Day trip to Lake Kerkini, one of the 10 most valuable wetland habitats in Greece and one of the best destinations in Europe for nature observation of about 300 species of birds and rare animals. Among many species, admire the beautiful Flamingos and the magnificent Buffalos that walk nearby you!
All these are combined with the wonderful view of Mount Beles and the majestic valley of Serres. It is an Ideal excursion for nature lovers, where you can enjoy a boat ride through the lake. Don’t miss this experience!

PLACES WE VISIT

  • Kerkini Lake
  • Lithotopos Dam
  • Vironia village

THE EXCURSION TAKES PLACE

  • Every Wednesday and Saturday

STARTING POINTS AND DEPARTURE TIME

  • Starting point: WHITE TOWER(Entrance) 08:00
  • Stop 1: MAKEDONIA PALACE HOTEL 08:05
  • Stop 2: ARISTOTELOUS square & EGNATIA (Venizelos Statue) 08:15
  • Stop 3: CAPSIS Hotel 08:20
  • Stop 4: THE MET Hotel 08:25
 

AVERAGE EXCURSION DURATION

  • 8 hours (3 hours on the road)

EXCURSION DESCRIPTION

We depart to Kerkini Lake with the bus of Ammon Express

at 08:00 from the White Tower,

at 08:05 from the hotel Makedonia Palace,

at 08:15 from Aristotelous Square & Egnatia Street (at the statue of Venizelos),

at 08:20 from hotel Capsis and

at 08:25 from The Met Hotel

The distance is 98km and lasts about 1 hour and a half and we reach the Dam of Kerkini Lake (Lithotopos area). Every season of the year hosts different species of birds so the visit hides a different surprise each time. The beautiful Flamingos though, live there all year round. The area for horse riding is situated next to the dam and you can enjoy a horse ride as long as the weather permits it.

Next, we have a hot cup of coffee and afterwards we make a stop to the farm, just some kilometres away, with the impressive buffalos that walk nearby you, observing and learning their history and habits.

Later on, we move a bit further to Vironia village and enjoy our lunch in a traditional Greek tavern, which at the end of the 2nd Balkan War (summer of 1993), used to be a Greek Military Command Center, where the King Constantine and the prime-minister Eleftherios Venizelos signed a peace covenant, making history and doubling the size of Greece.

We depart to Thessaloniki at about 14:00 taking the perimeter road of the west side of the lake. Leaving behind the enchanting scenery you will have watched not only a part, but the whole Lake Kerkini in total!

THE PRICE OF THE EXCURSION INCLUDES:

  • Transportation to and from the Lake of Kerkini and the village of Vironia
  • English-speaking trip attendant
  • Basic travel insurance (during transportation)

NOT INCLUDED

  • The cost of the lunch and coffee at the restaurants
  • The ticket for the one hour boat ride (10€ per person)
  • The cost of the horse riding (5€ per person/20’)
 

Lake Kerkini is now one of, if not the, premier birding site in Greece, and, as it is situated along the migratory flyway for migratory birds en route to the Aegean Sea, the Balkan region, the Black Sea, the Hungarian steppes and beyond it experiences an interesting migration.

In the flat and semi-mountainous area, important hydrobiospheres are developing which are of great international significance and acceptance. The most essential hydrobiosphere is the one in Kerkini lake. It is a miracle of nature which came about by man’s technical intervention on the natural characteristics of Strymon river. The water extent, which varies from time to time from 54 Km2 to 72 Km2, works out to be useful in two ways: as a technical work of great agricultural utility and as a hydrobiosphere for thousands of water fowls.

This wonderful biosphere is recouped by the International Convention of Ramsar and presents numerous admirable elements. Thousands of birds, both rare and protected, riverside forests, water-lilies in a large area, fish variety and fantastic panoramic view from the mountains of Belasica and Krousia give it a characteristic tone. Actually the lake hosts 227 kinds of birds, especially non-migrants. 76 of them are recorded in the National Red Catalogue, while at least 31 of them are protected by EEC’s Directive concerning wild life. What makes an exceptional presence is the buffalo’s herd in the area, plus the one of the jackelo in the area of Kerkini lake. In the surrounding area of Kerkini lake there are at least 10 amphibian species (frogs, salamanders, tritons), five snail species, 19 reptile species (lizards, snakes, turtles) and a great variety of insects which play an important part in the food chain and contribute towards the biological resources of the lake.

A winter view of some tree at Kerkini lake The lake was created where Kerkini lake was by making embankments on the eastern and western sides and a dam was constructed near the village of Lithotopos, which started functioning in 1932. The main water provider of the lake is Struma River. Additionally, there is Kerkinitis river from Krousia that flows into the lake. After the construction of the dam, the form of the initial hydrobioshere changed completely. The human intervention usually retracts or takes negative action against the natural processes, Kerkini lake is a rare example, where the gentle human handling had the exact opposite result.

As time went by, the lake’s capacity was reduced because of the substances that were washed up by Strymon river. So the rising of the embankments and the construction of a new dam was necessary, which was started operating in 1982.

  • Our trip attendant shall wear clothing with the AMMON Express marking so that he will be recognisable easily
  • You should be at the departure points 5’ earlier from the time indicated in the schedule. The bus cannot remain at designated stops, except for boarding.
  • It is recommended to have comfortable footwear for the easy access to each point.
  • Please be consistent with the exact appointment times specified by the Ammon Express escort, so that the excursion to Kerkini will remain unforgettable to all participants.
  • We wish you a nice excursion and a lot of fun!
  • Share pictures and comments about your experience in the excursion.

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