(Article from “Friends Abroad”)
Why complaining? (about Greece) Holidays in Crete means delicious food, a pleasant comfortable atmosphere, sun and lovely people.
A brief description: It is a place to rest.
There is a gentle breeze tonight and sometimes through the rustle of the wind, you may hear the soft ringing of bells from the grazing goats from the surrounding hills. The table is set: there is bread, olives and dakos – the Cretan bruschetta – with feta. Smaro Mourtzanakis lays the table in front of the residence. Smaro lights the candles at 9 p.m. this summer evening. The first guests from the small villas are coming for dinner. As always a mixed group of different cultures of English and French people is talking and discussing together: laughter, political discussions about the situation in Greece, enthusiastic storytellers describing the last hike and of course discussions about the exquisite fish meal from the 42-year-old Smaro.
Since 2008, the Greek couple (Smaro and Marco) has been running the Mourtzanakis Residence in the north of Crete. They are situated approximately 20 km away from the airport of Heraklion, overlooking the medieval village of Achlada. The whitewashed small holiday villas offer you a wonderful view over the olive trees, some of them more than 500 years old, the mountainous hinterland and the Mediterranean Sea. Singles, couples as well as families with children, everybody is welcome to visit the Mourtzanakis Residence. They come from all around the world with the intention of being surrounded by nature far away from the mass-tourism. Marco and Smaro will organize tours for the customers who are willing to. They give tips on how to reach the Samaria gorge or travel tips to the 17th century Savvathiana monastery.
“We would like to give our customers an inside view of the typical Greek life, the way we live, our culture and how we cook. The Residence is an ecological project supported by the European Union”
Smaro and Marco met for the first time in Agia Pelagia, a village with a nice beach very close to Achlada.” Achlada is our home” said Marco. “When we settled down in Achlada with our 11 year-old son, Valery, we wanted to build a place were people from all over the world could meet each other, where everybody is welcome. Here you can relax, read books, play games, discuss and advice. A place to say Farewell and Hello. “You arrive as a Guest, you leave as a Friend” That is our vision. When you are back home and remember us with a smile, then our vision has come true.”
Best holiday season: Beginning of April till end of May and from September till mid October. From June till October it is very hot on the island.
Airlines: Daily, all year long with Olympic Airlines and Aegean Airlines from Athens to Heraklion and to Chania. Charter flights and special offers from Easter till the end of October.
Daily from Piraeus to Chania, Heraklion and Rethymnon. From
Italy: Italy-Patras, Piraeus-Heraklion.
Tip: You can hire a car here or you can book one in your country. The average price is about 35 Euro per day, including free km and full insurance.
Ecotourism Holidays Hotel
Agritourism Cottages & Eco Villas : our Eco Hotel consists of 4 independent villas and 3 studio/apartments located in Achlada, Heraklion, Crete
Mourtzanakis residence is an Eco Hotel on the island of Crete, a family-owned agritourism cottages guesthouse promoting sustainable tourism practices, dedicated to preserving the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Crete.
The Mourtzanakis Residence offers a range of ecotourism activities that allow guests to explore the island's natural and cultural treasures