Greece has an amazing variety of flora and fauna, both on land and out at sea. A unique geographical location is one of the reasons for this wealth of nature. As the country shares boarders with Albania, Macedonia, and Bulgaria to the North, and Turkey to the East. Even though it has a relatively small land area it contains an astonishing mixture of ecosystems.
Amazing amount of Flora and Fauna
Three quarters of the country is mountainous. The high mountains and deep gorges are very beautiful and full of life. My partner Jo and I go up in the mountains with friends skiing every winter. It is one of our favourite places in all of Greece. The slopes are covered with deep forests and have spectacular views. Crystal clear rivers and picturesque lakes, which flow between the mountains. Attracting so many different types of birds and unusual animals. The wetlands beyond the mountain range have fertile shallows, old-growth. Not to mention, thousands of islands which contribute to the biodiversity.
The many uninhabited islands and unexplored parts of the mountains. Therefore have allowed much of the wildlife to live undisturbed. Unfortunately though, this isn’t always the case in Greece. Human activity has greatly affected much of the country’s flora and fauna. Most of the original forests have vanished. To preserve this wonderful ecosystem the government has now made large areas of the mountains, forests and lakes into national parks. Read about the island of Strofadhes, part of the Zakinthos National Marine Park.
The picturesque lakes of the Prespa are cradled high up in the mountains. They possess so many unusual plants and animals that the area has been declared a national park. It is now one of Greece’s largest parks at 250 square kilometres. Similar to the lakes, the North Pindos National Park is a living museum of natural history. It is home to a globally unique species of mountain plants, as well as rare animals, birds and reptiles. Also it is the largest Brown Bear habitat in Europe, and is on a list of the 12 most environmentally sensitive areas in the world.
The magnificent wetlands of the Ambracian Gulf are rich in biodiversity and home to many endangered species of birds and fish. The Gulf is also protected by the international conventions. Here, pelicans hold pride of place. While outstandingly other beautiful migratory birds, such as Cormorants, Kingfisher, Herons and Flamingos add an exotic touch. It is one of the best places for bird watching. You can also find Turtles, Dolphins and Water Buffalo beneath the waves. We once stayed in a marina at Aktio, at the entrance to the Ambracian Gulf. Some days these massive Turtles would swim by the boat, fishing, just meters away from us. They had heads the size of footballs, and they would look around to see what was going on, see us, then dive back down.
Wild, Wild Life
When I first came to Greece I stayed in a villa on the Island of Corfu. One of the things which surprised me was the sight of wild Tortoise freely walking around. Behind our villa there was an area of trees and bushes. One night we were woken up by this loud screaming and crashing through the bushes. It sounded like murder. We later found out that it was the Tortoise mating, now that’s wild.
Further round the coast of Greece, some friends of ours were anchored off Meganisi one night. When they got up in the morning, they had the fright of their lives. A large snake was curled up in the cabin. While on your luxury yacht holiday you will get to see lots of the Flora and Fauna. But sometimes it will also come to see you. Don’t worry, no snakes will be getting aboard the Glaros!
Lastly, Deep Blue Yachting‘s home port – on the isle of Lefkada. Which sits on the shore of a canal which runs between the mainland and the island, surrounded by salt lakes. It is a regular sight to see hundreds of beautiful Flamingos. Which stop there to rest and feed. If you are a keen photographer make, sure you bring your camera and lenses with you on holiday.
I will be happy to answer any questions, or comments that you may have. So please feel free to leave them.