Exploring the flora of Crete in the autumn

Crete is renowned for its rolling hills flanked by an emerald carpet of flourishing vegetation that tumbles all the way down to the water’s edge. This scenically astounding island boasts an incredible 2,000 different species of plants and trees, 160 of which can only be found on Crete.

Crete, mountains

Autumn is a fantastic time to visit Crete, not only due to the sparseness of the crowds but because this beautiful island takes on a metamorphosis of colour, when the much-needed rainfall deepens the emerald tones and the arid dust of summer is finally washed away.

Following the long, dry season of the summer, Crete’s nature is revitalised during the autumn. The seasonal rain causes posies of cyclamen, crocus, narcissi and colchicum to spring up across the island.

Crete is literally scattered in trees, which during the autumn seem to come to life with a similar vigour as in the springtime! Oak, pine, tamarisk, cypress, chestnut and the evergreen plane tree are common trees on Crete.

Trees are everywhere – protruding to the periphery of the island where the sea laps the shoreline, rooted in many of the towns and villages’ squares, providing some much-needed shade during the summer, and packed densely in the forests and woodland that occupy much of the island’s interior.

With such a spectacular floral scenery set against a verdant backdrop of hillsides, forests and mountains, autumn can be a great time to enjoy many of the inspiring walks Crete has to offer. The wooded Samaria Gorge is renowned for its beauty, as is the dramatic Imbros Gorge.

Making the most of the warm autumn sunshine, interesting birds can often be seen flying overhead at this time of year, such as Griffon Vultures or even Lammergeier.

During the autumn, the higher land often gets its first snowfall of the year. The snow-capped peaks, which contrast vibrantly with the emerald vista below them, provide a picturesque reminder at just how diverse an island Crete really is.

Yes, it’s safe to say, autumn is a beautiful time of the year to visit Crete.