The sheer natural beauty of the environment enables you to relax, unwind and rejuvenate. The lush gardens are rich in tropical plants, vibrant bouganvilleas, plum, lemon and fig trees; sweet smelling jasmine and all surrounded by a sea of olive trees; the source of all oil used at the hotel.
Look for the hidden throughout the gardens little seating areas, footpaths ideal for walking, and little nooks where you can enjoy the tranquillity and calmness, with just the sound of the cicades to disturb the incredible peace and quiet.
A short walk from Elia is also the oldest living olive tree in the world, some 2,500 years old and the small museum. This ancient olive tree is one of seven olive trees in the Mediterranean believed to be at least 2,000 to 3,000 years old. Although its exact age cannot be verified, the Olive Tree of Vouves might be the oldest among them, estimated at over 3,000 years old. It still produces olives, and they are highly prized. Olive trees are hardy and drought-, disease- and fire-resistant — part of the reason for their longevity and their widespread use in the region.
The guests of Elia are advised on a series of walks which can be taken from here, some guided, which can lead to waterfalls, hilltop Byzantine churches- or simply to enjoy rural Crete at its finest.
Hike through the Deliana gorge a hike surrounded by high cliffs and unspoilt Cretan nature. There are interesting flowers and herbs in this gorge, which is easy to walk. There are also plenty of sheep. At the bottom of the gorge on the left hand side there is the small church of St, John the Theologian where you can have a rest in the shade of the cypress trees that surround it.
A trip by car I would suggest: To "Therissos" - you drive through a beautiful gorge. The village itself is historic and has some good tavernas like "Andartis". But if you have time, you can continue further to Zourva and come down to Chania again via Meskla. This is a spectacular drive (if the atmosphere is clear and not too hazy), marked on some maps as unpaved - but it is now paved. Just after Zourva there is a taverna on its own with glass windows with 360 views and good local food.
Enjoy a tour and tasting at one of Greece’s top wineries! The Manousakis Winery has been producing its 100% organic wines under the brand name Nostos since 1997. The winery is situated just 15 minutes (driving) from the city of Chania in the village of Vatolakkos.
Or what about a fascinating cooking workshop, a great introduction to seasonal cooking and the culture of Cretan gastronomy - cuisine? Join this experiential workshop of a 5-dish menu at Milia Traditional Village.
Birdwatching in Crete will travel you at some of its most beautiful, isolated and unpopulated areas, mountains, gorges, lakes particularly when you are looking for birds such as eagles, vultures and falcons. Learn more here.
Explore the westerly foothills of the White Mountains by car or on foot: the ancient hilltop fortress of Polyrinia and adjacent gorge of Sirikari make an excellent day trip, as does the south coast path between Paloechora and Souyia; tougher day hikes include the world-famous Samaria gorge (open May-Oct) or the shorter Ayia Irini gorge (open all year).
Visit Chania, the most beautiful city of the island, enjoy your drink at the old port or a meal in one of the restaurants of the old city. Walk in the narrow streets and see the different architectural styles of the buildings. Visit the naval museum that is situated at the port and walk till the lighthouse, this is the right point to admire the port and the city. Enjoy live Cretan folk music over dinner at many of the tavernas; or browse through the souvenir shops – leather goods, jewellery and more others.
Samaria Gorge is the longest gorge in Europe, if you like gorges, walk through this gorge and the experience will be unique. It is a long gorge, 16km, and you need about 6 hours to pass it, that means that it is not allowed to walk the long way if you have any health problem. If you think that 16km are too many, you can see the last part of the gorge. You have to drive till Chora Sfakion and then you take the boat to Agia Roumeli, where is the exit of the gorge, you just have to walk a few kilometers in the gorge, at least till the most narrow point "portes".
Next to Samaria gorge there is another gorge, shorter but very beautiful because it is very narrow in some points. This is Imbros gorge and you need just 2 hours to pass it. You can combine this walk, with swimming to Fragokastelo beach, as it is very close to the exit of the gorge.
Falasarna, is a very long beach that is located on the west part of island, 44km from your hotel, What makes this beach so unique, is the length, you can walk along the sandy beach for a lot of time. Or drive 2 hours southwest to Elafonisi (try and get there before the afternoon crowds and stop off at the monastery of Chrissoskalitissa on the way home.), or 1 hour west the well-known Balos Beach (the latter requires a short hike, or a boat from Kastelli).
There are more accessible beaches at Afrata, Menies (road is pretty rough then there is a track to get there), Ravdoucha and Falasarna.
For those who love horse riding, there is a horse riding center in Akrotiri, that organises daily excursions at that area. You just need to make a reservation.
If you are looking for more activities in and around Chania, please have a look here.
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