Welcome to Zaros, a gorgeous traditional village known for its natural spring water, lying not far from Lake Votamos. Eleonas, which lies on a green hillside just next to the village, will open up a world of heavenly attractions and activities that could well create within you a desire to move to this part of Crete permanently. Add to this the support, friendliness and attention by the owner, Manolis, and you’re ready to enjoy a Cretan vacation that epitomizes the best that Greece has to offer.
Excellence in Cretan gastronomy and hospitality
To begin with, the cottages themselves have been carefully built in stone and wood, representing a perfect fit with the surrounding nature and environment. Despite borrowing on traditional building techniques and elements such as the fireplace, these little houses have all the modern comforts such as free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, coffee/tea facilities, safety box, refrigerators and air conditioning (if ever needed in this sublime climate).
As you walk among the olive trees, on stone paths with scented herbs, you’ll fall in love with this place and all it has to offer. This includes a tasty local restaurant or ‘taverna’ called Elia (olive) that serves the most authentic local Cretan cuisine, famed for its freshness and health benefits.
The generous breakfast buffet will overwhelm you with its tasty choices, providing a great start for the day if you want to go hiking or exploring. For lunch and dinner, family-kept recipes and products from the estate (extra-virgin olive oil, vegetables in season, fresh farm eggs, etc.) will definitely please your palate. Milk and cheese from the farm, herbal mountain tea, sweet preserves, and home-baked pies such as cheese and herbs or honey-walnut will help convert you to a Cretan food lover.
Beyond the ‘taverna’ and the rooms, there is a lovely pool to relax by and look at the combination of blue skies and green mountains. It is worth mentioning that the Eleonas has rightfully earned excellent reviews online, a traveler’s choice award, and accolades for its Greek cuisine.
Hiking, birdwatching, mountain biking, cooking and much more!
Without a doubt, hiking is a pleasure here and Manolis is ready to show you the sign-posted hiking paths in the vicinity. There is also a guide for those who want someone to tour them around. If you want to familiarize yourself with the fauna and flora, check out the books that the owner keeps in the little library. Birdwatchers will love the variety of birds in the area, while outdoor lovers might want to grab a couple of mountain bikes to go exploring. Horseback riding is also an option, so is swimming of course as this is an island after all and there are some gorgeous beaches a short drive away.
With a car you can easily visit amazing archeological sites such as the archeological sites of Phaestos and Gortyna, as well as Knossos which is just a little further in distance. Fishing trips, boat trips to small islands, visits to monasteries, and tasting sessions at a winery are other great activities to embark on once you’re here. Closer to ‘home’ you can enjoy some archery, table tennis, billiards or football under blue skies and stay active throughout your vacation.
Autumn and winter are perfect for exploring the beauties of the island, and the Cretan weather is almost always mild during these times of year. The nature blooms in spring and it’s not uncommon in fall to see budding flowers as well! Zaros is not troubled by mass tourism and offers an unparalleled holiday that combines nature, gastronomy and culture. In this respect Eleonas is a true gateway to heaven.