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Mountains
Sounion National Park
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Sounion National Park was established in 1974 and it is located at the southernmost part of Attica. Nature in conjunction with the mines of Laurion compose a spectacular scenery with great historical and geological interest.

 

Geography

The National Park of Sounion  is located  at the southern tip of Lavreotiki peninsula occupying an area of ​​nearly 7,500 acres. It is a hilly region bounded by the villages of Saint Gerasimos at the North and Legrena at the West  while in the south and east ends to the Aegean Sea.

The geomorphology of the area is characterized by scattered caves and karst voids where plant and animal fossils were identified.

 

Laurion mines

Laurion mines occupy an area of ​​approximately 120 square kilometers and they are connected with the development of the ancient Greek civilization. The exploitation of the mines carried out in 2 periods. The first period begins around 1500 BC and ends the 2nd century AD while the second period begins in 1864 and ends in 1989. The mining reached its peak in the 5th century BC

The geological structure of the area consists mainly of marble and schist. The ore lies within the marbles in various contacts between schists and marbles. The mineralization is distinguished in ironmanganese (ankerite, rodochrositis, barite and fluorite) and mixed sulphides (sphalerite, pyrite, galena).

More than 350 different minerals were identified in the region. In many places of the Park are preserved mining tunnels, ancient wells and metallurgical laboratories composing a unique Geotopes. In the Mineralogical Museum of Lavrion are exposed more than five hundred minerals and rocks.

 

Ecology

The ecosystem of the area is poor showing limited interest. Specifically, in the National Park of Sounion grow Aleppo pine forests, cypress stands and shrubby vegetation. Also, the flora of the park includes native plants like the centaur of Laureotiki, Dianthos prionofyllo etc.

The fauna of the National Park shows similar characteristics. The poor biodiversity consists of hares, badgers, foxes, snakes, lizards etc. The avifauna is clearly stronger hosting more than 250 species. Some of them are hawks, grouse, owls, etc.

 

Activities

The area is a tourist attraction for the inhabitants of the plain of Athens because of its beaches and the Holy Temple of Poseidon on the south end of the park. The National Park is ideal for archaeological - geological  sightseeing.