Tag Archives: Crete

Greek Architecture: ‘O Lofos’ Residence On Crete

O Lofos*: The green, wild Cretan landscape and the richness and heritage of traditional crafts define this new, thoroughly contemporary residential design by Block722. Sat on the northern foothills of Thrypti mountain within the Greek island’s eastern side, the project is a commission by a private client.

The main home is divided into two low buildings linked by a semi-enclosed area with an envy-inducing water feature | O Lofos by Block722 | STIRworld
The main home is divided into two low buildings linked by a semi-enclosed area with an envy-inducing water featureImage: Ana Santl

It called for a 280 sq m home on a slope, including two guestrooms and generous outdoors areas. Balancing the needs of the brief with the natural setting that combines vistas of mountains, plains, and the Mediterranean Sea, was critical in the architects’ design solution. The architecture was driven by desire to create a modern house that is discreet and respectful to its surroundings.

The built is in harmonious continuation of the Cretan context | O Lofos by Block722 | STIRworld
The built is in harmonious continuation of the Cretan context

Negotiating the site’s angle through levels instead of steps was also critical in moulding a relaxing environment that embraces its setting.
A path down a slope from the main road leads visitors to the residence’s entrance. The complex’s size is cleverly broken down into smaller volumes, which are interconnected through circulation routes and in-between spaces – some indoors and some open-air. The main home is divided into two low buildings linked by a semi-enclosed area with a water feature.

The design merges natural materials that are often used in the local vernacular, such as wood and stone. At the same time, the atmosphere is distinctly contemporary, blending Block722’s inherent Scandinavian sensibility and organic minimalism with Japanese architecture influences. This nod to Japan unfolds through the design’s refreshing simplicity of clean, almost austere lines that balance the materials’ natural, tactile nature and the overall craft-rich approach. The powerful Greek sunlight helps define shapes and surfaces,

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Views: Coastlines & Towns – Island Of Crete, Greece

Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica. Crete rests approximately 160 km south of the Greek mainland. It has an area of 8,336 km2 and a coastline of 1,046 km .

It bounds the southern border of the Aegean Sea, with the Sea of Crete (or North Cretan Sea) to the north and the Libyan Sea (or South Cretan Sea) to the south. Its capital and largest city is Heraklion, on the north shore of the island. As of 2020, the region had a population of 636,504.

Humans have inhabited the island since at least 130,000 years ago, during the Paleolithic age. Crete was the centre of Europe’s first advanced civilization, the Minoans, from 2700 to 1420 BC. The Minoan civilization was overrun by the Mycenaean civilization from mainland Greece.

Crete was later ruled by Rome, then successively by the Byzantine Empire, Andalusian Arabs, the Venetian Republic, and the Ottoman Empire. In 1898 Crete, whose people had for some time wanted to join the Greek state, achieved independence from the Ottomans, formally becoming the Cretan State. Crete became part of Greece in December 1913. The island is mostly mountainous, and its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east.

It includes Crete’s highest point, Mount Ida, and the range of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) with 30 summits above 2000 metres in altitude and the Samaria Gorge, a World Biosphere Reserve. Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits (such as its own poetry and music). The Nikos Kazantzakis airport at Heraklion and the Daskalogiannis airport at Chania serve international travelers. The palace of Knossos, a Bronze Age settlement and ancient Minoan city, is also located in Heraklion.

Walking Tours: Heraklion – Capital Of Crete (4K)

Heraklion, also known as Iraklio, is a port city and the capital of the Greek island of Crete. It’s known for the Palace of Knossos, just outside the city. The huge archaeological site dates back thousands of years to the Minoan civilization, and includes frescoes and baths. Guarding the city’s Venetian port is the 16th-century Koules fortress. Heraklion Archaeological Museum has a large collection of Minoan art.

Beach Views: Balos To Triopetra In Crete, Greece

Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica. Crete rests approximately 160 km south of the Greek mainland. It has an area of 8,336 km² and a coastline of 1,046 km.

Video Timeline: 0:00:00 Loutro 0:07:31 Elafonissi 0:46:13 Kiani Akti 0:52:34 Preveli 0:58:43 Balos 1:11:20 Falassarna beach 1:23:16 ilingas beach 1:26:21 Loutraki Beach 1:29:30 Stavros beach 1:36:33 Aspri Limni (Muted due to wind) 1:41:26 Marathi 1:50:28 Ag. Apostoloi 1:56:12 Bali 2:06:02 Palaiohora 2:09:40 Triopetra 2:13:02 Brahakia

Walking Tour: Chania – Island Of Crete, Greece

Chania is a city on the northwest coast of the Greek island of Crete. It’s known for its 14th-century Venetian harbor, narrow streets and waterfront restaurants. At the harbor entrance is a 16th-century lighthouse with Venetian, Egyptian and Ottoman influences. Opposite, the Nautical Museum has model ships, naval objects and photographs. The former monastery of St. Francis houses the Archaeological Museum of Chania. 

Seaside Walks: Bali – North Crete, Greece

Bali is a seaside village in the Mylopotamos municipality, Rethymno regional unit, Crete, Greece. It is part of the community Melidoni. Located on the site of ancient Astale, and the harbor of Axus, in more recent times the sleepy fishing village of Bali has been transformed into a popular beach tourism destination.

Views: Ten Most Beautiful Islands In Greece (Video)

Greece is one of those magical places, filled with hundreds of exotic islands and archipelagos boasting extraordinary scenery, picturesque warm-water beaches and a glorious Mediterranean climate. Whichever island you stay on, you’ll get a taste of traditional Greek culture. With excellent tavernas, handsome hiking trails, and the world’s best sunsets, there’s an island for everyone – beach bums, foodies, adventurers, and active holidaymakers alike. Here’s a look at the most beautiful islands in Greece.

Walking Tour: Loutro – Island Of Crete, Greece

Loutro lies on the south coast of Chania regional unit in west Crete, between Chora Sfakion and Agia Roumeli, the exit to the Samaria Gorge. The whole area is known as Sfakia. The village got its name from the Greek word for “bath,” for the many ancient baths found in the area.

Loutro is such an incredibly soporific place, where there’s absolutely nothing ( … almost ) to do but eat, drink and laze – and where you fast lose any desire to do anything else. There are hundreds of people who walk down the Samaria Gorge each day in the summer. After a drink at one of the tavernas in Agia Roumeli where the gorge opens to the sea and perhaps enjoying a swim, most board the ferry taking them to Chora Sfakia (Sfakia). There, waiting for buses transport the aching crowds back to Chania. On the way, the ferry calls in at Loutro, and many vow to visit it one day – few do so! Loutro is peaceful – it is small and feels like a village even if 95% of the people here in the summer are visitors. It takes less than five minutes to amble from one side of the bay from Sifis Hotel & Maestrali Bar (Vangelis’), past Daskalogiannis Hotel, the tavernas, mini-market, the Blue House, the pebble beach, Hotel Porto Loutro, Notos, “Fat Stav’s”, a couple more tavernas and then Keramos rooms and fish taverna. This is a magic place to relax, swim, read, write your own book in western Crete, Sfakia region. Don’t forget the church, second mini-market, and a few other buildings – more rooms including perched-on-the-hillside Villa Niki – that’s it! Loutro evokes some great emotion – produced perhaps by the unique combination of the steep, harsh, rock mountainsides – audibly decorated with the clinking of goat bells – the sun visibly changing the panorama in view as its ark lights different aspects of the slopes forming the bowl – the bay that houses Loutro, the often-warm sea, the history, and the people. This magic place. No road leads here – therefore no mopeds, cars, and trucks disturb contemplation, conversation, and consumption of food or drink. A port of shelter for St Paul we hear, and one of the best shelters from a stormy workplace or busy professional life. Small, stunningly beautiful – no nightlife or discos, just a multinational, multi-everything group of visitors staying in its closely grouped buildings. During the day even when all rooms are full, Loutro can be almost empty – many have gone to sauté gently on nearby beaches, or tackle books, strolls, walks, and – let’s be serious – hikes. You are left to act as your own custodian of the semi-circular bay, with a small pebble beach, edged with the hotel, domatia, and waterside tavernas. So gaze at the ruins on the hilltop, measure the approaching ferry, decide whether to read a few pages more, walk over the hill to the taverna of Phoenix, or plot your ascent to Anopolis a thousand meters above…it’s up to you. Time passes. Loutro village was named after the baths (Loutro or Loutra) found in the area, and from which water was directed to nearby Anopoli Village. Loutro also served as the port of ancient Anopoli. Later it became the winter time port of the town of Sfakia, due to the fact that the enclosed bay and the small island at its entrance create a natural harbor where ships can be safe even in very bad weather conditions. Mountains rear straight up from the sea deep wooded gorges, ravines, and valleys, stand proud, and act as a magnet to the eye and the imagination. The Sfakia region has been the site of heroic deeds, ancient civilizations, and constant intrigue for thousands of years, and the home of brave tough people made so by their labors on the land and their experiences. Really Loutro is a place to let days flow by as they will. When you meet people who are poetic utterances appeal – converse, when striding rocky paths is the urge – proceed, when the water beckons – shout back / get in; eat and relax. You shouldn’t come here expecting entertainment – the reward is being in Loutro and listening to what your heart desires…

Evening Walks: Chania – Island Of Crete, Greece

Chania is a city on the northwest coast of the Greek island of Crete. It’s known for its 14th-century Venetian harbor, narrow streets and waterfront restaurants. At the harbor entrance is a 16th-century lighthouse with Venetian, Egyptian and Ottoman influences. Opposite, the Nautical Museum has model ships, naval objects and photographs. The former monastery of St. Francis houses the Archaeological Museum of Chania. 

Walking Tour: Rethymno – Crete, Greece (4K Video)

Rethymno, or Rethimno, is a city on the north coast of the Greek island of Crete. In the old town, the Venetian Harbor is filled with fishing boats and lined with tavernas. Rethymno Lighthouse was built in the 1830s. West, the hilltop Fortezza is a star-shaped, 16th-century citadel. The Historical and Folklore Museum preserves local crafts like textiles and ceramics. Long, sandy Rethymno Beach stretches to the east.