Iliahtida lies in Tristomo, the northernmost little community in Karpathos, on the deep end of a natural protected harbor with stunning views. The property which can welcome 2-4 people, is accessible by boat from Diafani, a trip which Manos the owner arranges along with transport from the airport. In fact, Manos has designed a comprehensive trip that includes not only transportation and accommodation but also a Mediterranean menu that you can either prepare yourself or that Manos himself happily cooks for you.
The villa itself boasts an unmistakable local authentic Karpathian flavor yet with many modern comforts and the latest in green technology. In the meantime, the whole region (along with the nearby uninhabited islet of Saria) falls in a protected natural habitat – Natura 2000 – in addition to belonging to Greece’s third and latest official Marine Park, offering nature-lovers and explorers unbeatable experiences. Trekking, beekeeping, winemaking, fishing, cooking and uncovering archaeological treasures are among the pleasures that Tristomo has to offer, immersing guests in a real Southern Mediterranean experience.
A paradise for hikers
Seasoned hikers will definitely enjoy the long hikes to the closest village of Avlona and its large plain between two mountains, which is 2.5-3 hours by foot with some modest climbing (the way back down is about 2 hours). You can also hike to the seaside village of Diafani on the other side of the island, about 3.5-4 hours by foot, and then even take a boat to the main town of Karpathos on the island’s more populated south side.
As you hike the area around Tristomo, you will become intimate with its hills and mountains – Pountes, Meloura, Stii, Arda, Empolas, Koryfi and Ipsilos. Wild untouched beaches will greet you on your hikes, including Vroukounta, Kalamia, and Vananta, offering fantastic photo opportunities. You can even continue the hike all the way to Olymbos, one of Greece’s most traditional villages.
Not far away, over a strait in the say of 200 meters, lies the alluring island of Saria which is popular only with a handful of overnight backpackers. Beaches, hiking paths, a mountain, two churches and fascinating biodiversity – including the endangered Mediterranean Monk Seal – await you on this island once you make the short boat ride there.
Really Mediterranean cuisine
Tristomo is just a collection of a few quiet seaside houses and a little harbor to walk along. While there aren’t any restaurants in the settlement, Manos has a couple of interesting choices for dining up his sleeve: he either gives his guests all the hearty ingredients they need to prepare their own Mediterranean-inspired dishes in the fully-equipped kitchen, or he cooks up a delicious and healthy local menu for his hosts. Combine both options for the best of both worlds, and prepare yourself for lots of mouthwatering fruits, vegetables, seafood, olive oil, legumes and cereals.
Further afield, after hiking to Avlona or Diafani, you can sit back and relax in the handful of really good local restaurants and traditional coffee shops to sample the relatively isolated island’s cuisine. This will certainly give you the fuel you need to hike back. Of course you can also sail to Diafani for lunch or dinner.
Tradition meets technology
It is worth mentioning the efforts of the villa’s owner in building a truly ‘green’ house which lies in a remote area with no infrastructure (electricity, sewage, municipal water mains, telephone, etc.). Through the latest technology, Manos has managed to install a biological sewage system, water desalination facilities, satellite television and internet, and solar panels to generate electricity. His efforts represent one of the truly few green villas in Greece that espouse independent sustainability. Iliahtida Villa is certainly a model in green hospitality and in true ecotourism, not only for Karpathos but for Greece as well.