Keramos Studios in Zaros

Keramos Studios in Zaros on Crete is an inexpensive two-star hotel/guesthouse with one of the best breakfasts on the island using food from the family’s farm.

Keramos Studios in Zaros on CreteKeramos Studios in Zaros

We’d visited Zaros in Crete several years earlier while researching a guidebook. We didn’t have time to stay there while we did our Rouvas Gorge Walk, but we had time to look around the small village (population about 3,000) and found it a really interesting and charming place. We were determined to return, and eventually got the chance, but this time to stay overnight.

Map showing location of Zaros on CreteMap (c) Google Maps

Where is Zaros?

Zaros could hardly be more central on Crete. Just look at Google’s map. It’s about an hour’s drive south-west of Herakleion, just under two hours’ drive south-east from Rethymnon, and about half an hour from Matala and Phaistos on the south coast. If you have a car, Zaros would make a great place to be based.

Keramos Studios in Zaros on Crete

Keramos Studios in Zaros

Keramos Studios was easy to find, in the centre of the small village, and there was plenty of parking nearby. Though they call themselves ‘studios’, it’s a combination of guesthouse and 2-star hotel. If you think two stars doesn’t seem much, don’t worry.

While the accommodation is simple, it’s super-clean, has everything you need, the family which runs it are incredibly friendly and helpful, and the room rates are remarkably cheap. We thought it was excellent value for money and would go back like a shot.

Key to Our Room at Keramos Studios in Zaros on CreteThe Key to Our Room

Our Room at Keramos Studios

Our room was on one of the upper floors, and there’s a very old-fashioned elevator, which we loved. Our room key was a very old-looking and enormous metal key – yes, a real key! We had a large and comfy double bed, kitchenette (which we didn’t need), an en suite bathroom, a big wooden wardrobe, and a lovely traditional feel to it. We also had a balcony where we could sit and gaze out at the mountains. 

View from our Balcony at Keramos Studios in Zaros on CreteView from our Balcony at Keramos Studios

Dining at Vegera

Keramos only serves breakfast so we had dinner at the Vegera Restaurant, a one-minute walk away and an inspired choice. See our separate review here: Dining at Vegera.

Food on the Table at Vegera Restaurant in Zaros on CretePart of our Feast at the Vegera Restaurant

Breakfast at Keramos Studios

By the time breakfast came round, we couldn’t believe it after the feast at Vergera but we were actually hungry again. It was just as well as we’ve never been served such a breakfast spread. It didn’t surprise us when we discovered that the woman who makes the breakfasts fresh every morning is Katerina, the aunt of Vee-Vee who runs Vergera. Cooking and generosity obviously run in the family.

Pies on the table for breakfast at Keramos Studios in Zaros on CretePlenty of Choice of Pies!

Katerina’s baking is her speciality and she starts very early in the morning in the Keramos kitchen. As well as making bread, she makes about twenty different pies, and between us we managed to sample fifteen of them (I counted)! The waiter just kept on bringing them. He more we praised them, the more he brought.

They included banana pies, several different types of cheese pie, zucchini and mint pies, marmalade pies, raisin pies, milk pies, spinach pies, pumpkin pies with honey and nuts in them, two kinds of chocolate pie, one baked and one fried - eat them with honey, the waiter told us. Chocolate with honey? Yes, it was brilliant.

Katerina bringing breakfast bread at Keramos Studios in Zaros on CreteKaterina Brings Out the Fresh Breakfast Bread

And as if this wasn't enough, we were also told to tuck into the buffet of cold meats, cheese, tomatoes, yoghourt, and honey. We admit we did take a small plate, just to keep him happy. Finally, when we assumed we'd finished, he bought us each an omelette. A chip omelette. 

The Greece Travel Secrets team with Katerina at the Keramos Studios in Zaros on CreteGreece Travel Secrets with Katerina

The Family Farm

Katerina’s son, Mikalis, runs the family farm, called the Kamihis Farm. At Keramos Studios you can book a farm tour, so of course we did one before leaving Zaros. There are three types of tour available, and we did the basic tour as that’s all the time we had. 

You can also add a cheese- and bread-making class, or go for the luxury option which adds an outing to gather wild herbs and going back to the farm and making pies with them. You might also join in wine-making, raki-making, or making olive oil, depending on the season.

Mikalis with daughters and donkey at the Kamihis Farm in Zaros on CreteMikalis and his Daughters

Our farm tour was wonderful. We were accompanied by Mikalis’s two young daughters, who helped introduce us to all the animals. The chickens had chicks that were a few days old, and one of the goats had a tiny kid with it, which Mikalis picked up and brought over to us. There was a horse, too, and rabbits, pigs with little ones suckling, and donkeys.

Bread coming out of the oven at the Kamihis Farm in Zaros on CreteBread Fresh from the Oven

Afterwards we went back to the farmhouse where Katerina was baking bread, then started frying chips and eggs, cutting cheese, and we were treated to a lovely lunch with everything from the farm: tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, peaches, bread, cheese, and of course eggs and chips. Oh, and a little raki. It was delicious and delightful. We highly recommend it, and the Keramos Studios in Zaros. It’s more than just somewhere to stay, it’s a very Greek family experience.

More Information

Visit the Keramos Studios website. Our stay here was booked through our guide Isi from Go Crete.

Food on the table at the Kamihis Farm in Zaros on CretePart of our Spread on our Kamihis Farm Visit

See our other Zaros pages on Dining at Vegera and our Rouvas Gorge Walk.

Other Crete pages

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  • Battle of Crete

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  • Dining at Vegera

    Greece Travel Secrets eats at Vegera in Zaros and finds a cheap but wonderful feast of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes cooked daily with fresh local food.

  • Hiking in Southwest Crete

    Greece Travel Secrets goes hiking in southwest Crete with Ramblers Walking Holidays based in Paleohora and hiking the E4 footpath and to Anidri and Azogires.

  • Crete Olive Oil Tour

    For a Crete olive oil tour Greece Travel Secrets visits Biolea, one of the few olive oil factories on Crete that you can visit.

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  • Manousakis Wine Tasting

    We visit and tour the Manousakis Winery on Crete with a wine-tasting and a chance to buy their tsikoudia, sea salt, olive oil and other goodies.

  • Maleme and the German War Cemetery on Crete

    Maleme near Chania is where the people who died during the battle of Crete are buried, in the German War Cemetery with the Commonwealth War Cemetery nearby.

  • Rouvas Gorge Walk

    This Rouvas Gorge walk starts and ends in Zaros in southern Crete and should take three to four hours with a distance of eight kilometres or five miles.

  • Eco-Tourism Accommodation on Crete

    The Dalabelos Estate offers luxury eco-tourism accommodation on Crete in the hills near Rethymnon with its own farm, vineyard and olive groves.

  • Malia and its Minoan Palace on Crete

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  • Best Crete Hotels

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  • Olive Grove Walk

    This olive grove walk from Limnes to Vrises on Crete also takes you through orchards and gives close-up views of some of the island’s windmills.

  • The Herb Man of Kouses

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  • Crete Festivals and Events

    Crete festivals and events include Carnival Easter, Whitsun, Christmas, many other religious feast days and public holidays.

  • The Cretan Diet

    Studies have shown the Cretan Diet as one of the healthiest in the world, involving lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, fresh fish, and moderate amounts of wine.

  • Best Things to Do on Crete

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  • Airbnb near Chania

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  • Touring the Lyrarakis Winery on Crete

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  • Matala Beach

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