Cretan Contemporary Villas

near Kissamos, Crete, Greece Book from Book from £225 per night

Eight spectacular contemporary villas (sleeping 2-10) set on a panoramic hilltop overlooking beautiful Kissamos bay, with beaches within reach
The view here is breathtaking: birds of prey wheel above olive groves and the azure waters of Kissamos Bay, on Crete’s northwest coast. To the left, the rugged Gramvousa peninsula and a track that leads to exotic Balos beach. Otherwise, silence.

High on a hill - and far from the crowds - these eight contemporary villas have one, two or three bedrooms apiece and are hewn from the very rock on which they stand. Sleek, open-plan living areas lead out to large terraces that soak up the ocean sunrise, all with infinity pools and alfresco dining areas. There’s a wonderful sense of privacy, though the resourceful and friendly concierge is on hand to dispense local tips, arrange diving and sailing trips, or organise relaxing massages in an on-site treatment room. With full kitchens and plenty of space, there's little reason to ever leave - but when you finally manage to wrest yourself from your lounger, you’ll discover stunning beaches, mountain villages and ancient Venetian towns just a short drive away. For beach lovers, two stunning beachfront villas are available in Kissamos bay.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • We loved the hilltop villas' peaceful setting, with sweeping views from inside and out
  • Every villa has a private pool
  • Flexible accommodation that works for couples, families and groups alike
  • Excellent kitchens for self-catering; if you're feeling lazy, groceries and a visiting chef can be arranged
  • Western Crete has some of the island's best beaches - we love Falasarna and wildly beautiful Balos

Lows

  • 7-night minimum stay in July and August (3 nights at all other times), though no set changeover day
  • A car is essential for exploring the region, and there are no restaurants within walking distance if you fancy eating out
  • Only the pools for Villas Plithora and Carisma can be heated, and involve an additional charge.
  • The villas are quite pricey by Greek standards

Best time to go

To avoid the crowds, visit in shoulder season (May-June or September-October), when the days are sunny but not too hot (ideal for hiking) and the sea is warm enough for swimming. During high season (July-August), Crete’s beaches and hotspots are teeming, while in low season (November-April) most tourist facilities shut down. The villas are closed from December to March.

Our top tips

Ask the concierge to book you a boat trip departing from nearby Kissamos - or even better, a private yacht! You'll sail to secluded coves with excellent swimming and snorkelling. It's also a great way to reach beautiful Balos beach without having to negotiate a rather bumpy track and lots of steps.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Romantic
Spa
  • Boutique Villas
  • 10 villas (sleeping 2-10)
  • Self-catering
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room: Villa Symfonia

Rooms

The eight original villas (1-3 bedrooms) can be found nestled in the hillside, with sweeping views across the coast. Approximately 9km away, the two beachfront villas (2-5 bedrooms) occupy a very quiet beachfront setting, just behind a pebbly beach. At the centre of the hillside complex lies 3-Bedroom Thalasa (2 doubles and a double/twin, each in a separate annexe). It has a large outdoor space and a generous living area.

Most of the hillside two-bedroom villas share a similar 2-tier layout, with a first-floor master bedroom (some with an ensuite jacuzzi tub) and a second bedroom (ensuite shower) below, or vice versa. One of Villa Carisma’s bedrooms is in a small annexe; the compact design of Villa Anasa and Villa Oniro means the smaller of their 2 bedrooms sit behind the kitchens, with no sea view.

One-bedroom Villa Avissos is a cute hideaway for couples, with living and sleeping areas in different buildings connected by a stone walkway.

All villas mix sleek white walls with splashes of colour. The airy, open-plan living rooms have fireplaces, large-screen TVs and well-equipped kitchens fronted by breakfast bars; some are double-height with banks of windows. Bedrooms are kingsize or twin. Most have glass doors leading to sea-view terraces or balconies with infinity pools.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Barbecue
  • Bathrobes
  • CD player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • DVD player
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Ipod dock
  • Iron
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Each villa has a swish modern kitchen with an oven, an electric hob, a fridge-freezer, a microwave, a kettle, a toaster and a dishwasher. Dine around the breakfast bar, or head to the shaded outdoor table, flanked by cushioned seats; there’s also a barbecue. You’ll find a bottle of local wine waiting for you on arrival, along with basics like olive oil, tea, biscuits, herbs and capsules for the Nespresso machine. For an additional cost, you can pre-order a hamper full of organic local produce.

Shops in nearby Kissamos include bakeries, a butcher, a fishmonger and a large supermarket. There’s a strip of bars and tavernas along the sleepy seafront, plus a few cafés in the centre. You’re less a short drive from some of the best restaurants on the island, too – Gramvousa (traditional Cretan) and Mama’s Dinner (modern Greek) are found in the small village of Kaliviani, along the road to Balos beach. Try both!

If you’re celebrating something special, you can ask the concierge to arrange a private chef to come to your villa, or hire out a sea-view event space at the heart of the complex.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Toaster
  • M (Jan 2020, What's New)
Eating: Villa Carisma
Activity:

Activities

  • Head to the rolling waves and broad, white expanse of Falasarna beach, just 15 minutes' drive away
  • Take a cruise from Kissamos to Gramvousa island and the wildly beautiful Balos lagoon - or alternatively make the half-hour drive along a track and trek for 30 minutes down steep steps to reach Balos beach
  • Ask the concierge to arrange scuba-diving or snorkelling trips
  • Hike the legendary Samaria Gorge (May-October) in the White Mountains
  • Spend a day in the region’s Venetian capital, Chania (45 minutes away), meandering along cobbled streets lined with boutiques and cafes
  • Experience the magical pink sand and turquoise water of famed Elafonissi beach (1 hour and 15 minutes by car). Be warned: it gets very busy in high summer
  • Explore the crumbling Venetian fortifications, Roman aqueducts and Byzantine chapels of hilltop Polyrinia, just 15 mins' drive inland and completely crowd-free
  • If you're feeling energetic (and have a willing driver), hike from here up the Sirikari gorge to tiny Milia, lost in the folds of the White Mts

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Scuba diving courses
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming

Kids

Children are welcome here, and will enjoy having a pool and nearby beaches. The villas have plenty of space, along with shaded outdoor areas, though the remote location may not appeal to teenagers.

The kitchens are fully equipped for family meals, and you can order groceries in advance. There are family-friendly tavernas and a large supermarket in Kissamos, a short drive away.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Most villas have 2 bedrooms (one of which can be made up as a twin), Thalassa has 3; there are also sofabeds. Villa Abyss could work for those with 1 child as it accommodates 3 people in 1 bedroom and a sofabed. Baby cots are also available to borrow.

Note that the bedroom and living area in Villa Abyss sit in different buildings connected by walkways, as do the smaller bedroom in Villa Charisma and all 3 bedrooms in Villa Thalassa. As a result, they may not be suitable for very young children.

Babysitting:

The concierge can arrange babysitters on request.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs
  • Pool toys

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Safe, sandy beaches
  • Boat trips
  • Snorkelling
  • Scuba diving

Families Should Know:

Parents of young children should be aware that the pools are unfenced, and that the indoor dining areas have breakfast bars only. The pools for Villa Plethora, Charisma, Anassa, Symphony and Thalassa can be heated, but this involves a hefty additional charge in the case of Charisma. Those pools that cannot be heated might be too cold for children to enjoy. The hilltop villas have lots of stairs and no stairgates.

Distances:

  • Airport: 45 minutes (Chania) or 3 hours (Heraklion)
  • Shops: 5 minutes (larger shops in Kissamos, 15 minutes away)
  • Hospital: 30 minutes (Chania)
Kid Friendly: Villa Oneiro

Location

The villas sit on a hillside above the tiny village of Agios Georgios, a 15-minute drive from the town of Kissamos, on Crete’s northwest coast.

By Air:
Chania (44km away) is the closest airport. It has daily flights from Athens, and charter flights from most European capitals in the summer. Heraklion airport is 182km to the east. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving both these airports.

From the Airport
Transfers from either airport can be arranged, though you really need a car to explore the area - see our car rental recommendations. All villas have parking spaces for 2 vehicles.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Greece and getting around

Airports:

  • Chania 44.0 km CHQ
  • Heraklion 182.0 km HER

Other:

  • Beach 10.0 km
  • Shops 4.0 km
  • Restaurant 4.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Service
9/10
Value
10/10
Overall

This villa was well worth the extra ££. We particularly enjoyed watching the sunrise and set - from the terrace. There are views of the sea and mountains from every window. Just stunning. The photos don't really do it justice. Having said that, be aware that the layout of Abyss is a bit quirky, we managed to work with the odd kitchen layout too - but I guess it all added to the uniqueness of the place. Eleni and the service team were warm and friendly. We didn't meet Vassilis but he was helpful and charming on email.Eleni even promised to help the poor injured cat at one of the local restaurants!

9/10,

What an incredible place. Cool, modernity in a stunning location. We saw the sun rise over the Bay of Kissamos every morning and set over the mountains at night. The location is perfect for the various beaches. The owners local restaurant provides very high quality home delivered food.

10/10,

Eleni is the kindest and most welcoming person who will will make you feel at home immediately and tell you all about the area Kissamos.
The villas are wonderful with an awesome view and a nice pool. We would definitely stay there again if we go to Crete.

10/10,

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