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#About Crete's Deep Canyon

Samaria is a narrow, deep canyon that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The canyon, located at the southwest area of the island, is a particularly impressive national park, considered one of the most beautiful in Europe.

There are a number of trails at different levels of difficulty. Generally, the duration of walking in the canyon is about 6 hours on average. The ground is rocky, and in spring and fall there are beautiful flowers and walking here is great fun.

Incidentally, the Greeks claim that the canyon is the deepest in Europe. This is a debate, of course, as well as the claim that the 16-kilometer canyon makes it the longest canyon in Europe.

The channel begins in the White Mountain region, at the edge of the Umlus Plateau. The walk for the first 6 kilometers is in a wide channel, followed by the abandoned village of Samaria. From there the narrow section of the canyon begins. Here follows a section that separates only 3.5 meters between the cliffs that rise to a height of 300 meters. After a long walk in the canyon one arrives at the Iron Gates, a place where there are no gates and no locks, making it difficult to understand where the name originated… From this point, the canyon opens up to a wide valley where the remains of the ancient village Agia Roumeli and the beach are located. The trail ends after an additional two kilometers.


Get an early start in the morning to complete the route. Later, the canyon gets crowded.

Those who do not arrive on an organized trip must travel to Umlus, an hours drive, a bus is available three times a day from Chania.

Do not forget to take good walking shoes, water, a sleeping bag, a hat, and food. Some also need warm clothes.

The mountains are covered with thick snow from November to May.

The trip to the canyon is permitted during the months of May to October, though it is chiefly recommended during the spring months - it can get quite crowded in the summer. The bonus is a wonderful flowering of wildflowers.

By the way, during the spring for floods- these can cause sudden danger in the canyons in Crete.

Sleeping in the canyon is forbidden.

A Trip in the Canyon:


A Closer Look:


Another Look:

Lake Kournas
Lake Kournas
#About the Lake in the Valley

Halfway between Rethymno and Chania, a few kilometers from the town of Georgioupolis, lies Lake Kournas, known as the Hidden Lake. It is a small lake, with clear, sweet water enclosed by hills and the high mountains.

This picturesque lake is a perfect place for a picnic and one of the most pastoral in the island. On its shore are some successful taverns with local food and ducks that can even be fed. It is the only lake in Crete surrounded by mountains.

It is a relatively isolated, hidden lake, located 60 kilometers from the city of Rethymno in a closed valley. This is a great place to spend a few hours of rest, swimming, sailing and good Greek food.

The entertainment here is reminiscent of the past. One can take a swim in the clear water, sunbathe or take an hour's walk around the lake. If you like, you can rent a pedal boat and go sailing on the lake.

A Closer Look at Lake Kournas:


An Aerial View:


A Family Video:

Lasithi Plateau
Lasithi Plateau
#About Crete's agricultural and magical landscape

Lasithi Plateau, or the Lasithi Valley, is a beautiful region and one of the top tourist destinations for visitors. This plateau is famous for its dozens of windmills that are spread around. These are water pumps with wings, which granted the valley its name and ruins of more than 10,000 mills that were used for watering the fields.

Lasithi is an incredibly fertile green agricultural valley, with a carpet of densely cultivated fields. The real beauty happens in spring, when the flower rugs cover the valley and surround the snowy peaks of the high Dikti Mountains.

At the Dikti Mountains around the valley there are historical sites, like the Dikti cave, where according to Greek mythology, Zeus was born.

The Plateau has a few towns that have maintained their traditional lifestyles more or less. Some have ancient treasures, such as the village of Kera, which has a church from the Byzantine period, covered in frescoes from the 11th century.

The area is known for its Venetian windmills that have survived since the 15th century. Today only a few remain, maintain their classical look, with wings and white clothes that remind visitors of the romantic past.

These mills were used to pump water from under the ground, to water the fields and to grind wheat.

Every season here has its own charm. During fall the trees crouch from the burden of apples and ripe pears. During the spectacular spring bloom, the fields are green and full of blossoms.

A Closer Look at the Lasithi Plateau:

Lefka Ori
Lefka Ori
#About Crete's White Mountains

Lefka Ori, meaning "white mountains," are a mountain range with 50 peaks whose height is over 2,000 meters. The tallest peak in this mountain range reaches 2,453 meters.

The mountain tops are snow covered during the winter, while during the spring and summer month many visitors come here for a popular 4 day trek, that ends with a walk through the Samarian Gorge on the way to the ocean. While climbing the "white mountains," as they are called in Greek, you will encounter villages of shepherds, mountain views and wooded landscapes.

The mountain range is the tallest in Crete, and is located in the easatern region of Chania, between the Samarian and Imbros Channels. The Lefka Ori is nicknamed "Crete's terrace." At their highest, the peaks reach over 2,400 meters. This is a hot area, wild and devoid of humans, that in winter is covered in a layer of snow, adding to the silence of the region.

The mountain's history is important. Here rebels fled to and hid during a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire, hiding in caves and gullies in the mountains, while the Turkish soldiers pillaged and raided the villages bellow. That was not the first time these caves were used as a hiding place for the people of Crete, who have been occupied by many nations in its history. In the past locals hid here from the Venetians, who ruled the island in the 16th century. During the 20th century locals hid here again from the Nazi occupiers controlled the island during World War II.


In the town and village you can arrange jeep trips around the mountains and hikes as well.

Hiking lovers can join hikes that are about a week long, a hike that leaves Chania in the North and crosses the white mountains until the Southern city of Sfakia.

A Closer Look at Lefka Ori:


How the Mountains Look in Winter:



#About the Plant Nursery that Became a Popular Restaurant in the City

The Palms House (Palmenhaus), located in the center of Vienna near the new Albertina Museum, was built in 1901. Originally it served as a greenhouse for tropical plants and a place to grow butterflies for the Royal Palace. The place was not always flourishing and visited, and for many years it was called "Sleeping Beauty" because the place was neglected and was hard to rise. Only in 1998 began the massive renovation of the greenhouse, which lasted three years.

And it worked. The metal and glass structure quickly became a hot brasserie restaurant, the Palmhouse. It became a hit among tourists and locals. Palm trees and tropical plants are growing throughout the greenhouse, but the heat and humidity of the greenhouse can be tolerated thanks to the air conditioning. They became an integral part of the decor of the cafe and the restaurant, which were built inside the greenhouse and not outside, alongside it.

The restaurant is open for most of the day, but it will be very difficult to get an available table. On rainy days you can watch no less than 250 people huddled under the glass ceiling of the greenhouse. The Palmhouse has become one of Vienna's most popular and lively restaurants and if you can book a place, it will provide you with a few perfect resting hours, especially on the rainy and cold days of winter Vienna. Take a coat!


On Thursdays they play live music, usually jazz ensembles. Enjoy!

A Closer Look:

Agios Pavlos
Agios Pavlos
#About the Small Village with Amazing View to the Sea

On the southern side of Crete is Agios Pavlos, a traditional village with spectacular panoramic views of the Gulf of Márra.

The village, which is located on the beach, has huge sand dunes and many people enjoy spending time playing in the sand and running down from the top of the dunes to the sea. It is a delight for children and parents with a young spirit. This is a great attraction in addition to the excellent beach itself.

A Closer Look at the Village and Beach of Agios Pavlos:


The View and Beach from the Village:


A View from Above:

#About the Waterfall on the Pleasant Preveli Beach

The estuary at the Preveli Canyon, also known as palgrove, is where the river flows into the sea. It is a sandy bay at the mouth of the Kourtaliotis channel, which creates, along with the spring, a delta that flows into the sea.

Not far from the beach are palm trees and oleander, along with the waterfalls, freshwater pools and palm groves, creating a beach that resembles a tropical lagoon. This experience is enhanced by the clear waters of Preveli Beach.

History buffs may find the Moni Monastery an interesting attraction. Located two kilometers away from Preveli, its proximity to the seashore and relative isolation contributed to the fact that this monastery was used by the inhabitants of Crete who rebelled against the Turks. However the rebellion against the Ottomans failed and they suffered many losses at the hands of the Turks, until they were defeated.

Either way, the beach is very pleasant and beautiful and over the years it became the "poster" of Crete- one of the most photographed parts of the island to depict this magical place.

Keep in mind that the beach may be full of people, especially during tourist season.

There is a scuba diving center with diving activities for different levels.

A Closer Look at Preveli Canyon:


The Town and the Beach:

Lake Atanasovsko
#About the Salt Lake Connected to the Black Sea

On the Nessebar - Varna road leading from Burgas, lies Lake Atanasovsko (Atanasovsko Ezero) north of Burgas. It is a lake connected to the sea and its salty waters.

Part of the lake is a nature reserve accessible to visitors. During the transitional seasons and especially in the fall, it is a preferred destination for migratory birds, making it a desired destination for birdwatchers and bird lovers from all of Europe.

The hordes of birds here come to the Burgas lakes, including this lake, because they are on the Via Pontica, one of the two largest bird migration routes in Europe. In fact, over 70% of the birds that pass through Bulgaria during the autumn migration are observed here.

Because its northern side connects to the Black Sea, Lake Atanasovsko is a salt lake. As in many salty lake in the world, the salinity of the water, which is between 20-27.5% here, makes the lake an excellent source in Bulgaria for the production of salt. Thus, the vegetation at Lake Atanasovsko is salty and exists in salt water.

A Closer Look:


The Poda Nature Preserve
Poda Nature Preserve
#About the Center for the Preservation of the Four Lakes

About 8 kilometers south of Burgas, the Poda Nature Preserve was established in 1998 to protect the bird habitat in the area.

It is a center for conservation of Bulgaria's largest swamp region and the four lakes near the bustling resort towns of Mandrensko, Burgasko, Atanasovsko and Pomoriysko.

In this lakes land birds on their long journey, every fall, to Africa. The area itself is home to about 260 species of birds, almost 70% of all species in Bulgaria as a whole.

The marshes and lakes surrounding Burgas constitute a stopping point for masses of birds passing by the city, which is on the migration route. This permanent route, called Via Pontica, is one of the main migratory routes of the migrating birds for winter and summer, back and forth, between northern Europe and Central Africa.

In the center of Poda you will find observation points that make great observations for professional birds watchers. In fact, the conservation center offers visitors an opportunity to identify rare and endangered birds and raise awareness of their conditions.

The center also offers tours of the lakes, as well as a variety of hiking trails in the reserve.

A Closer Look:

Jardins de Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer
#About the Gardens with the Quarry

With a variety of interesting colors, the Jardins de Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer is one of the most beautiful places in Barcelona. The garden spreads across 4,300 square meters. There is an incredible combination of plants, among them bulbs, root plants and water plants.

The garden is located on Montjuïc Hill, in the area that in the past was a quarry, near the Castell de Montjuïc.

The park is one of three parks dedicated to the Catalonian poets. It was dedicated to Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer, who wrote on in one of his songs a beautiful line, that translate means more or less, "the rose is beautiful, more beautiful is the bouquet, more beautiful the lilies, that bloom each year."

Jardins de Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer was planned by Joaquim Maria Casamor, who was an architect in the Department of Parks and Gardens in Barcelona. The park was opened in June 1970 by the designer himself and the mayor of Barcelona back then.

A Closer Look at the Gardens:

American Museum of Natural History
#About the Natural History Museum of New York

One of the most important museums in the United States is the American Museum of Natural History. It is located in Central Park West Ave in Manhattan. The museum was established in 1869, originally located in the arsenal building, until moving to its current location in 1974. The museum includes 25 buildings where there are permanent and temporary exhibits. For its massive size, the museum holds up to 30 million items on display.

The museum is famous mainly for its Dioramas (3D models), the displayed stuffed animals in their natural habitat: animals from Asia, Africa, and North America. Near these displays are also displays of fossils, meteor remains, diamonds and minerals. In the Ocean Hall there is a life-size model of a blue whale. In the permanent exhibits there is a space exhibit, science and historical fossils, and among these dinosaur skeletons.

There is a Planetarium in the museum showing a three-dimensional view of space, with a spectacular audio-visual display and show about the universe.

The museum is a classic children's museum, however, adults will also find a lot to be fascinated with here. The museum has over 1,200 workers and managers and conducts about 100 researches every year.

Entrance fees to the museum are on a donation base only, but it is common to leave 5 dollars at least.

A Closer Look:

Hong Kong Trail
#About the Hiking Path with the Day Trip Over Hong Kong

If you have a free day for a little walking and views, the Hong Kong Trail offers a wonderful day hike. You can enjoy the wonderful views around, different from over hikes thanks to the wonderful combination of nature and city that is all around.

It is charming to walk right along the city's edge, so busy, without even feeling it. You walk through peaceful greenery when right next to you are views of skyscrapers, planes landing and taking off, and boats sailing in the big bay. The trail begins at Victora Peak and winds around the mountain. The length of the hike is 50 kilometers. It is considered easy walking and divides into 8 sections. At the end each of the 8 sections you will be at a place that is near a bus stop, so you can stop the trail if you would like, and catch a ride back into town.


Want more hikes around the area?

Lantau Trail, about 70 kilometers long, is a hike to Lantau Island, with few residents, and is known for its amazing hikes.

Wilson Trail, about 78 kilometers long, a hike heading from south to north, to Hong Kong Island, and begins in Hong Kong city.

A Closer Look at the Best Hikes in Hong Kong:


Lantau Trail


A Visit:

Schönbrunn Zoo
#About the Oldest Zoo in the World

The Viennese Schönbrunn Zoo (Tiergarten Schönbrunn), the world's oldest open-air zoo, is now considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, mainly because it is actually part of the Schönbrunn Palace complex.

This zoo was founded in 1752 and was originally the petting zoo for one of Austria's empires, from the Leopold dynasty.

Today, the zoo is an educational center where studies and various projects related to nature are conducted. People here are full of zoological knowledge, contributing to a variety of conservation projects.

Here you will find about 500 species of animals in this zoo. What is special about the Schönbrunn Zoo is that all the animals here are held in conditions that are as similar as possible to those in nature - that makes this zoo a major attraction among travelers from around the world and from Vienna.

A Closer Look:


During the Winter:

Danube-Auen National Park
#About Austria’s Huge Natural Park

Donau-Auen National Park (Nationalpark Donau-Auen) includes a huge swamp area, part of which is in Vienna, and the other part in Lower Austria. The park is one of the largest flood plains in the Central European Danube and is 93 square kilometers.

In Donau-Auen National Park you can discover rich vegetation and its animals. Zoologists estimate that there are more than 30 species of mammals, more than 700 species of plants, about 100 species of birds, 8 species of reptiles, 13 species of amphibians and 50 species of fish.

The park's name means the Danube swamps, after its large natural swamp. Its diverse landscapes include a variety of nature, trees, forests and flowers, along with a variety of animals of all kinds.

A Closer Look:

Amsterdam Tulip Museum
#About the Museum

It is not just a special museum for tulip flowers in Amsterdam. Each year, at the beginning of spring, the countryside of the Netherlands is painted with vibrant colors of tulips. The Tulip Museum in Amsterdam is dedicated to this colorful and charming flower. It presents the history of the Tulips in the Netherlands and explains the economic power it had in the 17th century in the Netherlands.

The museum is not very large and its size reaches 2,200 square meters, but you can find a lot of knowledge, including how the flower bulbs were used as food during the wars, the roots of the Tulip flower in Turkey and even the techniques of breeding and reproduction, a theater and a small shop where you can buy souvenirs for yourself.

#The Colorful Madness

When tulips arrived in Holland at the end of the 16th century, they became especially popular among the upper classes. This period was the golden age of Holland in the early 17th century, during which the trade in these flowers increased significantly.

The first documented flowering of the tulips was in 1594, in the Botanical Garden of Hortus. Due to the Dutch economic downturn in the first half of the 17th century, competition began between the tulip towers - who will have the most beautiful tulip. People were willing to pay extra money for the flowers. Slowly the flowers became expensive and the annual income in the Netherlands rose at the same time. At the height of the tulip craze, in 1637, the price of flowers was more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman.

The noise around the flowers began to rise and a great deal of madness began to surround the subject. It was a real economic bubble because people began to sell land, houses and valuables to invest in tulips, until the market collapsed and people lost a fortune.

A Closer Look at the Museum:

WWT London Wetland Centre
#About the Centre

You can find refuge from the bustle and noise of the city at the centre of endangered birds. The site is comprised of four Victorian reservoirs packed into one of the rings of the Thames.

The center was first opened in 2000, and in 2002 an area of ​​30 hectares was designated as a special scientific center.

The centre covers more than 300,000 square meters of land that has been converted into a wide variety of salty and habitats. It was the first urban project of its kind in the UK.

Many wild birds which made their home in the centre, and cannot be found anywhere else in London. These include the Eurasian bittern, northern pintail, northern lapwing, water rail, rose-ringed parakeet, Eurasian sparrowhawk, sand martin, common kingfisher, little grebe and great crested grebe.

The centre hosts regular lectures and events related to the preservation of the animals in Britain, and named one of the “Seven Wonders of nature" in 2005 by the BBC’s edition on wonders of nature.

There is also a large visitors’ building that is used as a wedding venue.

A Closer Look at the Centre:

Ballos Lagoon
#About Crete's Magical Turquoise Lagoon

Many see Ballos Beach in Crete as one of the most beautiful beach in Greece, and even in the world. With the vibrant Ballos Lagoon, and the turquoise, shallow, and warm waters, this is without a doubt the most impressive beach in Crete.

The beach is like a Caribbean dream in the Mediterranean. It's possible to swim in these waters, tan in the warm sun, run for hours on the beach, or just walk in the water for hundreds of miles from the beach - to the small island not far from shore.

Ballos Beach is located north west of Crete, near the resort town of Kissamos. Nature lovers enjoy this beach thanks to the separation from civilization, even though that beach can get pretty crowded. Many like the visual look of the beach, and others like the wonderful selfies that can be taken here. Whatever makes you love this beach, this is a great lagoon for a nice vacation. If you come here - you will not regret it!

Bring Sea sandals, since there are sea urchins here.

In the tourist filled summers, try coming here during the middle of the week, and not in the morning hours.

The beach is a little far from the road. For walking down the sand dunes - bring appropriate footwear.

Bring food and drinks because there are no stalls or eateries here. A snorkel will also be handy at this beach.

A Closer Look:


A Visit:


Lake Mandrensko
#About the Lake that Birds and Rivers Flow To

The beautiful Lake Mandrensko (Mandrensko Ezero), west of the city, is filled by 4 different rivers. Until 1934 this was a saltwater lake. Later, governments built dams, and the lake was preserved. Today it is not salt water, but fresh water.

On the lake is a stand for bird watching. The route for their migration is the Via Pontica, the name of the migration route, one of the two largest from Europe to Africa, and back.

On the side of the lake a special lookout has been created that provides comfortable bird watching, and many come here during the migration season.

Near Lake Mandrensko is a preservation center called Poda, from where you will be able to go sailing on the lake, and watch fish and birds. The center also organizes tours on the lake.

A Closer Look:

Botanical Gardens of Berlin
#About Berlin’s Green Gardens

The Botanical Gardens of Berlin is large in size, green and full of colors. It reaches up to 430 hectares, and contains about 22,000 different plants. It is considered one of the largest and most well-known gardens in the world. The big grassy lawns, the colorful flower beds, the waterfalls and the plants that surround them - all this makes anyone understand exactly why these gardens are considered one of the world's leading ones.

Here you will find a variety of about 22,000 different plants - from small grasses to giant bamboos. The garden is divided according to areas and walking along its paths one can be move between the Far East, to Europe, and to the Middle East.

In the open areas of the garden tourists will see a huge rose garden filled with a variety of species: from large lily burgundy roses to small roses in a variety of colors. Trees are also abundant here, including conifers.

#What There to See at the Botanical Gardens

In the botanical gardens you will see several greenhouses with tropical vegetation, where there are orchids and fern rock, climbing plants, banana trees, trees with heavy fruits, and a variety of interesting and tropical plants. In one of the greenhouses, one of the largest in the world, you will see a large glass house.

Near the tropical forest greenhouse, you can see and visit the driest pavilion (unlike the humid greenhouse) - the cactus house. Here you can observe different species of cacti growing in different deserts around the world like America and Australia. The shapes, colors and lengths are interesting and worth seeing.

Next to the botanical garden, is a huge garden has been planted for touching and sniffing, made for people with visual impairments. Something else located in the gardens is a botanical museum, specializing in the morphological structures of plants and seeds.

A Closer Look:

Lake Burgas
#About the Largest Natural Lake in Bulgaria

Lake Burgas, also known as Lake Vaya, is the largest natural lake in Bulgaria and the largest of the beautiful lakes around Burgas.

This is a real pearl of nature. On the lakeside you can take a pleasant walk, which is a good reason to stop the suntan for a few hours and go walking.

The waters of the lake, west of the city of Burgas, are not clean enough to swim, but in the beautiful lake you can watch the birds and enjoy the natural and peaceful beauty here. There are plenty of carp here and fishing is a popular sport. The clean water reaches the lake by 3 rivers, but the evaporation here is high and the water salinity is high.

Like all the lakes in the region, Lake Burgas is also located on the Via Pontica, one of the two largest bird migration routes in Europe. In fact, up in the sky, over Lake Burgas, you can watch more than 250 species of birds and water birds, the most prominent of which are hundreds and thousands of white storks and pelicans.


Fishing lovers will not miss the special experience of fishing in the lake.

A Closer Look:


Nature in the Lake:

#About the Natural Mountain Park

Hidden in the southwest corner of Europe, Strandzha Natural Park (Strandja) is about an hour drive from Burgas, a nature preserve barely populated, far away from big cities.

This natural park has the Standzha Mountain Range in the middle, full of green forests, with wonderful views. The location of the park is in the south-eastern corner of Bulgaria, near the Black Sea beaches. It spreads across and into Turkey.

The park with the Standzha Mountains is the peek of the enchanting forest. Thousands of beech trees, and endless bushes surrounding the rich greenery make this park green and relaxing, a place to connect with nature. With the breathtaking views and the many butterflies, birds, reptiles and wildflowers, the natural park is varied and spreads wide, it is one of the best places in Eastern Europe to watch wild animals.

In addition to the lush nature, the local culture is no less interesting, in the local villages cultures developed over hundreds of years, like curious wooded architecture that can be seen in the ancient wooden houses that were built in the secluded villages.


You can easily get here in a rented car or on an organized daily tour from the hotel.

A Closer Look:

Botanical Garden of Barcelona
Kurpark Oberlaa
Keukenhof Gardens
Great War Island
Natural History Museum

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

אלפי נושאים, תמונות וסרטונים, מפתיעים, מסקרנים וממוקדים.

ניתן לנווט בין הפריטים במגע, בעכבר, בגלגלת, או במקשי המקלדת

בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
נשמח לראות משהו מכם בספר האורחים שלנו: איזו מילה טובה, חוות דעת, עצה חכמה לשיפור או כל מה שיש לכם לספר לנו על אאוריקה, כפי שאתם חווים אותה.