To my knowledge, there are four different
kinds of snake on Crete. If you should see one when walking, it will most likely
be the European Ratsnake. Snakes on Crete are less dangerous than in many other
parts in the area. But there are other
dangerous animals on the island.
European Ratsnake (Zamenis Situla) –
The European Ratsnake is a very shy snake.
You can see them on cooler, but sunny, days lying on the road in the evening.
The roads are still warm from the afternoon sun, and the snakes are warming up.
More often than not, they’ll be dead, having been driven over. They have a red
pattern, and grow up to 60-80cm long. All snakes on Crete with red colouring
belong to this species.
Dice Snake (Natrix Tessellata) –
Another shy snake, the dice snake grows up to
90cm long, and has a brown or grey colouring. They need to be near to a source
of water. Dice snakes are more or less rare on Crete.
Important tickets for Crete
for Crete can be bought in advance on the Internet. This
improves the planning of your holiday and saves time as
you don't have to queue up at the ticket offices or
search for ticket sales points on Crete. Tickets for the
3 most important sights on Crete:
of Knossos, often long queues at the cash desk: tickets
2. A good
overview of bus tours to the famous Samaria Gorge, which
can be booked online:
leprosy island of Spinalonga. Various tickets, ferries,
other tickets, excursions on Crete:
Green Whip Snake (Columber Gomonensis) –
This snake isn’t so rare as other species of
snake living on Crete. They grow to 1m long, with a brown colouring and are not
afraid to bite. Be careful during the breeding season (spring to early summer):
this is the most common time for them to attack.
I know at least two people who
got bitten. Often they will bite several times in a couple of seconds. Though
the bites are painful, they are, thankfully, non-venomous. Nevertheless, should
you get bitten, it’s a good idea to see the doctor in case the wounds get
infected. Green whip snakes grow up to 2m long.
No hotel on Crete yet?
There are thousands
hotels and other accommodations on Crete. In
our opinion the best overview is at Booking.com.
You can sort accommodations by price or display only
accommodations in certain cities. The hotels can be booked
quickly and easily on Booking.com, there are also
European Cat Snake (Telescopus Fallax) – Venomous, but not too
dangerous for humans
Cat snakes on Crete usually have a grey back
with a red-yellow belly. As with most Cretan snakes, they grow to 1m long.
Despite these snakes being venomous, you do not need to feel too much fear of
them, for several reasons:
• It is a rear-fanged snake. This means the poisonous teeth are so far back in
the mouth that the poison only affects small animals (e.g. rats or mice). Humans
are unlikely to get poisoned in 90% of attacks.
• Cat snakes are very shy.
• The venom is quite weak for humans. Even children will almost always survive.
Most people will not feel anything except for pain in the area of the bite
• These snakes are rare on Crete – I’ve never heard of anyone who has seen one.
They are far more prevalent on some of the other Greek islands.
• Even if there is no antidote, doctors and hospitals will help you
Never try to stop the blood circulating in your arm or leg if you are bitten by
a snake – this is far more dangerous to your health than the actual bite itself!
More dangerous animals on Crete
animals on Crete