A Local’s Guide to Visit the Botanical Park of Crete in Chania!

Red flowers

Near the center of the bustling Chania, there’s a green oasis of silence ideal for spending some time during your holidays. Just minutes away from the old town, Crete’s Botanical Park features local flowers, fruit trees, and herbs from the island, as well as stunning exotic plants from different regions. Use this guide to plan a visit to the Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete.

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Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete

botanical park Crete

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The Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete is a 20-hectare park that was created from the ashes of a terrible misfortune that occurred in 2004. A fatal fire burned the orange trees and olive groves in Skordalou village.

botanical park Crete
Botanical Garden, Chania.

A local family gave birth to the park to encourage the knowledge and preservation of Mediterranean species and promote open-air activities, such as field walks and mountain hikes.

>> For more information, visit the Botanical Park’s official site.

Botanical Park & Gardens of Crete: Location, Distances, and Map

Coordinates: 35.25.06 N | 23.56.22 E

botanical pak crete
Map: Chania – Botanical Park & Gardens of Crete (2023 – Google Maps).

The Botanical Park & Gardens of Crete is 17 km south of Chania, in the village of Fournes, on the road to the Omalos Plateau.

You should take the road to Omalos-Samaria. Plenty of signposts on the road indicate the way, so you cannot get lost. The area is easy to reach by car, and there’s also a comfortable parking space at the entrance.

You can also get to the botanical park by bus from Chania’s central station (daily departure at 9.30 a.m. – daily return at 2.30 p.m.). The bus stops in the main seaside villages west of Chania (Agii Apostoli, Stalos, Agia Marina, and Platanias).

The gardens are 80 km from Rethymnon and 156 km from Heraklion.

Get Ready to Visit the Botanical Park in Chania

Useful tips for the visit:

Operating Hours: from March to November from 9 a.m. until sunset.
Admission fee: €6 (ages 6 to 12 €4. Kids under 6 enter for free).
The fee for local residents is half the price.

Frequently Asked Questions

botanical park Crete
Visiting the Botanical Park in Chania.

Is it hard to walk around the Botanical Park?

No, the walk is quite pleasant and as relaxed as you want. You can take all the time you need. Plenty of places to sit and rest are available if you get tired, which is useful if you visit in the heat of the summer. useful if you visit in the heat of the summer.

Some points along the circuit require you to climb steps. Some climbs are steep, but not much.

Yellow flowers, orange flowers, green leaves
Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete.

You can take a small detour before reaching the pond (signpost with a map); this way, you can shorten the journey.

The path is not paved, so don’t wear fancy shoes or flip-flops. Walking sandals are hiking boots are great, but a pair of tennis shoes is more than enough.

botanical park Crete
Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete.

The way is not complex, but if you need extra help, ask at the entrance for a typical Cretan shepherd’s walking pole (locally known as katsouna), which you can borrow for the walk.

What should I carry?

flowers, plans, pomegranate
Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete.
  • Plenty of water (a bottle) is included with the entrance fee, but you can buy more at the restaurant when you pay for the entrance ticket. You can also have coffee or fresh juice there before accessing the gardens and stop for lunch after walking.
  • Use sunscreen lotion. Remember that you will walk under the sun for almost two hours. The vegetation can be lush enough to protect you from the heat, but this can be tricky. You won’t notice it, but you will end up sunburned. It’s better to be prepared.
Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete.
  • Use mosquito-repellent lotion. I have never had any trouble, yet it’s a garden, and bugs are bound to happen.
  • Photo camera. There are plenty of beautiful sights to capture, and the colors of exotic flowers in blossom are splendid.

Things to See in the Botanical Garden of Crete

botanical park Crete
botanical park Crete

The garden has hundreds of species, from exotic fruit and tropical trees to local herbs and citrus.

Among the plants you can check are berries, grapes, and many beautiful flowers, some of them truly unique in shape, color, and fragrance. You can also discover plants such as coffee, cotton, or several varieties of nuts.

botanical park Crete
Amazing colors and shapes will surprise you during the visit.

At the bottom of the circuit, there is a pond with several species of birds, including geese, ducks, and peacocks. You can also see turtles, donkeys, deer, and the local wild goat, agrimi (often erroneously called kri kri).

Native Species of Crete

Mediterranean Herbs: Endemic Plants of the Island

This area of the Botanical Park contains a huge variety of endemic Cretan and Mediterranean herbs, bushes, and trees.

botanical park Crete
Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete.

These include the typical herbs used for medicinal purposes and delicious Cretan dishes, such as thyme, oregano, mint, or rosemary.

You can also check old olive trees and other species that grow on Crete, such as white malotira and diktamo. According to research, Crete hosts one of the continent’s most varied and interesting ecosystems.

The Vineyards

botanical park Crete
Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete.

The vineyards are one of the last gardens you will see on the way since they are almost at the circuit’s exit, quite close to the restaurant.

As you might have read before in the blog or on the internet, there are over 12 native grape varieties on Crete that produce excellent wines and the local spirit, tsikoudia.

botanical park Crete
A kazani for raki distillation.

Walking around the vineyard, you can also spot a real kazani, the cauldron used to distillate Crete’s famous raki.

The Gardens

Don’t miss these areas inside the botanical park…

Mediterranean Fruit Trees Garden

botanical park Crete
Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete.

The variety of Mediterranean fruit trees you can discover in this section of the park is stunning. These include the common apple tree, cactus, prickly pear, pomegranate, plum, mulberry, pear, peach, and more.

Did you know that we in Crete eat four times more fruit than in the rest of South Europe? I didn’t. Well, no wonder we do; our rich soil and great mild temperature make the fruit that grows on the island very tasty and flavorful.

The Cherry Tree Garden

botanical park Crete
Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete.

If you visit in March, April, or May, this garden section is one of the most magical places you can see! Cherry trees blossom and cover the place with beautiful white and pink flowers.

This area features different varieties of cherry trees. Most of them originally came from Asia Minor.

The Citrus Garden

botanical park Crete
Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete.

Endless citrus trees will amaze you with fruits of bizarre shapes and big sizes. Not just oranges, lemons, or clementines, but also lime, kitron, kumquat, Buddha’s hand, finger lime, sunkuat, and many more.

Did you know that citrus made their way into Greek mythology? At the Botanical Park, I also learned that citrus fruits were a wedding gift the Earth (Gaia) gave to the gods Zeus and Hera.

The Tropical Garden

botanical park Crete
Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete.

Thanks to Crete’s perfect Mediterranean climate, several tropical fruits grow without any limit on the island. Especially on the southern coast of Crete, you can taste delicious avocados, kiwis, and bananas.

botanical park Crete
Brazilian Dutchman’s Pipe.

And when you visit Crete, buy the local, small bananas in the public market or any supermarket. They are super sweet and have a delicious taste. They are addictive!

The Animals

botanical park Crete
botanical park Crete

Since we entered the garden and started walking towards what the park calls the lake (it’s more of a pond), we found turkeys and peacocks all along the way. They would walk along the way with you or simply sit under the sun without paying any attention to you.

There are wild birds, farm animals, native species, and even a butterfly garden!

Other Things to See in the Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete

botanical park Crete
botanical park Crete
botanical park Crete
botanical park Crete

All along the walk, you will encounter bizarre sculptures and decorations made with local elements from the world of gardening and agriculture. The ones in the photos are a few of the ones we found on our way.

Eat at the Botanical Park of Crete: The Restaurant

botanical park Crete
Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete.

Have lunch, an early dinner (the restaurant kitchen opens at 6 pm, but you can have snacks and drinks after that time), or even a snack surrounded by the magnificent mountainous landscape of the area.

The restaurant serves food prepared with organic fresh products outsourced from the garden itself, and everything is delicious. Besides, if you’re a vegetarian, there are plenty of choices!

botanical park Crete
Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete.

I recommend…

  • Ksanigo (lamb liver with wine and rosemary).
  • White Mountains (fennel pies with staka and mint).
  • Glako (lamb braised for 12 hours with aged local wine – marouvas – sauce, and wild greens).

And for a quick snack in summer, do try the ice cream!

botanical park Crete

Would you like to visit the Botanical Garden of Crete?

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More resources to enhance Your Crete adventure

Start by checking out my ultimate guide to planning your trip to Crete, packed with helpful essential information. Explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and insider secrets for an unforgettable experience.

Use this comprehensive Crete packing list to ensure you have everything you need. Explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches, and check out the best times to experience its beauty.

If you are exploring specific areas like Heraklion or Chania, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

Suggested accommodation in Chania

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Discover Crete's Stunning Botanical Park & Gardens

About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the Crete. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

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