Actions for Herbs in Crete

The OAC and IThE organize the following actions in order to highlight the importance of Cretan herbs with the participation of groups who desire to experience the beauty of Cretan plants and especially of the endemic species.

The OAC’s Museum of Cretan Herbs includes about 6,000 Cretan species of the archive of the French Professor of Botany, Jacques Zaffran (, which were collected systematically since 1964. The aim of the OAC’s “Jacques Zaffran”-Herbarium is to develop and exhibit the wild plants of Crete, as a botanical reference, and functions as a supporting tool for information and education. Also, the OAC and IThE promote botanical research, so international researchers and scientists are welcome to cooperate with the OAC, concerning projects of monitoring and conservation of the flora of Crete. The Museum is open to the public and together with the collection of herbs, it includes a poster with the plants of the Bible. You can download the German edition of this poster from the following link:

Pflanzen der Bibel

During the blooming period, Professor Jacques Zaffran leads half day excursions “Cretan Walks” to the countryside. The identification of herbs and especially medicinal and aromatic plants, the significance of the local biodiversity and the protection of the natural environment are analyzed during these educational excursions. The target groups for this activity are: teachers, botanists, agriculturists, farmers, students and in general people who are interested in the flora of Crete.

Based on the principles of organic farming, the OAC cultivates its own herbs, vegetables and fruits at Kolymbari and at the Euro-Mediterranean Youth Center (Nopigia Kissamos), which are directly used for the preparation of the dishes by the OAC’s awarded Chef and offered to the OAC’s Conference participants in order to ensure the best quality of food with respect to the traditional Cretan cuisine. 

Also, the IThE is one of the writers of the Guidebook of the National Thematic Network: “Our Herbs of Life”, which was produced by the Greek Ministry of Education and the Makrinitsa Environmental Education Center.


Photos from the above mentioned OAC’s actions for herbs follow: