Nature/Flora in Peloponnese


If Stymphalia doesn't have much water, Lake Doxa is full of it. That's because the lake was created artificially by damming the area. Looking quite natural, the lake is surrounded by pine and other forests against a backdrop of the Chelmos mountaintop (or Aroania).
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A very unique feature in the Balkans, the plateau of Kapeli features tall oaks among daffodils and ferns.
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Two opposing mountains, Klokos and Barbas are separated by Selinountas gorge or ravine, and considered a region of European Natural Heritage, as well as part of the Natura 2000 network. Alpine-like meadows dot the mountains at higher elevations above the tree line.
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Kotychi–Strofylia lies in Western Peloponnese, shared between the prefectures of Ilia and Achaia. It is a magnificent place for nature, fauna and flaura with many unique characteristics.
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Also known as Neofytos, the brackish Kotychi lagoon lies near the cape of Kyllini, covering 800 hectares and now considered the largest lagoon in the Peloponnese. Fed by fresh-water streams, its level fluctuates significantly and is a very important resting point for migrating birds.
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Designated as a protected site for fauna and flora under the EU's Natura 2000 programme, Lake Stymphalia is more of a wetlands area surrounded by lovely mountains.
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Accessed from the village of Dimitsana, this famous gorge runs along most of the Loussios river and is famous for its beauty.
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Different elevations offer different natural wonders: serene, bare mountain tops contrast with thick fir forests, cedar woods, oaks and strawberry trees, all mixed with springs, caves, rivers and gorges.
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Named after the goddess of water, the Neda river is about 32 kilometres long and boasts marvellous sites and monuments across its course.
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Polylimnio – which means many lakes – represents about 15 lakes that were relatively recently discovered among lush vegetation, small canyons and picturesque waterfalls.
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Another impressive gorge is Ridomo, which is great for hiking and nature walks. Located in the Messinian part of Mani like the Viros Gorge at about 15 kilometres away from Kalamata, the gorge starts from where the Sadova stream meets the sea and goes up to Profitis Elias on Mount Taygetos.
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Forming an intricate ecosystem alongside the lagoons and Prokopou lake, the Strofilia Forest at Kalogria on the Gulf of Corinth is one of the largest in the Mediterranean. It spreads over 80 kilometres square or 20,000 acres.
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Right in the middle of the Messinian part of Mani, the Viros gorge was considered the ancient thoroughfare leading to Lakonia.
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The Vouraika gorge has been carved out by the rushing Vourkaikos river which insolently continues to do so. Watching over this steep gorge are plane trees, pine forests and olive groves as it rises through Zachlorou village to reach 20 kilometres.
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Close to Akrata, the forest of Kalamia has some splendid oak trees representing one of the officially protected areas in the country. Fauna and flora abound in this extended green area, making it ideal for nature lovers. Nearby is the village of Mesourgi, which depends on agriculture (vegetables, fruits, olives).
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The Ladonas river links Achaia with Arkadia, and is one of the most ancient in the Peloponnese. The river, associated with the dragon, is known for snaking its way along 60 kilometres of greenery and nature, a place where the old gods battled each other.
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The magnificently bluish-green Tsivlou lake near Akrata lies a good 800 meters above sea level, considered very important for the local ecology and culture. Curiously, the lake was formed in 1913 after landfalls and resulting blockage of the Krathis river.
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A protected area under an EU directive for conservation, the northern slopes of Mount Parnon are home to black pines, which mingle with other conifers, all growing between 700-1,700 meters. An important biotope that is home to many types of wild fauna and flora.
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There is a riparian forest where the Ladonas and Alfeios rivers meet, creating small jungle-like areas and a very important ecosystem for fish, birds and amphibians. The best part may be on the road to the village of Krestena, near the dam.
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A very rare forest of Syrian juniper can be admired around Kynouria. The forest is spread over 74 hectares, and is of a unique botanical and ecological value.
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This gorge offers an excellent representation of local plants and animals, along with amazing waterfalls. It can be accessed through Kato Doliana (Lower Doliana) or from Kastritochoria, i.e. near Kastri.
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Beside the village of Zarouchla, one of the biggest forests in Achaia is an ecosystem on its own. Rare black pine trees characterize the forest, along with chestnut trees and fir trees. The forest extends from Seliana up to Agia Varvara. Stay at one of Zarouchla's three guest houses to enjoy this place up close.
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