Springtime in Arcadia is a spectacular celebration of all that nature has to offer in this beautiful part of Greece
Arcadia is my home and also the vision of a pastoral paradise if you look in your dictionary. In a world full of uncertainties it is wonderful to be able to tell you that Arcadia is just that, always was and still is.
Once springtime arrives here, March to June, we have the most wonderful experience of walking the old ways that are clothed in the biggest range of wild flowers you will ever have seen. The variety and colour is unimaginable and our walkers always say our photos do not do the experience justice.
As 90% of our area is organic the wildflowers are also home to wondrous numbers of butterflies and bees and the aroma of herbs underfoot wafts along with us as we walk. Oregano, thyme, sage, lavender, mint, fennel, basil, bay… It is nature’s herb garden…, reminding us of great food we have shared along the way.
Our first sign of Spring is the almond blossom, called the crazy one in Greek as it risks blossoming so early that it could be lost in a cold snap. Each plant then takes its turn to star and each one has a mythical story and local folklore to its name.
The meadows take on different colours every week as they go from white to yellow to blue, to red… a rainbow of colour that is a dream for any walker and photographer. We offer special walks to find specific plants as we have 109 endemic species not found anywhere else and we know them and their stories intimately.
Let’s look at a few of our stars, starting with the numerous bulbs that raise their coloured heads early. First come the wild daffodils, multi-headed and beautifully scented, delicate shades of cream and lemon yellow. Then the crocuses, with a couple that are special to our area, in deep purples and vibrant yellows. We then get the full range of grape hyacinths with a mixture of white and purple filling the olive groves for weeks on end. Moving on come the rarer fritillaries with their striped purple and green bells and if we are really lucky we spot the even scarcer yellow subspecies.
Some of these bulbs literally carpet the ground with their colours… especially the stars of Bethlehem and romulea… It is impossible to not step on a few as we pass through them. The cyclamen cover the green slopes in the forests with their deep radiant pink and in between soon after the first orchids appear. Finally we have our yearly tulip challenge to find the 3 subspecies that love to push through the turned soil on the higher terraces. They are the deepest red and most striking orange, simply magnificent!
Our orchids range from the small bee orchids in strange and wonderful patterns that have evolved to look like wasps and bees to attract the same to pollinate them, up to the tallest spikes of white, purple and yellow each in their own favourite spots that we know so well after our years walking here.
This is where we are so lucky to have such varied terrain so that we get some many different types within a 1 hour drive of our base. Whether the flowers love the sun or the shade, forest floor or riversides, rocky mountain ridges or seaside foam we have it all to share with you and them.
It is difficult to choose now from the huge range of flowers that follow one after the other to paint the ground we walk on… Fields of chamomile that looks like snow but smell like a lazy summer day, the delicate blues of the veronicas, the range of anemones, (a Greek name meaning the flower of the wind), that nod and dance in the breeze, red, purple and white, or my especial favourites the most amazing fields of bright red poppies.
Late into May the high meadows are literally covered in a multi coloured blanket that we wade through and out the other side to drink in the huge vistas ahead. The bare mountain tops of Parnon are then our hunting ground to find the endemic alpines that live in the natural rockery and finally our endemic mountain tea plants come into flower and we can pick their flower stalks to dry and drink through the year to bring us peace and sleep with their delicate mountain flavour.
Come and join us this Spring for an experience you will never forget, in an untouched garden, full of perfumed air and birdsong.
Please get in touch if you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you!