Pictures of Crete in Autumn
As autumn arrives, Crete is beautifully transformed. The intense heat of summer fades into pleasant, cooler weather. This seasonal shift is echoed in the island’s natural palette, with olive groves, vineyards, and citrus orchards maturing into vibrant greens, golds, and oranges. The landscape is further adorned by Crete’s mountains, like the Lefka Ori and Mount Ida, which begin to showcase their first snow caps, creating a breathtaking contrast against the autumnal colors of the lower regions. Explore this enchanting season through our gallery: View Crete’s autumn beauty in our photo collection:
Crete in the autumn is different to the Crete you remember from your summer holidays. The light is gentle, and the sun is not hot but keeps the temperature pleasant for walks in the countryside, even for swimming in the sea. The rain falls again after the dry summer, washing away the dust and watering the soil so the rich green grass can grow again. The beaches which are full of umbrellas and people in the summer, empty in autumn and are left to the seabirds and the few fanatics who enjoy swimming in the sea, which still retains much of its summer warmth. Crete with its mountain ranges and coastal plains is the island of contrasts. While the sun shines down in the plains, up on the high mountains the first snows whiten the peaks. In the autumn, the Cretan landscape in the lowlands is coloured with the yellow, brown and gold of withering vine leaves. The blue of the sky becomes more intense and white clouds travel on the horizon in the light breeze. The sunlight shines through the withered yellow vine leaves against the blue of the sky. The gentle light of autumn revives these vine leaves, which still retain much of their summer green. Leaves shine, bathed in sunlight. What would this photograph look like if the sun were covered by clouds? Cretans should be driven from Crete for at least 10 days a year, to another country much further north, so they would miss the sun and learn to appreciate what is so freely provided back home. As everything around us changes depending on how we look at it, so this withered vine leaf is transformed into an explosion of colour if we see it against the light. Just 15 kilometres from busy Heraklion and the nearby beaches with their hotels and restaurants, the Cretan economy is still based on farming and people live from nature. Vineyards, low hills with olive trees and in the background a small chapel with its red dome, make up the typical landscape in the lowlands around Heraklion. The vineyard spreads out like a sea of gold, with the farmer’s toolshed in the centre. Next to it are the stakes where the grapes are hung to be sun-dried into raisins. The Vine and the Olive, the plants which have fed the people of Crete for over 5,000 years, from the far-off times of their Minoan ancestors. The little church in the middle of the vineyard seems to praise God for offering the blessed fruit of the olive tree to the people of Crete. Another little church, larger and newer but in complete harmony with its surroundings. If only all our buildings showed the same respect of the natural landscape. The soil has slaked its thirst with the autumn rains and the grass spreads like a green carpet across the hills of Crete. A picture that the eyes of those living in Crete long to see in autumn, after the waterless summer period from June to October. Olive trees and a blue sky make up one of the most characteristic images of the Cretan landscape. The olive tree, sacred to the Cretan mind, which has nourished, warmed and healed Cretans for thousands of years with its olives, oil and wood. As the olives ripen on the tree, they darken and lose their green colour. The olives ripen at the beginning of winter, when they are gathered and give us their favous virgin Cretan olive oil. Τhe Cretan landscape 25 kilometres south of Heraklion. As we leave the coast, the landscape rises and becomes more mountainous. Spili, a pretty village in the south of Rethymnon Prefecture, built in a crescent in the hills among the olive groves. The landscape around Spili is wilder and more mountainous. We are in the foothills of Mount Kedros, which dominates the south of Rethymnon Prefecture. Ruined houses in a little village near Gerakari, north of Spili. The whole area, known as Amari, is one of the loveliest places in Crete, unspoilt by tourism. Gerakari is famous for its delicious cherries and tiny but aromatic firiki apples, which strew the earth in this picture. The most probable explanation is that the grandfather or father who cultivated the trees has died or is very old, while the children have left the village and farming for the big city and a different way of life. Autumn picture in Amari. The landscape is obviously different to that of the lowlands south of Heraklion in the previous photographs. Wild, untamed nature, never cultivated or last cultivated many years ago. The colours of autumn in all their glory. Mushrooms grow in the damp earth. A wild mushroom weighing several kilos was found in this area a few years ago. Olive trees with nets spread around the trunks to catch the fruit. Once the olives are gathered, the nets are rolled up and will be left under the trees all year until next winter. This is not universal practice, but you will see it in many parts of Crete. Photograph of Amari, this special area of Rethymnon Prefecture in Crete, which charms its few autumn visitors with the colours and beauty of nature.
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