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Agrotourism and ecotourism in Greece: proposals and activities

In recent years there has been a worldwide shift towards various forms of alternative tourism. Ecotourism, sports, healing, ski, educational, archaeological, congress, historical, ecological are some of its forms.

Greece, with its unparalleled natural environment and traditional structures, is the world’s leading player in sustainable development. Mountain landscapes alternate with flat “hugs” creating a natural scenery of incredible beauty, ideal for alternative wanderings, where you will feel all the power of the earth and the value of life.

Ecotourism aims at respecting the natural environment through the enforcement of protection status and the financial support of the local community through the development of tourism activities. For visitors, ecotourism offers fun through the organization of recreational activities and contributes to the development of their environmental awareness through environmental awareness and environmental education programs.

The wildlife, fauna and flora of the Greek area are protected by international and national organizations. About 50,000 species live in the Greek territory, a wealth of wildlife unique in the European area due to the intense relief that creates different ecosystems. Numerous caves, which exceed 10,000, are separate biotopes, each with different biodiversity. Canyons and ravines, ancient forests, lakes, fertile delta rivers, unspoilt mountains create countless cradles of life.

Around 700 species of animals and more than 900 species of plants in Greece are protected because of their scarcity and the critical role they play in the natural environment.

Agrotourism is an alternative form of tourism that develops in non-urban space and concerns reception and hospitality activities. Carried out by entrepreneurial farmers, with the aim both of learning rural activities for visitors as well as the strengthening of rural incomes and the local economy, through the exploitation of tourist accommodation and the supply of tourist units with products of local production of agricultural cooperatives.

It is determined by staying on farms or accommodation of a traditional character and small capacity, as well as by a wide variety of recreational activities in the countryside associated with either agricultural / livestock production, local gastronomy and local products and cultural elements of the countryside, or with outdoor activities such as climbing, hiking, mountain biking, etc.

In order for agrotourism not to be limited to mere accommodation, as is the case in most of Greece’s “agrotouristic” destinations, it is necessary to provide opportunities for experiential experiences and to combine with other forms of alternative tourism such as ecotourism and cultural tourism.

Ecotourism is a form of tourism that is associated with various forms of tourist activity in nature (“nature tourism” or “nature tourism”). It is developed in ecologically valuable and mostly statutory environmental protection areas (eg Natura sites) and includes activities that may be of a scientific and educational nature (eg ecosystem observation tourism).

Ecotourism is complemented by some other forms of tourism such as science tourism, walking / hiking and outdoor activities (adventure tourism) that do not necessarily contribute to the protection of the natural environment but include all those activities organized in the natural environment and in part they have an intense element of adventure.

Ecotourism proposals

Rafting in Venetiko, Aliakmon tributary and a lure for climbers and walkers.

Rafting in Venetiko

• Rafting, mountain climbing, environmental education in Grevena and Kastoria.
• Visit to the Lysical Settlement of Dispilio – with ecosystem and landscaped park.
• Entered Ecotourism Village in Axos Rethimnon, Crete

Some activities are:

• Activities related to products and seasons, such as raccolage, wine and oil tasting, cheese, vintage, etc.

Wine tour and tasting

• Cretan diet and diet, presentations of the Cretan dietary standard, cooking courses, sweets, bread, etc.

• Walks in nature on foot, donkeys or mountain bikes.

• Botanical walk – acquaintance with about forty herbs in the area, as well as the rest of the rich Cretan flora.

• Visits to important monuments of nature and people in the area, such as Byzantine churches, antiquities, monasteries, caves etc.

• Familiar with the history, tradition and community of the region.

• Cultural events, exhibitions, concerts.

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