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AEGEAN ISLANDS

The Valley of the Butterflies

It is a verdant canyon, approximately one kilometer long, with ferns, plane trees, oak trees, pine trees, bay laurels and oriental sweetgum trees (“zities”). In fact, this is the only forest in Greece that includes oriental sweetgum trees (Liquidamar orientalis). A small river runs through the forest and in several places it forms waterfalls. Alongside the river a defined path follows its course. On the route, there are little bridges, steps, benches, all made of wood. Here, from June through September, the butterflies of the Panaxia quadripunctaria species appear, which you will also meet under the synonym Callimorpha quadripunctaria. They are the ones with four orange dots on each wing. They are attracted by the scent of the juice secreted by the oriental sweetgum trees (which resemble plane trees). This butterfly species lives in other places on Rhodes as well, where there is abundant water (e.g. Salakos), but this is the only place so many of them gather together.
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Epta Piges (The Seven Springs)

The site is located 3km west of Kolympia. The road follows the Loutanis river flow and in its last part it becomes narrow, uphill, with numerous bends. The Seven Springs gush between plane trees and their water form a pond. Under the shade of the trees, around the lake, a tavern-refreshment bar has placed its tables. The surrounding area is landscaped with small wooden bridges and paths. A little further there is an impressive artificial lake which was manufactured by the Italians in order to irrigate their crops in Kolympia.  
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Prasonisi

Prasonisi is the name of a verdant islet south of Rhodes, as well as of the beach that is located just across. In summer, Rhodes and Prasonisi are connected through a strip of sand about 500m long and it is possible to go from one island to the other on foot. The beach of Prasonisi is 8 km away from Kattavia and it is actually a huge strip of sand, surrounded by sea.
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A dense forest of pine trees, cypress trees and oak trees, with a peak at 798m (the third highest mountain on the island, following Atavyros and Akramytis). On Profitis Elias 115 plant species have been counted, the rarest of which is peony of Rhodes (Paeonia clusii subsp. rhodia), a flower that grows only on Rhodes. Up there live foxes, “atsidia” (ferrets), hawks and several deer (fallow deer), which were originally brought by Italians to be hunted by official guests and officers who summered in the two hotels on Profitis Elias.
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My Aegean
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Co-financed by Greece and the European Union - European Regional Development Fund
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