The Wildlife Refuge of Arki – Patmos
The Refuge was established in 16.09.2004 and includes fourteen islands and islets. In particular, it includes the area of the islands: Arkioi, Marathi and the ten surrounding islands, as well as the rocky islets of Anhidro and Petrokaravo. It is characterized by exceptional environmental importance.
The biodiversity of the area around Patmos is unique and can be enjoyed by diving in its crystal-clear waters or simply by special boat. There is a scuba diving school in Patmos where you can tour the lovely seashore. Everyone who wishes to see the important bottom of the sea, take notice of the sea life. In both cases, either you choose scuba diving or tourist boat tour, there are experienced practitioners to help you in this marine excursion.
There are rich Posidonia meadows in the bottom, which require your respect. Posidonia meadows in the Mediterranean are among the most ancient marine organisms on Earth (over 100,000 years old). Marine meadows are protected habitats that play a key role in the productivity of marine ecosystems in the Mediterranean.
There are also coral reefs formed from red algae, belonging to the family Corallinaceae, which produce calcium carbonate that forms the basic structure of the reef. They are located in areas between the Aegean and the Western Mediterranean, reaching depths of up to 150 meters. Coral reefs are probably the most hidden secret of the Mediterranean and are worth to explore if you wish.
In the refuge there are also significant populations of endangered Mediterranean seals, populations of 4 species of dolphins and a sea turtle species. The place is also a particularly important migratory passage, as well as breeding area for a large number of protected bird species.