We’ve been lucky enough to stay again in Villa Eleni. Everything I wrote last year still applies. From the moment I first stepped out of the car to open the gate and heard the intense buzzing of hundreds of bees in the carob tree to the moment when we closed it, sadly for the last time to return home, we found peace and beauty there.
Once again the villa was spotless, well equipped and with some nice personal touches. The garden, which I love, was at a slightly different season this year. We enjoyed a large, flowering yucca while flame coloured cape honeysuckle scrambled to unbelievable heights through trees. The fragrance of jasmine and humming of bees was everywhere. We just couldn’t have asked for more. My husband would sit amongst it for hours - I rarely see him this relaxed. The infinity pool is a good size and depth for swimming and we did so every day of our stay. From its quiet, secluded position looking down a wooded valley towards the sea it was easy to believe that we were the only people for miles.
Douliana is a lovely village and is situated in a position convenient for driving to a number of attractive beaches (only 10 to 20 minutes away), mountains and good tavernas. Just wandering through the village lanes and gazing at the amazing views beyond is a pleasure. Douliana is a pretty and peaceful place.
The property manager Sandra, a lady with excellent local knowledge, visited us on the second day and was as welcoming and helpful as ever, finding us new places to visit and new restaurants to try.
We had a wonderful time once again, and would recommend a visit. The villa is spacious enough for a family and cosy enough if, like us, you’re just a couple.
This was our second visit, having first discovered this treasure in 2016.
Villa Eleni is my favourite villa of those we've rented during our many visits to Crete over the last 25 years. Its position, in the picturesque village of Douliana in the hills above Almyrida with no close neighbours except sheep, suited us well as we come here for peace & quiet after a busy season at home. The sheep’s bells became the pleasant background sound to our stay and seeing them occasionally in the village accompanied by their shepherd makes for an ideal photo opportunity. The shepherd is a very friendly chap with white curly hair matching his sheep.
The villa is very well equipped and everything, including the free Wi-Fi, functioned perfectly. The design resembles villas in the South of France and the décor is pleasant and comfortable. Everywhere there is a feeling of spaciousness and having a large terrace is ideal for an ‘Al fresco’ breakfast, lunch and dinner. For sun lovers there is also a very large roof terrace.
The jewel in Villa Eleni's crown for us is the beautiful garden and large swimming pool. A small thing to point out is that pools towels are provided, so often missing at other rentals.
The planting is lush and imaginative and attracted many sorts of butterflies, moths and bees during our stay creating a constant happy buzz. The range of trees and shrubbery surrounding the villa makes for a very private environment, with a very green view down to the sea at Almyrida.
There are plenty of good beaches within a 15-minute drive. Almyrida and Georgeopoulis are probably the best known but our favourite was a long quiet stretch of sand west of Kalives. Having driven right through the town, turn down the little road to the sea opposite the big SYNKA supermarket, then left when you reach the beach. There are a couple of places to have coffee and eat but mostly it’s just sand, sea and views to the Akrotiri peninsula.
The village of Douliana is really peaceful compared to the seaside resorts yet it is only a short drive away from their abundance of coffee shops and tavernas.
The villa is also within easy reach of Vamos, an interesting town further inland as well as Armeni where on a Sunday, at taverna Drosostalia, you can experience lunch with the Greeks, an event I would thoroughly recommend.
Sandra, the property manager, will gladly tell you about many more places to visit, should you be interested.
We had a lovely time at Villa Eleni and hope to return.
This beautiful villa is set in a lovely hillside location in the village of Douliana, close to Vamos town and 5minutes from Kalyves on the coast. It is secluded and peaceful, and has very comfortable furnishings. The kitchen is wonderfully well-equipped and there is a tv, iPod player and wifi. A lovely, proper bathroom enables you to have a bath and there is an en-suite shower room in the main bedroom, which looks out onto the pines - a lovely sight first thing in the morning. The roof terrace gives you a glorious view of the hillside and ocean and is great for star-gazing and sun-bathing. A swim in the wonderful infinity pool surrounded by the captivating beauty of the garden and view of the hillside and sea is excellent therapy. The local taverna 'Heliostasi' is a few minutes walk away and has a great view and wonderful food. This is our 5th stay at Villa Eleni and we will be back again next year!
We stayed here for 11 nights at the beginning of October. The villa itself is spacious,spotless, comfortable and peaceful. It's very well equipped with a good library, dishwasher and other things not usually provided in villas we've previously stayed in. But the best part by far is the beautiful garden and the pool set in it. The weather was kind to us and we spent most of our time reading or having our meals by the pool and swimming in it. The gardens are the best of any villa we've rented in Crete over the last 25 years. We were told by the gardener that the lady who owns it is herself a keen gardener and it shows. Even in October there were many plants and shrubs in flower, providing colour and perfume throughout the whole area. We were lucky enough to be there when the brugmansia and Sternbergia lutea were at their best - a real treat. The pool area is secluded and quiet: little to disturb us but swallows and bats dipping into the pool and the continuous buzzing of hundreds of bees in the carob trees' flowers. Two cafes and a taverna are within easy walking distance in the pretty village of Douliana.
We booked through Authentic Crete and found them always helpful. They gave us invaluable advice on where to find the lesser known places of interest in the area.
We enjoyed our time there very much and would strongly recommend it to anyone seeking peace, quiet and natural beauty.
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Villa Eleni was beautiful! It was very well equipped and very comfortable. The pool was lovely, though may not be suitable for small children due to the drop over the infinity edge. The gardens were pretty and larger than we expected. It was completely secluded and had a sea view over the trees.
Sandra from Authentic crete visited us on our first day and was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. We also hired a car through authentic crete and were very impressed with the service.
The village of Douliana is small, quiet and pretty. We ate at Ta Douliana four times during our stay and always loved the food and service.
The one small negative was that the cleaner came an hour early on our last day and started cleaning up after us, we felt a bit rushed out.