Are you ready for a village adventure in Crete? Are you ready to accompany and milk the sheep, to drink tea with the shepherd next to an old church and to have a real shepherd lunch? Or would you prefer to bake your homemade bread in a wood oven and eat it with fresh cheese made in the mitato?
All this is possible in the village of my shepherd friend Babis whom we can keep company during his daily routine as a shepherd.
Yesterday I went on a trip up on the Psiloritis mountain to have lunch with sheppard Andreas. He lives in the village Livadia in the Idi mountains and he has been a sheppard for his whole life. He loves being out there in the nature high up in the mountains
with his sheep and goats. Together with his brothers they have around 3000 animals to take care of. Today 200 of them are already up on the mountain where Andreas milks all 200 of them twice a day and they give him each time around 100 liter of good quality milk. The other animals are still on the land they have further down the mountain and they will be brought up until the end of April.
Andreas will be milking the animals twice a day until the end of May and then for about one more month he will milk them once a day. From the month of July on the animals will mate, so they won’t give any milk until they give birth about 5 months later.
During the months that the animals don’t give milk Andreas still goes up to give them extra food and water but also because he loves being up there.
His family also built a chapel there, a saint George chapel.
Close to the chapel there stands a very large Stone Oak tree where you can enjoy the real sheppard’s lunch called antichristo. Which is lamb that is cooked next to the fire instead of on the fire. No herbs are needed during the preparation of the meat as his animals eat lots of herbs during their time in the mountains. Andreas is a very good cook and also very good company, he likes to talk about his life and work up there on the Psiloritis.
The road up to his mitato is not an easy road as it lays on a hight of 1200 meter but it really is worth the trip.
If this looks like something you would like to do during your stay in Crete than don’t hesitate to contact me.
Crete is a very fertile island whit a long wine history, in the region of Kato Zakros, (east Crete) the oldest vineyard was found and in Vathipetro (central Crete) the oldest winery in the world! So Crete has its own grape varieties, the Vilana gives us a white wine, and Liatiko, Kotsifali and Mandilari are used for red and rose wine.