Years ago I read a story in the former Dutch Living Magazine about Villa Ippocampi. As I looked at the beautiful pictures, I thought what a lovely place… one day I would like to go there! 10 years later, I was planning my trip to Crete for Local Hideaways and Villa Ippocampi was still on my mind and it was about time to go and visit it.

Villa Ippocampi is situated in the hills about 25 kilometres from the HeraklionAirport in the small and picturesque village of Koutouloufari. It’s very close to the sea and the illustrious Hersonissos. Don’t let Hersonissos scare you off… it has a very negative image due to certain TV programs, but beside the tacky shops and bars you will still find beautiful small deserted bays and authentic tavernas without seeing any drunken teenagers at all!

Villa Ippocampi is a small oasis for adults only, from 16 years and older. From the moment you enter the porch, you step into another world where you can unwind and enjoy your holidays. It’s just as I remembered it from the pictures in the Living Magazine. I don’t believe in coincidences. During my stay the stylist who worked on this specific item was also staying there and she is one of many returning guests.

13 different apartments adjacent to a pool with a salt-electrolyse system (hurray, no chlorine!). I stayed in the largest type: 2 bedrooms, bathroom, living room with small kitchenette and a terrace overlooking the pool. If you prefer a bit more privacy then I recommend you to book another apartment. For example, the apartments on the first floor, or, for ultimate seclusion and romance, the honeymoon suite. The interior of my apartment was minimalistic, but there was plenty of space with good beds. Besides that, they will clean it every other day and as well as change the bed and bath linen.

On the other side of the pool, you will find the heart of Villa Ippocampi: the bar with a lovely terrace. The place for breakfast, a refreshing freddo cappuccino (my favourite!), small (lunch) dishes, or a glass of wine. This is a beautiful and stylish designed area, where guests encounter and exchange their favourite spots in the area. In the evening and not in the mood to go far to a restaurant? Around the corner you will find plenty of tavernas in Koutouloufari, all within walking distance.

What struck me the most about my stay at Ippocampi, is the personal attention from the owners, Lydia and Nikos (Lydia is Dutch and Nikos is Greek). Lydia speaks to all the new guests in person and takes her time to share all her favourite places, beaches and restaurants in the area. These tips are more than worthy and make the difference. Lydia thinks it’s such a waste that guests waste time on visiting the wrong places and I totally agree with her.

Villa Ippocampi is a special place, this is confirmed by the large number of returning guests. I advise you to rent a car while you are staying there, which is the best way to get around all the great places that Lydia suggests.

Do you want more inside information about Crete? Read my blog ‘Crete Pure Nature!’.

Photo credit #1 – #5: Reneé Frinking, productie: Valerie van der Werff

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