RentaVilla.com
FEATURED PROPERTY
Dionysis, Crete

Dionysus is an oasis of beauty

Crete Estate - Dionysus

Crete, Greece

This Luxury villa to rent in Crete has 2 bedrooms, sleeps 4 guests (145 sq m), and is one of nine villas on a Crete Estate. Called Dionysus, this villa like the eight others are all named after Greek Gods. The setup of the villas make them ideal for large groups traveling together, extended families, or celebrations, yet also function individually for the personal travelers.

poolside

Exquisite poolside views.

The villas are a place of inspiration, a 'home away from home', combining elegance, individuality, pleasure and comfort with a direct connection to a vast and beautiful Cretan palette. A team of professionals personally deals with the needs and requests of all the guests, ensuring that they enjoy everything about their stay, not just the fascinating landscape and intricate architecture. Each villa has a marbled-walled bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub, private patio and swimming pool (only villa Demeter & Dionysus have heated pools and an outdoor Jacuzzi) with a stunning overview of the Gulf of Mirabello, direct Internet access, A/C (living room-bedrooms), safe box, daily change of linen and towels, personal entrance remote control, private parking, free delivery of groceries, reception (English-French-German speaking), and a Welcome package.

The villas are located on the Island of Crete in a small fishing town known as Elounda, about 2 km from Aghios Nikolaos and 67 km from Heraklion Airport. Elounda is the most famous cosmopolitan location not only in the island of Crete but also in the entire Aegean Sea, much acclaimed for its outstanding establishments in a magnificent natural environment. The lagoon of Elounda is shaped between the coast and a small peninsula of 7-8 km length that serves as a breakwater. Today, the peninsula is separated from the mainland by a channel that was dug by the French at the end of the 19th century. A narrow bridge joins the peninsula with the mainland. The ancient city of Olous was situated in the area of Elounda. Some ruins of the city are preserved at the edge of the peninsula, but most of them are below sea level. Attractions in Crete include archeological sites at Knossos, Phaistos, Gortys and many other places. Crete was the center of the Minoan civilization (ca. 2600–1400 BCE), the oldest civilization in Europe. Elounda is also the closest major town to the last active former leper colony of Spinalonga.

living room

The gracious living room.

This 2-bedroom villa is 145 sq m, on two levels. Outdoors is a heated pool with Jacuzzi and a good sized terrace with sun chairs, tables for dining, and an unbelievable overview of the Gulf of Mirabello. On the main floor is the living room that has a working fireplace, sofa, side chairs, music surround system, 28" T.V. with individual satellite receiver, DVD player, CD player, and opens onto the terrace. The pass through dining room is off of the living room and has a table that seats 4 guests. From the dining area you enter the fully equipped kitchen with refrigerator, stove, oven, dishwasher, and microwave. Just off the kitchen is the first bedroom with a King-size bed, flat screen T.V., and en suite bathroom with 2 person whirlpool bathtub. Then off of the dining area are the stairs to the other level and a W/C for guests. The second level is where you find the second bedroom that has 2 twin beds, a flat screen T.V., and also an en suite bathroom with a whirlpool bathtub. A washer, iron, ironing board, hairdryer, and first aid kit are also in the villa for your use. Linens and towels are changed daily. A B&B meal service with a standard weekly menu is available. The rates are per person per day and are listed in the "charges" section (no additional cost for the chef), children's reduction on the weekly menu rates is 45%.

 

KATHY'S TRAVEL TIPS

Wedding

Wedding at Villa Patrizia

Why Not Plan a Group Trip?

Now that we've just been with family and friends over the holidays, we wonder why we don't get together more often! Parents get older, children grow up, and one thing's for certain - things don't stay the same. Carpe diem; seize the day! When will you see these loved ones again? A year ago my husband and I and a couple of dear friends decided we wanted to see each other more often, so we set up a date night every other Friday night. It's amazing, a year later, to realize that nearly all those Friday nights we did indeed make it happen! And we all agree that our lives are richer for it.

We're seeing a very exciting and growing trend of clients putting together group vacations. Sometimes these are family or school reunions, wedding parties, clubs and organizations whose members have a common interest such as painting, cooking, or golfing, or even special birthday parties and wedding anniversaries. But any excuse will do, and you won't likely regret it! It really helps our scattered and over-busy friends and families reconnect. These relationships are enhanced by making more joyful memories together!

The planning of such an adventure may seem a daunting task to take on, but in light of the many rewards let me encourage you by giving you a few ideas. Let's say Mom and Dad are coming up on their 50th wedding anniversary and you want to do something very special for them. You know the best gift you can give them is time with the family. And let's say Dad's always talked about coming to America from Italy. Wouldn't it be wonderful to take them back to their Italian roots, to stay in a nice big villa in the countryside surrounded by the ones they love the most in the world?

The first thing to do is ask someone to be the group coordinator. Try to choose a person who is really excited about the idea, is a good communicator, has some time during the day, and is a decisive person (maybe you!). Canvass the group by sending out a letter, e-mail or make a phone call to everyone to let them know what you're thinking about. If the initial reaction is favorable, get a ballpark head count and give us a call for ideas. Our staff has personally visited the areas we represent and can help you put together the perfect rental. A lot of times the number of people going depends on the time of year and how much it will cost per person. We can help!

We have some lovely large villas that accommodate from 10 to 35. During the day we make it a point to answer the phones personally (no answering machine) so that your questions and/or concerns get an answer right away. After we talk to you about your guidelines, we'll look at what we have and send you an e-mail with several choices. Or if you prefer, you can scan our properties and inquire about specific availability and we'll let you know. Then you can forward these on to the rest of the group for their feedback, and it takes off from there. Remember that we're happy to help arrange extra services such as cooking classes, tours, wine tasting parties, sea excursions, catered celebrations, and much, much more. This just may be the best thing you'll do for yourself and your family in this decade!

 

FROM THE PRESIDENT

Emmanuel de Ricard

Emmanuel

Dear Travelers and Friends,

On behalf of the Rentavilla.com staff I would like to wish you a fabulous and healthy New Year filled with new traveling adventures!

2006 was a wonderful year for us. Several trips to Europe and Mexico helped us add over 250 new properties to our site, giving you more choices than ever. Our latest addition is Crete. So, check our site: rentavilla.com to view the wonderful properties we carry on this beautiful Greek island.

Also, gift certificates are now available.  Through RentaVilla.com you can give the gift of travel to those travel bugs in your life. Does that someone special have an upcoming birthday? How about $100 towards a villa vacation in Tuscany, or a city apartment rental in Paris? How about Valentine's Day in Venice near St. Mark's Square or the Grand Canal? We're sure that you can find many reasons and many regions for giving. Just give us a call or drop us an email and we'll arrange any amount for your very special gift. Voila! Easy, unique and redeemable whenever and wherever the recipient wants to travel. Your gift will truly be remembered and appreciated.

Thanks for your continuing support and Happy Travels!

Happy New Year and we will talk soon.

Emmanuel de Ricard, President

TRAVELOGUE
Crete

The beauty of Crete is unforgettable!

Crete, Greece

With RentaVilla.com's recent expansion to the island of Crete, we thought it only fitting to introduce you to this wonderful part of the world. Many of you have traveled with us to Italy, France, Portugal and beyond. Why not try Greece?

map of Greece and Crete

The island of Crete (spelled Krite on most European maps) is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and the largest in Greece. It has an elongated shape with a variety of terrain. Three different mountain ranges cross from West to East, with the highest peak an amazing 2,456 meters! These mountains are what have given Crete its beautiful fertile plateaus and awesome gorges. The entire island is 260 kms long and 60 kms at it's widest point.

With its temperate climate, Cretians enjoy mild temperatures with some humidity close to the sea. Even in the winter it's unusual to get snow except high in the mountains, and summer temperatures are in the high 70's to mid 80's (Fahrenheit), except on the south coast where there are significantly more sunny days and higher temperatures. Date palms grow there, and swallows don't migrate south but stay all year long!

The economy of Crete has long been based on farming. However, since the 1970's, tourism is becoming a larger portion of the economy. Being one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece, more than two million tourists visited Crete last year. The island offers two international airports, one at Heraklion and the other at Chania. These are both good-sized cities, with 138,000 and 55,000 residents, respectively. You can also reach the island by sea at either of these modern ports as well as Rethimno and Agios Nikolaos.

Crete is certainly a destination that offers something for everyone. It's a rare mix of natural splendor, wealth of myth, legends and history, and the sophistication of the 21st century. The Greeks are proud of their island history and way of life and so have strived to maintain a delicate balance between the old world charm and modern conveniences. You must stay long enough to experience some of the stunning mountain villages, rocky bays, long sandy beaches, cruises to nearby islands, tours to archeological sites, and even the lively nightlife. For those who enjoy adventure there's outstanding fishing, snorkeling, water sports, trekking through the mountains, and bicycling in the charming countryside.

As you see, RentaVilla.com is very excited to introduce you to this corner of the world. We offer you a variety of accommodations that we're certain you will be delighted with!

CLIENT TESTIMONIAL

Villa David

The lovely Villa David

Villa David

Lake Como, Italy

Villa David is a lakefront property located 10 kilometers north of Menaggio, on the northwest shore of Lake Como. The villa is located in a unique setting and provides access to the beach. The property includes private parking for 6 cars behind the house, an above ground pool, a large panoramic terrace that offers breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.The house can accommodate 12 people in 5 double bedrooms and 2 single bedrooms. Villa David with its spacious and brightly decorated interior is the ideal holiday home for large parties. It consists of two floors (each 300 sq. m.). Outside the property (2500 sq. m.) is directly on the shore of the lake, just a few meters from the public beach. On the large terrace (45m x 8m) is the above ground pool (5m x 3m).

Visit the Museum of "La Raccolta della Barca Lariana" just 50m behind the villa. The museum features over 600 boats that played an important part in the nautical history of the lake from the 19th century to today. Among them, there is a Venetian gondola from the last century which was built on Lake Como, and a Cisco, which is a typical English sailing boat also from the last century. The village and its shops are about 600m from the property. The nearest golf course, tennis court, and equestrian club are 10 km away in Menaggio.

The Lake of Como and in particular the northern zone of the lake is renowned in all of Europe as an excellent sailing area. This is the most windy area of the lake and the most unspoiled. The Breva, a temperate breeze of the Lake of Como, blows during the afternoons. This breeze guarantees enjoyment for sailing, windsurfing or kite-surfing. The area offers numerous alpine destinations and several trekking and mountain bike trails.

The main factory outlet shops (Armani, Fox town, Ferragamo, Versace, Etro, Gucci, Mantero, Lario) are all within 10 to 30 minutes from Como. Malpensa/Linate airports are 1.5 hrs, Bergamo Orio al Serio airport 2 hrs, Saint Moritz 2 hrs, Venice 3.5 hrs, and Florence is 4 hrs. Bellagio is known as the 'pearl of the lake', thanks to its position between the two arms of the lake and the mediaeval village of Varenna, Tremezzo with the neo-classical Villa Carlotta (one of the most beautiful villas of the lake with its botanic garden and artistic masterpieces), the 16th century Villa Balbianello in Nesso, Menaggio, Varenna (Villa Monastero) and Como with its important historical buildings. Other activities include swimming, boating, sailing, windsurfing, hiking, golfing (Golf club Menaggio), flying, and horseback riding.

"Villa David was the highlight of our 6 weeks in Italy. We really felt comfortable in this house and loved the access to the lake. We highly recommend it. The staff was efficient and very responsive to our needs."

- MG, Wayland, MA.

 

REGIONAL RECIPE

Lamb soup

Lamb soup.

Zuppa D'Agnello (Lamb Soup)

Great flocks of sheep are raised in the Italian countryside of Grosseto, where the shepherds are famous for the excellent pecorino, sheep's milk cheese. Young lamb is a delicately flavored meat, and makes this soup exquisite.

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, trimmed and chopped
1 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
10 oz ground lamb
10 oz plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
6 cups light meat stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 slices coarse country bread

In a deep saucepan over moderate heat, warm the olive oil. Add onion, carrot, celery, parsley and garlic and fry gently, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the ground lamb, mix in well and cook, stirring occasionally to blend the flavors, for another 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir well. Pour in the stock, season, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour.

A few minutes before serving, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast the bread in the oven until golden. Place in the bottom of a soup tureen or place individual slices in pre-heated serving bowls.. Ladle the hot soup into the tureen or bowls and serve immediately.

Serves 6
 

For a little laugh

A little laugh

 

I'm not keen on taking pills, so when my doctor gave me a prescription to lower my blood pressure, I asked him If there were any side effects.

"Yes," he said.
"Longevity."

Bella Kelly

Newsletter Editor: Kathy Hayes

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