What is growing in Greece?
Many tree species grow in Greece. The most common are eucalyptus trees, cypresses, sweet chestnuts, pines and spruces. Pine and fir trees also grow. The north of Greece in particular is heavily forested. There is also great abundance of water, so that the north differs from the much drier south or the numerous islands in terms of plant growth.
One of the most striking plants in Greece is the Aleppo pine. It is a conifer that is related to the pine. In the mountains, the chestnuts, which, as the name suggests, are often eaten, are decisive. The Greek children often collect the chestnuts at harvest time.
In Greece you will also discover many fig trees, as well as pomegranate trees with their peculiar fruits. You can only get the sweet pomegranate seeds by removing the hard shell. Almond and walnut trees often spread out near the mountain villages. And don’t forget the olive tree that many people associate with Greece. This tree is of great importance for the Greek culture, but also for the economy.
The landscapes bloom in spring and often appear dry in the summer months. Anemones, poppies, daisies, marigolds, violets and many other plants spread particularly in northern Greece.
The olive tree is undemanding and also grows in arid areas because it can survive here due to its undemanding nature. Every resident in Greece should consume 20 liters of olive oil per year, not only as oil, but also as medicine or cosmetics. The whole family helps out during the harvest season. Depending on the location, it is often difficult to harvest the olives with the help of machines, so everyone has to lend a hand. But now there is often a lack of labor for the arduous harvest, so that many olive trees are no longer harvested. It takes seven years for a tree like this to bear fruit. It bears most fruit between the ages of 40 and 100. Olive trees also get very old. You can see such a tree in the photo.
Which animals live in Greece?
The Greeks are not animal lovers, but of course the classic pets such as cats, dogs, donkeys or sheep live in Greece. But many animals live without ownership on the street, such as the numerous Greek cats, which can sometimes become a nuisance because they also appear in droves in restaurants. Often they are chased away, but that doesn’t impress most of them. You just come back, maybe a little bit will fall off the table?
In a green dress…
One might suspect wild animals in the remote mountain regions, but there are almost no bears or wolves in Greece anymore. Humans have advanced too far for these animals to find refuge. But there are a lot of rabbits, deer and wild mountain goats.
One can encounter numerous lizards on reptiles in Greece. The green lizard is a particularly beautiful specimen. There are also frogs and turtles. Dragonflies and butterflies like to accompany hikers on their forays through the forests. Bees are a very important insect in Greece. Many bees are raised and honey is an important source of income.
Many Greeks practice beekeeping. A colony of bees can produce up to 50 kilograms of honey per year. For this large amount, however, it is crucial that the beehive be moved and not stay in the same place. The busy bees don’t like that. You then collect less, which is noticeable in a much smaller amount of honey.
Are there dangerous animals in Greece?
Scorpions live in the hot and rocky regions of Greece. But they usually hide and only sting when they feel threatened. A sting is uncomfortable and, in the worst case, dangerous for an allergy sufferer.
Some species of snakes live in Greece, but snakes are also extremely shy animals. Anyone who is out and about with good shoes and acts firmly will scare away the animals in good time and will hardly meet anyone. However, there is one snake to really avoid and that is the sand viper, which is actually poisonous.
And in the sea?
One would suspect that the many Greek coasts are rich in marine fauna. But unfortunately that is not true or it is no longer true. The fish stocks in particular have declined. On the one hand, this is due to overfishing, because large fishing fleets have simply pulled far too many fish out of the sea. Unfortunately, there is almost nothing left for the Greek fishermen.
In addition, there is the warming of the water, which makes some fish species difficult. Many fish are now bred in Greece or imported from abroad. But who you might get to see in Greece’s waters is the dolphin.