Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Have a rest stop at Spili...with your dog

Venetian lion head fountain at Spili
In the summer of 2012, wherever we were heading, it seemed we made a stop at the mountain village of Spili. We would drive from Heraklion in convoy and meet up with our group at Spili before heading down to the south coast. We would stop to buy last minute provisions at the grocery shop in Spili so as to not have food and drink in the hot car all the way from central Crete. But mostly, we would stop to enjoy the cooler climate of the mountains, to water our dogs, and to take a break from the hot south coast.

Spili is on the road from Rethymnon to Agia Galini on the south coast, just before the turn off for numerous lovely beaches (Preveli, Ligres, Agios Pavlos and many more). Apart from the fountains, there is a large carpark, a few shops selling local handicrafts, a couple of grocery shops, cafes and tavernas. I've sat at several of these cafes with Sage without any problems from the owners. In particular, we came for breakfast at the Panorama Taverna, which overlooks the lion head fountain. Here we sat on the balcony of the Panorama and, the clue is in the name, enjoyed fantastic views of the village and surrounding landscape. 
View of the square at Spili from the Panorama Taverna
There are rent rooms at Spili, and I'm sure it would be a great base for exploring the small neighbouring villages, and the nearby mountain trails. But I love this village as a break from the arid, rocky coast of the south - after a few days of heat and sand, it's wonderful to see flowing water, plane trees and shade. 

There is a website for this village that provides information on the local wildlife, the handicraft museum and life in the village:
On the balcony of the Panorama Taverna, Spili

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