The nature of Paros
Description of the nature in Paros
Paros has been generously blessed with natural beauties and sights that fascinate travellers. Climate is temperate and dry, with mild winters and little rainfall. In summer, the “Meltemia” (local winds) cool down and balance out the hotter days. In general, visitors spend a pleasant time on Paros all year round.
From autumn to spring, due to the climate, there’s lush vegetation for visitors to enjoy, especially those hiking.
The rich flora encountered by the visitor of Paros, quickly proves wrong the view of Cycladic islands as dry and barren. Paros’ climate favours the growth of a rich plant life. So far, reports have not shown of any endangered species on the island. Most of the natural vegetation of Paros is degraded due to grazing, construction and summer fires, but is being naturally replaced by shrubby and grassland vegetation.
Paros features the following species of flora: carob trees, kermes, tamarisks, Phoenicean juniper, cedars, wild cypresses, gorse, wild olive trees, pines in reforested areas, etc. There are also many varieties of greens (Mediterranean hartwort, Radicchio, common sowthistle, Chervil, Opopanax, Cichorium spinosum, fennel), an essential part of the Parian diet, and a large number of herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, fennel, pennyroyal), also used to enrich culinary delicacies or prepare exquisite beverages.
Along its coasts grow sea lilies, amaranths, and sea fennels.
The wetlands of Paros make a mosaic of natural beauty, enrich flora and create living spaces for migratory birds. There is a large number of wetlands that accommodate quite a few birds, not just migratory ones. Herons, Great egrets and storks, living in the wetlands, are the “models” for photographers that capture the beauty of nature on celluloid.
Information about Natura areas in Paros
Natura Protected Areas on Paros are:
- The Kolymbithres marsh, located northwest of the Naoussa settlement with an area of 7.5 acres
- The Santa Maria Lagoon, 2 km east of Naoussa, with an area of 5 acres
- The Butterfly Creek, located at almost the centre of Paros, near Christou Monastery. The area’s main feature is the small stream and the abundance of shrubs, kermes and wild cypresses. This habitat is of great environmental importance because it’s the living space of the Tiger Moth butterfly , a rare phenomenon for Greece
- The whole of the Molos area, a settlement on eastern Paros
- All the islets surrounding Paros island
Summer visitors miss out on marvelling at the amazing ‘paintings’ Nature artfully creates, but admire the people’s systematic farming like the vine, a century-old cornerstone of Aegean historical and cultural legacy. Wheat is still being grown albeit at a slower pace. Still, those who visit from late May to early June may witness the machines, that replaced hands-on farming, harvesting the seed of “gold”.
The blessed olive tree, in endless groves across almost all of the island, the oldest one being in Lefkes, one of Paros’ most scenic settlements.
The vineyards of Paros
The vineyards of Paros produce exquisite PDO wines.
Their glory days waned over the years, but not eclipsed. Up till 1985 vineyards were well over 2,500 acres; today, though, are down to 1,250.
Paros wine varieties are Mandilaria, Vaftra (red), Mayro Aidani, white Savvatiano and Monemvasia, exclusive on Paros and not a work of chance at all that in 1997 this wine variety was awarded Protected Designation of Origin.
On Paros there is the Farmers Cooperative as well as four private winemakers. Most houses though get their wine from their own vines, while some producers get their wine out on the market.