Eleni Nakou was a powerful advocate of quality tourism in Greece, who launched intercultural contacts and devoted a large part of her career developing the relations between Crete and other parts of Europe and the world.
She restored the 200-year-old stone built cottages in 1974 and rented the operation of the Koutsounari Traditional Cottages to the Mandala family in 1980, after taking them from Elounda beach to Koutsounari. Her wish was for the property to go into their hands, so when she passed away, they bought it from the property managers. Since then the family and their daughter Ioanna Mandala, in particular, have been trying their best to keep the Cretan philoxenia alive.
There are 10 cottages, self-catering, fully equipped and offering modern facilities.Each cottage is spacious and each has its own private flowery veranda overlooking the Libyan sea.
It most definitely is quite a treat waking up to an endless blue horizon where the clear blue Greek sky meets the sea. Can you imagine enjoying your coffee and your breakfast and THAT view? I did, and I will do again.
Each room is carefully decorated with a traditional yet contemporary and sophisticated touch that accentuates the beauty of the environment. The service is beyond nice and the reception makes sure you get all the info you need regarding the Koutsounari Traditional Cottages and the whereabouts.
Minos Argirakis was a Greek painter, cartoonist, and designer of theater.
Do not miss the mural painted on the spatial focus of the settlement.
In my own personal and humble opinion, I enjoyed good quality food at Alatsi near the beach, a wonderful picturesque tavern close by. Ask for directions, it's a not to be missed savory resto.
Another tip while in Ierapetra. Don't forget to pass by the tiny coffee shop or traditional "kafeneio" as Greeks call it, Mandouraris , by the port. It's the most picturesque, cute, friendly shop, and you will definitely enjoy the Cretan hospitality there.
Κουτσουνάρι- Koutsounari, Ιεράπετρα, Κρήτη -Ierapetra, Crete 722 00
Τηλέφωνο-tel:2842 061815 and +30 6976807565
By Alexandra Lavida