The village of Orthonies is mentioned in various local documents of the 16th century as having developed a remarkable culture. Today it has 264 inhabitants.
Its churches are unknown until now when they were first built and are monuments of religious art. The church of Taxiarches or Archangels Michael and Gabriel, which together with its bell tower was saved from the earthquakes of 1953 and is today the parish church, is mentioned in notarial deeds and other written testimonies of the 19th century. The church preserves an old wood-carved and gilded iconostasis and various fine icons, older and newer.
At a short distance from the village of Orthonia there is the historic Monastery of Theotokos of Spiliotissa. The history of this monastery, one of the most valuable in the countryside of the island, is the subject of special research. It was founded by the monk Ioannikios Katsibis in the 16th century. The monastery's catholicon and bell tower were left standing by the earthquakes of 1953. The monastery was rebuilt, while some of the old facilities are preserved. The ancient icon of Panagia Spilaiotisa, this unique monument (dimensions 0.65X0.40), was found in a hitherto unknown date of the Middle Ages at the foot of Mount Center inside a cave. According to local tradition, the icon is believed to have been hidden there since the time of the Iconoclasts (726-842).
Other areas of particular interest are: - The Xigia thermal springs. These are coastal hydrosulphide springs. The sea around the springs, with a temperature of 18 degrees C, has a white color due to flocs of sticky sulphur. Sticky sulfur is attributed beautifying properties since it softens the skin, eliminates wrinkles and treats skin diseases. - Makrys Gilos which is flooded in the summer by a large number of tourists.
It is a picturesque beach, with fine golden sand and deep blue, crystal clear waters which are healing, since the caves next to it secrete sulphur. The smell is characteristic of this area as sulfur is present in a large proportion compared to water. Access to the beach is relatively easy, there are parking spaces right next to it. In the caves, swimming is a great experience as hot currents bubble up from below. On the coast there are a limited number of umbrellas and sunbeds but the rocks offer their shade from the morning hours.
Makris Gialos beach
Makrys Gialos is a quiet beach with crystal clear waters, pebbles, beautiful picturesque scenery and small caves that extend from the beach for hundreds of meters. Ideal for those who like to explore. The beach is not suitable for families with small children as the water is deep, but it is ideal for those who want to go somewhere quiet and enjoy the summer sun. The beach is located a short distance from the main road and you can find it easily.