|Biosphere Reserve Information|
This biosphere reserve is situated on the eastern part of the Greece mainland and covers the eastern limestone foothills and the summit of Mount Olympus (2,914 meters above sea level). The landscape comprises maquis and Mediterranean sclerophyll shrublands, beech and oak woodlands, pine (Pinus nigra) forests as well as montane grasslands and alpine areas.
The biosphere reserve is managed as a national park and hence there are no settlements within the area. As almost all areas in the Mediterranean, this area was subject to heavy grazing and timber extraction in the past. Today, local communities use the buffer zone of the biosphere reserve for grazing, hunting, gathering of herbs and wood extraction. However, tourism is the main economic activity in the biosphere reserve. About 120,000 national and 60,000 foreign tourists each year (1999) visit this center of Greek mythology as, according to Homer, the twelve Greek gods have their palaces on Mount Olympus. A visitor center has been set up at the national park entrance. In cooperation with communities outside the biosphere reserve, the Peria Forest Directorate organizes seminars for adults and school classes on environmental issues.
|Major ecosystem type||Evergreen sclerophyllous forests, woodlands or scrub|
|Major habitats & land cover types||Maquis dominated by Quercus ilex and with Arbutus unedo, Phyllaria media and Q. coccifera; coniferous woodland and forest dominated by Pinus nigra pallasiana and with beech (Fagus spp.) and oak (Quercus spp.); meadows; ravines at montane and sub-alpine levels; pine (Pinus heldreichii) woodland; snow-bed meadows dominated by the grass Alopecurus gerardi; grassy moors with solifluction dominated by Sesleria korabensis, Festuca graeca and Carex kitaibeliana; screes; rock crevices|
|Location||40°00' to 40°12'N; 22°27' to 22°43'E|
|Transition area(s) when given|
|Altitude (metres above sea level)||+300 to +2,917|
|Administrative authorities||Forest Directorate of Pieria|
|Last updated: 25/10/1999|