Mushrooms - they are beautiful and delicious. You can find them easily on supermarket shelves, but you can also discover them yourself by going on organised hikes in the forest and thus enjoy rarer species.
This tasty fungus is extremely important for the ecosystem since it participates in the breakdown of cellulose and xylene. For example, they decompose the leaves that fall from the trees through enzymes that they secrete, without the fungi, and bacteria, the forests would be buried in the leaves.
In order to grow, they need enough moisture and specific temperatures. In Greece, these conditions are especially suitable in autumn. However, in some areas of Greece, we can find mushrooms even at the beginning of summer.
Picking mushrooms is not difficult as they often grow even in our flower pots. The hard part is being able to recognise which are edible and which are not.
That's why there are experts who know well the art of mushroom picking and with them, participating in an excursion, you can learn it too.
In other words, learn the characteristics of harmless edible mushrooms in relation to poisonous ones, how to collect them, how to clean them and how to cook them.
For hunting mushrooms you will not need special equipment, a knife and a basket are enough. Choose the area you like, book your excursion and enjoy a different experience.
In Greece, mushroom hunts are organised in many areas, such as the ones below, recommended by Travel.
The dense forest around Pavliani on the slopes of Oita hides many kinds of mushrooms, you will find them in clearings, logs, roots and trunks of trees and under leaves.
Guided by an expert connoisseur of wild mushrooms, you will walk among the firs and walnut trees on an informal hunt trying to discover these magnificent fungi. You will learn to distinguish which ones are edible, which ones are the most delicious and which ones you would not even give to your enemy.
Euboea is another area with an abundance of mushrooms. From the end of September until the end of June, the best place to find them are on the slopes of Dirfi where, together with the guides, you will learn everything about mushrooms while at the same time hiking among wonderful nature.
At the end, of course, you will enjoy the fruits of your labour as there follows a meal of delicious dishes with mushroom as a raw material, cooked by a chef with knowledge in agro-tourism gastronomy (adventureevia.gr ).
The Natural History Museum of Meteora and Mushroom Museum organises a specialised mushroom hunt, the "Truffle Hunt".
Here, specially trained dogs take on the hard work of finding this fungus, you simply collect them while learning all about truffles, their species, how they grow, where they frequent and their uses.
Obviously the experience doesn't stop there either, it ends with cooking a wonderful truffle pasta in the heart of the forest (trufflehunting.net).
Like any mountainous area surrounded by dense forest, Grevena has a tradition of mushroom picking and in the last several years has associated its name with mushrooms like no other Greek city.
To show you how much they love and appreciate them, they went into the process of cataloging them and have so far found more than 2,500 species across the county. You will find them hidden high on the mountain slopes among firs, pines, oaks, beeches and maples but also lower down.
Mushrooms abound in Grevena from Orliakas and Valia Calda to the banks of Aliakmon a and Venetikos. Fotis Paraskevaidis organises a wonderful mushroom hunt in the Krania massif in which he will transfer all his knowledge to you, and of course there will be a tasting afterwards (6948043660).
Pelion is another area that is full of mushrooms and suitable for mushroom trips.
You will wear the appropriate shoes and enter the forest on known and unknown paths, accompanied by an expert to collect caesar amanitas, black porcini, black trumpets and many more, but also to learn how to distinguish edible from dangerous poisonous mushrooms.
In Tsagarada, the owner of the Amanita guest house, Mr. Filaretos Psimmenos, has been organising mushroom hunting since 2006 for visitors from Greece and abroad. The activity is aimed at those staying at the hostel and takes place mainly in September and October (amanita.gr).
Zagori also has its mushrooms, such as king mushrooms, truffles, wild chanterelles and many others. So the next time you go up to the beautiful villages of Zagori, spend some time in its enchanting nature through a mushroom safari.
The Aristi Mountain Resort Hotel in the village of Aristi organises excursions and then testing what you have collected. It is for hotel guests and takes place mainly from spring (aristi.eu).
Metsovo is another destination for mushroom picking since here you can find many types of edible mushrooms, as well as truffles.
Porcini, red pine, golden trumpets and many more species are hidden in bushes and pine forests which you can collect even in early summer. The Aroma Dryos hotel (aromadryos.gr) organises excursions for its guests upon consultation.
In Ano Chora, the Crystal Mountain Resort hotel and their mushroom expert can introduce you to all the secrets of this precious fungus.
Entering the beautiful forest that surrounds the village you will collect all sorts of mushrooms and returning after learning how to clean them, you will taste them fried or grilled while clinking your glasses full of local tsipouro (crystalmountain.gr).
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