We have just spent an amazing 2 weeks at the Thavma Apartment in Maroulas. The apartment is located in the mountains, on the edge of a gorge. The road up to it is steep and narrow in places, but extremely well signposted from Rethynmon. Our Citroen C1 hire car coped admirably with the unmetalled last bit of road.
The apartment is very cosy. It has a large, air conditioned, double bedroom with ensuite shower room - it was larger than we anticipated. The lounge room doubles as a twin bedroom for a family. There is a small kitchen area in this room which has two rings (no oven) and a large fridge freezer. There are enough utensils to cook and basic meals, however this may not be necessary due to being attached to the Taverna. The food here comes highly recommended (and not just by us - even a Cretan tour guide in Rethymnon said it's her favourite place to eat!!). Whilst we were staying there it was noticeable how many different nationalities visited and returned for a second visit! Breakfasts are INCLUDED in the price of the apartment (not mentioned in the details) - the breakfasts are huge and Maria encourages you to take what you can't eat to use for lunch (and sometimes dinner too!!). Maria and her co worker (also Maria!) are really friendly and delightful hosts, who can't do enough for you. They encourage you to treat the Taverna like a home, not not just when you're having meals/drinks there. The apartment, whilst being attached to the Taverna, has its own private garden area including a plunge pool, which was a life saver in the heat and a good size for a small family to enjoy. Most evenings we sat out there after dark and didn't get bitten by mosquitoes once! The apartment was regularly cleaned and linen and towels changed.
The location was good for visiting both Chania, Heraklion and Rethynmon. We also visited Knossos, Phaestos, Imbros Gorge and the Armari Valley (amongst other things). We used a tour company to visit the Samaria Gorge as there are no roads to get you home once you've walked the 17km!!
We would thoroughly recommend Thavma Apartments as a wonderful, peaceful place to relax and unwind, but also as an excellent base to explore the beautiful Island of Crete.
First thing that impressed us was the welcome from Maria and her family. The apartment was a good size for the three of us . The first night we ate at their restaurant and Maria told us that we should treat the place as our own. The breakfast which was included in the the price of the apartment was huge and to be honest I felt a little bit ashamed because the price of the apartment was not not very expensive , it also included air conditioning , a pool in a small private garden , a small kitchen ( which we didn't use as we ate in their restaurant most nights) and a stunning veiw of Rethymon on one side and of the mountains on the other side. Thankyou so much Maria and family you made a great holiday truly fantastic. See you again one day .
Trip advisor reviews can be misleading but in this case ithey proved to be accurate and more. The roads out of Rethymno can be confusing with the motorway and old road running parallel with Thavma well signed off the old road. If travelling on old road you exit at Rathmyno/Amari and go under the motorway and follow sign for monastery passing Lidl which we used for stay. Stay includes breakfast and appartment has limited cooking facilities but the convenience, quality and price of Taverna means we ate there every evening. Taverna is a family affair run by young Maria and others and we were adopted into Maria's family for a week enjoying Cretan specialities and also banter. The appartment is compact but well finished with a main double bedroom and showeroom leading off the kitchen/sofa bed (2) area which leads out to a private area with cold tub/pool overlooking the gorge. Nothing can prepare you for the final directional sign of "up the hill" which is 1st gear followed by topping out at the edge of the gorge. Whilst 4th to 11th weather was still in low 20's with some wind funnelling down gorge. Distances in Crete are longer than you expect due to twist mountainous roads when going N to S. Recommend Amari Valley, Chania, Axos but be aware museums and sites typically shut at 3pm. Sunsets, starry nights are spectacular views are guaranteed.
We found this secret retreat last year whilst enjoying the perfect sundowner at the Thavma taverna.
Tucked to the rear of the taverna but with panoramic views of the snow capped mountains the facility's are modern, very clean and well equipped.
The mini kitchen we did not use as the taverna produces some of the best traditional food in the area.
Also breakfast can be served outside your room which is a non stop supply of fresh fruit, eggs, meats and breads topped off with local honey on toast.
This family really care about your needs and cannot do enough for you !
The only negative was the journey to the beach to cool down in the sea but I believe this problem is now sorted with a 16m2 pool which has just been installed.
Looking forward to returning this season and enjoying a night cap in the pool whilst stargazing the shooting stars in this light pollution free hillside.
Perfect place for couple/family getaway. If you like noise, dirty swimming pools and hostile service...well its not place for you. But if you like peace and silence, you enjoy great views REAL Crete food, you want to feel like a part of the family where every day Maria or her Mom welcomes you with smile and you feel like at home...well you have to stay there
We stayed 10 days, had rental car so all good stuff located in Chania or Heraklion are only like 1-1,5h away so not bad....we will be back...We miss you
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