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North Central Greece Intro

north greeceThis area includes most of the huge plain of Thessaly on the southern end, where cotton, grains and tobacco are cultivated. To the east of the plain is the Pilio Peninsula, a unique area with villages of stone houses in steep mountain forests, where there are many fruit and nut trees from which come a large percentage of Greece's apples, cherries, and nuts.

Mt. Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece, at almost 3000 meters (9840 feet) dominates the northeast part of this territory, which is very rich in flora and fauna, and many visitors focus their attention only on the mountain, though there are also wonderful areas to the west of it, with hills and forests that are hardly visited.

The Aegean coast to the north (also the west shores of the large Thermaikos Gulf (Gulf of Thessaloniki) was, until very recently, a rich area of marshy deltas formed by several river estuaries that were hardly above sea level, thus forming huge areas of fresh and salt water marshes, and lagoons.

Predictably, all of the human activities that plague coastal areas near large urban centers (draining for construction and agriculture, dumping, hunting, etc.) has wiped out a lot of these areas and the rich wildlife that they supported, though a few remain. One of them is now a Ramsar site, encompassing the deltas of the Axios, Loudias, and Aliakmon Rivers .

In the northwestern part of this area are lakes, which are natural, and are filled both from springs and from high rainfall. The northern border of this area is along the Greek national border with FYROM, is mountainous on both sides and with peaks all along its length, many over 2000 meters. The climate is harsh, with bitter winters and much snow, and hot dry summers. The flora and fauna up in this area resembles that of central Europe. Good times to come vary. For lowlands, late April and May are good, a month or two later for the high mountain areas. Autumn is perfect for wetlands, both for birds and for the colors of the foliage. Coastal wetlands in winter can be visited by many birds in winter if it is very cold farther north.

North Central Greece: Intro, Aliakmon river delta, Alyki Kitros Lagoon, Lake Doriani, Lake Kastoria, Lake Tavropo, Lakes Himaditis & Zazaris, Lakes Vegoritidha & Petron, Mt. Olympus National Park, Mt. Ossa, Mt. Siniatsikon, Mt. Vermion, Mt. Voras, Mt. Vournios, Mt. Voras, Axios-Loudhias river deltas.