Sfakia report, April 20th, Agios Ioannis and Livaniana Everything you want to ask, read or write about Sfakia, southwest Crete, or Crete island in general.

jean h
Posts: 106
Joined: 15 Sep 2020, 21:28

Sfakia report, April 20th, Agios Ioannis and Livaniana

by jean h » 21 Apr 2022, 06:51

The sky was clear in the morning, so we drove up to Agios Ioannis before noon, but clouds had already descended over the tops of the Lefka Ori. We parked at Alonia in Agios Ioannis – it was only 11°C up there! – and walked down to the beautiful viewpoint at Kakos Poros.

There weren’t many flowers to be found on the way, and I don’t know what some of the small ones were that we did spot [photos in the following posting]. The wooded area you pass through has been suffering for years from honey fungus, and there are dead trees and many large branches lying on the ground in places.

Sitting at the picnic table at Kakos Poros, we were in the warm sunshine and protected from the cool westerly breeze, but once we moved to the rocky edge for the view we felt the breeze. The view along the coastline was fairly good – Paleohora was just visible as a white streak to the far west, and Agia Roumeli was clear although there was no sun hitting it. Below us on the beach was the ancient church of Agios Pavlos, and to the south we could discern the E4 path along the coast and part of the footpath down from the ledge at Selouda. Three griffon vultures glided gracefully below.

view west.JPG

view of Paleohora.JPG

view close-up of Agia Roumeli.JPG

view down to Agios Pavlos church.JPG

view south to Gavdos.JPG

griffon vulture from above.JPG


On the little plateau at Kakos Poros, we found three types of orchids and quite a few white ranunculus.

We returned to Alonia and had a brief chat with the owners – their rooms are full over the Easter holidays.

Our next destination was Livaniana which hangs below a ridge of the lower Aradena gorge. The newly asphalted lower section of the road is a great improvement, but the long winding drive down the road with no safety barriers is still not for those who suffer from vertigo.

view down to Livaniana.JPG
view down to FInix and Lykos.JPG


A boy and his dog were in charge of the Livaniana cafe (we could hear a woman inside the kitchen), and we spotted a new toilet below the cafe terrace.

Livaniana cafe.JPG


We walked up through the village, past ancient and hollowed out olive trees, and admired the new stone and cement wall lining the extended and widened street which ends at the main church. A newer rough dirt and stone track leads beyond that to the old and new churches that lie on the footpath down into the Aradena gorge.

road to new Livaniana church.JPG


On the way back up we had to pull over carefully to the cliff side of the road to let 3 cars and pass which were loaded with Greek families who were probably on their way down to Finix or Lykos for the Easter holidays.

Back up at the top, we picked up a friend who had stopped in Aradena, and she was thrilled to have seen a flock of about 20 bee-eaters swoop down the gorge under the bridge and over the headland, with the sun glinting off their multi-coloured plumage – what a magical sight!

There was a chilly westerly breeze blowing in Sfakia all afternoon and evening, so after sunset everyone ate indoors.

jean h
Posts: 106
Joined: 15 Sep 2020, 21:28

Re: Sfakia report, April 20th, Agios Ioannis and Livaniana

by jean h » 21 Apr 2022, 07:01

And here are photos of some of the flowers (and trees) we saw (please note that identifications are tentative):

First, the orchids:
an Ophrys of some sort, maybe episcopalis (Large-flowering bee-orchid), looking like a little alien creature
Ophrys episcopalis.JPG


a pyramid orchid just starting to open
pyramid orchid.JPG


what may be a stunted Robert's giant orchid
orchid.JPG


The dead trees, victims of honey fungus infestation
dead tree.JPG


Other small flowers on the path to Kakos Poros (not all in clear focus, sorry)
small white flower.JPG

purple flower, spotted leaves.JPG

white ranunculus.JPG


Verbascum arcturus on a cliffside by the road to Livaniana
Verbascum arcturus.JPG


And the old gnarled and hollowed olive trees near the Livaniana cafe
old olive trees.JPG

Birgitta
Posts: 71
Joined: 28 Jan 2016, 14:13

Re: Sfakia report, April 20th, Agios Ioannis and Livaniana

by Birgitta » 21 Apr 2022, 15:13

I have a question: the book "A story of Sfakia". Can I buy it here in Sfakia? I am here just now.
Birgitta

kiki
Posts: 112
Joined: 22 Mar 2018, 16:46

Re: Sfakia report, April 20th, Agios Ioannis and Livaniana

by kiki » 21 Apr 2022, 16:59

Thanks for the wonderful pictures and the daily report ! I enjoy a lot.

Birgitta I dont know if that book is available in Sfakia, I always have seen only the book from Peter Trudgill "In Sfakia" in some of the shops.

arnulf
Posts: 47
Joined: 12 Nov 2015, 09:33

Re: Sfakia report, April 20th, Agios Ioannis and Livaniana

by arnulf » 21 Apr 2022, 18:07

Kalispera!

Thank you again for your fantastic reports from Sfakia and the area!

It seems that you have had some bad weather with Sahara dust, so I hope you will have warm and good weather for the rest of your stay!

We are coming to Crete at the end of May and really look forward coming to Sfakia again!

Enjoy your stay!

All the best

Arnulf

Jean
Posts: 597
Joined: 16 Nov 2015, 07:55

Re: Sfakia report, April 20th, Agios Ioannis and Livaniana

by Jean » 21 Apr 2022, 19:46

Birgitta wrote:I have a question: the book "A story of Sfakia". Can I buy it here in Sfakia? I am here just now.
Birgitta


Do you mean “In Sfakia”, or “Sfakia. A history of the region”? Both are available at the front Supermarket and Mini-market on the plateia, but there are copies of the first book only In German and Greek at the moment; the history book is available in English and Greek.

It would be nice to meet you so please look for us at Despina’s around 10:30 or ask at the Lefka Ori.

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