If you want to see a region rather unknown of Crete and you are looking for peaceful holidays then Amari is the right choice. The villa Idi is an authentic greek house with a wonderful view on the Psiloritis. The very kind owner of the villa is offering greek hospitality "philoxenia" as the ancient greeks defined it. Manolis gave us all the information needed to explore this wonderful region (mountain and sea). We were welcomed with flowers and a food basket. Honestly one can't imagine a more pleasant stay.
We were spending three weeks in Crete and spent 4 nights in Villa Idi in the mountains overlooking Mt Idi, the tallest mountain in Crete...still showing some slivers of snow. The villa has a terrace and pool and is near the top of the village of Amari in the mountains. You can reach the southern beaches or explore this 'unexplored' region of Crete and see what life is like for the 'real' people of Crete. The owner is extremely helpful and was before, during and after our departure...even offering travel tips for our further adventures. In addition, Mrs. Roumy, a lovely woman who has an apartment on site, is available to cook authentic Cretan delicious meals for you to enjoy at the villa.
Sadly we only stayed for 2 nights. 2 of us in a villa for 8 was an indulgence between the beaches of the south and the beaches of the west, so we didn't have time to immerse ourselves in the full Amari experience, but we got a taste and I'm sure we'll be back for more!
We did however have more than enough time to appreciate the beauty of the villa and the highest levels of 'customer care' from both Manolis (the owner) and Mrs Rummy (the housekeeper). Within an hour of booking on-line we received a welcome email from Manolis, soon followed by volumes of highly useful information, a menu of authentic Cretan dishes that Mrs Rummy can provide and a choice of recommended routes to Amari from our specific starting point, with personal insights into points of interest detailed along each. Manolis sets the bar very high and does not disappoint.
Greeting us from the terrace Manolis proved to be a warm and engaging host, giving us a tour of the villa, making sure that any questions we might have were answered and promising to forward recommendations for our journey onward before we left.
Mrs. Rummy was a delight. Never far away but always discrete and the option to have her wonderful food served directly to our terrace was a huge plus for us!
As promised, we received a variety of recommendations from Manolis for our onward journey, together with Google map links, which lead us to stunningly remote and little known sites of interest known only to the locals and the well informed. Thank you Manolis!
I cannot recommend Amari villas highly enough.
We did not want to leave this wonderful villa and its surrounding landscape!
Villa Idi is a true gem that we are so glad to have discovered. It has ample space for families and groups, yet is cosy for couples as well. It is spacious, comfortable and exceptionally well appointed with excellent appliances and facilities. We cannot fault the cleanliness and maintenance of the property and surrounding terraces and gardens. We arrived late at night after our flight to a welcoming 'home from home' offering complimentary fresh bread, wine, raki, flowers and essentials - enough for a couple of days.
We must credit the (now infamous!) Mrs Rumy for her excellent hosting during our stay. Like others, we took full advantage of the catering she offers via her extensive menu for dinner - and breakfasts. Whilst there are some lovely tavernas in the area with friendly hosts and excellent food - Mrs Rumy couldn't be surpassed and as a result we ate at the villa a lot. This works well because exploring the local area is a priority - there is so much to see and experience in the Amari valley and surrounding area. We could make the most of our daytime exploring, knowing there would be a delicious feast waiting for us on our return!
Here is where we must also credit Manolis, the villa owner. The extensive information for travel, local 'must see' places and the villa provided before our trip helped us prepare and he was always on hand during our stay if we needed advice or help. (We needed little as everything had been thought about in advance and sent to us). In summary the villa, hosting and support are faultless. Support is always available, but you are left to your own relaxation.
A bit of space remains to talk about our Cretan experience. A car is recommended if you want to see the area-we made full use of ours during our stay. You soon get used to the roads and in the countryside, the roads are quiet; every corner offering another beautiful vista. From the villa we could see the twinkling lights of at least four other villages across the valley. Wildlife lovers will see animals and birds aplenty in the countryside. History lovers will find ancient monasteries, local culture being kept alive in the villages and some fantastic ancient sites. 10 minutes drive from the villa is a fascinating archaeological dig uncovering an important Minoan palace! Rethymon is also worth a visit (around 30 mins drive).
Unforgettable. We would return in a heartbeat. Thank you!
Our third year at Amari Villas over and we are still mesmerised by the panoramic mountain views, beautiful sunsets and the quite nature of village life and sheep bells. Manolis and the most excellent Rumy have made us feel very much at home; with each visit we grow more familiar with the location (both on and off road) and with gorgeous home cooked food from local produce and organic wines. As a family (including 2 teen girls) our expeditions have taken us to beautiful off-the-beaten-track places with details carefully listed in the villa documents, along with all the more familiar information on nearest towns and beaches. Villa Idi has been our house each time, extended one year to include friends in the adjacent villa. Situated high overlooking the village square you are fortunate to have an eye on the activity of village life (and the van deliveries of bread, veg & cheese) whilst enjoying privacy round the pool. We couldn’t have been better provided for, our experience has been deeply memorable and without doubt we will be back.
Thank you Manolis.