Reptisland: A Secret Tourist Treasure.

I’ve previously spoken about the hidden treasures of Crete; the places to visit if you want to come and see most of what Crete has to offer outside of the typical poolside holiday. One place you may not have thought about going to visit is one of my favourite places I’ve visited so far while living here in Greece. No, it’s not a mythological site, a sunset viewing point or one of the gorges. It’s Reptisland.

What is Reptisland?’ You may ask… Sounds a bit like a theme park, right?  Well not quite.  ACTUALLY, it’s a  reptile rescue centre based in Melidoni, Rethymnon. In this family-run rescue centre, you will find a variety of reptiles- chameleons, geckos, snapping turtles and snakes all of which have been rescued by the family. I am often very sceptical when it comes to animal shelters, but you can feel the care and affection that the guide has for these animals. He informed us that most of the animals that were rescued are either from abusive homes, had been neglected or had been found with injuries in the wild. Reptisland gave us lots of information about different reptiles- from where they are native to, how to care for them and their diets. Arguably, the best part of all is that you can get to hold some of the reptiles yourself.

Ever held a chameleon before? Are you brave enough to hold a snake? Here is the perfect place to experience this for the first time whether you are young or old. Reptisland lets you hold ONLY the reptiles which are sociable and in a good mood, respecting the needs of all of the reptiles. My favourite part is they also have a very sociable tortoise- who is pretty young and likes to walk around the room- very cute!

The trip here was relatively inexpensive- you pay a few euros on entry, which I assume goes towards the upkeep of the habitats and the food and you can stay as long as you like and walk around at your own pace. I think it’s worth the visit if you’re travelling in the Rethymnon region and you want to do something just that little bit different. If you want to visit Reptisland you can read their reviews on trip advisor here.

Want to know what other secret tourism treasures are in Crete? You can read more about what to do in Crete outside of sunbathing around the pool in my last post Hidden History of Crete: A Tourists Guide to Greece.

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