Just 20 mins from Kissamos, Kastania Cottages offers fantastic, rustic accommodation in the mountains of Crete. We had a warm welcome from Stelios and his Dad who run this great little place in Sirikari. They have 3 cottages, ours had a separate kitchen, sitting area and a nice bedroom with en suite shower bathroom plus an outdoor, sunny terrace with stunning views. We also shared the ground floor courtyard with the family. Stelios couldn't do enough for us. He carried our luggage, sorted the parking and produced a great meal. Next morning he guided us on a beautiful walk through a nearby chestnut forest to a waterfall. Stelios has 20 guided walks including the Sirikari Gorge walk. He has produced his own signs for all the walks and he produces and sells his own organic olive oil, honey, herbs and mountain tea. Overall a different but superb stay, not 5 star and only for the adventurous and intrepid type of tourist.
Stelios and his companions runs a organic farm in a lonely but lovely village in the mountains. The rooms are spacious and clean. The two-room-apartment includes a small kitchen and a bathroom. The whole place is decorated in a very creative style - traditionell to some extend but vanguard as well.
Stelios and his team are wonderful hosts who tell their guests a lot about hiking trails, nature and culture of the area. They also offer rich breakfast and dinner if asked for. On top of everything they sell homemade grocery (honey, olive oil, herbs, soap, raki). Trips to Chania, Balos or Elafonissi take about 45 minutes by car - spectacular panoramic drives included.
This is a great place to stay if you like to hike, or ramble, and want to experience a genuine Cretan villiage: Sirikiri is really small! no stores, no noise after dark. Quiet and serene. The drive to the village also lovely- it's easy to find, plenty of signs all pointing in the right direction. The cottages have been newly restored, and are clean, have comfortable beds, and share a common outdoor eating area. We ate dinner with the hosts, a faboulous spread of homecooked local fare (we paid an extra 15 Euros pp). Although our apartment had a stove top and fridge- we didn't use these- no other cooking or eating utensils supplied- it is expected that you will eat with the hosts.
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We had a lovely 4 night escape to Kastania Cottages. If you love mountains, rural escapes and getting away from it all, this place comes highly recommended.
Our hosts Stelios and Ariero were very welcoming and most helpful. Stelios grew up here as a child and knows about all it's hidden gems. This included a walk in the sirikari gorge. No people to be seen but plenty of speccy moutanins, caves and goats. Really rugged country that gives you a great buzz to walk through. Stelios has also made a path in the gorge below his property. His long term plan is to connect it to the sirikari gorge walk.
The cooking amenities in the villa are a bit light on. There is a fridge and stove top but little in the way of utensils (we often experienced this traveling in Greece - not fully organsied on the accomodation front, but I guess they want you to eat with them). So don't go there thinking you will do your own cooking. Eat breaky and dinner with them. The food is natural and local and very delicious!! And very reasonably priced. I miss those evening meals.
There are two room options. Go with the upstairs one if you can as it has a nice verandah. The downstairs one is a little pokey.
Anyway I can highly recommend staying here if you want a local and cultural experience.