Light Showers
Wind: 15 Southwest


Wind: 27 West


Wind: 06 West

Fragma Potamon

Wind: 13 West

courtesy of:

Gerakari - Aplitra (Toubotos Prinos Shelter)

Length: 22 km
Estimated time: 3-8 hours
Suggested period: January - December
Difficulty: Relatively difficult in the area of Fourfoura, near the shelter


On the island of Crete, there are trees and plants that can be found in the rest of Greece and the wider Mediterranean area as well. But there are also a great number of endemic plants, which is explained by the island's geographical isolation that has favoured the development of local species ever since ancient times.

Among the, approximately, 200 plant species that exist in Crete, 160 are endemic and exist exclusively on this island. Vegetation has reduced at a significant rate, compared to the past, and formerly verdurous mountains, such as Psiloreitis or Idi (wooded mountain), have now become almost bare, primarily due to fires and uncontrolled grazing of goats and sheep.

At coastal areas, one can find plants that are favoured by humidity and the salty air coming from the sea. The so called sea lilly (Pancratium maritimum), thrifts (Tamarix cretica) and the Cretan Palm Tree of Theofrastis (Phoenix theophrastii) are a few of the plants that grow in such areas. In the plains that go as high as 300 m, one can find Mediterranean makia bushes, such as lentisks (Pistacia lentiscus), hollies (Quercus coccifera), oleanders (Nerium oleander), osiers (Vitex agnus-castus), chamomile (Chamomilla recutita), mint (Mentha spicata), myrtles (Myrtus communis), ericas (Erica), "stafilinakes" (Daucus carota), wild celeries (Smyrnium), tree mallows (Alcea pallida cretica), common poppies (Papaver rhoeas), "ladania" (Cistus incanus-creticus) and Cretan ebonies (Ebenus cretica). The hilly area goes as high as 800 m and includes mostly bushes such as hollies (Quercus coccifera), lentisks (Pistacia lentiscus), thymes (Thymus capitatus), arbutuses (Arbutus unedo), "agarathos" (Phlomis cretica), maples (Acer sempervirens), bryonies (Bryonia cretica), sedges (Spartium junceum), styrax (Styrax officinalis) etc, as well as wild flowers, such as the Cretan arum (Cyclamen creticum), garden flags (Iris cretica), dragon lilies (Dracungulus), erianthus (Gladiolis italicus), tulips (Tulipa orphanidea), bulb flowers (Muscari commosum), various Cretan orchid species and trees, such as locust trees (Ceratonia siliqua) and oak trees (Quercus). Further north, on the mountainous zone that spreads between a 800 m and 1800 m altitude, there are hollies (Querus coccifera) and Cretan maples (Acer sempervirens) as well as bushes and wild flowers, such as yellow violets (Erysimum creticum), tulips (Tulipa cretica), Cretam achilleas (Achillea cretica), wild violets (Viola cretica), crocuses (Crocus Oreocreticus) etc. Gorges have rich flora and are real heavens with wild flowers and bushes, many of which are endemic and rare. Actually, one can find all kinds of plants here, all those that are included in the above mentioned zones, since gorges begin at mountainous or hilly areas and end up at the sea.

In Crete, visitors can admire the original Cretan forest of meek chestnuts (Castanea sativa), sycamore trees (Platanus orientalis), cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens) etc.

In the wider area of Rethymno 18 local endemic species have been identified (Anemone heldreichii, Asperula incana, Campanula tubulosa, Centaurea idaea, Centaurea redempta, Cirsium morinifolium, Cyclamen creticum, Galium fruticosum, Lomelosia albocinta, Medicago strasseri, Origanum dictamus, Petromarula pinata, Phlomis lanata, Scutelaria sieberi, Sesleriadoefleri, Staechelina petiolata, Verbascum arcturus, Viola cretica), 6 Greek endemic species (Asperula taygetaea, Bryonia cretica, Centaurea argentaea, Erysium cadiscum ssp. Cadiscum, fritilaria craeca, Odonites linkii), and 3 Balkan endemic species (Knautia integrifolia, Origanum vulgare, Rhamnus prunifolius).

In the prefecture of Rethymno, there is variety of alternations depending on altitude. In the plains' zone, olive fields prevail, but there are also numerous kinds of wild flowers, such as a kind of chrysanthemum called "mantilida" (Crhysanthemum coronarium), anemones (Anemone coronaria), "akonize" (Inula viscosa) etc. In hilly areas, big regions are covered by genista, which include many orchids, as well as Mediterranean makia bushes, of which hollies (Quercus coccifera), "ladania" (Cistus creticus) and arbutuses (Arbutus unedo) prevail.