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map east sterea elladaCentral Greece

Mt. Iti National Park (oft written 'Oiti') & the Sperchios Delta

Mt. Oiti National Park (see map above) lies in Sterea Ellada a.k.a. Central Greece a huge area, stretching from the Ionian Sea in the west, all the way to the Aegean off the east coast of the long island of Evia (Euboea) to the east of Attiki (Attica).

This is right off the main highway northisouth that Xerxes and Alexander used (among others). Its also very near battlefield of Thermopylea which is on the highway where it passes through wetlands along the coast.

You simply must stop and see Thermo-pyles (hot springs)!

Mt. Iti (a.k.a. Oiti) National Park

Mounti Iti National Park - Spercheious Delta - 

This is a very beautiful and verdant mountain, with streams amid its forest, due to its slightly acid rock (which, unlike limestone, is not poros, and hence doesn't drain off all the water). There are even some lakes up high and pools from melted water.

Its highest point is 2152 meters (7059 feet), with old fir forest above 800 meters, and maquis lower down. The area was established as a National Park in 1966, with a present overall territory of 17,809 acres (7210 hectares), though the core zone is a little less than half of this area. It has very rich flora, and with grazing moderate enough not to wipe out the flowers in the grassy area; in wet places there are marsh orchids and globeflower (quite rare in Greece); other plants inhabit high pastures and rocky schist areas.

Mt Oiti or Iti National ParkRare species in Greece, and one endemic only to Iti, are found in pools from melted snow. Chamois are among the mammals found here, though hunted illegally at least up until a few years ago, though perhaps by now perhaps the laws protecting them are being enforced. Most Greek National Parks are not clearly demarcated, blending with the neighboring countryside, which does nothing to discourage such activity. Other mammals include beech marten, red squirrel, roe deer, wild boar; there are amphibians in the lake on the Livadies Plateau and others around streams. Bird life is quite plentiful, with short-toed eagles, golden eagles, griffon vultures, peregrines, eagle owls, and honey buzzards are among the birds of prey seen here, some of them also breeding, and there are rock partridges, at least four kinds of woodpeckers, and red-backed shrikes. Butterflies are also plentiful and varied. Access to the park is easy from the village of Ipati,with both a path and driveable road; the village is a good base for hikes. There's a refuge at 1800 meters, but available only to groups.

Sperchios Delta

ducksThough much diminished by the usual draining for cultivation and other development, what remains of this delta southeast of Lamia, is still of interest in terms of bird life.

The eponymos river drains hilly country around it, including Mt. Iti (above). There are large areas of saltmarsh with mudflats and sandbars, and ditches fringed with reeds. The rice fields that occupy much of the delta is also good for birds, especially in spring. There are breeding birds, waders, migratory birds in winter, and birds of prey, including the spotted eagle. Dirt roads onto the delta run east from Anthili, which is on the main road south of Lamia.