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Endemic vegetables, fruits

and plants

Poivron rouge
Poivron jaune

Throughout the year, the climate and soil of Crete allow the production of green vegetables and endemic plants. The most plants and herbs are eaten in Crete than in all of Europe. Very few greenhouses, except in the south of the island (Messara), and very little fertilizer input.

Wild green vegetables abound and are one of the main secrets of the Cretan Diet. They are found in the Cretan mountains and on the plateaus. In winter, these multiple plants are named: VLITA. In the summer, we call them XORTA. We eat a lot of purslane, dandelions, lamb's lettuce ...

Traditional medicine has long recognized the healing properties of these plants. The specific medicinal properties are now recognized. They are full of iron and mineral salts. They accompany almost all Cretan dishes or are often a unique dish, accompanied by boiled potatoes. We cover them with a drizzle of olive oil and a little lemon.

Citrus fruits are found in all regions of the island. They abound in April and May. Maleme oranges (near Xania)
have received PDO recognition The Mylopotamos region also produces many citrus fruits and along the E75 one
can see, near Fodèle, many oranges, very quickly sold on the spot, along the roads, by the big-
Cretan mothers.

Gerakari cherries can be enjoyed from May and Pigi bananas almost all year round.

Agriculture is very important in the life of the Cretans. For several years, crops such as prickly pears, aloe vera with soothing virtues for the skin, pomegranates have appeared and developed.

Dried vegetables, figs, corynthe grapes have always played an important role on Greek tables.


Crete has one of the largest natural forests of carob trees in the south-eastern Mediterranean. Carob was once a key ingredient for livestock feed. Its properties make it an important source of energy. It is also often used as a flour.


Known as the plant of immortality since Alexander the Great, aloe is increasingly used in the composition of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.


It is an endemic plant of Crete, also called Erondas or stamatochorto. It has been known and used since ancient times, as a hemostatic and scar for wounds. Hippocrates names it for its therapeutic actions for the stomach.


It is one of the most common herbs in Crete. It blooms in May and June, its flowers are blue and purple. Sage is one of the most important medicinal plants in the world. Its name comes from the Latin: SALVARE (to save). It is often used to stop bleeding, and in the form of herbal tea, it improves memory. The Romans used it as an antidote against snakebites. It was once used against cholera, high fevers and epilepsy. It is an effective remedy for toothache and intestinal colic. It is also an excellent medicine for colds, sore throats and the flu. It helps digestion. Sage essential oil is used in fragrance therapy. There are 250 species of sage. In Crete it can be used in cooking, for smoking sausages and as fuel for wood-fired ovens.


It flowers in July and August. It is used in pharmacology, cooking and perfumery. Its properties are similar to those of thyme; it is used against epilepsy, influenza; nervous diseases. It is often mixed with Malotira.


is a real health treasure in itself. This little-known succulent plant, with small tart leaves, is composed of omega 3, protection for the heart, and a high content of vitamin C and E, beta carotene, potassium.

Origanum dictamus.jpg
The dictame
Wild herbs
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