Once upon time, in ancient times Crete has been rich with forest and there has been an abundance of trees. In those days many dramatic natural features - mountains, forests, springs and caves have been accorded sacred status. Among them, the most revered are monumental trees - you will find lots of long-lived olive trees all across Crete, many of palatnos trees on the island have reached impressive age (for instance the platoons tree in Krassi village). These are some of the sacred and revered trees in Crete that are well worth visiting:
East Crete - the monumental olive tree in Kavousi
The legendary olive tree of Kavousi has the diameter of the trunk is 4,9 m and the circumference is 14,20 m. Based on the method of annual rings, it is estimated that the tree was planted in the period 1350-1100BC.
Central Crete - myrtle tree of Paliani Monastery
On the side of the main church of Paliani monastery in Central Crete there is a big, centuries old myrtle tee, which is called Holy Myrtia by the nuns and represent the startling survival of of the worship of sacred trees, which had flourished in Crete during Minoan period. It is believed that an icon of the Virgin is inside the trunk. There is a special annual feast of Holy Mytria on 23th September. The consecration of bread offerings under the sacred tree is a remarkable devout event which connects the past Greek-Christian tradition with the present.
West Crete - monumental olive tree of Agios Georgios
The tree is in municipality of Kandanos in West Crete. The olive tree of Saint George is one of the many ancient olive trees in the areas Anisaraki and Vardaliana near Kandanos village. It has been declared as a memorial by the Association of Cretan Olive Municipalities due to its flattened shape and textured trunk.The elder residents remember that it produced about 220 kg oil, however today it produces 80-90kg. It belongs to Michael Sargetakis and its variety is mastoid grafted on wild olive. The trunk of the tree at 0.8m height has a maximum diameter of 4.35m, a perimeter of 12.32 m while at its base has a diameter of 6.85m and a circumference of 18.27m.
Having traveled for over 30 years, since 6 years now, I have found the whole world in one of the most fascinating and unique places on earth – Crete. It is a diverse, rich and inspiring island which even after so many years does not stop surprising me - its rich history and unique traditions, its people, the delicacies of Cretan cuisine, its landspace and its stunning nature. Here I reveal some of its secrets.
I see Crete through turquoise - pink glasses.