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Rare Plants and Animals of Crete: Apart from its many historic sights and tourist attractions, Crete provides also various activities such as diving and trekking, bringing a new natural side to its visitors. Giving visitors a chance to get lost in its natural beauty, Crete has an abundance of exotic plants and animals, wild forests, deep ravines, rare plants, and flowers.
Chania itself has eight zones, coastal, sub-mountainous, mountainous, wetlands, alpine, sub-alpine, gorges and ravines. With breathtaking flora and fauna, this region is a delight for visitors who love nature. Many of these zones have been classified as protected or have been converted into wildlife sanctuaries, such as Samaria Gorge.
Some of the more interesting plants are the lily of the sea, whose symbol was used extensively for decorative purposes by the Minoans and also the violet of the sea, both of which grow in the coastal regions. Sea turtles, a very magnificent species, are also found in the coastal regions.
Some other exotic plants are the Cretan ebony tree also known as ploumi, citrus trees, the classic olive trees and of course wildflowers. Surviving in this habitat are animals such as the Cretan wild rat, badgers, marten, weasels, hares and the hedgehog. The different zones see their own variety of flora and fauna, which includes the cyclamen, prinos, and aspalathos in the semi-mountainous zone and Acer and the Cretan tulip among chestnut trees and cypress trees, in the mountainous zone.
Animals generally found at this level are the Cretan wild goat also known as kri-kri, agathopontikas, the wild cat or also fourokatos, including birds such as the golden eagle and the rare bearded vulture.
Another specialty of the region is the world famous herbs, the most famous one being dittany, also known as eronda. Spring is like heaven here as all the wildflowers bloom, and the countryside is refreshingly beautiful and the animals move with a spring in their steps. Exploring the natural beauty of the Chania region is a truly wonderful experience, which should not be missed by anyone.