National Geographic has called Milia Mountain Resort, our first home in Crete, one of the world’s best Ecolodges. In the 1980s, when many Greeks left their villages to ride the wave of tourism development along the coast, two local friends took to the mountains of Crete instead. Their vision was to restore an abandoned medieval village and turn it into a retreat based on living in harmony with nature. Tassos Gourgouras, the owner, has created an off-the grid stone village and this is where we arrived yesterday. We are staying in spacious one-of-a-kind ancient stone apartments complete with fireplaces, eating our meals in a huge rustic dining hall. They grow all the herbs and food, raise and slaughter their own goats and chickens. Everything is organic and incredibly delicious. They serve what is fresh, according to the season.
Breakfast is a buffet of the creamiest most luscious Greek yogurt, fruits, spanakopita, baked goods, olives, fresh baked bread, several kinds of soft local cheese, fresh orange juice, and many other dishes.
For lunch and dinner, we gather at a big table designated for us, and our waiter comes over and reads off the day’s dishes: four of five kinds of spectacularly fresh salads, a homemade soup, tzatsiki, roasted eggplant and garbanzo beans, roasted rabbit with mizithra goat cheese and several other main dishes, both meat and vegetarian. Invariably, we share and get tastes of everything. The food is outstanding, the setting are magnificent.
Mornings we start with an hour of yoga, breakfast, then a three-hour writing class, followed by lunch. Each day there is a special afternoon activity–today a hike up the slopes above the village, tomorrow a cooking class (I can’t wait!), and on our final full day, after an art class. People join in or not as they like. I love seeing people sitting around writing, doing the homework I gave them in class, watching people connect and talk and rest and come together in our traveling community.
Before dinner, we enjoy Judy and Surya’s lectures on Greek culture as we sip wine (or not) and eat another incredibly fresh “cook by the seasons” meals. It is wonderful to rest here and bond more deeply as a group.
None of us have ever stayed in a place anything like this before. None of us want to move on.
Here are some more pictures of heaven. Take a look:
Cretan salad and tzatsiki
Two of our group helping to make the daily bread.
Our writing and yoga room
Ancient one of a kind room keys. No master keys here!
View from the deck
This oven bakes all our yummy Greek casseroles.
This is a huge stone our shower is built around.
Our bathroom sink
Games to play…in Greek.
View of Millia Mountain Resort from today’s hike.