The White River Cottages offer a unique holiday experience in the midst of nature, on the east bank of the White River, which flows into the south-east coast of Crete. The traditional, Greek architecture of the complex blends in harmoniously with the surroundings.
Each cottage or studio has been individually and lovingly restored, taking into account the rocks and the relief. Today they shine with white walls, marble bathrooms, wooden furniture and a touch of color through unique works of art created by artisans.
The ruins of a hamlet bought in 1986 have been restored over a period of five years, using only natural materials that are compatible with the architectural tradition of rural Crete.
The White River Cottages opened in 1991, at a time when such slow tourism initiatives were still viewed with reservations. The White River Cottages are the pride and life's work of Vangelis Mavrakis, a pioneer in the field of hospitality of this type, who conceived the project, made it a reality and runs the property with great passion to this day.
ArchitectureThe White River Cottages have been restored in an authentic architecture typical of the region and combines minimalism with tradition. The original hamlet was built on old river terraces, with large rocks and other elements of the local rocks being included in the construction. These elements were fully respected during the restoration and are part of the identity of the cottages. In addition, all cottages differ from one another from the floor plan to the arrangement of the furniture. All accommodations radiate the cozy, simple yet elegant ambience equally. They all have the traditional wooden doors, window frames and carpentry work in common as well. Original, local and regional materials, techniques and handicrafts were used in the restoration of the destroyed hamlet.
EnvironmentThe preservation, restoration and upcycling of a dilapidated hamlet was done in harmony with the environment. The water in the cottages is heated by solar panels. All accommodations have showers and taps installed with water-saving systems. Organic fertilizer (compost) is used in gardening. A vision for the future is to maintain and improve the high standard of accommodation as well as a more environmentally friendly orientation through the complete coverage of energy needs with renewable energy sources.
A perfect haven, White River Cottages lies within olive groves along a bamboo-lined lane close to the laidback resort of Makrigialos. Spacious stone cottages offer antique furnishings alongside modern comforts, including a good-sized oven handy for whipping up something delicious with the fresh local ingredients that you’ll buy at Makrigialos’ weekly farmers’ market.
From Heraklion it is just under 2 hours by car to Makrigialis (123 km). From Chania it takes just under 4 hours (262 km). The exact address can be found on the website.
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