The essence of the rural Mediterranean is about enjoying the finer things in life against rolling green hills, stunning sea views and unparalleled sunsets. One of the best places to enjoy such an idyllic Mediterranean experience is at the Mourtzanakis Residence in the heart of Crete.
Half an hour away from the town of Heraklion, the property of four villas is perched serenely between the mountains and the sea, in the middle of a local garden. A few minutes away is the village of Aghia Pelagia with four sandy beaches, while the whole region offers a visitors exceptional opportunities for hiking, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, scuba diving, horseback riding and exploring the Medieval ruins such as the Fodele Castle. The team at Mourtzanakis will definitely show you some exciting walking trails in the area.
To truly involve yourself in the Cretan lifestyle, let your hosts prepare one of their delicious breakfasts with homemade jams, fresh country bread, excellent honey, local cheeses, sun-ripened tomatoes and organic olive oil. The property also has its own organic garden that enriches the breakfast menu or the onsite cooking lessons with very rewarding tastes. Visit the nearby olive press, wineries, Raki distilleries and herb-filled valleys to complete this outstanding culinary experience.
There are also superb attractions in the region such as the medieval Savathiana convent and the Byzantine churches in the village of the world-famous painter, El Greco, not far away. The whole region is a mosaic of ancient civilizations and cultures such as Minoan, Byzantine, Saracen and Ottoman, with each leaving impressive landmarks to discover. The Mourtzanakis family itself boasts a history of many centuries on the island and will share with you some fascinating knowledge in this respect.
Like many small properties in Crete, Mourtzanakis Residence is proud to have its very own vegetable garden, which means many salads served on the premises will have veggies grown on the property itself! The kitchen embraces products from local producers, while organic waste is being minimized through composting. Similarly, the team recently launched a recycling program and has taken efforts to minimize energy consumption through solar lighting and LED lighting. The efforts to work with local artisans and manufacturers for fittings and furnishings (chairs, other furniture items, pillows, curtains) is an important step in helping the local community.
Also on the local front, meats and cheeses are being bought from local producers and small farms: at Ecotourism Greece we’re asking all our member hotels and guesthouses to demand from their suppliers humane treatment of farm animals, particularly since there is a closer relationship between consumers and local suppliers on the islands. Overall, the property has only recently begun implementing their green philosophy and guests will soon notice many more eco-friendly practices onsite. We commend these efforts!