The field trips took place on Thursday afternoon, 13 October.
We selected a range of field trips across sites of national and international importance for their natural and cultural heritage, covering a range of ecosystem types and associated services. Detailed information on the field trips can be found here.
Four sites were selected for the field trip:
- Anogeia - and hiking to Psiloritis park
- Elounta - Plaka - Spinalonga island
- Aposelemi water reservoir - Lasithi plateau
Field trip description
1. Anogeia - hiking to Psiloreitis park
Number of participants: 50 maximum
Distance from Heraklion: 40 Km
Site type: Mountain range, caves
ES types: all but mostly provisioning and regulating
This trip will take visitors to the area of Anogeia and lead them to a tour across the Psiloreitis Geopark, a designated UNESCO Geopark across which several Natura 2000 protected areas are designated. The participants will also have the opportunity to visit the Skinakas Observatory. It is a mountain range with great importance for its natural and cultural heritage. Participants will be guided through the Geopark by local guides and will have the opportunity to explore the role this heritage plays for the well-being of the local and Cretan community. Hiking shoes, sunproof clothing and sunscreen are recommended. The area has been widely researched through several European and Nationally funded schemes.
Anogeia is a site of high importance for its natural and cultural heritage within Greece and Crete in particular. Psiloreitis Geopark located within the region of Anogeia covers an area of 1,272 km2 and was initially designated as such in 2001 with the scientific support from Natural History Museum of the University of Crete. Due to its rich geodiversity, the landscape of exceptional beauty and its undeniable history and tradition, the geopark of Psiloritis became a part of the network of European Geoparks and a bit later part of the global network of Geoparks. The wider area of Anogeia was a very important place of worship in antiquity, as on the nearby Plateau of Nida there is the Ideon Andron, a cave in which, according to the legend, the god Zeus was raised. The latter, together with Kamara Cave (where the E4 hiking path passes) have been designated as "Landscapes of Special Natural Beauty" (Government Gazette 666/B/23-9-1970). In the Municipality of Anogeia is also the Observatory of Skinakas (1,750m), a research facility of the University of Crete and the Greek Foundation of Research and Technology (FORTH). For further information, please click here.
2. Elounda - Plaka - Spinalonga island
Number of participants: 50 maximum
Distance from Heraklion: 67 Km
Site type: Coastal zone, fisheries activities, cultural heritage, impact of marine invasive species to marine biodiversity
ES types: all but mostly provisioning and cultural
The second field trip will take visitors to the areas of Plaka and Spinalonga island. The participants will join the area by bus should have with them comfortable shoes, sunglasses, sunproof clothing and sunscreen. The area has been widely researched through several European and Nationally funded schemes.
Plaka area and Spinalonga island are two locations of high value for their natural and cultural heritage. The area of Plaka is proposed for inclusion as a UNESCO world heritage site and is a picturesque fishing village that has been designated as a traditional settlement (Government Gazette 594D/78). Over the years it turned into a meeting point for visitors to the legendary Spinalonga (refuge of rebels during the Turkish occupation which later and for a total of 54 consecutive years operated as a leper home 1903- 1957). Within the area, Mirabello Bay is a nationally protected coastal area. A unique feature of the area is Lake Voulismeni (a small karst sinkhole) in which water flows into the sea through a small channel.
The area evolved historically from a commercial port in the era of copper metallurgy, to an important tourist resort with the most modern ultra-luxury hotel facilities on the island. Over time, we can say that the area is a typical example of landscape ecosystem services with the scattered windmills (Elounda and Vroucha) and fortresses (Spinaloga and Mirabello), the salt extraction sites of Elounda and the surrounding islets: Kalydon (Spinaloga), Agioi Pantes and Mikronisi, to be landscapes of special natural beauty (Government Gazette 666B/70 & GOVERNMENT 176B/82). An interesting issue is the carrying capacity of both the landscape and the ecosystems, which face an extreme pressure over the years through high demand for the provisioning and cultural ES they provide.
Click here and here for further information.
3. Aposelemi water reservoir - Lasithi Plateau
Number of participants: 50 maximum
Distance from Heraklion: 33 km until the dam 60 km until Psychro plateau
Site type: Mountain, water reservoir, dam construction, Windmills
ES types: mostly water provision services, but also high biodiversity support and cultural heritage sites
The purpose of this trip is to be guided through a local case study in which water supply flows from a mountainous region to the cities, as well as the role of this demand for water in the development of a mountainous region, in its society and culture, and in the projects carried out for the sustainable exploitation of these ecosystem services. Participants will be guided through the area the administrator of the reservoir (The Development Organization of Crete - OAC S.A.) and will have the opportunity to explore the role this heritage plays for the well-being of the local and Cretan community. Comfortable shoes, sunproof clothing and sunscreen are recommended. The area has been widely researched through several European and Nationally funded schemes.
The Diktis mountain range, with the highest peak, Spathi (2,148 m), is one of the three main mountain ranges of Crete and a biodiversity hotspot in Greece. Plateaus, sinkholes, steep peaks, gorges develop on the strongly karstic limestone bedrock of the mountain range. The ecological importance of the area is due to the wide variety of habitats (most of them well preserved), the dense forest and maquis vegetation, while it is home to typical endemic species of flora and fauna of Crete and Greece in general. Several of the flora species recorded in Dikti are narrow-endemic and are found exclusively in the mountains of the region. The habitats of the area are very important for a number of protected predators, which either nest in the area or appear sporadically. The Lasithi plateau, located at an altitude of 800 m, is the largest plateau of Crete, with 18 villages and important cultivated areas, in which five (5) varieties of potatoes, apples, cherries, cereals, legumes and all kinds of vegetables are produced. The area is very important for beekeeping, as well as for the supply of water to the Aposelemis reservoir. The entire area of the Dikti mountain range is a designated Landscape of Special Natural Beauty (Government Gazette 666/B/1970). Click here for further information.
4. Lyrarakis Vineyards and Winery
The 4th field trip is an option for those who might prefer shorter travel times. The trip will start later than the others (around 3.30-4pm, but exact time will be confirmed at the conference venue) and will take the participants to the midlands of Crete, in the vineyards of the Lyrarakis family. The tour entails a walk in the vineyards where the rescued ancient grape varieties Plyto and Dafni are planted and the winery’s open-air vine museum. During the outdoor tour guests will have the chance to learn about the indigenous varieties of Crete, observe their differences up close and get informed about the cultivation practices, the emphasis on indigenours varieties, and the supply chain of the wine products. The tour will continue indoors, in the winery’s cellar where wine ages in oak barrels, with more information given regarding the vinification methods and practices. After the tour, the guests will dive even further into Cretan wine by exploring the Cretan wealth of aromas and flavors in a wine-glass, by enjoying a guided tasting of 5 different wines made with some of the fore-mentioned varieties.
ESP Europe 2022Registration website for ESP Europe 2022
Ecosystem Services Partnershipconference@espconference.org
Ecosystem Services Partnershipconference@espconference.orghttps://www.espconference.org/europe22
ESP Europe 2022ESP Europe 20220.00EUROnlineOnly2019-01-01T00:00:00ZTo be announcedTo be announced