House | 2 bedrooms | sleeps 6
This 19th century traditional home is located in the village of Merona in the “Paggaliana” neighbourhood and to reach it you walk through narrow street surrounded by huge rocks.
Built in traditional village style it has been recently renovated with natural materials such as wood and stone and has kept the original door-locks with interior soft furnishings of hand-woven materials dating back some 200 years.
Built upon 100m2, there is a courtyard complete with a traditional stone oven and the outside stairway leads you up onto the veranda offering one of the most spectacular views over the countryside of Amari and to Psiloritis mountain.
Ground floor was once the stable, store room and an area for treading the grapes is now renovated into a sitting room, kitchen, and WC all decorated in traditional style with stone floors and wooden beams. There is also a large fireside. Two stairways, takes you up to the first floor which accommodates 2 bedrooms each with its own private en-suite bathroom and fireplace.
Facilities include TV, Internet, Hydromassage, central heating. Daily maid service is available.
Over and above the unique atmosphere, the caretaker Mrs. Eleftheria will help give the visitor a village life experience by discovering the different lifestyle, customs and traditions of the region and dietary habits dominated by the use of olive oil, local herbs, vegetables and whole meal bread.
Guests can also visit nearby attractions of Amari such as antiquities Monastiraki (4Km), Ancient Sivritou (3,5 Km), Asomatos (5Km), Arkadi (9Km), Ancient Eleftherna (15Km), the beautiful villages of Amari, or a little farther Phaistos (40Km), Knossos, Mt. Psiloritis following the E4 hiking trail or the surrounding mountains. In case guests wish to go to the beach it is about a forty minute drive, either towards the Northern coast of Rethymno or to the South as well as visit neighboring beaches of southern Crete Moni Preveli, Plakia, Triopetra, St Paul, etc.
|Size||Sleeps up to 6, 2 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Rethimno, Moni Preveli, Plakias, Triopetra, Agia G 30 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Chania, Heraclion 79 km|
|Family friendly||Suitable for children over 5|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, Fax machine, Safe, Wi-Fi available|
|Utilities||Cooker, Microwave, Fridge|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 2 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (2), Double beds (2), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 6|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available|
The Crete region
The Spirit of Zeus,....... into a traditional Cretan house
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE VILLAGE PARTY MERONAS
"The village of beauty and natural grandeur"
"The Sun with its Light
Psiloritis with its grandeur
First dawn says good morning "
Meronas covered by green foliage is situed in the center of Crete in the area of Rethymno between the North and South coasts. Northwest of the province of Amari and opposity Mt. Psiloritis at an altitude of 650m
Traces of the Late Minoan, Hellenistic and Roman period have been found there (findings are in the Archaeological Museum of Chania) and near the village are some important archaeological sites (Monastiraki-Syvritos-Asomatos-Arkadi-Eleutherna).
The name of the village was first mentioned in the contract notary Hantaka Benv. de Brixano in 1301 trading in wool. Other references are mentioned by Christopher Bouodelmonti in 1415 and by Gerola 1900.
According to church history, the first building in the village was the church of the Virgin Mary between the 12th and 13th century.
A unique church of its kind and there are also other notable temples of the Byzantine era.
Today it remains as one of the most vibrant villages still playing an important role in the development of the province.
Meronas retains its architectural form. A magnificent building is the bell tower of St. Panteleimon, built from wild amygdalopetra in early 1900, and also in very good condition is the Lygato-mill and neoclassical houses.
Way of life has not changed that much. Traditions have still been kept all as well as the old customs and the women continue to cook traditional dishes on the log fire and bake their own bread. Farming and ranch life is the main source of income for the residents. In this same spirit, people continue in order to maintain the tradition and cultural heritage organise numerous cultural events.
• On-Net Halloween Monday. Open Lent with old toys and satirical performances (of the major events held in the prefecture of Rethymno with crowd participation).
Some of these annual events are :
· Carnival is a festive season taking place directly before Lent. Rethymno has one of the largest carnivals in Greece.
· Easter. On Saturday eve of Easter Sunday the whole village celebrate in the local church. Throughout the week before Easter great logs of wood is collected to burn 'Judas'.
· May 1st. All the villagers wander throughout the fields collecting flowers with song and dance.
· Celebration of the Holy Spirit takes place in a small church located high up in the hills and all the surrounding villagers come to celebrate. After the service there is usually dancing and a buffet.
· 27th July is a local celebration St. Panteleimon with a celebration taking place in the center of the village.
· During the month of August many theatrical performances take place as well as cinematic shows, traditional music evenings with dancing and other artistic performances and events.
· Revival of the threshing in the area of Renda. The wheat which has been planted is reaped and threshed in the traditional way organized by the Cultural Association.
· Christmas - New Year. with traditional carols with Cretan musical instruments visiting every house in the village. There is also the cutting of the new year cake organised by the by the community and cultural association.
· Over and above there are many events organized throughout the year regarding sustainable development, natural farming and collection of traditional seeds etc
THE RETHYMNO / AMARI AREA
Rethymnon (city population 30.000) is located in the centre of Crete, offering easy access to the whole island. It combines endless sandy beaches and crystal clear waters along with amazing landscapes in the mountains.
Among a wide range of historical monuments, the most renowned is Rethymnon's Old town. Being the best preserved Venetian town in Greece, it is a charming blend of Renaissance and Ottoman architecture with narrow streets, mosques, piazzas and fountains.
The scenic Amari valley, in the heart of Crete, lies between 2 mountains: Psiloritis (Idi) and Kedros, both belonging to the Natura 2000 protected areas. The clean environment and the healthy climate are ideal for relaxing, walking, climbing, cycling, or exploring by car. Numerous paths, starting from Meronas and the nearby villages will guide you to magnificent natural sites (plateaus, caves, mountaintops, gorges, etc).
The coast is also accessible, due to the location of the village, in the middle of the island.
Meronas village itself (altitude 650m) is one of the most picturesque and unspoiled in Crete, with interesting architecture and unsurpassed tranquillity.
The area is rich in history, with several sites of the Minoan and Byzantine era.
• The Minoan town of Syvritos (meaning “sweet water”) near the village of Thronos (4km).
• The Minoan palace, discovered in the nearby village of Monastiraki (4km).
• The “Veni” monastery (10km) is located beside a unique plateau, featuring a temple in a cave with stalactites.
• Some of the major archaeological sites of Crete are within an hour's drive from Meronas: Arkadi monastery (20min), Festos Minoan Palace and Agia Triada Royal Villa (55min), the Roman capital of Gortys (50min), Eleftherna's Minoan city of the dead (30min), Preveli monastery (45min), Rethymnon's old Venetian town, fortress and Paleontological museum (40min).
The layout of Meronas lanscape is exceptional. It is a charming mixture of high mountains, hillsides, small rivers and green fields. The most common trees found are olives, oaks and cypresses and the whole scene is decorated in springtime with countless wild flowers.
Among the points of interest are:
• “Agios Antonios” ravine (15min drive) which begins beside an ancient temple's ruins and crosses a dense forest, featuring waterfalls, bird watching points and pic-nic facilities.
• “Potamoi” lake (15min drive) is a refuge and immigration station for birds, suitable for walking or cycling.
• “Psiloritis” Mt. dominates the area, being the highest point in Crete and crossed by the international E4 path. Deeply immersed in myths and legends, it is the home of the last surviving bearded vultures and golden eagles. The “Timios Stavros” summit (2456m) is a challenge (3-5hr ascending), but you will need a special local guide for that. On a clear day, the view is unlimited, extending all over Crete to the Aegean and Libyan Sea.
• “Kedros” Mt. (1777m), also crossed by the E4, is wild and rocky near the top, traced by canyons and is a nest for falcons and eagles. But in its lower area it is peaceful, forming little valleys with springs and fruit trees.
• “Kourtaliotiko gorge” (30min drive) takes its name from “kourtala” a hand clap sound created by the wind passing through numerous caves. Go deep down (500 steps) to find the 5 sources of the river and the waterfall.
The island is divided into two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African. It is considered one of the healthiest climates in Europe, with temperatures around the high 20s (deg. Celsius) in spring and autumn and, sometimes, up to the high 30s (deg. Celsius) in the summer. Rain (and rarely snow) falls mostly during winter months, while in the summer, usually, there is no rain at all.