House Size: 91
Plot Size: 2165
Property code: AH997
Price: 250.000 €
This unique traditional Cretan house occupies a scenic position in one of the best-known, historical villages in the heart of Sfakia. Property in the Askifou valley comes onto the market very rarely, and this one combines privacy with village life, seclusion with accessibility and mountain living with easy access to both towns and beaches. The property offers flexible scope for enlargement to suit the requirements of new owners and there is no impediment to this since the planning permission is open until the end of 2021. The house is slightly elevated above the village main lane by a series of stone terraces, surrounded by beautiful oak trees and shrubs.
The house was completed in 2011 and is built of stone by traditional craftsmen with solid wood double glazed windows- each window being fitted with wooden shutters. The walls are 50cm thick and the building stands on strong, ferro-concrete foundations. The house has the same dimensions and footprint as an older building which previously occupied the site, and which was demolished by the current owners. The effect is that although a new construction, the house has a completely traditional appearance and blends into its surroundings very naturally. The house itself is 91m2 and is comprised of: a hand-built, fitted wooden kitchen, sitting room with a traditional open ceiling and arched double door, a small office area, a bathroom and a double bedroom.
The kitchen is fully equipped with high quality appliances including fridge, freezer, washing machine, drying machine, electric cooker plus a built-in gas hob, extractor fans and a stainless-steel double drainer/ sink unit.
The double bedroom has craftsmen made built-in wardrobes and dressing table. There are French doors with shutters opening onto a patio and a traditional open ceiling similar to that in the sitting room. The open ceilings create a feeling of spaciousness.
The bathroom is equipped with a walk-in shower, WC, vanity unit and sink, heated towel rail and separate high-level electric room heater.
The small office area which is next to the bathroom is equipped with a landline and high speed, fibre optic internet connection.
The sitting room has built-in banquettes to seat 8 and underneath these there are storage areas. Concealed inside a custom-built wooden cabinet, there is a wall-mounted Smart TV connected to a Satellite receiver at the rear of the house. Accessible from the sitting room are 2 large storage spaces/- – one above the bathroom and the other above the kitchen. The one above the kitchen has a fitted high-quality extractor fan.
Joined to the house is a large stone extension built in 2014 providing space for a garage, wood store and workshop (34m2). This extension has an arched window with shutters and a double wooden arched doorway. It would be possible for this to be converted into a second bedroom/bathroom if required.
Heating is provided by an oil-fired central system with double radiators in every room and a large highly effective, economical wood-burning stove. This stove is made in France by Godin – one of the best regarded manufacturers of stoves and is capable of producing more than 10 kilowatts of heat. The combination of thick stone walls and wooden double- glazed windows is considered highly efficient in maintaining a cool environment in the summer and a warm one in the winter.
The bedroom is air conditioned by a high-quality Japanese unit (Daikin) and the sitting room is wired for two further units should this be required in the future. There is a hot water boiler for the kitchen and a second one for the bathroom – both using electricity and oil. All equipment is in excellent order and the central heating boiler is serviced annually. The boiler is housed in a separate addition to the house which also accommodates a wash basin and WC.
The house is fully alarmed and also has smoke alarms – one in the kitchen and one in the sitting room.
Mains electricity, water and telephone are connected from the lane running along the lower boundary of the site. The site itself consists of 2,165m2 all of which lies within the village limits. This is a large land area for a mountain village and is unusual in both its size and convenience of access. In addition to the house and its extension there is a further separate traditional building currently preserved as a ruin but which is capable of renovation or conversion into further accommodation or a swimming pool.
At the rear of the house is the original cistern holding approximately 10 cubic meters of water and linked by a pump to the computer controlled automatic irrigation system. This system covers the whole garden, both that at the front of the house and the woodland above and behind it which stretches up to another tarmac road which marks the upper boundary of the plot. Behind the house is an emergency water tank and pump which provides water for domestic purposes in the event of a break in the mains supply – which is rare. The front garden of the house has evergreen mountain oaks, more than 200 years old, numerous shrubs, plum trees and walnut trees. It is unusual to find a newly built house which retains so many trees on the site as this one does.
All of the property is fenced or walled and a path leads from the rear of the house through a small wood of mountain oaks to a large stone terrace and viewing platform which offers one of the best and most spectacular views of the Askifou valley including the castle and the main church.
The current owners have carefully conserved the woodland and planted over 30 additional pine trees. The gardens to the front of the house are terraced with stone walls which provide a number of secluded sitting areas – some designed for shade and other for the sun.
The private access road/ driveway has stone gate posts with double iron gates and leads to a parking area directly outside the garage. There is also a single metal gate which allows entry from the front of the site up steps and a stone paved path to the front of the house.
The house is situated in the small village of Kares, very close to the well- known private War Museum, the bakery and the taverna. Kares is one of the 4 villages which makes up the settlement of Askifou – the others being Goni, Petres and Ammoudari. Askifou is situated in a ‘bowl’ in the mountains, dominated by the imposing ruins of the castle and is served by the excellent main road from Vrysses to the North and Chora Sfakion on the South coast. The extensive beaches of the North coast and the resorts of Kalyves and Georgeoupolis are both approximately 10 minutes from Vrysses. Chania and Rethymnon are both around a 30-minute drive away.
The area of Sfakia is well known for its exceptional mountain and coastal scenery, its colorful history and its enduring cultural heritage as well as the hospitality and generosity and friendliness of the inhabitants.