Our most recommended things to do in Spili

From Rethymno: Spili, Agia Galini, and Matala Tour

1. From Rethymno: Spili, Agia Galini, and Matala Tour

Embark on a group tour from Rethymno to visit the charming ancient villages of Crete. Visit the quaint village of Spili, discover the caves of Agia Galini, and enjoy the sandy beach of Matala, with plenty of time to explore on your own. Start with pickup from your hotel by air-conditioned bus, then make your first stop at the village of Spili for 1 hour of free time. Walk the cobbled streets of a village with its well-known lion-head fountains. Browse the many stores and shopfronts selling traditional Cretan products. The next stop is at the amphitheatrically built village of Agia Galini. Here, you will have 1.5 hours to explore the village. Admire the views of small, traditional houses and the harbor, the perfect place for a coffee break. Continue next to Matala where you will have 2.5 hours of free time to enjoy the golden sandy beach. After some time sunbathing on the shore, the bus will then take you back to your hotel.

From Rethymno: Preveli Palm Beach and Damnoni Tour

2. From Rethymno: Preveli Palm Beach and Damnoni Tour

Following pick-up at your hotel, journey to the traditional village of Spili to admire the Venetian fountain of Kefalovrissi with its 19 lion heads. Sit back and enjoy the dramatic scenery of the Kourtaliótiko Gorge as you make your way to the beautiful beach of Preveli. Get breathtaking views of the blue waters of the Aegean Sea contrasting with the lush green of the palm forest and lagoon. After your visit to Spili the next stop is Damnoni beach. From here you will take the boat over to Palm beach. Take some free time to soak in all the beauty of the clear blue waters combined with the lagoon and palm forest. Enjoy time to purchase lunch and refreshments in Damnoni and admire its beautiful clean beach. Journey back to Rethymno and get dropped off at your hotel on arrival.

From Chania : Preveli Palm Beach

3. From Chania : Preveli Palm Beach

Is there a place in Greece that combines a gorge, a river, a lagoon, a wonderful sand beach and a palm forest? The answer is positive and it is the Preveli beach. The beach is located at the exit of Kourtaliotis gorge, where the homonymous river ends. It is one of the most famous beaches of South Crete and receives thousands of visitors every summer. Behind the impressive sandy beach begins the second largest palm forest of 40 hectares, which hosts the endemic Cretan palm tree of Theophrastus. Unfortunately, in the summer of 2010, 70% of this forest was burnt down. Nevertheless, natural reforestation proceeded quickly, the forest regained its character and the area is now protected by the Natura 2000 network. In the heart of the forest, the visitor loses the sense of time and space. You can follow the marked path (and it is advisable not to step off it) and enjoy pictures full of greenery and listen to the sounds of running water. The river forms a small 500m long lake at its exit to the sea with year-round water. In the large swimming pools that form every now and then you can take a refreshing swim. At the mouth of the river there is a sandy beach with a pebble bottom and the water is very cool due to the influence of the river. In the eastern part of the beach there is an impressive rock in the sea that resembles a mast or a heart. As for the sandy beach, it has managed to maintain its naturalness as it has no umbrellas and sunbeds. There is of course a canteen where you can get the essentials but that's the maximum service you'll get here, hence make sure you're organised. Your day starts after we pick you up with our bus from the designated pick up location and we head towards Damnoni. On our way you will make a 30 min stop at Spili village for a coffee break in order to enjoy the beautiful historical village of Spili. After that you are on your way again to Damnoni, in order to catch the ferry that will departure at 11:30. The guide will collect the money in order to bring you the ferry tickets. The ferry needs about 30 minutes to arrive at Preveli beach where you will be able to stay there for 3 hours and explore the Kourtaliotis gorge with the Palm tree forest or relax at the beach. The scheduled time of departure from Preveli beach is at 15:15 (always check with the guide for the exact time !) to Damnoni where you will catch the bus and head to the village of Plakias as you will have free time of 1:30h and you will be able to have lunch and drink at one of the taverns. In the end on our way back, we will make a brief photo stop and enjoy the stunning view of Kourtaliotis gorge. Your drop off will be at the same point you got picked up in the morning !

From Rethymno South private Tour-Spili-Kourtaliotiko-Kalypso

4. From Rethymno South private Tour-Spili-Kourtaliotiko-Kalypso

Start your day at Spili, a small and beautiful village very popular for the lion head fountains, by relaxing under the trees while enjoying a Greek cup of coffee. Try honey and olive oil from local producers. Visit the folks museum and learn about the Cretan history. Then explore the breathtaking Kourtaliotiko Gorge. Walk through the rising rock walls and admire the incredible natural scenery, before you reach the lonely chapel of Agios Nikolaos. Listen to the ethereal sound of the wind, created by its movement through the gorge. Reach the springs of Kourtaliotis, where you can try the cold and fresh water. Arrive at the exotic coastal resort of Kalypso, an old pirate shelter. Relax on Karavos beach, which has recently become a national park. Walk across the towering rocks and dive into the turquoise water of the Libyan Sea.

Votanical Garden-Spili-Preveli-Plakias

5. Votanical Garden-Spili-Preveli-Plakias

Our first stop is the magnificent four acre botanical garden of Crete “Maravel Garden”. There you will experience a massive selection of medicinal herbs that grow alongside the endemic plants of Crete. Learn the secrets of herbal medicines with a one hour free tour. Our next short stop is a 10 minute photostop at Spili where you will encounter 25 lion stone heads from the mouths of which flows an endless supply of clear fresh mountain water. Next stop, photostop at Kourtaliotis gorge for 10 minutes. Preveli beach with its magnificent lagoon and many palm trees offers an idyllic option for swimming and relaxation. We reach the beach by foot after an easy short 10-15 minute walk through a fascinating path. There you will have 2,5hours free time for swimming in the sea and exploring the lagoon. Our final stop is at Plakias, a small village on the bay of the Libyan sea.

Rethymno Land Rover Safari in Southwest Crete

6. Rethymno Land Rover Safari in Southwest Crete

Get off the road and out into the wilderness of southwest Crete on this 8-hour Land Rover safari of stunning mountains and remote beaches. A professional driver will navigate the difficult terrain, taking you to places inaccessible to other vehicles, while teaching you about Cretan culture. The day starts with a drive through the wilderness, up to high altitudes, where you will get aerial views of the magnificent gorges. Look out for vultures and eagles high above. Pass through small traditional villages full of character, and make a brief stop for coffee at one of the remote mountain villages. Back in the vehicle, drive through the mountains to the village of Spili, famous for its spring water. Located under the shadow of Mount Vorizi, the village has a Venetian fountain with a row of more than 25 lion heads supplying cold mountain water all year round. Stroll around the small shops selling handmade souvenirs and traditional handicrafts. Continue along dirt tracks and bumpy roads through more villages, where time has virtually stood still. Passing Kerame, guests will see panoramic views of the southern Cretan coast and the Libyan Sea. Stop for a swim at Preveli Beach to wash off the dirt and dust. Fringed with tall palm trees and boasting crystal clear water, Preveli is one of the most beautiful beaches on Crete, and was chosen by Bacardi as an ideal location for its TV adverts. It is also the only beach in Crete where you can swim in cold mountain water or ocean water in the same place! Working up an appetite, walk back from the beach and stop for a traditional Cretan meal with unlimited wine. After lunch, drive back into the mountains for more dramatic scenery, and more photos as you climb through the stunning Gorge of Kroustaliotico. As you head back towards the end of the tour, look at a magnificent panorama of the entire city of Rethymno from the top of a mountain that can only be reached by Land Rover.

South Trip: Explore Faistos, Ag. Galini, Matala, Spili

7. South Trip: Explore Faistos, Ag. Galini, Matala, Spili

South trip is an interesting trip while you see a lot of villages like Arkadi,Agia Galini,Matala and Spili.Arkadi is famous for its Orthodox monastery which is very old with baroque and roman elements,with a big yard and a lot of trees and flowers.The monastery was a place for science art and had a school with big library.The other destination is Agia Galini a large village with nice beaches,bars and restaurants.Matala is next a very interesting and beautiful village with artificial caves,it was a fishing village and it was full of hippies, with clear waters flower drawings everywhere and quotes around the village,you can enjoy the fresh food while watching the caves.The last station is Spili where you can enjoy the cooling shady plateias and running waters.the whole trip takes 10 hours it starts at 8 in the morning and the come back is at 6 in the afternoon.

From Rethymno: Guided Day Trip to the South Coast

8. From Rethymno: Guided Day Trip to the South Coast

Experience Cretan nature with a local guide on this day tour. Pass through olive groves and traditional villages, smell wild flowers and herbs, and admire the natural beaches of the South Cretan Sea. Commence your tour by departing from Rethymno after meeting your guide. You'll soon arrive at the dam that gathers water from the gorge of Patsos. There, take amazing photos of one of the most important lakes in the southeast Mediterranean, which also boasts many species of birds and animals. Next, stop at the magnificent gorge of Patsos itself. See a small church in a rocky cave and pass through traditional villages before heading over to a higher point for a panoramic view of Rethymno and the two highest mountains of Crete. Afterwards, visit a botanical garden and discover Crete's medicinal plants and flowers. Take a break from walking and enjoy some tea as you bask in Cretan nature. Then, proceed to Spili, a village famous for its natural springs. Lastly, visit the Folklore Museum and end your tour by going to Plakias Beach for a swim with a view of the South Cretan Sea.

From Elounda: Secrets of West Crete & Rethymno Private Tour

9. From Elounda: Secrets of West Crete & Rethymno Private Tour

Pair up with our top local insider & journey along the golden expanse of West Crete by the comfort of a luxury chauffeured vehicle. Submerge into a bespoke adventure fueled by the shimmering authenticity of ancient villages, hospitable locals who live close to untouched nature, lavish gorges spilling their rivers into the sea & storied Byzantine Monasteries nestled among utopian wonders. Tuck into the genuine flavors of our legendary forefathers. Unearth the archaic hamlet of King Agamemnon where water resources are pure, the temperature is ideal, & the local knowledge of food is an art. Prepare to be mesmerized by delicious aromas of slow-grilled lamb & melt-in-mouth river fish placed around an open fire straight in front of you. Luxuriate along the seaside town of Rethymno wallowing in the charm of the labyrinthian streets & Venetian fortification. Revel in the glamour of the old town that makes it a minor playground for authentic street markets & eclectic wine-cocktail bars.

Original Crete tour from Rethymno

10. Original Crete tour from Rethymno

Following pick-up at your hotel, journey begins from Kotsifou Canyon where you follow an amazing path. After the hiking you will arrive to plakias, from here you will take the boat over to Palm beach. Take some free time to soak in all the beauty of the clear blue waters combined with the lagoon and palm forest. You will leave preveli passing by damnoni and kourtaliotiko gorge which you can admire from above and some beautiful pictures to capture the scenery. Next stop is the olive groves where you can have a picknick and enjoy the local flora Before the return to Rethymno, the traditional village of Spili is waiting for you to admire the Venetian fountain of Kefalovrissi with its 19 lion heads. Sit back and enjoy the dramatic scenery of the Kourtaliótiko Gorge. Enjoy time to purchase lunch and refreshments in Spili and admire its beautiful clean beach. Journey back to Rethymno and get dropped off at your hotel on arrival.

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What people are saying about Spili

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 242 reviews

We were picked up punctually from our hotel and welcomed in a very friendly manner by our tour guide and bus driver. The tour guide told us a lot of interesting facts about the island during the trip. Little by little we then approached the individual destinations of the tour, where we had enough time to look at everything. All places were super beautiful and well worth seeing. The bus ride was very pleasant for us, there was great music on the island and the places. Thanks to the perfect driving skills of our bus driver, we were able to fully enjoy the trip and the island. The tour guide made the day perfect with his super great manner, even though the weather was a bit mixed.

AWESOME!! the stops on our way to matala were beautiful and even the bus ride was nice itself. thanks to andreas we've heard interessting facts about crete and our destinations. the red beach and the hike to it is a definitive recommondation.

The tour was led by tour guide Anastasia and bus driver Costas, both did an excellent job. A lot has been said about Crete. Costas played the lyre for us, . All stops had a lot of charm, Matala caves and beach is a must see destination.

A wonderful trip, enough time for everything. Great Spili, the beautiful Monastery of Prevelli and an amazing beach. Thank you very much for the day spent together. Magda, Piotr, Julia and Szymon from Gdańsk

Great trip through the mountains to the south coast. The guide and driver were really lovely and friendly