Area of Zaraka

Heading south, leaving behind Mari, one of the oldest villages of Kynourias, the road descends to the southern foothills of Parnonas. At the foothills of the mountain, the change in scenery is dramatic. The influences of dry and hot Mediterranean climate combined with long grazing on vegetation characterize this area. On dry stony slopes due to intensive grazing there are low, sclerophylous evergreen shrubs, such as holm oak, which are giving their place to more drought-resistant plants such as phrygana. Phrygana plants have long and deep roots in the soil but on the surface they appear as low, usually hemispherical shrubs, fluffy, with branches close and often spiny. In winter they have a lot more leaves than in the summer. In the spring they bloom creating a colourful landscape, and in the summer to reduce water loss they shed their leaves and smell simultaneously releasing the essential oils they contain. The ecosystems of phrygana are characterized by diversity aspects in the annual cycle and the abundance of plant species such as thyme, oregano, burnets, sage, lavender, marjoram etc.


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