Thanks to our friends Sharon and Don, we were introduced to what they affectionately describe as “a beautiful haven in the mountains run by the sweetest man on the island – Babis”. Babis lovingly restored this old villa dated 1883 from a state of crumbling walls and caved in roofs to a gloriously chic and comfortable bed and breakfast.
Villa Kerasia draws you in the minute you step over its threshold. Actually, you can begin to feel yourself relax after just walking up the stone steps into the front yard where there are open views of the valley, an inviting long terrace table under grape-laden vines and a single pomegranate tree shading the pool area.
It didn’t take us long to settle in and cool off over a good glass of chilled house wine – Kerasia rose` with a hint of cherries (kerasia means cherries). Every nook and cranny of the villa has some special cultural or artistic display and there are sweet surprises everywhere. Everyone finds a place to relax.
Our days were spent “chillaxin'” between poolside reading, engaging in some great conversations with other guests or being shown up by Mike, a 70+ year old doing yoga moves that we couldn’t even think about attempting. At night, we were treated to a superb meal in the dining room and enjoyed a night of impromptu entertainment provided by Melanie and Mike on their guitars who required everyone to sing-along!
During the day we took off on our bikes to explore the hills above the villa and ended up in the small quaint village of Ano Asites.
Nearby, we discovered a beautiful little church, Agios Antonios at the top of a deep gorge, and a little further up, the monastery of Gorgolaini.
Other side trips in the area included a walk to a local chapel that housed some beautiful frescoes walls and icons of Greek Orthodoxy….
…as well as an excursion to the small organic winery of the Stinianou family…
…and to Thrapsano where we scored on some handmade pots that we loaded into our friend’s VW (the “Groovan”).
We loved our visit to Villa Kerasia so much that we’ve been back a few more times and vow to return again before we leave the island.
You can check it out at: http://www.villa-kerasia.gr/