Inviting throughout the year, Villa Koukouvayia (Villa of the Owl) consists of three separate living spaces, one of which we occupy, and two of which we rent or share with friends. The Guest House in this listing is a separate two-bedroom, two-story home with all amenities.
Private, but not isolated, Villa Koukouvayia sits on the first foothills of olives above the Gulf of Kissamos, with several dramatic gorges and Crete’s White Mountains behind her. Away from the touristy areas, yet five minutes to a variety of beaches, tavernas and the lovely town of Kissamos; 25 minutes from the historic Venetian city of Xania; and only 45 minutes from air transport; it would be hard to find a more ideal combination of authenticity, convenience, privacy and luxury.
Built in 2012, the villa’s Guest House has two bedrooms. The master bedroom offers sweeping views of the Aegean and a large balcony with outdoor shower and spiral stairs that lead up to a private roof terrace. The 2nd bedroom enjoys a private balcony overlooking the valley and mountains rising to the south, and has built-in bunk-beds (sized and engineered for adults if needed) with each bunk boasting its own 2-meter window that opens out over the sea.
There is a large fully-equipped bathroom upstairs, with washing machine and laundry balcony. The ground floor is an open-plan, with a living and dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a 2nd bathroom.
Outside, 4-meter verandas surround the house and provide your choice of sun or shade at any time of day, with plentiful outdoor furniture to allow sitting, dining and entertaining on the balconies, terrazzo, verandas and pool terrace.
The Guest House includes board and lawn games, bicycles, kayaks, beach-gear, a private yard and garden, and (except during winter) a small but deep adult plunging pool that feeds a shallow toddlers pool with a waterfall.
In the spring, summer and fall, lounge by the pool, play a game of croquet, or simply relax and listen to the sound of the breeze through the olive trees and the splashing of the waterfall.
In the winter leave the colder northern latitudes behind. Take advantage of winter rates and enjoy the bustling activity of the olive harvest, the arrival of wildflowers and rainbows hidden from summer’s tourist crush, and the clear-aired winter views of surf and snow-capped mountains. During the harvest season crowded sun-beds give way to beach-walks and mountain trails, to biking, birding and evenings settled into local tavernas, reading or playing cards with glasses of wine in hand and a warming fire nearby. The best museums, shops and restaurants remain open and share the most authentic of Cretan culture, gifts and food. The stars dance sharp and clear throughout the cool nights, and the sun rarely tolerates rainclouds for more than a handful of hours before warming the valleys and forcing sweaters and jackets back into your hand.
And whenever you come, know that we love sharing this special villa, special region, and special Island with guests; and that you’ve secured an ideal place to explore, create and celebrate, alone or with those you love.