The aim was the preservation of the natural environment; of the flora, fauna and natural landscapes, as well as of its cultural and other values. Scientific research had to be supported and people had to become aware of the environmental conditions. Furthermore tourism had to be developed in the widerarea.
Scientific laws prohibit any kind of exploitation in the east side of the mountain, about 10,000 acres, which constitutes the core of the National Park. The wider area around it was designated as “peripheral zone of the National Park” so that its management and exploitation won’t affect negatively the protection of the core.
Today, after special studies the National Park is about to be extended to 43,000 acres. The core shal also be extended so as to include specific areas which need rigorous protection.
The designation of
Other types of areas protected
by the Ministry of Agriculture are 19 “
MITHOLOGY - HISTORY
The shape of
The twelve gods live in ravines, <the mysterious folds of
At the foot of the mountain 5 kilometres from the sea a sacred
Macedonian city is dedicated to Zeus (Dias) and is called Dion. It is estimated
that it flourished between the 5th century B.C. and the 5th
century A.C. The excavations that started in 1928 and are
still going revealed archeological finds of the Macedonian, Greek and Roman Era.
They are exhibited in the
The history of
The whole Pierian Olympus has been declared an archeological and historical place in order to preserve its monumental and historical physiognomy.
THE SPECIAL INTERESTS OF THE NATIONAL PARK
The natural features, the scenic beauty, the mythology, the history of
- The mountain climber will find difficult steep slopes to enjoy.
- The hiker will have the opportunity to admire the continually changing scenery and the big variety of plants and animals.
- The scientist will see and study the geology, geomorphology, ecology, the flora and the fauna.
- The children will get to know and love nature early caring for its protection.
GETTING TO THE NATIONAL PARK
The mountain range of Olympus is situated in the centre of continental
There are some forest roads, and several paths in the Park that offer the visitor the opportunity to get into close contact with the extremely diverse vegatation and landscape. Experienced climbes can also find special routes up the steep slopes.
Two beautiful mountain path starts from Litochoro and go up to the top of the mountain. The first follows the Enipeas ravine and the visitor, after five hours walk reaches the site “Prionia” (attitude 1,100 m.), where there are facilities for rest and information. This site, “Prionia” also is accesible by car, after a drive of 18 km from Litochoro. At the 4 th km of this route there is a guard-house, where the visitor can get information about the National Park.
At the 10 th km of the same route from Litochoro, at the site “Stavros” there is the mountain resort of “Dim. Boudolas” (altitude 944 m.). Along the road there are some car parking places and view points.
Four kilometers before the end of the road, at the site “Gortsia”, where
there is a car parking site, the visitor will find the beginning of one of the
paths that leads to the highest
Another interesting walk to the top of
On his way up the visitor can have moments of rest near springs and can find informative signs in various spots as well as guiding maps.
PLANTS AND ANIMALS OF THE
The plant research of
Most of those plants exist in low altitudes. They are the usual
The fauna hasn’t been studied systematically yet. There are however 32 kinds of mammals that have been recorded. Some of them are The wild goat (Rupicapra rupicapra), the deer (Capreolus capreolus), the wild boar (Sus scrofa), the wild cat (Felis silvestris), the ferret (Martes foina), the fox (Vulpes vulpes), the squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris); 108 kinds of birds have been spotted. Many of these, especially the birds of prey, are rare and strictly protected under international agreements.
There are also the usual
reptiles of the Greek region (snakes, tortoises, lizards, etc.) and some
amphibians in the gullies and the seasonal lakes.
It is believed that lions existed in ancient times (Pafsanias) and up to the 16th century bears roamed about the mountain.
GEOLOGICAL EVOLUTION OF
1,000,000 years ago glaciers covered the mountain. Because of the rise of the temperature, the ice melted and torrents were created dragging down big quantities of fragmented rock and forming alluvium.
The influence of rain and wind in combination with the violent outbursts
of nature created today’s shape of
The complex geological history of the area becomes evident from the geomorphology of the whole mountain: 52 peaks (the lowest 760 metres, Paleokastro, and the highest 2,917 metres Myticas) wide gorges, deep ravines (Mavrologos, Makrirema, Xerolaki, etc.) amphitheatrical glens (small and big Kazania, small and big Gourna, Dristela) caves and precipices many of which are still unexplored.
The climate favours the emergence of many brooks, small seasonal lakes
and a small river named Enipea whose springs are in Prionia and its estuary in
CLIMATE AND VEGETATION
The climate of
Vegetation differs because of the slopes being at different altitudes facing different directions. Furthermore, the short distance from the sea, only 20 km, and the great difference in altitude from the sea level contributes to the creation of various types of vegetation with many peculiarities.
There are four different vegetation zones without clear boundaries between them.
In the Mediterranean zone (altitude 300 to 500m) there are the most
common kinds of holm oak (Quercus ilex), the Greek strawberry tree (Arbutus
adrachnae), the kermes oak (Juniprus oxycedrus) etc. There are also certain
kinds of decidous trees: the flowering ash (Fraxinus ornus), the
From 600 to 1700m is the second zone. Main type of vegetation is the black pine (Pinus nigra var pallasiana) that forms massive clumps. In smaller groups appear: The King Bori’s fir (Abies hybridogenus), the beech tree (Facus moesiaca), few wych elm (Ulmus glabra), the cherry elm (Prunus cerasifera), the yew (Taxus baccata), the hazel (Coryllus avellana), the cornelian cherry (Cormus mas) and a significant selection of mossy plants. The ravines and the gullies are covered with oriental plane (Platanus orientalis), grey sallow (Salix cinerea), alder wood and riparian vegetation.
Over the altitude of 1,400m. there are coniferous, that can survive in cold climates, such as: A rare pine called Pinus heldreichii which replaces the black pine gradually and creates an unmixed with any other trees forest up to 2,000m.
At the altitude of 2,500m. and up to the highest peak a mosaic of alpine ecosystem replaces the coniferous zone. In the meadows on the rocks and the steep slopes grow some of the most beautiful wild flowers.
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