What a beautiful, luxurious little villa amongst the rocky mountains in a gloriously traditional little Greek village called Prina. In the middle of lovely nowhere, yet just minutes from the tourist resorts! Nikos, the owner greeted us with a very warm hearted welcome as we arrived at the villa to introduce us to our new home for the week. He kindly popped by every few days to make sure we were ok, and never intruded on our privacy. The villa and pool were spotless. Had everything we needed and more. We stocked up on food and goodies from Lidl at Lerapetra (only 20mins drive south across beautiful panoramic mountains) and we ate/bbq'd at the villa mostly. Apart from visiting nearby tavern Poutopolis one evening. Again, welcomed warm-heartedly by owners Dimitrious and Stella who made us feel like family and spoilt us by sharing their home-made wine, raki, bread, olive oil. Sharing stories of life, culture and family albums. As Villa Rafaella was located on the narrowest part of Crete, we could also opt to travel northwards towards Istron (only 15mins), Agios Nikolaos, Elounda etc which had a glorious coastline of stunning beaches, shops, bars, tavernas, supermarkets etc. Lovely bakery at Istron. And Golden Beach, one of the best on Crete it appears. Abundance of lovey hikes amongst the villa's surrounding mountains with wonderful views. Unique flora and fauna, where eagles soared on a good day. Walks into the little village and up to the church on the mountain opposite, just past the incredible cemetery (wow!) during the evenings were moving. Such character and personality. I won't elaborate...just visit and see! We would also drive into the rocky mountains through sleepy villages around hairpin bends and witnessed some of the most magnificent views, including the meeting of the Sea of Crete and the Sea of Libya. Sad to leave. We'll be back! Thank you Nikos x
Just back from a fantastic week staying in this delightfully remote village near Prina in Crete. The villa is ideal for a family wanting to stay away from the more touristy areas of Crete whilst still being only a short drive from local imminities. The road from Istron to Prina is stunning but takes a little getting used to.
The villa itself is fantastic. We were in the pool everyday, Nikos maintained it to perfection. Flat screen TV, WiFi, Aircon, generous living area and stunning views from all windows made our stay luxurious and relaxing. The villa overlooks part of the neighbouring villa from one of its 2 balconies but is not overlooked.
Prina itself is charming and the only Taverna (I think) in the village was very cheap and very friendly. A meal for 4 with drinks and ice creams for the kids was €32! That included 2 large beers and 2 glasses of wine.
Istron was a little deserted but has 2 great beaches. We found a little cove but we're disappointed with the amount of plastic in the sea. We visited Nikos Agios on 3 occasions and loved it there. Neat little beach with beautiful water and facilities right at hand. A boat trip to Spinalonga is highly recommended, just watch the prices for drinks or the island cafe, €27 for 3 soft drinks and a Smirnoff ice.
We loved Crete, loved the beautiful villa and took a real shine to Nikos the villa owner who is an absolutely lovely guy and very helpful.
5 stars from Simei-Humphrey family X
On our way to the airport after a very relaxing week at villa rafaella. The views are wonderful. You will need a hire car and the windy roads will test your nerves. We went to Pitopoulis taverna with is across the road from the villa. It wasn't very busy and Dimitrious made us feel very welcome. The food was great.
The villa is beautiful and we spent a lot of the week relaxing and swimming in the very clean pool. We weren't aware that there was an additional cost if we wanted air conditioning and WiFi. We were glad we paid the €80 for the air conditioning but didn't bother with the WiFi as there was a good mobile internet connection at the villa. The owner Nikos, was on hand if we needed anything and came to clean the pool and to check if everything was ok.
There is a sandy beach (Voulisma beach) 15 minutes drive away. They rent sunbeds for €2.50 and they all seem to be rented by midday. The beach bar sells a good variety of lunch items as well as fantastic cocktails.
I would recommend this villa if you want a relaxing quiet holiday. We had an amazing time.
It was a few years ago but we have stayed a number of times in both the Raefaella and the Nicoletta next door, always out of season. Prina is a very quiet village, there was a taverna when we went there. Prina is on a long distance footpath and there are walks around the local area. It is equidistant between the two coasts and takes about 20 minutes to get to either coast though I'm sure others do it a lot quicker. One way is the smaller town of Istro with a fair number of tavernas, the other the large town of Ierapetra with lidl and similar supermarkets as well as many shops and restaurants. We found Prina an ideal location for driving to many destinations and it's not that far from Heraklion airport.
The villas themselves are very comfortable, downstairs is open plan with lounge, dining area and kitchen in one very large room. Lots of patio doors opening on to the patio and the swimming pool, great for BBQ's and an idyllic setting. There's a downstairs wc. Upstairs are the two bedrooms one en suite and a large bathroom with a bath. The kitchen is well equipped but the one time I tried to cook a real meal involving the oven and all of the hob I managed to trip the electrics, one year we did have some water pressure problems but this is Greece. However, the owner is only a phone call away and very friendly and helpful. The daily cleaner was also very good.
Both villas have parking but it is up a steep lane, don't hire a massive car. Access to both villas involves some steps.
If you want to stay somewhere off the beaten track this is a lovely spot and the villas are excellent. Raefella is the one slightly higher up and would be my preference but both villas are fine.