AS LISTED ON AIRBNB TOP 40!
Much more than a holiday home, staying in Delenia is like having your own private village.
AS LISTED ON AIRBNB TOP 40!
Much more than a holiday home, staying in Delenia is like having your own private village. Strategically located on a secluded corner of the Aegean, yet surprisingly close to Athens and its International Airport.
Situated in south Evvia (or Euboea, Greece's second largest island, after Crete) it is a mere two hours from the International Airport, and yet the estate itself lies on an undiscovered part of the Aegean sea. Delenia offers a unique combination of easy accessibility and complete privacy.
Delenia consists of a total of 6 buildings; there are five bedrooms (all en-suite, with their own cooling systems and own fireplace and under floor heating for the winter months), two kitchens, two living rooms, one study and three dining areas.
We also have a barn conversion that sleeps another 8-10 guests, and is available for a fee.
The outdoor areas are the epicenter of life in the summer months, and have been designed accordingly: a large terrace with clear views of the Aegean; two al fresco dining areas, plus a stone barbeque and traditional Greek bread oven; tennis and basketball courts; an outdoor four-poster bed; a Hammam (Turkish steam room); outdoor Jacuzzi; and, of course, the sea water swimming pool.
The layout encourages togetherness, but also allows for privacy. Guest rooms are spread over three buildings, each one independent from the other, and entirely self-sufficient.
1. The main building comprises of a large living area: a kitchen, a dining room (table for 16), living room and one double bedroom. This is the David McTaggart room, and offers exquisite views of the Aegean sea from the bed. There is one double bed in this room, plus a small loft with a single mattress, that can be brought down, if preferred, as there is enough floor space.
2. The second building houses the master bedroom, and, again, exceptional sea views from the bed and bathtub. There is also a large study/second living room/kitchen area here. This can be used as a sixth bedroom: there is a top-of-the-range sofa bed here, with a double latex mattress. The bedroom and the study have independent entrances (as do all rooms in all buildings) so no need to disturb others in order to get in or out! Absolute privacy guaranteed.
3. The third building consists of three large bedrooms – all with their own individual character and layout. The first one, Chryssa’s room is the largest and has ample desk space for studying or working; the second, the Turkish room, has two double beds; and the third, ‘to paidiko’ or the children’s room, is a playground for young and old alike, with lofts, Tarzan ropes, and firemen’s sliding poles. All bedrooms have got double beds, plus additional sleeping space. The children's room has got a large loft with a single bed on one side and a semi-double on the other (so up to five people in total could sleep in this room); the Turkish room has got a single bed as well as the double bed; and Chryssa's room has got a small loft with a single mattress, which could also be brought down, as there is plenty of floor space.
4. The hammam – or Turkish steam room and sauna, all built in stone and in keeping with the general aesthetic of Delenia. Next to it is an outdoor Jacuzzi.
5. Barn, previously the woodwork workshop – where all the furniture, and wooden structures were made, in locum. This is now converted into living space that sleeps 8-10 (can be hired for a small fee - please ask!)
6. Staff cottage at the edge of the estate, designed for independence; this is occupied by resident staff, incl the caretaker/chef/driver who looks after the estate and its (website hidden), CLEANING and AIRPORT PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF:
Daily cooking, cleaning and chauffeur services are provided by staff, who will also assist with use of the facilities, and knowledge of the local area.
Staff will prepare one meal a day, and can do the supermarket shopping, as required. Included in the rental price is the service for cooking the meal (obviously the cost of the food will be covered by guests, according to what they choose to shop - the shopping can be done yourselves, or you can instruct the driver to do it for you, so you can maximise your sun-bathing time!)
The cooks have a wide range of Greek and Continental dishes in their repertoire and can also offer child-minding services (this is not included in the rental price of the villa, and should be arranged directly with her). The driver has the use of a 4X4 Subaru Forrester, and is on-hand for supermarket runs and trips to nearby beaches (cost of petrol to be covered by guests, according to usage). He is also able to drive guests on sight-seeing trips to the ancient towns of Karystos or Eretria, or the mysterious Dragon Houses (Drakospita) which are dotted across southern Evvia (also spelt Euboea). Again, this is not included in the rental price of the villa, and should be arranged directly with him. Day trips in to Athens can also be arranged.
Activities in the area include trekking, cycling, diving, cruises and canoeing/kayaking, all of which can be arranged from Karystos. Especially recommended is the excursion to the Dimosari Gorge, near Karystos (4 hour-trek) and snorkeling in the Petali Islands (frequented by Winston Churchill, Maria Callas, Aristotle Onassis and Rudolf Nureyev, no less!) and boasting a house belonging to the Picasso family.
In between Nea Styra and Palaia Styra is the ancient city of Styra, a city mentioned in Homer's Iliad (Rhapsody B). Additionally near Styra there are ancient structures standing which are 4,500 years old and are constructed using Megalithic Architecture. They are called Drakospita (i.e. Dragon Houses) and have been built using huge one piece stones (monoliths). The size of each of these stones is 4.0m length x 2.5m width x 1.5m height, similar to those found in the Philippines and at Stonehenge. Ships left from the ancient city state of Styra to aid in the rescue of Helen of Troy.
Included in the price of the villa is one airport pick-up and one drop-off, with one car - ie. up to four passengers. If you plan on hiring cars at the airport (recommended - pls ensure they have plenty of clearance from the ground, as the last 2 kms to the estate is a dirt road with potholes), the driver picking you up can lead the way for the other cars, too, and take you to the port of Agia Marina. From Athens airport, it is about 60 km drive to the port of Agia Marina (near Marathon village), then 45 minutes on the ferry to the port of Nea Styra, on the island of Evvia, then a 15-20 minute drive to the villa. (The nearest village is Eleochori, which you can find on your GPS or online maps with co-ordinates that we will provide you with).
There is an aviary which often means fresh free-range eggs in the mornings. There is a garden plot with organic tomatoes and other seasonal vegetables; organic herbs such as basil are also grown on the estate.
Additional features include an ensemble of stone benches perched on the cliffs, beside the ‘Window on the Aegean’, and plenty of nooks and crannies to be discovered at your leisure.
Wedding parties welcome.
If you have a large party (wedding or not!) and need additional space, we can sleep 8-10 in the old barn that has been converted into a summer house with four bedrooms two bathrooms, a kitchen and lounge/dinner.
If you have any questions, just ask!
PLEASE NOTE: Because of all these nooks, crannies, steps, slopes, ropes and poles, children get very excited in Delenia, and always have a wonderful time! However, if you are looking for a place that is 100% child-proof, or are worried about your child interacting with the natural environment, then Delenia might not be for you. Please ask if you have any concerns.
Interaction with Guests
I am available by phone at any time of the day or night. If I am in Greece, I may come over to check that all is well. If the barn is not rented out, I may stay there for one or two nights a week.
DIRECTIONS FROM ATHENS AIRPORT:
If you have GPS, then you should enter "Agia Marina, Marathonos" which is the port from where you will be taking the ferry boat. The port is called Agia Marina, and the general area is Marathonas (as in Marathon). You might find it helpful to set the kilometres counter to zero before setting off from the airport, so you can anticipate when to turn, as I've indicated distances below.
It's actually quite a straightforward journey:
From the airport, you need to go in the general direction of Athens, but obviously not into Athens. You will pass through tolls, where you can double check that you are going in the right direction - ask for Marathonos Avenue. You want exits 14 and 15, and then hang a right, ie. Exit 15 to turn onto Marathonos Avenue towards Rafina (NOT left, which takes you into Athens). At this point you will have travelled about 15 km from the airport.
Once you are on Marathon Avenue (which, incidentally, is the route of the original Marathon, run from the village of Marathon into Athens - you will be doing it in the opposite direction), you will stay on it
for approx 25 km, and can do some food shopping (see below). Along the way you will see signs to Rafina (do not go into Rafina, but continue on Marathon Avenue) and you will also pass by Nea Makri, and head towards the village of Marathon. At some point you will start to see signs saying Agia Marina, or ΑΓΙΑ ΜΑΡΙΝΑ or Αγια Μαρινα and also Ferry Boat and Kato Souli or Κατω Σουλη (some signs are in Latin characters, others only in the Greek alphabet). After approx 25 kms on Marathon Avenue (you will now have traveled about 40 km in total from the airport) you need to turn right, as indicated by the signs.
Once you turn right off Marathon Avenue, do not go into the village of Marathon, but stay on the same road for about 6 km until you reach the village of Kato Souli - you will actually go into this village. At the
village crossroads, you will see a sign saying Ferry Boat, so turn left at that point. After about 3 kms, you will see another sign, which says Ferry Boat, indicating a right turn - this is the only slightly tricky bit of the journey, as it is easy to drive past that sign - just look out for a taverna (traditional greek restaurant) on the left hand side of the road, and a traditional white village house on a corner, opposite the taverna and on the right hand side of the road - turn right on that corner, and then you are just a few minutes away from the Aegean sea and the port of Agia Marina. There are ferries every hour or so, so just call me and/or our driver once you know what ferry you will be on, and the driver can come and pick you up at the port of Nea Styra, at the other end, if you wish.
So, in summary: Airport, Marathonos Avenue, Kato Souli, Agia Marina, Nea Styra, Delenia.
If you have time before the ferry leaves, you can do some food shopping along the route. Some suggested places:
AB(Alfa beta) this is the most upmarket supermarket in Greece, and there are two or three along the route on Marathon Avenue - the sign is blue and white.
Galaxias or Γαλαξιας - this is less upmarket, but has good prices and variety. The one in Nea Makri (which is on Marathon Avenue) and half an hour's drive away from the ferry is convenient, especially as it is
AGRAVIA, which has lovely home-made food, delicatessen and fruit and vegetables - it is highly recommended if you have the time to stop. Its sign is not very large, but once you are driving through Nea Makri look out for Galaxias or ΓΑΛΑΞΙΑΣ (yellow and blue signs) - there are two of those supermarkets opposite each other, on either side of the road, so it stands out - when you see them, park where you can - Agravia is just past Galaxias, on your right hand side (ie the side you will be driving on).
Other Things to Note
A taxi from the airport to the port of Agia Marina costs 50 euros for 4 passengers, 70 euros for a mini van for 8 passengers, and 150 euros for a bus for 20 passengers (prices may change in 2015). I am happy to organise transfers for you. One airport pick-up and one drop-off is included in the price, for up to four passengers.
SWIMMING POOL: We empty and refill the pool between every set of guests, so the pool might still be filing up when you arrive, and we might need to begin emptying the pool on your last night. This is for the benefit of all guests.
INTERNET - There is free internet but it is limited because it is satellite and there is a monthly quota - please do not use more than 3or 4GB a week. Please switch off your background sync on your smart phones, as this uses data from your quota without you even using your phone. Please ask if you need clarification.
TOILET PAPER - When in Greece, please do not throw toilet paper down the toilet as it causes blockage!
MUSIC - Please bring a standard audio jack cable which plugs into the amplifier's AUX input. (we have one but it often disappears, so bring one to be sure!). The other end connects to an iPhone, MP3 or laptop's headphone plug. The stereo system also has a CD player and radio.The are two sets of loudspeakers, one set inside Panayiotis' House/master bedroom (about 30 watts) and another set outside around the dining area (about 70 watts). A switch located next to the amplifier allows you to use each set of speakers independently or simultaneously.
Please be nice to Pablic the dog, Carmen the cat, and Tardu the Macaw parrot. Hen and homing pigeos also live on the estate, but they don't all have names.
Staff are on-hand 24/7 to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Internet:4GB per week usage allowance (It's satellite, so free of charge but not unlimited, I'm afraid - pls switch of your background sync and wifi on your smart phones and dowload any films etc before you come to Delenia).
Toilet paper: When in Greece, do not throw toilet paper down the toilet as it will cause blockage - please tell all your friends!
Chryssa went above and beyond to make sure we made it to the villa safely. When the ferries weren't running due to high winds she even split the cost of the cab to get us there over the bridge. The land keeper, Ilias was amazing and we all fell in love with him. The cooking was delicious!!!! Everyone there was so helpful and wonderful! We spent a week there with 21 friends and family for wedding. Every couple had there own room and it worked out exactly right. We had the ceremony on the property and it turned out better and more beautifully romantic then I could have hoped for!!!!!! I can't wait to share the photos with her!!! It is truly a rustic paradise! The road to the villa is so bumpy it makes it feel even more remote.
We were delighted to spend a few days at Chryssas wonderful Athen Escape in October. This place is really something special, everything from the luxury of a great pool, to the ocean nearby. All in beautiful surroundings, what better place to watch a sunrise?
The buildings itself is filled with soul, you can really feel the love from the person building it once upon a time. This is a place to enjoy life and friends!
The staff did it´s best to help us out in any way, from greek salads, shopping and driving. This is a bit off the beaten path, so don´t put on your nicest dress when you are getting there, that may come in handy in the evening though;)
We also had a wonderful time together with Nikos and Dominique, a great couple/chefs showing us the wonders of greek and french cuisine!
They let us in on a journey of flavors and taste, and together we made a food frenzy worthy for the greek gods themselves..
Squids, shrimps in ouzo, beef stew, lemon tart and so much more.
Best of all, the couple was as lovely as the food:)
Our only regret about this place, is that we could not stay for a longer time..
Dear Chryssa! We were a group of students of 25 people and spent some so nice days at Chryssas house "Delenia". The house is such amazing! Chryssa is so nice and planned the trip with us, she answered every question we had and she is very obliging. Everything in the house is very familiar and comfortable. The view at the ocean is so awesome!! Maria is such a friendly woman, she cleaned the house every single day and cooked delicious greek food for us. Ilia is so helpful an did so much for us to feel fine. He went for supermarket shopping and is a really amazing cook! All in all i don't know what to say except everything of this house is perfect! We all are really impressed and are looking forward to visit Delenia next year again.
Do not expect to see much of Evvia since Delenia is the kind of place that draws you in and makes you indifferent to the outside world. Although Evvia is Greece's 2nd largest island you'll feel like you're on your own self-contained island hideaway. Chryssa's father did a wonderful job with everything from the landscaping, through the architecture and down to the furnishing, blending everything into the surrounding hills and coastline. Even during the day and a half of constant rain we had, Delenia proved a cozy getaway and the sea views were even more amazing.
Chryssa was great to deal with. She gave us very informative details, plenty of tips and quickly answered the many questions we had before the trip.
Ilias and Maria who take care of the house were warm and attentive, and made us some excellent food.
If like us you are coming with a multi-aged family group, make sure everyone is aware of the fact that most of the rooms offer beautiful, cozy yet basic accommodation.
We had a great time, staying at the villa. The place is very unique and cozy, a really nice place. We had delicius dinners prepared by Ilias and Maria. Beautiful view over the sea, nice and clean saltwater pool and much more. We played tennis a lot. Don't forget to bring many extra tennisballs, they are not easy to find if they goes out of bounds. I didn't meet Chryssa but she called and was very helping and careing. I would like to go back again in the future. /Tosse
It was the most amazing holiday in my whole life!we spend marvelous time thank you Chrissa and Illias for all organization unbelievable food and the time you spend for us!
Our stay at Delenia was amazing!! Chryssa coordinated everything beautifully ahead of time, and once we were there, Ilias took great care of us. (He is a FANTASTIC chef!) The villa is an absolute treasure. It is everything a hotel is not - it has character, it is personal, it feels like home. We feel very lucky to have experienced Delenia for a week - I only wish we could have stayed longer!
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I'm half-Greek, half-Brazilian, born in London. Currently live in Athens, and am trying to keep alive my dad's Aegean island villa, on Evia. I love the 'travel like a human' idea, and am planning a trip to India, on the way to Nepal to visit my family in Kathmandu. I've enjoyed hosting, and am now looking forward to being a guest.
I am clean, quiet and don't snore!