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Opener Potamos

Experience the originality of Crete in the Potamos

There are still a good two hours by car ahead of us before we should reach our destination for the next few days: Aspros Potamoswhich is located in the southeast of Crete. After just a few minutes on the highway, I notice how my friend adapts to the local Cretan driving style. Instead of staying on the lane, we keep driving to the right and our car is already halfway in the hard shoulder. One or two lanes quickly become two or three lanes and other cars can overtake without any problems. If that's what you want. But most of them don't want to, but line up behind us in the newly created lane and drive at a relaxed speed of an average of 80 kilometers per hour. “Driving can be so relaxed,” exclaims my friend enthusiastically and I, too, who don't like driving a car, notice that I actually really like this way of driving.

Past original villages and through the mountains of Crete

Over the next two hours, our journey takes us through the breathtaking mountains of Crete, past original villages, but also past vacant buildings that were probably hit by the economic crisis, as well as places where package tourism, including its castles, has found its way. The closer we get to our goal, however, the more original it becomes again. Highway roads follow country roads and finally we are on a narrow gravel road that, according to the navigation system, should lead us to our destination. There is nothing to be seen of signs far and wide and at the latest when our little car is supposed to take the steep and slippery-looking junction, we notice that we have probably lost our way.

We decide to park the car in a recess and continue on foot. Fortunately, we then discover two hikers who we ask for directions without further ado. And a few moments later we actually find a footpath that leads up to the Potamos. And at the top, at the reception, there is another street that leads to the parking lot of the facility. Relieved, we turn around and drive to the street in question, which is then signposted again. The road is a bit reminiscent of a gravel road, but is nowhere near as adventurous as the first. So around 17 p.m. we will reach our home for the next few days Potamos: a true natural paradise in the middle of the mountains of Crete at 1.000 meters above sea level.

The reception of the Potamos
The rooms were built into the surrounding mountain landscape
Cretan originality can be experienced in the Potamos

A couple of hippies helped renovate the 300-year-old houses

Here are the more than 300 year old houses, which fit perfectly into the mountainous surroundings. In the past, farmers in particular lived a very simple life here with their goats, sheep and donkeys. In the 80s, the mother of the current owner discovered this system and learned to love it. Without further ado, she invited a couple of hippies to help renovate the facility for room and board. “We didn't work more than four hours a day”, Myrto, the current owner, tells us and so the renovation took a little longer. The rest of the time was spent relaxing on the beaches of the coastal town of Makrygialos or in one of the surrounding mountain villages.

Myrto (second from right) with her three employees
The bedroom in one of the Potamos' rooms
View from one of the rooms

During the renovation, care was taken not to destroy the surroundings and so many houses fit directly and naturally into the mountain. Traditional roofs cover the houses. In addition, an award-winning photovoltaic system with its batteries now ensures that the Potamos can completely supply itself with electricity.

We relax in the hammock on the beach

We are now drawn to one of the numerous beaches in the area. As a guest you are spoiled for choice between a lonely and “social” beach, between pebbles and sand between your toes. There is something for every taste and Myrto is happy to give her guests the right tip.

We opt for the "Diaskari Beach" with small pebbles, gentle waves, crystal clear water and a handful of sun loungers and small huts with hammocks to borrow. There is also a tavern here, which serves fresh fish and grilled vegetables, among other things. There is also a delicious sauce, the recipe of which even long-time employees do not know to this day. A real secret recipe.

Watch the sun disappear behind the mountains

We end the evening relaxed with a glass of wine on our own terrace and watch the sun disappear behind the mountains. Every now and then a cat strays past us and asks for a few pats, which we are happy to give it. After that there is nothing more for us to do than fall into the cozy and soft bed.

Well rested, we start the next day with a view of the mountains, which are now illuminated by the sun. Numerous hiking trails start on the doorstep, leading into the beautiful mountains and the surrounding villages. You should definitely not miss out on visiting at least one of the numerous mountain villages, which also have a very special atmosphere and whose taverns invite you to stop off.

We are in love with the laid-back southeast of Crete

If you want to spend your vacation days relaxed, the Potamos is the place for you. Since the area invites you to explore all sorts of things, it is an advantage if you arrive with your own rental car. But it is definitely worth it, because here is a beautiful spot of Crete far away from the tourist crowds that you can only fall in love with.

You can find more information here

Cottage from 40 euros per night. Breakfast can be booked for 7 euros per person.

The Potamos won an award for its environmentally friendly use of energy
For those looking for relaxation, a stay in the Potamos is worthwhile

Lisa helped set up the Good Travel Blog and will write for us as a freelance author in the future. She is passionate about traveling and dancing around the world with a small ecological footprint.


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