Dotira is located in the small classical village of Mesi, and nearby are the neighboring hamlets of Kyrianna and Agia Triada. The surrounding area is a part of the prefecture of Rethymno, Rethymno being Crete's third largest city and located around 12 km to the southeast. Dotira's location is ideal for the ones who wish to discover by car not only the region of Rethymno but also the counties of Chania and Heraklion, from which is equidistant.
While written records of the town of Mesi go as far back as the Venetian census of the 16th century, the town has existed since the time of the ancient Byzantine Empire, and was the location of the Byzantine episcopal see of Mesi. Historians suggest that the origin of the name Mesi or "middle" comes from its location between two other dioceses on the island: Mylopotamos and Kalamonas.
The village of Mesi is typical of the surrounding area, with architecture heavily influenced by the Venetian style and tightly packed houses with beautiful courtyards. The village is nestled on a small rise with a perfect view over the shimmering Cretan Sea. The population of Mesi is around 50, and this quiet hamlet features traditional coffee houses, as well as a tavern in the heart of the town.
Mesi itself offers a few traditional tourist attractions, including the birthplace of George Hortatsis, a famous figure of the Renaissance, and the Kioumpra Cave, which celebrates and honors the Greek resistance heroes who fought against German occupation with a stunning and romantic war memorial. Mesi offers a simple yet proud source of traditional Cretan hospitality that can serve as the perfect location for a quiet holiday or the ideal base from which to explore the stunning landscape of the surrounding Arcadi region.
The Arcadi region runs from the rugged foothills of the Psiloritis Mountain to the shimmering northern coast of the island. The region is composed of pastoral highlands and lowlands with the largest olive orchards in the whole of the Mediterranean. There are numerous options for exploration and adventure across this rich region, including the natural splendor of the Arcadi Canyon, the rich history of Byzantine-era museums and churches and the seamless blending of ancient settlements with modern towns that maintains a sense of timeless heritage and culture. It is a perfect destination to enjoy and explore throughout the entire year, and every stop features Crete's famous sense of warmth and hospitality.