Mili Gorge is a stunning green oasis near the town of Rethymno. It is actuallya ravine inside which hosts a huge number of plants and trees, a real botanic garden. It is located north of the village Chromonastiri and south of Xero Chorio.
In recent years it attracts many walkers who trek along a nice trail. At the middle of the canyon we meet the deserted village of Mili (i.e. Mills) which is divided into two neighborhoods, Ano (Upper) and Kato (Lower) Mili. Its name is taken after the water mills that were housed in the gorge, about 30. The villagers were mostly millers and almost all cereals in the region and the surrounding villages were milled at Mili.
Today we can see in good condition only one watermill that has been renovated so the visitors can get an idea of how they worked. Apart from the many mills, there are many gardens with fruit trees and vegetables. The water never stops running from the springs located in the canyon at various points, with the larger springs being that of Saint Anthony and Five Virgins. Along its route, the water creates small waterfalls and lakes where you take a refreshing bath under the shade of huge planes.
The last residents left Mili in 1972 and since then it is deserted, but now a house has become a cafe-restaurant for guests. The fear for landslides was the reason that led the villagers to leave and build high above the gorge, on the west, the village New Mili.
Apart from the mills and old houses, there is a plethora of impressive churches. The first is the cavernous church of St. Anthony in a stunning landscape. There is also the cavernous church of St. John. Shortly after the village there is the cemetery church of the Holy Five Virgins. Shortly after Kato Mili we meet the cavernous chapels of Agia Paraskevi and Agios Nikolaos.