Gialova Lagoon

gialova1Gialova lagoon is located in Messinia and is one of the most important wetlands not only in Greece, but also in Europe. It probably dates to prehistoric times and owes its creation both to tectonic activity and to a rise in sea level, phenomena which created this ecological zone of unique importance.The Gialova lagoon is the first station in the Balkans that the migratory birds from Africa come across; according to the estimates, these birds are 2 billion in number.

gialova3 Of the 442 bird species recorded on Greek soil, more than 270 have been recorded in Gialova. Apart from birds, however, the area also hosts an impressive number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish. So, it is no wonder that it should officially be included in the Natura 2000 Network as a Special Protection Area (SPA); it has also been recognized as a Wildlife Sanctuary and an Important Bird Area.

Source: www.mythicalpeloponnese.gr

Posts for Messinia

Kalamata Marina

  • Sep 8,2016

The marina offers a full range of technical services covering a wide range of maintenance and repair works. Kalamata marina is situated in Peloponnesus in Kalamata city on the west of Kalamata harbour in the Messinian Gulf, and is considered by many to be the ideal location to take refuge and rest as it is the passage from the Mediterranean and the Ionian Sea to the Aegean Sea. Kalamata is a modern... read more

Sapientza and the Perennial Broadleaf Forest

  • Jan 20,2016

Sapientza is an islet of the Messinian Oinousses cluster and is the second biggest after Schiza. It’s an island with lush vegetation, a rare flora and a total area of 9 square kilometres. In 1986, Sapientza was declared as a “listed natural monument” and it was included in the European Network Natura 2000, together with the neighboring Schiza and the area around cape Akritas.Sapientza in Italian... read more

Gialova Lagoon

  • Jan 20,2016

Gialova lagoon is located in Messinia and is one of the most important wetlands not only in Greece, but also in Europe. It probably dates to prehistoric times and owes its creation both to tectonic activity and to a rise in sea level, phenomena which created this ecological zone of unique importance.The Gialova lagoon is the first station in the Balkans that the migratory birds from Africa come across;... read more

The Gorge of Neda

  • Jan 20,2016

Neda is the only “female” river in Greece. It stems from the foot of Mount Lykaion and flows into the Ionian Sea, more specifically into the Kyparissiakos Gulf. Neda is approximately 32 kilometres long and passes through a stunning fairytale-like landscape.The Valley of Neda was of particular importance to the ancient Greeks and was often mentioned in various myths, while it is surrounded by archaeological... read more

Vassiliki Forest

  • Jan 20,2016

The forest of Vassiliki is located at the southern part of the Taygetus mountain range, 8 km south of its summit, and has an expanse of approximately 11,000 stremmata. It is a relatively secluded forest, surrounded by summits. You can reach it from Eksochori and there is a road in the forest you can follow for 21 km. Here you will mostly come across fir trees and black pines. During the Italian... read more

The Gorge of Vyros

  • Jan 20,2016

The Gorge of Vyros is one of the many gorges of the Peloponnese and is situated on the western slopes of Mount Taygetos, covering a distance of 19 kilometres and filled with firs, pines, cedars, cypresses and walnut trees. It begins from the village of Agios Panteleimon and ends up in the villages of Exohori and Tseria. Beyond its obvious natural beauty, this gorge stands out also because of its historical... read more

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Pylos Lagoon (Divari)

divari3The wetland between the settlement of Gialova and the bay of Voidokilia, which has been declared as an archaeological site, spreads over 6,000 acres of land and is known as Divari (from the Latin vivarium, which means “fish hatchery”); it’s depth does not exceed 4 m. This lagoon is the southernmost stop of the migratory birds of the Balkans travelling to and from Africa. The wetland offers refuge to 254 bird species, such as herons, cormorants, kestrels, Aegean seagulls, flamingos, ospreys, imperial eagles and other aquatic birds. The area also hosts the very rare, almost-extinct in Europe species of the African chameleon.

Apart from the ferrets, foxes and weasels that hunt its eggs, this serpent is mainly endangered from the overwhelming human presence, especially during the summer months, with the large tourist crowds. The Ornithological Society’s observation station gives the visitors the opportunity to learn and to observe this shallow, brackish-water lake, which has been included in the Natura 2000 network, and to roam around the paths that describe Gialova’s different ecosystems.

The wetland between the settlement of Gialova and the bay of Voidokilia, which has been declared as an archaeological site, spreads over 6,000 acres of land and is known as Divari (from the Latin vivarium, which means “fish hatchery”); it’s depth does not exceed 4 m. The wetland can be divided into brackish-water lagoons and fresh-water marshes. Behind them there is an in-between zone of arable land and maquis. The main human occupations are fishing, cattle breeding, agriculture, tourism and hunting. This lagoon is the southernmost stop of the migratory birds of the Balkans travelling to and from Africa. In the autumn the birds stop here, at the southernmost European wetland, before they fly over the Mediterranean and the Sahara, a journey of 3,000 km. In the spring they follow the reverse route, abandoning their winter homes in Central Africa and migrating to Europe in order to breed.

DivariThe larger birds, such as the herons, kestrels and Eurasian curlews, arrive at the lagoon in waves during the day and stay only for a few hours, in order to rest. Before dusk, they all fly away together. The smaller birds, such as the charadriiformes, usually arrive at night, stay in the wetland for many hours in order to feed, and most often fly away in the early evening.

The birds, migratory and non, include: herons (Ardea purpurea and Ardeola ralloides), Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta), bitterns (Ixobrychis minutus), storks (C. ciconis), ducks (T. tadorna), flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber), Marsh sandpipers (Tringa stagnatilis), wood sandpipers (Tringa glareola), Pratincoles (Glareola pratincola), gulls (Larus melanocephalus), terns (Gelochelidon nilotica, Sterna albifrons), Gull-Billed Terns (Sterna nilotica), cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo), egrets (Egretta garzetta), Great Egrets (Casmerodius albus), Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus). Of the 254 species that have been recorded in recent years, 79 have been recognized as endangered in Europe and 4 as endangered worldwide.

The main threats are fishing, the increased saltiness in the fresh-water marshes –as a result of drawing water for agricultural use, both from the surface and from underground– and also hunting and the filling of the wetland with debris. The low agricultural intensification, coupled with intensive fishing, the drawing of underground water and the ever-increasing development in tourist facilities are the biggest threats to the wetland. The area has been nominated as a Special Conservation Area.

divari2The wetland offers refuge to 254 bird species, such as herons, kestrels, Aegean seagulls, flamingos, ospreys, imperial eagles and other aquatic birds. The area also hosts the very rare, almost-extinct in Europe species of the African chameleon. Apart from the ferrets, foxes and weasels that hunt its eggs, this serpent is mainly endangered from the overwhelming human presence, especially during the summer months, with the large tourist crowds. The passage of vehicles destroys both the vegetation (bushy-ammophilous), which is the species’ main abode, and the nests, which are formed in the sand along the coast. In recent years, a decrease in the animal’s size, a delay in its breeding and egg-laying and a relocation of its nests towards more remote areas has been observed.

Gialova (it means “flat coast”) is surrounded by olive and citrus trees, as well as gardens and vines that flourish in damp soil. It is a touristically developed area which satisfies the requirements for modern vacations, with its sandy beach pulsating with life, especially during the summer months, something that at the same time becomes the most immediate danger for the survival of the wetland. Not very far, the waves of the Ionian sea created a unique part of the ecosystem, the impressive for its shape, colours, sandy beach and emerald green waters bay of Voidokoilia, one-of-its-kind in the whole of the Mediterranean. The cedars and the sand dunes protect the ground and the sand is preserved, despite the strong winds blowing in the bay. From above it resembles a sea mushroom, with a dark blue jellyfish peeking through its waters.

The Ornithological Society’s observation station gives the visitors the opportunity to learn and to observe this shallow, brackish-water lake, which has been included in the Natura 2000 network, and to roam around the paths that describe Gialova’s different ecosystems.

Source: www.mythicalpeloponnese.gr

Posts for Messinia

Kalamata Marina

  • Sep 8,2016

The marina offers a full range of technical services covering a wide range of maintenance and repair works. Kalamata marina is situated in Peloponnesus in Kalamata city on the west of Kalamata harbour in the Messinian Gulf, and is considered by many to be the ideal location to take refuge and rest as it is the passage from the Mediterranean and the Ionian Sea to the Aegean Sea. Kalamata is a modern... read more

Sapientza and the Perennial Broadleaf Forest

  • Jan 20,2016

Sapientza is an islet of the Messinian Oinousses cluster and is the second biggest after Schiza. It’s an island with lush vegetation, a rare flora and a total area of 9 square kilometres. In 1986, Sapientza was declared as a “listed natural monument” and it was included in the European Network Natura 2000, together with the neighboring Schiza and the area around cape Akritas.Sapientza in Italian... read more

Gialova Lagoon

  • Jan 20,2016

Gialova lagoon is located in Messinia and is one of the most important wetlands not only in Greece, but also in Europe. It probably dates to prehistoric times and owes its creation both to tectonic activity and to a rise in sea level, phenomena which created this ecological zone of unique importance.The Gialova lagoon is the first station in the Balkans that the migratory birds from Africa come across;... read more

The Gorge of Neda

  • Jan 20,2016

Neda is the only “female” river in Greece. It stems from the foot of Mount Lykaion and flows into the Ionian Sea, more specifically into the Kyparissiakos Gulf. Neda is approximately 32 kilometres long and passes through a stunning fairytale-like landscape.The Valley of Neda was of particular importance to the ancient Greeks and was often mentioned in various myths, while it is surrounded by archaeological... read more

Vassiliki Forest

  • Jan 20,2016

The forest of Vassiliki is located at the southern part of the Taygetus mountain range, 8 km south of its summit, and has an expanse of approximately 11,000 stremmata. It is a relatively secluded forest, surrounded by summits. You can reach it from Eksochori and there is a road in the forest you can follow for 21 km. Here you will mostly come across fir trees and black pines. During the Italian... read more

The Gorge of Vyros

  • Jan 20,2016

The Gorge of Vyros is one of the many gorges of the Peloponnese and is situated on the western slopes of Mount Taygetos, covering a distance of 19 kilometres and filled with firs, pines, cedars, cypresses and walnut trees. It begins from the village of Agios Panteleimon and ends up in the villages of Exohori and Tseria. Beyond its obvious natural beauty, this gorge stands out also because of its historical... read more

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Thermisia Lagoon

Thermisia lagoon is an important habitat of rare migratory birds. It is a serene and unique lagoon surrounded by a breathtaking landscape.

limnothalassa1Located in the picturesque village of Thermisia, to the east of Ermioni, the lagoon took its name from some hot springs that existed in the area. The Greek traveler Pausanias mentions a temple dedicated to Demeter Thermasia. This magnificent lagoon was used as a salt lake during the Venetian occupation and in modern times it hosted fish hatcheries. Today, it is of one of the most significant habitats in the region and it has been integrated in national and international protection networks; namely the European network CORINE BIOTOPS. The rare species that seek refuge in the site are protected under the European directive 79/409 and the Bern Convention.

Thousands of rare migratory birds visit the lagoon every year; herons, Gull-billed Terns (Gelochelidon nilotica), starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), the great egret (Egretta alba) and numerous other species.

Source: www.mythicalpeloponnese.gr

Posts for Argolida

Athens and Epidaurus Festival

  • Jun 23,2016

What is the Athens Festival? A great celebration that has lasted 56 summers, and that has hosted some of the leading lights of theatre, music and dance. From Mitropoulos and Callas to Rostropovich, Pavarotti, Leonidas Kavakos and Dimitris Sgouros. From Theodorakis and Hadjidakis to Savvopoulos, Protopsalti, Dalaras and Marinella. From Rondiris and Koun to Streller, Peter Hall, Noh theatre, Bunraku... read more

Open Sea Sailing Races

  • Jan 20,2016

The Nautical Club of New Epidaurus and the Nautical Sports Club of Peace and Friendship organize every June a sailing race in the deep blue sea of New Epidaurus and the Argosaronic Gulf. The Open Sea Sailing Race “Epidaurus” is so vivid, passionate and intense that it will definitely move you. Come to the beautiful port of New Epidaurus and give a very warm applaud to the contestants in a great... read more

Frachthi cave

  • Jan 20,2016

Frachthi cave is a world famous monument situated at the wild rocky mountain opposite the village Koilada. Excavations brought to light numerous findings among which the oldest human skeleton attesting its continuous occupation for more than 20.000 years. Walk through the beach Lampagianna, climb to the cave and enjoy the view. The world famous Frachthi cave is located next to the sea, opposite... read more

Port of Porto Heli

  • Jan 20,2016

You can dock your boat at the beautiful and windless port of Porto Heli and enjoy your stay in this cosmopolitan location. The bay is full of yachts and cabin cruisers savoring the warmth of this charming bay. The cosmopolitan town of Porto Heli is one of the most famous summer tourist destinations in Argolida. Its port is located in a closed and protected gulf that protects the boats from wind.... read more

Thermisia Lagoon

  • Jan 19,2016

Thermisia lagoon is an important habitat of rare migratory birds. It is a serene and unique lagoon surrounded by a breathtaking landscape. Located in the picturesque village of Thermisia, to the east of Ermioni, the lagoon took its name from some hot springs that existed in the area. The Greek traveler Pausanias mentions a temple dedicated to Demeter Thermasia. This magnificent lagoon was used as a salt... read more

Epidaurus Festival

  • Jan 19,2016

Every year since 1995, the “Epidaurus Festival” is organized, offering the visitor the opportunity to watch various performances at the imposing ancient theater of Epidaurus. So if you love ancient drama, you must visit this picturesque theater especially on a cool Friday or Saturday night under the moonlight. While it gets dark, you will be able to enjoy the amazing lyrics of the ancient dramatists... read more

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