Crete is Greece’s largest island. In 2009, while looking on the internet, I found a villa on a working farm. There were actually two guest villas available to rent. The owners drove us around in a choo-choo train and they made us a meal delivered to our villa. Wild boar, squash courguettes and homemade ice cream made from their goats’ milk. Fresh eggs and goat milk for our morning cereal were also delivered to our refrigerator in the mornings. The highlights of this villa stay were milking the goats, collecting eggs from the hens and discovering wild sage on our evening hikes.
Suggested reading: North of Ithaka by Eleni N. Gage
click here for villa and their stunning photo gallery
The pastoral view from the mountaintop villa took my breath away each and every morning that I’d throw open the
balcony doors to take my coffee and toast outside to breathe in the mountain air (and gasp!) Herds of sheep moving through perfectly geometrically landscapes roads awakens your soul in such a different way than a beach lapping up the surf and waves. The best part was knowing that in just a few hours, we would be at the beach, too! A perfect combination!
Villa Creta gave us a parting gift which was a CD of Greek music with a picture of the villa pool on it and a bottle of Villa Creta wine. Such panache! I told the owner that I’d play the music while sipping Villa Creta wine when I was back home, remembering Crete. Our youngest son was wistful as he waved goodbye, with a sad grin on his face, to the owner who dropped us off at the port. The owner looked nostalgic, too. It was apparent these two bonded over the magical goat milking lesson. Our boys are forever changed by this stay. Luxury + simplicity.
-from A Magic Carpet Ride by Gina Michalopulos Kingsley
Follow this lesson plan to build trip itineraries with your family: