Crete is known for many things, from its ancient history and mythology to its archaeological sites. This beautiful island is also known for its vibrant, multi-coloured landscapes, since more than 2000 species of plants and flowers make Crete their home. 150 of those are endemic species, which means they’re unique to the island.
Crete’s climate means that if you visit in the summer, you will see areas similar to deserts, with dry vegetation and brown patches. But, if you visit in the spring or in wintertime, the island is completely different, almost magical, as it transforms into areas filled with luxuriant greenery and colourful bright flowers.
Crete in Bloom
At Pure Crete we take great pleasure in showcasing the plethora of flowers that bloom in this island during spring, in our annual Wild Flowers & Walking Week event, ‘Crete in Bloom’, which has been occurring for 25 years now. The excursions take place in April and are led by experts who also discuss botanical and environmental issues. You’ll have the opportunity to take breathtaking pictures and see plants and flowers that you cannot find anywhere else.
The Exquisite Flora of Crete
The vegetation on Crete is distributed through different areas, including the coastal and alpine ones, and these individual ‘eco-systems’ mean that some flowers only bloom in certain parts of the island.
This flora can be quite common, as is the case with oak, chestnut, cypress, and pine trees. You can find a large selection of wild flowers, like lilies and tamarisks growing by the sea, and chamomile and myrtle flourishing on the plains of Crete.
As for more uncommon plants and flowers, you can find a forest made up of palm trees in Crete, with a species that is unique to the island (Phoenix theophrasti). White cyclamens only grow in certain parts of Crete (usually without much sun), and are considered an endangered species, so they should never be cut. Another plant endemic to Crete is dittany, found in gorges and ravines, and it’s said that wild goats eat it when they get hurt.
The vast number of endemic species can be explained by the fact that Crete broke away from the mainland millions of years ago, which created isolated habitats unaffected by modern life and development, including any type of human activity. The isolation provided by the surrounding sea also contributes to the evolution and growth of flora specific to Crete.
Our popular ‘Crete in Bloom’ event will take you to all corners of this island, and will give you the opportunity to see for yourself the incredible variety of flora that exists here. We only have four spaces left as of now so, if you’re interested in joining us amongst the beautiful plants and flowers of Crete, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01444 880 404!
If you prefer to visit at another time, you can stay in one of our holiday villas in Crete at any time and enjoy everything the island has to offer.