Bhutan it's known by many names: "The Land of Peaceful Thunder Dragon", "The Forbidden Kingdom", "Southern Valley of Medicinal Herbs". Bhutan is known hidden in the eastern folds of the Himalayas. The total area of Bhutan is 18,000 sq miles, (47,000 sq.km). Bhutan is bordered by Tibet in the north, Sikkim in the west and indian in the east.
 
   
National Parks in Greece
» Introduction

Greece is well known for the Mythology and the famous Gods of Olympus mountain. It boastsgreece more than 160 populated islands, an astoundingly diverse landscape, as much coastline as France, key historical sites of Western civilization and an Eastern-influenced exoticism rarely experienced elsewhere in Europe.

Greece is blessed with one of the most striking and dazzling landscapes on the planet and Greek environment is exclusive for its richness of flora and fauna. Greek National Parks comprise a precious natural heritage, not just for Greece but for the whole of Europe. The most significant National Parks and Reserves in Greece are:

 
Parnitha National Park (Central Greece):- This Park, covering an area of 3,800 hectares, contains forests of fir and pine as well as bushes that are characteristic of the vegetation of the Mediterranean (holm-oak, arbutus, pomegranate, Judas tree). The Park has a huge number of diverse species of fauna but populations are small. They comprise deer, roe-deer, badger, polecat, weasel and squirrel, and a pair of golden eagles recently appeared in the area.
 
Parnassos National Park (Central Greece):- This Park covers an area of 3,600 hectares. The major species of vegetation is the fir and there is a extensive diversity of rare plants such as Peonia Parnassica, Thyinus Pamassicus, Astragalus Pamassii, etc. The major species that grows in the sun-alpine meadows is the fescue grass along with many kinds of wild plum-tree. The fauna of the area includes Greeces commonest wild animals, such as the fox, hare, squirrel and jackal. There are also some rare species of bird, like the hawk and vulture, as well as a great number of passerines and members of the crow familly. There is a extensive variety of snakes and insects.
 
Oiti National Park (Central Greece):- Part of this Park is covered by forests of fir and black pine. The fauna of the Park is mainly rich in deer and roedeer, wild goat and wild boar. There is also a wonderful variety of birds, including eagles, vultures, hawks, owls, partridges and hoopoes. Other species of interest are frogs and tortoises, as well as reptiles and many kinds of insect.
 
Vikos National Park (Northern Greece):- The Vikos National Park, includes a total of 12,600 hectares and includes Mount Tymfi, the Vikos Canyon and the Aoos Ravine. Its main forests consist of broad-leaved deciduous trees but it also contains forests of plane, elm, lime and hazel, as well as fir, cedar and black and white - barked pine. The regions fauna is very rich in large mammals like the bear, the wolf, roe-deer, wild goat and wild boar in addition to smaller animals such as the wild cat, hare, polecat and squirrel. Quite a lot of species of fishes are found including trout live in the rivers, along with otters and abundant water incects of interest.
 
Olympus National Park (Northern Greece):- This was the first National Park to be set up in Greece (1937) and is one of the longest- recognized in the world. It contains around 1,700 species of plant, counting some rare and even exclusive examples of wild flowers. Amongst the fauna in the Park are large mammals such as the wolf, jackal, fox, wild boar, roe-deer and wild goat, and smaller mammals such as the badger, polecat, weasel, hare and squirrel. The areas bird-life comprise of eagles, vultures and other birds of prey, woodpeckers and snow-thrushes.
 
Prespa National Park (Northern Greece):- It covers an area of 4,650 hectares and it’s a site of terrific natural beauty. Two freshwater lakes, occupying an enclosed mountain basin are fed by seasonal streams. Vegetation consists of a rich aquatic flora of extensive reedbeds and wet meadows. Abundant fish species are present, including endemic species. A mainly significant area for breeding, staging and wintering birds, all worldwide threatened, such as the Pelicanus crispus.
 
Valia Calda National Park (Northern Greece):- This is the largest Park in the country covering 12,935 hectares. Thick forests of black pine and fir cover most of the Park’s area. This is big mammal country: deer, wolf, bear, lynx, wild boar and wild cat. A ideal place for trekking, similar to other popular parks of North America.
 
Dadia Forest (Northern Greece):- The protected area of the Forest of Dadia is a nature reserve, unique in Europe, for birds of prey, 36 of the 38 remaining species in Europe can be found here. The visitor sets out with a briefing from the Centre of Ecotourism and continues with a guided trip to the reserve with its extensive pine and oak woods, where the raptors are watched from the special lookout.
 
Samaria Canyon National Park (Crete Island):- One of the longest canyons in Europe and certainly the most narrow one. Its 18 km long and at a certain point it gets less than 2.5 metres wide.
Butterflies Valley (Rhodes Island): The valley is split by the Pelican River and lies directly below Kalopetra Monastery. Rhodes island can be proud of the remarkable phenomenon of Panaxia butterfly’s concentration in such large numbers, but cannot claim its unique existence. The Valley of the Butterflies which is the major habitat, contains millions of butterflies during the summer, particularly during August when the migration of the insects has been finished.
 
Evros Delta (Northern Greece):- Sharing the border with Turkey, the Evros River delta consists of brackish lagoons, freshwater marshes, lakes, and a coastal zone of salt marshes and mudflats. The delta is the most significant wetland in Greece for wintering water birds and ropes different species of breeding and passage birds. The site is vital for preservation education and provides a biological station, observation tower, and birdwatching center.
 
Nestos Delta (Northern Greece):- An wide-ranging delta complex, including salt marshes, freshwater lakes supporting nationally rare plant species, coastal lagoons, a dune system, and the major residual area of riparian forest in Greece. The delta is the most important breeding site in Europe for plover and chains a range of species of nesting and up to 50.000 wintering birds, including the globally threatened sea eagle Haliaetus albicilla.
 
Kerkini Lake (Northern Greece):- Near the border between Greece and Bulgaria, a nutrient-rich, freshwater reservoir in an alluvial plain between mountain massifs, supporting all-embracing beds of floating vegetation and subject to extensive distinction in water level. Abundant species of water birds occur in winter and during spring and autumn migration periods, including several globally threatened or scarce species.
 
Axios Delta (Northern Greece):- An widespread river delta including brackish lagoons, salt marshes, and large areas of mudflats. Vegetation consists of scrub, riparian forest, wet meadows, reedbeds, and halophytic communities. 30 freshwater fish species occur in the river. An extremely important area for nesting, migrating water birds. A diversity of species of wild birds and Scolopacidae worthy of conservation or globally threatened occur at the site.
 
Sporades Marine Park (Aegean Sea):- It covers much of the Sporades Islands Archipelago and it is a refuge for seals and dolphins and dozens kinds of seabirds. The Park gives shelter for one of the rarest Mediterraneans mammals: the Mediterranean, or monk seal (monachus-monachus) classified as an endangered species. It’s a exceptional bio-habitat, not only for the seal but also for numerous other creatures.

 

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