Milia Mountain Retreat, Vlatos, Vathi 730 12, Greece - ☏ +30 694 575 3743 - www.milia.gr
The dusty, unpaved road becomes steeper and narrower the farther it snakes through the valley. In the detailed email we received after booking, it was recommended we arrive before dusk. Success! Having reached the parking lot, we take up our suitcases and walk the last hundred meters to the reception (there are no cars allowed in Milia, unless they’re needed for construction). The reception doubles as a tavern and is also the only place with electricity to charge a cell phone. This place was essentially made for Instagram.
"The remote Milia, just over an hour’s drive from Chania, was founded in the 17th century and abandoned after World War II. Its decay over the following decades was halted in the 1980s by two young men whose forefathers had lived among the less than sixty residents of the mountain settlement."
“There weren’t any architects. We knew what the buildings should look like. We have it in our blood. I believe one important part of the atmosphere belongs to the history of the place and the added memories, feelings and experiences from people who had passed through or been living here over the centuries.” So answered Tassos Gourgouras confidently when asked about the atmosphere of the small, sparse and yet luxurious stone cottage–a bedroom and a bath. “But we were aware of how much work our decision to rebuild Milia with an eye to ecological agrotourism would mean.” The remote Milia, just over an hour’s drive from Chania, was founded in the 17th century and abandoned after World War II. Its decay over the following decades was halted in the 1980s by two young men whose forefathers had lived among the less than sixty residents of the mountain settlement. Fifteen of the ruins were rebuilt with great effort, using only stones available in the valley. The only new building is the tavern, where one can enjoy the view of the valley during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The days here are quiet, filled with reading (our terrace is the cottage’s roof), eating (excellent, organic, and local), and the sound of falling chestnuts. During dinner on our last evening, we observed a hiker, slouched at his table, illuminated by the light of the candle. He noticed our curious gaze and came over to join us. “I am writing a hiking guide. I have travelled all across Crete, but throughout my entire journey, I haven’t seen anywhere like Milia.” MH