Welcome to Villea Village
Authentic Crete Village
Small whitewashed buildings surround the olive grove. Patios and balconies offer sunny views. A central 25m pool awaits outside a large lobby with fireplace, bar, and library. We offer 1-bedroom and studio apartments. Perhaps most special are our connected studios that two couples can book. (Share your space, but enjoy 2 bathrooms, 2 kitchenettes, and lots of privacy.)
The Perfect Location in Greece
Across from the beach and centrally located, this southeast coast of Crete has some of the best beaches in all of Greece. With flat walking to shops and restaurants, our family owned and operated resort is at the base of an agricultural valley with pathways leading to mountain villages.
May–October Sun Holidays
Spring is an economical time to visit our sunny island. Enjoy a quieter atmosphere before school holidays. Easter is especially popular in Greece, and autumn harvest is exciting. June brings world famous classical and folk music concerts. Summer offers unparalleled beach days. Fall is a fabulous time to witness wine and olive oil production.
Safe, Relaxing Travel in Europe
Solo travellers will find the area interesting and friendly. There are plenty of modern tavernas and historic sites to explore. Couples enjoy the romantic and natural environment to take sun on the beach or relax in the mountains. We offer rooms with an added single bed for children. If older children join you for a holiday in Greece, choose adjoining studios for the best value and comfort.
Explore Authentic, Unspoiled Crete
Visitors return yearly for the excellent location and hospitality of the resort’s Greek hosts. This is clean, spacious accommodation with a welcoming atmosphere. Easy walking access to beaches, mountains, historical sites, and shopping. Lounge around our pool, read under our olive trees, and enjoy local cuisine poolside.
Getting Here is Easy
The charming village of Makrigialos will win your heart. This port town is located between Lerapetra and Sitia. Villea Village’s neighbourhood is known as Analipsi and is easy to access by car, bus, or boat. There are ferries and flights from Athens and transportation available from Heraklion and Sitia airports.
Contact us if you have questions before booking your island getaway. Booking can be done right on this site for the best prices!
Villea Village is built in the traditional Greek style with ample outdoor living. The abundance of vegetation makes it feel quiet and peaceful, even when the resort is fully occupied.
▶ A Natural Environment …
Villea Village is built around a lush and tranquil central garden of olive trees where the mountain river valley meets the sandy, shallow, warm Libyan Sea. If you are searching for an unforgettable experience in southeastern Crete near the beach with great activities, amenities, food, and people, you’ve found your island home in the Mediterranean! Relax and enjoy the rustic natural surroundings with everything you need within steps.
The gardens boast a terrific variety of plants and trees including pomegranate, fragrant night-blooming jasmine, delightful stephanotis, colorful geraniums, various herbs, and a scattering of exotic plants such as strelizia and jacaranda.
Villea Village offers the following types of accommodation:
- STUDIO — TWIN BEDS
Quaint kitchenette with patio or balcony for 2 people.
- DOUBLE BED STUDIO
Quaint kitchenette close to beach. One double bed.
- STUDIO FOR THREE
Kitchenette with double bed and twin bed (suitable for child).
- TWO CONNECTED STUDIOS
Olive Grove connected suites with a double bed and two twin beds, 2 bathrooms, and 2 kitchenettes. More room for 4 adults!
- ONE BEDROOM APARTMENT
Ideal for families of 4. Kitchen, 1 double bed in master, 2 sofa couches.
▶ Rooms & Suites
Villea Village is a choice that is uniquely intimate and Grecian, yet large enough to meet your expectations of excellence and all-encompassing care.
- Fresh mattresses and linens in 2019
- Charming shutters and self-catering necessities
- Spacious laid-back comfort
- Kitchenettes in every room
- Balcony or terrace overlooking the central olive garden or pool
- Private bath with shower and tub, a television with local channels, and direct-dial telephone
- Wireless Internet available*
- Free internet station available in the lobby
Satellite television is broadcast in the TV room and by the pool bar. Special events are telecast poolside.
*Wireless Internet access available for a nominal fee.
Villea Village sports the largest pool in the area with spacious decks and gardens. Comfortable lounging can be found in both the sun and shade. At Fisherman Jack's Poolside Bar you can meet new friends as well as find refreshment and entertainment right outside your room.
▶ Enjoy a Poolside Holiday
Many rooms overlook the sparkling pool. There are showers, water closets, and laundry off the pool deck. Sit in the covered veranda right off the reception area. You’ll find WiFi, a lending library, fireplace, billiards, table tennis, grills, and an indoor bar as well.
Breakfast is available from 8–11:30 a.m. on the veranda overlooking the pool. In addition to a full buffet, an a la carte menu offers fresh squeezed juices, coffee and tea selections, and fresh breads from the local bakery. A full cooked to order English breakfast is also available.
Walk only 50m metres to the beach. Stroll to Makgry-Gialos harbour, and be spoiled by the choice of restaurants and tavernas. All activities are close by and will add fun and excitement to your holiday.
▶ Explore Crete & Discover History
Explore uninhabited islands, the only natural palm tree forest in Europe, the extraordinary remains of the Minoan Civilization, the ancient monasteries, mysterious caves, and dramatic gorges.
A short walk along the sea to the harbour offers more choices as well as watersport options. Market day finds shepherds offering various cheeses and produce. A wonderful hike begins at our resort, ending at the mountain village of Pefki. Several beaches are within walking distance with the longest directly in front of the resort. The bus terminal, an economical way to explore southern Greece, is right outside the resort. We encourage you to visit Lerapetra and Sitia. With a car many windy mountain drives take you to monasteries and small villages in the unspoiled “wilderness” behind the resort. From the ports you can book boat daytrips to several islands.
A close community has been created by your hosts. The Greek owner is a retired mechanical engineer with a penchant for teaching Cretan history and explaining indigenous plant uses. He hikes regularly and enjoys sharing local wines and fresh health cuisine. His lovely partner makes each guest feel special, and she shares suggestions on more ways to enjoy the local destinations she has frequented since 1990. You’ll find these hosts “know everyone.” Every Wednesday many interesting Cretians and expats show up to share stories at the bar, and play various trivia and other games.
▶ Visitors Return as Friends
Because Villea Village is owner-managed, everyone has an incentive to ensure your stay is enjoyable. Many of our staff have been serving here for decades. Throughout the year, there is a weekly calendar of activities, such as barbecues, jeep drives, Greek language lessons, cooking lessons, dancing lessons, moonshine making, local church festivals, music festivals, hikes through mountain villages and gorges, and outings for Cretan dinners.
Meet your hosts, and enjoy a pre-dinner specialty cocktail or an apres-dinner drink in a lovely poolside ambience. Fisherman Jack’s pool bar opens at 11 a.m., serving salads, local specialties, light meals, various teas, coffees, cocktails, a selection of beers, local wines, and spirits. All items can be enjoyed while lounging by the pool or at shaded tables.
Calendar of Events
January 6 — Theophania Greek
(Epiphany — Twelfth Night)
Big church service. The priest and the villagers proceed from the church above the harbour. The priest throws a cross into the water (usually from a fishing boat), and young men from the village then dive in to retrieve it. Many blessing upon the guy who gets the cross.
Brocolli, Sprouts, Beets and Cabbage come into season. Those who have picked their olives begin pruning their trees. Lavraki fish are often caught from the beach. After “good” storms there are usually pottery shards, odd granades, seashells and loofahs to be found on the beach.
Early lambs are born by the coast. Eagles can — unusually — be seen soaring above the coast (and sitting in the field for that matter). It’s a truly spectacular sight. The eagles, standing around five feet at the shoulder, quietly watching the sheep, looking for both the afterbirth and odd tiny lambs that have strayed away from their mothers.
February 17 — Triodion Sunday
Triodion is the liturgical book used by the Eastern Orthodox Church containing the propers for the fasting period preceding Easter and for the few weeks leading up to the fast.
February 28–March 5 — Tsiknopempti (also known as Burnt Thursday) Carnival!
March 11 — Katharo Deftera (Clean Monday)
This is the first day of Lent. The locals fly kites both on the beach and in the mountains.
March — Spring is in the Air!
Artichokes come into season. The blackbirds, robins, and sparrows are fighting for dominance — quite amazing how vicious small birds can be. Depending on the weather, the olive factories close mid-March.
March 25 — Independence Day
In Koutsouras the school children parade through the village, which is bedecked with Greek flags.
Sunday, April 28 — Greek Easter
Midnight church service followed by the burning of Judas in effigy. Easter Sunday is celebrated with the traditional turning of the lambs on the spit in most of the villages in the area.
Crete is a botanist’s heaven. Come to enjoy Europe’s widest variety of wild flowers and plants while you join a walking tour of various ability levels, or hike the gorges.
It is getting warmer but still great for hiking, and although the spring flowers finished blooming, the smell of wild herbs is wonderful.
Phew! It’s hot, but usually breezy. How does a nice cold beer in the shade of an olive tree grab you?
Stake out your space by the pool. Nearly everyone in Greece takes August off, and it seems like half of them come out to the islands. Can you blame them? The Meltemi Wind blows strong during August, so it’s great for wind surfers.
September — Tuna Fishing Season
Fishing charters can be arranged by Villea Village. We can can also arrange to have your catch cooked for you.
The sea is very warm with great conditions for snorkelling, and grape picking begins in readiness for the Kazanema season.
October — Kazanema Season Begins
The sea is still warm, and it is the beginning of the “Kazanema” season. This is the traditional — legal — raki brewing (moonshine) festival.
November 3 — Aghios Georgos Methistis (St. George the Drunkard)
Panagiri, the patron saint of wine and raki, the beautiful church of Aghios Georgos, about half way up the Pefki Road, is built into the rock. The old ladies of Pefki sit in the church praying whilst outside the men and the younger people have a wild party. Everyone brings their own “new” raki and wine plus some meat to barbecue. There is usually live music and dancing.
November 15 — Olive Harvest
The olive picking makes driving on mountain roads interesting as they are festooned with olive nets. Mostly there is no mains electricity in the mountains so the air throbs with the sound of the generators. Whilst picking they also burn the leaves to prevent the spread of the dreaded dakos beetle.
November 20 — Olive Pressing Begins
The factories open now, and the trucks are up and down the village roads taking the sacks to be processed. All the sacks are clearly marked with the family name or initials, and a member of the family will usually go to the factory to ensure they get the correct oil.
The village grannies can often be seen hand processing the small Cretan olives to use in their taverna or at home. They literally have a sack full of olives and olive leaves, sort patiently through them, and then with the aid of a small rock split them slightly before soaking in salty water, rinsing them every few days, and soaking them again (repeating the process several times).
After the first rains snail collecting commences. The snails are collected and then cleansed with pasta before being served with a traditional tomato sauce.
December — The Holidays
The wild horta Gialoradiko comes into season. It is picked and served with a lemon dressing. Plenty can be found nearby. For example, Moni Kapsa. Most locals will have their own special place that provides the best Gialoradiko.
Local oranges are in season.
Christmas lights are put up by the Council of Sitia and Ierepetra.
If we get a decent south wind, then there are wild mushrooms that, fried in a light batter, taste truly scrumptious. Occasionally they are available in the village tavernas.
By mid-December there is generally snow on the mountains above Ierepetra.
The olives at Villea Village Resort are usually picked in December and January.
Our home in the seaside village of Makry-Gialos stretches from the south coast of Agia Fotia in the West to the monastry of Moni Kapsa in the East and from the Libyan Sea to the 1200 metre (4,000 ft) high mountains of Orno Oros in the North. Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands and is renowned for its beautiful sandy shores, magnificent mountains, quiet fishing villages and friendly people. Makry-Gialos is an exceptional village situated on the edge of a thriving agricultural area. Prices are are generally very reasonable with a variety of tavernas, bars, restaurants, and shops to suit most tastes and budgets. The main economy of the area is olives, vegetables, and fruit, so the local cuisine reflects the quality that makes Crete famous for healthy living and longevity.
If you like crowded nightclubs, noisy bars, and huge hotels, Makry-Gialos is not for you. If you are looking for a village atmosphere and a safe environment then this is the place. You can safely walk down to the beach at night and relax in a friendly atmosphere everywhere you go.
The Makry-Gialos main beach is a gently shelving sandy beach. The next beach, Kalamokania Beach (literally translated as Bamboo Legs), apart from being difficult for most non-Greeks to pronounce is a shingle beach that shelves deeply and is great for snorkelling. Within a 10 minute drive you can find many deserted beaches, some of which may require a scramble to get to, but thoroughly rewarding for the effort.
In the Winter
Makry-Gialos commercial establishments usually open during the winter months include Tavernas and Bars — Makis Grill House, Helios, Melissa, Dragons Cave, Aposperitis, Splash, Rock, Apodrasi, Harris, Thalasssa, Takis, and Voula. Some bars and tavernas close for a week or so during the olive picking season.
The bar at Villea Village is open on Monday from 20:00 for pool and darts and Wednesday from 20:00 for trivia and bingo.
Most of the following stay open throughout the winter: butchers, pharmacies, bakeries, fruit and vegetable shops, cava, petrol stations, supermarkets, hairdressers, children’s clothing stores, and the hardware store.
Motor Plan is closed although it is possible to rent a car from them. Cars and jeeps are generally limited as the car hire companies mostly take their cars off the road for the winter.
In nearby towns of Pefki, Aghios Stefanos, and Stavrohori, some of the tavernas and cafés are open with limited menus, but they do often serve local seasonal specialties. They do close periodically for olive picking.
First rains are expected in November, which make some gorges either inaccessible or dangerous for hiking. Generally olive picking starts after the first rain. Winter storms can be truly spectacular with the mountains and sea lit with great streaks of lightening and tremendous seas washing over the promenade. Frequently ships seek shelter in Makry-Gialos Bay. When the waves are high some of the younger villagers try their hand at surfing. (The best place to watch is from the Makis Grill House.)
The post office stays open normally. The National Bank generally just opens three mornings a week. Pankritia Bank stays open as usual. Street markets operate as usual — Makrigialos on Fridays, Sitia on Tuesdays, and Ierepetra on Saturdays.
The people of Makry-Gialos pride themselves not only on their Greek nationality, but more especially on their Cretan heritage, a history that dates back 5,000 years. Their welcome is never less than enthusiastic for the people who come to soak up the culture and the climate.
Greece & Crete
Traces of a centuries-old and important history are etched in every corner of Greece, findings from the Prehistoric and Archaic Periods, unique works from Classical, Hellenistic, Medieval and Byzantine monuments, creations from folk art cultures, traces from the passing eons of other civilizations and different religions, that coexist with current creations, constructions and modern works of art.
Greece is a true paradise for cultural tourism, a journey into history and art. Educational excursions, theatrical productions, festivals, pilgrimages, visits to archaeological sites, monuments and museums, excursions to study the natural environment, folk art and culture — these are just a few of the many things that Greece has to offer.
Crete, the largest of the Greek Islands, is an island of contrasts. Home to around 650,000 people, the island remains ever popular with visitors from northern Europe, other parts of Greece, and indeed, visitors from all over the World. Crete is a place with its own tradition, its own character and its own dialect. Local people are very proud of their Cretan origin. Throughout the island the remnants of occupation by invaders from the Romans, through to the Turks, can still be seen, with aqueducts and architecture still plainly visible. But throughout these invasions the Cretan people have remained relatively unscathed and retain their justifiable pride in their island and their culture. In the south of the island, you will find hundreds of exotic beaches, some crowded and some isolated which can satisfy any taste. Crete is famous for its fruit, vegetables and pure olive oil. Crete consists of four prefectures: Rethymnon, Heraklion, Chania and Lasithi (Aghios Nikolaos).
Whilst not essential in many places renting a car will enable you to make the most of your holiday in Crete. You’ll be able to take in so much more of the many things the island has to offer — visit some of the many archaeological sites like Knossos and Faistos, enjoy the grandeur of the mountains and Crete’s famous gorges, search out some of the isolated, uncrowded beaches or visit some of the beautiful Venetian towns. You’ll have the freedom to do what you want, when you want.
What to Do
Relax on the Beach
A long sandy beach along the Mediterranean Sea is 50m. Perfectly balanced holidays filled with sunshine and ocean vistas.
Yoga in the Garden
A beautiful setting to relax and stretch. Mats available to individuals. Inquire about week long yoga retreats in the autumn.
Shop Fishing Village
Plenty or restaurants and tavernas walking distance. Delicious cuisine, oceanside tavernas, and plenty of entertainment close-by.
Hire a Boat
Jetskis, windsurf boards, fishing charters or a tour deserted islands on the Pirate Ship with opportunities to snorkel.
Explore Spinalonga… the place Greece sent people with leprosy - one of Europe's last surviving colonies of its kind (closed 1957).
Gorge Walks & Canyoning
Within an hour's drive from the resort there are more than 10 gorges you can choose to visit. From the spectacular Kapsa Gorge, the evergreen Rihti with its 20m waterfall, the breathtaking Sarakina, to the challenging Haa Gorge, you'll be glad you brought your hiking gear.
Hiking and Biking
Makry-Gialos. Biking trails can take you through semi-abandoned villages, Minoan ruins, and local wineries. Choices galore!
A great variety of birds migrate here for the winter/spring months when the island becomes a twitcher's paradise.
No explanation required.
Three commercial airports serve the island of Crete. Sitia is the closest of the three (35km), but flight options are far more limited than at the much larger Heraklion (130km). The farthest is Chania, about a 5-hour drive. From Chania, follow the well-posted signs to Heraklion. Then continue with the directions from Heraklion below.
The island is also served by several ferries. The ferries connect Crete with Piræus (Athens) and many islands. The trip from Piræus takes about six hours, but the journey is half the fun.
Cars are available for hire, and we are more than happy to arrange your car hire for you, either for pick up upon your arrival in Crete or during your holiday at Villea Village.
Should you hire a car, please note that parking is limited in the village. To prevent congestion on the narrow village roads, parking alongside the roads is illegal. There is a remote car park close to the resort. Villea Village has arranged for guests to be able to purchase a remote access key from reception for the use of this car park during their stay.
▶ Driving Directions from Sitia Airport
- As you exit, turn left along the eastern fence of the airport until you get to a T-junction. Drive on the right!
- Turn right going downhill. The road leads to Sitia port.
- Turn right. (The sea is now on your left.) This street leads to the center of Sitia.
- Follow signs to Ierapetra (not Heraklion). You are now going south.
- After you exit Sitia, the road meanders through the countryside and numerous villages for 40–45 minutes until you get to the south coast.
- The first village on the south coast is Analipsi. (The sea is again on your left.) As you enter the town, there is an EKO petrol station on your right. Follow the road downhill and you will see Villea Village at the bottom of the hill on your right, immediately after the local pharmacy. Welcome!
▶ Driving Directions from Heraklion Airport
- As you exit the airport, follow signs for the route to Agios Nikolaos. Drive on the right!
- Take National Highway signed Agios Nikolaos 61km.
- As you approach Agios Nikolaos after 40–45 minutes, you come to a large crossroads with traffic lights. Turn right at the traffic lights sign posted Ierapetra 37 and Sitia 72.
- Continue for 1.5kms to the next crossroads with traffic lights, and go straight on the road signed Ierapetra 34, Sitia 69.
- After approximately 20–25 minutes, after passing through the village of Pacheia Ammos, turn right at the sign Ierapetra 15, and continue on this road towards the south coast and Ierapetra.
- As you enter the town of Ierapetra, turn left at the first traffic lights in the direction of Sitia. You are now driving along the south coast. (The sea will be on your right.)
- In 30–35 minutes, you will reach the signpost for Makry-Gialos. Drive up and down a steep hill, then continue through the village for less than 1km. Villea Village in on your left just before the second hill. Welcome!
Bus travel in Crete, operated by KTEL, is inexpensive, clean, comfortable, and safe, using a fleet of modern coaches. Buses pick up at Heraklion airport and travel to Ierapetra where there is a change of bus to Makry-Gialos.
Need more information Crete transportation infomation? Contact our friendly staff at Villea Village or see the bus schedule.
Taxis are available at Heraklion (€160) and Sitia (€50) airports. With prior notice, the resort can arrange a taxi to meet you at either airport or from the ferry terminal at the port of Heraklion.
Please contact the resort directly by any one of the following methods:
From the end of April through October, normal office hours for telephone contact are between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. (GMT +2). During the winter months, when the resort is closed, please contact us by email.