Nature of Greece
Greece is the cradle of modern Western world. It occupies significant part of the Balkan Peninsula and around 2000 islands (227 populated). It is washed by the Aegean, Ionic and Mediterranean Seas. Relief of the country consists of rocky mountains, densely populated plains and numerous islands. Almost quarter of territory of Greece is Mountainous.
According to global location and influence of the sea there are three types of climate in Greece. Southern island and northern part of the country experiences temperate climate while highlands have alpine weather conditions. The Pindus mountain range greatly influences weather of continental part of the country. Regions located to west of its slopes are receiving more precipitation than eastern.
Places in Greece
Heaven on Earth is considered to be somewhere on tropical islands but nature of Greece successfully disproves this opinion. From the top of the highest mountain and to the last rock of smallest islet Greece is vivid and beautifull.
Famous mountain is located on coast of the Aegean Sea in Thessaly. It is the highest mountain in Greece with almost 3000 m (9840 ft.) tall. Formerly Olympus was “populated” by ancient Greek gods and now it is national park with protected diversity of wildlife.
In north-western part of the Zakynthos Island there is secluded bay reachable only by sea. Perfect white beach is surrounded by steep cliffs. Deep blue water has peculiar color either because of sand floating in it either due to high concentration of calcium brought by underwater springs.
Interestingly, here on the sand are the wreckage of the ship.
In Thessaly there is range of tall sandstone rocks. They are one of the most wonderful creations of nature and in addition important complex of Eastern Orthodox monasteries. Name of the complex means “lofty” or “elevated” and there are no words that can describe majesty of the place.
On the island of Kefalonia there is perfect place for those who are fond of caves and lakes. Basically Melissani is the massive karst cave. There is lake in it and great opening in dome. There are around 20 m between surface of the lake and ground level. Sunlight pierces tree crowns around the opening in dome of the cave and then it reflects from surface of water to create most picturesque lighting.
Over billions of years a quiet river on the Crete Island was sculpting 16 km (10 mi.) of Samaria Gorge. It is situated in the middle of the National Park of Crete. There are numerous protected birds, plants and animals including endemic kri-kri goats.
So called Gate is the most popular part of the gorge where walls are as tall as 300 m (984 ft.) with only 4 m (13 ft.) between them.
Flora of Greece
(Exotic Plant Bushes)
Despite dry climate flora of Greece is very diverse with around 6000 species of plants including plenty of wild flowers and some unique plants. Around 750 of them are endemic. During spring blossom land is covered by carpet of tulips, cyclamens and lilies.
Maquis shrubs are most widespread plants in Greece. Khalkidhiki peninsula is reach on pine forests. Also there are plenty of plane trees and cypresses.
But olive is the most widespread and valuable tree in Greece. Walnut trees are being used in culinary and production of walnut oil and jam. In Greece walnuts are called “acorns of gods” and grow on lush trees up to 30 m tall.
Unfortunately long period of careless deforestation ended up with only 12% of country’s territory has woods. Though, along with pines, cypresses and plane trees there are lots of oaks and most interesting lentisk shrubs.
Fauna of Greece
Greece is too civilized and populous for wildlife. Over 8000 years of neighboring with man result extinction of most of big animals. Only small mammals such as badgers, hares and porcupines survived.
There is still chance to meet larger animals like foxes, wild boars, lynxes and bears.
Monk seals and Greek tortoises are on the edge of extinction. On the other hand weather conditions of Greece are perfect for snakes and lizards.
(Birds on the lake)
Birds are represented by partridges, wild ducks and kingfishers. There are some predatory birds too such as eagles of owls. Three seas are home for vide variety of fish, shellfish and other marine lifeforms.