Villa Christina

Walking/hiking

If you enjoy walking there are some nice walks through the olive groves around the village or you can go up into the mountains to Mt. Othrys for really spectacular scenery and longer hikes. There are beautiful mountain torrents and fantastic wildlife - many species of birds as well as larger animals such as wild boar!  If you are driving to Greece do bring your mountain bike up here for some real adventure.

On Mt. Othrys you will find some typical mountain villages such as Vrynaina which is renouned for its delicious spring water and Anavra which is an unusual stock raising community with a long history of self-sufficiency.  In recent years it has kept up this tradition by building a wind park to generate its own electricity.  It also has a delightful ecological park covering somne 2000 acres where you can experience the beauty of the area and see some traditional watermills, bridges etc and also find playgrounds for the amusement of the younger visitors. Their website also gives you a good idea of the diverse flora and fauna of the Othrys area.

According to mythology Mt. Othrys was the base of the Titans during their ten year war with the Olympian Gods known as the Titanomachy.



Birdwatching

If you enjoy birdwatching you will not be disappointed in Amaliapolis and the surrounding area!
From the coastal road between Amaliapolis and Sourpi you will see a natural wetland with many birds. This autumn a large flock of about 100 migrating flamingo stopped here en route to their winter home. Storks also nest each year on the church of Agia Triada just north of Sourpi.

In addition the mountainous area of Mt. Othrys on the other side of the motorway from Sourpi is part of the NATURA 2000 ecological network of protected sites (a Birds Directive Site SPA) where there are up to 87 protected species with breeding raptors, forest and upland species.
 

A little further away, north of Volos, is the area of Lake Karla.  This lake was drained in 1962 to create agricultural land but now there is a huge environmental project to recreate at least part of the lake with EU funding. This site is considered to be a site of great importance for migratory and overwintering waterbirds and foraging raptors.