Thursday, 31 December 2015

Nasty New Year's weather!

Is it rain, is it snow? No, it's sleet!!!

You might be able to spot the villages of Patsianos & Kapsodasos and in between Kallikratis' gorge!!!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Nikitia 2015: Speech photos - Νικήτεια 2015: Φωτογραφίες από την ομιλία

Κεντρική ομιλήτρια στην εορτή ήταν η ειδική γραμματέας της Ένωσης των Απανταχού Σφακιανών Αττικής, κα Ελένη Κουκουναράκη-Γεωργιλιδάκη. Χαιρετισμό απηύθυνε ο Δήμαρχος Σφακίων κ. Ζερβός Ιωάννης. Συντονιστής της ομιλίας ήταν ο Αντιδήμαρχος Σφακίων κ. Πρωτοπαπαδάκης Γεώργιος.

Η Ελένη Κουκουναράκη-Γεωργιλιδάκη μαζί με το Δήμαρχο και Αντιδήμαρχο Σφακίων

Ο Δήμαρχος Σφακίων κ. Ζερβός Ιωάννης

Ο Αντιδήμαρχος Σφακίων κ. Πρωτοπαπαδάκης Γεώργιος

For more photos plus video please visit the following link: 
Για περισσότερες φωτογραφίες και βίντεο επισκεφθείτε τον παρακάτω σύνδεσμο: 

Newspaper: Eparxiako Fos - Επαρχιακό Φώς

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Foggy morning yesterday, gloomy day today!

Yesterday, morning...

Monachus Monachus Apartments: pool area
Around 6:30 in the morning

Monachus Monachus Apartments: pool area
...and a little bit later

Monachus Monachus Apartments: parking area
Our parking area

Frangokastello fortress
Spot, if you can, Frangokastello's fortress on the right of this building (taverna)!

Today, evening...

Patsianos & Kapsodasos villages
Patsianos & Kapsodasos villages

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Solo Traveling in Sfakia, Crete, Greece, tips & insights!

Frangokastello fortress: Traditional Dancing
Frangokastello fortress: Traditional Dancing

If you are keen in meeting local people, taking in new surroundings and discovering original destinations, at your own pace, then Sfakia can be the perfect place to indulge yourself fully in an amazing experience.

Sfakian coastline from the path to Ag. Pavlos beach
Sfakian coastline from the path to Ag. Pavlos beach

Sfakia belongs to the prefecture of Chania, in southwestern Crete. Being the largest Greek island you would expect urban lifestyle invasion on all its municipalities; still Sfakia manages to preserve its authenticity. It has a few mountain villages, mostly clustered around the main road that connects the south with the north, however, the majority of the population can be found scattered across its coastline.

Frangokastello plain from the zig zag road to Kallikratis village
Frangokastello plain from the zig zag road to Kallikratis village

Though most of its villages can be accessed by car, there is still a handful of them than can only be approached by ferry boat or by following ancient footpaths, such as scenic Loutro. Car rental is necessary, as the area is not serviced by frequent bus routes. Some people take it one step further and choose to rent a 4x4 car, in order to have the option of visiting more isolated trails but in general the road network is kept in good condition.

Frangokastello fortress beach
Frangokastello fortress beach

If you like swimming in literally crystal clear waters then this is the place for you. Your choices are unlimited. Set up your umbrella in virtually any place you like, as most of the Sfakian coastline is accessible on foot. Choose the organized beach in front of Frangokastello fortress or the nearby Orthi Ammos beach, known for its vertical sand dunes. Alternatively, check Ilingas beach, a few minutes drive from Chora Sfakion. It has more than meets the eye. Swim to discover its two adjacent protected beaches. If you are interested in more secluded areas, then the whole shoreline from Sweet Water beach to Marmara beach and furthermore Agios Pavlos to Ag. Roumeli, is ideal as it can be approached only by boat or through hiking.

Aradena gorge: Marmara beach
Aradena gorge: Marmara beach
Now hiking. Hiking is what I personally love to do solo, I choose to be alone as I relish the freedom that nature offers you, I cherish to take in the smells and the sounds at my own pace and to choose the trails I like to follow. Sfakia is surrounded by mountains which form an uneven terrain full of gorges. Samaria gorge is Crete's most famous attraction and a preserving ground for Cretan flora and fauna. Still, there are other less crowded gorges. Imbros is the second most popular gorge and easier to access. Asfendou and Kallikratis are neighboring gorges to each other and can be combined. Manikas gorge maintains a good spot for vulture spotting. Aradena gorge offers a stunning start, through the so-named abandoned village and it is also known for bungee jumping. And the list goes on, there are numerous trails to be followed as Crete is traversed by the European long distance path E4. Choose wisely, most of the routes are safe to inexperienced hikers, still some need caution, such as Kapnis gorge that requires climbing experience. 

Vulture over Manikas gorge
Vulture over Manikas gorge

Another great chapter of the region is the Sfakian cuisine. In general, Cretan cuisine is known for its Mediterranean characteristics and rich diet in olive oil and natural grown products. As well, Sfakian cuisine has its own aroma that distinguishes it from Cretan. It embraces all of the Cretan attributes while introducing its own special dishes. Make sure to try Sfakian cheese pies for breakfast, or fried snails for appetizer. Sfakian graviera (cheese) is also a nice delicacy that can be consumed with honey any time of the day. Try the full-bodied red wine from the mountain village of Kallikratis and of course wash all this down with a few shots of tsikoudia (raki), a drink always offered for digestion in the tavernas these days.

Sfakian cheese pie!
Sfakian cheese pie!
Experience the Sfakian hospitality, not to mention the delicious food and wine, swim at isolated beaches, stroll in narrow village roads and admire the Sfakian architecture, wake up by the rooster crowning in the morning and enjoy hiking in nature. Sfakia awaits to be discovered!

Monachus Monachus Apartments: traditional hand stone grain grinder
Traditional hand stone grain grinder

For more information please ask at the reception.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

May at Monachus Monachus Apartments

Our preparation period, at least for the last six years, is usually in May. This is when we do all the pruning in the garden, we clean the pool and in general we run all day long to make it happen. So we thought it will be nice to share some of our most interesting moments. Enjoy!!!

Finished cleaning the pool and the deck around it. What a happy day as it means we can now start to fill it with water...

Monachus Monachus Apartments: Pool-Coffee Area

A couple of days later, admiring the weather early in the morning and thinking hmm...cloudy...

Monachus Monachus Apartments: road view

And then, while the pool was finally full, Sahara dust paid us a visit. Though, it did not rain for too long, you can see in the photo below how it is when the atmosphere is dust-laden, now imagine the aftermath in the tiles!

Monachus Monachus Apartments: Sahara dust rain

Next it was time for garden pruning. Well, sometimes that can be rewarding, yeah right, especially when you come upon a beautiful small nest hanging, literally, from an oleander's branches. 

Monachus Monachus Apartments: bird nest in oleander

It is hard to tell at that young age the type of the bird but I am guessing it is blackbird (Turdus Merula) due to the size and the position of the nest.

Monachus Monachus Apartments: baby birds in nest

Unfortunately, the rain and the strong wind that followed these days did not help them survive. 

Thus, time passed and we reached our opening day, 1st of June. We prepared some chocolate treats for our first customers, yogurt-based to keep it on the healthy side!

Monachus Monachus Apartments: chocolate treats

And Greek yogurt with homemade apple marmalade, as breakfast supplement, some sugar there though!

Monachus Monachus Apartments: Greek yogurt and apple marmalade

Talk to you later...