Vikos Ravine, Epirus
Vikos-Aoos National Park (Epirus): The Pindus area, which encompasses a total of 12,600 hectares and includes Mount Tymfus, the Vikos Gorge and the Aoos Ravine, was declared a
National Park in 1973. Its principal forests consist of broad-leaved deciduous trees (hornbeam, maple, willow and oak), but it also contains forests of plane, elm, lime and hazel, as well as fir,
cedar and black and white - barked pine. The region's fauna is very rich in large mammals like the bear, the wolf, roe-deer, wild goat and wild boar in addition to smaller animals such as the wild cat, hare, polecat and squirrel. Several species offish including trout live in the rivers, along with otters and numerous water incects of interest.
Olympos National Park (Thessaly): This was the first National Park to be set up in Greece (1937) and is one of the longest- established in the world. It contains approximately 1,700 species of plant, including some rare and even unique examples of wild flowers. The lower slopes are covered by species of the Mediterranean maquis such as holm-oak, arbutus, cedar and pomegranate mingled with other deciduous trees and conifers. Higher up there are forests of oak, beech, black and Balkan pine. Amongst the fauna in the Park are large mammals such as the wolf, jackal, fox, wild boar, roe-deer and wild goat, and smaller mammals such as the badger, polecat, weasel, hare and squirrel. The area's bird-life includes eagles, vultures and other birds of prey, woodpeckers and snow-thrushes.
Dadia Forest (Evros-Thrace): The protected area of the Forest of Dadia is a nature reserve, unique in Europe, for birds of prey, 36 of the 38 remaining species in Europe can be found here.
The visitor sets out with a briefing from the Centre of Ecotourism and continues with a guided trip to the reserve with its extensive pine and oak woods, where he can watch the raptors from the special lookout. He can also go to the establishments of the Katrantzides and taste the traditional products of the Women's Cooperative.
The National Park of Samaria Gorge, in Western Crete, about 50 kilometres from the city of Chania. One of the longest gorges in Europe and certainly the most narrow one! It's 18 km long and at a certain point it gets less than 2.5 metres wide!
The National Park of Mount Ainos in the island of Kefalonia, in the Ionian sea. It is the only place in Greece where horses can be seen living free in the wilderness.
The Valley of the Butterflies of Rhodes Island: On the western side of the island approximately five km south-east of the village of Theologos (Tholos). The valley is split by the Pelican River and lies directly below Kalopetra Monastery. The systematic classification of the Rhodes island butterfly, Class: Lepidoptera • Group: Heterocera • Subdivision: Noctuoidea • Division: Arctiidae • Subdivision: Callimorphonae • Genus: Panaxia • Species: Quadripunctaria Poda • In reality it belongs to the moth family.
Rhodes island can be proud of the remarkable phenomenon of Panaxias' consentration in such large numbers, but cannot claim its unique existence. Panaxia exists in other parts of Greece as well as in other countries. The phenomenon in Rhodes though is unique in its mass. The Valley of the Butterflies which is the main habitat, contains millions of butterflies during the summer, especially during August when the migration of the insect has been completed.
Information: Municipality of Theologos, Tel. 02410-41228.