Located around 28km south-east of Rethymno, in the province of
Agios Vassilios, is the small, exceptionally pretty village of
Spili. This beautiful mountain village, with a population of
approx. 800 inhabitants, stands at an altitude of 430km.
The area is green and lush with many little mountain streams and plenty of trees. In the village square with its shade from plane trees, are marble fountains with sculptured lions' heads that provide drinking water from the clear, refreshing rivers of the Psiloritis Mountain. From the square, narrow lanes lead up to the neighbourhoods of the village. Here can be seen the traditional styled houses with flower-filled gardens and amazing views. There are three churches of interest: The church of Agia Theodori; the church of Agios Georgios and the church of the Metamorphosis of the Sotira (Saviour).
Inside these churches are some wonderful examples of wall frescoes and religious icons. In the church of Agios Georgios, for example, there is a unique wall painting which represents the Holy Trinity, where the Holy Ghost is represented as a dove flying out of the lips of God. The road from Spili continues towards Agia Galini which has a fine beach and was one of the first tourist resorts to be developed in Crete. Gorges of incredible magnificence criss-cross the mountains of the region. Westwards on the road into Spili, is the village of Koxare with 333 inhabitants. Koxare became famous because of the impressive ravine of Kourtaliotis, which is some 3km long and ends at the famous Preveli Lagoon.
The impressive, narrow ravine has a wild beauty and its barren slopes are full of waterfalls and caves. When the wind blows, one hears sounds like clapping of the hands kourtala as it is called in the local dialect. In the ravine there is a further church, the church of Agios Nicholaos. From Spili it is also very easy to visit the Skisma Cave. .