Crete - A Place in the Sun

Crete Greece Ben Hillman

James first visited Crete over 40 years ago and has always longed to buy a holiday home there. Now that his partner Alison has also fallen in love with the Greek island too, they’ve both decided to turn that dream into a reality and have asked Ben Hillman for help. They’re looking for a traditional village house with lots of character for their £80,000 maximum budget, and Ben has hunted out 5 fantastic options, but will any be their idea of perfection?


Why buy here?

Crete is the largest and furthest south of the Greek islands, more than twice the size of Cornwall. Thanks to its 650 miles of stunning coastline and 300-plus pristine beaches, more than 3 million Brits choose to come on holiday here every year. Inland it has a spectacular mountainous landscape dotted with many traditional villages where time seems to have stood still. The island can be reached by a four hour flight from the UK and is served by two international airports (Chania and Heraklion), both in the north of the island. Crete has developed a fantastic infrastructure with access to all parts of the island easy for those who drive or prefer to take public transport – most villages are accessible via daily bus services

Property 1

Three-bed townhouse in Agios Vasileios

Property 1 Three-bed townhouse in Agios Vasileios

 mid-terrace townhouse with a good-size yard at the front of the property and a rooftop terrace with village and countryside views. It has a big kitchen and living space with high ceilings. It oozes traditional charm and character and has original beams, wood/stone tile floors and exposed stone walls. The traditional hilltop village of Agios Vasileios, a 25 minute drive from the sea and Heraklion, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. It is one of two main centres for wine production in Crete with ¼ being sold to Germany, France and NetherlandsView the property here.

Valued at £58,036 at the time of filming.

Property 2

One-bed house in Neapoli

Property 2 One-bed house in Neapoli

detached one-bed house that has been fully renovated within the last 12 months. It comes with a great size garden and is all on one floor with a kitchen and living room at the front, and a bedroom and bathroom at the back. It also has two storage rooms accessed from the outside, as well as an enclosed summer kitchen with a built-in BBQ. Neapoli is a 40-minute drive east of Heraklion, and 20 minutes from the coast. It’s a busy town whose name means “new city” and was the capital of East Crete until 1904. The main street has a supermarket, banks and a number of cafés, bars and restaurants. View this property here.

Valued at £62,500 at the time of filming.

Property 3

Two-bed house in Vryses

Property 3 Two-bed house in Vryses

This is an upside-down, two-storey stone house with two bedrooms and a bathroom on the ground floor and a large open-plan living and kitchen area on the first floor. Outside, there’s a front yard with space for parking, balconies at both the front and side of the house and a big rooftop terrace. It was fully renovated 7 years ago and is ready to move into. The traditional village of Vryses sits at the foot of the Dikti mountain range, and is home to many famous hiking trails. With a population of around 300 people, there are no amenities but only a short drive/30 minute walk away. In the nearby town of Choumeriakos, you’ll find shops and a number of picturesque café-bars and tavernas lining the main streetNo longer available, view similar properties on the agent's website.

Valued at £75,893 at the time of filming.

Property 4

Two-bed townhouse in Milatos

Property 4 Two-bed townhouse in Milatos

A semi-detached townhouse built in the 1940s, with fantastic sea views. It has a rooftop terrace up a flight of spiral stairs, and also comes with a separate plot of land. The village of Milatos is a 45-minute drive from Heraklion. Milatos is best known for its array of fish restaurants and safe swimming. It's popular with tourists during the summer, and a number of its bars and restaurants also remain open during the winter months. The property is no longer available, but you can contact the agent here.

Valued at £84,821 at the time of filming.

Property 5

Two-bed townhouse in Gouves

Property 5 Two-bed townhouse in Gouves

A detached, corner townhouse with parts dating back 100 years. It has lots of character throughout, and consists of a good-sized open-plan kitchen and living area, two bedrooms, a bathroom and a semi-covered terrace. The village of Gouves is a 20 minute drive from Heraklion, and has a good number of shops and tavernas. It is only a short walk to a selection of glorious beaches that are perfect for swimming. Contact the agent for similar properties.

Valued at £102,679 at the time of filming.


Hot property:

Three-bed villa in Mallia

Hot property: Three-bed villa in Mallia

This stunning luxury villa sits in a 2 acre plot just 1800 metres from the beach. It spans three levels and comes with a massive fully equipped kitchen, a spectacular open-plan living and dining area and three bedrooms, each with a balcony and a private bathroom. It also benefits from a sport and entertainment room, a pool, extensive gardens, veranda and a roof terrace with breath-taking views. Mallia is one of the top tourists resorts in Crete. Jammed with clubs, bars and restsaurants it is known as being a mecca for party goers. However, it also offers a lot to those looking for a more peaceful and cultured retreat. The palace of Malia is one of the most important Minoan archaeological sites on the island and there is a quaint old town to explore. View the property here.

Valued at £892,857 at the time of filming.