Drymona waterfalls

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At the foots of Xiro mountain in North Evia, sheltered inside a dense coniferous forest, lies a small cluster of streams, waterfalls and lakes. The waterfalls of Drymona take their name from the nearby village. They are located at an altitude of 620 meters, to the west of Kavalaris mountain which is the southern end of Xiro mountain. It is a habitat created by the springs of the small river Sipias and it consists of a network with streams and waterfalls that create two small lakes. The tallest of the waterfalls is about 15 meters. The area has been landscaped sustainably by the local Forest Department with a small network of paths, wooden steps, bridges, benches, etc. The pristine wild nature makes Drymona waterfalls an ideal place for exploration for both plants and animals that live in the small mountain lakes and streams. The surrounding area is known worldwide for the Petrified Forest of Kerasia and the unique finds of fauna and flora that came to light after years of paleontological excavations. The fossils that date back to the Late Miocene -up to 7 million years ago- are exposed in the Museum of Fossilized Mammals at the nearby village of Kerasia. The most important finding is the hornless rhinocerotid of Nileas river (Acerorhinus neleus), followed by species such as proboscideans, giraffidaens, felines, hyenas, oryxes, monkeys, etc. Close by is also the famous monastery of Saint David. It is worth to enter the marked paths that start from the waterfalls. The most beautiful of them goes inside a forest of black pines and reaches up to the highest peak of Xiro mountain (990 meters) from where one can enjoy the magnificent view. Although seemingly it is a pristine habitat, however, human activities such as hunting and tourism have begun to pressure significantly the flora and fauna of the area.

The forests here are dense and consist mainly of black pines, oaks and aleppo pines. Near the waterfalls are few scattered fields with thousand of flowers blooming every spring. Other trees that grow around the waterfalls are oriental planes, maples, pubescent oaks, prickly junipers, field elms, hop-hornbeams and hawthorns that are covered with ivies, blackberries and common holly shrubs (Ilex aquifolium). Α little bit higher from the waterfalls grows a small number of big yews (Taxus baccata). The most important plants here are Fritillaria euboeica, Paeonia mascula subsp. hellenica, Daphne euboica, Thymus teucrioides subsp. candidicus and Vicia pinetorum. Other interesting plants include Dryopteris villarii, Centaurea triumfettii subsp. axillaris, Doronicum orientale, Aethionema saxatile subsp. graecum, Aubrieta deltoidea, Moehringia trinervia, Euonymus latifolius, Colchicum bivonae, Prunella laciniata, Anemone apennina subsp. blanda, Aremonia agrimonoides subsp. agrimonoides, Rosa canina and Digitalis ferruginea subsp. ferruginea. Flora is supplemented with species such as Crocus laevigatus, Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens, Bupleurum glumaceum, Arum italicum subsp. italicum, Achillea ligustica, Carduus nutans subsp. leiophyllus, Scorzonera crocifolia, Alkanna graeca subsp. graeca, Buglossoides purpurocerulea, Myosotis sylvatica subsp. cyanea, Arabis verna, Leptoplax emarginata, Campanula spatulata subsp. spruneriana, Dianthus viscidus, Silene italica subsp. italica, Knautia orientalis, Astragalus monspessulanus subsp. monspessulanus, Ornithogalum montanum, Lamium garganicum subsp. striatum, Melitis melissophyllum subsp. albida, Ranunculus millefoliatus, Galium heldreichi and Veronica anagallis-aquatica. From the orchids here grow Cephalanthera damasonium, Cephalanthera rubra, Epipactis microphylla, Limodorum abortivum, Spiranthes spiralis, Anacamptis morio, Anacamptis pyramidalis, Orchis italica, Orchis purpurea, Ophrys mammosa and Ophrys apifera.  
The bird fauna includes many species of coniferous forests and mountain rivers. Around the waterfalls, dippers and grey wagtails hunt for small insects. Among the predators stand out species like short-toed eagles, honey buzzards, common buzzards, levant sparrowhawks, sparrowhawks, kestrels and peregines. The nocturnal predators include eagle owls, tawny owls, barn owls and little owls. Other birds of the area are woodcocks, quails, woodpigeons, cuckoos, nightjars, swifts, alpine swifts, bee-eaters, green woodpeckers, skylarks, crested larks, woodlarks, red-rumped swallows, wrens, dunnocks, robins, nightingales, northern wheatears, song thrushes, mistle thrushes, fieldfares, blackbirds, ring ouzels, orphean warblers, whitethroats, lesser whitethroats, subalpine warblers, wood warblers, firecrests, spotted flycatchers, pied flycatchers, semicollared flycatchers, coal tits, long-tailed tits, treecreepers, red-backed shrikes, jays, ravens, golden orioles, chaffinches, serins, siskins, hawfinches, cirl buntings, rock buntings and corn buntings.

The waterfalls are an excellent habitat to observe various small animals, such as amphibians, reptiles and insects. Amphibians present here are toads, green toads, yellow-bellied toads, balkan frogs and greek frogs. Herpetofauna includes Hermann’s tortoises, marginated tortoises, greek slow worms, glass lizards, balkan green lizards, common green lizards, common wall lizards, snake-eyed skinks, four-lined snakes, balkan whip snakes, levant montpellier snakes, grass snakes, dice snakes, leopard snakes and nose-horned vipers. The mammals are represented by species like foxes, pine martens, wesels, badgers, eastern hedgehogs, hares, edible dormouses, common moles and various bats. The terrestrial crab of the species Potamon fluviatile is rather abundant here.

Πως θα πάτε

Drymona is locates about 170 km from Athens. After Chalkis you head north towards North Evia. The waterfalls lie 4 km after the monastery of Saint David, next to the road that starts from Rovies and goes to Kerasia and Papades.

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(Latitude: 38.8719372928811, Longitude:23.29405960528561)

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