Lake Votomos is a small lake, close to the village of Zaros on the southern side of the Rouvas forest. This small village on the foothills of Mount Psiloritis in central Crete is close to a lot of archaeological sites and monasteries but is mostly visited by those seeking to explore the natural beauty of the area. The E4 European long-distance path travels through the village; the north route takes you through the forest of Zaros towards the village of…
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Selakano Forest is an area of wild beauty and one of the most important ecosystems on the island, included in the Natura 2000 network. A pine forest, in a mountain setting, it begins some 35 km to the northwest of Ierapetra and runs on up the slopes below the summit of Afendi Christos peak of the Dicte (or Dikti) massif.
Vai palm forest lies in a beautiful valley, by a sandy beach, just north of ancient Itanos: 28 km from Sitia, 8 from Palaikastro and 6 from Toplou. Covering 200 stremmata (50 acres), it is made up of the native Theophrastus palms – the largest palm grove not only in Greece but in all of Europe.
Koufonisi is a tiny Greek island, located on the southwestern coast of Crete in the Libyan Sea. While it is only 5.25 square kilometres in size, the wealth of archaeological finds have termed Koufonisi, “little Delos”. Together with the main island, the region includes smaller islets – Stronguli, Makrouli and Marmara to the north, as well as Trachilos to the south. The sea comprises 60% of the designated territory.
The forest of Trigiodo – Vroulidia is an important ecosystem centred on an oak forest. It occupies the inner valley of a mountain massif near Anogia, one of the most well known touristy villages in Crete island, which borders the Zominthos region. Anogia rests on the slopes of Mount Psiloritis at an altitude of 700 m and is the birthplace of the famous Greek singer Nikos Xylouris.
Rouvas Forest is a vital ecosystem, primarily based on an oak forest, and one of the most important and treasured oak forests remaining on the island of Crete. Covering the inland slopes of Psiloritis, it is defined by the peaks of Ambelakia and Samari to the south, Chalazokephala to the west, Skinaka and Koudouni to the north and Gyristi to the east. The forest covers some 30,000 stremmata (7400 acres).
The area of Preveli on the southern coast of the island is, without doubt, one of the most striking in Crete. It combines the impressive geomorphology of the Kourtaliotiko gorge with an ecosystem of significance and a beach of rare beauty; nearby visitors will also find the Monastery of Preveli, with a small museum that is worth visiting for the history of the area. As a name, Preveli is mostly associated with the palm forest surrounding the beach.
The only freshwater lake on the island of Crete, Kournas Lake, is located at the north edge of the White Mountains, barely 4 km from Georgioupolis, on the borders of Apokoronas. The name – Kournas – probably comes from the Arab word for lake/tub – or perhaps the word for a tap. In the past, it was called Korisia. Some believe there was a temple here to Athena Korisias. The lake creates a fascinating environment, which constantly changes with the…
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Gigilos peak situated in the White Mountains range in the region of Sfakia is considered one of the most enchanting mountain summits of Crete. Rearing up from the depths of the gorge below Xyloskalo, it rises defiantly and barren, ashen in colour, but not in spirit, as its old name would suggest.
One of the most extensive forests on Crete is the Simi pine forest with the dominant species being the Calabrian pine (Pinus brutia) with large stands of oak, cypress and other species like maple, holm oak and holly trees also in abundance.