Crete tailor made holiday

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Crete tailor made holiday

Environment

We pride ourselves in our commitment to quality – we source the best produce, locally wherever possible, and we are passionate foodies, we love eating and drinking! We set ourselves the highest standards of cleanliness, the most appropriate level of service, and we focus on ensuring our guests get the best possible experience in our wonderful location. We aim to make you feel you are staying amongst friends.

Our house was built, to exacting standards, by a local Greek builder who is passionate about energy conservation. We have 6 cm insulation around the entire outside of the house, insulated floors and ceilings/roofs, double glazing with thermal break frames and sun energy glass. The house is positioned to make use of the cooling mountain breezes, so that although we have air conditioning, we, and our guests very rarely use it. We have a highly efficient condensing central heating boiler, use solar energy to warm the domestic hot water, and use LED and low energy CFL bulbs throughout the building.

Our location is truly unique and spectacular – there is unspoilt nature all around. The buzzards and falcons soar over the gorges on two sides of the property, and guests can watch them floating overhead with our binoculars. There is abundant bird and insect life, and we have books and reference materials for our guests to use. Particularly in the spring there is a riot of colours, and lush greens on the hillsides, with the majesty of the White Mountains always towering in the background.

We use the municipality provided recycling system for paper, plastics and metal. Our used clothes and linen goes to a local charity. Our organic scraps and food waste is composted in a series of bins, or used as mulch in the garden. We like to reuse plastic bottles, earthenware yoghurt pots, and glass bottles to make paths, walls and features in the garden.

We have a lush Mediterranean garden with a wide variety of native plants for our guests to stroll and relax in. We like to nourish local growing plants, interspersed with planted Mediterranean species to provide colour and interest. These are watered by a precisely controlled multipart drip watering systems, to minimize water consumption. Even the swimming pool backwash water is used to water local plants.

Community

The area has some wonderful local tavernas, restaurants and kafenia, along with some very tourist oriented offerings. We have searched out those authentic establishments offering particularly good food and drink, often home grown vegetables and fruit, wines from their own vineyards, and raki from their own distillery.

There is a charismatic local butchery in Armenoi where we buy cooked meat and cheeses; we buy our sheepsmilk yoghurt from a dairy in Fres, a nearby mountain village, and eggs from a smallholding in another village in the valley. Fish comes from a fishmonger in Souda, on the coast, and we mainly buy delicious sustainably sea farmed dorade and sea bream from a Greek fish farm in Sitia, on the eastern side of the island.

We support local businesses – indeed we have ploughed over 500,000 euros into the local community, employing local craftsmen and builders in constructing our house. Using our background in business and our expertise in marketing we advise local small businesses and help them develop their thinking and markets – recently with a taverna in the Askifou, and with the carpenter who worked on our house. Our guests enjoy visiting the local artisans we have found – the ingenuity of a potter in the local small business park; the family silk business (with silk grown and produced in mainland Greece). The father started it, the son runs the farm and factory, whilst the daughter adds a creative flair to produce – including jewelry made from the silk worm cocoons, modern and traditional lacework, and modern scarves and wraps. There is a hatmaker, wood carver and maker of fine jewelry – all local authentic, with real quality and style, hidden amongst rows of shops selling cheap imports from China, India and the SE Asia and fake “Cretan” artefacts. We help you to find the authentic places.

There are local wine makers producing high quality wines, with a real feel for the environment – organic, respecting soil and location, whilst using modern methods of vinification and control – we know two great establishments where we take our guests. Our olive oil comes from local olive producers, harvested in the traditional way, but extracted in the most modern and hygienic quality controlled olive mill – based in Tsivaras

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