In western Crete, where rainfalls are quite frequent, water mills were used for grinding grain. However, in drier Eastern Crete residents used the wind for their needs. Indeed, many clusters of windmills, called milotopi, are met in most places, especially at northern Mirabelo. The windmills of Ambelos at Lassithi Plateau form the largest milotopi in Greece. Apart from grinding grain, the need for pumping water to irrigate crops at the plateaus of Lassithi and Ziros inspired the construction of lightweight metal windmills that pumped water from wells.
About 12.000 metal windmills operated in the middle of the previous century at Lassithi Plateau, forming the first wind farm in the world with estimated installed power of 5MW.
The villages Ano Pines and Kato Pines hosted two separate sites with windmills. The first site is located at the area called 'Paliomili' high above the villages. The second is located at position Vorina near the village Kato Pines, with incredible views of the lagoon of Elounda.
Sitia province, because it hosts many springs, hosted several places with watermills. Almost every village hosted one or more mills, unlike most places of Eastern Crete where windmills were used, because of the lack of water. One of the best preserved watermills that is still preserved in a very good condition is the watermill of Chochlakies. Chochlakies is a very small village with a very few residents today at the eastern end of Crete. The watermill of Chochlakies is built on the east end of the village, right on the path that leads to the gorge of Chochlakies and the beach of Karoumes.
Above the village Gonies we meet the beautiful windmill of Manousakis, built in 1904 for grinding grain. The restored mill, fully functional today, ceased its commercial operation in 1988, and it was impossible to overcome the technological development of the time.
Near the settlement of Marnellides, Merambelo district, we still meet one of the many windmill parks of Crete. There are still standing 8 windmills in a row, while a little further up the mountain there is a ninth secluded windmill. . Others survive in good condition and others have collapsed. Marnellides mills are of the more usual windmill type of Crete that turns only in a certain wind and is called Axetrocharis (this has rectangular shape). These mills were used for grinding grain.
Near the villages of Episkopi and Mourtzana, in a lush green valley, we still see the ruins of the houses and the watermills of the village Mousses or Moussi. In this village we meet the five watermills that took advantage of the abundant water of the area for grinding grain of the surrounding villages. The mills operated till the 1950s, when the modern technology surpassed the traditional way of grinding. Thus, the millers who saw their job diminishing, had to leave this wonderful place and seek their future elsewhere.
Next to the lush green Springs of Ano Zakros one can visit the Museum of Water and Hydraulic housed in three restored watermills since 2007.
In the central square of the village Chromonastiri is the old oil mill of Prinaris family, fully renovated, with all its old equipment that can work till today.