ABOUT OUR VILLA
Our house is located in the small traditional village of Mariou (South Crete). Mariou lies with whitewashed houses and streets like mazes on the mountainside overlooking the bays of Plakias and Damnoni. Mariou is located in the department of Rethymnon and has the charm you expect from rural Crete. The village is only a few kilometers away from Plakias. The city of Rethymnon is located 27 kilometers north of Mariou.
Our villa is located just outside Mariou with a beautiful view over the bays of Plakias and Damnoni. The trip to our villa is spectacular in itself. From the airport of Chania or Heraklion you first go towards Rethymnon on the "new road".
From Rethymnon the road leads to the south (Spili) via the Kourtaliótiko gorge. The rocks hang far over the road and the abyss on the other side is deep. This gorge has a unique vegetation and in the depth the river Kourtaliótis flows. The gorge starts at the village of Koxaré and at the end it crosses into Prèveli's gorge. It is located between the mountain ranges of Kouróupa (984m) and Xirón (904m).
The gorge itself is about 3 kilometers long and the walls reach a height of 600 meters
in some places. The road to our house runs through this gap and halfway there is a platform made from where you have a magnificent view of the gorge. Here is the possibility to approach the depth via carved steps. On the other side is here, to be reached along a staircase, a chapel in the rocks, dedicated to Agios Nikòlaos.
The name "Kourtaliotiko" owes the gap to the sound that is observed when a strong
wind blows. The sound of hitting the wind against the rocks is similar to the sound of kourtalis (castanets)