Palia Porta's favourite spots
The story of the winery Dourakis ( www.dourakiswinery.gr ) began in 1986 as Andreas Dourakis , a passionate winemaker and lover returns to - as he calls it - "house." Home is a village in the mountains - Alikambos - close Krapi or Sfakia on the beautiful island of Crete . This region has the least rainfall in Greece , the land is rich in minerals and there are many south-facing mountain slopes . This site Andreas decided to expand the vineyards of his father and improve .
Two factors drove him:
- his scientific knowledge and training in viticulture - he studied oenology in Germany / Weinsberg ( Lehr und Versuch Anstalt für Wein und Obstbau ).
- his years of experience in the wine industry , not only in Greece but also in France and Germany.
Today Andreas is assisted by his son and daughter who have inherited the love for the grape.
If you wish, following the tour, you can enjoy a 4 - course menu - obviously accompanied by different Dourakis wines. All ingredients are home grown and prepared by the lady of the house. The food is absolutely delicious in its simplicity, lovingly prepared and retaining the Cretan traditions. The legendary Cretan hospitality at its best.
We have long been convinced of the qualities of the Cretan wines has progressed every year. Some wines can thus compete with their French brothers. Just a pity that the production is not very high and that exports to northern Europe remains limited.
At Palia Porta we serve the wines of the Dourakis Family with pleasure and pride.
Chania is the 2nd largest city of Crete after Heraklion. The old town with its Venetian, Turkish and Jewish neighborhoods is absolutely worth a visit. From 1841 to 1971 Chania was the capital of Crete and that probably explains the grandeur and wealth of the city. Sites not to be missed include: the covered market (built in the shape of a cross), the Maritime Museum, the Old Port. Let yourself get lost in the maze of streets and let the atmosphere of centuries gone by overwhelm you.
Along with Lappa (where you can pay a visit to a Roman mosaic composed of 7000 stones and Venetian doorway) Argyroupouli is the dream Sunday outing. Many Cretans feel the same way about and it can therefore be pretty busy. Even in mid-summer (July / August) it is refreshing by many waterfalls, streams and shady spots. The local specialty is trout (freshly caught from the ponds) and lamb / goat 'antikristo'. Argyroupoli / Lappa is also known for its cosmetic products made from avocados. They are made and sold locally.
This small, lovely village reminds me always of the village on the Belgian coast where I spent my summers as a child. You enter the village and if you do not stop in time you are on the beach without knowing it. One of the attractions is the small church in the sea; you can walk over a small dam to the church. For families with children we recommend the Corissia Park with a swimming pool with sun beds and garden, food and beverage facilities.
From Georgioupoli Lake Kournas (freshwater lake) is very easy to reach, either by private car or with the "Happy Train" excursion.
The literal proof of courage and self-sacrifice - hundreds of resistance fighters, women and children in 1866 rather saw the face of death than surrender to the Turks. The monastery is still inhabited by Greek Orthodox monks so the place is much more than a museum. Despite this tragedy this magical place feels very much "alive". A place that makes you feel quite small; a place that grabs you by the throat.
I think the location of Panormo is the best-kept secret in this region because it does not want to be overrun. You're past the turn-off before you know it. The village seems to be created by a painter / artist with an eye for color and detail. It seems to come straight out of a postcard. A fun initiative is the 'cat cafe' where the cats of Panormo are fed.
Some smart advice to all the women: when you visit this village... leave the men at home or install them on a terrace and go exploring by yourselves. Margarites is a Pottery village where the "pithoi", the man-sized storage jars that were used as storage, were manufactured. Today, there are about ten working potters who each have their own specialties. On the village square, just before the road goes up, you will find a cozy tavern with home made food, friendly service and stunning sea views.
Plakias is a small village on the south coast of Crete, at the Libyan Sea, 30 km from Rethymnon. It is known as a fishing village and has a nice promenade with shops, cafes and restaurants. From Plakias you can travel to the palm beach of Preveli in a very relaxing way - by taxi boat.
It is primarily a family resort with many loyal visitors who return year after year. We like especially its authenticity and even in high season, it seems never to be too busy.