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Private Swimming Pool
Crete offers a startling juxtaposition of high mountains and vivid blue seas. The mountains rear up to over 2500m, split by awesome deep narrow gorges, their tops blisteringly white in the Mediterranean sun. There are wonderful beaches, lapped by sparkling clear turquoise blue seas. The fertile and green region of the Apokoronas, east of the city of Chania, stretches from the foothills of the White Mountains to the Mediterranean sea. Up in the foothills where Panokosmos is located, the views are spectacular, the air is clear, and the spirit is released!
Over 5000 years of history await you - from the incredibly designed Minoan palaces, Myceanean Greek fortified towns, whilst beautifully preserved Roman aqueducts and mosaics are close by. In Chania and Rethymnon, both about 40 min drive, are elegant Venetian houses and mighty fortress walls, while the Turkish fountains and mosques add an exotic eastern atmosphere. Crete is a place where Occident meets orient.
There is a vibrant local cultural scene in Chania, with bars and restaurants open all year round, a thriving jazz scene and local festivals of Cretan traditional music and dance. Local farmers markets sell a wide range of tempting fresh local produce. Within the Apokoronas an expat community has created an economy which provides all the necessary services and products that you might wish for, along with talks, music, drama and film presentations.
Although away from it all, and very much off the beaten track, Panokosmos is but a few minutes walk from a renowned taverna, and only 7 km from the nearest shops, 25 mins from beaches and the coast. In 40 min you can be sitting around the iconic harbour in Chania or exploring the Venetian Fortezza in Rethymnon. Getting to the villa from Chania airport takes just 45 min, and Heraklion airport is less than 2h away.
Accommodation in Detail
The accommodation is on three levels, connected by an external staircase.
Entering through the grand arched door is an entrance area with delightful mosaic tiled fountain. Leading off a spacious cool 26 m2 reception room opens out with concertina doors to the upper pool terrace. Also, up several steps, is a charming self-contained 30 m2 one bedroom apartment with ensuite bathroom, fully equipped kitchen. A charming shady north patio opens off the bedroom. A third door from the entrance area opens into the garage with an extended mezzanine
storage level. The tiled stairs wind around the fountain to the main floor and on again to the rooftop apartment.
The main floor is over 154 m2, comprising bedroom suite, living and dining area with kitchen and utility room. To the right the bedroom suite has concertina doors onto a double aspect terrace with views of the Mediterranean sea, the Akrotiri peninsula, and the coastal towns of Kalyves & Almerida. Through an archway is the walk-in wardrobe with mirrored doors on both sides, leading off to a luxury bathroom designed for two – double sinks, a large double bath, double rainhead shower, toilet and bidet.
To the left an elegant and refined living space, with seating around a fireplace, equipped with a hifi home theatre. Beyond floor to ceiling glazed doors is a large south facing balcony with views over the Apokoronas and the White Mountains. An adjoining library has shelving for over 1000 books. The charming spacious dining area is enclosed by four wide stone arches with glazed doors offering views of the mountains and the gardens. Through one of the arches the kitchen has a central aisle and all facilities, and is linked to a fully equipped utility room (washer and dryer), opening outside with step free access to the parking area and driveway.
Glazed arched doors from the dining area on two sides lead to a south terrace with stunning views of the Apokoronas region stretching to 2500m Mt Psiloritis, flanked by the entire range of the White Mountains. On the west is an intimate square bounded by the ruined village house and with concealed fountain.
On the rooftop is another fully self-contained apartment (56 m2) with two rooms, each with an ensuite shower room, a bedroom, and a living room with modern design wood burning somba. An archway gives access to a charming kitchen. The huge roof terrace has spectacular and uninterrupted views in all directions, and there is a further west facing covered terrace off the kitchen.
Outside are 2600 m2 of mature landscaped gardens with carob, cypresses and fir trees, with a wide range of Mediterranean and imported shrubs and flowers. Apart from the garage there are extensive storage rooms around the house including a rooftop store.
There is building permission for a further separate 200 m2 construction, and a picturesque old village house which could be developed into further characterful accommodation.
what the owners say about this villa
We feel there’s a magic about this place, nestling high up with views that are both inspiring and humbling. The mountain air is clear; watching the sun rise over the sea from our bedside is uplifting; basking in the glow of the sunset from our little west rooftop terrace is a joy. We called it Panokosmos, roughly translated as “on top of the world” in Greek! because that’s how it seems to us – and has done to countless of our guests.
We designed it to offer “Inside out, Outside in” – with big floor to ceiling windows to be able to enjoy the views. Lots of outside spaces to sit, relax, cook and eat – facing east to catch the morning light, south for warmth in the winter and west to watch the sun set. Modern materials to keep the heating costs down in winter - we need virtually no air conditioning in summer.
Inside we wanted to create a relaxed and stylish yet cosy and intimate atmosphere. Its lovely to dim the wall lights for a snuggle on the living room couch, and watch movies beamed onto a huge screen on the living room wall – bigger than many cinemas – or listen to music from the sound system. We love to listen to music in the master bathroom with the lights down low, side by side in the spacious bath with a glass of sparkling wine!
Outside we enjoy sitting out in the gardens, plants grow so quickly the trees and shrubs we planted now provide shade and mature borders. There’s a riot of colour and scents in the Spring, which, supported by our many watering systems, carries through the hot summer months. To us as keen gardeners it provides a wide and varied canvas to create and experiment. We’ve made lots of places to sit with different views – the White Mountains, the nearby hillside, the Apokoronas plain, the Mediterranean sea, out over the gorges at the edge of our property.
Our pool, at 12m long, is “big enough for a proper swim”, but it’s equally good for lazing on lilos, gazing up at the mountains all around. At night with the pool lights making the water sparkle there’s a special intimate feel about swimming, and with the lights off, the stars above are spectacular. We’d never realized quite how bright is the Milky Way, and how clear the constellations – it’s a star gazers paradise!