There are not many
dangerous animals on Crete. I have read that Crete is an
island free of rabies (as of 2007), but this could change.
There are no dangerous predators on Crete, though stray
dogs can be a problem. The biggest animals are badgers,
which will only attack if you climb into there caves where
they have their offspring. There are no wolves or bears on
Crete - any rumours of their existence are nonsense: brown
bears and wolves can be found in the north of Crete, but
not on Crete.
Please view our special
page concerning snakes on Crete.
Like all scorpions,
Cretan scorpions are venomous, but their venom is not
normally life-threatening. There are at least three
species of scorpions in Crete. All three have several
subspecies. There are quite a lot of scorpions; in the
last five years I have seen around twenty scorpions, which
is far more often than I have seen snakes. Stings are
rare, but have been known to happen. Scorpion stings hurt
a lot. To be on the safe side you should see a doctor or a
pharmacist, particularly if you suffer from a rare allergy
against this poison Ė in this case, being stung is
Cretan scorpions are smaller than most tourists think.
Some species like the frequent black Euscorpius
Carpathicus are only 3-4 cm long. The species Mesobuthus
Gibbosus are lighter and much bigger, growing up to 12 cm
long, and pretty scary with it.
Venomous Spiders on Crete
Black widows in Crete
exist in arachnid and human form on Crete. Despite this,
Iíve never heard of a bite from one in all my years here.
Jumping spiders are another matter; some years ago on the
south coast of Crete some people were bitten by them. The
first few days after the bite it is not especially
painful. However, the small wound has a tendency to get
infected. These people had to get treatment from a doctor,
and one girl even went to hospital; it took weeks for her
big, painful wound to heal. The doctors confirmed that the
bite was that of a jumping spider, and that the reaction
was typical of someone with an allergy to the venom. That
same summer (2003), there were some other bites in
Plakias. Having said that, I have not heard of a case of
jumping spider bites since. All victims were bitten at
night time whilst in bed. Jumping spiders are small (1cm
big) and can jump about half a metre.
Great overview of hotels on Crete
There are some rumours about the existence of tarantulas
on Crete, though not everyone believes them. I canít
confirm these rumours, but they shouldnít be completed
There are some other venomous spiders on Crete, such as
the Araneus, a spider found across Europe. Iíve also read
on some internet forums that the poisonous brown recluse
spider lives in Crete; Iíve never heard this anywhere
People frequently ask
me: Are there sharks around Crete? Are they dangerous?
There are about thirty species of sharks in the
Mediterranean Sea. Some of them are big and can be
dangerous for human beings. Some of them live in the South
Eastern Mediterranean (around Crete).
I do not know of any shark attack around Crete, or even
around Greece. On the other hand, millions of people swim,
surf or dive around Crete each year, so shark attacks are
possible but it is probably more likely that the sky would
fall down. Whilst there are hundreds of risks in a holiday
on Crete, the most unlikely one is probably being eaten by
There are sometimes newspaper stories about Great White
Sharks in the Mediterranean. There have been rare
incidents where Great Whites have been spotted and filmed
around Greece, but there have been no reports of a
Jaws-style Great White attack on humans here
Troubles on Crete