psiloritis geopark


Psiloritis, with the wildness of life and nature is a true paradise full of high peaks, beautiful mountain chains, coombs with fountains and rivers that offer bountifully water, forests full of life, rocks that popped out of the earth, gorges as the doors of the big mountain, caves-shelters of wild animals, rich valleys and cultivated lands at the mountainous areas.

The anaglyph of Psiloritis favored the growth of vegetation, so in some areas there different kinds of flora. The most significant wealth is located at enormous cliffs. At Gafaris gorge, in the forest of Rouvas, one can see enormous cypresses, Kermes oaks and hollies, while many endemic plants present a particular interest such as the Cretan arum, the Cretan cyclamen and two rare and endemic orchids, the Cretan Kephalantiro and the Cretan orchid called “Lipitero”.

At the gnarled gorges of Vorizia and Kamares villages, one can admire the beautiful plants that grow in the clefts of vertical rocks many of which are endemic, such as the rock lettuce, the Cretan Hypericum jovis and the plant symbol of Crete, dictamus. The gorge of Patsos presents a significant botanical interest as it is consisted of planes, tiny solenopsis, holm oaks and the endemic bear’s tail.

The gorge of Goniana is also ideal for collecting oregano and admire herbs called Staehelina petiolata, Centaurea argentea, the endemic Cretan ebony the autumn cyclamens. Table-lands are also areas with particular vegetation and unique species. The endemic red tulip at the table-land of lous Kampos at Amari village spreads impressively, the crocus and the Pilygonum idaeum an endemic plant that grows at the table-land of Nida. Around the table-land of Skinakas, grows one of the rarest plants of Crete. This perennial species of Horstrissea is endangered to habitat loss due to the grazing of the animals. The geological and climatic diversity of the mountain is reflected on various types of vegetation. The arboratious forms of vegetation sometimes form small clusters and sometimes large forests.

The forest of Rouvas is one of the forests in Crete with giant Kermes between the deciduous maples. Here, is located a very important biotope of the which due to its rarity is often referred as the “Unrecognizable tree”. A smaller but equally impressive kermes oaks forest is located at Vromonero place at Krousonas village. At the southern banks of the mountain there are forests with cypresses and rough pines, while the deciduous acorns are present near Margarites and Vroulidia villages in Anogia.

The Common Hawthorns and the wild pear trees are especially impressive when they come to fruition, breaking the monotony of the mountain genista. The forest of Mylopotamos and the kermes oak tree forest at Kalivos are remarkable. In relation to the forests, the genista (low brushes) have clearly larger biodiversity.

During spring and summer, the low glacis of Psiloritis are full of colors and aromas: spiny brooms,Genista acanthoclada, pink savory, thymes, sage, crowberry-leaved trees, burnets, tree spurges use their aculeuses for protection against animals, blooms and the change of foliage for dehydration, aromas for attracting the insects or forcing back the enemy. We also come across Asphodels, cyclamens, autumn daffodils, tulips, dragon lilies and a variety of orchids.

At higher altitudes the genista are shorter mainly due to the wind, the snow and the grazing of the animals. One can also find plants spiny spurges, the perennial herbs Astragalus angustifolius, Astracantha cretica, barberries, the flower Acantholimon androsaceum, bulbed plants such as the Prospero automnale, the Cretan colchicums and crocuses. The bushes that consist makia vegetation are evergreen. Locust tree, wild olives, mustics, junipers, kalmias, arbutuse that resist the dry spell of the Cretan summer have hard, coriaceous leaves and deep roots. Inaccessible clusters of bushes create ericas and arbutuses at the north glacis of Kouloukonas