On Top of the World!
from £81 /night help
Apartment | 2 bedrooms | sleeps 4
In the rooftop apartment, high in the foothills of the White Mountains you will feel "on top of the world". Lie in bed, gaze thru wide open concertina doors at views of towering mountains, deep gorges slicing thru Mediterranean landscapes, rural villages nestling under the mountains. You have huge terraces with lots of seating options to choose from - the sea, nearby Samonas village, the wild and barren White Mountains. Surrounded by pots of bourgainvillea, geraniums and olives, you can listen to the flocks of sheep, bells tinkling, meandering up the hillside opposite, watch eagles circle lazily over the gorge, or scent jasmine on the clear mountain air.
The Apartment comprises the entire upper floor of Panokosmos - two rooms with a large roof terrace with panoramic views. A bedroom with double bed, wardrobe and TV with satellite channels and DVD player. Ensuite barrier free shower room with rainhead shower and hand shower. Shaded private terrace to the south with table and chairs.
A living room with big comfy sofa and large flat screen SMART 3D TV with satellite channels, DVD player and internet access. The sofa makes up into a full sprung 160cm. Archway to a well equipped small kitchen with hob, microwave and fridge. Another identical shower room. Shaded terrace to the east, catching the sun rising over the Mediterranean sea and, through the kitchen, a charming little west facing terrace where you can escape the sun until late afternoon!
But the real joys are outside, where the unique location of Panokosmos becomes apparent. Take in the calm and tranquillity of this hill top environment, breathe in the fresh envigorating mountain air, and get some real relaxation. Feel the power of the mountains, benefit from distancing yourself from the world, and take a new perspective on your life. Or just refresh yourself with a swim in the huge pool, then laze out on loungers amongst the mountains.
And if you can tear yourself away, you are only 25 minutes from the coast and the beaches, 12 min from the nearest shops. Chania is less than 30 km away . If you don't want to venture out even that far, the taverna “Lemonia”, is only 5 minutes walk away. Leonidas, the owner, is a lyra maker, and still operates a stone mill for olive pressing and a donkey to power the millstones. He makes his own wine and Raki, the local fiery spirit. Five minutes drive to the next village of Samonas, will bring you to the wonderfully simple taverna “Aetifolia” (The Eagle's Nest), run by the indomitable Katherina. Try her home made rustic sour dough bread and choose from a simple menu of really genuine Cretan cooking with local ingredients supplied by the villagers themselves.
There is another apartment for two on the floor beneath which may also be let out. The pool and gardens are private and for the exclusive use of guests at the property. We, the owners, live in a small self-contained apartment in the basement of the villa, where we maintain everything in tip top condition, keep the pool sparkling, and are on hand to answer any questions or to give you advice and suggestions of things to do, places to visit, places to eat.
Licensed with the Greek National Tourist Organisation no: 1042K123K2963901
|Size||Sleeps up to 4, 2 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Kalives 13 km|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings|
|Nearest Amenities||7 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Chania Intl Airport 40 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, Sea view|
|Pool||Private outdoor pool (unheated)|
|General||Central heating, Air conditioning, TV, CD player, Safe, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Microwave, Fridge, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 2 En suites, Solarium or roof terrace|
|Furniture||1 Sofa beds, Double beds (1), Dining seats for 4, Lounge seats for 4|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Private outdoor pool (unheated), Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
The Chania Prefecture region
The fertile and green region of the Apokoronas, east of the city of Chania, stretches from the foothills of the White Mountains to the Mediterranean sea. This landscape, of exceptional natural beauty, is dominated by the White Mountains or Lefka Ori, the largest mountain range in Crete with over 30 summits above 2000 m and about 50 gorges.
Crete offers a startling juxtaposition of high mountains and vivid blue seas. Landscapes stretch between deep rocky gorges and weather scarred hilltops with the silky greys of olive groves in regimented march up otherwise barren hillsides. On the lower slopes orchards of orange trees with the vivid oranges and yellows contrast with the deep green foliage. Rocky stone filled riverbeds chase their way through this scenery hint at the bolder moving deluges during the winter months, a far cry from the blissfully warm summer sunshine.
There are a variety of walks for walkers of all ages and experience ranging from a couple of hours stroll on the flat to full day out climbing tracks into the foothills of the White Mountains. You may come across the stone shelters used by shepherds (mitatas) or simple pretty white washed chapels nestling amongst rocks or commanding views across the whole region. Even in summer there will be shady trails and you will experience cooling breezes as you climb higher into the foothills. Nature is abundant with a huge range of flowers in spring and autumn and it is a paradise for bird watchers particularly to see eagles, buzzards and hawks lazily patrolling overhead.
In the villages, particularly away from the coast, you will find places where time seems to have stood still ,where there are remnants of a lifestyle long discarded by busy northern Europeans. Sitting in the shade of mulberry trees in dusty village squares in hot summer sun, sitting for hours with a coffee or glass of wine, a simple meal at a taverna cheap, friendly and unpressured; this can give you the serenity, calm and relaxation so often lacking in stressful work and busy lives.
Many holiday makers come to Crete for the wonderful exquisitely blue Mediterranean sea and the beautiful sandy beaches. But there is a huge chunk of experience, which some would say is the more rewarding and important, that is away from all that.
XILIOMOUDOU and SAMONAS
Xiliomoudou, the village of a “thousand Peaks”, lives up to its name perched on a commanding foothill overlooking the whole Apokoronas region. The sound of chanting from the little white church early on a Sunday morning under brilliant blue skies in bright summer sunshine sums up some of the lasting character of this rural environment. Just eleven households, mostly shepherds with sheep and goats, make up the village. In the gorge below between the village and Kiriakoselia lies the impossibly perfect Byzantine church of Agios Nikolaos, stunningly picturesque particularly in early morning sunshine. Renowned for its frescoes, recently restored, the church is well worth seeing. Above this, sheltering between vast overhanging rocks, is the tiny cave church of Ag Mama between the two of them, guarding the spiritual wellbeing of the local villagers.
In another direction in more ways than one, but still in Xiliomoudou, lies the taverna “Lemonia”. Outward appearances can be deceptive, but inside a warm welcome and some of the best local cuisine await you, an experience renowned by both locals and the city dwellers of Chania. Leonidas, the owner, sees it as his mission to preserve and encourage local tradition. He still operates a stone mill for olive pressing and a donkey to power the millstones, not to mention his wine and Raki, the local fiery spirit. Making the lyra, the traditional instrument of Cretan music, is another of his traditional skills.
Only fifteen minutes walk away in the next village of Samonas, there is the wonderfully simple taverna “Aetifolia” (The Eagle's Nest), run by the indomitable Katherina, with its spectacular views from a cool shady terrace over the Apokoronas landscape. Here you can sample her home made rustic sour dough bread and choose from a simple menu of really genuine Cretan cooking with local ingredients supplied by the villagers themselves.
On the neighbouring hill and forming part of the Malaxa Ridge, which overlooks Souda Bay and Chania, lies Aptera. Founded by the Myceneans it has been settled through classical and Roman periods right up to the Byzantine era. There is a unique atmosphere amongst the scattered ruins surrounded by vegetation of the monastery, Roman baths and aqueducts, ancient Greek roads, tombs and statue bases. On this hilltop overlooking Kalyves Bay and the Drapanos Headland is a recently renovated Turkish Fort. This jumbled assortment of different archeological periods, overgrown, partly explained but with enormous opportunity for the imagination, is typical of Crete.
At the meeting point in the village is Ta Aptera, a well known taverna with some inspired cooking. But opposite is the rather less wellknown but characterful Kafenion the “1912”, with two or three little Cretan tables perched by the side of the road. Order here only a beer or glass of wine will bring you deliciously simple but fresh complimentary mezes (chunks of feta, olives, fresh tomatoes, rusks).
Off the hill only 15 minutes away from Xiliomoudou lies the oasis of Stylos. Amidst the dry and arid landscape under the relentless summer sun it provides an oasis with flowing streams, pools, and cooling fountains. In the shade of the huge plane trees you can sit and sip this clear fresh spring water which has taken two years to come from the Lefka Ori towering 2000 m above.
You have the choice between several tavernas, Moustakies where the owner sports the eponymous large and luxuriant moustache. He provides enormous Choriatiki, (local salad) and brizoles, pork chops, famed for their size and the tastiness of grilling over charcoal. A few steps away is the little “O Pissas” run by the butcher across the street where there are four cosy tables inside or several more outside on the street and in the shade of the plane tree.
Wherever you are in Crete whenever you are offered the “Samaria” water you know that it comes from this little shady tranquil village. If you need proof you can see the gates of the bottling plant just along the road!
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16 Sep 2014
"On va revenir !"
Nos vacances à Panokosmos ont été vraiment formidables : grâce à la situation géographique, la splendide maison, et les propriétaires, Yasmin et John.Quand vous arrivez, vous n'avez plus e… More
8 Aug 2014
"Incredible Location & Value!"
We had an incredible stay at the "On Top of the World". We travelled 4 people (two couples in the early 30's) and rented the top villa for one week. The location in the moutains is tru… More
Thanks very much for this review and the constructive input which we do take on board. Point by point:
Great that you enjoyed our food – it may seem expensive by Cretan (but not Northern European) standards, but we take a great deal of time and effort to prepare very special meals, using the best ingredients, tailor and serve them with personal and intimate attention to our guests.
We hope we make clear in all our marketing that there is a sofa bed in the East room of the Rooftop apartment. This is the best (and most expensive) sofa bed we could find, is a full size 160*200cm, has a full metal frame, sprung base and latex mattress. Most guests have found it fine, but we are going to install a luxury overmattress for use when the room is to be used as a bedroom.
As for drinks at the pool, we have changed our stock of beers to focus on speciality Greek microbrewery products, which are not easily for guests to find. As to charging for them, we have a dilemma. Our guiding principle is to create the atmosphere of “staying amongst friends”. This has to be balanced against the high costs of running and maintaining such a property, with the exceptionally high standards of quality, cleanliness and attention which we offer. This effectively amounts to a personalised service to typically to only a single party of 2-4 guests. And we do hope you enjoyed the mezes and cheesecake with wine which we provide free for our guests.
We provide detailed directions for exactly the reason that Panokosmos is off the beaten track - about which our guests frequently compliment us. It certainly is necessary to have them with you, or to have a satnav, to find us!
Thank you again for your feedback, and we do hope to welcome you to Panokosmos again in the future.
6 May 2014
"Special place for special people"
Panokosmos is not for everybody. We wouldn't recommend it for families with small children or for people that need many attractions around them to keep them happy. But, if you want to spend a few… More
It was great to have you here, and we both enjoyed our discussions. Our goal is to provide a place where guests can really take a break from busy lives, destress, and chill out. We are so glad that it helped you do this, and we look forward to seeing you again soon, work permitting!
11 Sep 2013
"A truly charming place"
We traveled to Panokosmos in the summer fo 2013Overall impression: What to expect in Chilimoudou: a really “away from it all” experience. If you have the patience and are open to non-standard tour… More
We are so glad that we were able to meet your likes/dislikes - it was good to be able to discuss this before you came. And its great that you had a good time - we certainly enjoyed looking after you, you were all so appreciative.
7 Sep 2013
"As good as it gets!!!"
We have stayed at Panokosmos in August 2013 and we loved every minute of it!!! This villa is one of it's kind, amazing views of the mountains and coast, so peaceful and tranquil. A little hide aw… More
It was great to have you with us, and we did enjoy cooking for a party who cleared their plates and really enjoyed our food! And who got so much out of the sights and sounds of nature all around us. We'd love to have you back - there' ll be some new touches for you to see! And you've posted some great photos, thanks so much.
29 Aug 2013
"Unwinding on top of the world"
We stayed at Panokosmos in July 2013, and had the top floor apartment to ourselves. The accommodation itself was immaculate and finished to a high standard, and John and Yasmin had taken care to ensur… More
We had a great time looking after you too - you were super guests! And we hope to see you back again soon, when the stresses and pressures of a busy life and work catch up with you again and you need to relax, unwind, chill out and "get away from it all!
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Calendar last updated:27 Dec 2014
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