A Perfect Seaside Location
A legendary year-round four-bedroom island house in the middle of a 43,000 sq.ft (4,000 sq.m) terraced and walled garden of Kean boulders, native flowers, and olive, fig, lemon, pomegranate, eucalyptus, and dwarf-oak trees. A beautiful view overlooking the sailboats, motor yachts, lighthouse, and breathtaking sunsets over the Bay of Saint Nicholas. The best location on the island inside the archaeological zone of Ayia Irini with access by foot to several beaches, open-air seafood tavernas and the small shops and wine bars of the fishing village of Vourkari, well known to sailors around the Mediterranean.
Private parking and easy access by bus or car to the big beach of Otzias and the main port of Korissia.
Kea is within easy reach of Athens international airport. 25 minutes by car or taxi to the port of Lavrion, then 50 minutes by ferry to the island. You will be living in the fresh air and natural beauty of a good-sized Cycladic island which has succeeded in attracting sailors and important Athenian families for a long time while avoiding large crowds and the mass tourist market scene. The access to the mainland is so easy that you may decide to go during your stay for a one or two day cultural, gastronomic, or shopping expedition in Athens and then return to the calm and beauty of the island.
HOUSE AND GARDEN
When we designed the garden and built the house for our family, we were looking for much more than an expensive hot August week flat on our backs around a swimming pool miles away from beaches, music, restaurants, or grocery stores. Our house is furnished and equipped for year-round living with air-conditioning, easy access to good swimming, and an outdoor shower under an olive tree for the summer months. Central heating, warm bathrooms, and a large fireplace are for the cooler months, even if you will discover rapidly that you spend most of your time outside on the terraces, in the garden, or roaming around a very interesting island.
All bedrooms and public spaces are equipped with wireless internet.
The heart of the villa where everybody gathers is made up of the two central pergola terraces and a spacious country kitchen / living room with sliding glass doors opening on the terraces and the view of the bay. The kitchen area has modern equipment, Miele appliances, a magnificent Ilve gas stove, dishwasher, microwave oven, custom-made kitchen cabinets and a large wooden table (sits 10 people). The living-room area has comfortable sofas and armchairs, antique furniture, a stereo HI-FI player, and a massive dry-stone fireplace.
The front veranda has two large dining tables (up to 16 people) and a number of comfortable armchairs in which to relax, read, listen to music, sip wine and enjoy from above a panoramic view of human and animal activity around the Bay of Saint Nicholas. The back terrace, which has two more dining tables (up to 12 people), focuses on the terraced gardens above, a wonderful centennial olive tree and a large traditional Greek barbecue area and outdoor bread oven. The tables may be used also for writing billet doux, letters home, or the Great Cycladic Novel.
There are four large bedrooms, each with its own modern green-tiled bathroom, and ample closet space, a large bed for two (1.60 m x 2.00 m or 63 X 78 inches) with a good mattress, a writing table, CocoMat and antique furniture, and, in two bedrooms, a pull-out sofa bed for an extra guest. Three bedrooms have their own private terrace, the fourth opens on to the front terrace. All have a beautiful view of the sea or the garden. For your bedroom you can choose between white Greek cotton or colourful French bedspreads and linens.
Enjoying Your Stay On Kea
When you e-mail or call, you are speaking directly with the owner, not a management company. We love Kea and our villa and we want you to feel at home when you stay with us. To make everything work at the best when we are away, the villa comes with a cheerful, smiling English-speaking Greek manager who does not live on the premises , but is available whenever you need his assistance. He will meet you at the ferry when you arrive at the port of Korissia, show you around the house, and explain how everything works. He supervises the maid and gardening services, and can provide translation, useful advice, assistance in internet/mechanical/medical emergencies, reserving taxis/restaurant tables, renting cars, etc.
As he has a small boat and a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you can organize with him private boat rides to distant beaches and the archaeological site of Karthaia, snorkeling and fishing outings, or drives around the island. He can also set up and cook a barbecue evening on the back terrace (which you will never forget!) or prepare dishes during the day which you can heat up for dinner. Financial arrangements for extra services by maid or manager should be discussed directly with the manager.
Maid service normally is provided for three hours in the middle and then again at the end of the week - cleaning rooms and the house, changing linens, washing and ironing, helping in the kitchen. If you need more hours, they are available. Sheets and towels are provided and there is a fully-equipped laundry-room with a Miele washer and dryer, ironing board, and a second refrigerator for wine and cold drinks. There is also a traditional ecological drying rack behind the house – the sun and wind do an excellent job.
The picturesque small church which is lit up at night on the peninsula below our house sits on top of the Bronze Age walls and fortifications of Ayia Irini which date back to the Third Millennium B.C. The restaurant on the water immediately below our house, Ennea Kores (the Nine Maidens – inspired by nine near-life-size statues excavated at Ayia Irini) has the best fish in Vourkari. The restaurant next door, I Strofi Tou Mimi, is listed Number 1 by visitors to Kea as their favourite restaurant on the island. The outdoor vegetable stand of Margarita nearby on the road to Otzias should not be overlooked.
If you rent a small car or a quad, you will find that there is a lot to do and see on the island. A large variety of beaches and rocks for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving ; excellent hiking trails; birdwatching on the coast and among the oak trees in the hills; a number of tavernas and interesting sites to visit –- the island capital town of Ioulis up in the hills with its archaeological museum and tavernas (Rolando’s serves delicious pikilia, kalamarakia, fresh fish), the 6 metre smiling Stone Lion of Kea (600 BC), the archaic temples of Apollo and Athena in Karthaia (best access by boat), the little folklore museum/outdoor theatre of Milopotamos, the monasteries of Kastriani, Ayia Anna, and Episkopi, even an outdoor movie theatre under the stars.
When our family is on Kea, we enjoy good walks, good wine, good food, good music, good books, good conversations, good neighbors. In the evening, we watch the sun set behind the lighthouse, the sailboats coming into the bay, the lights of the Vourkari tavernas, and the Milky Way above our head. We are proud of our garden (which is watered at night), we relax and socialize on the terraces, we cool down under the outdoor shower when the sun is too hot, and during the hot months we swim every day in the sea from one of the many beaches, the rocks, a small boat.
Nights are special because all the locals from grandparents to grandchildren fill the tables set up beside the water and the sailboats in the port of Korissia and in Vourkari. The evenings outside are for music, food, wine, and the arrival of the last sailboats, or, if you prefer, a quiet evening at home in your bed with a good book or on the terrace listening to music under the stars.
The Best Season to Come to Kea
If your work or your children’s school vacations limit you to coming in July and the first half of August, you are more than welcome, but the most beautiful and enjoyable months are May, June, the beginning of July and the end of August, September and October (68-80 Fahrenheit, 20-26 Celsius). The weather is perfect, the sea is warm, service is quicker in the tavernas.
During the May/June/September/October period lower rents encourage longer stays in Paradise and you have the option of renting only two bedrooms (or a bedroom and a study) which can drive down further the daily cost of a stay for one or two couples. As the owner is a romantic, there are special rates for honeymoon couples and families celebrating a wedding anniversary.
A longer stay and a slower pace of life on the island during this period may be a very good response to a major change in lifestyle, for example retirement, a change in profession, a family tragedy, rediscovering the language of your Greek grandparents, the birth of a novel, the first chapters of your memoirs for your grandchildren, or the beginning of a family cookbook -- one of our wonderful friends on Kea, Aglaia Kremezi, is justly-famous for her cookbooks and seminars on Mediterrannean cuisine -- http://www.keartisanal.com and http://www.aglaiakremezi.com.
A word on the “Other Months” - in April and November the average temperature is 60 Fahrenheit (16 Celsius), it can rain up to 4 days a month, and the sea is too cold for the average swimmer. December through March can be rugged (central heating, the magnificent stone fireplace and warm outdoor clothing are necessary), but Henry David Thoreau, academics on sabbatical, historians, archaeologists, ethnologists, writers, composers, creators from New England, Canada, Scotland, or Scandinavia may feel that this is their best season. If an academic or a creator has a special project between November and April, we will do our best to work out a financial solution to make a long peaceful stay on Kea possible and creative.Get the full listing »