The most beautiful traditional house I have ever been! Manolis was very helpful and told us everything about the history of the house and the village. The house is fully equipped,with traditional furniture and materials. I definitely suggest to spend your holidays there!
The house is a meticulously restored authentic Cretan home built into a the hillside of the tiny village of Meronas, in the jaw dropping beautiful Amari Valley. Manolis, the owner, grew up in this village but moved away for work. But over a ten year period he returned to re-build this home that sits next door to his delightful parents. A fresh spring pours out of the hillside just steps away. The house itself is a charming combination of cozy closed-in spaces and open inviting rooms and terraces. The house has the modern amenities one might want (kitchen appliances and a good shower) while retaining the handworked charm of stone and wood. A generous supply of basic items of eggs, fruit and vegetables were regularly supplemented by Monolis's mother's cooking. We felt very well looked after on all levels. The village has a good taverna and two Kafeneos, groceries can easily be obtained in the next village. Manolis is always available when needed. We were met with a genuine kindness and generosity in numerous ways. The house could be challenging for small children and people with mobility issues. That said, my traveling companion and I, both in our 60's, had no trouble negotiating the considerable number of stairs. The house, village, people, especially Monolis and his parents, make this a very special place to stay for the lucky who find it.
We went back to Crete to see the rural, traditional villages. No interest in the towns or beaches. And we found exactly what we wanted in Kefali (Panorama Apartments) and the Amari Valley (Maronas Eco House). “We Love Crete” was very helpful as we sorted through our options. Of course, TripAdvisor is always helpful no matter where you go.
Meronas is a delightful village and the Eco House is the single most charming place we’ve stayed in 50 years of travel (85 countries). Utterly fabulous. Utterly authentic. It’s an 1800s farmhouse that has been lovingly restored. It’s got multiple terraces and gardens. Part of it used to be a stable and another as a vat for stomping on grapes. Three bedrooms, two full and one half bath. Full kitchen. It’s easy to set up house.
It’s not a b and b, but they provide you all the fixings for breakfast. More than enough. You’ll never eat up all of the food they provide to you. Their gifts included freshly baked bread, fresh cake, eggs, fresh vegetables and fruit. Their mother, who lives next door, supplied us with treats every morning (cheese pies and spinach pies). They also supplied us with their family-made wine. On our way in we’d asked if there was any place in the Amari Valley where we could find bougatsa and the manager said no. When we left the last day, he brought us freshly baked bougatsa from the coast (where he lives). He also gave us some family raki and family olive oil.
We found wonderful hospitality all over Crete, but at the Eco House it was extraordinary.
The location could not be more perfect. We drove to the nearby Arkadi monastery. Beware there is NO SIGN for it even when you arrive. A very moving experience. Lots to see there.
We went to the new Eleftherna museum. It’s quite fabulous. It’s just east of the village of the same name. Beware there is NO SIGN for it even when you arrive there.
We visited Margaritas village to see their pottery – we thought it was all kitsch
We tried to do the hike at Platania. There were no markings for the trail – to distinguish it from the goat and sheep trails – so we gave up.
The gorge hike near Patsos is quite impressive and fun. Go all the way end to end.
We were very impressed with the shop in Thronos of Aravanes. Very high quality foods. He’s a collector of wild herbs.
The best thing to do – by far – is just to enjoy the Amari Valley, which we loved. We drove around it end to end, down to Loannis and around to Fourfouras, Platania and Thronos. Every section of the valley has something special to offer. The changes in the light and the gorgeous fields and the windy road…we loved it. Loved it.
If you go nowhere else in Crete, go to the Amari Valley and stay at the Eco House. It rates a 100 on a 10 point scale.
We had the most wonderful stay at Meronas Eco House in a beautifully restored quirky farmhouse in Amari Valley. We really appreciated little touches like freshly baked bread, cakes and other delightful Cretan food, fresh snacks from family next door. Visit to the family farm was delightful. Thanks very much Manolis for a lovely introduction to local life.
For anyone tired of the hustle and crowds of the beaches and coast in Crete, head for the mountains, and the Amari Valley is the best place to be. The Meronas Eco House is family owned, beautifully restored and has fantastic views over Mount Psiloritis and to the Kedros Valley. Glorious in winter, and just stunning for seasonal flowers. The owners mother prepares wonderful local dishes that require long mountain walks to keep burning the calories!
A very central location for the mountains and famous archaeological sites, and the excellent new museum in Eleutherna less than 15kms away.
The local villagers are also extremely kind and helpful.
And just to add one other lovely feature; the constant sound of running water from the fresh springs coming from the mountains.
We definitely plan to revisit.
We stayed at Meronas Eco House the first of May and it was everything I had hoped for and more. Emmanuel Moschonas (Manolis) the owner, built this house from an old ruin with his father and every detail is absolute perfection.
The property has 4 separate outdoor patio spaces - a large sunny rooftop deck, a trellis covered upper patio, an open patio on the second floor outside of the two upstairs bedrooms, and a semi covered courtyard patio on the ground level.
It has two separate upstairs bedrooms with attached baths and a third room downstairs with a double bed and access to a smallish third bathroom. The house is made of stone and every tiny detail - from the staircases to the windows, nooks, floors and open spaces has been built with love and incredibly good taste. The internet connection is great.
Manolis' mother lives next door and provided us with fresh baked delicious pastries every morning. Manolis makes and sells olive oil, honey, wine from his vineyard and soap, all of which we enjoyed. We were welcomed to the small village of 100 people and quickly felt that we were part of the community. Our visit was during the Greek Easter celebrations and we were invited to take part in all the community activities including evening celebrations with dancing, drinking local wines, eating local foods and much singing and just plain great parties.
I can't say enough great things about this quite unusual and outstanding bnb. It was perfect in every way and I will return at my first opportunity. We are happy we chose Crete as our Island destination as it allows for such a variety of different landscapes, cities, towns, beaches and spectacular flowers. I would give this place an 11 out of 10 if that were allowed.
One thing to be aware of is if you have difficulty with staircases or have small toddlers, the beautiful but narrow staircases in the house might be an issue. That said, the place was perfect.
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I can't rate this guest house highly enough. My wife, son and I spent 2 nights here and enjoyed every minute. The accommodation is exquisite. We sat, read books and drank homemade wine in front of the open fire each evening. We feasted on cheese pie, breakfast pastries and baked aubergines from our host and enjoyed the delights of a kitchen stocked with local produce. We spent time sunning ourselves in the roof, swinging in the courtyard hammock or enjoying the jacuzzi bath. Need I say more. Get away from the coastal resorts and treat yourself to a slice of heaven!