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Oeti National Park

“The National Park of Oeti occupies the highest peaks of Mount Oeti with the exception of the highest peak (Pyrgos, 2,152 m). The prevalent rock is limestone. This is the reason why the park and the mountain in general, is interspersed with karstic formations of a great aesthetic interest. The most famous cave is the Anemotripas which lies above the village of Ypatis on the northwest end of the park. In the center of the park there is a small alpine valley with mossy vegetation of interest and a seasonally formed lake. 

Prevalent to the vegetation of the park is the forest of endemic and kefalonian fir (Abies cephalonica). Another two natural habitats can be found at Oeti: The plant communities of Trifolium parnassi and “Hyper-Mediterranean wet valleys”. At lower altitudes the fir tree forest gives way to oak tree forests and maquis vegetation where arborescent holm-oak is prevalent. In the upper forest zone the vegetation is typical of the alpine ecosystem of Central Greece. A small area of clusters of Pinus nigra ssp. pallasiana is found in the northeast of the park.

The National Park of Oeti is considered to be one of the most successful (from an ecological and conservational point of view) parks in the country. It was founded in 1966 with the purpose of conserving the unique flora and wildlife of the mountain. At least 50 Greek endemic plant species grow inside the boundaries of the present area, 8 of which are protected by Greek legislation. 

Moreover, another 40 endemic species of the Balkans can be found at Oeti. Of great ecological importance is a small plateau at the site of Livadies where three types of grasslands are present with an amazing variety of plants and insects. The existence of a seasonal marsh, in the middle of the plateau, provides an ecological niche for species which in other circumstances would not be endemic to a typical mountainous natural habitat. 

Finally, of great ecological value is a limited area of clusters of black pine trees. Its importance lies in its high level of isolation from the extensive black pine tree forests of northern (Pindos, Olympus) and southern (Taygetos, Helmos) Greece. 

The caves of the mountain are of scientific interest, particularly that of Anemotripas. Mount Oeti is connected to many aspects of Greek history and mythology. In the wider area of the mountain many battles took place during the Greek Revolution (1821-1827) and during the resistance against Nazism (1941-1944). During the Byzantine Age the community of Ypatis experienced great economic prosperity (the famous monastery of Agathonos was built during this period). 

Also, according to Pausanias, there was at the peak of the mountain, during Classical times, a sanctuary dedicated to the half-god Hercules. At the monastery of Agathonos, a small museum is in operation today which exhibits the wildlife and nature of the mountain and in particular the park.

Area: 7210 hectares

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