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Goats of Crete: the Furry Companions of My Solo Hike

Goats of Crete: the Furry Companions of My Solo Hike

I spent some three weeks on Crete this winter. I am pretty sure I'd seen a few times more goats and sheep than humans.  There were many days that the only companions I had were goats - no humans anywhere. I absolutely loved it.

When I came back home and went through my photos I've realized I had so many pics of goats and sheep, I just had to make a post dedicated just those adorable creatures. The fabulous landscape was the perfect background for our lovely models. 

(Click on image to see it bigger)

Goats are ubiquous on Crete. The more to the east I trekked the more sheep joined them. It’s a pity it was only after I completed my hike that I’ve read about kri kri – the feral goats of Crete.

It looks like a long time ago – probably in the Minoan era, some of the imported goats went wild. In the past it was believed that kri kri were a sub-species of a wild goat but genetic testing proved they were an offshoot of early domesticated goats.

When I was hiking I didn’t know that so I didn’t pay too much attention to discern which were which.

I don’t know if I was lucky to see the rare Cretan ibex (there are only about 2 000 of them) or not.

Obviously the ones I saw in enclosures or with bells on their necks were farm animals. Sometimes the fields fenced off for them were huge so with time I wasn’t sure whether I was hiking through someone’s field or open wild area.  

It is quite possible though, that when I was hiking close to the Samaria Gorge (which is their main home) I might have seen some of them without even knowing they were the famous kri kri.

Goats are funny animals. They obviously look like spawn of the devil (no surprise so many fairy tales made the connection) but also were very easily spooked. I started calling myself The Dread of Goats as the moment they noticed me, they were running away.

I was walking mostly in January and it was the time of lambing and … kidding? How do you call giving birth to a young kid? Kidding must be the word. I don't care if there is a different one.

Anyway, I was able to see many adorable little baby goats and lambs right by their mothers.

goats on Crete kri kri Greece animals solo hiking
goats on Crete kri kri Greece animals solo hiking

By the way, don’t you think the way the young ones milk their mothers is quite violent? Seriously, they look like they are attacking the mother’s tits.

Some of the animals looked at me really funny, trying to guess what the heck was this weird thing. I’m pretty sure most of them rarely see any humans! There were days I didn’t see anyone but goats.

Enjoy watching the adorable animals which will forever be a symbol of Crete in my mind. I even got a magnet with kri kri to remember my vacation on this beautiful island.

When you look at the goats and sheep, as they lazily wander around the most beautiful areas on Crete, grazing clean grasses exposed to no air pollutants, you understand why the Cretan dairy products are so good. I'm pretty sure the local goat and sheep cheeses are some of the healthiest on Earth! And they must taste vaguely of sea salt. 

Have you been wandering through the island of Crete? Have you had a chance to see the wild kri kri? What about the funny crowds or long-haired goats?

Female & Solo Hiking on Crete: Day 6 & 7 Paleochora - Lissos - Sougia

Female & Solo Hiking on Crete: Day 6 & 7 Paleochora - Lissos - Sougia

Female & Solo Hiking on Crete. Days 3-5: Kampos - Elafonisi - Paleochora

Female & Solo Hiking on Crete. Days 3-5: Kampos - Elafonisi - Paleochora