Best time to travel to Crete

Wildflower Season in Crete 2024

Discover flower species that grow exclusively in Crete

Best time: March–October (best in April–May)

Wildflower Season
Wildflower Season
Wildflower Season
Wildflower Season
Wildflower Season

Crete is an island full of beautiful flowers. There are more than 2,000 species of plants, and a huge percent of them are endemic to Crete. Lots of flowers grow in the Chania area, especially in the Lefka Ori mountain range (White Mountains), Heraklion, and the Rethymnon area.

Wild tulips are among the first wildflowers to appear in the spring. They can be spotted on the hills near Spili, which is about a 30 minutes' drive from Rethymnon. The Omalos Plateau in Spili area is also home to about 20 kinds of wild orchids that bloom starting from late February. The orchid species that appear in spring include the magnificent Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertianum) and a few of the much less conspicuous Ophrys fusca species and subspecies. They are quickly followed by an explosion of wildflowers, which peaks in March and April. The Giant orchid, famous for its unique scent blooms through late March. It can be spotted on the Lasithi Plateau located on the foot of Mount Diktiin in the eastern part of the island.

During April and May Crete gets even more covered with colorful blooms. In addition to wild orchids, there are colored chamomile, poppies, anemones, iris, field gladiolus, etc. You can go hiking or organize a jeep safari to see all the beauty of wildflowers in Crete. Some flowers bloom through summer, like Chaste Tree that has beautiful purple flowers or erica manipuliflora that blooms with small pink flowers until November.

Practical info

When is the best time to see wildflowers in Crete?

Wildflowers in Crete bloom from March to October; however, the best viewing time is late March to early May. During this time, the island is covered with colorful flowers such as Wild Tulips, Anemones Giant Orchids, and more. Some flowers continue to bloom in summer, such as the Chaste Tree and erica manipuliflora. The season ends in November, but the peek only lasts until May. Show more

Where can I spot the Giant Orchid in Crete?

The Giant Orchid, famous for its smell, grows on the Lasithi Plateau, which is located at the base of Mount Diktiin in the eastern part of the island. Other Orchid species that bloom in Spring include the subtle Ophrys fusca species and subspecies. The Omalos Plateau in the Spili area also hosts 20 kinds of wild orchids that bloom starting in late February. Show more

What are the most unique wildflowers that grow only in Crete?

Crete has more than 2,000 species of plants, with many being endemic. Among the special wildflowers that grow in Crete are Myrtus communis, Cretan Scabious, Cretan Dittany, Dianthus rupicola, and Sea Daffodil. The island is home to rare orchids, such as the Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertianum), Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera), and Naked Man Orchid (O. Italica). Show more

How can I organize a hiking tour to see Crete's wildflowers?

Organize a hiking tour of Crete's wildflower fields to witness the rich flora and breathtaking scenery. Numerous hiking organizations provide chaperoned treks through nature to explore the bewitching wilderness areas of Crete. Alternatively, you may rent a car and explore the mountains at your leisure. A word of caution: uprooting or picking wildflowers is against the law, so admire their beauty from a distance. Show more

When does the wildflower season end in Crete?

The wildflower season in Crete starts in late February and continues until November. However, the colorful explosion of wildflowers peaks from late March to early May, and only sporadic blooms continue through the summer. The Chaste Tree, with its lovely purple flowers, and erica manipuliflora, which blooms small pink flowers, are strong enough to bloom throughout summer and into the early stages of winter even when other flowers have faded. Show more

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