Spili is one of the most beautiful villages of Crete, located 30 km from Rethymnon at an altitude of 430 m. No more than 800 people live here permanently, but in the summer months there are much more people in Spili. Numerous tourists come to the village full of charm, tradition and sights. What to see in Spili?


First of all, the guests of the village tend to see Kefalovrisi - as the locals call a row of 25 fountains in the form of lion heads. Water from 39 underground springs flows out of them. It is so pure that it can be typed into bottles. The fountain is considered one of the most picturesque legacies of Crete from the time of the Venetian rule. In Spili, legends about the miracles that water from fountains can create are still alive. According to beliefs, if you wash or drink from each, you can improve your health, and girls can find their love. Around Kefalovrisi there are taverns with traditional Cretan cuisine and shops where you can buy mountain herbs, textiles, woodwork and ceramics.

Interesting fact: the water of the fountains is rich in iron and has a constant temperature of +13 °C

Spili Folklore Museum

Among the attractions of the village of Spili in Crete is the Folklore Museum. It was opened in 2011 and is dedicated to the life and culture of local residents, who are known for their proud disposition. The museum is housed in a traditional two-story mansion and was founded by the local women's association. On the first floor, visitors enter a typical Cretan house with a collection of historical furniture and a complete renovation of the interiors. Among the exhibits of the museum are agricultural tools, textiles and embroidery, a loom, dishes, national costumes, and paintings.

Additional information: The Spili Museum is open from 10:00 to 18:00. You are allowed to take photos inside. Admission is free, but voluntary donations are welcome


There are 21 churches in Spili and its immediate surroundings, an impressive number for such a small settlement. Apparently, the locals have always been distinguished by religiosity. It is especially interesting to visit the churches of St. George, the Transfiguration and the Virgin Mary. All of them are decorated with frescoes of the 14th century. Also worth visiting is the 1962 St. Paul's Church and the St. Raphael Church, which stands out for its architecture. In Spili there is a church museum with artifacts from different eras. Entrance to it is free.

Botanical Garden

Spili is located in a picturesque area, surrounded by untouched nature. This place is the best suited for the opening of the Maravel Garden botanical garden. Entering its gates (especially during the period from April to September), visitors find themselves in a magical and quiet place filled with the aromas of herbs. 300 species of trees, flowers, common and rare plants, including medicinal ones, grow on the territory of the garden. You need to take at least 1-2 hours to walk around Maravel Garden to enjoy its beauty and learn a lot of interesting things about the unique plants of Crete.

Additional information: there is a shop with local products at the botanical garden. You can buy herbal preparations, essential oils, honey. Maravel Garden is open daily. Free admission. Visitors are treated to herbal tea and refreshing drinks.

Spili – Gerakari

Hikers and nature beauties lovers will be glad to know that one of the most popular hiking trails in Crete starts from Spili to Gerakari. It requires endurance and preparation: the length of the route is 18.5 km, and you can complete it in 8 hours. Along the way, you will be able to visit remote mountain villages and little-known ancient churches. The end point of the route will be the village of Gerakari, where you can relax in taverns, admire the architecture and visit several churches.

The most experienced hikers go hiking on their own. Others take a guide. When going on a trip without a guide, you need to remember the safety rules: take a good map with you, share your plans with someone from the locals, be in touch and initially have experience of hiking.

Please note: the passage along the route is possible from March to October

How to get to Spili

Spili is a popular destination for organized tours. And you can get there in two ways:

  • By car, leaving Rethymno and turning off the National Highway inland, and then moving along the Rethymno-Agia Galini road;
  • By regular bus from Rethymno bus station to Agia Galini. The trip will cost 3.5 euros. Stop in Spili - after about 40 minutes of travel. Buses leave 4 times a day: the first one is at 5:30, the last one is at 14:15 (the schedule changes, you need to check at the bus station).