Kato Zakros holiday cottage rental with beach/lake nearby, balcony/terrace and air con and walking

Yiannis retreat

from £32 /night help Price for guests, Nights approx:

Excellent 5/5

12 reviews

from £32 /night help Price for guests, Nights approx:

Estimated nightly price based on a weekly stay. Contact the advertiser to confirm the total cost.

welcome in Yiannis Retreat

Cottage / 1 bedrooms / sleeps 2 Home 175528

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Cottage / 1 bedrooms / sleeps 2

Key Info
  • Beach / lakeside relaxation
  • Nearest beach 0.8 km
  • Great for children of all ages
  • Car advised
  • Air conditioning
  • Some pets are welcome - please contact the owner
  • Private garden


The interior is designed with stone, there is a wooden board ceiling and stone based double bed. The rest of the room is elegantly decorated with ornaments from the local culture.

Each room is fully equipped with all electric appliances: electric cooker, refrigerator, coffee maker, sandwich maker and household goods to prepare your meals.

Furthermore in the kitchen you will find supplies for your breakfast like a variety of coffee and tea,

sugar, jam, cold water and raki (local alcohol drink).

Those of you who would like to prepare your own meals there is local olive oil and a variety of spices.

Of course all rooms are fully air-conditioned and also there is a common used laundry room.

We also provide cots for children.


Outdoors there are very beautiful trees, like pines, cypresses, palm trees, acacias, mournies, voukamvilies, jasmines, banana trees, cactus etc. , that offer you their coolness and shade when you want to relax.

The garden is separated in three uneven levels with natural fences and trees that create private corners for your personal privacy.

Enjoy your vacation in an environment full of beautiful roses and a variety of flowers such as marguerites, marigolds, basil, mint, lavender etc. which create a magnificent atmosphere of colors and aromas.

Everywhere in the garden there are comfortable deck chair, couches and swings for your moments of relaxing.

Size Sleeps up to 2, 1 bedrooms
Rooms 1 bedroom, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Shower rooms
Nearest beach Kato zakros 800 m
Will consider Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month)
Access Car advised
Nearest Amenities 9 km
Nearest travel links Nearest airport: Sitia, heraklion
Family friendly Great for children of all ages
Notes Some pets are welcome - please contact the owner, Yes, smoking allowed

Features and Facilities

Luxuries Sea view
General Air conditioning, Telephone, Safe, Wi-Fi available
Standard Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer
Utilities Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine
Furniture Double beds (1), Cots (1), Dining seats for 1, Lounge seats for 1
Other Linen provided, Towels provided
Outdoors Balcony or terrace, Private garden, Shared garden, BBQ, Bicycles available
Access Parking, Not suitable for wheelchair users

The Lassithi Prefecture region

Crete is an island with an exquisite 1,000 kilometer-long coastline dotted with numerous coves, bays and peninsulas, which afford a multitude of soft, sandy beaches along the beautifully blue Mediterranean Sea. After all, it's among the finest in the world and has established Crete as one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations. And, of course, the island's historic importance in today's world as the home of the Minoan civilization with important archeological finds at Knossos, Phaistos and Gortys, is evidenced by the tens of thousands of visitors to these sites each year.

However, Crete is the largest island in Greece - the fifth largest in the Mediterranean - and, within its diverse area of more than 8,000 square kilometers, there are many other jewels just waiting to be discovered by the more adventurous explorers of holiday treasures.

If you haven’t visited Crete yet, this summer may be the time to come and discover this fascinating Greek island. If it captures your heart, don’t worry. Come back next year and Crete will welcome you once more with its smiling Cretan sun, the sounds of the Cretan lyre, the scents of orange blossom and jasmine, a slice of cool red watermelon and a glass of iced raki.

Kato Zakros

Places to visit

1.Gorge of the Dead

It is known as one of the most beautiful gorges in Crete. The entrance is from the lower part of the village of Zakros. It is 4km long, a two hour walk and crossing it is quite easy. On your way you will come across stone fountains and places to rest. The gorge is of geological, environmental and archeological interest because of the caves the ancient Minoan people used as tombs. This is why professor of archeology Nicolas Platon gave it the name “Gorge of the Dead”.

The European route E4 ends at the gorge. We suggest you cross it to enjoy its natural beauty.

2.Pelekita cave

Few people are aware of a unique and important cave on the cliff of Tragostalos. Pelekita cave constitutes a part of Cretan nature with unique beauty, with its huge halls and steep slopes that create a sense of an amphitheater. It is harmonically combined with the starkly cliffs of Zakros. The cave took its name from the hacked stones that were excavated from the old quarry near the sea.

To reach the cave you need a two-hour walking from Kato Zakros or 15 minutes if you go by the sea. The total length of the cave is 300m in a straight line and it covers an area of 4500m2. The temperature inside the cave is approximately 17°? and the humidity is between 60% in the summer months and 70% in the winter months.

Its only residents are the bats and some cave-dweller insects.

The cave is of very important geological interest because of the stalactites and stalagmites which are connected to the Neolithic period of Crete.

If you are lovers of hiking, we recommend you to visit the cave. Of course you must not forget the appropriate shoes and the special equipment if you want to explore it (ropes, penlight etc).

3.“Minoan Palace” in Kato Zakros

You can visit the Minoan Palace and the Town in Kato Zakros, which is the fourth excavated palace in Crete.


In the area of Kato Zakros, 500m from the beach, the English seaman Sprite found, in 1852, evidence of the existence of an ancient town. In the end of the same century the Italian archeologists Halbherr and Mariani made trial excavations and found various artifacts. Some of them belonged to the Mycenaean period of Knossos. In this area, as the excavations have shown, existed, in the Minoan but also in the Roman era, a big city, as the ruins of Roman houses in “Kali Strata” certify. Mariani also observed thermae with underground heating under the floor, known as “hypocaust”. The prehistorically town of Zakros was the larger town of Eteocretans, after Praisos. At the nearby hills, the Deads’ Gorge, where their cemetery was, there are many graves from the same period. The name of Zakros is Minoan and it is related with Zakaru, a Minoan nation, which is mentioned in many Egyptian texts. This Cretan ancient town is probably not mentioned from the known ancient writers. There is a possibility that in this area lived those who took care of the famous sanctum of Dictaius Zeus in Palekastro. He or she, who takes care of the temple, is called Zakoros, in ancient Greek. Except from this sanctum, existed in Cape Sidero the famous temple of Great Mother, as mentioned in the first Eteocretan inscription of Praisos. So, we may have Zakoros à Zak (o)ros à Zakros. In 1901, Hogarth made an excavation at the bank of the hill, northeast of the palace and discovered a part of the ancient village. He found many great artifacts of the Mycenaean period, such as copper tools and guns, fasces, chisels, knives and in a room he found 500 clay stamps, remains of commercial transactions. He also found two holes full of Mycenaean and Camarian artifacts and in cavernous graves he found Minoan artifacts of the first period. From those excavations nothing has been saved today. The Second World War left here too its catastrophic mark. The reason for a new excavation was the finding of a sword from Manolis Fygetakis and Nikos Karantonis, in the area of the palace. They handed over it to the archeological service along with a base of a column.

In 1952, Nikolaos Platon began his excavations at the eastern side of Saint Antonio’s church. Examining the area Platon observed the surface of the ground and saw big hacked lime stones, at the west side of Kato Zakros valley. This was a sign that there was an official building there. This was the beginning of the discovery (in 1961) of a Minoan palace, the fourth one after Knossos, Faistos and Malia. The careful construction of the buildings, the large number of warehouses, the rich ceramics, the large quantities of raw materials, the ivory and the copper in the form of “talents”, that were found, proved that it was a palace. The palace lies at an area up to 8000m2. The palace is extended around a central yard, as the other Minoan palaces.

The palace of Zakros, although it has many similarities with the other four Minoan palaces, it has some differences from the others, which are important for the Minoan architecture. Scratched limestone was used in all the buildings of the palace, which was brought with ships because it does not exist that kind of stone in the area of Zakros. The palace had two floors. It was destroyed suddenly and completely and it was never built again. It was probably destroyed due to the great earthquake that struck Santorini in 1450 B.C . . . . The sudden catastrophe and the fire that followed covered the palace under ruins. So, it was abandoned and forgotten for centuries, without being spoiled. That’s the reason why today we have so many valuable artifacts that are kept in the museums of Sitia, Aghios Nikolaos and Heraklion in Crete.


It is a beautiful coastal village 19km south of Kato Zakros. A characteristic of Xerokampos is the quality and variety of its beaches. It consists of bays and coves that cover an area of 5km of coast. Almost all the bays have white sandy beaches and clean and clear blue waters. You can enjoy both your swim at the isolated and scenic bays that offer you peace and quiet and also your lunch or dinner at the taverns by the beach.


18km from Kato Zakros is the village of Chochlakies. You can leave your car there and then walk through the gorge the signed path towards Karoumes beach. It is a one-hour walk until you reach the isolated beach and enjoy your swim. It is a good idea to wear appropriate shoes and carry with you water or anything else that you might need as you will not find something on the beach.


40 minutes away from Kato Zakros is the famous palm groove Vai. It covers an area of 200.000 m2 and its palm trees belong to the kind of Phoenix Theophrasti. It is protected from the Greek and European legislation and it belongs to the protected area of the Natura 2000.

The valley of Vai reaches a beautiful and well-organized beach, which has a restaurant, a refreshment stand, water sports etc and where you can enjoy the exotic beauty of the area.

However, if you do not like to be surrounded by crowds of people, you can enjoy your swim at the nearby beaches of ancient Itanos or Ermoupoli, where it is quieter.


Near Vai and almost 50 minutes away from Kato Zakros is the monastery of Toplou, which is worth visiting due to its rich historical interest and architecture.

The Monastery of “Panagia Akrotiriani” is referred for the first time in documents of the 15th century, but it has probably been built even earlier. In the monastery are two museums (ecclesiastic and historical) with many rare religious and historical heirlooms (book editions, carvings, the Souidas Dictionary etc.)

At the entrance of the temple there is a stone sign from the 2nd BC century. It is the famous “Magniton Arbitration” that refers to the differences between the ancient towns of Itanos and Ierapetra and the relevant decision of the ancient Magniton (9 residents of the ancient Magnesia near Miletus in Mikra Asia).

It is also worth mentioning that in the monastery produce biological products such as olive oil, wine and raki that come from the land of the monastery. The abbot Mr. Filotheos Spanoudakis is always willing to show you around.


Sitia is a beautiful, coastal town that is found roughly 1 hour far from Kato Zakros. It is worth visiting Sitia and make a walk round the shops, enjoy your coffee at the harbor, the local ice cream or visit the Folklore museum, the Fortress of Kazarma and the Archaeological museum, where you can find many valuable exhibits from the Palace of Kato Zakros, the ancient town of Itanos and from other nearby regions.

Sitia was the homeland of Myson, one of the 7 ancient wise-men, and of Vitsentzos Kornaros, the creator of Erotokritos.

Also, every Tuesday there is a street market, where you can find many local products such as fruits, vegetables, dairy etc.


A little more far away from Kato Zakros and 8 sea miles south of Ierapetra is the island of “Chrisi” or “Gaidouronisi”. It is a small island with an exotic beauty that does not remind you anything of the Cretan land.

The characteristic of the island is the beautiful beaches which have only white shells and green-blue clear waters. The bottom of the sea that surrounds the island is rich in fossils that have been found on volcanic rocks that are dated 350.000 until 70.000 years before, when the island was sunk in water.

Many of these fossils live also today in the sea around the island, and that result in a big number of shells on the beaches of the island.

It is almost an hour drive from Kato Zakros to Ierapetra, taking the mountainous road from the village Adravasti that passes through the beautiful villages of Karidi, Voyla and Chandra. The access to the island is possible only by sea with small boats from Ierapetra’s harbor I the summer months. It is a one hour journey and there are daily routes (departure at 10:30 or 12:30 and return at 17:00 or 18:00).

10.Water Source of Mesa Mylou (Inner mill) ZAKROS VILLAGE

On the highest point of the village there is a natural water source which provides the village with excellent quality drinking water and water supplies. Most of the water is pumped from the Mesa Mylou source, which is a source of contact between karst and schist or an overfilling source. Its hourly flow is 500 – 700 m3 in annual basis. The quantity of the water is affected by the rainfalls but even in drought periods the source has a high flow. As laboratorial tests have shown the water is first class drinkable. In the ‘50s the first water system of Zakros was constructed from this source and in 1987 it was replaced and expanded in order to service all the nearby villages. Also, from the same source a percentage of plough land is watered.

Besides that, from that source begins the magnificent ravine with the age-long platans that lead you to the Deads’ Gorge. Furthermore you can see restored old traditional houses, a country church of “Lord Christ” which is one of the oldest in our area and three restored watermills, which used to function by the onrush of the waters to grind grain.

11.Water Museum & Old Watermills

Walking from the village square towards the sources of Mesa Mylou, through the narrow streets of the village, you come across three renovated traditional watermills and the Water Museum.

Until the ‘70s, those watermills were working with the waterfall and were used by the locals for grinding, making olive oil or for washing their clothes.

The museum is inside the renovated watermill of “Rodanovagellis”. There you can see old equipment and tools that the locals used in their everyday life, their household and their outdoor activities. Furthermore, in the museum there are much traditional furniture, Cretan woven, photographs and everything else that is related to our local tradition and culture.

The renovation of the watermills and the museum started in 1999 with the support of Sitia Growth Organization, the Itanos Municipality and of course the residents of Zakros who donated many old exhibit for the museum.

The renovated buildings are:

• The old cheese- dairy

• Brillakis Watermill

• Rodanakis ….

• The Watermill – Factory of Rodanakis

• The Watermill – Bakery of Xapapa

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Review 1-10 of 12

8 Oct 2013


"A little gem at the end of the world"

Yiannis Retreat is absolutely perfect if you like isolated places, calm… and cats! The place is made of 5 little studios, each with a small individual terrace and a number of much larger terraces with great large tables and hammocks, full of flowers and palm trees. The beach 10-15min walk, where you will find lovely (and cheap) tavernas. The owners had lots of small attentions which were lovely surprises. There were 5 adorable kittens when we were there, who were big attention seekers and everyone seemed to really enjoy them but, if you cannot stand cats…

23 Nov 2011


"Most relaxing holiday in breath taking surrounding with the best hosts ever!"

My partner and I were looking for some time off, away from big crowds in a nice natural setting. What we found in Kato Zagros with Yiannis Retreat was more than we could wished for. The appartement was very clean and beautifully build into an oasis of plants with much love for comfort and detail. During our 10 days stay, the hosts, Katerina and Yiannis, looked after us as if we have been friends for years. Apart from a huge welcome basket with local products we were given lots of tips for secret beaches to visit and other great advice and treats. We deeply recommend Yiannis Retreat not only for couples. It was no big surprise that the guest book was filled with thanks of travellers who have been there more than once. Thank you for those great days we will never forget!

Thank you for your kind words , we make us to be better and better for our visitors!! Yiannis-Katerina Yiannis Retreat Kato Zakros

Review 1-10 of 12

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from £32 /night help Price for guests, Nights approx:

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Estimated nightly price based on a weekly stay. Contact the advertiser to confirm the total cost.

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    Katerina D.

    • 2 Years listed

    95% Response rate

    Calendar last updated:06 Jan 2014

    Based in Greece

    Languages spoken
    • English

    Payment accepted

    Credit cards accepted

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