Visit our various gardens
The Country Hotel in Crete is located on a 4 hectare large estate with different gardens which are open for the public. Like a vegetable garden, fruit garden, herb garden, flower garden and an Olive Grove. Or enjoy a walk through the Cretan nature.
On our estate you will find a diverse range of Mediterranean trees and garden plants, as well as many wild flowers, herbs and mushrooms. Also to be seen are different birds and small island animals. Common on our land are hares, weasels, badgers, hedgehogs, bats and partridges.
Herb, fruit and vegetable gardens
In our herb garden you can enjoy the aromatic scents of thyme, oregano and basil or taste them in your tea or food; you can even enjoy Diktamus tea or Dittany, a Cretan herb that got its name from the Dikti mountains themselves. Freshly squeezed orange juice is the perfect accompaniment to your breakfast table but here you can also eat fresh fruit straight from the tree!
Visit our vegetable and fruit gardens and see how they are cultivated or even help with collecting produce for the kitchen.
The fruit and vegetables are organically grown and are used in our Velani restaurant.
Kermes oak forest
The south and east side of the estate is covered with Kermes oak forest (quercus coccifera) which in the Greek language is called ‘Prinos’. These evergreen trees are protected and give refuge to many small birds and animals. On our land stand several very old Prinos trees which are larger than 8 metres tall.
Different types of funguses (red cage fungus) and ferns can be found on the forest floor such as the spectacular Dragun Arum (Dracunculus Vulgaris). On the west side of the estate lies a rugged and uncultivated land. Abundant wild flowers and typical Cretan bushes can be found here including many types of orchids in the winter time. In spring time the whole area is covered in wild flowers such as cyclamen, anemones, crocus, narcissus, iris, papaver, sage, rock rose, rosy garlic and gladiolus.
On the north side our land is dominated by an olive grove. This provides us with our rich-tasting olive oil. The highest quality is used for cooking in our restaurant and can be bought as a souvenir to take home. Under the olive trees the land is veiled in Lupine. The poisonous seeds of the plant were once used for consumption after soaking them for weeks in sea water, removing the alkaloids.
Also to be found here are many Cretan trees, such as cypresses and carob trees, the latter with its black pods that the animals and horses love to eat. These pods are still used nowadays on Crete for making a syrup to replace sugar in cakes or sweets. Or used in Cretan Dakos which is served in the Restaurant Velani.
Near the pool and rooms we planted a wide range of garden plants for you to enjoy; abundant Oleander, roses, strelitzia, clematis, morning glory, Agaves, Cestrum nocturum, also called the night blooming jasmine as it releases a fantastic odour on a warm summer evening.
There are also cultivated flower trees like the tulip tree, Jacaranda, Albizia, Melia, lagerstroemia, catalpa, lagunaria, ficus, koerleuteria, parkinsonia and robinia and many more…