The 15 most beautiful and unique nature destinations in Greece

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The 15 most beautiful and unique nature destinations in Greece



Samothras!

15 of the most "beautiful" and unique natural destinations in Greece

In no particular way, for no particular reason, I did not subjectively choose to list some of the most beautiful places and their natural historical value. I started while I was waiting at the airport somewhere far away and I was thinking about Greece. I'm not embarrassed to say that even though I've traveled the length and breadth of this country, it's hard to objectively pick the best bits. I tried it here for ecotourism, because I have always liked ecotourism….

The Greece of yesterday no longer exists. To find it, head to Albania or Anatolia. Greece is a modern country with lots of modern conveniences, a very recent layout, plenty of Middle Eastern ugliness, and interesting problems. Greece's unique geopolitical position points to the Balkans, Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The result is a rich cultural and natural composition.

I am now posting this somewhat unfinished post, just for fun, just for my ecotourism friends abroad. I feel like they should come visit us once the fear of Covid subsides.

Here are 15 of the most "beautiful" nature destinations in Greece...






1. Acropolis of Athens
I have visited this place of pilgrimage several times as a child, student, teacher and with friends from abroad. Sometimes when you are alone near the Parthenon, in the morning, there is a feeling of pure wonder. Go there very early, maybe better in winter. Also go to Philopappos Hill in front of the Acropolis and admire the view. Finally, the area around the Acropolis is a beautiful green space, best seen in April, but also attractive in late fall or winter.

View from the Filopappo hill.


two. samoa
I first visited in 1995 and then again recently. A mountainous peninsula fell into the blue sea. I remember walking the mountain trails on a windless day and seeing dolphins playing in the shallows below me. Samos is special because it is our only true Asian island, this very close island, separated from Anatolia by a strait that is only 2 km away.

Micro Seitani beach in the northwest of the island.

3.
Samothra
Similar to Mount Athos and part of Thrace, but a real island. This is a mountain in the sea like no other. Athos is good too, but Samothraki is the opposite of culture. Like Athos, Samothraki also has deserts. Samothraki is also located on the shores of the Aegean Sea, an island separated from the rest. It's still pretty clean and not touristy. Above all, the environment is unique, especially its mountains, streams, small wetlands and people.
The source of the Fonias river in Karya.

4. Mount Ochi Area - Euboean Island
This is my homeland, my Olympus. And Mount Ochi, although much smaller than Olympus, is truly unique and rugged, windy, dark rock, and the Aegean...really! It plunges into the sea on its northern slopes, sometimes reminiscent of Athos or Pelion. It is also an "island mountain". While diving off the island of Arapis was in the spotlight a few years ago, the wild waters of the Aegean are like the rest of the island world. The Petal Islands are said to be close to the most beautiful waters near Athens, which is also part of southern Euboea. I have spent hundreds of days working in this field, so this is a very subjective choice. I really miss this view.

The majestic peak of Ioudas (1386 m) with a cool summer mist.

5. The seas south of the Saronic Bay (from Anavissos to Cape Sounio)
Again, a very subjective choice, as my place of work is at HCMR Anavissos, 50 km south of Athens. This is my day job and where I like to dive. However, I think it is a true and real beauty, a sheltered beach facing southwest, interspersed with several islands in the sea, the beautiful sea. And the sun sets.....

I counted more than 80 species of fish along the coast near the HCMR headquarters.

6.Kerkira _
Vasoja and I set up a studio there in 2002. I remember roasting marshmallows with Dimtri on Antinioti beach. Of course, the natural history of the island was popularized by the Durrsaks, who made it a legend. There is no myth here, it is an island world, wet and teeming with truly unique wildlife. Unforgettable. You can easily fall in love with Corfu (or Corfu). My last project here was a Life Nature proposal that unfortunately was not awarded; very unfortunate, this island deserves to be protected and managed carefully from biodiversity. Many visitors are worried.

Korission Lagoon in the southwestern part of Kerkyra (photo from the car rental service on the island).

7. Mesolongia
Without a doubt, the most "birdy" area in southern Greece! And very diverse: a "lake district" that includes Lake Trichonis, the vast Wallonia oak savannah, the delta of the Acheloos river and the great lagoon of Messolong. This is a great place to visit in spring and September; even winter is very mild. Conservation here has mixed results, more work is urgently needed here.

Flamingos, common and easy to photograph in the salt flats. Photo from Instagram post by @discoverusa.   

8 Small Dodecanese Islands
From 95 to 97 we traveled a lot and mapped many new protected areas, in our work with the Hellenic Ornithological Society. People have a house on Lipsi Island, a place to keep the best memories. Vasso then held a seminar at Symi. We live with the people, not as tourists. We also participate in the Life Nature project in Tilos. It is the most beautiful archipelago in Greece and always hugs the Turkish coast. Pure magic, it seems like a long time ago.

A small port on the pristine island of Lipsi.

9 Lake Kerkini
Lakes and mountains, the boldest and most beautiful in Greece. A semi-natural lake suspended by a dam. A natural mirror under the majestic green walls of Monte Belles. A biodiversity hotspot; And unlike other ecotourism destinations in Greece, it's very easy to see so much wildlife here. Bring a shovel, the lake is huge.
Where we buy our first buffalo, then we export it to reintroduce it to Amvrakikos during the Life Nature project...

10. Dadia - Evros Valley - Evros Delta
Without a doubt, this is a fascinating spectacle of wildlife on the border of the three states. It is well researched and has two beautiful national parks. The great valley of Evros (old river Sturgeon...), small villages lost on the slopes of the forests and huge river deltas, similar to estuaries. Pilgrim there almost every year.

Two vultures and a very rare Egyptian vulture at the "feeder" near the village of Dadia.

11. Amvrakikos Teluk Bay
It remains a place of work, education and worship. This is where I got my first paid job as a naturalist keeper in 1985 (thanks to the Hellenic Ornithological Society). I then helped design the outer boundaries of the garden. and M.Sc., and a lot of field work (thanks for many projects and friends). But the most amazing feeling was in 2002 flying over the entire area in a very small hyperlight aircraft to map the vegetation and look for bird colonies. Emotions for life.

One of my photos of the Rodia Swamp, taken when we didn't have a drone.


12. Mount Iti and the Spercheios River
A mountain from the "north of Greece" to the south! And in exclusive rain-shadowed river valleys with large microtidal estuaries. The Sperchios River floods Maliakos creating a unique estuarine environment, complete with a large mudflat and rich in water diversity. Little explored, but spectacular even from a superficial point of view. We have been working here at full speed since 2005; we currently have two projects here. In 2021 it will be "my next office"....

Mout Iti and the big sky in the Spercheios river valley.


13 Vikos - Aoos National Park and North Pindi
I have no doubt that this area is spectacular and a world class conservation area. It is a little drier than the long and deep contamination of the upper Acheloos. And the geological environment is much more complex. This is undoubtedly the most beautiful, wild and "biggest" area of ​​our national park. I am proud to have worked here for so long and hope to return soon. I helped draw the boundaries of North Pindis National Park in the late 1990s, just one of many specialist environmental studies I was working on at the time. It is now a display area: the gem population has recovered, as has the bear and wolf population. And since Yannina is nearby, I have good friends here.

The Voidomatis River, clear as gin and very cold.


14. Upper Valley of Acheloos
I think there are reasons to say that this area is as important as the Valle d'Aoos. This is definitely a class of words in terms of wildness, wildness, and naturalness. But it's different with Aoo. A different, more robust geology may have been more inhabited at some point decades ago. A warmer river flows south. This area is also known as one of the most disputed ecological battlefields in Greece, due to the large Acheloos Dam and the diversion of the river. It has supported environmental awareness in the country for more than three decades. Upper Acheloos together with Aracthos (which has become a large park) are very close to me and are the protagonists of my PhD research.

Somewhere in the deserted upper part of Acheloos in late summer.

15. The south coast of Crete
First, you should read "The Making of the Cretan Landscape" by Rackham and Moody (1999). Then go to Crete! The south-central part is a collection of the most spectacular mountainous coastal landscapes in Greece in such a small stretch of coastline. There are 100 inlets along the south coast. The southern side of this sprawling island is unlike anywhere else in Greece or Europe. Period.

The Kourtaliotis River flows into the Libyan Sea (near the palm groves of Preveli).






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