The Center of Environmental Education of Archanes (CEEA) was formed in 2002 (Decision 72942/Γ2/11-07-2002 by the Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs) and has been in operation since December 2003. The staff comprises educators from both the primary and the secondary levels of education.
To sensitize and educate pupils, students, educators and other social groups in environmental matters/concerns of local or global importance.
- Design and implementation of Environmental Education (EE) projects for pupils/students of primary/secondary education, respectively
- Organization and carrying out of training meetings and seminars targeting educators and other social groups.
- Design and production of educational and training materials.
- Support of EE projects of schools in the region of CEEA
- Formation and coordination of thematic EE networks at a national and international level.
- Promotion of research in the field of Environmental Education.
- To further its aims the CEEA promotes liaison and cooperation with universities, EE officers, other Centers of Environmental Education, local governments, NGOs, local associations and other entities.
The Center of Environmental Education of Archanes (CEEA) is housed in an elegant, stone-built, two-storey listed building at the entrance to the town. The building was erected in the beginning of the 20th century and from 1915 to 2003 functioned as a school.
This is a small town, one of the most beautiful in Crete, with cobbled alleys, Byzantine churches, refurbished neo-classical buildings with facades painted in elegant earthly colours, little courtyards teaming with flowers, traditional coffee shops and old, stately homes which also functioned as guest houses.
Archanes was a flourishing town during the Minoan period. This claim is corroborated by the discovery of four peak sanctuaries on Mt. Youchtas, the Minoan palace at "Ano" (Upper) Archanes and the findings which are proudly exhibited in the local archaeological museum.
The area of Archanes is among the most important wine-producing areas of Crete. The finest Rozaki grapes, the best table grapes of Crete, grow in this area which is known for its excellent wine since the Minoan period.
On Mount Youchtas - highest peek 811 m. - scientific research has registered 360 plant species, eighteen of which are native (endemic) to Crete or Greece. Also, observations of the fauna converge to the existence of forty bird species some of which are rare or/and threatened. The most important bird species that one can come across on this mountain is the Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) with a population of 25-30 and 8-10 reproducing pairs.
This is a protected species and visitors to the mountain may spot bird feeders. In addition, there are dedicated teams for monitoring their population.
The broader Youchtas area is included in the European Network NATURA 2000 and listed as an Important Bird Area (IBA). The area is also protected as an "Archaeological Site" and as a "Landscape of Exceptional Natural Beauty."
HOW TO GET THERE
The "Ano" (Upper) Archanes is located approximately 15 km south of the town of Heraklion. There is a Green Bus (KTEL) service with runs daily from Heraklion (the Buss Station is at the Port of Heraklion) to Archanes. For more information please call 2810-245.019 / 245.020 / 246.530.