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Spili
Spili

Spili

Main Road, Spili, Greece, 740 53

The Basics

The wordspili in Greek means cave, and it’s widely thought that this village gets its name from the local geography. The closest cave, Peristere, is reported to have once featured a painted figure of the Virgin Mary. The religious nature of Spili is also evident in its three churches, some of which feature frescoes dating back to the 14th century. The Folk Museum features local handicrafts and artifacts relating to the traditional Cretan way of life.

Sitting in Spili’s main square is a grand Venetian fountain, known as Kefalovrissi. It’s decorated with a series of 25 lion heads (the symbol of Venice) spouting fresh drinking water from one of the many nearby natural springs. The iron-rich water from these springs is also served in many of the village cafés and tavernas. The surrounding countryside is also worth exploring, either on foot, as part of a 4x4 tour, or on a small-group tour of central Crete’s villages and picturesque natural sights.

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Matala - Agia Galini - Spili ( Small Group Tour)
Matala - Agia Galini - Spili ( Small Group Tour)
$40.67 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Excellent tour
Barbara is an exeptional guide fully recommend this tour Excellent itenerary Spili Agia Galini and Matala
YIFAT_M, Jul 2021

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Spili is ideal for anyone wanting to experience a traditional Cretan village.

  • All the basic amenities can be found in Spili, including supermarkets, banks, a post office, and a health center.

  • Plenty of tavernas serve local food, while shops offer traditional folk art and souvenirs.

  • Head west of the village to the spectacular Kourtaliotiko Gorge, which runs all the way to Preveli Palm Beach on the south coast.

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How to Get There

Spili is located in central Crete, approximately 18.5 miles (30 kilometers) south of the coastal town of Rethymnon on national route 97. The village is a common stop-off point for drivers en route to the south coast.

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When to Get There

Like many traditional Cretan towns and villages, Spili grows in popularity during the summer months. For a far quieter experience, visit during the week or outside of high season.

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Visit Arkadi Monastery

Discover a prominent national symbol in Crete’s struggle for independence at the Arkadi Monastery, located approximately 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) northeast of Spili. Sitting atop a high plateau surrounded by mountains, vineyards, and ancient olive groves, the complex includes a Renaissance-style church, refectory, powder magazine, and hospice, plus tranquil surrounding gardens. Explore the variety of buildings while learning about the monastery’s significance during the Cretan rebellion of 1866.

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