Right below Viglistra there is what the tourists refer to as the “Smiley Cave”, a cave with two eyes, a nose and a smiling mouth. Look across from the Alpha Hotel you’ll see a red rock and then the cave; it has a face nearly like a human; more than human. This is a huge red cave to some known as Kokinos Spilios and to others as the Prosopo, meaning face.
This cave is believed to have been used for sacrifices by the Minoans and was certainly used as a hiding place during Turkish times. The cave has a series of patios inside, not natural but man made, like beds over the entrance and in the sides, possibly made and used by shepherds, and in front was a huge wall. This has now fallen down but you can still see it. Perhaps a kourta (pen) for the animals or a defence against the Turkish.
In the 1970s it was used as a campsite for the hippies. According to one story some of the hippies claimed that one night when they had a party, possibly a smoking party, they saw a UFO coming over the cave and shooting one of the rocks with laser beam! One of the rocks there does look a bit bizarre, as if it has been artificially split, so perhaps it is not just a hippy fantasy.
A woman in the 1960s, who said she was a clairvoyant, claimed she had a vision there and saw the spirit of a woman with a donkey inside the cave.
All around there is the area called Hallara, a place with huge cracks leading down perhaps 50 or more metres deep. In Turkish times when you killed a Turk, that’s the place you would take him so his body was not found; no body no crime. It was also a hiding place during the Second World War.