Wild-life holiday


Located at the south-easternmost point of Europe, Crete is a natural experiment; a small piece of land created by powerful forces of nature. Right at the union of the African and the Eurasian tectonic plates, the island has been created by their continuous pressures distributed unevenly along the rift. In a close distance from three continents (Europe, Asia, Africa), differing in terms of climate, fauna, flora and culture, Crete has been widely affected from their influences. In addition to the above, the isolation provided by the sea and the high mountain-ranges render Crete a unique arc of civilizations, geology, wild life and cultures.

This program emphasizes in:

  • Crete’s high biodiversity of ecosystems, including: Gorges, high mountain ranges, plateaus, caves, lakes and rivers, coastal areas and cliffs, islets, olive groves and vineyards
  • The bird migration routes of Eastern Europe towards North, as well as the wide variety of raptors of the island
  • The wide variety of (about) 1700 flora species growing on Crete, 10% of which are endemic
  • Butterflies, insects, reptiles and more
  • Ancient historic trees
  • Local communities and seasonal activities
  • A wide range of fine Cretan cuisine and wines
  • Crete’s long and diverse cultural history
  • Swimming and relaxation opportunities


DAY 1
Arrival

DAY 2
Knossos Palace – Mount Giouchtas – Arhanes traditional village
Introduction to the Cretan history through the Minoan antiquities of Knossos.
Ascent to Giouchtas, the mythical mountain of Knossos, home to a large colony of Griffon Vultures and migratory birds. Endemic plants and spectacular views.

DAY 3
Aposelemis dam – Lassithi plateau – Krassi traditional village
Aquatic birds and raptors around Aposelemis dam.
Ascent to Lassithi plateau, passing by traditional villages, delicious fruits, cultivations and friendly locals.
Walk through the plateau for passerines and some glimpses into Cretan history.

DAY 4
Mt. Krana (Psiloritis) – Arkadi monastery– Amari valley
Moving to Rethymno prefecture through the north foothills of Psiloritis.
Mountainous birds and endemic flowers through the old shepherd trails.
Visit to the Shepherd’s Shelter in Krana for milking, cheese-making and home-made delicacies.
Arrive in Amari Valley through the emblematic monastery of Arkadi.

DAY 5
Triopetra river delta – Spili – Gious Kampos plateau
Sea breeze by the river of Triopetra, passing through olive groves, sand dunes and coastal cliffs.
A colourful afternoon by the countless endemic flowers of Gious Kampos!
Traditions, picturesque aisles and local tastes at Spili.

DAY 6
Potamon Dam – Patsos gorge
Aquatic birds and raptors at Potamon Dam.
Geology and green scenery of Platans and lunch in the entrance of Patsos gorge.

DAY 7
Kouroupito forest – Kamares gorge – Amari valley
The Southern foothills of Psiloritis, home to vultures, eagles and falcons.
Local communities, rural activities and delicious cuisine.

DAY 8
Kourtaliotis gorge – Preveli palm forest – Kotsifos gorge
Following 2 rivers, which create special habitats in the south coast:
Kourtaliotis river, paves his way through a long gorge to Preveli beach, meeting the homonymous endemic palm forest.
Kotsifos river, crosses a parallel gorge to meet the south coast of Plakias.

DAY 9
Frangokastello bay – Sfakia – Askyfou plateau
Moving Southwest for migratory and sea-birds around Sfakia and Frangokastello.
Askyfou plateau will be an intermediate natural oasis of flora, fauna, interesting people and tempting tastes.

DAY 10
Samaria gorge – Omalos plateau – Agia lake
Birdwatching at the entrance of Samaria gorge. Wild mountains with cypress forests, endemic flora and fauna.
Aquatic birds and insects at Agia lake, near Chania.

DAY 11
Departure

trip duration

11 days

walking distance

short walks

ascent / descent

max 100m / 100m

difficulty

no difficulty


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