Hiking in Crete



Selakano Wood
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The forest Selakano is located about 35km north of Ierapetra, in the southeastern part of the Dikti massif, to the south of the peak Afendis Christos (2141 m). The area can be accessed via paved road that runs through a magical route till the village Selakano,  through the village Malles. In the forest there is a large network of forest roads, which mainly serves the beekeepers. In Selakano village you can enjoy your food in the traditional tavern and visit the churches of Panagia Selakaniotissa and Agios Efstathios.

Selakano Wood is one of the most beautiful and most important surviving ecosystems of the island, protected under the Natura 2000 program, and a major pine forest for the entire Mediterranean Sea. The pine forest constitutes the most productive apiculture spot in Crete, while in the past wood and resin were harvested. Indeed, special attention is required during the flowering period of the pines (July-September), when the forest is full of bees and you might have some unpleasant surprises. The forest has been extensively damaged by fires (mostly caused accidentally by beekeepers) in recent years and much of it has been reforested.

As already mentioned, Selakano is covered mainly by pine trees, which belong to the drought-tolerant species Pinus brutia that can withstand six-month droughts and grow in various rocks and soils. There are also kermes oaks, planes, Cretan maples, cypresses and several other plant species. The visitor is immediately captivated by the wild beauty of the landscape with the wonderful gorges, the springs with gargling waters, steep slopes with birds of prey. In the basin, where the settlements of Selakano and Mathokotsana are located, there are crops of walnuts, pears, vines and orchards.

From Selakano you can walk the sections of the E4 path to the Plateau Katharo, to the peak Afendis Christos or Prina. It is also worth walking the path to Metaxochori that passes over the wild gorge of Boufanis, to discover the waterfall in Mathokotsana and the cave Neraidogoula in the Linaras Gorge.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
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