1. Geckos. Adorable skittering lizards that you will never catch, and which are probably responsible for keeping the bug population down (at least, we were never plagued by insect bites).
2. The stars. We spent hours on the rooftop terrace, staring up at constellations you'll never see in the light-polluted environs most of you hail from.
3. A hammock. Down in the olive grove. Holds two comfortably, assuming they're intimate. Once you get in, you'll never want to leave. Except to get into the pool.
4. Centuries-old ruins, visible from the terrace.
5. An alleged badger/family of weasels. We never saw them, although not for want of trying. Apparently they hang out just across the property line.
6. Goats. They wander by occasionally. They have strange, octopus-like eyes. They rock.

If none of these small wonders turn your crank, you can still luxuriate in what has to be the most relaxing, comfortable, and gorgeous hideaway I've been to in decades. We hope to return, sooner rather than later.  In fact, we briefly considered lying in wait for the next residents and killing them so we could have their slot.

                                                                                           Peter W. Toronto, Canada

Très Belle Prestation
Tout était parfait:  Situation au calme dans la campagne, Vue exceptionnelle sur la Baie de Souda, Maison parfaitement agencée, équipée et sécurisée, Proximité des plages, restaurants et commerces et pas très loin de la superbe ville de La Canée, Superbe terrasse permettant des diners magiques, face au soleil couchant, Très belle     piscine, remarquablement entretenue, Jardin agréable et très fleuri, Entretien et ménage régulièrement effectués. 

Es war alles perfekt.-bis auf das Wetter. Dank Nancys prima Beschreibung kamen wir ohne Probleme zur Villa . Der Blick rundum vom Meer bis zu den weißen Bergen ist umwerfend. Der Nachthimmel war grandios. Das Haus ,die Zimmer, die Ausstattung alles bestens. Die Lage ist zum erkunden des westlichen Kreta zentral. Besonders schön das nahe Gavalachori mit seinem Museum, der Ausflug an die Südküste nach Skafion, der Hafen von Rethimnion, Chania mit Brandung und tollem Blick von den Venizelos Gräbern, Aptera , Moni Triadi, Stavros.    Vielen Dank für eine wunderschöne Woche.
                                                                                                            Peter P., Augsburg, Germany 

Holiday Paradise

Amazing and beautiful home away from home
This is the first time we had booked a holiday villa independently, and I have to say the whole thing was seamless from start to finish. We took a lot of care in choosing and were heavily influenced by the reviews from previous holiday makers. It turned out to be a very good choice. As soon as we had booked we were contacted by the owners who are clearly passionate about Crete and their beautiful villa, and also about ensuring that we had a great time. They were extremely helpful and informative and responded very quickly to emails. Having signed up to the Villa Calista facebook page, by the time we arrived we felt as if we already knew both the villa and the area well. I have to say that the villa and its grounds are incredible. The villa is so comfortable and cosy, and well equipped, and the grounds are so beautifully tended providing sunny and shaded areas throughout the day. The pool is fabulous, and the covered avli is perfect for sitting in the shade while looking out over the pool at the amazing views. The thing that really strikes you about Villa Calista is how well maintained it is, how clean it is, and how every detail has been thought through so carefully. This is Bob and Nancy's home during the winter, and the place has all the signs of being loved and having everything you could possibly need, whilst at the same time not making you feel as if you are intruding on someone elses space. Its the details which you almost take for granted that make the place special, like the endless storm lanterns and copious supply of candles for the avlii which creates a beautiful atmosphere in the evening; the hammock in the orchard; the beautiful cushions that decorate all the seating areas; the great range of kitchen equipment; and the thoughtful goodies basket that is there when you arrive. The villa is in a lovely part of Crete, and while we were much lazier than we usually are on holiday (due to the intense heat, and the fact that the villa itself makes it easy for you to lounge about and be lazy), there is plenty to do and see within a short drive; and then there is that pool to jump into when you get back! If you like traditional greek food then this is the place for you. There are traditional tavernas at every turn, and they far out number the touristy haunts. We have no negative comments to make. We would recommend Villa Calista. I have no doubt that we will be back to this home away from home in the sun.
                                                                                                                                                      Kim C., England

We had a fantastic stay and I had stayed in numerous Villas and this is by far the best.
We were after a quiet relaxing holiday and this is exactly what we had and more. The facilities far exceeded what you would normally expect in a Villa which made us feel very well looked after and catered for. The management of the property during our stay was excellent. We would definitely book to stay again in the future as the location was magnificent, Alpine-like scenery to the South and fantastic sea views to the North. It’s perfectly positioned for getting to all the main attractions and we certainly made use of them during our stay. Thank you so much for a lovely holiday and you have an amazing Villa.

 Kevin & Elaine S, UK  

Not enough superlatives for this place
From the geckos on the hot stone walls to the hammock in the olive grove to the ethereal blue glow of the pool at night: this place was magical. Thank you, Nancy, for making this place a home for others -- and thank you for all the time you took answering my jittery, pre-trip questions. We really do hope to return, someday.
                                                                                                                Caitlin S,  Toronto Canada

Guest Reviews

We know that you have many choices for your vacation rental in Crete and we are delighted when people chose Villa Calista. . .  our guests seem to love it for the same reasons we do:  the peaceful private setting, the beautiful countryside, and all the comforts of home.   We are thrilled to share some of our guest reviews here and we are proud of our Premier Partner status and 5- star rating on VRBO and their associated sites!   

Amazing location with wonderful views of the sea!
I had a wonderful stay at Villa Calista. The house is situated in the hills overlooking the seaside village of Almyrida, and affords a sweeping view of Souda Bay to the north, and the majestic White Mountains to the south. The grounds are beautiful, with a manicured back garden, pool and olive grove in the back yard. The interior is modern and functional, but it's the outdoor spaces that truly make this a paradise retreat. In nearby Almyrida, there are dozens of tavernas and restaurants serving up authentic Greek meals as well as a bakery and independent grocer that sell amazing and fresh products.  This is a great home-base for a variety of explorations into western Crete, a short 30 minute drive to the West will take you to the busy port city of Chania, and another 30-40 minutes east will bring you to the more artsy city of Rethymnon. Check out the old Venetian walled cities in each of these places for some amazing shopping and dining.  I cannot recommend this place highly enough. I will definitely be returning again soon.       Ian M  Canada

View to die for!
The view is stunning. I could stay up

here all day! In fact it is like an eyrie. Noises waft in from the surrounding olive groves and up the valley from the town far below. It is so quiet and calm, next to the gem-like pool and gardens. Both kitchen and living room open onto the avli, providing flow between indoors and out. Lovely arrangement of bedrooms, each with balcony access. All in all, a really well thought out retreat: comfortable, clean, well provisioned... But the view is to die for!
                    Evie P. Fredericton Canada

Nous sommes partis à regret. Nous espérons revenir un prochain jour.
      Pierre C,   Eaubonne France

Highly recommended ! Wonderful place.
Villa Callista was everything we'd hoped it would be, and more. The villa is clean, the grounds beautifully kept and the whole place is well maintained inside and out. We appreciated having a local person we could call on for help or questions as they arose; she was friendly, helpful and prompt on the rare occasions we needed anything. All in all, we had a wonderful stay and would highly recommend. Worth every penny.
                                            Heather W  Ottawa Canada

Villa Calista is a beautiful vacation rental!! From the moment you reach the beautifully manicured property and catch a glimpse of the scenic harbour from the pool deck, you know you have made a great choice. The owners spend their winters at the villa, so there is nothing that you need that isn't provided- a BBQ with full propane tank, utensils, plates, useful kitchen appliances and even salt and pepper! Upon arrival, we easily picked up our keys on site. The owners have arranged for all guests to receive a welcome basket, containing olive oil from their own olive trees and everything you need to get you through the first day/night. They also included a beach bag which came in very handy! The rooms each had towels laid out, and a pool towel for our use. There is satellite TV, two spacious rooms, and a good sized bathroom. The bedrooms and full bath are upstairs and they each step out onto the comfortable balcony- a perfect spot to enjoy your morning coffee (which is also included in the welcome basket!) and enjoy the view of the military and cruise ships coming in and out of the harbour. The location of the villa is very central, allowing for easy exploring of Chania (1/2 hour) and Heraklion (45 mins), or there is a perfectly lovely beach at the bottom of the hill in Almyrida. The owners, Bob and Nancy, have also placed a book of all the beaches and tavernas to visit to make decisions easy. We would highly recommend a visit to Margarite for pottery, a boatride from Kissimos to Balos beach, and the old town in Chania. The best part of the trip was arriving home after a long day of exploring and sitting out on the patio with a glass of wine and watching the sun set over the nearby mountain- complete relaxation!! We have already decided to come back to Villa Calista on a regular basis. Thanks Bob and Nancy for sharing your villa with us. It was an amazing vacation!

                                                                                          Tracy C., Canada

A Villa Worth Killing For!

Wonderful Villa
The owners are exceptionally responsive and gracious. The property is well maintained and clean. The villa is well appointed with all the items necessary to make a vacation seem like home away from home. The area is quiet and the view is outstanding. The location is conveniently located to the beaches and other attractions. A simply wonderful experience.

Sharon and Keith B


Other reviews have summarized the more obvious attributes of Villa Calista: the orchards, the view, the pool (an absolute godsend after a hot day's hiking, a luminous alien bean of brightness at night). The well-appointed kitchen, the overall spotless maintenance. All of these accolades are well-deserved, and I will not waste your time repeating them here. Instead, I'll list a few of the less obvious features of the place:

Stay at Villa Calista!
We had a really great holiday at the villa. Right from the start with the fantastic directions from the airport (better than our Sat Nav!) there has clearly been a lot of thought that has gone into making a stay here relaxing. All the small bits and pieces that you may need are there. The property and pool were clean and well maintained and the area beyond the pool into the olive grove is a real plus. We really liked the outdoor covered area where we could relax in the shade. The view's from the property are fantastic. The local village has some really good restaurants, plenty of activities on the beach and is very clean. The snorkelling from the side of the beach was excellent. A great place to go.
                                            Andrew C., England

A perfect week in a piece of paradise.
House, gardens and views were fantastic. We had everything in the house we needed and more. Perfect place to spend quite time or visit Crete. We did both. The gardens and pool are really nice, you can get away from it all in the lower levels of the garden. The pool was refreshing and clean.

I would highly recommend this Villa.

Simon B, Quebec, Canada

The perfect place for a Cretan holiday!
We had a lovely two week stay at Villa Calista and it certainly lives up to its name! The property

is stunning: expansive view over Souda Bay and the White Mountains, new pool, lovely landscaping

including an olive grove, and an outdoor shaded terrace for relaxing or dining.  The house is modern, spotless clean, comfortable and has everything you need. The owners Bob and Nancy, have thought of every detail to make your stay comfortable. Upon arrival we were greeted with a welcome basket of goodies, including fresh local bread! We have rented several Homeaway properties in the past including Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, and the Florida keys. This was by far our best rental experience yet. Do not hesitate to book, you will not be disappointed!
                                                                                                                                        Allison T,  Vermont USA