Metohi Kindelis

Chania, Crete, Greece Book from

Reviewed by Jane Foster
A tranquil organic farming estate near Chania, offering 3 self-catering apartments (for 2-4) with private pools and beautiful gardens
In western Crete, between the White Mountains and the sea, just 3km inland from the Venetian harbour town of Chania, lies Metohi Kindelis. A world unto its own, in a vast walled garden with towering palms and eucalyptus trees, the ambience is deliciously laidback. Enter through an elegant archway draped with bougainvillea, and you find yourself in a cobbled courtyard, backed by a terracotta farmhouse dating from 1650. This and a neighbouring stone building have been renovated to provide 3 delightful self-catering apartments, each with a private pool and flowered garden. While the style and character of the original farmhouse has been retained, the furnishing and facilities are an attractive blend of antique and modern.

The owner, Manolis, has had the property in his family for several generations, and spends his days looking after the adjoining orchards, which produce award-winning organic fruit. His low-profile approach means that while you stay this is your home as much as his, but he's a great source of recommendations for places to visit or eat out, and his staff are warm and helpful. Couples, friends and families adore the sense of space, privacy and freedom; most stay at least a week and many are return visitors. Expect cats in the courtyard, vases of freshly cut flowers and days spent reading by your private pool - bliss.

Highs

  • Your fridge is restocked daily with breakfast ingredients and fresh garden produce - oranges, lemons, strawberries or avocados, depending on the season
  • Each apartment has a large plot of garden, an outdoor dining area (with candles for evening), and a lovely pool
  • Perfect for a romantic retreat - our garden felt wonderfully private thanks to high walls and the spaciousness of the estate
  • Within easy reach of Chania, but away from touristy coastal resorts
  • Bi-weekly cooking courses: learn to create delicious Cretan home cooking

Lows

  • The proximity to the main road means you can hear the hum of traffic, but thanks to the lush walled gardens, you can’t see it
  • Just 3 apartments and many return visitors, so in high season it's often booked
  • In July and August you have to stay 4 nights or more
  • You're 5km from the nearest beach and town so you'll want to hire a car

Best time to go

To avoid the crowds, visit in shoulder season (May-June or Sept-Oct) when the days are sunny but not too hot (ideal for hiking) and the sea still warm enough to swim. During high season (July and August), Chania and the surrounding coastal resorts are overrun with visitors, while in low season (Nov-April) most tourist facilities close down completely.

Our top tips

This is a great place for reading by the pool. Pack The Golden Step – A Walk through the Heart of Crete by Christopher Somerville, to experience walking across the island and through the mountains, without having to actually do it.

Great for...

Family
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Apartments
  • 3 self-catering apartments (for 2-4)
  • Self-catering
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor 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:

Rooms

There are 3 self-contained apartments spread over 2 buildings: Danae, Kyriakos and Kynthia, each sleeping 2-4 people.

Danae and Kyriakos are both on the ground floor. Cool and spacious open-plan spaces with large arches, original wooden beamed ceilings and some exposed stonework, each has a slick kitchen with a long wooden table for meals, and a lounge with sofabeds where 2 kids could sleep (or extra adults in Danae). The master sleeping area in each is on a mezzanine, reached by a half-flight of steps. Being on the ground floor and having thick centuries-old walls, ceiling fans suffice to keep temperatures cool in summer. The only thing missing is natural light, but to compensate you have your own garden and pool. Danae has a large lawn rimmed with aromatic Mediterranean planting and a pool backed by a high wall. Kyriakos' pool is set in a wild flower garden, with bright red poppies in spring. Please note that the pools are not available in winter (Nov-March)

We stayed in Kynthia, a first-floor apartment approached up a steep flight of outside steps. The main space is a big open-plan bedroom with a four-poster bed and an elegant Art Nouveaux wood-burning stove, a lounge with a wicker sofa and two armchairs, and a built-in kitchen. Expect ochre walls, cream linen curtains and a stone tile floor. The bathroom combines polished concrete with an old-fashioned bathtub, a magnificent grey marble washbasin with brass taps, and lovely Korres toiletries. There’s an additional small bedroom with bunk beds and an ensuite shower, making this ideal for a couple with two children. Kynthia’s secluded pool lies a short stroll through the garden, and has a stone patio which doubles as a living area with a big table and seating.

All apartments have a sound system with a decent CD library (mainly jazz, classical and Latin) and bookshelves with plenty of English-language novels and Crete guidebooks.

Features include:

  • Barbecue (on request)
  • Cd player
  • Coffee tea making
  • Communal washing machine
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Fridge
  • Kitchenette
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Each apartment has an open-plan kitchen equipped with a cooker (oven, grill and gas hob), fridge, kettle and filter coffee maker, and a juicer for the fresh oranges. For sitting down to eat, each has a big wooden table indoors, and an even bigger table in the shade by your pool, where you can dine by candlelight; Kynthia's has a fridge, kitchenette and toilet here too. If you don’t feel like cooking, you can order meals to be delivered.

Upon arrival you’ll find your fridge stocked with eggs, yoghurt, milk, local cheeses, olives and wine, plus Metohi Kindelis’ own organic seasonal garden produce, including oranges, lemons, avocados, tomatoes, strawberries and apricots, depending on the time of year. Essentials such as coffee, Twinings tea, sugar, honey, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper are also provided.

Provisions for a hearty healthy breakfast are supplied on a daily basis and included in the price: fresh bread, homemade jams, and a restock of yoghurt, milk, eggs and delicious fresh fruit. For food shopping, the nearest supermarket is Marinopoulos, a 5-minute drive away on the road to Chania.

Highly recommended eateries in Chania (3km away) include Tamam (49 Zambeliou) serving Cretan dishes in former Turkish bathhouse; the Well of the Turk (1-3 Kalinikou Sarpaki) known for its unusual fusion of North African and Greek cuisine, and Kariatis (Platia Katehaki), a smart Italian restaurant popular with Athenians. If you ask, Manolis and his staff will recommend their favourite eateries in the nearby villages of Mournies and Perivolia (1.5km).

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Chef on request
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cooking classes
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Fridge
  • Kitchenette
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Explore Chania, with its lovely Venetian-era fishing harbour ringed with cafes and tavernas. Check out the Archaeological Museum, housed in a former church, plus the romantic cobbled alleys lined with arty boutiques and a market selling local handicrafts

  • Visit the monasteries on Akrotiri peninsula, 10km east of Chania. See the 17th-century Agia Triada with its terracotta cloistered courtyard and splendid church, the more sombre Gouvernetou, and the abandoned ruins of Katholiko, built into a craggy ravine

  • Spend a day on the beach. The nearest ones lie just 5km away, but for something really special, drive to Falasarna, on the west coast, or Elafonisi, on Crete’s southwest tip. Both beaches, despite being remote, do get busy in high season – try to arrive late afternoon, when the tour groups leave, and stay for sunset

  • Hike the length of the dramatic 18km limestone Samaria Gorge, descending from the White Mountains down to the village of Agia Roumeli on the south coast. Wear good hiking boots and take plenty of water

  • Join the Tastes of Crete cooking class, staged at Metohi Kindelis on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, followed by a full lunch with wine; enquire when booking

  • Go scuba diving with Blue Adventure Diving, based in Chania

  • Drive across the island to Chora Sfakion on the south coast and visit the nearby 14th-century Frangokastello Venetian fortress. From Sfakia you can also take a taxi boat to the lovely beach of Glyka Nera (naturist-friendly)

  • If you want some guidance exploring western Crete, Metohi's sister company arranges various tours including a guided walk around Chania's old town, and the classic day hike through the Samaria Gorge (May-Oct; not for the faint-hearted!) - ask for details

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

Each apartment is designed to sleep 2-4, making them ideal for a couple with 2 kids. Kynthia is recommended for families with older children as it has a separate small bedroom with bunk beds and ensuite bathroom, while the two open-plan ground floor apartments have sofabeds in their living areas, providing sleeping space. Baby cots and babysitting available on request. Kids will love the freedom of the spacious gardens, and being able to learn about plants in the orchard.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

Kynthia

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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