Western Crete - spring flowers and natural history

A relaxing week of orchids, spring flowers and gentle wanderings through the lanes and meadows of Crete. We have visited Crete an amazing 34 times since Wildlife Travel’s very first holiday, way back in 1988.

Crete is famous for its wild flowers – of the island’s 1600 species, almost one in ten is endemic! April is the best month to enjoy the island’s wild flowers, as well as the northwards bird migration, while the temperatures should be very pleasant.

We will be based in the lovely seaside town of Plakias, with sweeping views over the bay.We never need to travel far from home, as we explore the quiet lanes and footpaths through the surrounding hills and along the coast, finding endemics such as Cretan Ebony, Cretan Cyclamen, Cretan Birthwort, and the statuesque Cretan Palm along the way. And it’s not just the plants; we should also come across Cretan Festoon, Cretan Wall Lizard and Cretan Pool Frog during our exploration of the island.

Further afield, we will visit the famous Spili bumps, an area of limestone hills rich in orchids – twenty or more species can be found here on a good spring day, alongside Cretan Iris and the beautiful red Tulipa doerfleri. In the Kotsifos Gorge we have yet more endemics to find, while keeping our eyes peeled for a passing Lammergeier, Griffon Vulture or Golden Eagle.

We will also visit a number of interesting historical sites, including the monastery at Preveli, whose monks played an important role in the Battle of Crete during the Second World War, the Minoan ruins at Festos and nearby Roman Agia Triada, and the Minoan tombs at Armeni.

Please note that holidays change, although sometimes only slightly, from year to year and previous trip reports may not reflect the planned itinerary, or other holiday details, for the current trip. Please ask us if you would like to know of any significant differences.

Aristolochia cretica flowers, Crete
Crete Festoon feeding on thistle, Crete
Iris cretensis flower, Crete