In this section...
- Unique Partner Hotel
- Spectacular mountain village location
- Mesmerising sea views
- Excellent restaurant
- Local activities and experiences included
In the Asterousia Mountains, amidst the remote and rugged landscape of southern Crete, lies Thalori, a place of such magnetic beauty and simple elegance that it cannot fail to capture your heart and hold you spellbound from the moment you arrive. The clue’s in the name; a marriage of the Greek words Thalassa, meaning sea, and Ori, meaning mountain. Suspended high above the cobalt waters of the Libyan Sea, yet still some way beneath the sacred peak of Mount Kofinas, Thalori’s extraordinary position has a powerful and seductive effect that’s utterly unique.
The accommodation consists of a series of sympathetically restored buildings woven into the fabric of Kapetaniana, a working hamlet in an area with farming roots dating back to the Minoan period and beyond. Once an important spiritual enclave, the village has been forced to reinvent itself several times over the centuries in the wake of both plague and war – hard to believe now when confronted with a place so entirely at one with itself and its peaceful surroundings.
In this arresting spot, Thalori’s owners have created something truly remarkable. Tired of the trappings of city life in Heraklion, Markos and his wife Calliope came to Kapetaniana to combine living and working, with the freedom to roam this entirely unspoilt part of the island. Wild, raw and unapologetically authentic, this frontier between civilisation and wilderness may be an unusual choice for a distinctly classy guesthouse, but it’s certainly an inspired one; Thalori salutes the spirit of its past and adds purpose to its future.
The suites and houses are all individually styled and attractively furnished, making use of local natural materials; some traditional and cosy, others more contemporary and luxurious. The highly acclaimed restaurant occupies the site of the old monastery, surrounded by an alfresco dining terrace with such soul-stirring views that mealtimes could easily merge one to another without much desire to move. Fresh produce from Thalori’s own farm is the staple of the menu here, lovingly prepared using age-old methods – though there’s nothing homespun about the kitchen, which is immaculate, high-spec and always open to view.
All residents enjoy daily breakfast and a choice of lunch or dinner, with a number of local experiences and activities included during the week, expertly overseen by Markos and his friend Manolis, who followed him from the city for a life less ordinary. The two of them belong to the mountains they inhabit, whether on foot, on horseback, or driving the trusty four-wheel drive that navigates the rough terrain, and you’ll be in safe hands as you join them to follow the ancient tracks and timeworn pathways trodden by the Minoans some 5000 years before. Explore hidden monasteries, deserted beaches, secret canyons and lofty summits, or plump for simpler pleasures and relax with a book by the dazzling pool, enjoy a cookery class and share an excellent bottle of wine over dinner.
Kapetaniana is a real place, Cretan to its heart and fiercely proud of its heritage. Thalori has its own working farm and stables and celebrates everything that’s best about this rare and beautiful spot where ancient history and mythology meet, producing an otherworldly sense that you are staying somewhere between the divine and the material.
Just an hour and a quarter’s drive from Heraklion and yet as far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life as you could ever wish to be, it has an ethereal, poetic quality that stays with you long after you’ve said your sad goodbyes.
Looking for 10 nights..? Why not add a 3-night stay at a hotel in another part of the island to your holiday. To find out more, view our 10-night holidays in Greece.
Explore our pre-bookable experiences in Crete
- 20 traditional cottages with communal gardens (sleep 2-5)
General accommodation details
- Reception open 7 days a week for advice on local walks, driving routes and cultural activities
- Breakfast and either lunch or dinner included and served daily
- Thalori restaurant open 7 days a week
- Complimentary WiFi
- All cottages include a fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, iron, ironing board, hairdryer
- All cottages include a TV and DVD player
- Simpson Travel pool towels
- Swimming pool 6m x 10m
- Laundry service available (payable locally)
- In Greece, a nominal visitor tax applies, known as the Overnight Stay Tax, which varies depending on the accommodation. During your stay at the Thalori Hotel, €0.50 per night per cottage must be paid locally in cash and will be collected either by the property owner or our local representative on their behalf.
- Our Covid-19 pledge means your holiday is fully protected. However, there may be special conditions surrounding flexible booking at this property. For further details, please visit: /covid-pledge-flexible-booking.
- All properties with WiFi are able to support basic functionality such as web browsing and checking emails. We aim to offer an uninterrupted service but sometimes, due to factors beyond our control, reliability can be affected.
Activities and experiences included in 7-night stays at Thalori
Watch the sunrise from Mount Kofinas, explore ancient pathways dating back to Minoan times, discover the wild beauty of Crete's southern shores and enjoy the art of Cretan cooking.
- Agios Ioannis (shop/taverna) 30min drive
- Elygia beach 30min drive
- Heraklion airport 1h 15min drive
Our choice of Greek properties is as diverse as the islands themselves, ranging from simple seaside charm to genuine luxury and style. Much of our portfolio is privately owned, and price alone is therefore not a universal guide. We contract all our accommodation in person, and each property has its individual appeal. To help you make the right choice based on your own priorities, we have devised a simple grading guide to be considered in conjunction with each individual property description, awarding up to a maximum of five stars for the below categories.
* For further clarification on Facilities and Amenities, please view the 'Details' tab for each property or speak to one of our experienced sales consultants.
As the birthplace of Zeus, Central Crete carries a certain historic and spiritual gravitas. Knossos, the Minoan Bronze Age palace, steals the show, but there are many other smaller archaeological sites, churches and towns to cast you back in time. However, with harbourside dining, beautiful beaches, mountain villages and vibrant summer festivals, the here and now also has a lot to offer. And Rethymno, which has clung on to much of its authentic beauty and charm, is a welcome addition to your island experience.
View holiday Booking Conditions