The Psiloritis UNESCO Global Geopark is located in central Crete, very close to the city of Heraklion. The (semi)mountainous area is very rural with some small towns with overall only 52,393 inhabitants.
Psiloritis UNESCO Global Geopark is characterized by its superb geodiversity. This is reflected by a great variety of rocks aging from different geological ages, fascinating caves and deep gorges. The combination of rocks with hundreds of plants and animals, such as wild cats, orchids and tulips which live exclusively in these mountains, explains Psiloritis UNESCO Global Geopark great biodiversity. Both the outstanding scenery and the wonderful climate are embedded in the cultures of all the civilizations that lived there. Shepherds’ houses, called "mitata" are landmarks of Psiloritis Mountains, made from local, platy, dry-stone material. Totally weatherproof and fully adapted to the landscape, they are still used for cheese production. Many antiquities can be found within the Geopark, such as the Minoan settlement of Zominthos (which was a laboratory closely connected to Knossos palace), the Idaion Andro cave (where, according to Greek mythology, Zeus grew up) and the classical city of Eleytherna. Natural History Museum of University of Crete, located at Heraklion is the scientific coordinator of the geopark undertaking many of the educational and training actions of geopark, mostly those related to disaster reduction.
Highlights and Key facts
Rural Heritage Hub
The Rural Heritage Hub is located in the Psiloritis UNESCO Global Geopark and in the Natural History Museum of University of Crete at Heraklion.
The Geopark has several cultural sites, such as Minoan settlements, archaeological caves, museums, monasteries etc., where the impact of past disasters is very obvious. They can be used as case studies and examples for the training.