Alyko peninsula, in southwestern Naxos, is home to one of Greece’s largest and densest juniper forests.
A land mass of approximately 200 acres, the peninsula is covered with age-old juniper trees, lentisc shrubs, heather, thyme, calycotomes and various wild flowers. Junipers, which cover the peninsula’s greatest part, are gymnospermous coniferous trees, belonging to the Pinales category and the Cupressaceae family.
Their lifespan ranges between 200 to 300 years, and they measure up to six meters in height with a diameter of up to one meter.
The root system of junipers stretches out in a radius at least double their respective height and includes an enormous amount of small and slender webbed roots that hold the sand and thereby maintain surrounding sand-dune formations.
The Alyko juniper forest attracts wild life and is natural habitat for hares, reptiles, and numerous bird species.