Geopark of Sitia

«Sitia’s Geopark offers a wide range of activities that cover a wide range of preferences, from those who just want to rest in a traditional and unique part of Crete, even to the most demanding adventure seekers,» he stressed in an interview with «In-On» the Mayor of Sitia Thodoros Paterakis.
Q. What are the privileges of Geopark Sitia?
A. SPA: The advantage of the Geopark of Sitia is that it has a large number of geotopes that are distinguished for their geological value due to its geographic location, as well as the whole of Crete. It is located at the meeting point of two lithospheric plates, with the plate of Africa submerged beneath the Eurasian, meaning that the geology of Crete is active and very rich.
Lack of vegetation is a desirable element since the geology of the place is visible and you see it in front of you.
In the area of Geopark we can find the oldest rocks of Crete. Limestones and shale dominate. Karstic landscapes are found everywhere, while the most important geological monuments are the large cave systems, the lilies and the fossils of mammals
A large variety of fossils has been found in the Park area covering a large number of species and periods. The older fossils have been found in foliage and consist of plant residues (~ 300 million years).
The low-key period in the park area is represented by one of the most impressive and important fossils, the Deinotherium Giganteum, or Deinotherium proavum a primitive elephant species. He lived on the island 8 to 9 million years ago. Its height was between 4.5 – 5 meters and its length at 6 meters. Deer (Candiacervus cretensis), Hippopotamus creutzburgi, Elephas antiquus, Rodents (Kritimys tousus), marine organisms and animals make up this unique wasteful wealth of Geopark Sitia
Q. What are the Geopark’s tour routes?
A. Geopark has designed geographic routes through which the visitor can explore and get to know the natural, geological and cultural wealth of the area. The geographic routes include road routes, cycling and, of course, hiking or otherwise… geo-trails! Geo-tracks are fully imprinted with modern Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies and are available in various forms for park visitors.
In addition, the geostationary maps of the area where all the geographic routes are presented are also available at the Park’s information centers. In the countryside, all geotrails are adequately labeled, with signs at their entrance / exit, as well as with guiding signs along their entire length.
The Geopark of Sitia is ideal for numerous activities that cover a wide range of preferences, from those who simply want to rest in a traditional and unique part of Crete to the most demanding adventure seekers. In addition, there are world-renowned sites for windsurf sport, in Kouremenos there are mapped areas of rock climbing, such as Kato Zakros Gorge, bird watching, while innumerable caves and canyons offer thrills to the more daring and trained.
Q. What is the history of the Geopark?
A. In November 2014 the Municipal Organization for the Socio-Cultural Development of Sitia, DOKAS submitted an application for the inclusion of the Natural Park of Sitia to the European and World Network of Geoparks of UNESCO. The application was positively evaluated on 2 September 2015 during the 13th Conference of the European Geopark Network at ROKUA Finland. On 17/11/2015, the Sitia Geopark is now officially recognized as «UNESCO World Geopark». The area is mainly mountainous with striking coastlines. It is administratively owned by the Municipality of Sitia. Area: 517 km2.
Curriculum Vitae
Mayor of Sitia Thodoris Paterakis was born in Stavrohori of the former municipality of Makry Gialos. He is married to Pelagia Papadaki and has two children working as Civil Engineers. He is a graduate of the Department of Chemistry of the National Kapodistrian University of Athens.
His Educational and Administrative Experience starts in 1982.
From 1982 to 1999 he was a Professor of Advanced Studies at the Kalymnos Gymnasium and the Sitia High School. In the above period, he was responsible for environmental education programs, assessor and coordinator of the chemistry course and supervisor of the project of EPEAEK II. From 1992-1996 he developed intense trade union action as President of the Union Lassithi Secondary Education Officers.
From 1-9-1999 to 31-8-2000 he served as deputy director of IEK of Sitia, and from 1995 to 2002 he was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Municipal Water Supply and Sewerage Company of Sitia.
From September 1-9-2000 to 31-7-2004 he served as Deputy Chief of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics of TEI of Crete, based in Sitia and the Administrative Head of the department and since 2003 a member of the Board of Directors KEK Lasithiou and a laboratory associate in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics.
His Political and Social Activity started in 1992-1998 as a member of the Prefecture of Nd666 / 85, while in 1994 he was elected Prefectural Councilor of Lassithi, where until 2002 he participated in the following institutions:
Member of the Prefectural Committee of N 2218/94.
Member of the Coordination and Planning Committee of the Prefectural Council.
Chairman of the Education Committee of the NMS
Member of the Management Committee of Law 2218/94.
Member of the Joint Committee of Lasithi with TEI Crete for the construction and certification of (3) wind turbine models under the Altener program).
Member of the Article 18 Committee of Law 2216/94.
Member of the Regional Committee for Vocational Education and Training.
Member of the Hospital of Sitia.
From 2002-2006 he was President of the Prefecture of Lassithi. In 2008-2009 he was Chairman of the Leader Plus (+) Program Management Committee of N. Lasithiou, and from 2006 to 2010, where he was elected Mayor of Sitia, he was Deputy Prefect of Lassithi Prefecture.
Since January 1, 2011 he has served as mayor of the Municipality of Sitia. From 1/2015 he is Vice President and member of the Executive Committee of the Unified Waste Management Association of Crete, since 6/2015 he is Chairman of the Development Organization of Sitia (OAS), and from 7/2016 he is Vice-President of the Educational Development «NAVIGATOR».

Source of publication 28th edition In-On

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