23/08/14 to 06/09/14
There aren't many recent reviews of this holiday home and I'm guessing it's because everyone is trying to keep it a secret to ensure they can book their desired dates for next year! In this climate of recession, however, we felt that a glowing review would help continue the survival of such a wonderful holiday destination.
We must apologise in advance for the length of this review but if you wish to stop reading here please take it from us that this is a place that if you love Greece and its islands is truly worth visiting.
My wife and I have been visiting the Greek islands since 1985 and have finally found the one place we would like to return to forever!
The small house is superbly situated at the lower end of the sleepy mountain village of Kato Rodakino in the south of Rethymnon offering superb views over olive groves to the Libyan Sea. This accompanied by the backdrop of the mountains makes it one of the most beautiful locations we have visited in the Greek islands.
The situation of the property is further enhanced by the house itself. This has been entirely furnished using hand crafted furniture creating an authentic "Cretan" ambiance. The kitchen contains a full sized cooker as well as a dishwasher, fridge etc. which would allow you to cook your own food if that was your desire. We preferred to eat out and only used the kitchen for breakfasts and early evening snacks.
The bedroom contained a huge king sized bed surrounded by a mosquito net if required and was one of the most comfortable beds we've experienced in all our visits to Greece. The wardrobe space provided was also huge and contained more coat hangers than you should ever require. The wardrobes, bed, writing table and dressing table are also of the same hand crafted wooden design.
The living room also has a handcrafted sofa bed allowing for an additional occupant.
Air conditioning was also available in both the bedroom and the living room.
However all that is overshadowed by the outside living space offered here.
The patio must be the same size as the house and that is fronted by one of the loveliest gardens you'll find. Indeed on our arrival around midnight we were treated to the aromas of jasmine and other fragrant flowers and shrubbery in a garden which had been "magically" illuminated by strategically placed outside lighting. There was even a wonderfully constructed waterfall feature gently gurgling to add to the atmosphere.
The patio is furnished with a huge table and chairs, a long cushioned bench, swing lounger and barbecue area. (We were advised that use of the barbecue was unwise in windy weather due to obvious fire risks in a dry environment and as we ate out every night this did not present a problem to us)
Anna and her daughter Maria were there to meet us on our arrival even though it was around midnight and showed us round the magnificently presented house with towels artistically laid out on the wonderful bed.
It really was a welcome we appreciated after our two hour drive in the dark from Heraklion airport (about 125km with the last 20km or so included some nicely winding mountain roads to add to the fun!)
On our arrival we found that Anna had thoughtfully provided some basic provisions of bread, cheese, fruit, milk, juice, water and even a bottle of wine in the fridge! There was even a bottle of Raki, the local alcohol of the cretans. (We even managed to finish this over our fortnights stay. I recomend chilling it in the freezer for an hour before consumption and never have more than one at a time if you want to wake without a sore head in the morning!)
This kindness was to continue throughout our fortnight as every time Anna came to clean she would leave an offering of fruit or cake or some other savoury treat. Above and beyond any welcome we should expect or deserve but gratefully received none the less!
Anna lives nearby and she and her family were always friendly and offered greetings as we passed her house and even put up with my stuttering attempts to speak Greek!
The house lies about 2km from the beach at Korakas and can be reached by following the road down hill. My wife and I are keen hillwalkers at home in Scotland (fairly fit and in our early 50's) and enjoyed walking to and from the beach on a daily basis. (The walk down hill takes a good ten minutes less than the walk back up - especially when it's hot!!!!!)
Most of the tavernas are situated down at the beach road as well but the Hotel St George is in Kato Radakino and only a few hundred metres from the house. We did not eat here preferring instead to walk down to either the Korakas beach area or Polyrizos area, a further kilometre or so along the beach road. Others of a less active nature may prefer to drive but I like to have a beer or two during the day and wine with my meal at night so took the “hard” option.
All of the tavernas we used were great and seemed to be used by as many Greek people as foreign tourists. The menus seemed to be dictated by what is available on the day and rather than supplying printed menus would either explain what was on offer or take you into the kitchen to see what was on offer.
If you are prepared to drive of an evening Plakias is only about 15km away where an abundance of tavernas and bars can be found.
We drove to Plakias for a day and decided that it was slightly busier than we would have wanted so were happy to stay in and around Rodakino. Other trips worth taking when you are in the area are Frangokastello, Chora Sfakion and Imbros Gorge. These are all good days out but we were grateful when we returned to our “home from home” for peace and quiet.
In summary we spent one of the most enjoyable fortnights in the Greek islands ever and would recommend this holiday home to all who love Greece, its scenery, hospitality and rural culture.
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