English (UK)Ελληνικά

Hiking in Palekastro area with view to Kastri hill and to Kouremenos bay

The small plateau south of Palekastro and the pictursque chapel in the midst

Sunrise in Karoumes bay, exceptional beach between Palekastro and Kato Zakros

Windsurfing in Kouremenos Bay

The bay of Kato Zakros and the Deads Gorge in the background

Palm Beach Vai, 7km north of Palekastro village

Xerokambos Beach, 10km south from  Zakros

Regions NATURA 2000 by Palekastro

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Natura 200: Palm forest VaiTwo areas of the Sitia province are integrated to the "NATURA 2000" network (EU guide 92/43/ AIE), which are of great interest, in terms of natural environment. One of is by Toplou - Cavo Sidero - Vai region:

North East End of Crete Dionysades, Elasa & the Peninsula of Sidero (Akra Mayrovouni - Vai - Akra Plaka)

This region includes the Northeast side of Crete, the Peninsula of Sidero and the nearby islands, Dionysades and Elasa. The vegetation mainly consists of shrubs, while in the prairies degraded maquis are preserved. The only palm tree forest in Europe with Phoenix theophrasti is located in Vai. There are water streams that dry up during the summer, riverain vegetation and many aquatic invertebrates.

There are 2-3 villages in the whole area. The areas around the villages are cultivated, while there are greenhouses with banana trees. In the east coast, facing the palm tree forest, there are sand dunes. In the west coast, there are "Posidonia" prairies. In the same area, groups of dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have been spotted. In the end of the Peninsula there is a military base. The islands of Dionysades and Elasa are deserted. The vegetation on these islands is shrubs, while near the sea there are halophyllous plants.

The wider region presents a unique flaura and fauna, on the land and in the sea environment. The palm tree forest of Vai is a unique and especially important biotope and has been characterized as the "Aesthetic Forest".

Read 1153 times Last modified on Saturday, 11 May 2013 15:11

Leave a comment

Top