Mirthios is a small village near the south coast of Crete a little more than one kilometre as the crow flies from the holiday resort of Plakias. By car from Plakias it is about 4 kilometres up to Mirthios, one has to overcome the almost 200 height metres partly in serpentines. Mirthios is a beautiful Greek village with four excellent taverns. The narrow streets are perfect for a short walk. From Mirthios you have a wonderful view to the bay of Plakias.

There's a tiny shop in Mirthios with some groceries that looks more like a kiosk. Besides there are two or three shops for tourists. Carol's workshop sells great homemade jewellery and other small things, e.g. for home decoration. Next door in the lithos there are high-quality gifts, souvenirs and the like. In both shops, for example opposite the tavern Plateia in the centre of the village, you should have a look.

In Mirthios near Plakias many houses were abandoned in the last decades. More and more native Greeks moved to new houses outside the village or to Plakias. They fell into ruins. Some little renovated houses were rented cheaply to guest workers from Eastern Europe. For some time now more and more houses in the old part of the village have been bought cheaply by foreigners and extensively renovated. The new inhabitants of the village Mirthios near Plakias come from Germany, England and other western countries.

Taverns Mirthios

Many tourists drive by rental car in the early evening from Plakias to Mirthios to enjoy their dinner in one of the four taverns in the mountain village. Often the queue of parking cars along the narrow main road of Mirthios is hundreds of meters long. In Plakias you often hear the opinion among regular holidaymakers that all four taverns in Mirthios are better than the 20 to 30 restaurants in Plakias. The four restaurants are covered terrace pubs. On the rare cool days, one can also sit indoors in all four taverns.

Central in Mirthios is the Platia, also written Plateia. The owner Frederico, who also owns the Hostel in Plakias, cooks wonderful food. He serves classic Cretan cuisine at a very high level. Also the price-performance ratio is excellent in the Taverna Platia. From the terrace you have a wonderful view of the Plakias and the Libyan Sea, which are about 200 meters low

The view from the tavernas Platia and Panorama is beautiful.

Next door in the panorama the view is just as magnificent while eating. The Panormama was built by a German. For many years a Greek has been leading the Panormama on a high level. There are Cretan recipes, but also many vegetarian and healthy dishes.

The Dionyssos is on the main road of Mirthios about 100 meters towards Plakias. The Dionysos lettuce is made from local products, including leaf lettuce, various seeds, figs and pomegranate. In my opinion it is the best lettuce in Crete. Feta-Saganaki is also an excellent starter. Our tip in Dionyssos Mirthios is to only order starters, which are then placed in the middle of the table. Everybody can try everything. About 1.5 to 2 starters or salads per person are enough. The Dionysos has already received several high awards. But it is hardly more expensive than other taverns. The restaurant is also often simply called Taverna Mirthios.

The fourth tavern in Mirthios is called Vrisi. It is a little below the main street at the former washing place. If you walk up from Plakias to Mirthios, you pass Vrisi (also Vrissi or Vryssi) directly. The newest of the four restaurants in Mirthios also serves great food with a beautiful view since 2008.

The Dionyssos and the Vrisi are also sometimes open outside the season. The other two restaurants in Mirthios, Platia and Panorama, are open daily from April to October. None of the four restaurants in Mirthios has a rest day. All open during the season already around noon.

On foot from Plakias to Mirthios

The fastest footpath leads from the back of Plakias to Mirthios. From the hostel, take the paved road a few metres to the right of the entrance along the public garbage containers to the north-west. After about 100 metres you cross the next crossroads. From now on it goes up very steeply. After one kilometre you are already in Mirthios. One first reaches the tavern Vrisi and the old washing place with a well with cool, fresh water. If one goes up the well visible stairs 20 metres, one stands on the main road of Mirthios. Here are the other three taverns and shops. Behind the church on the other side of the street is the old part of Mirthios with some old alleys.

Much nicer is the longer way over the old mill. The unpaved path from the youth hostel leads from the sea into the valley. At the end of the path, cross the small stream on the left and walk along the other side of the stream on the left. Crossing the stream is easy. The water is usually only a few centimetres deep. At rare high tide it is not possible to cross the small river. After a total walking time of about 15 minutes you cross a bridge to the mill. One walks the path through the mill up the mountain. After about 15 more minutes you will see the village of Mirthios.

By car from Plakias to Mirthios

The normal road of Plakias goes behind the mountain and is about four kilometers long. First you drive towards Rethimno. After about one kilometre the turn-off to Mirthios is signposted.

The road from the hostel in Plakias (youth hostel) has been completely tarred or concreted for some years, but not easy to drive on. With gradients of more than 25% you have to be prepared for a lot. For example, you have to be able to stop and start again when there is oncoming traffic. Also driving backwards a bit, because the road is very narrow, should not be a problem on such gradients. It is better to take the normal road described above.

By bus and taxi to Mirthios

The bus connections to and from Mirthios are bad. There are two buses a day from Rethimno to Mirthios. One goes via Plakias. The other one leaves early in the morning, only during the week, from Rethimno via Mirthios to Plakias. If you don't want to go from Plakias up the mountain to Mirthios, you can take the bus at 15:15 to Rethimno and get off at Mirthios. Sometimes the bus goes into the village, on other days the bus stops outside. Bus schedules on Crete often change without notice. You should always ask a bus driver which bus runs from Plakias to Rethymno via Mirthios.

A taxi from Plakias to Mirthios costs about 7 Euro (as of 2018). A ticket for the bus costs 2 Euro. If you are not travelling alone, a taxi is not much more expensive than the bus.

Other villages in the region are Lefkogia and Selia (interessting).


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