Alternative Activities

COLLECTING EXPERIENCES

Smells from kneading and vintage, agricultural works in olive groves and vineyards, wandering in the whitewashed streets and through the village squares, voices of children playing around, bleating animals. Pictures that today are like distant memories. Yet the visitor of Crete can still come in contact with this traditional way of life, while staying in one of the rural villages or one of the many agritourism cottages scattered all over the island, which can offer similar experiences.

Agritourism lodges and some specialized companies provide seminars for traditional cooking, pastry, kneading bread and collecting wild greens, herbs, mushrooms, snails and truffle. Moreover, one can participate in the harvest of olives, the process of olive oil production, distillation of raki, vintage, honey production, vegetable cultivation, collection of milk and processing of dairy products, raising domestic animals, shearing sheep, etc.

GASTRONOMY, CULTURE, ENVIRONMENT

SITIA NATURE PARK

The history of this land has been flowing for thousands of years alongside the history of its people. And although the time of humans usually leaves gaps and unexplored points, the time of the land in Sitia has recorded its marks in every nook and cranny: on the rocks, in the ravines, in the caves and in its unique gorges. The courses of humans and land here, in eastern Crete, intertwine and complement each other. The marks of humans are revealed in the rich archaeological finds and in the present day, still unadulterated, life of its residents. The land is revealed in each of the hundreds of points of geological interest of the area.

Website: www.sitia-geopark.gr

PSILORITIS NATURAL PARK

Psiloritis Natural Park was founded in 2001 by the developmental organization AKOMM – PSILORITIS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY S.A, ORGANIZATION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT with the scientific support of the Natural History Museum of Crete.

Due to its rich geodiversity, its beautiful scenery and its history and tradition, Psiloritis Natural Park was included, from its early foundation, at the European Geoparks Network, and later at the Global Geoparks Network by UNESCO.

Since then, Psiloritis Natural Park, in co-operation with the Municipalities and other Bodies of the local authorities and communities, developed the appropriate infrastructure to provide to both its inhabitants and its guests a high quality life in a non-urban environment.

Today Psiloritis Natural Park is plays an active role in the global efforts for the conservation and promotion of the environment, of the natural and cultural heritage, as well as of the sustainable local development through the geo-tourism and the other kinds of alternative tourism.

Visit the Interactive Geosite Map of Psiloritis Natural Park.

CRETAN THEMATIC PARK - “MEETING THE MINOANS”

The “Cretan Thematic Park” is an innovative thematic park reviving the Minoan civilization. It offers guests the opportunity to get an insight assisted of Minoan civilization by modern technology and two dance theatre performances, while they enjoy Minoan flavors offered by Cretan products.

At the entrance of the hall, young women dressed in the Minoan costume, welcome guests and show them to their seats in the hall, lighting in which is provided by the Minoan oil lamps creating a dreamy Minoan atmosphere. The hall is scented by incenses of Cretan herbs. A group of women and men represent the “Minoan Feast of Wine Harvest”. The performance is accompanied by the sounds of guitar, flutes, sistrum and drums. It is displayed the 3D film “Knossos – A journey in time” which presents the constructional history of the palace Knossos from 7000B.C. till 1100B.C.

Waiters dressed in the Minoan costumes serve one of the many combined Minoan dishes. At the same time the guests watch a film which includes images of the life of the Minoans. After the meal, fruit, deserts and raki are offered to guests and the performance is highlighted by a dance drama inspired by the most known myth of “The Minotaur and Theseus”.

Schedule of Performances

Every Tuesday and Thursday  19:45 – 22:15

T: +30 2810-224644, 2810-234074

W: www.cretanthematicpark.com

E: info@cretanthematicpark.com

LASINTHOS

The philosophy of the creators of “Lasinthos” is no other than the revival of our tradition and culture, the manners and customs of our region, the preservation and the elevation of the rare flora and fauna of the Cretan nature, the promotion of the Cretan cuisine as well as the way of making and producing the various Cretan traditional products. “Lasinthos” is prevailed by the Cretan traditional architecture and the natural beauty of the traditional materials (stone, carved marble, tile and wood). In the Park’s 200 acres, we cultivate fruit-bearing trees, garden produce, vineyards, herbs and sweet-smelling plants that fit to the climatic conditions of the region.

Website: www.lasinthos.gr

AMAZONAS RARK

The AMAZONAS PARK, a public park for birds in the midst of the mountains is a very special park. In the course of time this park has developed into homes for parrots which have been handed in for various reasons by their former owners. Man considers the advantages that he has by keeping a parrot as a pet: he wants to have a partner he can talk to and caress whenever he feels like it. A parrot is able to convey to man the feeling of mutual understanding because of its intelligence, docility, bond with man and ability to speak. Thus a special, quite personal relationship between man and animal develops in which the animal wholly complies with the needs of the human being whereas man hardly ever fulfils the needs a bird has because these are almost completely unknown to him.

Website: www.amazonaspark.gr

ELISSOS: HISTORY, ARCHAEOLOGY & ARTS

ELISSOS introduces an Alternative Philosophy on Travelling in general that focuses on the combination of History, Archaeology and Arts functioning as an indivisible Unity.

www.elissos.com

THALORI TRADITIONAL VILLAGE

In the historic village of Kapetaniana, nestling in a stone ridge of Asterousia mountain range, lays the complex of Thalori Guesthouses which combine original Cretan hospitality with a number of nature activities in mountain and sea. “Thalori” means “sea” and “hill” and it is this rare coupling that lends a unique accommodation experience in southern Crete.

Thalori consists of 20 traditional houses, each with a distinctive personality. The houses are an integral part of the village, maintaining their Cretan architecture, combining traditional style with the comforts of today. The restaurant of the Guesthouse serves local dishes made from local ingredients, while the list of recommended activities (in nature or not) but also the attractions of the area covers all tastes.

Set against the sacred Kofinas peak and the blue of the Libyan Sea; feel free to experience in Thalori the authentic Crete, in a landscape totally austere, rough and beautiful, in a corner of the Cretan land with a long history and untouched nature.

 

Address:               Kapetaniana, 70016, Heraklion Crete

Tel. / Fax:             +30 2893 041762

Reservations:        +30 6976994896

E-mail:                  info@thalori.com

Website:                 http://www.thalori.com/

THE OLIVE RANCH

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The Olive Ranch is an ethical, family run children’s farm with onsite accommodation, set in an area of outstanding natural beauty and only 25 minutes’ drive from Chania. At the Olive Ranch you can see, feed and touch an assortment of animals. We offer various provisions and packages including hot and cold beverages, picnic areas, children’s play spaces, face painting, birthday parties, bike hire, pony and donkey treks, workshops, horse loans, accommodation, venue hire and group bookings as well as wholesome and relaxing family days out!

 

A Day At The Olive Ranch

 

The Olive Ranch is open Tuesday to Sunday as well as holiday Mondays 9am -5pm. Here you will meet donkeys, ponies, rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks, chickens, goats and a sheep! We offer hot and cold drinks and you are also welcome to bring a picnic. We offer a bounty of activities; Our Lotus Belle tent provides shade and plenty of play opportunities for your little ones. We have a designated space for our selection of bikes and trikes, a safe outside play area for babies and toddlers and another suitable for ages 3 and above. We also offer donkey and pony treks as well as bike hire at an extra cost.

 

3.50 euros per person admission (under 2’s free entry).

1.50 euros senior citizens

15.00 euros Family ticket (2 adults 4 children)

 

 

Group Bookings

We hope your group will have the best possible experience at The Olive Ranch. In order to achieve this we will ask you a little about your specific group’s requirements. We will then design an age and ability appropriate programme for your day. Activities may include animal interactions, nature walks, theatre participation, craft activities, games, sensory play and free play. Children will also receive a mid-morning healthy snack and a picnic lunch.

Max 30 children with appropriate supervision.

 

Birthday Parties

We offer a scintillating party package for children aged 3-10! On arrival the party will meet the animals, feed them a delicious snack and cuddle the rabbits! Kids enjoy exclusive access to the activity tent where they can experience face painting, a party game and more! All of this fun works up an appetite; children can tuck into their delicious party picnic boxes before waving the birthday child off on a half hour donkey or pony trek. The remaining guests spend time playing, stroking the animals, feeding the ducks, and riding on the bikes and trikes. As the birthday child returns their friends warmly welcome them back and the cake is presented with candles! We can also cater for younger children; Please inquire.

Times available for booking Weekends and holidays: 10am-1.30pm or 3pm-6.30pm. Weekdays: 3.00pm-6.30pm. Price: 8 euros per child (min 10/max 20 children).

 

Accommodation

The Wild-de-go

As featured on George Clarkes Amazing Spaces; The award winning Wild-de-go (land) boat is an Isles of Scilly ferry that once chugged around Cornish waters in the 1920s and has come to rest at the Olive Ranch. Thoughtfully restored she retains her rustic charm. Please follow the link to our facebook and Air B and B pages for more pictures and information.

Kri Kri Cabin

We have a five year plan, this includes the construction of a small holiday Cabin. Kri Kri cabin has been designed by Apostolos Mousourakis and will integrate wood and cob in order to create an ecologically sound, aesthetically pleasing and functional space.

The Olive Ranch Villa

Available soon A two bedroom property located at The Ranch. Please inquire for further information

 

Bike Hire

The Olive Ranch is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Cycling through the green valley of avocado, orange and olive groves is an experience to be savoured! The luscious orchards lead you to the River Kiliaris; a very important wetland for birds, turtles, amphibians, eels and crabs. You can follow the cool river through the rich vegetation to the vast and beautiful beaches of Kalyves. If this doesn’t appeal we have plenty of ideas to help you make the most of your hire time. Please book in advance to insure availability.

Optional extras at no extra charge: Helmets, toddler seat. Bike trailer hire: 7 euros/half day. 10 euros/day. Bicycle hire: 7 euros/half day. 14 euros/day.

 

Venue Hire

The Olive ranch offers a tranquil and breath taking space in the heart of nature from which to run your community group, club or one off special event. The views are quite simply sensational. You will have exclusive use of our heated Belle tent, the outside shade daisy, seating areas, toilet facilities and use of the barbecue area.

Available 7pm-9pm daily and all day Mondays (except holiday Mondays): 10 euros per hour

Horse Loan

The Olive Ranch currently has one happy horse for loan. Rubini is a gentle 14hh horse looking for a gentle friend. If you are experienced in horsemanship, are caring and love horses this is a unique and exciting opportunity for you to trial owning a horse without the long term commitment. We will ask you to tell us about your previous experiences, and you will need to take out your own public liability insurance. We will supply you with tack. Rubini will live on site and you will be able to come and go from the Olive Ranch as you please. There is plenty of surrounding local wildlife to explore with Rubini whilst enjoying your new found friendship.

50 euros per month minimum 6 months.

 

Craft Stalls

We have future plans to rent weekend craft stalls to local arts and craft producers. We wish to support small businesses who produce their goods locally, by hand or practice other ethical design, manufacturing and trade principles. We also hope our visitors can enjoy a fabulous array of stalls showcasing the work of local creatives from around Apokoronas. If you are a local arts and crafts practitioner and would like find out more, please get in touch.

 

 Get in touch

Whatever your specific requirements we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We apologise for our poor Greek language in advance we have been very busy building The Olive Ranch but fully intend to learn!

Website: www.theoliveranch.gr

Call: 0030 2821600413

Email: theoliveranch@mail.com