Hypericum hircinum botanical garden Crete

The Botanical Gardens of Chania

The two monasteries of Metamorfos are situated in the beautiful lush region of the valley east of the village Varipetro Chanion.

For many years, the nuns have preserved a natural oasis and protected it from dangers such as overgrazing and fire which have degraded many other ecosystems in Crete. Thanks to this protection the area hosts many native plants until today.

Many of these plants are also important for medicinal use (“pharmaceutical plants”). The Island of Crete hosts many special local and endemic plants that can be used for medicinal purposes, and the knowledge of their value and usage is still kept in some monasteries today.

A return visit after two years.

The Botanical Garden matured and all species are provided with name tags reflecting their names. QR codes are added to allow visitors to get more in-depth information.

Study of the project early 2018

After the assignment of the project from the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature in summer 2018, the Chloroplastes Company started the study:
    • Inspection of the exact location in the large area along the hiking path starting from Saint Kyriaki monastery
    • Topography study
    • Concept landscaping plan

    • Irrigation plan

Construction started in August 2018

Full landscaping on the steep slope under the Monastery Metamorphosis at Kastro:
    • pathway installed in traditional dry-stone(“xerolithiá”) style,

    • benches installed for resting,

    • A resting area: a square on the top of the pathway with peaceful views out to the surrounding landscape and down to the monastery of Saint Kyriaki in the entrance of the valley,

    • Deposit water tank for temporary irrigation of the plants, installed and connected with the existing biological wastewater treatment facilities of the monastery,

    • Irrigation network.

Planting started in the winter 2018/2019 and was completed in late spring 2019.

The plants were provided by the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature. Only native plant material was used: either taken from the wild nature of the Crete (seeds, plant cuttings or whole plants, with special permission by the Ministry of Environment), or donated by the Plant Nursery of the Chania Forestry Service, and by certified private growers in Sfakia district. Many of the existing phrygana plants around the botanical gardens were retained.

The team of the eminent botanist Dr. Irene Vallianatou and the project coordinator Miltos Gletsos from the HSPN spent a lot of time in the Cretan landscape to locate and identify the plants. The plants were consequently directly planted into the botanical garden by Chloroplastes Company.

After the intensive, but creative, works of planning, construction, plant collecting and planting and with the full support of the Foundation and the Monasteries, we are delighted and grateful to see the plants growing.

The Botanical Garden was inaugurated in June 2019

The Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature is doing an outstanding job of the protection of Greek flora and fauna since 1951. 

Chloroplastes would like to thank the entire team and all contributors. Together we managed to create an exceptional botanical garden with a rich selection of indigenous medicina land aromatic plants. So far, this is probably “One of a kind” on the island.

The valley and the Botanical Garden itself are open to visitors all year round. School classes are especially welcome. For more information, please contact the Monastery of Metamorphosis and/ or the Holy Community of Chrysopigi.

Enjoy discovering the special flora and fauna of our unique botanical garden.

Team Chloroplastes

green phone icon press to call chloroplastes
Contact us for a FREE Estimate

Call us to discuss your project on +30-6-979-059-689

Skip to content