A donkey sanctuary in Agia Marina

By Steve Bott — You’ve all seen the adverts on TV.  The sad neglected donkeys cared for by various rescue centres around the Mediterranean.

Now I can give you a better insight into one of those donkey sanctuaries here on Crete.

Barbara and her Cretan husband Fanis run the Agia Marina Donkey Sanctuary near Matala in the Mesara Valley, Heraklion. (Agia Marina, Moires, South Coast Heraklion)

They rescue unwanted, old and sick donkeys and have 24 now. Some have been abandoned, when their owners became ill or died and there was nobody to care for them. Their oldest donkey is 43 years old and blind. The youngest is five months and was born at the sanctuary to a rescued mother who was pregnant.

Barbara was born in New Zealand and has lived on Crete most of her life. Her husband Fanis was born in Zaros.

Barbara grew up with horses in New Zealand. Her grandfather was a well known horse trainer there.

When she came to Crete, Barbara missed the horses and that was when her love affair with the donkeys began.

Barbara and Fanis have dedicated their lives to these beautiful animals which are so unappreciated here.

Please feel welcome to visit the sanctuary when you are able either when you are holidaying on Crete or staying on a more permanent basis.

It would be a nice stopping off point on a trip to Matala and the beautiful beach with the most marvellous rock caves and old hippie community.

For more information visit the the webpage  Agia Marina Donkey Rescue Crete

The sanctuary is open daily 10:00 -14:00 except Sundays


*DAILY HOURS 10.00-14.00