20.6.16

A village in Crete without electricity made me dream

A cross between a Cretan village, an ecological farm and a mountain hostel, Milia is a unique and ambitious project. 

Set high above the Topolia gorge in the western foothills of the White Mountains, at the head of an enclosed valley bursting with chestnut and arbutus trees, this tiny settlement was used as a hideout by WW2 resistance fighters, and later abandoned. 

But, in 1982, two energetic, eco-minded locals decided to bring it back to life. Using private and EU funds, they reconstructed old houses, reintroduced livestock and replanted terraces. 

Stream water was piped in, solar electric panels were installed and a smooth road has replaced the bumpy track. 

You'll find 14 beautifully restored stone houses with simple bedrooms and bathrooms, a spacious communal dining room, and a warm welcome from gentle Giorgos, tireless Tassos and their hospitable helpers. 

If you enjoy the simple, slow pleasures of life – home-grown food, country hikes, stunning views – you will never want to leave.
In Milia, people coexist harmoniously with nature and animals, especially the dozens of cats in the village. 
Electricity does not exist but does not seem to bother the guests. Conversely, they go there to seek this return to the roots. 
The lighting is done with oil lamps, while the water comes from the nearby source.
The restoration of village-hotel, which first opened in 1993 and has since operated all year round, it became a way so as not to lose the identity of the bygone image. 
In Milia time seems to have stopped in the charming past or in the Flintstones era

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