Muses Beach Villas – Cleo

Palekastro & Eastern Crete , Crete , Greece

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  • Beachfront location
  • Authentic Crete
  • Short walk to tavernas
  • Close to Palekastro

Crete is often cited as the best of all the Greek islands for a beach holiday, and whilst there are quite a few contenders for that accolade, we think that these wonderful new contemporary villas are an unbeatable choice for any beach-loving couple.

Muses Beach Villas are four, independent, one-bedroom villas on the edge of sandy Kouremenos beach: Thalia, Erato, Urania and Cleo, the third villa back from the beach. Generously sized for two, each offers immaculate interiors and is well equipped with everything you could need. Think of it as beach life with all the comforts of home thrown in. The plot is also substantial for just four villas, allowing space for private pools, individual patios and a good glimpse of the sea from each. Privacy matters too of course, so the houses are staggered to ensure as much seclusion as possible and if you really want to get away from it all, take a wander along Kouremenos beach, which is rarely crowded, even in high of season.

We first offered holidays in this part of Crete back in the 1980s and returning recently, we were a little nervous about how it might have changed. Thankfully, the beaches, villages and traditional town of Palekastro remain reassuringly unspoilt and we were welcomed by old acquaintances with the unfailing hospitality that so typifies this wonderful island.

There are several charming tavernas within walking distance of Cleo, where you can indulge in traditional cuisine and local Sitia wine, so if you’ve come in search of a solar recharge and some shoe-free downtime, this is the ideal spot. But if you’ve a passion for exploring, the rugged drama of the eastern Crete mountains and coastline is incredibly rewarding.

Looking for 10 nights..? Why not add a 3-night stay in a boutique hotel to your villa holiday. To find out more, view our 10-night holidays in Greece.

Good to know... It goes without saying that the road less travelled sometimes takes a little longer. The Muses Beach Villas are a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Heraklion. However, if you fancy a night or two in Athens on route, you can fly to Sitia and the villas are just a half-hour drive away. For more information, please visit our Short Stays in Athens page.

In Greece, a tourist tax may apply at your accommodation which will be payable locally, in cash, during the course of your holiday. Please use the link to view details specific to your accommodation. View tourist tax rates here.


Muses Beach Villas

  • A cluster of four adult only one-bedroom villas on Kouremenos Beach
  • Cleo is the third villa from the beach
  • Villas are staggered to retain as much privacy from each other as possible
  • The villas share a driveway entrance, but benefit from private swimming pools, gardens and terraces


  • 1 bedroom single story villa (sleeps 2)
  • Open plan living/dining/kitchen area with Satellite TV; Sliding doors to patio
  • Fully equipped kitchen includes full cooker, microwave, fridge-freezer and dishwasher
  • Double bedroom (150cm x 200cm bed); sliding doors to patio
  • Shower room


  • Complimentary wifi
  • Air-conditioned throughout
  • Iron, ironing board, hairdryer, bath and pool towels provided
  • Washing machine
  • Barbecue and spacious shaded terrace
  • Swimming pool 8m x 4m (depth 1.5m), walk-in steps
  • Parking space
  • A torch is recommended when walking back from local tavernas in the evening
  • Nearest taverna offers delivery service at no extra charge 
  • Masseuse available for villa visits (payable locally)
  • Please note, babies and children are not accepted at Muses Beach Villas


  • All properties with wifi are able to support basic functionality such as web browsing and checking emails

* We aim to offer an uninterrupted service but sometimes due to factors beyond our control reliability can be affected.

National tourist licence (EOT): 1040K91003261001


  • Kouremenos Beach 1min walk
  • Taverna 3min walk
  • Chiona Beach and tavernas 10min walk
  • Palekastro shops/tavernas 8min drive
  • Vai 20min drive
  • Sitia 25min drive
  • Heraklion airport 2hr 20min drive

Car hire

Car options

Based on the number of people travelling, the following hire car(s) are included in the package price of your holiday:

  • 2 guests – 1 Group C2, Fiat Grande Punto or similar*

* All our cars include comprehensive insurance with no excess charge. For this particular destination, the undercarriage, tyres, wing mirrors and windscreen are not included in the cover.

Car specification

Group C2 – 1.2-1.4 litre engine, 1 large suitcase*

The following cars are available as alternatives on request (supplements apply). Please call our travel specialists for details.

Group D2 – Hyundai i30 or similar, 1.4 litre engine, 2 large suitcases

Group CA – Automatic Fiat Grande Punto or similar, 1.2-1.4 litre engine, 1 large suitcase*

Group D3 – Skoda Octavia or similar, 1.4 - 2.0 litre engine, 3 large suitcases*

Group DA3 – Automatic Seat Toledo or similar, 1.4 - 2.0 litre engine, 3 large suitcase*

Group L2 – Skoda Yeti or similar, 2.0 litre engine, 3 large suitcases*

* Suitcase sizes are based on a large suitcase being approximately 75cm x 41cm x 31cm, a medium suitcase of approximately 65cm x 46cm x 29cm and a small suitcase of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm.

We had a marvellous week in an amazing villa. From booking to departure all was extremely well organised. We had a brilliant time in a beautiful villa surrounded by unspoilt countryside with only waves and goats bells to interrupt the peace and tranquility. Our rep Claire was excellent, she was always available, and when we realised we’d bought the wrong adapters she bought us the correct one. Our hosts were utterly charming, they were very proud of their villa and proud they had such a good relationship with Simpsons. They brought us home cooked food, checked we had everything we needed, assisted with setting up the first bbq, and were happy to recommend the best local tavernas. It was lovely to share their joy in the property they had lovingly created.

Mrs Amy Blackburn, May 2024

This is the place to go for a truly relaxing holiday in bespoke accommodation in a very unspoilt area of Crete. The accommodation and the grounds are maintained to the highest possible standards. There are several excellent tavernas in the immediate vicinity and the beaches during May are almost deserted. Indeed one lovely beach is at the bottom of the garden of the site of the villas. Realistically the villa is around a 3 hours drive from the airport although the roads are very good, but if you want quietness and experience of rural Crete it is very worthwhile.

Mrs Rachel Simms, May 2024

Another wonderful stay at Cleo – we’ve returned annually since 2017 (barring Covid years) and still find the location welcoming, peaceful and with enough interest to keep returning.

Simpson Traveller – Cleo, September 2023

A wonderfully relaxing week at Cleo. Although ‘bijou’, the villa has all the mod cons and everything you could possibly need. Complete peace and quiet, with only the noise of the sea in the background. All the tavernas in the local area good, especially Chiona seafood restaurant, where the tables are perfect on flat rocks next to the sea. Mochlos is worth a visit if you fancy exploring further afield – a small fishing village with several tavernas and a traditional Cretan atmosphere. Also, many thanks to Claire for going that extra mile to make our week in Cleo memorable.

Grams and Jan, September 2023

From helpful and knowledgeable staff in the booking department to car hire reps waiting for you at arrivals and departures and a very knowledgeable rep, in our case Claire at the villa destination, a holiday with Simpson Travel is seamless from start to finish!

Mrs Susan Radford, September 2023

Many thanks to all at Muses – a great and relaxing holiday. Can certainly recommend a 2-3 week stay. Many thanks to Claire for her kind attention. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve stayed here – must be five at least!

Keith, July 2023

Beautiful villa, quiet, private and in a stunning setting. Right on the beach which was almost deserted. Perfect setting if you are after isolation and relaxation.

Karen Butler, September 2022

4th Simpson's holiday. Excellent as ever!

Clive Harvey, August 2022

Cleo was the perfect escape for my daughter and I we loved the remoteness of the area albeit it is a way from the airport but we knew this and it was worth the drive. All local tavernas extremely good and excellent value for money.

Emma Tsang, August 2022

The entire Simpson experience, from initial enquiry to the end of the vacation, was perfect - totally professional. We have already put a deposit against another Simpson vacation next year.

Peter Cross, June 2022

The accommodation was outstanding and the service we received whilst we were staying there was beyond our expectations.

Nicholas Hill, May 2022

Thoroughly enjoyed the wild emptiness of Eastern Crete. Toplou monastery and Kato Zakros are well worth visiting. Once again Simpson has done a wonderful job and Marion was greatly helpful – especially for providing the geocultural pamphlet – David is a geology nut and Marion was extremely helpful about a lot of other things too.

David & Angela, September 2019

Marion was an excellent Simpson rep. East Crete was very fine, a bit like other parts of Greece 30-40 years ago. Most enjoyable relaxing holiday.

David Russell, August 2019

Simpson Travel was amazing from booking right through to departure. The villa was extremely clean and well equipped, with everything we could need. The pre-departure information, directions to the villa and contact details for our rep were all brilliant and so straightforward. The arrival at the airport and car collection was so smooth and to be greeted by a rep when we arrived at the airport to go home, who helped us get checked in, was a great touch We declined a visit from the rep during our stay but knew she was available if we needed her. A fantastic villa, great location and outstanding service throughout.

The Whites, July 2019

A wonderful two weeks in what we consider one of the best villas, everything you could wish for was there and the housekeeping/cleaning was exceptional. If you could rid the beach of stones for our next visit, this would be great! Everyone has been so friendly and Panos, our host in the local taverna, was brilliant. I am addicted to moussaka now! A very happy, relaxing holiday – Simpson Travel has been amazing right from the moment we booked our holiday.

Maddie & Ian, July 2019

A fantastic holiday, couldn't have asked for more. The whole experience of dealing with Simpson Travel could not be faulted, from booking, to the arrival in Crete, the rep Marian, to the car hire customer service. Eastern Crete is stunning and unspoilt, exactly as we like it. Simply a fantastic experience from beginning to end. We will definitely be using Simpson Travel again. They are everything a travel company should be.

Simpson Traveller, June 2019

This was our first holiday in Crete and we’ve had a fantastic time. The villa is lovely and we enjoyed lazing by the pool.

Sarah & Paul, June 2019

The apartment is well furnished and perfect for a stay. Even a mini washing machine. The help from Marion at Simpson was great – from the welcome pack to the parting gift – she has introduced me to cinnamon biscuits and I may never go back! Lovely place, great for relaxing. Chiona restaurant has the best views, Retro wonderfully eclectic, Helas fantastic oven food and the local has the best welcome – especially if ‘mama’ is there. Great holiday, thank you Simpson – will come again.

Tracey & Ian, May 2019

Cleo has to be one of our top two or three holiday locations/villas in over 30 years of travel to Greece and mostly Crete – made even better by the people.

Rev & Mrs Kane, October 2018

Without a doubt this was the best self-catering holiday experience we have had. All the staff were exceptionally friendly, starting with the greeting at the airport. The smoothest and easiest car pick up we have ever known, with a thorough run through of both car and directions to the accommodation. Muses Beach Villas – Cleo was superb with everything you could want/need being provided. The welcome pack had been adapted as my wife is gluten intolerant, a thoughtful touch. The Simpson Travel representative came at the appointed time and gave us tips for areas of interest that we spoke about, and some ideas we had not thought about – her recommendations were accurate and did not disappoint.

Mr Harrison, September 2018

Muses is our idea of paradise, it was exactly as advertised and fully met all our expectations and more. It is secluded and quiet with all amenities close to hand. The villa is well-equipped and to such a high standard. It was an amazing 2-week holiday. The villa staff and owner were so friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The Simpson Travel representative was also amazing and excellent – always helpful and available. All the information packs were so accurate and welcome. We will be returning, of that we have no doubt. Thank you Simpson Travel.

Helen & Ian, August 2018

We had a wonderful time here. The villa is lovely – so clean and well-equipped and definitely the best Simpson Travel place we've stayed in. Also love Eastern Crete – friendly, relaxed and un-touristy, completely what we wanted. There are plenty of near-empty beaches to enjoy. Really have nothing to complain about apart from having to go home. The screens on the doors are perfect for both letting the breeze in and preventing bugs/mosquitos from getting in. Must be the first holiday I have escaped with zero mosquito bites! All in all a truly memorable holiday. We aim to come back next year to explore all the other wonderful things in the area.

Jo & Jim, October 2017

Excellent accommodation which was beautifully set in a peaceful area with the sea adjacent and a backdrop of mountains. Calm, peaceful and relaxing, this place very much suited our holiday requirements.

Mrs Mann, September 2017

Simpson Travel again have found fantastic property in Crete. Everything you need and more. Always feel we have stayed in a special property with the touches to make you feel like someone has made an effort to make it special.

Mrs Davies, August 2017

Loved the thought and attention to detail that has gone into the design and construction of this lovely property. Enjoyed relaxing by the pool and visiting local beaches.

Maria, July 2017

The Muses Beach Villas are in a perfect spot to relax and unwind. They are also a great base to explore the undeveloped Eastern part of Crete. There are a couple of tavernas within walking distance and also a beach bar. Nearby Palekastro has all of the supplies that you will need for a wonderful holiday.

Mrs Atkinson, June 2017

Our choice of Greek properties is as diverse as the islands themselves, ranging from simple seaside charm to genuine luxury and style. Much of our portfolio is privately owned, and price alone is therefore not a universal guide. We contract all our accommodation in person, and each property has its individual appeal. To help you make the right choice based on your own priorities, we have devised a simple grading guide to be considered in conjunction with each individual property description, awarding up to a maximum of five stars for the below categories.


Property Grading Key:

  • 5/5


  • 4/5

    Very good

  • 3/5


  • Location


    Position, view, serenity, privacy

  • Comfort


    Space, style, overall furnishings

  • Facilities*


    Property enhancements

  • Amenities*


    Proximity to beaches, restaurants and shops

* For further clarification on Facilities and Amenities, please view the 'Details' tab for each property or speak to one of our experienced sales consultants.

A destination where tourism is not the local raison d’être, this is a place to relax unreservedly into a life by the sea. The landscape is rugged – mountains, gorges and rocky hillsides scattered with tiny villages and ancient ruins – but some of Crete’s finest beaches belong here too. Among them are spectacular Xerokambos and palm-fringed Vai, whilst Palekastro is one of Europe’s favourite windsurfing spots. And there are plenty of excellent waterfront tavernas where the passing of time is best marked by the waves rolling in nearby.

To the south of the region you'll find Makrygialos, an unpretentious one-time fishing village bordering a magnificent sandy beach by the warm Libyan Sea. It's a little more commercial here these days but the real draw is its extraordinary position close to some of Crete's most spectacular scenery and traditional villages. A visit to Pefki is a must, not least to dine at the pretty taverna where the ingredients are locally sourced and prepared in the traditional way to mouthwatering effect. With outstanding views across the southern coastline, there can be nowhere finer to enjoy lunch before indulging in a walk down the Pefki Gorge for a refreshing dip in the sea.

To base yourself in this idyllic destination, visit our collection of handpicked villas in and around Palekastro & Eastern Crete or take a look at our boutique Simpson Hotels.

Read more on our Crete region page

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