Meetings with other artists

Stephen Long and Liza Demetriou from the UK, stayed with us in August 2017. Stephen is an artist and did a lot of beautiful drawings during their stay. Here is one of them! He also appreciated my work that he saw in the gallery, here in EIV, and wrote the following text. Thank you Stephen!

Lida’s work can be divided into two separate but related areas: collages and intricate papercuts. The collages are typically light in tone and made up of drawings, cut paper, found objects and scored surfaces. While the images, for example of the face of a friend or a pattern, offer a way in, the juxtaposition of objects is an enigma. Owing much to established European collage, such as of Kuty Schwitters, they are nonetheless unquiquely Greek; sunburnt, windblown and ethereal like the island of Crete where Leda spends half her year.

The second workstream, the papercuts are something else altogether. While they share much of the bleached and limited palettte of the collages, these are repetitive labours of love, sheets of paper reapeatedly cut to form a skein or gauze. Delicately mounted they floated in a void behind the glass. While the collages invite the viewer to work out their meaning, these works ‘are’ their meaning. They are the acting of their making. The initial decision: what pattern, what cut simply then being repeated like a mantra for hours. They perhaps say something elemental about all of us, that life is a pattern where we all make some decisions but much is out of our control. 

Stephen Long, Artist and teacher, August 2017

Another kind of blue

Imagine walking under the scorching sun, along the salt pans of Spinalonga’s peninsula that lead to the Kanali and the site of Ancient Olous. Imagine you‘ve reached the other side of the famous sheltered cove, looking directly at the port of Elounda. There is nothing here, but a cozy café with its much needed shade and the embrace of the adjacent rooms of Elounda Island Villas. And I mean nothing. No other modern structures, no other man made noise, no other occupants except your neighbors. The only cars you’ll hear will be the ones that use the dirt road that lead to the other side of Kolokytha and the open sea. And as you can imagine, when the night falls, these too vanish.

It’s then, when you sit on your balcony just you and the cicadas, just you and the wind, just you and the setting sun looking back at everyone else, that you get the picture. Not a picture for your I-phone, or your camera· one that’s meant for your soul.

We stayed there for only two days, but they were enough to show us another kind of seclusion, quietness and tranquility. In times like that you feel lucky, grateful that you came to be there and nowhere else, even if it was just for a short while. Some “whiles” can last a long time. Thank you Lida and Kosta.


Ps. The book corner, the handmade map, the homemade food and the “parea” of our beautiful hosts were a marvelous plus. Just saying…

Electra Fatourou, July 2017

Elounda Island – Three Invitations

Some places have special qualities, which give us a feeling of coming home, although you just arrived and you are “only” a guest there. Elounda Island Villas is one of those places for me. What may be the secret of it? Swimming along the beach, sitting in the shadow of the houses and trees, or in the peaceful cafe, some possible answers occurred to me. I feel at least three invitations here.

See the beauty
“Everything is beautiful in its own way”, are the words of a song by Bing Crosby. The hundreds variations of colors and surfaces of the sea, the stones which tell us about the wild volcanic geology of the island, the faces and voices of the people, who work and live here, and the architecture and design of everything they form. Everything is beautiful in its own way. It’s not a romantic beauty, but an authentic one. It includes roughness, shadows, efforts and lost dreams. “Lost and found” is the name of a helpful place on railway stations. Here I can find me and my vision of life again. It starts with being aware, with seeing what is here already.

Be aware
Be aware of everything what you are seeing and feeling in this moment, outside and inside you. And intuitively you are drawn into a space of silence and peace. You only have to answer. Yes! I want. We are free, we have a choice to decide. We are transformed in what we are looking at. Don’t worry, if experiences of fear, of wounding are rising. That’s normal in the process of healing. That belongs to life. Everything that is seen with benevolence can become whole and a vivid and dynamic part of our life. And: You need not to be mindful in all moments. Just in the present one …

Be proud to be European
Old Greek mythology says that Europe got its name from the beautiful Phoenician princess, with whom Zeus fell in love. In a tricky way – metamorphosed into a lovely white bull – he brought her from Sidon, today Palestine, to Crete. Myths have meanings and often historical correspondences. Crete may have been the bridge between orient and occident … And for sure it is one of the cradles of European culture. Just remember the many words with Greek origin: eros, aesthetics, utopia, biography, organic, theater, music, democracy, dialog, therapy, chaos … as Lida shows on a T-shirt she designed. Being here in the southern edge of Europe, I am happy and proud to be a European citizen. And Greece is a pearl, a gift to Europe.

Josef Kittinger, Austria
June 2017

Organic Tea from France…to Elounda

Francois Dunet & Jerome De Stefano
Francois Dunet & Jerome De Stefano
Francois Dunet & Jerome De Stefano

Tranquility, authenticity and beauty of the place, sympathy and availability of Lida and team, let us coming back each year to Elounda Island Villas. On the spot, we model our timetable on solar and nature rates. Nights are rocked by wavelets and breeze on the bay. Awakening is activated by sunrise and herd of goats bells. In the morning we use to go in small inlets suitable for swim with lemon sole fishes. For lunch we stop at the restaurant of Lida, to eat good Cretan fresh food. Then we stay for the afternoon on rocky inlets or go to discover new quiet spots in the area. At last we use to have dinner, in Kanali or Poulis typical Cretan restaurants, either of them. Each day repeats itself but differently, in complete peace, for us to enjoy.

Francois  & Jerome 

Francois is a Flavor Designer and Jerome is a Jewelry Designer from France and they live in Paris.
They visit Elounda Island Villas every September for the last 5 years, to indulge the tranquility, the waters around Kolokytha, the food and good company.

Along with their jobs and city life in Paris, Jerome and Francois, own a beautiful land in South France and grow their own organic tea. You can order their tea online and now we also sell one of their variety in our little Art Shop!


Simple Greek Beauty

Elounda Island Villas has all the charm of the simple greek beauty we love, with an added touch of elegance and magic! The location is idyllic with stunning views of the azure coloured sea and mountains where the warming sun sets. We loved being serenaded by the cicadas and local sheep! Lida and her family are so welcoming and cook delicious cretan dishes to savour…..the best cheese pies ever! The cottage style split level apartments are comfortable, very clean and well equipped for essential needs. Lida’s creativity and artistic flair is all around to inspire you. Most of all, this little gem is a healing place for mind, body and soul. We would love to share it with our grandchildren too!

Alan Mathie | Civil Engineer | Kent UK
Jenny Mathie | Early Help Family Worker | Kent UK

A turtle in the Elounda bay!


Bettina and her family from Belgium stayed with us in May.
The magic of the moment occurred when they were swimming in the tranquil bay of Elounda and a little turtle head appeared to wonder around. These rare creatures are mostly seen on the south part of the island, they are very discrete and during certain periods they come out on the shore to lay their eggs. The Caretta-Caretta sea turtle is the only species of Mediterranean sea-turtles that nests in Crete.
It was a magic moment for all of us and they managed to take this marvelous photo!

Thank you Bettina.

A Minoan Touch in the Heart

Elounda (région). Ruines minoennes submergées du village d'Olous.

Elounda Island Villas surroundings are one of these rare spots in the world where you can swim into the very heart of millenarian ruins. Minoan civilization touched me!

In the crystal waters of the ancient city of Olous, I had a rendezvous with a mermaid! Not sure if it was Artemis Vritomartis. But I’m convinced that it has something to do with the magic and the beauty of this little hidden paradise of your Cretan coast.

And you know that only the fish knows everything…

Pascal Kober

Pascal Kober | Journaliste, Photographe, Renifleur du Temps

Our summer visits to Crete

‘My wife and I stayed at Elounda Island Villas for the third time this year in June and our daughter will spend her honeymoon as well in September! It is part of our visit to Crete where we have also discovered the quality of the local wine! This was a major reason for my daughter Merel (somelier)and my self to start a business ‘Kreta Wijen’, importing Cretan wine to Holland, so that also dutch people will be introduced to this excellent wine! Our routine in Crete is visiting the winery of Lyrarakis and relaxing at our terrace at Elounda Island Villas. Snorkeling around Kolokytha is our main hobby, enjoying a home made greek dish at the Art Cafe of the Elounda Island and finish the day with sea food at Kanali Taverna!’

Ruud and Jeanny Heuzer

Website: Kreta Wijnen |

Friends of Wine

Yesterday 11.6.14 the weather was lovely! It was warm but a pleasant breeze coming from the west was cooling the atmosphere. Crickets and birds were making the only noise! Our lovely guests were enjoying the good weather as well. It was a very special day for me. My very good friends Jeanny and Ruud Heuzer from Holland were enjoying their third vacation at Elounda Island!’

Yesterday evening me, my mother and our precious friends enjoyed a delicious dinner at Kanali! Now they are back to Holland and back to their works. Ruud and his daughter Merel , who is a professional sommelier, have started a new business of importing an excellent selection of wines from Crete to Holland. Merel is getting married in August and she will have her honeymoon with us in September. We wish her all the happiness and a great success with her new business!!’


by Lida Alexopoulou | Elounda Island Villas Manager