Explore Crete's wild flowers with us
The aim is to see lots of flowers, and enjoy spectacular scenery. You will need a good level of fitness to accomplish the walks, 2km – 8km per day. The group size will be small, 4 to 8 people per trip. Tim Ellis is an experienced and qualified leader with first aid training and knowledge of plants, who will guide you on a series of walks in different habitats.
(Order ion days may change due to local conditions)
Day 1 Arrive at accommodation, welcome drink and brief talk on the history of Crete and the local area, followed afternoon walk around historic back streets of the old village. Courtyard gardens spilling onto the street backed with views of the mountains.
Day 2 Walk and botanise through the spectacular Imbros Gorge, 8km, followed by taverna lunch. Visit to imposing Venetian castle overlooking the beach, where we can botanise (or swim), then a breathtaking drive back up to a high mountain area where we will make further stops.
Day 3 Visit a Minoan Cemetry with many wild flowers, Spili (a botanical hotspot) where we will spend several hours exploring the hillsides where there is an abundance of species. Taverna lunch in relaxing setting then drive back via the amazing Kourtaliotiko Gorge.
Day 4 Early visit to Farmers’ Market Chania, followed by Botanical Gardens of Crete, then up to the mountain plain of Omalos to search for Tulips and Anemones. Evening meal with traditional Cretan music.
Day 5 A full day circular walk, along tracks/paths of nearby villages, visit a gorge, a cave church, lunch stop at a taverna.
Day 6 Foraging and cooking wild herbs with a local expert, finishing with a communal sit down meal and local wine. Walk to monastery in afternoon.
Day 7 Roman ruins and amphitheatre with many wild flowers. Turkish fort and stunning views. Taverna lunch. Afternoon walk around nearby fields.
The beach areas are as interesting as the other areas that we visit. In the sand dunes can be found some quite rare plants and bulbs that only grow in this habitat.
The lower hills are often forested with Cypress and Pine trees, while higher up above the tree line plants become more spare and smaller. Many low growing alpine plants and small shrubs are found here. On the high plateaus there may be scrub growth and occasional areas of bulbs. These high areas are where many rare plants can found.
The gorges are the most interesting places for plants on Crete as there are many rare and unusual species not found anywhere else. The growing conditions are quite varied, from steep cliff sides to gravelly river beds
These are areas of scrubland often rocky and rough. Plants in these areas vary from short, low-growing and spiny, to larger shrubs and trees. Many smaller flowering plants and bulbs, especially orchids, can be found growing here.