Are you planning visiting Chania and looking for the highlights you should visit? If you want to have a break from the cosmopolitan beaches, we have the best alternative option for you! The Botanical Park of Crete, an area about two hundred acres, is waiting for you to discover it: fruit trees from around the world, herbs, medicinal and ornamental plants in a park, different from many others, where the terrain and the micro-climate of the area makes it a haven for hundreds of plants and animals! A visit to the Botanical Park is definitely one of the things you should do on Crete holidays!
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It is located just 18 kilometers from the city of Chania, at the foot of the White Mountains, inviting visitors of all ages! Shortly after Fournes village, before the historic village of Laki, a sign will show you the way to the park for a tour in the magical nature of the region and the creative imagination of the four brothers who dreamed and created this unique paradise!
The History of the Botanical Park of Crete
In the middle of the colorful and vivid landscape stands out a burned old olive tree, as a reminiscent of the catastrophic fire in 2004, the reason due to the Park was created. 60,000 olive trees over 400 years old were burned and the owners had the idea of creating the Botanical Park, to inform tourists about the flora and fauna of the region!
What Will you See at the Botanical Park of Crete?
Either you think of this visit as a scenic hiking or as an interesting wandering in the paths of nature, the Botanical Park of Crete is the ideal alternative option for a day getaway from the city noise and the secular beaches. Here, the spectacular scenery is composed by rare and unique local flora and fauna and other tropical and subtropical varieties from around the world, which thrive in the Cretan land.
The adventure in nature, which lasts one to two hours, is followed by incredible trails of natural beauty and enables the visitor to experience many different plants and trees growing on two hundred square kilometers of planted slope.
Proper marking of paths leads the footsteps of visitors to the different sections of the Botanical Park: the Mediterranean Garden with fruit trees, the Mediterranean Garden with herbs & endemic plants of Crete, the Citrus section, the Tropical Garden, and the Vines section. All trees and plants have explanatory signs, indicating their Latin name, the Greek name and a brief description.
In the lower part of the Park, is formed a beautiful and picturesque small pond, while a little further are hosted a few Cretan wild goats and a family of reindeer, perfectly harmless and totally tame, although captives. The lake offers also shelter and protection to ducks, geese and other aquatic birds (including rare species).
Even hawks fly in the area. The park also has an outdoor, atmospheric stone amphitheater, suitable for small (up to about 250 people) events.
Got Hungry at the End of your Adventure?
You can visit the famous restaurant of the Park with gourmet traditional Cretan cuisine, offering a wide selection of extremely tasty local dishes of the Cretan countryside. All of them are made from organic ingredients, gathered mainly at the Park.
Among its great dishes, we would recommend you to taste fruit salad, roasted lamb with malotira (famous Cretan herb), leg of lamb stuffed with Cretan cheese, wrapped in vine leaves and chicken with orange sauce. The restaurant is also awarded the quality-label award of Cretan cuisine. That’s why a visit at the Botanical Park of Crete is great for Cretan food enthusiasts and also nature lovers.
Depending on the time of year you visit it, you will have the opportunity to enjoy flowers, plants and trees in all stages of their life cycle in addition to the different types of wildlife.
During the summer months, the best time to schedule your visit is early in the morning, when the temperature is not too high, and you will complete your experience with an excellent meal in the restaurant. Whatever time of year you find yourself at the Botanical Park of Crete, you will surely be impressed by the colors, flavors and variety of species.
You may find more information at the official site of the Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete