Driving up from Myrtos, past Mythi and the Sarakina gorge, after about 12kms, you come to the historic village of Males at 550m above sea level. Males (or Malles), on of the largest villages in the area, took it’s name from the ancient Malla, a city-state with its own army and coin, that was located nearby. It has many olive groves around, an olive oil factory, and a wonderful view down to Myrtos and the sea.
The area has been inhabited since Hellenic and Roman times and in Venetian times it was a large village, ruled by a Venetian feudal lord. In 1583 the village had a population of 1483. In the village is the Byzantine church of Panagia Mesochoritisa from 1483. There’s also a really good tavern I love to go to, Kara.
Just below the village is a very small road on the right (coming from the village). There you find the the abandoned village of Loutra with the Byzantine church of Agios Georgios which must have been a cathedral and a bishop’s seat, as evidenced by the preserved remains of the walled courtyard around.
About 1.5 km from Males you find the church Agios Paraskevi underneath the Planetrees, and just beyond the village of Christos at 550m altitude. According to tradition, the first settlers there saw a light every day where the village is today. They found an icon of Christ hidden in the bushes, settled there and named the village Christos. The area has been inhabited from around the 11th century. It is really beautiful there, with a little gorge, streams, olive and orange trees, and again the view down to the Lybian Sea.