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The history of Milia
In the early 1980’s when Iakovos Tsourounakis talked about his dream, others looked on him and said “that poor man.” In other words, he’s gone “crazy!” He wanted to see his ancestral lands take on new life after four decades of abandonment and neglect which had brought about an ecological state of emergency to the area. He wanted to cultivate the land, to grow organic products, to reforest the area, to have a small breeding farm… In other words, to save what was left of the ruins of the Medieval settlement.
He was lucky. He became friends with Giorgos Makrakis, whose family also had property in the area. They discovered they shared the same dream and “kouzoulada” or Cretan “insanity”, and started to work! Somewhere in the middle of this journey, a vision was born – the transformation of the old settlement into an eco-friendly inn for you to enjoy.
It took them about 3 years to restore the centuries-old cottages of Milia. They chose the difficult way showing the utmost respect to the ruined settlement, taking care to not to change the character of the settlement.
The interior of the cottages held on to their original identity – only minor additions were made such as bathrooms. The exterior space was designed to include charming gardens and narrow walkways. The landscape remained untouched, preserving the amphitheatrical layout of the settlement, all the while maintaining the original harmony of the buildings to their natural surroundings.
The materials used in reconstruction were totally and absolutely local to the area of Milia.
Low scale intervention and construction techniques were applied that blended naturally into the existing village style. The builders and designers who worked on the site were exclusively from the surrounding villages and the ecological footprint left behind by the workers was minimal.
That’s how in 1993, with great enthusiasm, Milia and its restaurant opened its doors. It was a pioneering endeavor even to the locals, the hard work done paid off with much success.
Applying this new philosophy, many similar sites have been created around Crete and the rest of Greece. Although they differ, one from the other, they have a shared vision with Milia:
“The  preservation of the circle of life in such a way that serves both humanity and the environment, having always at its core the Cretan tradition and cultural legacy. Realizing that any intervention in the environment would have its consequences, we are careful where we tread. Keeping tradition alive but at the same time never turning a blind eye to the present and future, we try to cultivate civilization in its simplest form. We deem it our responsibility in this day and age that our elders be allowed to remember and our youth me made to learn of how our ancestors lived and survived.”
Five years later Tasos, who was born and raised in Athens, found himself in the lucky company of these men and decided to share their passion.
Today, Giorgos and Tasos are in charge of the daily running of the business. Along with their colleagues, they continue their journey, always using the past as a compass to guide them.
Your stay with us
We hope to describe Milia in such a way as to make you truly understand and appreciate what your stay will actually be like. You won’t really feel as if you are staying in a hotel. You will feel part of small community in the mountains.
The style of our cottages is simple and charming.” All materials used are natural (many of the individual stone cottages actually incorporate the side of the mountain as an interior wall) and furniture – locally handmade pieces and restored antiques – has been chosen to blend in.
We don’t offer 24-hour room service, a gym, a spa or or a swimming pool, instead you will find the luxury of utter peace and quiet, fresh air, and the soothing sounds of nature.