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Xamoudochori Manor - Yiannis Retreat

Chania, Greece
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Yiannis Retreat is a sanctuary of serenity, a tranquil resting place set in an idyllic country landscape, far removed in spirit from the bustle of Chania and the coastline yet surprisingly close to it in distance. It is located in the Xamoudochori village, at the Platanias municipality, near the town Chania of the island Crete of Greece. It offers apartments for rent on either a short term or long term basis. So beautiful is the countryside here, with its views to the sea below and the mountains above, that a Chania couple (who have lived most of their lives in Connecticut! decided to buy a plot of land near the village of Xamoudochori to build their ideal retirement home. Their architect was so enthusiastic about the potential of the lovely site that he persuaded Yiannis and Maria to change their planned home into a holiday lodge where others can share their enchantment with the spot. Five small and simple two-storey apartments with a sitting room incorporating a kitchenette, bathroom (with small bath) and twin bedroom - reached up a spiral staircase - were built. (There is also a spacious, single-storey 1-bedroom apartment adjacent to the swimming pool facing the mountains with a patio adjoining the lawn). Since then bougainvillaea and creepers have entwined themselves around the whitewashed walls, the lawn has become a springy carpet of green fringed with shady trees, and the peach and lemon trees have just started to bear fruit, much to Yiannis' pride. He is equally proud of his lovely pool which offers beautiful views over the surrounding countryside to the sea. Sitting out on your private patio, you'll find plenty of shade from the abundant plants of the garden. At siesta time there's rarely a sound except for the rhythmic murmuring of the cicadas and the muted patter of the lawn sprinklers so you can doze, dream or read peacefully through the afternoon heat. When the day cools down there are delightful walks to be enjoyed through the olive groves and vineyards. A five minute amble brings you to picturesque Xamoudochori village with its domed church, whitewashed cottages and a couple of kafenions where the men of the village gather to discuss farming and politics over a glass of raki. Just under 2 miles below Xamoudochori is the sea, fringed by a shingle beach which never gets too crowded and there is a good choice of tavernas set in peaceful positions by the seashore. Once the sun starts to set it would be hard to drag yourself away from Yiannis' Retreat for the splendid position becomes even more beautiful at sunset. As the languor of the evening settles over the countryside, swallows swoop and soar down over the tranquil water of the pool, an owl hoots and the sky becomes suffused with the most delicate pinks and mauves as the setting sun silhouettes the dramatic hills of the Rhodopou Peninsula.