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The forest of Vasiliki

  The forest of Vasiliki is in a natural «fortress» of Taygetos in the west of the Messinia-Lakonia boundary and 6 km south of its highest peak, Prophet Elias. Administratively, it belongs to the municipality of Exochorio and it is controlled by the Forest Inspectorate of Kalamata while it covers an area of 10900 stremmata and it lies at altitudes from 950m to 2000m.
  It has an oval shape and the Stream of Vasiliki or Stream of Vyros flows through it. It passes through Vyros and flows into the Messinian Gulf, close to Kardamyli. The climate of the forest is «continental» with harsh winters and cool summers and the hot days of summer are followed by cold nights. Snowfall is present from December to February and the snow which reaches heights of 2m, is kept for weeks. Fog is also common and the winds are north-westerly.
  The rock of the ground is calcareous (of limestone) on the highlands and crystalline slate at lower altitudes which form clay-marmarygium grounds with good natural qualities for forest vegetation.
  The forest is on the thermal boundaries of the cold zone of vegetation that thrives on water. The main forest products are PINUS NIGRA (black pine) and ABIES CEPHALONIGA (cephallenean fir). It belongs to the botanic-social formation of the less heat-thriving Mediterranean conifers. In the slate part of the ground the forest is covered by black pine while at higher altitudes there are clusters of firs.
  Access to the forest from Messinia is only feasible by car via Kardamyli-Proastio-Exochorio or Neochorio Lefktrou-Saedona, while from Lakonia via Gythio-Kokkina Louria-St.Nikolao-Kastania.

This text is cited March 2003 from the Messenia Prefecture Tourism Promotion Commission URL below, which contains image.

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