Wetlands of Crete are shelters for a large number of plants and animal species. They are crucial for the conservation of biodiversity on the island. During fall and especially in spring, visitors can observe migratory birds in the numerous watch towers placed at most wetlands. Watchtowers have also been installed in mountainous areas with a large array of predator species.
During the spring and the autumn, Crete becomes a favorite resting place for a vast number of migratory birds. Many observation huts and towers have been installed in wetlands where bird watchers can observe a great variety of birds. Apart from wetlands, watch towers have been placed in several gorges and mountains that are home to a large number of birds of prey.
The largest natural lake in Crete is located at Kournas by Georgioupolis, where visitors can observe birds from the local watch tower. Small, but important, natural ponds with water all year round are also located at Tersanas by Chania, at Mohos and Thrapsano while seasonal ponds are met at Orne, Parakalouri, Ziros, Omalos by Viannos, Achendrias, Stroumboulas, various plateaus of north province Mirabello, Gergeri and in several more places. Artificial lakes where one can observe birds are located at Ayia by Chania, Votomos by Zaros, at the large dams of Bramiana, Aposelemis, Faneromeni, Potami and the numerous small dams in the hinterland of Heraklion.
Rivers and wetlands that are home to large populations of wading birds are also found in numerous sites of the island. The most famous include the estuaries of the rivers Aposelemis, Anapodaris, Almiros by Gazi, Preveli, Platys, Almiros by Agios Nikolaos, Kyliaris and the four rivers of Georgioupolis. Other extremely important locations are the saltpans of Xerokambos, Gavdos, Chrissi and the marshes of Malia, Katalyki and Falassarna.
Agritourism units and specialized tourist agencies offer seminars for gathering herbs, snails, mushrooms and truffles in the countryside. Similarly, they organize tours for acquainting visitors with traditional rural occupations, such as the cultivation of olive or vine, production of honey and more.
Horseback riding is one of the most common activities in Crete. The island has a long tradition in using horses in everyday life. Even today, many Cretans own a Cretan horse (georgalidiko), a breed perfectly adapted to the rugged terrains of Crete, and take part in competitions and shows. On the island there are many riding clubs and associations, while companies offer riding courses or excursions.
The “Pegasus Equestrian Center” is a place for Sport, Recreation and Culture of Horses. Located in Oasis Varypetro, private land, just 5 km from the city of Chania. In the Cretan land, dominates the beauty of nature and the magnificence of horses. The facilities of the center include a lounge – coffee, an expert fitness room and a realization of courses. At the Equestrian Center the visitor can engage with the following activities:
* Free Horse riding is offered for all ages, giving you moments of relaxation, serenity and freedom.
* Lessons Therapeutic Riding disabled by specially trained staff
* Playful Riding Lessons by qualified personnel for our little friends.
* Special programs interactive games for school – group tours.
* Also our space available for events-party and other event from 20 to 100 people.
The aim of all the courses is to familiarize children with nature and care of the horse, the development of motor and cognitive skills and positive attitude with the help of qualified staff and Teachers horses.
Contact numbers: +30 6945600899, +30 6983405209
Website: Ippikos Omilos Pegasus
EGVUS, the Equestrian Club of Ierapetra is a friendly place where everyone can ride for fun or take private lessons with a certified instructor. Our prideful and loving horses are ready to take you on a ride and teach you to be interested in this great sport. Mr. Ioannis Pantazis, experienced horse trainer & instructor with more than 30 years experience, will safely guide you through everything you need to know. Website: Egvus