Daily itinerary 10 days
SPRING FLOWER tour East & Central CreteDay 1
. Arrival at Heraklion airport, at the latest at 18.00 hours.
We drive by minibus to Agios Nikolaos
, to our first hotel for this week.
. A circular walk at the village of Kavousi. On footpaths and field roads we walk uphill to a centuries-old olive tree. We see a Minoan excavation site and then we continue uphill to the almost deserted village of Melisses. Via a beautiful ancient “kalderimi” we descend in zigzags, parallel to a gorge, with fantastic views on the Mirabella Bay
. In the afternoon we go in search of coastal vegetation at Pachia Ammos, situated on the “wasp waist” of Crete.
. Today we start with a visit to the famous Byzantine Church of the Panagia Kera. Then, literally one of the highlights of our walking trip will be the walk on the Katharo Plateau
at 1100 meters. It is famous for its large variety of flowers. While driving slowly up through a very old forest of Kermes oaks, we may also see the famous Cretan Arum. On the high plateau we will walk along the river and higher up, in order to see as many species as possible!
In the afternoon we might visit the Dorian fortified town of Lato.
. We leave Agios Nikolaos and drive uphill into the interior. We start our circular walk from the village of Kalamafka
taking easy field roads through an area with many pine trees and very weird rock formations. We have plenty of time to enjoy all this beauty, to botanise and to take pictures as much as we want. Continuing towards the south, we will take a regular [what is a regular break?] break to enjoy the views and the natural environment. At the south coast once again we see special vegetation, including the “Ebenus Cretica”.
We stay for the night in Mirtos
. Today we leave Mirtos. After a brief visit to the Sarakina gorge, we drive south from the Dikti Mountains towards Gortys
, which was the capital of Crete in Roman times. In amongst the old columns and around the amphitheatre, there is an abundance of flowers to admire! In the afternoon we drive through the Amari valley to “the plateau of orchids”, Gious Kampos
, where of course we will linger a bit before we drive on to Spili
, our next and last place to stay.
. Starting at Mournes, 3 km from Spili, we'll find orchids on a hill close to the village. Today we will also visit two Byzantine churches. Crossing the pass of the Xiron mountains
we walk down to Drimiscos, partly along an ancient Roman road. This part of the walk has an abundance of flowers! We continue our walk, ending not far from Spili.
. Today we have a circular walk in the mountains of Bouvala.
Starting from Saktouria we follow a high mountain ridge with spectacular views of the Libyan sea and the Paximadi islands. We take a different loop back to the foot of the mountain, partly along a riverbed with a good chance of finding orchids! For the last descent we walk along an old footpath in between two hills. At the end of this day there is the possibility of visiting the beach at Agios Pavlos
on the south coast.
. A beautiful drive through the mountains brings us to the Patsos gorge
(also known as Adonis gorge). We walk into the gorge as far as the water allows us to. From an observation post we have a lovely view over the gorge and at the birds which nest and live there. Will we see some vultures maybe? Late morning we visit the excavation site of Syvrita
, at the foot of Mount Ida. Here again there is a very rich flora. We drive back to Spili through the Amari valley.
. The walk today starts on a high plateau between Spili and Gerakari, known for its tulips and orchids. In the background we see the highest mountain of Crete, Psiloritis
, with snow on its slopes. First we go uphill, cross-country, and then following tracks and old footpaths we descend to Gerakari, situated in the Amari valley. After lunch we make a loop around the village and walk gradually up again to the plateau.
. After breakfast it is time to say goodbye and leave for the airport.
Date in 2017
» 760 € per person (all meals included)
» Single supplement 95 €
Further information on 8-10 day walking tours.
Click here for pictures of the flora of Crete.