Visitors listening to a presentation in Anoskeli's tasting room

Too little time during your vacation in Crete? Can’t decide whether to visit an olive mill or a winery? Come to the village of Anoskeli in the foothills of the White Mountains, where you can do both at once, as well as sampling Anoskeli’s award-winning olive oil and wine in a tasting room overlooking the village’s olive groves and vineyards.

Cluster of purple grapes lit by evening light against a blue sky

Surrounded by olive groves in the foothills of the White Mountains, the Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete offers natural beauty, exercise, information, and healthy, tasty food. Overflowing with tropical and Mediterranean flowers, herbs, and fruits, the park surrounds an acclaimed restaurant featuring its own organically grown produce and olive oil.

11 blue olive oil tasting glasses, an apple on a plate at the left, bottle of water back right

This summer, Terra Creta started offering food service professionals and visitors to Crete the opportunity to begin learning about organoleptic evaluation of olive oil (based on aroma and taste) in a 3½ hour seminar led by Eleftheria Germanaki, international olive oil competition judge, agronomist, and head of the certified organoleptic lab in Rethymno.

View of river, palm trees, beach, sea, and hills at Preveli, Crete

Come to south central Crete for a holiday among gorges and rivers, valleys and hillsides full of olive groves, and beaches bordered by cliffs, hills, or a palm forest, with striking views of islands and hills across bays in the Libyan Sea—plus restaurants featuring fresh, traditional Cretan food in the birthplace of the Mediterranean diet.

Olive groves in PDO Kolymvari on a cloudy day

Trivago claims Chania, Crete is Greek tourists’ favorite domestic vacation spot this summer, while Trip Advisor ranks Crete as the 2nd most popular Greek island overall, with 1215 things to do here. Remember that this includes far more than the island’s scenic beaches and fascinating archaeological sites and museums. Don’t forget the olive groves!

snowy, icy olive branch

Greek olive groves were hit with a once in a decade storm in some areas in early January 2017, including freezing rain, sleet, and snow on Cretan olive trees on January 8, the day before the long Christmas vacation was to end. Chania students got an extra day of vacation, even where roads were clear. That was unusual near sea level, but you can find beautiful snow in the mountains any winter, so why not visit Greece then, too? Every season is a beautiful season here.

Chicken with orange, kafir lime, and lemon grass at the Botanical Park Restaurant in Crete

These types of tourism deserve the additional development expected in the future, but Greece already offers a rich array of choices to visitors interested in agrotourism (agritourism) and food tourism (culinary tourism). These alternative explorations allow tourists to experience the Greece that lies beyond the archaeological sites and beaches.

An incomplete, introductory sample of noteworthy sites to visit