Whilst the Greek islands are a stunning place to visit at any time of year, April and May offer a particular opportunity to see Crete in bloom. You’ll find a fantastic range of flowers and plants at their height at this time of year, many of which are only found on the island, making it a botanist’s dream.
Crete is home to many different kinds of orchid; they are all protected by international regulations so should never be picked, uprooted or otherwise destroyed or damaged. They are, however, a wonderful subject for photographers, so long as you take care not to damage their habitat. Pictured here is one variant of the Ophrys Cretica orchid, which is often found in meadows and open olive groves.
Some of the flowers you may see are endemic – that is, they are only found on the island of Crete, and nowhere else in the world. One example is anchusa cespitosa, a vibrant little blue flower that grows only in the White Mountains of Crete, and which can be found from April onwards. Naturally, if you do manage to find any such rare flowers whilst on your holiday, you should be very careful not to disturb or damage them.
Of course, a flower does not have to be rare to be beautiful; many of the common flowers and plants of Crete are also well worth looking out for. The Cretan rock rose, cistus creticus, is a very pretty flower and is often found in woodland clearings. It is sometimes used in the harvest of a resin called Labdanum, which is prized in the perfume industry.
Here at Pure Crete, our Wild Flower and Walking holidays are always very popular, giving you the chance to explore the flora of this beautiful island in the company of expert guides. Whilst our spring week is all but fully booked (please contact us for up to date availability), we do also offer an Autumn Fruits and Flowers week, timed to provide a perfect opportunity to observe the abundance of autumn flowers on the island. Of course, if you prefer to explore on your own, our villas in Crete offer an excellent base for your journey, and we can recommend some excellent books and guides to help you identify the plants and flowers that you see.