We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“An oasis of tranquility far from the madding crowds, excellent riding, delicicious food and friendly service” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Country Hotel Velani

Save Saved
You added Country Hotel Velani to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Country Hotel Velani
2.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   Velani 46 | P.O. Box 46, Avdou, Crete 70005, Greece (Formerly Avdou Pediados)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Avdou B&B and Inns
Montreal, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“An oasis of tranquility far from the madding crowds, excellent riding, delicicious food and friendly service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed my six-day stay here. I did the Sunny Rides, with half-board, so I went riding with the guide and other guests (once it was just one other guest and the last time it was just me) either two hours in the morning or two hours in the evening. Milou, the guide, is charming and very capable. The different rides through the mountains and down to the village were all lovely. The least attractive but the most fun was the ride down to the reservoir, where we were able to do quite a bit of cantering. The horses and pony are beautiful, friendly and very well trained. Manoli and Sabine and Milou take good care of their horses. It's just a shame that the ground is steep and rocky, which means that they can't graze in a pasture, but their stables are nice and each horse has two doors to wander in and out of.

Sabine and Manoli and their cook prepare excellent meals -- lots of the Greek staples, traditional Cretan specialties like Dakos (a bit like bruschetta), and each evening a rotating menu of special dishes -- moussaka, brami (a kind of ratatouille), stuffed peppers, stuffed zucchini flowers, grilled meats etc. Here I had the best hummus I've ever had (served warm and drizzled with olive oil), as well as the moistest chocolate cake. Delicious!

I loved the pool and the patio area around it. It's wonderful to lounge there in the afternoon or go for a swim after a hot ride. The shady area around the restaurant and next to the pool is the perfect place to enjoy lunch. The prices at Velani are reasonable.

I didn't have a car but by the fourth day I was able to rent one in Hersonissos for 135 Euro for three days, and I left it at the airport. Sabine and Manoli can help with car or moped rental. Velani is an excellent base from which to go exploring the archaeological sites, the Lasithi Plateau, and the north and south coasts.

Wonderful! I would definitely do it again!

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing west for good light and spectacular views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

42 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    34
    7
    0
    1
    0
See reviews for
11
12
6
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
milford, MA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

We were looking for a place to spend the night not far from Heraklion and near the Ditkan Caves. This hotel seemed to have decent reviews so we gave it a try. What a lovely surprise! I have to admit, I was a bit nervous as to what we would find while driving up the narrow long dirt road, hoping we were going the right way. Not to worry, there it was. And how nice it was. While the room wasn't huge or luxurious, it certainly was clean and more than adequate. There was a lovely pool that we didn't have time to use, but it sure looked inviting. What really made the stay excellent was the warm treatment by the proprietors. It was getting late but they prepared a wonderful dinner. And breakfast the next morning was equally lovely. We would enjoy the opportunity to stay longer next time as it truly was an excellent place to stay.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucharest, Romania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013 via mobile

I have been to Velani for riding and while I rode, my friends took lunch and a bath in the swimming pool. The food was extraordinary, the view, the place it self, the horses, the swimming pool...everything was just...amazing. I was so sad I didn't discover them earlier so that we could have stayed there all our holiday and not at our hotel in Heraklion..

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Szczecin, Poland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

We spent a week at Velani and we had great time. The hotel is situated among beautiful Cretan mountains, the views are amazing. The room was comfortable, the pool usually only for us (we used it in the evenings) and the food at Velani restaurant is simply delicious (lamb chops and grilled smoked pork ribs - yum! salads, starters, everything). The owners, Sabine and Manolis, are very nice and helpful.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

We visited for a week in the middle of June. The accommodation was first class. There are only about 12 rooms in total, so it's never busy. Very clean, the bathroom had a bath and a "proper" shower (although Greek showers are fine by us!), and we had a lovely balcony with fantastic views over the valley. Sabine and Manolis were the perfect hosts and the food in the taverna was first class. The pool was a joy to sit by - kept very clean and being that the majority of guests were out horse riding, when we weren't out exploring the area, we had the place to ourselves! A car is essential, but being off the beaten track this was an idyllic location. Quiet with only the cicadas serenading us! An ideal place to stay to visit the east of the island (we spent the first week here then moved on to a village in the west of the island for our second week). Incredible views from the terrace of the taverna. If you want a change, there are two traditional tavernas in the village of Avdou, although unless you are super fit, a car is needed as the track leading down to the village is not only not a made up road, but it's quite far to walk! Uphill at the end of your meal! A relaxing, charming place to stay, ideally situated for exploring, with a vehicle, the east of Crete. If you're a horse rider, they organise excellent treks. Sabine is Dutch and both she and Manolis speak perfect English, so if you're like us, and a bit hesitant to speak Greek, you won't struggle here (although we found the locals really appreciated us making an effort to order our food and drink etc in Greek).

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brussels
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

I was at Odysseia stables at the start of May. I won't bother repeating all the detailed positive descriptions in the other reviews: THEY'RE ALL TRUE! Trying to summarize: the hosts Sabine and Manolis are serious and professional, very pleasant company, and try very hard to look after guests. Food is delicious, fresh, local, and changes daily (for example, try the succulent 'kleftiko' or the wonderful tasty salads). The site of the hotel is very beautiful, and the buildings thoughtfully laid out. Its easy to get to from Heraklion, but not too close, and feels like a world of its own. Its also a nice base for exploring areas like the Lasithi plateau, and North and South coasts. I was there as a horse riding beginner, so can't provide in depth comments about the horses and daily hacks: see the other reviews. I was very happy with the lessons even if I discovered I was less flexible and talented than I supposed I would be :-). I would very happily go back and in fact hope to after I get some more riding experience. Almost forgot: probably the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haaften
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

I read all the good reviews of Hotel Velani, but I had no idea how ideallic the place really is.
Hotel Velani or country hotel lies against the hills behind Avdou. Which is about 20 minutes from Chersonissos.

The place looks fantastic. I think hotel is not the right word, as it feels so homely. Just 2 houses with a couple of rooms, like you're own small appartment. The rooms are spacious, with a separate toilet and a bathroom with a shower and a bath/shower. The water is always warm.

Manolis runs the hotel accomodation and is very friendly and cooks well. He does a lot of things. He serves/cooks/runs the business/black smith/riding teader etc etc. And a great father for his 2 daughters. Always friendly.

Sabine is dutch and runs the stables. The horses are well feed, friendly, reliable and good working horses on the trail. Sabine got now one big Friesian horse, but the rest is a bit smaller. And 2 ponies. Both work so hard that they can keep up with the bigger horses when you are in canter.

We had just a fantastic week in Hotel Velani. We did the panorama rides. See also my review on the Odysseia stables. But my husband he stayed at the hotel. He did some walks in the surroundings and enjoyed it a lot. Once he was invited by greek people who had a church service to eat and drink. That is the real greek culture. Or the day that the shepperd called his sheeps for food and they all came running down.

As the number of quest is limited you have more talks with the other quests, which I like.

So we were for a week in paradise.

How to get to this paradise?
Several possiblities:
1. Call Sabine and she will arrange a taxi from the heraklion airport
2. Take the bus to lissiti plateau (but just once a day, so you most probably you will miss this one) This is the only bus which stops in Avdou. Give Sabine or Manolis a call and somebody will pick you up from the village.
3. Which we did, after we found out that the bus was not going on that day. Take the bus to Chersonissos ( €3 per person) and next to the bus stop there are 2 taxi stands. I asked the further one to drive us up to Avdou. He wanted €30 which I found to expensive. The taxi stand very close to the bus, opposite of Subway took us for 820 to Avdou. But as Hotel Velani is just a bit further and the road not very good, he charged us €25. Which is a good price (Manolis said)

If you want something special, quiet, relaxing, real authentic and fun choose Hotel Velani. You will not regret it.

Small Improvements: the beds are a bit hard. We slept ok, but we are used ot more softer beds at home. Wifi is for free at the restaurant. And next year there will be also wifi in the rooms. The rooms are cleaned and towels are changed every 2 days.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Country Hotel Velani? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Country Hotel Velani

Address: Velani 46 | P.O. Box 46, Avdou, Crete 70005, Greece (Formerly Avdou Pediados)
Location: Greece > Crete > Heraklion Prefecture > Avdou
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Avdou
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Country Hotel Velani 2*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury hotel located on a stunning hillside, over viewing the Avdou valley. Relaxing in the middle of untouched nature. 12 Hotel rooms located in bungalows.Infinity pool with separate children’s pool.Professional equestrian center on site, offering horse riding for all levels. Paragliding take off located above the hotel, and free available walking and hiking routes. Velani’s restaurant serves homemade cooking with fresh Cretan ingredients. A Family atmosphere with the very best in Greek hospitality. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Priceline, Tingo, BookingOdigeoWL, Expedia and Venere so you can book your Country Hotel Velani reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Country Hotel Velani Avdou, Crete, Greece

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Country Hotel Velani, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.