Bird watching

Crete is an interesting place for bird watching.
Not only because of its special bird of prey, the Griffon Vulture, along with a number of other types of vultures, but also as an important destination for many migrating birds that are passing through.

At the Country Hotel Velani many birds can be spotted right from the terrace, such as the Griffon vultures that glide along the peaks of the mountains and, in the past, have even landed in our garden.
In spring time you can see the nesting Griffon vultures which make their nests on the rock cliffs, at the beginning of the Rosas gorge.
Other birds of prey are here are the Golden Eagle, buzzards, Eleonora’s falcon and smaller eagles.

Aposelemis lake

The hotel offers an incredible view over the Aposelemis Lake and Langada valley. Through the valley runs the Aposelemis river ending in a vast man-made lake. The dam was closed in the winter of 2012 and mostly filled in the winter of 2015. Now it is a 3km long lake. Already the lake is attracting different types of birds. In the summer time the island is dry making it an easy place for spotting many different birds.

Birds that visit our hotel are the Hoopoe, wagtails, wood pigeons, crows, swallows and many more.
Just behind the hotel you will find the Natura 2000, a protected area for birds and wildlife. If you walk here at sunset you can spot many different owls; it is amazing how they produce no sound at all while flying over with such a large body but when the night begins they make a typical cry that echoes over the whole valley.

Local guide

The Country Hotel organizes bird watching day tours with the Greek guide Haris.birds
Travelling with a local guide means you see more as he gives you an introduction to the art of bird watching.
Expert to the area and the island he knows where to find the different birds in the different seasons.

Trips can be adjusted on request before reserving.
Price for the guide is 120 euro per day.
Day trip with on average of 5 hours birds spotting.
Guests have to take care of an own rental car, this is not included in the day price.

For information on the different Cretan and visiting birds:
Checklist and Guide to the Birds of Crete


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The Griffon vulture during bird watching at Country Hotel Velani.
Spot a golden eagle during bird watching in Crete
Gardeli in the garden of Country Hotel Velani in Crete
Spot a hoopoe during bird watching in Crete at the Country hotel Velani
birds of Pray like the golden eagle during bird watching in Country hotel velani in Crete
Griffon vulture at birdwatching in Crete at Country Hotel Velani
Blue throat at migrating birds watching in Crete
Bee eaters at Bird watching in Crete Greece
Spot a partridge walking around your room at the country hotel Velani in Crete.
Bird watching when birds come drinking in the swimming pool of Country Hotel Velani