Crete's Zakros Gorge
Above the village of the same name, in eastern Crete, the stream that runs through this gorge comes from a valley with springs and old plane trees, below which grows a species of broomrape. An endemic valerian, turban buttercup, endemic Jerusalem sage, an endemic yellow-flowered scorpion grass, and an endeimic bellflower are among the flowers growing here.
There are rocky areas and garrigue in the upper, open part of the gorge below Zakros, with pink Cretan cistus, a winter flowering heather, turban buttercups, a shrubby St. John's wort, and many orchideds. Specialized plants grow in the narrower part of the gorge, include endemic Dutchman's pipes, wild oleander, a Cretan borage relative, hoary stock, and many others. Green toads and snakes are found in the lower part of the river as well as some water snakes. Birdlife is good here with breeding birds that include rock thrush, raven, kestrel, griffon vulture, crag martin, rock and turtle dove, and others. Other birds include honey buzzards, purple and grey herons, lesser kestrels, hoopoe, scops owls, little egret, with yet other birds in the wet area by the river mouth, especially in late winter. Butterflies are plentiful here. A good path linked with the road make access easy and various routes possible.
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