Tucked away behind the lush foliage of its own small forest of Prinos trees, Villa Prinolithos is a hidden gem which offers total privacy and spectacular views over the silvery green olive covered valley below, to the azure sea sparkling in the distance. Nestled into the hillside high above the quaint village of Gavalohori, the solid gates open up to reveal a flag stone driveway 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 or Almyrida or Kalives. A rustic atmosphere prevails in this welcoming and authentically 160m2 Cretan country home. Spread out over 3 levels with a generously proportioned sitting room and a separate annex apartment, there is no shortage of space in which to relax. With 4 air conditioned bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, as well as a choice of outside terraces and lounging areas, Villa Prinolithos lends itself perfectly to groups or larger families who like to holiday together whilst still having the option of independence and privacy. Smaller parties and couples have not been neglected, however, as reduced rates are available in low and mid season without the use of the annexe apartment which would remain locked. Traditional features such as cypress wood beamed ceilings, warm wood floors, doors and window frames, exposed stone window frames, stone archways, and cool tiled floors harmonise perfectly with contemporary comforts which include: such as a computer with 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, and air conditioning units in the bedrooms, and annexe apartment. 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 a covered private parking area. The interiors of Villa Prinolithos are indeed comfortable and charming, but the outside is even more appealing and will undoubtedly be the main focus of your holiday time. Patio doors open out from the living room, kitchen, and double bedroom onto a shaded dining area which is perfectly suited for congenial family meals whilst watching the glorious crimson and gold sunsets. Alternative seating and dining areas, furnished with chunky carved tables and chairs, can be found under a sail topped pergola, or a mature oak tree, both ideally situated next to the pool terrace from where the gorgeous panorama can be fully appreciated. Appetites already heightened by long days swimming and sunbathing, will be further stimulated by the delicious aroma of fresh local produce sizzling away on the barbecue. Both the views and food are perhaps best enjoyed with a cool glass of wine from the excellent wineries in nearby Vrysses (though the Prinolithos grounds do also boast their own traditional grape press and vines). Thoughtfully laid out to stay in keeping with the lie of the land, the majority of the spacious garden area has been left completely natural with rocks and an abundance of Prinos (a Greek relative of the Holly Tree) olive and wild almond trees which provide shady hideaways for chilling out with a good book or a lazy afternoon nap. Around the villa and tiled terraces, there are low natural stone walls, paths laid with flag-stone, and a multitude of flowerbeds planted with typically Mediterranean flowers and shrubs including, oleander, roses, juniper, hibiscus, geraniums and lavender, and the warm star-filled summer nights are perfumed by jasmine, wild thyme, rosemary and oregano. The impressively situated infinity pool sits dramatically on a terrace below which the hillside tumbles down to the quaint village of Gavalohori, ensuring that the privacy and faultless views remain unspoilt. The tranquillity at Villa Prinolithos is only interrupted by the breeze rustling in the trees and the chatter of the cicadas in the hot summer months. It is difficult to convey the full beauty of this property in the accompanying photos which were taken in the Autumn when the light is not as strong and when the villa was already closed for the year, but we are certain the you will find that Villa Prinolithos is the perfect haven for the uncompromising escapist who is looking for coastal seclusion with total privacy. Please Note: For even larger groups who might also like to rent a neighbouring villa, the owners of Villa Prinolithos have another lovely villa on the same hillside.
Set equidistant between the villages of Gavalohori and Vamos, there is a wide choice of amenities at just a short drive from Villa Prinolithos. 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 barbecued meats, and a bakery. Villa Prinolithos 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.