At district Mirabello, high above the picturesque bay of Elounda we meet the villages Ano Pines and Kato Pines, two separate settlements that constitute one community. They hosted two separate sites with windmills. The first site is located at the area called 'Paliomili' (Old mills) high above the villages. The second is located at position Vorina, with incredible views of the lagoon of Elounda.
Both sites hosted 6 windmills of the two types met in Crete, the round type (Xetrocharis which turns according to the wind) and the elongated (Axetrocharis or Monombantos that had a fixed direction). The site Vorina is very close to the houses of the village, therefore the mills were used until lately, while the mills at Paliomili were abandoned several decades earlier.
The most important thing with the mills at Vorina is that they have very nice views and some of them have been turned into cottages and somehow maintained. But what makes Vorina really special is the mill of Mrs Eleni Arnaoutaki which is still in operation (2015) for grinding grain since 1924. Its hostess keeps it alive and you should definitely visit it. The clean and noble interior houses many tools and objects of old Cretan rural life.
Text - Photos Christopher Chiladakis