Activity 4 – Visits of group of students to the Museum of Natural History of the Municipality of Preveza

Activity 4 – Visits of group of students to the Museum of Natural History of the Municipality of Preveza


Activity 4

Activity title:

“Visits of group of students to the Museum of Natural History of the Municipality  of Preveza”

Αctivity goal:

Briefing  and sensitization of group of students about the environment and the  region of Preveza

Educational environmental activities

The long-term cooperation of the Municipality of Preveza with the NGO “Natura Opava” (, from the Czech Republic contributed greatly to the organization of the Museum of Natural History in Niochori, Preveza.

Result and the following route with title


                       “Ten Stops in the Region of Preveza”

In the context of the specific cooperation of the Municipality of Preveza with “Natura Opava” and due to the restrictive measures COVID -19 the Planning Department of the Municipality of Preveza will provide all the information about this activity through its Tourism website and the website www

Stop No. 1 “Quarry in Agios Thomas”


It is the limestone quarry near Agios Thomas. Quarried limestone belongs to the set-up of Dinar mountain range. It comes from Jurassic period of the Mesozoic Era. The entire wider surrounding near Preveza belongs to the Ionian zone of the outer Hellenides. It was formed by Alpine folding which created the range mountain line of Dinar-Hellenic stage.

The geological structure of Preveza´s surroundings is formed by bedded rocks only (limestone, sandstone, clay slate), it means the rocks of younger systems: Mesozoic, Tertiary and Quaternary. Here you may also find some paleontological evidence from the Jurassic period. On the western side, the quarry is surrounded by dense macchia vegetation.

Educational Objective: 

  • Origin of limestone
  • Use of limestone in building and chemical industry
  • Reduce of soil acidity by using the lime

Stop No. 2 “Macchias, pastures, skrape fields” – Limestone hill with medieval fortress


The region forms a mosaic of different types of macchia the skrape fields which are now partly used as pastures (sheep, goats). It is a side-road from the village called Agios Apostoli at the altitude of approximately 100 metres. In the impenetrable vegetation of macchia there are mainly Pistacia lentiscus and Pistacia terebinthus), Cistus salviaefolius, sometimes there are also other impenetrable brushwoods of bushes and mainly dwarf trees in which prevails Myrtus communis. However, there were identified even the species of Laurus, Rubus (blackberry), Nerium oleander (oleander), Sarcopoterium spinosum, then also Ilex aquifolium) and individually appearing Cupressus sempervirens. As a result of regular pasturing, there are also extensive dense herbaceous vegetations (frygana) – often intensely aromatic ones (species of thyme, rosemary, salvia, mint, sapa, etc.).

As for typical birds, there are Lanius senator, Oenanthe hispanica and warblers. As for precious butterflies, you can find here Charaxes jasius, Hiparchia fatua, palpares, numopteras and more of ones. Even with your eyes closed, you can recognize the cicadas of Lyristes which can be easily identified according to their “cutting”. At the top of the highest hill there is the Turkish fortress which is the popular place for outings of participants of our camp.


Educational Objective:

  • Importance of pasturing the herbaceous vegetation for preservation of species composition of plants;
  • Effects of carbon dioxide dissolved in water to rise the skrape fields;
  • The Turks in troubled history of the Greeks.

The town of Preveza has got a very good strategical position. There are just 350 metres of sea channel between Preveza and Aktio, which has also attracted occupying soldiers.

Who occupied that place up, reached a free way to both the Amvrakian Bay and also inner Greek territories

1477 – 1684 First Turkish Rule

1684 – 1701 First Venetian Rule

1699 – 1717 Second Turkish Rule

1717 – 1797 Second Venetian Rule

1797 – 1798 French Rule

1798 – 1800 First Ali Pasha Period

1800 – 1807 Confederation of the Cape

1807 – 1820 Second Ali Pasha Period

1820 – 1912 Third Turkis Rule

Stop No. 3 “Park” in Agios Apostoli


It is very precious due to the remnants of oak trees which are many thousands years old – with the domination of Quercus pubescens and Hungarian oak Quercus frainetto and ancient centuries-old olives Olea europea. Spring aspect is characterized by ubiquitous cyclamens  genus of Cyclamen, appearance of beautiful carrot-shaped plant – Smyrnium perfoliatum and many other plant species.

In 1991 there was the new species of pyrophor discovered here, i.e. Lacon Kapler (named after a Czech entomologist Kapler who as the first man found it right here). The most outstanding kind of butterflies is represented by Callimorpha quadripunctaria, birds are represented by Strix aluco and Otus scops – both species nest in hollow trees, fully provided by the old trees.

In the fallen oak leaves, you can find the smallest lizard – Ablepharus kitaibelii whose northernmost finding locality is in the Hills of “Kováčovské” in the region of Southern Slovakia. There are abundant green lizards (Lacerta viridis) and the lizards of Balcan (Lacerta trilineata) sunbathing on the olive tree trunks and hunting. The region around Agios Apostoli and the little church undoubtedly belong to the most valuable sites on the instructive trail.

Ing. Jiří Lazebníček, a mycologist from Olomouc, found here the rare, dark-coloured fungus from the family of Trogossitidae – Pulcherricium Caeruleumere in the year of 1999, which confirmed the value of this place.

Educational Objective:

  • Exemplary ecosystem of an old oak-tree forest
  • A little church on which you can demonstrate the destructive power of earthquakes (cracks in the walls) and sea erosion which will be the reason for its collapse from a high cliff to the sea waters in a few years (within ten years there has been a move of the cliff towards the back wall of the small church by 3 meters).

The Greek orthodox church of Saint Appostles is located among old oaks and olive trees.The Church reflects the poorest times in which christianity survived on. There can be an attractive imagination of standing in the saint place where our ancestors prayed many year ago.

  1. B.C.

Sea-battle of Actium

  1. A.C.

apostle Paul came to see Nikopolis

174 – 189

the 13th Pope Eleutherus from Nikopolison his government

313 Konstantin, the Roman Emperator, conceded Christianity as a legal power

347 the first Nikopolisan Diecesion governedby bishop Eliodoros

395 After the Roman Empire had been devided, the region was the part of the Bysantzian territory

476 The Rome fell down

1054 Christianity was devided into two spheres, the Western Catholic and Eastern Orthodox ones

1453 The East Rome Empire fell down

1794 The church in Agii Appostoli was consecrated

Stop No. 4 “Geological profile of the Sea Coast in Agios Apostoli”


On the high wall of the shore, exposed by erosion effects of the sea, you can see the layers of the period of Alluvium which are easily identifiable (layer of own plough soil and the plough soil enriched with marl); and you can also see the layers formed during the period of Tertiary (marl layer which is temporarily flooded; the layer of whitish slate scan from which there are shells of gastropods falling down (Gourmya family). Currently, little hermits of Clinabarius family use them as their “small houses”. And finally the layer of carbonized vegetable matter which was permanently flooded in the past.

Here on the uncovered shore, there was the discovery of parts of tusk and a bone (femur) of the “forest elephant” (Loxodonta Antiqua) which had lived here in the period of Pleistocene. It was the discovery of Dr. Rostislav Morávek – National History Museum in Olomouc in the year of 1998. It was even 5 meters tall animal creature, taller than a mammoth, whose tusks were longer than 3 metres. The radiocarbon method has shown that the tusk parts which were found are 35,000 years old (with tolerance of +/- 2500 years).

On the same place, there have been stone tools of Neolithic human being – i.e. stone knives, arrowheads – found here since 1998. All these findings are in the exhibition of the Natural science Museum in Neochori.

Educational Objective:

  • Origin and age of geological layers
  • Settlement of Neolithic human being, the ways of his life and production of stone tools

Bionomics of the newly discovered beetle Cerocoma prevezaensis (its parasitic relationship to bees of Tropidotilla litoralis forming passageways in the layer of whitish slate scan

Stop No. 5 “Amvrakian Bay and its Coastline in Agios Apostoli”


Natural conditions in the bay are significantly different from those in the sea. The bay is connected to the open sea in the place of strait between Preveza and Cape Aktio. This is the place of the famous naval battle of ship fleet of rebellious Antonius and Cleopatra with government troops of Pompei, which was filmed too.

System of water exchange in the bay is very poor. Moreover, there is also the fact that the river Arachtos empties into the bay on the averted northern side. The river drains out a large part of Epirus basins between Ioannina and north-south mountain axis of Greece. Diversity of living conditions of the bay is reflected in the fact that many marine organisms, animals and plants do not like this environment, and therefore they miss here completely. On the other hand, some other organisms have perfectly adapted to this environment. And due to the fact that they do not have their competition of the “purely” sea organisms here, they simply occupied this region and they procreated themselves to the unusual extent. For example, the echinodermatas, which are still in the Preveza´s harbour represented by ugly holothuroidea, are not present at all further behind the first little peninsula of Agia Triada. While on the other hand, the beautiful fish called Salaria pavo – which is unique in Preveza – here occupies every boulder protruding from the sandy sea bottom. As the geological layers show, it means the layers that emerged above the sea level due to action of tectonic forces (Greece belongs to the tectonically active regions), similar conditions to those we can witness by ourselves were present here in the Bay also in the period of Tertiary. By the way, we have not found any evidence showing that the sea was sometimes prevailing here. It has always been the bay, lake or swampland.

This stop is one of the few places in the instructive trail which can be reached only on foot (most others are accessible on roads and also on the roads for cars). On the way to the Bay, we go through macchia vegetation were Cleopatra Gonepteryx flies around. And caterpillars live on the evergreen plant of macchia – Rhamnus alaternus.

Along the coast you can see reed growing (Phragmites sp.) and the high plant replacing bamboo (Arundo donax). On the beach you can find a number of washed-up clusters of egg boxes of Bolinus brandaris (genus Murex), shells of Ranatras, Pectinidae and other marine molluscs. We can find here also cuttle-fish bones and shells of naturally prepared crabs and other marine animals. We can often see fishing silver seagulls Lalur argentatus and Sterna hirundo. However, the greatest attraction in the Bay belongs to dolphins (Delphinus delphis), one of them is pictured in the heraldry of Preveza town, and also giant water turtles (Caretta caretta).

Educational Objective:

  • The difference between the sea and bay in terms of animal species representation
  • Symbiotic relationship between the crab of Dardanus callidus and Actinia equina.

Protection of the Amvrakian Bay

Stop No. 6 “Settlement of Neochori with the Natural Science Museum”


The priority belongs to the exhibition of natural expositions of the Museum and visits to the School of Environmental Education. It is very good to compare the original flora and the flora planted in gardens (e.g. Hibiscus sp., Nerium Oleander, Bougainvillea spectabilis, Punica granatum, Morus alba, Ficus carica, etc.).

In nearby Agios Trias there is probably the most grandiose eucalyptus in the entire region (Eucalyptus camaldulensis).

In the spring of 2000, we started planting in the botanical garden at the museum. The garden should include trees and herbs typical of this region. The plants will be labelled with names. The garden will include a pergola too. The first part of the pergola was installed in the spring of 2000.

Educational Objective:

  • Comparison of three ecosystems represented as Dioramas.
  • Food chains in different ecosystems.
  • Viewing collections of prepared animals in the natural science exhibition – diversity of animal species.
  • Viewing interior of the Greek School of Environmental Education.
  • Tour of the village of Neochori with identifying plants in the gardens.
  • Walk to the biggest eucalypt tree in neighbouring Agios Trias.
  • Excursions to the lemon and olive park.

Stop No. 7 “Swamplands and Reed Areas”


The Amvrakian Bay´s marshes and swamplands were included to the World Natural Heritage of high scientific value, according to the Ramsar Convention of 1977. Mainly for this reason, one of the stops on the instructive trail was located in the area of artificially created bay in the eastern direction of Nikopolis. Here – accompanied by communities of water, marsh and wetland birds – is the place for nests of many species of birds. The most beautiful and also the most precious ones of them include Himantopus Himantopus.


Educational Objective:

  • Meeting the ecosystem of wetlands.
  • Observation and identification of bird species.
  • Importance of wetlands in the countryside

Stop No. 8 “Nikopolis and its Neighbourhood”


In addition to historically valuable Antique monument (winner of the Battle of Aktio had this town built in honour of this victory), Nikopolis is also considered as an interesting place in terms of natural science. The inside area near the museum building is overgrown

by the fennel abundantly spread around here in the Balkan (Foeniculus vulgare), the fennel is a host plant of Papilio machon.

The strictly protected greenish turtle (Testudo hermannii) and snakes of the group of grass snakes – colubers (e.g. Coluber gemonensis), these ones are quite common here in the region.

It is quite interesting to see the tree frogs of Hyla arborea which take their rest on the fragrant fennel even during the strongest sunlight.

Educational Objective:

  • Protected animals and people in busy places, protection of rare animals.
  • Viewing and meeting the history of this cultural monument

In 375 the Huns crossed the river of Don and faced German Gots there. That was the first instant of great migration throughout European continent. That migration involving many

nations in Europe caused the definitive end of Roman Empireand also – destroyed Nikopolis

  1. 9. 31 B.C

Octavian, late Emperor Augustus, beats Kleopatra, Egyptian queen, at the battle near Aktio.

He established Nikopolis, the town of victory, right on the place of soldiers´camp.

285 – 337

During the era of Roman emperors Diocletian and Constantin there is a district centre of ancient Epirus here in Nikopolis.

361 – 363

Emperor Julian partially has the town repaired

  1. 9. 31 př. Kr.

Octavian, late Emperor Augustus, beats Kleopatra, Egyptian queen, at the battle near Aktio.

He established Nikopolis, the town of victory, right on the place of soldiers´camp.

285 – 337

During the era of Roman emperors Diocletian and Constantin there is a district centre of ancient Epirus here in Nikopolis.

361 – 363

Emperor Julian partially has the town repaired


Destroying earthquake




Destroying attacks of Vandals


Emperor Justician builds stone walls to protect the city against the Gots

Stop No. 9 “Forest vegetation of the Ionian Sea Coastline


The place is located west of Nicopolis. The place is widely used by holidaymakers (wide gravel beach). There is continuous growth of eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), the tree is originally from Australia, it is widely grown here in the Mediterranean Sea too. In the Cetraceous and Tertiary times, Eucalyptus was growing in Central Europe too, even in the territory of our country! Its wood is used in building industry as fuel… The stand vegetation is also used in the original homeland for drying swamps. The wood is resistant to decomposition. Leaves are used for production of the drug called eucalypti folium – strongly aromatic with camphoric and contractive taste, used in medicine, perfumery and production

of candies. At this place, Eucalyptus provides its users with deep shade. Not only the users but mostly the sparrows of Passer hispaniolensis. It is the suitable place for their nesting in colonies.

There is a pine forest slightly continuing behind the eucalyptus forest in its northern part. This community of Pinus halepensis, typical for its long needles and cones seated on the thicker branches, is accessible by walking on foot just a few metres from the beach. On the high layer of pine needles (which is actually litter material), there are dense growths of bush-rope of Smilax aspera, often forming beautifully dark walls, and freshly green ones in the springtime, at the edge of the growth. In the shade, you can find here also Ruscus aculeatus, Ilex aquifolium, Myrtus communis and many other plants, including the beautiful yellow sorrel which is a common weed here.

Educational Objective:

  • Meeting the ecosystem of eucalyptus and pine forest
  • Notice of “sterility” of the eucalyptus growth, comparison with locust growth in our country.
  • Observation of Spanish sparrows living in colonies.

Stop No. 10 “Ionian Sea and Beaches”


Tourists on the beach can admire Eryngium maritinum and Glaucium flavum. The by-passing walkers will certainly face the oval-shaped (like a “flat” egg) brown formations occurring in greater or lesser quantities on the beach. They are rhizomes of sea-plant of Posidonia oceanica, it means the rhizomes which are shaped by the sea waves and then ejected to the beach.

Educational Objective:

  • Importance of the Mediterranean Sea and its protection against pollution.
  • Keeping the beaches clean.
  • Protection of plants on the beach, especially Eryngium maritinum (ornamental plant which is often taken away by holidaymakers).

Throughout the excursions to every individual stops, the participants are reminded to respect the principles of nature protection.

First of all, it is strictly forbidden to catch and kill animals (transporting turtles or lizards is a criminal act). Plants must not be unnecessarily torn out, bulbs of the plants must not be taken away. It is forbidden to make a fire here (high fire hazard)! The wildlife animals must not be disturbed. Litters and wastes must not be left in the open nature.

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