Archanes Wildflower Tour
Price in euro
1 - 4 people 750 €
5 - 6 people 850 €
7 - 16 people 150 € pp
When: This tour can only occur in March, April, and perhaps the first week of May.
Duration: A half day tour
Meeting Point: Liberty Square in Heraklion; or upon request, pick up and drop off at your hotel
Dress Code: Casual, clothes, hat, sun block, good walking shoes, a back-pack for water
Including: Services of a professional qualified Greek tourist guide, lunch, and bottled water.
Walking Difficulty: A fairly easy walk, though a little uphill in the mountain of Youchtas, Difficulty rating 2
Rest Rooms/ WC: Yes
The valley of Archanes stretches along the foothills of Mt. Youchtas. It is renowned for its vast vineyards and olive groves, which produce products of exceptional quality, including a variety of award-winning wines, extra virgin olive oil, and sultana raisins.
Located 15 kms south of Heraklion, the town of Archanes was first inhabited during Neolithic times (c.6000 BC) and reached its peak during the Bronze Age centuries of Minoans dominance (c.2500-1400 BC). It has become a tourist magnet for visitors, who are attracted to its Minoan ruins, Byzantine churches, traditional architecture, folklore, and Archaeological Museum. The E4 hiking path also passes through Archanes.
The area of Mt. Youchtas is the main natural habitat in the area, providing shelter to a number of birds and plants. Since 1982, it has been part of the network “NATURA 2000” (the centerpiece of European Union nature and biodiversity policy) and is protected as a site of outstanding beauty.
Our licensed guide will meet you at your hotel and accompany you to the town of Archanes. Following a coffee break, the trek of the Youchtas corridor begins, searching for wildflowers, birds, and the ruins of history’s past. This area is extraordinarily rich in flora, hosting approximately 360 species of plants, among them a large number of orchids (e.g., Barlia robertiana, Anacamptis pyramidalis, Ophrys tenthredinifera , Orchis papilionacea and Serapias orientalis). In addition, a large colony of Griffon Vultures nests in the precipitous western face of the mountain, to say nothing of the Kestrel, Buzzard, Blue Rock Thrush, Sardinian Warbler that have also been spotted in and around Youchtas.
After exploring plants, birds and ruins with your guide, he will join you for a delicious ‘Cretan’ lunch at a local taverna and explain the basics of the healthiest diet in the world. You will have free time to explore the town on your own before returning to your hotel.
This tour does not include tips to guides and drivers, and miscellaneous personal expenses