Friday, June 15, 2007

Cretan Hospitality

At some point it was rumoured that Zeus the Great, the master of the ancient pantheon, who was born in the Diktean Cave, and was brought up in the mountain of Idi, had died and had been buried at his place of birth, Crete. True to Zeus, the poet of Hellenistic times, Kalimahos from Alexandria, dedicates a hymn in which he strongly refutes the unacceptable, in his opinion, story: "…Oh father… The Cretans have always been liars. But why have they gone as far as in the grave, Oh king, to bury you. But you have not died, you are immortal."

Indeed the Cretans were lying. It is irrefutable however that they had their reasons for wanting their grand god to die, reasons that no one else could comprehend: a god who is the embodiment of nature is a god who dies every year and is reborn even stronger with the blossoming spring…. Similarly, Zeus, born and raised in Crete, dies and is resurrected, lives and reigns. It is also self -explanatory that he who is in harmony with nature and lives at her pace cannot but respect, love and accept her offspring.

In this way the Zeus of Crete becomes Xenios, the protector of visitors, who generously offers his hospitality to every stranger who wishes to honour his sacred land. Besides hospitality, two other principles also dominate in the soul of each Cretan: virtue and honour, while in the hierarchy of ethical values the highest position is held by friendship, second only to family.

The Cretan soul often reaches the point of exaggeration in their valour and passion for freedom, their courage, strength, love for their country and nature even in their hospitality towards strangers.

We cordially invite you to Chania and proffer you this gift which in our day and age is becoming more and more scarce. Mingle with the locals, sit with them at the same table, listen to their stories and the secrets they want to share with you. Become familiar with their exaggeration and their morals. Accept their Cretan hospitality whether that is in the form of a shot of raki on the go or a glass of wine with a bite of goat meat or even a lavish meal in a poor and humble home.

The people of Chania will overwhelm you with their love, share with you whatever they have and they will make you feel at home. It is neither a pretentious way of showing off nor a matter of habit or honour; it is simply a way of life and an articulation of their soul's desire. Nothing belongs to the Cretan. His home is all of the Cretan land and none of it has any boundaries. With joy and pride he recognizes that he himself is also a guest of honour in the castle of his generous father, Xenios Zeus, the Cretanborn.

Source:, Photo:

Ross Daly in Concert, Crete, Greece

Q&A Game with Christiane & Wolfgang Bodem

1. How did you decide to buy a property in Crete
Decades ago I was here and from far Crete never relinquished me. Because of a incomprehensible reason, I have found a place where the old Crete still exists. During a self-discovery seminar we had to write down what we believe is still important in our life and what we our wish is. I wrote done “house in Crete”.

2. How did you find out about Ktimatoemporiki
Through the internet; your site was congenial as well as the offers

3. How would you describe the procedure of the purchase
The purchase was surely not easy but it was dealt very professional. Also the support was super until the house came on stream. Electricity, water and other things had to be applied for and we had full assistance, because not everything is that easy at it seems to be.

4. Share your experience after the purchase, eg how does it feel to renovate a house yourself
I am always glad when I can do the renovation work of the house on my own. Actually it is exactly what I was looking for. The people in the village are very friendly and helpful, just still real Greeks. I feel like a guest in this beautiful country and am happy when I can also help somebody else.

5. Describe the location where your property is
Our house is at the edge of the village of Kerames at the South-Coast of Crete. We are looking directly to the sea and have the village at the back. We have only the house and no garden, which is possibly better when not being able staying all time there. A path leads alongside the house, which is used by the women and sometimes also by the men leading to their garden below of the village. Otherwise we are undisturbed, probably also because our Greek does not exist. Have bought in fact min. 5 different Greek classes, but the one which is working on its own was until now not among them…

6. What Crete means to you
Crete means to me, going to another world. As I am only work partly I could keep for the most part the holiday feeling. It is only beautiful here.

7. Describe your favorite memory from Crete
As our daughter was younger, we sat closely twined down at the empty beach. Only the sea and the end of the world. Moreover it is my greatest view from the house, through the old door down of the sea.

8. Would you recommend Crete and our company to others? Why?
Have already recommended many times here in Austria, many are interested but less so crazy really to do something.

Robert & Janet: "With Ktimatoemporiki we found the home of our dreams"

We first came across Ktimatoemporiki Crete on the Internet. The information and layout of the site looked very professional and easy to understand. We arranged over the telephone from England, to meet up with Ktimatoemporiki's executive once we arrived in Crete. We met for a coffee in the village of Georgioupoli and he asked us questions about what we liked about Crete and what our expectations were.
My partner and I had holidayed for about 6 years in Western Crete. We fell in love with the place and the people. We looked at a lot of companies, which were selling land and property in the area. However, we finally decided to use Ktimatoemporiki Crete to find our ideal home. This decision was made, based on our meeting with Ktimatoemporiki's consultants. We especially found them to be honest and completely focused on what we were asking from them. There was no pushing or trying to hard sell properties to us. We felt comfortable and relaxed about viewing possible land for building (which we were initially looking for) and homes already built.
We had as I said earlier, tried other companies, however they did not conduct themselves in such a professional way. We found mostly, that they were not listening to what we were asking from them.
With Ktimatoemporiki we found the home of our dreams. It took a long time for us, but we were given help and guidance all the way. We love our house and where it is situated, it has views of the bay of Georgioupoli and the White Mountains. The first time we went to house we knew it was the place for us. Neither of us wanted to leave, we would quite literately have moved in there and then.
You will note that above in the questionnaire, I have said I disagree with question one (Buying property in Crete is an easy and smooth procedure). This is not because we had any problems with our purchase, in fact because of the help and guidance given by Ktimatoemporiki, ours was a very swift and smooth run operation. I do believe though, that people using less scrupulous companies could find things very different. I base this on the people we have met along the way over the years, who have not been given good advice from the companies they had chosen to use.
We consider ourselves very fortunate because we have found a home, which we love so much. We also own a home in the Canary isles, which we purchased for the winter sun some years ago. Although we do holiday there from time to time, there is no comparison with our home in Crete, or the people we have met there. Our house in England is currently up for sale, we are spending more and more time at our home in Crete. The more time we spend there, the more we find to like about it. This year we spent time there in the winter, we found we enjoyed this time of the year as much as any other time.
We have no hesitation in recommending Ktimatoemporiki to anyone looking to buy land or a home in Crete. We have already, on more than one occasion given their name to people we know, who are interested in living in Crete. We are confident that Ktimatoemporiki will give them the same first class service, which they have given to us.

Liz & Ian McNeil: "Living in Crete, the best part are the seasons"

We dreamed about owning a place in the Mediterranean for the past ten years. During that time we travelled to many Greek islands, The Algarve, Spain and Southern France. Originally we looked seriously at Northern Spain; however, after consideration of cost of homes, living and summer crowds (all very high in Spain) we decided to look at Greece because we loved the food and culture. We looked in Crete because we loved the size of the island, the mountains, the history and the ability to fly there year round.

We used the internet to find real estate companies in the west of Crete and set up appointments with representatives for three intense days of ‘looking’. We looked more land and houses than we thought possible. We did this for two long weekends over a six month period with every builder/real estate company. We found Ktimatoemporiki on the net. They were very responsive. We met executives of Ktimatoemporiki the second long weekend and what a change from the intense selling of the other companies!! They sat down with us and listened to what we were looking for in a home in Crete. We were vague in some areas so he showed us a variety of land and villas that day to help us determine, and him to understand, what we really wanted. This was really helpful. He only showed us property that met our requirements and we felt he was really looking for the right place for us, not just what he needed to sell!

Ktimatoemporiki's executives, ultimately found us a fantastic piece of land in Kokkino Chorio. It was better than we ever imagined. He helped us find a great lawyer (who we use now for everything) and a local architect and builder. We purchased the land in the fall and designed the villa over the net. We started building the following spring. As with most things in Greece, it is a different process, the business culture is so different that Northern European, and you have to be patient! Ktimatoemporiki were really helpful during this process. Whenever we had a question or felt unsure about anything, we emailed Ktimatoemporiki and they found us the answer…quickly! It was so reassuring to have someone there looking after our interests.

Over the next year we visited our building site and met with the consultants of Ktimatoemporiki. They always made sure things were going well and offered to help alleviate any concerns we had about the building, living in Crete, etc. At the end of the year we had a beautiful villa!

It’s been a year since villa was complete and every time we go there we can’t believe it is ours. We also are so thankful we had the help of Ktimatoemporiki, particularly Jacq and Brigita along the way. Helping us find what we really loved, not selling us something we didn’t want! Since then we have looked at property magazines and are pleased to find that we never would have the location and views elsewhere for the money we spent in Crete.

We love Crete…. The best part are the seasons.. the snow in the mountains and the land coming alive with the rain after a hot, dry summer.

Froydis and Jacob Erstad: Share their experience from Crete

We have been looking around for several years for house / property in Greece. We have been around the Kyklades and Ionian islands many times. The access to remote islands, - our first choice – is difficult. It is always possible to come to Crete from Norway. Besides – Creteans have a hospitality and a lifestyle we love.
We wanted to buy a stone house and dropped into the New Builders office in Rethymnon three years ago. They did not sell such, but the real agent had bought his through Ktimatoemporiki. The agent recommended your company and gave us tel.number.
The house we decided to buy in a village close to Fres, Apokorouno area, was under construction and cost more money than we had planned to use. But the view was stunning, the area peaceful and it was in the outskirt of a village. Surrounded by an olive grow, it seemed to remain unspoiled for years. We spend about 2 – 2 ,5 months a years in the house.We are the only Norwegians in the area and are overjoyed to be friends with the locals.
A local memory
We were sitting at a small local taverna and some locals entered, saying – Have tourists showed up here??? Another customer replied: They are not tourists, - they have house in Paidochori….. We felt really proud ……..
Dealing with greek constructers are no joke.
It was not our favourite thing at all. Scandinavians are used to quality as well. After 1 year we had to do all the windows, after 2 years the iron at windows and balcony and now we have to change one of the entrance doors. It was unexpected work and costs.
Earlier we had some small problems of cosmetic art, but Ktimatoemporiki has handled it well.
As soon as we hear friends, people we meet mention property in Crete, we rush to recommend Ktimatoemporiki.