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Rethymnon Prefecture Continued Page Nineteen

Karines is a pretty village a little past here. There's a cave at Patsos which was a Minoan, Dorian, and Roman sanctuary. There are nice walks in just about every direction from here that pass through lovely countryside and small villages. From Spili, if you take the left fork at Asomatos, you'll be on your way to Preveli, continuing on straight will take you to Myrthios and Plakias.

Below Levkoyia is one of the few rivers in Crete that flows all year, the Megapotamos, with a 19th century bridge along the way. The Kourtaliotis gorge of this river is at the sea near Preveli, and at the mouth of the gorge where the river empties into the sea there are sandy beaches lined with date palms, and pools upstream in the river.

the monastery of PreveliKato PreveliThe abandoned lower half of the monastery Moni Preveli (left) is here, called both Kato Preveli (right) and Aghios Ioannis. The abbot here was collecting arms for a revolt here in 1821, at the beginning of the War of Independence, but the Turks heard about it and came to destroy the monastery, but the abbot welcomed them and got them so drunk that they fell asleep, and the monks escaped, but the place was sacked and burned. Today, the wooden ikonostasis remains amid broken walls, and there is a shady courtyard.

Piso Preveli, a short distance away and up on the bluffs has been largely preserved, as well as 17th century icons there (open 8am to 1pm and 3pm to 7pm). During World War II allied troops were given food and shelter here after the Battle of Crete and helping organize them for their rescue by submarine on beaches near the monastery (most likely at Palm Beach (see below). A monument commemorates these events as well as offerings to the icon in the church.

Palm Beach is just to the east of the monastery and requires some effort to get down to by either foot or vehicle. A lovely estuary oasis with palms and oleanders, it is best visited outside of peak season, when it not only gets very crowded, but becomes also rather foul for lack of toilet facilities for the hordes of visitors. Garbage has also been a serious problem, though hopefully by the time you read this, some improvements in this will have been made.

Rethymno Prefecture Continued: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20