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Gioura

GIOURA . 2 miles NE of Kya Panagia, we find inaccessible and rocky Gioura, with its wild beauty, a land of exile in the past. In antiquity the island was called Gerontia.

Wild and hostile for people, it is a habitat for rare species of birds and animals.

A few wild goats live on the island, which resemble the Cretan ibex.

Hostile for man, but a welcoming habitat for rare species of animals and birds.

This is where the cave of the Cyclops was found, with rare archaeological findings. This is away from the coast and on the western side.

Before we leave rocky imposing Gioura to go a few mile snorth to the volcanic island of Psathoura, we will mention three islets in the narrow pass between Gioura and Kyra-Panagia. The largest one, Grammeza or Prasso to the south-east, is tall with a rugged coastline. In the middle, the microscopic island of Koubi and next to that to the north-east, the flat and low island of Pappous.

It has an area of just 11 sq. km. and its coasts are rugged and rocky.

Its highest peak is 570 metres and it is mainly covered by holly, maquis shrubland and brushwood.

The holly at some time formed a tall forest, but in 1945 locals began to cut the taller trees to make coal out of the wood.

Many explorers call it the island of the devil, because this island is so rugged, rocky and steep that it inspires awe in the visitor who wants to walk on it.

The rare wild goats totally bond with this environment.

One can reach the island only via a small bay on the south-west side. A steep footpath starts here for the cave of Cyclops and the church of Evangelistria. On the western coast, where there is only one anchorage point, at the spring of

Platania, remains of a temple were found, possibly dedicated to Poseidon