If you’ve dreamed of staying in a wonderfully restored, traditional house in a real Cretan village - you have found it.
Here you will feel the power of the mountains, the serenity of the sea, the immensity of nature, the richness of history, the traditional life, and the warm hospitality of the Skordalakis family.
This a place where time stops and the magic of the landscape keeps us spellbound – a paradise for true nature lovers.
Thalori Traditional Village is a unique, restored old village with traditional-style stone houses at Kapetaniana, perched at an altitude of 800 meters on the Asterousia Range. Up in the mountains and away from it all. This alternative, ecologically-sound collection of stone buildings with matching taverna and local, natural foods is a place of deep history – somehow just staying here should prove meaningful.
You’ll have to navigate a narrow winding road to get there, but this place is worth it. A one-and-a-half-hour, arduous drive (67 km) south of Heraklion rewards you with the opportunity to live a unique Cretan experience at the Thalori Traditional Houses. You’ll be at the heart of Kapetaniana Village with a view to the Libyan Sea and the mythic Asterousia Mountains.
The Thalori Traditional Village is a cluster of twenty traditional houses restored to reflect the unique style of local architecture that prevailed in the host village of Kapetaniana in the very old days. The 20 Thalori Guesthouses are an individualistic and perfectly-camouflaged luxury, possessing an unwavering traditional Cretan style.
The owners, Markos and Popi, and their family run this extraordinary place. They bought what were the mere ruins of an old deserted village and rebuilt the traditional village with an eye sensitive to both historical details and the contemporary needs of their guests.
The landscape is dominated by beautiful, spare stone and mountain peaks. The guesthouses are themselves rough and simple, integrating beautifully with their surroundings. From most of the terraces, you look straight at the Mediterranean Sea between two inspiring peaks.
You’ll enjoy the great swimming pool, stylishly minimalist to blend perfectly with the marvellous landscape, complete with deck chairs and umbrellas.
Kapetaniana is a small village perched at an altitude of 800 meters in the heart of the Asterousia mountain range, which runs along the entire southern coast of Iraklion. It is a remote, car-free mountain hamlet that’s a Mecca for rock climbers and hikers.
It commands a magnificent view of the Libyan Sea and combines in harmonious ways the wilderness of the mountain (tip: Kapetaniana has a very special, pure Cretan honey - don't forget to buy some!) with the serenity and benefits of the sea.
The double character of the village and the deep local history makes its influence felt in the buildings, which combine Minoan stylistic influences and monastery architecture. The houses were constructed with defensive concerns in mind. They have much in common with castles and in the older times, sheepfolds of various sizes formed an integral part of these fortified homes. They were built from materials resourced locally and fitted perfectly into the surrounding environment.
The singularity of this resort lies in the materials that were used during construction. There are locally resourced stones, for exterior and interior walls, and wood and marble. The traditional fireplaces are another significant element. Perhaps the most eye-catching detail is the integration of rocks and rock formations with other building elements within the resort.
At the centre of the complex is a larger building, a common area with breath-taking views. Here, guests delight in traditional breakfasts and a rich choice of traditional dishes prepared by village women, made from fresh, local ingredients nurtured by Mother Earth for centuries in this unspoiled area. The meals are nothing less than typical Cretan / Greek food – just great and so delicious. The rates are very modest compared to what you get in return.
Here you’ll also find the reception area. During the summer, the lavish breakfast is served in the shady courtyards with a view to the Libyan Sea.
- Hotel Name: Thalori Traditional Village
- Area: Heraklion, Kapetaniana
- Why Go: Food & Wine,Friendly enviroment,Lovely Views,Quiet location,Rural,Mountains
Why we like it
- If you want homemade Cretan cuisine and you are a true nature lover, then this is the right place for you. The place is magnificent, pristine, stunning in its natural and spiritual delights.
- At this place, time stops and the magic of the landscape keeps you there forever.
- A perfect combination of mountains and sea, earth, and sky.
- Unique Cretan hospitality in an authentic place.
What to know
- Come prepared for a friendly, relaxed service ethic and spotty knowledge of English in this rustic location, but be assured you’ll enjoy the atmosphere, the views, and very good food.
- We highly suggest renting a 4x4 car in order to explore this amazing region. If you have an off-road vehicle, you can enjoy the extensive network of mountain roads in unblemished areas of spare natural beauty around Kofinas Mountain, once sacred to the Minoans.
- The properties are of a very high standard with enough equipment to make light meals, not fully self-catering for major cooking.
- In a place named for King Asterion, even the name Thalori, which translates literally as “sea” and “mountain”, denotes epic nature.
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