We first stayed at Vila Idi in 2016 as a party of 4 adults & 4 children, lured by the glowing reviews on this site. If anything they failed to do it justice. Within a week of returning home, we had booked to return again in 2017.
The only reason we have not booked a 3rd stay for 2018 is that we are planning to visit family in Australia next year and probably can’t stretch to going to Crete as well.
The villa has been lovingly renovated by the Manolis, owner and still retains a connection with the family home it once was with character to match. Comfortable and well equipped, the interior is cool in the high 20s heat we had for most of our stay. The terrace has wonderful views over the tiled Amari rooftops and rest of the valley with Crete’s highest mountain, Mount Ida (Psiloritis) looming in the distance and is a lovely place to sunbathe, or just sit and relax in the warm evenings. The small pool was also perfect for cooling down in the heat of the day the children were constantly in and out.
The Amari valley is a charming series of fields, sleepy villages and twisting, climbing roads which all but forces you to slow down and chill out. The people are unfailingly welcoming and life seems so much rooted in the land.
We bought cherries from a lady selling them by the roadside directly from her garden, ate at tavernas where the owner could proudly state that he had grown or reared everything on the menu himself, and once even had pointed out the very goat in the next field which produced the cheese we were eating.
We spent an evening sitting on the villa terrace with Manolis drinking raki which was so local he could literally point to the house where it was made while offering directions to the fields where he grows his own grapes.
He also provides with the villa, a detailed list of places of interest in the area, (monasteries, tavernas, gorges beaches) which we made full use of.
Out of the valley further south, we visited several of Manolis recommended beaches walked though rugged gorges and relaxed with excellent food while watching the sun sink behind the mountains that plunge down into the Mediterranean.
We had some really excellent meals out in the local area, and made use of the terrace barbecue. However as an added bonus, the villa’s on site housekeeper Rumy, is able to provided some absolutely wonderful local food on request, and nothing we found anywhere was as delicious as her home cooked meals.
Lastly, I cannot really describe how wonderfully welcome and at home both Manolis and Rumy made us feel. You will simply not meet warmer or more generous people who were so happy to do anything to make our stay as enjoyable as possible.
A huge thankyou to both for a couple of the best weeks I have ever had.
We will most definitely be back