PHOTOS: 10 great botanical gardens around the world! Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete is one of them!
From the tropics to the Arctic Circle, these gardens are full of colour, wildlife, scents, and, sometimes, spectacular views and great cafes, too
The 20-hectare Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete grew from disaster: a devastating fire in 2004 laid waste to the olive and orange groves around Skordalou village, so the local Marinakis family built the park to showcase the Mediterranean flora and fauna, and encourage hiking.
There’s a citrus garden, a tropical garden, vineyards, and an area dedicated to aromatic herbs. Butterflies and birds abound.
The White Mountains form a spectacular backdrop to the three-hour walk round the park and your reward is an outstanding restaurant, specialising in local produce.
The last time I ate there my aperitif was a plate of sliced citrus fruits, 17 in total, some sweet, some sour and some unknown.
There is a regular bus service from Chania city, or it’s a scenic 20-minute drive.
• €6, botanical-park.com