Culturally, Crete (and especially Chania) has always been situated on the crossroads of civilizations and in many ways acts as a bridge between the countries of Western Europe, the Near East and Africa. You’ll find remnants of the Minoan civilization, the Romans, the Francs, the Venetians, the Turks, yes even from the Egyptians and, more recently, from the Germans. The coastal zone of Kydonia and Kissamos is the main touristic area of West Crete. It has a long sandy beach stretching to the peninsula of Rodopou. This has encouraged the touristic development and you’ll find long lines of hotels, apartments, restaurants, travel agent, car rentals and other tourist offices. (This is a place that I try to avoid as much as possible.) I prefer to leave the coastal area and move inland, there you’ll find a whole different scene, an agricultural countryside where the main crops are citrus (mainly oranges and lemons), but you can also meet Kiwi, Avocado, Banana, Mango, Kumquat, Cactus and several others, and, in the higher and drier hills, olive trees. Here you can also find many chestnut trees and platanes. And flowers everywhere, along the roads, in the orchards, in the fallow fields. The area is particularly beautiful in the early spring. In the middle of Chania city, you’ll find the endemic Petromarula growing out of the old walls of the Arsenali.
The peninsula of Akrotiri is situated immediately east of Chania and is known for a lots of flowers in spring. Villages here are Marathi, Kalathas and Stavros (where the beach scenes of Alexis Zorbas were filmed). Almost the year around you’ll find in this area a lot of flowers and not many tourists.
Here is also The Park for the Preservation of Flora and Fauna ( see: http://www.park.tuc.gr/index_UK.php) from the Technical University of Crete.