Cretan Herbs

Crete is known since antiquity for the quality and diversity of its aromatic and medicinal plants. The soil, the weather, the winds and the different biotopes that the island provides and maybe some so far unknown factors, all contribute to the splendid quality of Cretan aromatic plants. Already in Ancient Egypt, about 3500 years ago, herbs from then Minoan Crete were highly estimated. Egyptian tombs (of Sen-mut and Rekh-ma-ra) picture traders from 'Kefti ', or 'Keftiu', Crete, identified by their wasp- waists, girdle and minoan kilts, arriving with pots and bags full of herbs and spices... For thousands of years hereafter, 'as Cretan herbs' was a quality criterion for herbs, indicating superior quality..Botanists and herbalists from Theophrastus in the 4th century BC on, over Dioscurides in 79AD have mentioned the plants of Crete with special emphasis in their writings. Until these days, Crete is blessed with a multitude of wild growing aromatic herbs in remote areas, and botanists are still fascinated by the diversity of Cretan plant-life, about 1900 documented species, of which some 10% are endemic- growing nowhere else in the world.

As any conscious visitor to the island has experienced, Crete is aromatic wherever one steps. In late spring the scent of lavender, then savory, oregano, thyme and later sage fills the air wherever one steps away from the asphalt roads and holiday paradises by the coast....

(Summer aromatic Cistus Incanus perfume of labdanum)