We will be taking you to Kritsa to meet Giorgo, our botanist: a walking encyclopaedia on the flora and fauna of Crete. He will take us along cliff paths or, weather permitting, through the narrow, impressive corridors of the gorge to discover the wild plants. These are used for their aromatic or therapeutic properties in cooking, medicine or cosmetics.
Wearing a sturdy pair of shoes, we’ll follow Giorgos into the gorge. He is a bottomless pit of knowledge: each step he takes, he will point out a plant or a flower, and tell us the story behind it, its properties and sometimes, even the dangers. We will delve further into the gorge via small steps he and his friends have made to make it easier to get through. As the gorge walls close in, we clamber more and more frequently between the rocks and Giorgos continues to show us yet more plants, clinging this time to the rocky walls. We will also discover holes in the rocks, which serve as a shelter or a nest for the different species of birds: owls, eagles, etc. Our hike continues, pausing only for short breaks out of the sun to freshen up a little.
After a good two to three hours of walking, we return to the village of Kritsa, where Giorgos has created a museum of endemic, Cretan flora in an old, traditional, village house. The building is very beautiful and stands on different levels with an outside terrace. You will also discover a tiny room, formerly used as a living room, which Giorgos has kept and restored to its former glory, with a fireplace and all the objects and decor of the period.
Before our tour of the museum, we will all meet on the shady terrace overlooking the valley to taste some mountain tea and admire the scenery.
The museum tour can begin! First, we will go to a small room equipped to show a video, in which Giorgos explains the large families and varieties of endemic, Cretan plants, followed by a tour inside the museum at your leisure.
It’s time to leave and after a few steps around the village, we get on the bus for our return journey.