Mount Parnonas or Malevos is lower than Mt. Taygetos, but equally as charming and lush with pine and fir. Its highest peak, the Great Tourla Kronio, stands tall at 1,934 meters. Beautiful plateaus, gorges of wild beauty and deep valleys create a landscape of unparalleled beauty. The Mt. Parnonas range stretches over 100 km, starting from the plateau of Tegea in the north and ending at Cape Malia.
The Oinountas or Kelefina River on the western slopes flows to the Evrotas River near Sparta.
The forests covering Mt. Parnonas are primarily made up of three species of conifers: the fir (Abies cephalonica), the black pine (Pinus nigra) and the rare Dendrokedro Juniper (Juniperus drupacea), as well as oak trees, plane trees and carob trees. At the border of Arkadia, surrounding the Monastery of Malevi, a large forest of Dendrokedra Junipers has been declared a protected natural monument and is part of the Natura 2000 network.
On Mt. Parnonas, nearly 1,000 species of flora have been recorded, of which the 15 are native to the mountain and unique in all the world, while 11 are rare in Europe (mainly Asian species). Species include the Astragalus agraniotti, the Centaurea athoa Sub sp., the Parnona, the Viola parnonia, the Silene laconic and the Centaurea laconica.
Over 200 species of birds have been recorded, including the tawny owl, the sparrow hawk, the woodpecker, the common buzzard, the blackbird, the mouse hawk and other small birds of prey. Of these species, some are permanent inhabitants of Mt. Parnonas, while others migrate from Africa in the spring or from the north in the winter, whereas others simply stop over during their migrations.
Original Greek Text by “Idiomorfi” Publications