Ecotourism in Greece
Greece is a land of unbelievable beauty and diversity. Although 80% of its terrain is mountainous or semi-mountainous, making it one of Europe’s hilliest countries, at the same time its coastline is approximately 16,000km in length of which 7,500km belong to the islands in the Greek archipelago. This gives it a rare geomorphological singularity, the like of which cannot be found in the whole of continental Europe.
Approximately 50,000 species of animals live in Greece. This huge wealth of wildlife is unmatched in Europe and is due to the rugged terrain which has created different ecosystems, even though the distance separating them may be small. The numerous caves, exceeding 10,000, are all separate habitats, each with different biodiversity. Gorges and ravines, age-old forests, lakeside areas, fertile river deltas, inaccessible mountains create innumerable cradles of life. About 700 species of animals and over 900 species of plants are protected due to their rarity and the crucial role they play in the natural environment.
Greece’s important wetlands are protected by the Ramsar Convention; these include the Messolonghi lagoon, the Small Prespa Lake, the Ismarida Lake and Thracian lagoon complex, Lake Kerkini, the Axios River Delta and many other blissful locations, where the traveller can admire a multitude of rare or endemic birds, fish and amphibians living in harmony in their breathtaking surroundings. The experience of observing aquatic life brings a deep sense of peace and ultimately self-knowledge.
There are fifteen areas in Greece listed as Preserved Natural Monuments. These include the Cedar forest in Kynouria, the primeval forest in central Rodopi, the aquatic plant forest in Evia, the petrified forest of Lesvos, the broadleaf evergreen forest on the island of Sapientza in Messinia and many more.