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Alonnisos Marine Park
The Alonnisos National Marine Park is the first to open in Greece and the largest in Europe and the Mediterranean, which hosts 250 Mediterranean monk seals monachus monachus, a species that is extinct from the western Mediterranean and other rare species of flora and fauna such as the agrielia(wild olive tree), thamnokiparisso(low growing cypress tree), Poseidonís seaweed, the Giouros wild goat, mavropetritis hawk, and aigoglaros (a type of seagull). The Marine Park is located in an area of 2,200 sq km, north of Alonnisos and includes the uninhabited islands and islets of Peristera, Dio Adelfoi, Kira Panagia, Pappous, Skantoura, Gioura, Psathoura and Piperi. The importance of the area is great and in 1992 was officially recognized as the National Marine Park. The Park, which is inspected by the Coastal Guard Authorities, is open to visitors. Abiding by the regulations, which allow reaching islands from specific distances, respect towards the animals and keeping clean, the visitors can enjoy this unique place of beauty and of special importance.

The National Marine Park of Alonnisos was founded by Presidential Decree on 28 May 1992 and is the first to be founded in Greece. It is located in Eastern Central Greece, in the region of the North Sporades Islands. The Sporades administratively belong to the district of Skopelos in the Prefecture of Magnesia.

Alonnisos is the largest island in the Park. The highest level of local government within the Park is the County Council of Alonnisos. The Park also encompasses six smaller islands (Peristera, Kyra Panagia, Gioura, Skantzoura, and Piperi) and 22 uninhabited islands and rocky outcrops.

GEOLOGY: Limestone rock dominated the area. Its main characteristics are the steep rocky slopes which run down to the sea and the caves, which are an important part of the habitat of the monk seal. Different types of soil are encountered.

CLIMATE: Mediterranean, with a wet winter and dry summer. The average annual temperature is 17? C and the average rainfall is about 515mm

SPECIAL CONDITIONS: The geographic isolation of the area, its morphology, the limited degree of human interference and the excellent condition of the natural environment make the land and sea areas of the Park an ideal habitat for many threatened species of plants and animals.

Permitted activities

Zone A (1587 Km≤)

In areas where approaching is permitted, swimming, observation of the sea bed, amateur photography and filming are allowed. There are specific restrictions on amateur fishing. Hunting is strictly forbidden in the entire Zone A except for the island of Gioura, where it is allowed only if special permission is granted. Approach to certain islands in the zone requires special permission from the responsible authority.

Zone B (678 Km≤)

The entire area of ZONE B is open to visits and there are no specific restrictions, with the exception of free camping and the lighting of fires. Swimming and walkingare amongst the simplest and most interesting ways of coming in contact with the natural environment. In addition, amateur fishing is allowed according to the rules laid down in the Fisheries Code.

There are communities in Zone B, the largest being Patitiri, Palia Alonnisos, Votsi and Steni Vala.