Cretan White Mountains
Cretan White Mountains found on Island Crete obviously are the continuation of the geological formations that created the Pindos Mountain range and are literaly inline with them. They are located on the west side of the Island carrying heavy amounts of snow and ice during the cold months of the year being devited by the famous gorge of Samaria this being the largest in all of Crete.Tall peaks are to be found on the mountains reaching maximum height 2453m and counting about a dozen of them. Also mountainplains. Except the Samaria gorge others are found here such as Aradaina, St Eirini and others. The largest part of those mountains has been left to exposed rock but there are still shrub lands, beautyfull natural forests of Cypress, Pine, Cedar and inside gorges also Plane trees.
Very famous for this island is the Cretan Wild Goat, the Cretan Marten, the Cretan Wild Cat, the Cretan Spike Mouse and other smaller mammals. Rare species of serpent also live here, birds such as Gypaetous, Vulture, Golden Eagle and other birds of prey.
Many plant species some of which are hendemic to Greece some to Crete and some only to the specific area.
This is a very rugged landscape that is not to be underestimated ideal for Mountaineering, Sports, Birdwatching, Tracking, Bushcraft and offers great opportunities for practicing beyond the ordinary boundaries and comfort zone. It is surrounded by sea.
Also important to be stated here is that Those mountains as well as the rest of Crete is the Texas of the Mediteranean area having a very old tradition with firearms and weapons of all kinds.
Also important is that Crete has an ancient tradition in Trapping, Archery and Knife making surviving through the centuries until today.
Photos of the area will be published soon.
Nestos Delta is a large area which can be divited into two distinct landscapes of particular interest, the river’s narrow and the river’s delta.
The first is a huge ravine with steep slopes being runned by the river before it meets up with the delta. Here the steep slopes of the narrows are covered by forests of Oak, Ash, Juniper, Arbute-Berry shrubs etc and along the river a line waterloving plantation with trees such as Alder, Plane, Populus, Ulmus species grow. Fauna includes the Otter, serpents, waterloving birds and birds of prey. Also many plant species. Picture the landscape plus the massive river Nestos.
Finaly this ends in the Huge delta which hosts the ancient forest of Kotza Orman in Turkic which means the mega forest. Today only party of it survives in prestine condition and is an important ecosystem. Here one finds White Poplar, Black Poplar, Maple, Elm, a rare species of Ash which grows only in this forest.
Many animal species among which Wild Boar, Wolf, Two species of Jackal, Otter, Badger, Fox, Hare more rare Roe Deer and in older times Lynx.
Also bird species like the pheasant which is found in Greece in wild state.
This is a forest of particular interest and is ideal for Tracking, Bushcraft, Birdwatching.
Photos will be published soon.
Parnon Mountain is a lovely mountain located on the southeast Pelloponese and devited between the Arcadian and Laconian counties. Its tallest peak reaches 1935 meters of height and the mountain is one of the most heavily forested in all of Pelloponese. Dominant trees are the Fir, Black pine, Oak, a rare species of Juniper which is to be found only on Parnon and Taygetus. Many plant species are to be found some being along with their specific areas involved in the protected natura 2000 network. Unfortunately no more large mammals survive in this Mountain but smaller ones are to be found such as Fox, Hare, Badger, Marten, Jackal, Weasel and others. Regarding birds Golden Eagle, Hawks, Falcons, Owls, Crow, green Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker and other species. Also serpents. About plants the area is reach in many species known since Ancient years some being hendemic. Many streams are found and the density of the forests is magical. Every season has its own beauty and perfect view of Mt Taygetus is seen from here which stretches at a distance easily breached by foot. During Winter it offers serious cold weather conditions.
The mountain is within a couple and half hours driving range from Athens and is great for Bushcraft, ManTracking, Hiking, Running or relaxed outdoor activities. Photos are to published soon!
Grammos Mountain Range
Grammos Mountain is one of the three Distinct Bear Countries to be found here in Greece together with Rhodopi and Pindos Mountains. It is a tall Mountain inline with others and an extention to the North of the Pindos Mountains reaching 2520m and is a natural border with Albania lying between Ipirous and west Macedonia.
At low altitudes is covered with dense forests of Black Pines, Oaks and other trees and as one ascends finds Beech and Fir forests.
The area is famous for its rare fauna which includes Bear, Wolf, Wild Goat Rupicarpa, Roe Deer, Wild Cat, Wild Boar and other smaller species of mammal. Also Golden Eagle, Vulture, Wild Hen and other birds species. Between two of its peaks a beautyfull lake is found surrounded by Beech forests.
Hundreds of rare insect species, the amphibians, the serpents make the area literaly a zoological paradise.
The plant flora which has not been yet fully documented includes species rare to the Balcans.
The area is accessible by 4×4 and is ideal for Tracking, Bushcraft, Sports, Birdwatching. The winter is heavy with lots of snow and low temperatures.
Grammos is a rich true Wilderness with serious potential for all types of interest. Photos of the area will be published soon.
Olymbos Mountain is the tallest Mountain in all of Greece reaching 2917 meters in Height. It is the most well known of all Greek Mountains for its connection with gods of Mythology and as a destination for Mountaineering and winter sports. It is a national Park and a Very Serious Mountain with many concealed dangers .It streches between Macedonia and Thessaly. It presents many tall peaks, gorges and ravines as well as heavily forested areas at which dominant trees are the Black pine, White pine, Beech, a rare species of Fir the Black Fir. Here Wild Goat , Wolf, Fox, Hare, Wildcat, Wild Boar, Badger, Roe deer, Weasel, many small mammal species and Bat species are to be found. In Olymbos are found most of the Greek Bird species also insects, serpent and amphibians.
Regarding plant species the Mountain hosts 1700 species of plants known since ancient years for their medicinal properties.
In this Mt the Winter Mountain Warfare Center of the Military is positioned. The destnation is ideal for Bushcraft, Animal Tracking and all other outdoor activities. During Winter it reaches many meters of snow and temperatures as low as minus 30 celcius. Particular interest is to be found at the Wolf populations surviving here and in general this is an Ancient Wilderness that should not be underestimated at any cost. This is not a joke!
Photos will be published soon!
Pindos Mountain Range
Pindos Mountain Range is the spine of central Greece a geological continuation of mountain formations that stretch all the way North to European countries and South into Pelloponese and furhter down to Crete and its White Mountains. Pindos is massive offering hundreds of kilometers of wilderness to be crossed length wise being very wide and diverse. Within the range many distinctive Mountains and wildernesses most of which are National Parks are to be found such as Valia Kalda, Voidomatis river, and others. The massive area offers tremendous diversity in landscape with Mountain tops, gorges, ravines, pastures, heavy forests, streams, rivers and deep valeys and alpine lakes.
Dominant tree species are the Black pine, White pine, Macedonian Fir, Beech, Forest pine as well as others. Here one can meet Bear. Otter, Wolf, Wild boar, Wild cat, Wild Goat and others. Bird species such as King Eagle, Falcon, eight species of Wood Pecker, amphibian and fish species, serpents and insects which are very reach in numbers and diversity. Many species of plants are to be found.
Pindos is truly Vast and could easily consume a mans life time trying to explore it.
During winter offers harsh conditions and is lovely to visit all year round with the necessary preparation. The mountains are reach in history from ancient years up until the times of world war two with great legends.
Photos will be published soon!
Kissavos Mountain also known as Ossa Mt. is a great Ancient adversary of its neighbouring Olymbos positioned to the north of it. They are being devited by the valley of tembi. Its tallest peak is 1978m. At higher altitudes it is barren and naked.
Here the aesthetic forest is covering 16900 hectars of its eastern slopes. This is a mixed woodland comprised by conifers and broadleaved trees. Sporadic pastures and forest clearings leave space for the growth of wonderfull plants. It is protected by the Natura 2000 and stated as an area of exceptional beauty.
Dominant trees are the Plane, Chestnut, Fir, Beech. The mountain is crossed by many gorges runned by heavy torrents. Many plant species exist including three Lilium species.
Mammal species include the Wild Boar, Roe deer and others and birds like the Vulture, Golden Eagle, Owl, Pheasant, Grouse etc, also amphibians, serpents and insects including butterflies which have not yet been fully documented.
Kissavos is ideal for Tracking, Bushcraft, Birdwatching and other outdoor activities.
Photos to be published soon.
Parnassos Mountain is very well known for being connected with many incidents of Greek Mythology and History and in modern times for its tourist facilities and skying resorts. The magnificent Mountain stretches over Delphi and its tallest peak reaches 2457 meters in height. Most of its magnificent dense forests are to be found at altitude of 1600 meters with dominant tree species the Fir, Black pine and Juniper. Other tree species are also found. Here one also finds many hendemic plant species some growing only in the general area some to be found all over Greece and some only on this mountain. Regarding animals wild boar, wolf are to be found and also other species such as foxes, martens, squirells, hares etc. The area is reach in bird species as well as birds of prey like Vulture, Gypaetus, Golden Eagle who find shelter on the tall crevices in the rocky slopes and high in the dense mountain tree tops. Crow, Woodpecker, Owl etc is also to be found.
Parnassos is great for Bushcraft, extremely tough terrain for Serious Tracking and Winter skills, orienteering as well as mountain running, martial arts preparation and relaxed camping. The Mountain is NOT to be underestimated during Winter and one can easily be cut off for several days. Skyis and Snowshoes are necessary. Don’t go unprepared.
This is an Ancient Wilderness and a National Park that resists the surrounding human activity and anyone who will visit the Mt. will be greatly rewarded, the destination being within a couple of hour driving range from Athens. Photos of the area are to published soon!
Rhodopi Mountain Range
Rhodopi Mountain Range is an astonishing Wilderness and a complex of heavily forested mountains whose one third is found inside the Hellenic borders. The part on the Greek soil is defenately the wildest and the one that has been kept in its most prestine condition since ancient years.
Inside this mountain range many interesting areas are to be found such as Elatia or else Kara Dere, the Fractos Forest which is the most prestine forest in all of Europe also known as Zagradenia which is a National park and a Monument of Nature, and other areas Lepidas forest, Birch trees forest, Falacron mountain, Stamna gorge, Nestos River, Haidu and Kula mountains as well as others. Rhodopi mountain Range is in border with Boulgaria.
Basic characteristics of those mountains are the dense forests, steep slopes, streams and rivers and its tremendous diversity in everythting. In those mountains one can find Brown Bear, Grey Wolf, Wild Boar, Red Deer, Lynx, Roe Deer, Red Fox, Red Squirell, Wild Cat, Marten and others also many species of woods birds Black Wood Pecker, Crow, and birds of prey Golden eagle etc. Very rich in species of Amphibians, Serpents and Insects. Many endemic and rare species of plants, flowers and Fungi. Dominant tree species are the Alder, Willow, Oak, Black and Forest pine, Beech, Spruce, Fir and others. Rhodopi forests are the most southern presence of Taiga Widerness in all Europe having been created many thousants of years ago with the expansion of the glacial era. During the cold months temperatures regularly drop minus thirty degrees celcius and many meters of snow are easily reached.
Rhodopi Mountain Range is defenatelly the crown of all Greek Wildernesses and my ultimate destination in Greece. Please view Photogallery for photos from these mountains.
Melos and Kimolos Island
Melos and Kimolos Islands are placed together because of their geographic position and geological & historic importance. Being very close to each other they are easyly accessible by boat.
Melos is a very important island by all means with a very interesting geological diversity. It is a volcanic island and has been populated since the prehistoric times. Here was the source of Obsidian a popular material for the construction of cutting tools during the Neolithic Era and was distributed throughout the whole of the Mediteranian. That was done at Phylakopi.
Here was found the statue of Aphrodites and the catacombs. The island has astonishing seashores and rich sea life while the mainland is equaly interesting hosting a variety of birds like birds of prey and grouse, insects, and serpents among which the Viper of Melos only to be found here and at Naxos island.
The destination is ideal for Bushcraft, Tracking, in technology of the deserts and the seashore and a must for Primitive Technology enthousiasts. Excelent country for Hiking the mainland although the massive mine structures can be a bit of putting but they however blend in with the landscape.
Unless one travels to this place can not grasp the energy and vibe that exists here.
Kimolos is known for the chalk mines. Hense its deposits in concoidal fracture potent rocks.
Photos will be published soon.
Parnitha Mountain hosts a very rugged ancient wilderness. This is trully one of the toughest wilderness to practice Tracking and if one learns to track in this terrain then can track anywhere. The legal restrictions on this Mountain are very strict.
Parnitha gives home to the largest Red deer population in all of Greece. A healthy indigenous population. Also to other mammals such as Fox, Badger, Roe deer, Marten, Weasel, Hare, Red Squirell, and others and interestingly enough one witnesses a very interesting phenomena that of the presence of Wild Dogs that play up to a point the role of Wolf which is ubsent from this mountain. Also ubsent is the Wild Boar and the Bear and the last Lynx was hunted to its extinction in 1963 by a hunter. Also present is large variety of birds including that of Prey. The mountain has rich variety of Fungi species and plant species that count over 1100 in number known since ancient years.
The mountain is positioned as a north barrier to Attika and the City of Athens. During the heart of the winter it easily reaches 2-3 meters of snow and minus 15 celsius.
You can see photos in the Intermediate level – Tracking – Tracking the Red deer
Parnitha is the most favorable location for my school daily activities the Pecker wood Kids Education. The Mountain resists the surrounding human activity and although it is a huge national Park it still allows plenty of legal margin for serious dedicated practice in all aspects of wilderness and combat skills.
The Mountain is not to be underestimated as any mature wilderness person will imediatelly discover upon visiting the destination.
More photos will be published soon!