The Wine Press – fabulous cottage in Crete. I have long wanted to re-visit Crete, having spent a weekend on the island twenty years ago. This time I would be there solo – for 5 days of self-indulgent relaxation. I envisaged sunshine, lazy lunches, long walks and beautiful viatas – against a backdrop of a quaint and comfortable cottage with just enough home comforts not to feel too isolated.

The Wine Press, a tastefully restored cottage in the working village of Gavalohori – offered everything I imagined it would – and more. Washed in cream and sky blue, the cottage is welcoming and far more than just comfortable. I felt “at home” very quickly, and was neither scared nor lonely on my own – there is a great assortment of reading (I read 3 books in 4 days) as well as a clatter of DVDs which I did not get around to watching. The setting is fabulous. The village blissfully un-touristy, with ready access to the more commercialised beaches for those who want that.

A car is vital – there is a plethora of gorges, beaches, archaeological interests in close proximity. Highlights for me included a swim at Scorpion Bay – a very private, natural pebble beach with crystal – clear waters nestled between limestone cliffs, and the constant view of the beautiful White Mountains.
I’ll definitely be back – and The Wine Press / Olive Pickers House are without doubt my first choice in cottage accommodation. Many thanks to Alan and Jo for thinking of absolutely everything and for making my Cretan Odyssey so memorable!

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