CRETE: A CLASSIC BEAUTY; Inland Crete, with White Mountains Views, True Local Culture and Low Prices, Is the Place for UK Homebuyers, Says Cathy Hawker

The Evening Standard (London, England), July 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

CRETE: A CLASSIC BEAUTY; Inland Crete, with White Mountains Views, True Local Culture and Low Prices, Is the Place for UK Homebuyers, Says Cathy Hawker


Byline: Cathy Hawker

WEST BROMPTON

UP IN the hills of Crete, away from the beaches and relentless waves of sunburnt holidaymakers, modern tourism has little effect on village life. Take Vamos on the Apokonoras Peninsula in western Crete.

The sandy beaches of Almyrida and Kalyvas are within 15 minutes and the splendid harbour town of Chania and its international airport are 40 minutes away but few tourists head here.

The Mayor of Vamos estimates that 200 British property owners live in the surrounding area and over a midmorning coffee in the local taverna you'll certainly hear English voices. Yet this remains a working village where children go to school, tractors and donkeys vie with cars on the main street and elderly residents tend their olive trees with pride.

Property prices fall inland and on this long, thin island you are never too far from the water. Sea views appear unexpectedly as you manoeuvre the hairpin bends on many inland mountain roads. One mile from Vamos in Litsarda. On a tranquil four-acre site, English developers Caversham-Barnes has built nine handsome two- and three-bedroom villas. Litsarda Villas are built in pairs, each with their own entry gate, with views south to Crete's towering White Mountains and north to the sea.

The villas have large stone terraces, heated pools, garages and half-acre well-irrigated gardens filled with lemon, orange and olive trees. The whole site has attractive low stone walls while the only communal area is a new tennis court.

The villas are built and utilities connected but internal finishings -- marble tiles and kitchens -- are left for owners to choose. …

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