Crete: An alternative accommodation option

Supporters of the belief that beauty lies in simplicity and keen to protect the environment, the owners of a rental housing complex at Southeast Crete restored a traditional settlement, transforming it into the ultimate eco-friendly accommodation in the area.

Tourists flock to this original place to experience the unpretentious Cretan way of life and spend their vacation in this uniquel accommodation.

Built from natural local stone that reflects the color of the earth, this very special complex is clustered on the side of hillside within the hamlet of Aspros Potamos and it offers amazing views up the gorge towards Pefki and down the valley to the Libyan sea.

The complex includes cleverly restored cottages, originally built by the residents of Pefki, a beautiful traditional village which historically dates back to Venetian times, located at the top of the gorge.

The villagers built small, very basic cottages at the foot of the valley in order to spend the nights in relative comfort as they would often stay down for a week at a time to harvest their crops.

As life progressed and tourism arrived, many of the Pefki villagers went to live at the coast and work in the tourist industry, leaving the cottages for many years to the mercy of the weather and nature, until they were restored to this beautiful accommodation.

The complex has the feel of a small village and it consists of 10 cottages, built on different levels.

With their traditional sleeping platforms, flagged floors, authentic furniture and linen and lace window coverings, the cottages offer a genuine experience of the simple yet happy Cretan way of life. Also, because they are built into the hillside rock, the houses are cool in summer and warm in winter.

It should be noted that, in order to retain the traditional atmosphere of the dwellings there is no electricity installed. Candles and oil lambs provide lighting.

There is a photovoltaic solar system installed which won the first European Award for Greece, which now provides enough electricity for each cottage to allow a fridge and a light in the bathroom.