Barbara Switzerland. "After 43 years of travelling all over the world, of meeting thousands of wonderful people, I have found the perfect place to relax and enjoy a precious holiday: the Magical Hidden Cretan Retreat in Monopari."
2014 was an amazing year for us, almost fully booked! Thank you everyone.
We are now taking bookings for 2015!
We have already had a lot of enquires for 2015 so please book early or contact us to avoid disappointment.
Hidden high above the beautiful city of Rethymnon, on a road seldom traveled you will find the sleepy village of Monopari. Here time stands still while the handful of shepherds move their flocks from pasture to pasture. Ancient oaks stand shoulder to shoulder with olive laden trees. Eagles, buzzards and vultures hang high in the sky riding the warn up drafts. Here you will find our Paradise hide-away in the shadow of an 11th Century Pirate castle once occupied by the Duke of Malta.
Last season we have added a new balcony and double doors, so you can sit and relax whilst enjoying your coffee and watch the local wildlife.
Situated only 12km from Rethymnon's beach's and historic town you can spend your days discovering the narrow streets and beautiful Froteza. Travel the 20 km south through dramatic gorges and you fall straight into the Libian sea.
We are ideally situated for birdwatchers walkers and cyclists or those of you how just wants peace and quiet all will be made more than welcome. Here time moves slowly and the hustle an bustle of everyday life is soon forgotten to the harmonic chorus of the Cretan countryside.
Become part of our peaceful household for a while and enjoy the unspoiled atmosphere of our old stone house. Browse through our books and lose the days in a world of your own making.
We offer a clean and comfortable room with views of the castle and your own private bath room.
To ice the cake we have a generous size swimming pool for you to cool of in after a long days relaxation, or sit in the courtyard under the shade of the hanging vines. Prepare to be welcomed by our friendly dogs and lovable cats who will all help you relax and enjoy your stay. If you fancy a night out perhaps you'd like to join our host, who sings in the local towns and entertains the many tourists and locals during the year. Who knows you might even end up in one of the hosts novels or children's story's. We are a working household and spend almost every week selling our wares at craft fairs and local produce markets with a range of our fresh made bread, pies salads or sample our home made wine and other delights.
We can offer you a fresh simple breakfast (at a small extra cost) and depending on singing commitments maybe an evening meal. Most of our vegetables are from our own garden or are sourced locally.
This is for the more discerning traveler not wanting the package style of holiday but you will leave relaxed and refreshed.
Crete is an island with an exquisite 1,000 kilometer-long coastline dotted with numerous coves, bays and peninsulas, which afford a multitude of soft, sandy beaches along the beautifully blue Mediterranean Sea. After all, it's among the finest in the world and has established Crete as one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations. And, of course, the island's historic importance in today's world as the home of the Minoan civilization with important archaeological finds at Knossos, Phaistos and Gortys, is evidenced by the tens of thousands of visitors to these sites each year.
However, Crete is the largest island in Greece - the fifth largest in the Mediterranean - and, within its diverse area of more than 8,000 square kilometers, there are many other jewels just waiting to be discovered by the more adventurous explorers of holiday treasures.
If you haven’t visited Crete yet, this summer may be the time to come and discover this fascinating Greek island. If it captures your heart, don’t worry. Come back next year and Crete will welcome you once more with its smiling Cretan sun, the sounds of the Cretan lyre, the scents of orange blossom and jasmine, a slice of cool red watermelon and a glass of iced raki.
We highly recommend if you wish to come and stay with us you hire a car as the bus time table is limited and runs twice a day early AM and afternoon. This will also give you more freedom to explore our beautiful surroundings with the south coast only 30 mins drive you can access the smaller beaches there in no time at all.
David and Clare hope to see you soon.
Come and enjoy your stay, please remember that in the countryside people still respect their siesta time, we hope you will too. It is compulsory to relax and do as little or as much as possible. Everyone is encouraged to soak up the Cretan countryside and forget about the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Our stay with David and Clare was exemplary! From my first drive into their place as the road twisted and turned and I felt anxious about finding their place, David was right there, returning my texts and answering the phone to help me find my way. The location is stunning, the room is lovely with an incredible view of the sunrise over the mountains. They were very helpful in looking at the map with us as we planned some adventures - the south coast, the Imbros Gorge… Finally, it was my 60th birthday while we were with David and Clare, and there were so many special touches provided by them that helped to make this a very special day for me and my daughter. Be sure to try Clare's amazing breakfast on the patio - wonderful and very reasonable for the cost. Their beautiful place is a perfect location for exploring the island! I hope there will be a time when I can visit again (and in warmer weather so I can lounge by the pool)! Thank you, David and Clare!
Nous avons passé quelques jours de rêve chez David et Clare qui sont des hôtes exemplaires. Les petits déjeuners sont délicieux et l'ambiance de la maison et ses alentours font oublier tous soucis de la vie quotidienne. Nous sommes allés à la plage deux jours de suite (en octobre la mer est toujours chaude) et nous avons mangé dans des Taverna ou les plats sont fait-maison et les restaurateurs joviaux. En bref, cet endroit est à recommander vivement. David est un musicien et un écrivain et Clare est passionnée d'animaux. Des gens formidables.
Claire and David are warm, interesting and genuine people, who welcomed us with a glass of wine in their courtyard and the obligatory raki! The room in their house is gorgeous with its own rooftop area overlooking the mountains. The location, 12 kms from the national highway is convenient if you have your own transport - ask for some directions though!
Guests are able to be a social or private as they like, we were able to cook our own dinner and even have the place to ourselves a couple of nights, for the last we did a rockstar shift at a local bar with theri band, the Desperados. Guests should be animal lovers as they have some lovely and friendly dogs and cats. I would definitely recommend staying here if you enjoy clean, local countryside and definitely go for a meal at Kastellos with Vasili!
Clare and David have a wonderful home, its honestly a real magical hidden retreat! They are both very welcoming and interesting people, my husband and I are very glad we stayed with them and that we got to know such an amazing couple.
We were welcomed with shots of raki, homemade wine and homemade sun dried tomatoes and olives! The vibe of their home and the surroundings is full of harmony, history and nature, which is all that we needed to have a proper rest and amazing holidays.
We are definitively coming back!
Que dire de plus que les autres commentaires ?
David et Clare sont des êtres tellement sympathiques, chaleureux, généreux, intéressants. La liste serait trop longue.
Leur logis est exactement à leur image : nous nous y sommes sentis incroyablement bien. Impossible de ne pas citer le petit déjeuner gargantuesque et savoureux servi tous les matins, ainsi que le charmant diner en leur compagnie. La chambre est très jolie, décorée avec goût comme le reste du foyer, le balcon au soleil apporte beaucoup de lumière. Notre seul regret est de ne pas avoir pris le temps de profiter de la piscine au clair de lune :-)
Nous avons été ravis de tous leur conseils : taverne de Vassili, gorges d'Imbros, Matala et tant d'autres...
Un endroit où nous reviendrons avec grand plaisir !
We werden enorm vriendelijk onthaald door Claire en David. We kregen een frisse welkomstdrank naar keuze. Het was wel niet gemakkelijk te vinden alhoewel de uitleg klopte. Het is dan ook een heel klein dorpje met een pleintje dat er helemaal niet gezellig uitziet. Maar de warme ontvangst van Claire en David maakte alles goed. De kamer en de badkamer waren proper en in orde. David wist ons heel goeie uitleg te geven over wat we konden bezoeken en welke weg we best namen. De kers op de taart was het fantastische ontbijt. Je kan niks bedenken dat er niet was. Zowel yoghurt, honing, fruit uit de tuin (frambozen, aardbeien, vijgen), charcuterie zoals worst en hesp, verschillende soorten kaas, verschillende soorten confituur, olijven, zongedroogde tomaten, rode biet, gekookte eitjes, kortom teveel om op te noemen! Een echte aanrader, ook een goeie ligging om verschillende uitstappen te doen, niet ver van Rethymnon en de national road. En dichtbij (4km), in Kastellos is een lekkere taverna bij de plaatselijke populaire vroegere burgemeester.
We had a wonderful 5 day stay in a magical home. The hosts, David and Clare, were welcoming, along with the menagerie! The room was lovely, and the breakfasts (especially the figs!) were leisurely and relaxing and set us up for our days of exploring central Crete.
Easy going and hard working. Clare and I have traveled a lot and between the two of us can muddle through a little Greek, French and German. I am constantly busy either singing or being an movie extra or writing a new book or working on our house to bring it back to its full glory. Clare is the heart of the house and nothing works without her she puts me to shame and I am always amazed how much work she gets through during the day.
We both work very hard and love entertaining, between our home made wine and highly sort after pies and bread we can offer you the warmest of welcomes and the most relaxing stay away from the the rest of the frantic world.