Weaving your way along the scenic, winding roads, just inland from where the sea and several great Cretan beaches always seem to be well within reach, then a little way down a smaller, rural road – suddenly you have arrived in one of the charming villages on the Apokoronas peninsula near Chania.
With beach and sea close and the surrounding, rolling foothill landscapes, Natalia's houses provide an unusual blend of a small hotel feel, in an intimate, warm and hospitable setting, with the privacy of self-contained facilities. A friendly, family welcome may sound like a cliché, but it is very much alive here.
Natalia's has accommodation for one, for a couple, or a family to enjoy. With its stone and wood beams, its features include gallery bedrooms, loft-like shapes, and arches to inspire.
A small pool and pool-side café, for the use of all guests. Sit down for a coffee, for breakfast, in the café-restaurant taverna and chat with fellow visitors. Or grill something tasty in your private kitchen!
As an added convenience, an on-location mini-market has many of the things you will need to get started preparing your meals. Only a few minutes away, Vamos Village has a supermarket. Or just 10 minutes away in Kalyves, you will find several shops, greengrocers, butchers, and supermarkets.
Douliana is a small, pretty, traditional village with narrow streets and a tiny village square. Sitting above Souda Bay, it is surrounded by olive groves with views to the White Mountains and Souda Bay itself. In the village, a taverna (a welcome 5-minute stroll), offers you cozy indoor or airy outdoor dining - for a snack at lunchtime or a supper beyond the sunset, lingering on into the star-lit night. Earlier in the day, you may have joined locals for a Greek coffee at the kafenio where the news of the day, the farm prices for olive oil, and a welcome "hello" to you will all be offered. A smile is all it takes.
When your morning in the village is complete, drive down to the beach at Almyrida, Kalyves, or Kera. Meander that winding, scenic road to the calm hospitality at Georgioupoli, and then onward to visit the fortress and the ancient city streets of Rethymno. Or less distant, take a look at the cute and curious shops in Chania's old Venetian harbor town. Find a café to watch the people… watching the people... going by! Get a taste of culture!
Perhaps just stay where you are - there are terraces to sit out on, a pre-dinner drink to have at the cafe, a book to absorb a just bit more.
If you feel creative, you might cook a locally made pasta, sprinkle some fragrant herbs from the very hillsides you wake up gazing upon as the morning’s light shows you what is important to the day. Or perhaps with renewed energy, drive down to Kalyves beachfront. There, choose one of the three really good tavernas and let the sun remain too hot for a few more minutes before it cools into the evening just as your dolmades, fava, and grilled lamb arrive... Or immerse yourself in the countryside and discover the tastes of food prepared at another enjoyable taverna, Diadromes, just before the village of Armeni.
Why We Like It
- Vaso, Andreas, and Natalia offer the best in hospitality and comfort and will be glad to share their traditions with you. They have constructed the houses themselves with passion, determination, and respect for local architecture.
- A very special place in lovely Crete - the light, the location, the handcrafted rooms, the unbelievably kind and generous owners (Vaso and Andreas). Just take a walk with Vaso and you’ll come back with your pockets full of lemons, pomegranates, olives, carob… Then go into your kitchen and make some wonderful little meal. You will want to come back again and again!
- A genuine invitation to relax and discover the Cretan traditions and the lovely unique area of Apokoronas.
- Vaso also runs the small grocery store adjacent to the houses and lovingly prepares your delicious meals upon request.
Good To Know
- Houses are not suitable for disabled people.
- We highly recommend that you rent a car as other means of transport are limited and/or infrequent.
Andreas and Vasso Lourakis created their little world literally with their own bare hands.
The little village of Douliana, Andrea’s parents’ village, was for them and their children, Natalia and Constantinos, a dream vacation destination for years. Their wish to make it their home was granted in the year 2000 when they left Athens and moved to Crete for good.
Andreas and Vasso built their house along with another four self-contained accommodations using traditional materials and techniques not sparing time and energy, choosing carefully each stone or piece of cypress wood, local always, to be put in the buildings incorporating their favorite architectural details from Venetian and Turkish ruins in the area.
Andreas built and Vaso was in charge of the aesthetics and the final touches. They created a family run business of guesthouses that can accommodate a maximum of fifteen all year round and called it "Natalia’s houses".
The Lourakis family doesn’t work with intermediaries, or package deals are not interested in mass tourism practices and they value person to person contact
Dias and Hera Houses (up to 3-4 people) Two-level houses built of local stone and cypress wood, very comfortable for 2.
Living-room with traditional Cretan furniture, sofa, one single bed, stone fireplace, dining room and fully equipped kitchen (includes hotplates & small oven, full-size fridge). Bathroom with shower, WC and a hairdryer. A few wooden stairs lead to a traditional open gallery with a double 4-poster bed and a wardrobe. Telephone, TV, central heating and a small courtyard used as a veranda under the shadow of an olive tree with outstanding views of the valley leading east to Gavalochori and the constantly changing and breathtaking landscape of the famous White Mountain range to the south are visible.
Lydia House (up to 4 - 5 people) with traditional Cretan design and wooden beamed ceilings.
It has 2 bedrooms (1 double and 1 twin). The open plan living room includes a dining table for six persons, a reclining chair, and a corner stone-built fireplace with two cushioned seating banks, TV, and a large comfortable sofa that can also function as a guest bed. The fully equipped separate kitchen with all amenities, full cooking hob, a breakfast table and chairs, a large refrigerator/freezer, a filter coffee machine, and water kettle and a full complement of plates, cutlery, and necessary cooking utensils. There is also a bathroom with shower and washbasin and hair drier.
There are two verandas with magnificent views to the village and the Lefka Ori Mountains (one veranda is shared with the Agapi house), the second one full of flowers has a view to a quiet village road that is a dead end.
Agapi House (up to 4 - 6 people) On ground floor dining room, fully equipped kitchen (full oven, full-size fridge), stone fireplace and a bathroom with shower. Wooden stairs lead you to the next floor: a single bedroom, a double bedroom and a loft with two beds and a comfortable bathroom with bathtub. A large veranda with views of the impressive White Mountains.
Each house has a fully equipped kitchen to prepare your meal. Upon your arrival, you find the essentials for your first breakfast and also salt, pepper, olive oil, basic ingredients for every basic meal.
A barbeque and a dining area in the garden is available for your use.
Vasso, the owner of Natalia's Houses, has a café-bar that offers typical traditional breakfast ( rate per person 6,00Euros), and light meals all day long.
Breakfast (6 euros per person): is a small feast of freshly prepared "dainties" - including coffee or tea, tea with local herbs ("malotira"), fresh bread, local honey, homemade jams of various fruits (at different times mulberry, orange...and season's fruit land in Mrs. Vaso's pot!), yogurt, eggs (boiled or fried), graviera or feta local cheeses, olives, tomatoes, peppers, season fruit or sweet preserves.
Vasso changes the menu every day and guests try many different dishes from the local cuisine during their stay.
Vasso has also a small family grocery store at the entrance of the houses that offers bread every morning and all the ingredients you need, to cook at your house.
More eating places there are at the villages of Almirida, Kera or Kalyves just next to the beach.
Kids of all ages are welcome at Natalia's Houses. Ludia and Agapi houses fit perfectly to families with 2 or 4 children
Kids will love playing at the pool and enjoy the freedom of a small village.
Vaso is always there to help you by organizing your time with different activities and excursions. Please ask for them when you arrive.
Douliana is a small old village with particularly interesting and well-preserved folk architecture. In this officially protected, traditional village a lot of interesting buildings can be found.
Visit the old town of Chania and explore the whole city with the narrow streets and admire the old buildings with different architectural styles. Visit the maritime-naval museum on the west side of the port and walk along with the port till Arsenali where is situated the Arsenali Centre of Mediterranean Architecture that organizes exhibitions and has a primary goal to promote the Meditteranean arts.
Rethymno Town is just 38 km away and is another Venetian town worth a visit for its cobbled streets, Ottoman minarets, colorful harbor, and an imposing 16th-century Venetian fortress.
Swim. Almirida's twin beaches (5km) are sandy and well sheltered, but they can get a bit crowded during Summer; bars and restaurants line the waterfront between them, and there is a diving center. Kalyves (10km) is a larger village with a small bay at its heart and a long beach stretching west.
If you are looking for more quiet beaches, head west to Falassarna Beach, on the west edge of the island (49km) one of the best beaches in Crete. Or maybe you have heard about the lagoon of Ballos with the turquoise water. You can visit it either by ferry from Kasteli or by car. If you decide to come here by car, just have in mind that you can drive till a specific point, and then you must walk till the lagoon.
Explore the Akrotiri peninsula: Monastery of Agia Triada - Gouverneto Monastery - Eleftherios Venizelos Tombs (historical site) Drive towards the airport. Visit the Monastery of Agia Triada and then the Gouverneto Monastery. On your way back towards Chania stop at the Eleftherios Venizelos Tombs - a historical site with wonderful views to the old Venetian harbor of Chania. There you also will find a choice of 3 coffee shops for you to enjoy. The Akrotiri peninsula also has good beaches (Stavros, Kalathas, Marathi, and Loutraki).
Trek through the world-famous Samaria Gorge along (quite crowded) open May-Oct depending on weather conditions) or the Agia Irini gorge (fewer crowds and open all year), a full day’s hike catching a boat and a bus back. Imbros Gorge, next to Samaria gorge, is just 8 km long and you need just 2 hours to pass it. Aradena Gorge is also in that area, and maybe you would like to try the jump of your life ... buggy jumping.
Visit the Aptera archaeological Site. The small archaeological site of Aptera (ancient town of the Minoan era) is well worth a visit. From here there are wonderful sea views to the port of Chania (Souda) and the Akrotiri peninsula. Continue to visit Itzedin Castle - a Turkish castle, built in the 19th Century (also known as the Kalami fort). Visit the nearby Stilos Village to hike through the classic Cretan countryside: oleander-lined paths lead into a narrow rocky defile.
The horse riding lovers have the opportunity for exciting galloping along the Cretan sea in Georgioupoli and the countryside as well. A horse riding Centre organizes, early morning and evening ride at 3 different levels. You just need to make a reservation.
Village “Verekinthos” is an arts and crafts village that stands between Souda & Tsikaland at the eastern gate of Chania and it aims to revive and sustain the arts which have been always an integral part of Cretan life and culture. At this same place there were many workshops producing pots (tsikalia), giving thus the name to the town and in the very same place nowadays is run silversmith’s and goldsmith’s as well workshops for ceramics, sculpture, glass making, hagiography, painting, masks, mosaic, leather, decorative objects, and traditional Cretan knives. Visiting hours 10.00-14.00 and 19.00-21.00 except Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
Would you like more activities around Chania, please have a look here.
Check-in: 14.00 pm
Check out: 12.00 pm
Minimum Stay: 2-5 nights, depending on the season.
How To Get There
Natalia's Houses located at the small, graphic village of Douliana at the Apokoronas region.
From May through mid-October there are direct charter flights to Chania (35km) or Heraklion (118km). Tickets can be bought in advance for almost all flights from our partner website.
The journey is the thing". A superb way of enjoying the journey to Crete is to fly to Athens and take the ferry from Piraeus (Pireas) - the port serving Athens. A still-romantic way to travel by the overnight ferry from Piraeus to Chania Port (18km). Tickets can be bought in advance for all ferries via our partner website.
If you want to explore the region while you're here, we recommend that you rent a car, other means of transport are limited and/or infrequent. We suggest our sister website, which offers competitive prices and you can collect your car at either airport.
Book your taxi transfer online easily and safely from the airport or port to any location via our partner website.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through CreteTravel.com
Dining: Each house has a fully equipped kitchen. A café-bar is at your disposal for breakfast and light dishes that are served all day long
Internet Access: Wi-Fi throughout
Swimming Pool: Small sharing swimming pool
Spa Treatments: Not available
Disabled Access: Not suitable
Pets: Allowed, on request.
Languages Spoken: Greek, English, French
Parking: Parking on site