HIDDEN CRETE – DIAOS COVE

May 23, 2011 in GREECE | Comments (18)

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Romantic evenings - pool amid lights

Brand new resort, with luxury accommodation and cutting edge design, yet close to nature. Diaos Cove gives stunning views and truly Mediterranean feel. Like a medieval Cretan city it is crafted out of natural stone on a steep hillside. You look down to the brilliant turquoise cove and over to a wild rocky hill beyond.

 This fantastic architectural creation took 3 years to finish. With 300 units including 39 villas and 169 pools, Diaos Cove is cleverly built with spaces between units to ensure that most rooms have great water views.

 Way below lies sensational turquoise water, sandy beach packed with sunbeds, a watersports station and a Greek taverna. Two funiculars with glass cabins offer great views as you slide up and down between restaurants, terraces, bars, spa and reception and various levels of accommodation.

At night the resort is very romantic with lights everywhere. There are 3 restaurants and 3 bars –  an oyster and champagne bar soon to be added.  The most magical dining is out of doors, while the indoor dining space is intended for cold or rainy weather. We were there in mid May – so warm shawls and jackets were essential in the evening on the terrace. We didn’t try the buffet (except at breakfast) but ate at the Greek taverna and Ocean Club – delicious fusion Italian cuisine. The breakfast buffet was extensive with fresh orange juice, plenty of hot dishes and an omelet station. Café latte was included if you wished – though the croissant baker needs a visit to Paris and a lesson on sugar.

 Only about 30%-40% of guests are families; it feels peaceful – not like a summer camp. The resort features kids club and kids menus, and a children’s pool by the main infinity pool. All pools are seawater, except for the pool in the spa which is freshwater, with the added attraction of underwater windows through which you can look out and see the view.

Apart from that the spa by Germaine de Cappucini offers hydromassage, Technogym, great massage and Mediterranean wraps and peeling. They encourage couples to use the couple’s treatment rooms with attached hammam or aromatherapy adventure shower and apply one of these Mediterranean treatments to one another. That sounded like too much work and we chose an expert massage. Followed by adventurous shower and then blow dry at the hair salon.

 Harmonious, private, not flashy or glam, Diaos Cove is not a place to show off parade around just to be seen. But a low key, relaxed, and enjoyable resort that offers toned down décor and pampering and privacy in the villas and suites (red-level service). This service also implies free drinks most of the day and free cocktails in the evening.

 One of the best things is that in all accommodation you get free wifi. In a few rooms it is a little blocked by the mountains but ours was perfect.

And the best accommodation?

Pool accommodation of course – what else. Especially if you are in hideaway mood.

However, we were impressed with an attractive deluxe room without pool. The balcony of this deluxe room was nicely furnished with sofa, table and chairs, and had delicious views of the crystalline cove below. The room (42 sqm) had a sitting area and proper marble bathroom with separate bath tub and shower, like the suites.

This deluxe room could be connected to a one-bedroom suite with private pool (65sqm) creating ample accommodation for a family of 6.

On the waterfront there are a number of villas with staggering views of that wonderful water. We saw a one-bedroom villa on the waterfront built on two levels with bedroom downstairs. It was 100 sqm with a mini infinity pool  (above) carrying its brilliant turquoise over to the water of the cove, and a pretty little garden. A charming feature was that it had access not just at lounge level but below to a path along the rocky seafront.  Though a villa it felt very compact. Also on the waterfront we looked over a 2-bedroom waterfront villa (125 sqm) that was very generous with its terraces and pool area – ideal for sociable people who would like to invite in people from other rooms.

 The waterfront views at Daios Cove are certainly entrancing. Still we preferred the hillside villas. Spread far and high they are reached by a healthy walk or golf carts that whizz around the paved roads. We were shown a roomy 3-bedroom villa high up, but our favourite was our very own hillside wellness villa number 543.

 From here the views took in not only the aquamarine cove but beyond to the ocean and the white cubes of Agios Nikolaos. Around us we could see the wild mountains and enjoy a longer day of sunshine around our pool. We were surrounded by thickets of oregano, mint and basil, which perfumed the air.

 Highlight was to order lunch at the villa. It arrived very quickly and was presented on a white cloth by our pool, in bowls with silver lids, by a pleasant and efficient team. Enjoyed in sun with perfect views.

Inside our villa included lounge with view, a Technogym treadmill, sauna, jacuzzi style bath, two bedrooms with marble bathrooms including showers and bath, plus an outdoor shower with view.

From bed the morning dawned soft over the sea. On rising the pool glistened and the sea grew brighter and brighter till it sung with colour and the glorious feel of Crete.

The charm is you are far from anywhere, which adds intimacy to the resort. The natural stone melds into the surroundings with its rich brown and copper tones, and creates a harmonious simplicity uplifted by the views, the greenery around the villas and the brilliant crimson bougainvillea that has begun growing.


Agios Nikolaos is worth a visit (7km) – a pleasant and authentic Greek town with shopping and a long and looping waterfront where chic locals sit on sofas, sip coffee and use wifi.  It also boasts “The Lake” – mythically deep and connected with underwater caves and tunnels. Here are the main tourist restaurants – we ate very well at Pacificae facing the mysterious lake and at more traditional but chic Kristoferr on the harbor front

 Another attraction near Daios Cove (turnoff just before Agios Nikolaos) is the traditional mountain village of Kritsi and its nearby Byzantine church and archaeological site. The church was unfortunately closed when we were there.


18 Responses to “HIDDEN CRETE – DIAOS COVE”

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  14. Comment by Gillian LuchtApril 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm  

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  15. Comment by Nadia LeilichApril 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm  

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