Villa Helidona, a fascinating house in a friendly village, away from the noise and bustle of the coast.

Hidden behind the 13th century Byzantine chapel that stands watch over this charming old property, entering Villa Helidona is like walking into home away from home.

A beautifully restored and furnished 19th century traditional Cretan stone house, just 20 minutes from Heraklion airport, tucked away on the hillsides of the northern coast of Crete at Episkopi Village, a working village with a handful of shops and tavernas.

As you step into the secluded inner courtyard, you know Villa Helidona is a very special holiday home. Bougainvillea and honeysuckle cover the villa's old stone walls.

A bitter orange tree is right next to the built-in stone benches and large stone table. Just the right place for your breakfast in the morning shade. An old style stone oven and an old covered well add to the magical atmosphere.

As you enter the main house, you are greeted with an array of antiques reminding you of the turbulent history of the island, as well as the old utilities of the yonder years used by the Cretan people.

Though the furnishings of the villa are in keeping with its period, the owner Dimitris, was an art dealer, has ensured that you will find every modern comfort.

If you dreamed of staying awhile in a wonderfully restored traditional house in a real Cretan village - you have found it. Easily accessed from the city of Heraklion and a few minutes inland from the coast and beaches east of the city, with the joy of nearby villages to explore.

That terrace with the pool,  your dinners there, the atmosphere ...stroll around the village. Feel away from the crowds but close enough to the attractions of Crete.

The master bedroom and living room lead out to the completely private and peaceful terrace overlooking to the splendid swimming pool where it is not rare to see the local swallows taking a dip. It is also the ideal place for barbequing. Swallows being the inspiration of the name of this fine old property, the Greek meaning being Helidona.

Villa Helidona’s outdoor area is totally secluded and perfect for relaxation. The residence has two courtyards. A smaller one which has an old covered well, an old style stone oven and a stone table ideal for a breakfast as it is shady in the morning.

The main courtyard has a large swimming pool (80sqm) with sun beds and umbrellas around it and is surrounded by different fruit trees, and amazing flowers. There is also a vegetable garden (800m2) with organic vegetables from which guests are welcome to help themselves.

By the pool there is a shaded terrace with a large dining table, perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner next to the pool and a coffee table with comfy chairs.

Villa Helidona is just the right place to spend a wonderful and relaxing holiday in lovely Crete. Tourism has hardly touched this village and “filoxenia” (Greek for hospitality) is simply the motto of Episkopi. A tradition deeply rooted in the Cretan way of life.

The name Episkopi dates back to the second Byzantine period on Crete. During this time the bishop seat of the coastal village Hersonissos was moved further inland. Episkopi means bishop seat.

Many small Byzantine churches with frescos from the Cretan School of Renaissance (14th/15th century) are found in and around the village. The main source of income is from agriculture. Olive groves and vineyards surround the village.

Life moves with a different pace compared to the coastal tourist areas. This is Crete the way it was and the way it is meant to be.

  • Hotel Name: Villa Helidona
  • Area: Heraklion, Episkopi
  • Why Go: Countryside,Private Pool,Relaxed,Quiet location,Village Athmosphere

Why we like it

  • This villa offers some of the most beautiful architecture, antiques and experiences. The building itself is a real Cretan structure.
  • Dimitris the owner is a great host.
  • The Villa provides one of the largest pools you can find in a private villa holiday rental in Crete.
  • An absolute privacy for sunbathing and swimming.

What to know

  • There is a 7 night minimum stay - but you really need this time to settle in and unwind, and most people stay 2 weeks.
Hotel Information Recommended For
Type: Villas Architecture & style :
Rooms: 1 Honeymoon :
Pool: Yes Family :
Dining: Fully Equipped Kitchen Nice atmosphere :
Children: Welcome Village Atmosphere :
Closed: November to March Rural :

Our Sites