Corfu and its nearby islands (Paxos, Othoni, Erikousa , Mathraki) is Heaven on Earth with its luxuriant vegetation and a richer flora than any other island on the Mediterranean (6000 species) it is home to several animal species and it has got an important number of habitats and aquatic protected areas as well as a big network of trekking paths . It is a place which can offer several happy hours to all nature lovers.
A heaven on Earth , like the one of the Corfu archipelago, with luxuriant vegetation and the richest flora of all Mediterranean islands (6000 species) can only be host to a large number of animal species>. In spite of the fact that the thick vegetation of the archipelago and malpractice in agriculture have decreased the populations of certain species, especially birds and small carnivorous animals, the wealth of the fauna here is remarkable . Nowadays, after almost a decade of implementation of sustainable policies the fauna seems to have recovered . Today, Corfu, Paxos and the Diapontian islands are meeting points for nature lovers .
Corfu, Paxos, Othoni, Erikousa and Mathraki, with 6000 rare species of wild flowers, 55 species of wild orchid and tenths of aromatic and medicinal herbs , have got the richest flora of all islands in the Mediterranean Sea and are a real natural heaven .
The wealth and the variety of the flaura and the fauna are due to the humid, warm climate , the high degree of precipitations, the soil conditions and the geographic position of the islands , which make them be the right place for plants both from Europe and from Africa.
At Spring the islands look like endless gardens with flowers. This season is ideal for walking and trekking in the rich network of paths.
Mid-February is the blossom time of the first wild orchid Barlia Robertiana, while in the beginning of Spring the area is full of Anthemia chamomila (medicinal chamomile ). In Autumn we find wild cyclamens , sweet violets Viola Odorata, hyacinths Narcissus tazetta, iris Iris Unuicularis, liliesSternbergia lutea and crocuses Crocus Bowles, Crocus Pickwick,Crocus longiflorus etc.
From the sandy beaches with the lilies Pancratium maritimum to the cracks in the rocks on the steep slopes of Mount Pantokrator , Corfu offers to the lovers of nature and wild flowers a huge variety of beautiful and rare plants , impossible to come across on another island of the Mediterranean .
Roughtail Rock Agama (Laudakia stellio - Agama stellio), Otter (Lutra lutra)
Laudakia stellio - Agama stellio (Roughtail Rock Agama)
It is the only European representative of the family of Tropical lizards . It lives in Corfu , in a slam region at Thessaloniki and on certain islands of the Aegean Sea .
According to oral tradition , it moved to Corfu through the food supplies of the English army or it ws brought here by some naturalist without of course being able to document one of the two opinions. Below you can find an explanation for these opinions.
Green Corfu managed to preserve, thanks to the morphology of the islands, and the rich flaura, a larger variety of wildlife than other islands. The reptile population is particularly interesting , with 8 species of registered amphibians and 23 species of registered reptiles . Among these, you can observe the following :
Corfu is a green island. It includes hills that go up to a mountain 900 metres high (Pantokrator) in the north and lower hills and plain areas in the south . The most important points to watch birds are the protected habitats (Natura 2000) as well as the olive groves . Antinioti Lagoon in the north, the hills and the mountain Pantokrator , the Ropas meadow in the center of the island, Korission lagoon and Alykes in the south. There is particular interest in Paxos, AntiPaxos and the Diapontian islands, as they are on the migration routes.
For the lovers of fossils and geological discoveries , Corfu and the nearby islands offer an unexplored wealth. Especially mount Pantokratoras, with a height of 900 meters , is a Geological window to the South Balkans , which offers strong emotions and surprises.
Natura regions- Alyki Lefkimmis
Until just a few years ago the region around this wetland was a salt marsh , however it closed down in 1988 . Ever since then, a lot of changes have taken place. The information that we have on the flaura and the vegetation of this region id scarse, and it only concerns the vegetation of the sandy beaches; however, it is the home of interesting species of flora and several types of vegetation. Both flaura and vegetation are characterized by the predominance of foreign species , such as Arthocnemum glaucum , A. fruticosum , Halocnemum strobilaceum, Scoenchus nigricans, Juncus subulatus, Salicornia europaea, Cakile maritima, Salsola kali etc.
This wetland is at the northern coasts of Corfu and is considered especially important , not only because of the protected species Lutra lutra , which has been reported in the region, but also for the environmental balance of the wider region. Moreover, we should note that the region is characterized from a variety of habitats . Man activities haven't so far greatly affected the ecosystem.
This region is in the eastern part of Corfu and includes the shores from Kanoni to Messoghi . At Kanoni region, the water is shallow. The substratum is sandstone. Amid the upper rocks, on a sandy substratum, develops the marine phanerogam Cymodocea nodosa . The meadows of Posidonia oceanica extend at depths less than 1,5 m south of the village Messoghi . Here, the bottom of the sea is both rocky and sandy, with pebbles and rocks of all sizes. Phanerophyceae are predominant, as well as phytocenoses Cystoseiretum crinitae .