Tucked away at the end of a quiet country track Villa Armonia is a hidden gem which offers good privacy and spectacular views over the silvery green olive covered valley below, to the azure sea glittering in the distance. Nestled into the hillside high above the authentically Cretan village of Gavalohori, the solid gates open up to reveal a driveway edged with flower beds and low natural stone walls, leading to a private and peaceful 3000m2 oasis that is perfect for complete relaxation, but is still within easy striking distance of the excellent tavernas in the many surrounding villages, and the gently shelving white sand beaches of Almyrida or Kalives.
Brand new in 2012 this stylish, modern villa effortlessly combines pretty traditional stonework with thoughtful architectural features such as high ceilings, wide doorways and well placed windows that allow the light to flood in and further enhance the spacious interiors. Decorated throughout to a very high standard the contemporary furnishings, some of which have been hand-painted, and the tasteful ornaments have been carefully hand-picked by the caring owners in order to create a very hospitable and relaxing ambience. Taking centre stage in the living room is a piano which is very much in keeping with the Greek name for the villa - 'harmony'.
As you would expect with a superior property such as Villa Armonia all modern comforts have been catered for including WIFI internet access, satellite TV, a DVD player, a fridge/freezer, a microwave oven, a dishwasher, a washing machine, a BBQ, fully tiled bathroom suites with power showers, and air conditioning units in the bedrooms. The a/c units also double up as heaters, and there is a fireplace for the cooler nights early and late season. There is solar powered hot water with a back-up immersion heater, and 2 private parking areas (one of which has natural shade from a mature carob tree). For easy access the upstairs floor has a separate entrance via the upper level of the garden, with a choice of inside or outside steps down to the pool terrace and parking. Open-plan in design the light and airy kitchen and living room has high vaulted ceilings and a wall of windows that look out across the pool terrace to the natural back drop of sea and countryside. The state of the art kitchen with an excellent range of quality stainless steel appliances that will delight the enthusiastic chefs amongst you. Doors from the living room/kitchen/inside dining area open out on to a shaded outdoor dining area and the larger than average infinity pool.
The comfortable and charming interiors harmonise perfectly with the restful and relaxing exteriors which are likely to be the focal point of your holiday time. Spreading over 3 levels the attractive grounds have been landscaped around the house with natural stone walls and colourful flowerbeds planted with geraniums and young fruit trees, whilst the majority of the large 3000m2 garden has been left completely natural with rocks, olive, carob and almond trees, and a multitude of colourful wild flowers in the Spring. The main terrace is dominated by the good sized infinity pool and the shaded dining and lounging area which is perfectly placed for parents to keep a watchful eye on the pool activity whilst unwinding with a good book and a delicious glass of chilled local wine. From its commanding position the villa, pool terrace and upstairs balcony all enjoy breathtaking 180 degree uninterrupted views that encompass lush green valley, quaint village, and a sweeping stretch of aquamarine coastline and bay. Early evening, mouth-watering al-fresco meals and barbecues are further complimented by the gold, crimson and rose hues of magnificent sunsets that reflect on the still waters of the infinity pool.
It is difficult to convey the full beauty of this property in the accompanying photos which were taken before Villa Armonia had been completely furnished. Villa Armonia is the perfect haven for the uncompromising escapist who is looking for coastal seclusion with total privacy.
Please Note: For even larger families or groups of friends who like to holiday together whilst still retaining the option of independence and privacy, the sister villa on this hillside, Villa Prinolithos with either 3 or 4 bedrooms, can be rented out with Villa Armonia.
Set equidistant between the villages of Gavalohori and Vamos, there is a wide choice of amenities at just a short drive from Villa Armonia. The very pretty village of Vamos has narrow streets and stone houses and is the administrative centre of the area. Vamos is an ideal starting point for hikes to the surrounding hills and it boasts the only forest of pine wood to be found in the area. A traditional stone road (kalderimi) still remains and a walk in the old part of the village is of great interest. To the south-east of the village, in the Karydi area, one can see the monastery of Agios Giorgos. The ruins of the church’s cells and the old oil-press, with its wonderful domes, remain standing to the present day. As it has done for hundreds of years, day to day life in Vamos revolves around the village square where the locals leisurely pass the time whilst drinking coffee and chatting to each other. The village has a great atmosphere and a large number of amenities including a bank, 2 petrol stations, 3 wonderful tavernas, 2 souvlaki shops, a handful of cafes, a post office, a bakery, a hairdresser, a butcher, a clothes shop, a jewellery shop, a book shop and a number of gift shops and mini-markets. Gavalohori is a very traditional village and it has great historical importance in this area. There are buildings still remaining from Byzantine, Venetian and Turkish eras, and artefacts have also been found in the area from Neolithic and Minoan Times. Many of these artefacts are now housed in the Historical and Folklore Museum which is located on one of the village’s narrow streets. On the outskirts of the village there is a lovely picnic area beneath a thicket of shady trees and next to some Venetian Wells. The village square is still very much the focal point of village life. The main kafenion/taverna is a beautifully renovated stone building which is run by the very friendly Monica Papatheofilo. The food and desserts here are delicious and the prices are low. Sitting under the kafenion’s shady mulberry trees and watching the world go by, is a favourite past time for both locals and visitors alike. On the opposite side of the square there is the Women’s Craft Co-operative which is trying to keep traditional handicrafts alive by making and selling products such as pottery and lace. In the village you can also find 3 other tavernas, 1 well stocked mini market, an excellent souvlaki taverna which is well known for its barbequed meats, and a bakery. Villa Armonia is just 8 minutes by car to the lovely village of Almyrida which is built around a crescent shaped sandy beach. The beach is very shallow and safe, which is good news if you have children or are not a strong swimmer. Lining the beach are many excellent tavernas, cafes and shops. Also in Almyrida there is a scuba diving centre, a water sports centre which rents out kayaks, windsurfers and catamarans, and Villas Crete Holidays for tourist information, boat trips, horse riding, and guided walking tours or coach excursions. For those of you looking for even more activity, the historic town of Chania is only 45 minutes away by car.