The geography of Paros
Geographical characteristics and wetlands of Paros
Location and geography of Paros island in Cyclades
Paros is located in the center of the Cyclades complex, which consists of 24 islands. It is located 90 miles from Piraeus and it has about 15.000 residents. The subsoil of Paros is composed mainly of granite and calcareous rock and in comparison to the other islands of the complex; Paros has enough groundwater to supply its self from the available quantities, without carrying water from elsewhere.
Paros does not suffer from strong winds as do the other islands of the Cyclades complex. At the center of the island there is the main massive of Paros, followed by soft low hills. Along the biggest part of Paros’ coasts—except a part of the northern side of the island – there are beautiful beaches that are waiting for their visitors to reveal them their secrets. The hidden secrets are as many and different as are the beaches.
There are no forests on the island but low vegetation, hardwood or short trees, big bushes such as kermes oaks, Phoenician junipers, pistacias, arbutuses, oleanders and in some littoral areas there are salt cedars and another types of small cedars.
In Paros there are still wetlands, despite the consequences of the big urban development. On the island, 10 natural wetlands have been registered in total in the inventory and despite their small number, their variety is remarkable: the marsh of Kolimpithres, the lagoon of Santa Maria, the saltmarsh of Agairia, the marsh of Molos or Kefalos, the marsh of Parikia, the marsh of Chrissi Akti, the saltmarsh of Pounda, the lagoon of Pounda, the saltmarshes of Lageri (Platia Ammos) and of Piso Aliki.
The cultivable areas, which are many in comparison with the size of Paros are mainly used for the cultivation of vines and olive trees. Wherever the formation of the ground was not appropriate for cultivation, Prians have formed terraces to hold the earth and to form cultivable areas.
Finding ways to obtain what is necessary to survive is a characteristic of all the islands of the Cyclades complex and of man ingenuity. In Paros there are also a lot of varieties of greens (Mediterranean hartwort, chicory, sow thistle, shepherd's-needle, kalfa, spiny chicory, fennel), basic elements of the Parian cuisine and many herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, fennel, pennyroyal), which are used in cooking and as tisanes.
Along the coastal zone you can also find sand lilies, amaranths and crithmums.
In Paros there is also the valley of the butterflies. It is located close to Psichopania, on the way to Aliki. During the summer, a butterfly species appears in the area. These butterflies stay still on the trunks of the trees an on the rocks in the morning and in the afternoon they go up the trees, on the leaves.
In Paros there is also the Wildlife Care and Protection Association of Paros "Alkioni", which was founded in 1995. The association works exclusively with the assistance of hundreds of volunteers from all over the world and it is housed in a site of 12,60 square kilometers in area, in Kamares.