Welcome to Villea Village
The Perfect Holiday
Looking for a clean, comfortable, happy place to stay while visiting Crete? Look no further. Villea Village offers spacious guest accommodation, sumptuous Greek food, and a welcoming atmosphere for you — whether you are travelling solo, as a couple, or exploring with your family. Treat yourself to a memorable holiday on this beautiful Greek island, surrounded by all the sights, sounds, and ambiance that Crete offers.
Nestled on the southeastern coast of Crete, next to some of the best beaches in Crete and all of Greece, lies the warm and friendly resort hotel of Villea Village.
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Olive Trees & Bougainvillea
Located in the seaside village of Makry-Gialos, Villea Village is built around a lush and tranquil central garden of olive trees. Bougainvillea drape over the patios and balconies of the studio and one-bedroom residences. Want to stay in for a day? Wander the gardens, lounge around the large swimming pool with olive trees for shade, enjoy local cuisine poolside at Fisherman Jack's along with hand-crafted cocktails. You can relax and enjoy the rustic natural surroundings without ever leaving the resort.
Explore Crete & Discover History
Feeling more adventurous? 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. All activities are close by and will add fun and excitement to your holiday.
Villea Village Is the Place
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!
Contact us if you have questions before booking your island getaway!
Fifty metres to the beach, Villea Village is built in traditional whitewashed Greek style. The two-storied buildings enclose a verdant and tranquil central olive grove garden with 25m pool. This friendly resort is celebrated for cultural and comfortable long stays. Perfectly balanced holidays perfect for couples, groups and families.
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The gardens boast a terrific variety of plants and trees including pomegranate trees, fragrant night-blooming jasmine, delightful stephanotis, colorful geraniums, various herbs, and a scattering of exotic plants, such as strelizia and jacaranda. The abundance of vegetation makes it feel quiet and peaceful, even when the resort is fully occupied.
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 English breakfast is also available, cooked to order.
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 lounging by the pool or at shaded tables. Enjoy a pre-dinner specialty cocktail or an apres-dinner drink in a lovely poolside ambience. With a stroll through Makgry-Gialos, you will be spoiled by the choice of restaurants and tavernas.
As Villea Village is owner managed, everyone has an incentive to ensure your stay is enjoyable. Throughout the year, there is a weekly calendar of activities, such as barbecues, jeep drives, Greek language lessons, cooking lessons, and dancing lessons, “moonshine” making, local church festivals, music festivals, hikes through mountain villages and gorges, and outings for Cretan dinners.
A high proportion of the resort’s guests are regular visitors from a variety of countries and backgrounds, all of whom share the enjoyment of this “village within a village.” In short, the resort offers a perfect holiday destination for a relaxing, convivial, and pleasant experience for individuals, couples, and families.
Villea Village offers the following types of accommodation:
- STUDIO — TWIN BEDS
Quaint kitchenette with patio or balcony for 2 people.
- DOUBLE BED STUDIO
Quaint resort 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 BDRM APARTMENT
Ideal for families of 4. Kitchen, dbl bed in master, 2 sofa couches.
All rooms have either a balcony or terrace overlooking the central olive garden or pool. Each room has a private bath with shower and tub, a television with local channels, a direct-dial telephone, and a kitchenette. Wireless internet is available.* There is also an internet station available in the lobby. Satellite television is broadcast in the lobby TV room and by the pool bar. Special events are telecast poolside.
*Wireless Internet access available for a nominal fee.
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.