NATURE
IN GREECE

Greece’s natural tapestry

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Virgin nature: Alpine lakes, dramatic gorges, steaming volcanoes, serene wetlands, national parks, mountain forests… and more flowers than you’ve ever seen

The great Greek outdoors invites you to discover it in every season. A tapestry of landscapes with an amazing array of biodiversity and ecological value will unfold before your eyes: in national parks, waterfalls, rushing rivers, lakes, wetlands, mountain ranges, even volcanoes on Santorini, Nisyros and Milos. You’ll soon discover just how much variety such a small country can display. The mild climate and natural environment is ideal for hiking, riding, off-road driving, rafting, kayaking, rock and mountain climbing and canyoning.

There are 419 Natura 2000 sites, as well as 4 Geoparks that are part of the European Geoparks Network (EGN): Lesvos and its fossilized forest, the Natural Park of Psiloritis on Crete, the Helmos-Vouraikos National Park in the Peloponnese and the Vikos-Aoos National Park in the Zagorohoria region of Epirus.

The wetlands of Greece
Greece’s 400 wetlands are places of special beauty and many are protected by the Ramsar Convention or belong to the Natura 2000 network. The lagoons of Messolongi, Gialova, Porto Lagos and Thrace, the Amvracian Gulf, the Strofilia forest, the deltas of the rivers Axios, Nestos, Evros, Acheloos and Arachthos, lakes Kerkini, Vistonis, Vegorotis, Mikri Prespa, Koroneia and Volvi offer a rich world of vegetation and are home to countless birds, amphibians, mammals and fish.

At least 446 bird species, several of which are endangered, live or spend time at the precious wetlands islands and mainland.

The best places for bird-watching are the Dadia forest, the Evros and Pineios deltas, lakes Kerkini, Heimaditis and Zazari, the Gialova lagoon and Mount Olympus.

Ecotourism in Greece
Are you an ecotourism enthusiast seeking a memorable ecotourism experience in Greece? The nation with the eleventh longest coastline in the world, and which is also 80% mountains and hills, beckons you. Traditional upland villages with their special architecture and customs that go back centuries will welcome you in Pelion, Zagorohoria, Meteora, Olympus, Pindos, Rhodopi, mountainous Arcadia, Messinia, mountainous Nafpaktia, Taygetos, Parnon, and of course Crete with Psiloritis (Mt Ida), the Lefka Oroi (White Mountains) and their spectacular gorges.

Hiking trails and forest roads will lead you off the beaten track to lakes, rivers and hot springs, forests, waterfalls and valleys as well as to ancient temples, old castles and churches; the human and historical side of the landscape.

Agrotourism in Greece
The wonders of nature are complemented by Greek hospitality. The locals will welcome you at traditional guest houses and family-run hotels. They will offer you local specialties, wine, raki and other authentic products at their restaurants and tavernas. You’ll bond with them at agrotourism hostels and family farms where you can participate in the chores of milking the animals, producing cheeses and gathering the olives.

You’ll pick fruit and vegetables from the gardens, pluck grapes from vines and help turn them into wine and raki, and when the work is done you’ll join the others at local festivals and feasts that will immerse you in the traditions of the area. Leaving, you’ll take with you the experience along with a souvenir of honey or jam or herbs you saw gathered with your own eyes.

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TIPS
PINDUS: GETTING BACK TO NATURE by Sira Van Zanten

"There is a hidden gem in the Pindus mountains of Greece, experience of which can only really be described as walking into a fairytale."


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TIPS
ARAHOVA, QUEEN OF WINTER by Marietta Chrousala

"A visit to Arahova in winter (not to mention spring, summer and autumn) is nothing short of a dream!! It’s hard to even imagine it is so close to Athens…"


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Diving in South Pelion
TIPS
DIVING IN SOUTH PELION by Nicholas Samaras

"My favourite place in South Trikeri is “Agia Vaso”, a diving spot. We dived there for three consecutive years discovering orange gorgonies the first time, precious purple gorgonies the second time and precious black coral the third time!"


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Lake "Doksa" in the Peloponnesse

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