HOUSE AND CLEANING A housekeeper cleans the inside of the house and changes bed linen and towels once a week. If you yourself feel a need for any additional cleaning you will find a vacuum cleaner, in one of the kitchen cupboards.
You are welcome to use the washing machine in the downstairs bathroom for your personal washing.
Washing powder and cleaning materials can usually be found in the cupboard in the kitchen and you are welcome to make use of these after your arrival until you are able to go shopping for your own requirements.
In one of the cupboards in the kitchen we keep small quantities of cooking essentials for our own use and, again, you are welcome to make use of these if you need to, until you can provide your own.
ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES Dishwasher, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, iron, toaster, microwave oven, blender, juicer, coffee machine, electric kettle, television, radio with CD player and DVD player are available for your convenience. Instruction manuals (in various European languages) can be found in a brown and white box in the sitting room.
The oven has 4 control buttons; the two on either side are for temperature and programs. The small knob to the right of the clock must be turned on before the oven start to heat up. You may choose either manual (sign of a hand) or automatic mode – set to the desired time and the oven will switch off automatically. After the oven is switched off a fan continues until the oven is cold.
You operate the ceramic cooking top by touching relevant symbols. First the on/off mark must be touched, then the symbol for the cooking area which there are 4. You will then see the figure 5 which indicate that you may have more heat – up to 9 or less. You increase or decrease the heat by touching the buttons with arrows pointing up or down. Always touch the symbol for the relevant cooking area before you can increase or decreasing the heath. When you want to turn off the heath you must decrease the heath down to 0. The letter H is indicated on the top after you have switched off the oven as long as it is still hot.
The television has terrestrial Greek channels and a range of satellite programmes (including CNN and BBC World). Instructions for use are beside the television. Sometimes after the housekeeper has cleaned we get a no input signal on the television. If this happen make sure the plugs are well connected and the “problem” is solved
TOILET PAPER AND KITCHEN PAPER provided for your convenience. We also provide washing-up liquid and other cleaning essentials. The housekeeper will maintain supplies. You must provide your own soap, shampoo and other personal toilet articles. You may find it useful to bring a large towel for use on the beach or by the pool. (We provide 6 small and 6 large towels and they are changed as I said every 5th day)
HAIRDRYER There are two hairdryers in the cupboard in the upstairs bathroom to the right.
RUBBISH There are 2 rubbish bins under the sink (usually lined with a supermarket plastic bag) and a larger one at the parking space. The housekeeper will empty the bin at the parking space regularly. Please tie the bags up tightly so that rubbish does not escape. Crete has not yet started to recycle the waste products so all the rubbish included bottles and cans are thrown together.
WATER We drink the tap water but bottled water may also be purchased from the supermarket. Water from the hot tap is extremely hot so, please take care!
ELECTRICITY The voltage and sockets are continental. Visitors from the UK or outside Europe will need to use an adaptor for their own appliances.
AIR-CONDITIONING/ HEATING AND LIGHTS Air conditioning works for hot and cold days. There is a remote control in each room. The ideal is a temperature round 20-22 degrees, if the temperature is set lower there is a tendency for condense.
The lights around the swimming pool and outside areas go on automatically in the evenings but lights for the terrace areas next to the house are not automatic. Switches can be found next to the relevant doors and windows. As the electricity is very expensive in Crete we would appreciate that you switch off lights and air conditioner when they are not needed.
THE SWIMMING POOL In high summer the pool is heated by the sun and is usually pleasantly warm.
There is a thermometer by the stairs to check the temperature. In early or late season, if the evenings are chilly, the pool can be heated but this must be agreed specifically.
The caretaker cleans the pool at regular intervals and there is a net you can use to scoop up insects and leaves that settle on the surface.
The pool varies in depth. The deep end is 2.30metres, deep enough to jump in but diving is forbidden. In the shallow area of the pool is a special area for young children marked by bollards. Children should be supervised at all times.
BARBEQUE Charcoal can be purchased from most supermarkets. Matches are difficult to get hold of in Crete. I try to keep a supply but for one reason or another they tend to disappear. Perhaps it is a good idea to put one box of matches on your suitcase. I left a supply of candles in the kitchen drawer to be used in the dark evenings – if they are gone new candles may be bought in the supermarket.
PARKING We have a private parking area at the bottom of the steps, big enough for two may be even three cars.
ACTIVITIES Crete is a wonderful environment for active exploration, sightseeing, beach activities and culture. Maps and brochures for a range of activities can be found in the brown and white box in the sitting room. We have also left a number of books (in Norwegian and English) with information about Crete and suggested activities and attractions.
SHOPPING There are many supermarkets in the wider locality. For convenience we have found the Inka supermarket on the left of the beach road to Chania has a reasonable range of groceries, fresh food and other essentials. On the road down to the beach and in the villages there are numerous mini markets with a more limited range of goods but which are open late. They are very convenient but a little more expensive than the supermarkets. You will find excellent butchers and bakers in the centre of Chania. Some shops close between 2pm and 6pm and on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.
CAFES AND RESTAURANTS They are numerous and we expect you will enjoy trying out a variety of establishments. The Greeks tend to eat very late (often after 10pm). In the nearest village, Pano Stalos, (Upper Stalos) there are 3 tavernas serving good local food at a reasonable price. We keep the menu from one of them in the brown information folder in the villa. They have agreed to a takeaway service for our gusts if you would like to eat in. Just call them, say you stay at Villa Zoi and the food will be ready for picking-up within half an hour.
There are plenty of tourist restaurants along the beach road. Around the ancient Venetian harbour in Chania you will find many good restaurants serving fresh fish. We have left a few cards with restaurant details and if you find somewhere you particularly like we would appreciate if you could collect a card and leave it (with comments) for the convenience of other guests.
THE SEA There are wonderful beaches to explore all along this coastline. All beaches are for public use. Although many beach areas are lined by hotels there is always a public path nearby down to the beach. Lifeguards are present on most beach areas and they fly green orange and red flags depending on wind and waves. For your own safety please respect the message in the flag! WIND There is usually a delightful breeze around the villa which makes it pleasantly cool in the hot sun but sometimes gusts of wind can be quite fierce, lifting small items and plastic pool equipment to surprising places. It may be a good idea to take down the parasol before you leave the property. Glasses, cups and vases are also vulnerable to the wind so please take care!