Just below the imposing Sacred peak of Psiloritis, in the village of Vorizia, Heraklion, near the Minoan Caves of Ideon Andron, Kamaraiko, Koutsounaras, Gryas Spilios and many others,along the Ancient Sacred Road of Gortina Idaios Andros where the Sacred Procession ascended to the city of the mountain gods to worship the divine infant of Spring Zeus the Kritogenis is the largest theme park of Crete,”The Cretan Zeus”.
The theme park of Crete is the newest and one of the most interesting sights of Crete, located in the heart of its natural place. It keeps the ancient character of the area unaltered despite that thousands of years have passed!!!!….it tells us the history of the place from the Minoan
period until today.
In an area of about 500 hectares, with minimal interventions, respecting the flora of the place, we managed to highlight the lost state, the ancient philosophy of life, the way our ancestors lived next to the mountain gods, in the sacred Caves of Psiloritis .
Nearby is the Monastery of Valsamoneros or Agios Fanourios, the first school of Byzantine hagiography (the first university of Crete), where the great painters, DAMASKINOS THEOTOKOPOULOS ANGELOS, studied. The historical continuity of the area gave us the part of oath of Saint Fanourios, to be connected by tradition with the oath of Zeus.
Dear visitor, we are in the place where Xenios Zeus grew up and was protected by the Kourites. We are in a special place where feel, breathe and taste the nature and history. Our primary goal is to make your stay as pleasant as possible and enrich you with knowledge through a special hospitality during your stay at our place.
When someone focuses on the park and its facilities he feels justified for his choice. The alternative offer that we offer for a day getaway away from city noise and cosmic beaches justifies your choice for your visit either as a scenic hike in the nature park or as an interesting wandering on the nature trails of the botanical park, or even as a tour of the Cretan narrow streets with forgotten occupations. As you will see below, the wandering in the Park can take from 2 hours to 2 full days.
Starting your tour, you will find yourself in the Grand Stoa of History where you will experience the history of Crete from the Minoan era to today, through a lot of wall paintings.
Upon leaving the Great Stoa you will be taken to a rare wetland, a natural lake with all the rare endemic species of flora and fauna in the area. A friendly and inviting place, suitable for relaxing on a leisure promenade.
After that you will find yourself in the Botanical Park. Its creation aims at preserving, protecting, presenting and highlighting Herb heritage with a stronger emphasis on the flora of the Psiloritis region. The botanical park is also a site of research, training and recreation for visitors, where you can get to know the thousands of herbs that exist and how they can be used !!!
herbal medicines, but also ornamental plants, in an park where the soil’s configuration and the clima make it a look like a paradise for hundreds of plants and animals! The path of the botanical park takes about four hours, but for the less athletic types it is possible to “cut off” a road. On the western side of the botanical park ther is another unique route !!
We are happy to suggest you another possible dose of emotion and tradition, by presenting you a beautiful space well shaped and diffused by the tradition of Crete. The visitor is in the Cretan traditional alleys with the forgotten old professions!! In the village of old professions there are dozens of sheltered and non sheltered professions in an outdoor place.In this beautiful area, visitors will learn about old jobs and old habits that have been lost or getting lost through years, like Ganotis (Kalantzis), TSAGARIS SAMARTZIS or SAMARAS the Petalotis and many more.
At the exit of the village, your footsteps will take you to the Sacred Top of the Park with the shepherd’s mantra, the fully equipped shepherd’s mitato, the shepherd’s house, a natural stoa(lodge), that are very old and where our descendants used to mature the their cheese .
The Sacred Peak is being offered for rest and for tasting traditional food made by our staff, with genuine authentic traditional materials. In the snack bar and Cretan cafe you can taste all our products, enjoy the traditional Minoan barbeque café made from barley, next to our pond, looking at the trouts and carps, in a properly landscaped area. The visitor’s compensation, among other things, lies in the incredible view of the Sacred Peak, gazing at binoculars or telescopes on the flora and fauna of Psiloritis and the wider area.
After a pleasant stop for relaxation and enjoyment, the visitor can head south to the nature park, which is one of the last wildlife shelters because of its considerable biodiversity, with many flora and fauna species.Here the visitor can see hawks, eagles, skares and the rare Kokkalas, named also as the endemic eagle of Crete.
The natural park is full of forests and rich bushy vegetation. The narrow paths are “made” by animals and time, since human presence and intervention are absent for many years. The rich flora and fauna will reward even the most demanding visitor with the scenery to be amazing but also hospitable.
When you exit the park, the visitor can still have a look at the famous and rich zoo and get to know, photograph and feed the animals that are hosted freely in the wild. Here you will find aigagros, goats, sheep, deer, hares, wild rabbits, horses, donkeys, wild boars, hens, ducks, quails,partridges, pheasants, and many other species.
Continuing towards the exit, the visitor will find himself in the showroom of traditional products, where he can buy souvenirs, and various Cretan traditional products of our own production. You can also buy whatever the park produces such as herbs, herb essential oils, traditional liqueurs, olives, oil, wine, raki, sweets, unique traditional cheese , cookies, and traditional nuts in the wood oven.
Lastly, if you were happy with the nature that is generous in this place, we strongly recommend you to visit the Paradosiako Steki kalofagadon(Traditional house of good eaters) that can be found at the entrance – exit of the park. Visiting the Greater Theme Park of Crete is not only a trip to history and nature but also a unique dining experience. The history of the taste in the traditional restaurant of the Park is interwoven with the quality, the cleanliness, the taste, and the classic flavors that have been kept as well as the sense of hospitality of the people who created this place.
In the snack bar and Cretan coffee shop you can taste all our products, enjoy the traditional Minoan barbeque café made from barley, next to our pond, looking at the trout and carps in a properly landscaped space. The visitor’s compensation, among other things, lies in the incredible view of the Sacred Peak, gazing at binoculars or telescopes on the flora and fauna of Psiloritis and the wider area.