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Friday, 24 February 2017

Inland Crete - An active day out - Deliana gorge walk and olive press visit

If you are feeling active and want to explore the off road Crete, why not try a great day out walking, bird watching, visiting a unique organic olive oil press and sampling home made Cretan food in a typical inland quiet Cretan village.
Deliana Gorge
You can park literaly at the end of Deliana gorge and walk up for as long as you like. The gorge provides a scenic walk on a paved track through it that is not too strenuous.
The track is surrounded by towering cliffs on either side with Hawks and Griffon Vultures wheeling overhead. The large flock of vultures lives and nests in that gorge so you are guaranteed to see them.
A tiny church in a clearing provides a resting place at the top of the gorge.
Various species of the Cretan flora are found here. Carob trees, skinos (mastic tree Pistacia lentiscus).
skinos

 Dragon Arum
From mid April to end of May one can see many Dragon Arum (Dracunculus vulgaris) mostly in shaded bits around the river bed.
It is a good idea to extend the walk through Deliana village and see the lovely houses with vegetable allotments, flower gardens and fruit trees all very typical of Crete. There are derelict old buildings including an old olive press.
On a side lane (sign posted) one can find the very old listed church of Agios Ioannis. Go in and see the centuries old frescoes. The stunning Venetian arch way above entrance with a Latin inscription dominates the building. 
Lunch at the village square in a little cute tavern Called Faraggi (gorge) is a must to complete the experience.
The tavern is a Cretan family run place where the father  produces and  provides, the house wife cooks  and the son serves. Try wonderful Cretan delicacies such as seasons Kalitsounia (pies) and vilage Chorta (greens). You will find Fava (yelow lentils mesh), Dakos (Cretan rusk with goats cheese) ruster Caasserole, goat tsigariasto (sizzled goat).
On the way out do not miss out stopping at Violea organic olive oil press only 1 Km from the village square.







Violea 
Just a few kilometers inland from Kolymbari and within a Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) area, are the olive groves of the Astrikas Estate.



They were acquired by the Dimitriadis family in the mid-18th century and are farmed today by the 5th generation descendant Giorgios Dimitriadis who founded Biolea in 1994.

Visiting
Biolea specializes in estate-produced stone-milled and cold-pressed organic olive oil. The company’s aim is to achieve excellence in the quality of its products by combining the benefits of the traditional method of oil extraction with modern equipment and knowledge, while respecting the environment by managing wastes and promoting sustainable agriculture. Since its inception, Biolea has gained a high reputation in gourmet and health food markets all over the world.
Biolea is an artisanal olive oil and is a true representation of its place of origin, reflecting the uniqueness and the organoleptic properties of the soil and micro-climate in the region.

Biolea’s stone-mill was built specifically to welcome tourists and to hold presentations and olive oil tastings. The factory stays open all year: tours are by appointment only. Tel: 28240 23281.






Getting there
The only way is by car so, head east on the highway towards Chania and at the Melssourgio turn right towards Nochia. Keep on the same road, passing through the villages of Karthiana, Vasilopoulo Astrikas (where on the hilltop to the right, you will see Astrikas Estate) and finally Deliana. Past the village square turn left on the sign to the gorge.

Deliana village is only a few minutes away from Youphoria Chania Sea View Villas.
No real need for walking boots. Just confy shoes will do