bookings .
More about our Summer in Chania