Elounda Island Villas

Elounda, Crete

Simple, secluded apartments (for 2-6) with a seasonal taverna and tiny beach, on a rugged island off the coast near Elounda

The Gulf of Mirabello is one of the most picturesque stretches of coast on northern Crete, and one of the busiest. Elounda is hotel central, bustling with 5-star resorts and all manner of watersports within its enclosed lagoon. But just offshore, connected to the town by a causeway and an old stone bridge, is a little island which feels a world away. In Minoan times, this was a wealthy port: you can still see traces of the stonework beneath the surface of the clear blue sea. Now there's hardly any traffic at all: just 3 ruined windmills and an open-air taverna where, over delicious courgette cakes and tzatziki, you can watch fishing boats chug home through the canal.

On this islet there is just one proper building – and there probably won't ever be more, given the strict planning laws that came into force after it was finished in the 1970s. It's a cluster of 10 interconnected apartments in cubist Greek style: whitewashed and boxy, with paved patios, fragrant gardens, and olive and carob trees for shade. It sits 100m from the bridge, with a small, safe, sandy beach in front, and a bank of photovoltaic panels behind (it's entirely solar powered). Not only is it family-friendly, it’s also family-run: you're warmly welcomed by artistic Lida and her parents Kiki and Ilias, who run the place with a laid-back, English-speaking ease. If you want action, nearby Elounda offers bars, shops and boat trips to the former leper island of Spinalonga; and bustling Agios Nikolaos is only 10 minutes' drive away. This spot makes a delightful, friendly base for an undemanding family or couple wanting to relax by the sea and explore some of eastern Crete, without spending the kind of money demanded by other Elounda hotels.

Guest Ratings

Room:
91%
Food:
96%
Service:
96%
Value:
98%
Overall:
95%

Elounda Island Villas: View all reviews


signature

Reviewed by Michael Cullen

Highs

  • Fantastic swimming and snorkelling on your doorstep, and a sandy beach nearby with crystal clear waters
  • Great views from your breezy balcony over the sparkling sea
  • You share the island with just a handful of other guests (and lots of migratory birds)
  • Kiki's home cooking is superb - not much choice, but authentic and better quality than most of Elounda's flashy restaurants
  • Excellent value for money

Lows

  • The furniture and fittings are basic and rather dated, especially in the kitchen and bathroom; think of this not as a boutique hotel but as a budget Cretan guesthouse
  • The on-site cafe (which doubles as reception) only serves light meals, and usually closes in the evening
  • You really need a hire car to explore the area; Elounda itself is 15-20 minutes' walk away
  • The tennis court is neglected and in need of maintenance
  • The beaches around here get crowded in summer

Simple apartments on a tiny island just off Elounda...        

The IndependentElounda Island Villas:  Read more press reviews
Save to favouritesPrintMailElounda Island VillasThe Gulf of Mirabello is one of the most picturesque stretches of coast on northern Crete, and one of the busiest. Elounda is hotel central, bustling with 5-star resorts and all manner of watersports within its enclosed lagoon. But just offshore, connected to the town by a causeway and an old stone bridge, is a little island which feels a world away. In Minoan times, this was a wealthy port: you can still see traces of the stonework beneath the surface of the clear blue sea. Now there's hardly any traffic at all: just 3 ruined windmills and an open-air taverna where, over delicious courgette cakes and tzatziki, you can watch fishing boats chug home through the canal. On this islet there is just one proper building and there probably won't ever be more, given the strict planning laws that came into force after it was finished in the 1970s. It's a cluster of 10 interconnected apartments in cubist Greek style: whitewashed and boxy, with paved patios, fragrant gardens, and olive and carob trees for shade. It sits 100m from the bridge, with a small, safe, sandy beach in front, and a bank of photovoltaic panels behind (it's entirely solar powered). Not only is it family-friendly, its also family-run: you're warmly welcomed by artistic Lida and her parents Kiki and Ilias, who run the place with a laid-back, English-speaking ease. If you want action, nearby Elounda offers bars, shops and boat trips to the former leper island of Spinalonga; and bustling Agios Nikolaos is only 10 minutes' drive away. This spot makes a delightful, friendly base for an undemanding family or couple wanting to relax by the sea and explore some of eastern Crete, without spending the kind of money demanded by other Elounda hotels.

Book this hotelfrom 75EUR

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