March 29, 2014

1037 GREECE (Crete) - Gorge of Samaria National Park (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, once the center of the Minoan civilization, is mountainous and a land of gorges, the most glamorous being Samariá Gorge, the symbol of the island, which holds a unique and distinguished position in Cretan, Greek and Mediterranean history. Created by a small river running between the White Mountains (Lefká Óri), the largest mountain range of Crete, which dominate the southwest part of the island, and Mount Volakias, it is also identified with the unceasing production of the material and immaterial cultural heritage of Crete through the ages.

The gorge is 16km long, starting at an altitude of 1,250m at the northern entrance, and ending at the shores of the Libyan Sea in Agia Roumeli. The walk through Samaria National Park is 13km long, but one has to walk another 3km to Agia Roumeli from the park exit. The most famous part of the gorge is the stretch known as the Gates, where the sides of the gorge close in to a width of only 4m and soar up to a height of almost 300m (in the postcard). The gorge became a national park in 1962, particularly as a refuge for the rare kri-kri (Cretan goat), which is largely restricted to the park and an island just off the shore of Agia Marina. There are several other endemic species in the gorge and surrounding area, as well as many other species of flowers and birds.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the first set of the series dedicated to the anniversary of 100 years since the independence of Ioannina, about which I wrote here. The second is part of the series Sailing tourism, about which I wrote here.

The third stamps is part of the series Greek Shipping Part 2, issued on September 12, 2012:
• Brig Paron 1821 (0.01 EUR) - it's on the postcard
• Mistiko-Galliot 17th Century (0.15 EUR)
• Corvette 18th Century (0.62 EUR) 
• Ionian-Cretan Galley 16th Century (0.78 EUR)
• Sakoleva 19th Century (2.00 EUR)
• Latinadiko in Shipyard 18th Century (2.40 EUR)

The fourth stamp is part of the set 100 Years from the incorporation of Mount Athos in Greece, about which I wrote here.

Samariá Gorge - Wikipedia
Gorge of Samaria National Park - UNESCO official website

sender: Milda Kriukaite (direct swap)
sent from Piraeus (Piraeus / Greece), on 22.08.2013

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