720 55 Crete
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This small settlement of tiny, centuries-old stone houses was once used as a retreat by olive farmers during the harvest. Now they are a unique back-to-nature kind of retreat. Charming young Myrto welcomes you. Aspros Potamos belongs to her mother and Myrto lived here since she was eight years old. She never left, and for good reasons. Life here is uncomplicated, and ever so beautiful. Solar energy is used to generate electricity for the refrigerators and light in the bathrooms. For the evenings, you get candles and oil lamps. There is no heating, but every cottage has a working fireplace. Instead of air conditioning, thick walls keep the houses cool during hot summer days. Interiors are beautifully simple: stone-paved floors, whitewashed walls, bamboo ceilings and old country-style furniture.
What makes it special to me:
The quiet, the back-to-nature feeling, the simple charm of the cottages of Aspros Potamos, romantic nights by candlelight…
But what you should keep in mind:
It's really basic comfort. You'll have a bed to sleep in; you can take a hot shower, and you have a fridge to keep your drinks cool, but that's it as far as the 'luxuries' go. Also, though the cottages stay pleasantly cool, some could do with some better ventilation.
|720 55 Crete|
|Tel.||28430-51694, 220.127.116.11.16 (Myrto, mobile), 18.104.22.168.76 (manager, mobile)|
|Dogs:||Allowed with prior agreement|
|Credit cards:||VISA, MASTERCARD|
|Accommodation||3 cottages for 2 persons |
3 cottages for up to 3 persons
2 cottages for up to 4 persons
5 cottages for up to 5 persons
Bathroom with shower (some just next to the house)
The cottages of Aspros Potamos are self catering and there is no restaurant. The kitchettes are equipped with the basics. There is a wide choice of restaurants near the coast.
Aspros Potamos is set in an idyllic location in an olive tree grove just ten minutes’ walk from Makrigialos, at the beginning (or end) of the beautiful Pefki gorge (a 1,5 hour' walk to the village of Pefki). Built along a nice stretch of sandy beach Makrigialos has developed into a small scale tourist resort, but the one km dirt road that leads to Aspros Potamos takes you to a different world altogether.
There are several ways to get to Crete. There’s an international airport at Iraklion another airport at Hania, and ferries from Piraeus arrive at Hania, Rethymno, Iraklion and Agios Nikolas. If you stay at Aspros Potamos, the airport of Iraklion or the port of Agios Nicolas are the best choice. The drive from the airport (or port) of Iraklion takes about two hours. First you follow the signs for Agios Nikolaos and Sitia, and about 20 km after Agios Nikolaos you turn towards Ierapetra. From Ierapetra you take the coastal road towards Sitia. After you pass through Makrigialos (about 20 km from Ierapetra) and enter Analipsi, you should look for a small sign on your left for Pefki village. Follow this road and after 1 km you’ll find two small signs. Turn left at the sign for Aspros Potamos and you will find the settlement after 500 m.
When you drive along the coast from Ierapetra to Makrygialos, you may get the impression that tomatoes and package deal tourism constitute the only economic activity in this part of Crete. There are a few attractive looking stretches on the way, but in too many places the coastline is marred by random construction and greenhouses. It gets better towards Makrygialos, a small seaside village with a charming fishing harbour. The adjacent village Analipsi is touristy and not the kind of place I would normally recommend, but thanks to the combination of excellent sandy beaches, the beautiful hinterland, and some great places to stay, I very happily spent a full week here, and I would gladly go back for more. The beaches are sandy with shallow waters, perfect for families with small children. I was there in the first half of July and the beaches lining the village were reasonably quiet; there were some more beaches a few kilometres from the village that we had practically to ourselves.
The area is paradise for walkers and nature lovers: as soon as you move away from the coast you’re surrounded by beautiful nature with verdant valleys, beautiful mountains, gorges and caves. Small excursions should include the Kapsa Monastery above the gorge of Perivolakia (about 10 km east of Makrygialos) and the remains of the medieval village of Vóila. You can also make longer trips to the famous palm beach of Vaï (but don’t go in July or August when it gets sadly crowded), the excavations of the Minoan palace at Kato Zakros and the so-called Gorge of the Death, the lively seaside town of Agios Nicolas on the northern coast, the Lasithi plateau famous for its 7,000 (or so) windmills, or, closer to ‘home’, the island of Koufonisi, to see the remains of the ancient Roman theatre and to go for a swim from the wonderful sandy beaches.
Read here what others said about Aspros Potamos
Aspros Potamos was excellent: very quiet but close to beaches, tavern etc. The only remark is that I would suggest this place to family without small kids (infant). I have already suggested it to some friends.Paola G.
We had a very pleasant stay at Aspros Potamos. Location is great and the service really good, we loved staying there. The only point of critique is that is was really small. We rented the smallest studio and it would have been nice to have a little more space. Apart from that it was great.Sara V.
After a very tricky drive down the valley, a beautiful building is nestled in the trees. This place doesn’t look as rustic from the outside as it is on the inside. And after a couple of drives up or down it gets easier. The owner was really nice, I can’t place her name at the moment. Her and her boyfriend were very helpful in giving tips on where to have dinner and other stuff. They sent us to a beach restaurant for dinner the first evening we arrived. It was so beautiful we went there for the next 2 days. Swam, tanned and ate. It was paradise. My son found an amazing beach cove up the way with soft silky sand and again very quiet. We loved this part of the island. Not very touristy.Sandi C.
Aspros Potamos was quite charming. The rooms were large and comfortable. We had a little rain when there and did not feel confined in a small space when taking shelter in our apartment. Using lamplight for lighting in the evening was quite romantic. In the rooms we had everything we needed. The only negative comment that I had was that the housekeeping was not as thorough as I would expect (servicing the waste bins, washing sinks and toilets) and the bath and hand towels were raggedy. I accepted that as part of the experience, but think that small attention to detail could be an improvement.Doreen B.
Pleasanton, CA, USA
Our holiday was wonderful. We are more than satisfied! The room we occupied was very spacious and had everything we needed. We liked the place very much. It seemed to be a romantic cave away from the busy world. Before we went there we worried a bit that minimum civilization will cause us feel uncomfortable. Instead we got the best holiday - romantic candle and oil lamps lights in the evenings (no electricity), good mood (we forgot about our appearance because we had a very small mirror in the bathroom) and a better shape (we had to walk through the olive park 1 km to the beach and back every day!). Our hostess Myrto helped us to plan our sightseeing schedule and we are very much appreciated her for it and for her hospitality.Olga P.
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