Discover Plakias & Spili... on Foot
Our eighth book in the series Discover...on Foot has 10 easy country walks in the area of Plakias and Spili in the Prefecture of Agios Vasilios. It is a fantastic area for walking! It is a scenic region with beautiful beaches on the south coast but also with many mountainous areas. Its capital is Spili with the famous springs and its scenic natural areas. Plakias is a known destination with beautiful sandy beaches, many picturesque villages and amazing landscapes!
Except of the walks the book gives you also lot of extra information about the villages, history and the area. Many beautiful pictures and detailed walking maps make this book complete.
About Plakias and Spili
The settlement of Plakias is located on the Libyan Sea, about 35 km from Rethymno and has about 325 permanent inhabitants. The name Plakias goes back to the sandstone plates (plaka – πλάκα = plate) located in the bay. The Plakias in the past didn’t use to be a settlement at all. The bay served as an anchorage for the occasional fishing of some inhabitants of the villages Sellia and Mirthios during the summer months. The bay of Plakias has never offered itself as a natural harbor, since it is exposed to wind and high water.
The first mentioning of Plakias as a settlement was in 1961, when it was recorded as a permanent home to six fishermen and their families. At the end of the fifties, the first and very few foreign tourists appeared, the majority of them Australians, English and Germans. The touristic development of Plakias continued quite smoothly in the 1970s and intensified in the 1980s. Once a small fishermen town, over the last decades Plakias has developed into a popular holiday destination with many hotels/ apartments and is now a known tourist “hotspot” on the south coast of Crete!
Spili is an important node of southern Crete transport network, located approximately 30 km far from the city of Rethymno. This mountain village is built at an altitude of 430m on the western slope of the Mountn Kedros. Its population is 800 inhabitants, but this number increases during the summer months. The villagers are mainly farmers, ranchers and merchants, but in recent years most of the young inhabitants deal with tourism. Characteristic are the springs in the center of the village square with the two huge plane trees, Kefalovrisi (i.e. prime spring) as it is called. This is a series of 25 fountains in the form of a lion head, from the mouths of which 330 cubic meters of water flow every hour, rich in iron and having a constant temperature of 13°C. These springs are believed to originate from Psiloritis. Apart from this there are numerous traditional watermills preserved until today, some nicely restored! The lush vegetation of Spili is caused by the river flowing south of the village. The river is full of trout and can be accessed through a path behind the restored watermills.