Dates & Prices


Dates: 25th October – 1st November 2023 Confirmed departure

Price: £1,295 Just 2 places left

Single Room Supplement: £150

Deposit: £150 per person

Price Includes: All meal, accommodation with private facilities, ground transport, services of guides & holiday report

Not Included: Flights, travel insurance,  entry to archaeological sites, drinks & any other personal items.

Conservation Donation: 10% of profits donated to a wildlife charity

Leader: Yiannis Christofides

Group Size: Minimum of 4 and a maximum of 6 guests plus 1 leader

Grade: Gentle paced walks in a variety of terrains. Ideally suited to photography.

Holiday Highlights

  • Gentle paced week of walks in dramatic & beautiful scenery
  • Enjoy a rich autumn floral display of Colchicums, Crocuses, Sternbergias and Narcissi
  • Explore numerous & varied locations in Western Crete such as Samaria Gorge, Omalos plateau & Rodopou Peninsula
  • Enjoy some late autumn sunshine
  • Led by expert botanist and highly experienced guide Yiannis Christofides
  • Chance of some interesting birds, including Griffon Vultures, Red-billed Chough, Eleonora’s Falcons  and Lammergeiers
  • Several butterflies still on the wing too, including Cretan Grayling, Cretan Argus, Two-tailed Pasha, Clouded Yellow and Southern Speckled Wood

Catch some autumn sunshine & flowers in Crete with our slow paced exploration of the western side of this botanically rich and beautiful Greek island!


Join us in the Greek island of Crete this autumn for fine displays of Colchicums, Crocuses, Sternbergias and Narcissi!

Autumn is a delightful time to visit Crete, one of Greece’s most botanically rich islands. Spring comes early here, with the first flowers blooming with the autumn rains.

Like much of mainland Greece, Crete has a typical mediterranean climate and spring, as we know it in Britain, arrives with the autumn rains and subsequent flowering of the numerous bulbs on the island. Crete is one of Greece’s most botanically rich islands and we will spend a leisurely time looking for Crocuses, Colchicums, Cyclamen, Narcissus, Sternbergia and Scillas blooming among others. Of course, there are also autumn fruits such as those of the Strawberry tree, Arbutus andrachne and we will note some other endemic plants too.

Among the flowers of particular interest at this time of year, we hope to find Crocus boryi, Crocus laevigatus, Cyclamen graecum, Colchicum pusilum, Colchicum cretense, Narcissus serotinus, Scilla autumnalis, Erica manipuliflora and Biarum davisii. We will visit the Omalos Plain at the top of the Samaria Gorge to see the endemic Colchicum creticum and also look for some of the rarer Crocuses such as Crocus cartwrightianus and Crocus oreocreticus.

Unlike the cooler areas in Europe, we can also expect to see at least a dozen species of butterfly on the wing, including a couple of endemics, Cretan Grayling and Cretan Argus. We may also note some interesting birds including Griffon Vultures, Red-billed Chough, Eleonora’s Falcons and Lammergeiers.

Crete is not only rich in a botanical sense but also historically, and boasts some beautiful scenery. We will visit the Rodopou Peninsula as well as the Samaria Gorge and take in the Minoan Cemetery at Armeni too.


We hope to enjoy some autumn sunshine, but should be prepared for a mixture of mild and cooler days, and possibly some rain.


Day 1: Arrival at Chania airport and transfer to our hotel

Day 2 Omalos Plain: Today we visit the upland plain of Omalos at the top of the Samaria Gorge with its dramatic landscape. We shall look for the endemic Colchicum cretense. We also expect to see a number of other autumn-flowering plants such as  Erica manipuliflora, the autumn flowering heather and our first Crocus, Crocus laevigatus.

Cyclamen graecum ssp. candicum also be grows here and we shall look for it. The endemic Cretan butterfly Cretan Argus, Kretania psylorita is at home here and we will try and find it. At the top of the Samaria gorge we shall see the Cretan endemic tree Zelkova abelicea.

Day 3 Rodopou Peninsula: We visit the Rodopou peninsula to look for Cyclamen graecum and Crocus cartwrightianus. In the rocky phrygana habitats of these peninsulas will also find some of the other autumn flowering plants of Crete such as Scilla autumnalis and Drimia maritima. We shall  explore the Rodopou  peninsula for Cyclamen graecum ssp. graecum,stopping on the way to look for  Pancratium maritimum. Other plants likely to be encountered in this dune habitat are Otanthus maritimus, Eryngium maritimumandEuphorbia paralias. In the rocky phrygana habitats of these peninsulas will also find some of the other autumn flowering plants of Crete such as Scilla autumnalis Narcissus serotinus andDrimia maritima.

Day 4: We transfer to our second base at Plakias on the south coast, stopping on the way to look at the Minoan cemetery at Armeni.

Days 5 – 7: Excursions from Plakias to look for the other autumn-flowering plants such as Ranunculus bullatus ssp cythareous, Colchicum pusillum, Crocus oreocreticus, Crocus tournefortii,  Sternbergia lutea and Colchicum macrophyllum.

Day 8: Transfer to Chania airport for departure

Testimonials to follow

Reports to follow