Kerkini Lake

Ideal destination for nature lovers close to rare species of birds and animals!

Day trip to Kerkini Lake, one of the 10 most valuable wetland habitats in Greece, ideal for nature observation of about 300 species of birds and rare animals. Among many species, admire the beautiful flamingos and the magnificent buffalos; inextricable parts of the greek fauna.
All these are combined with the wonderful view of Mount Beles and the verdant valley of Serres forming the paradise of the alternative tourism. It’s an ideal excursion for nature lovers, where you can enjoy a boat ride through the lake of the National Park. Don’t miss this experience!

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kerkini Lake
  • Lithotopos Dam
  • Vironia village

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 approximately 1½ hour.

We reach the dam of the picturesque Kerkini Lake in the area of Lithotopos. Each season of the year the lake hosts different species of birds, therefore every visit hides a different surprise for the traveler. The beautiful flamingos though, can be found there all year round and their characteristic pink plumage colors the blue surface of the lake giving enchanting views combined with the verdant surrounding landscape. The horse riding area is located next to the dam where we can enjoy a ride and feel part of this wonderful natural scenery (optional and upon notification).

Later on, we have a coffee break and then continue our trip to the east part of the lake, visiting a traditional farm with impressive buffalos that walk next to us; observing their movements in their natural environment and learning their unique history.

We visit also the historic village of Vironia, to enjoy our lunch break in a traditional greek tavern that during the end of the 2nd Balkan War (in summer of 1993) was used as a Greek Military Command Center. There, King Constantine and the prime-minister of Greece, Eleftherios Venizelos, signed a peace covenant making history and doubling the size of the country.

We depart to Thessaloniki at around 14:00 enjoying the way back through the perimeter road of the west side of the lake. Leaving behind the enchanting scenery we will experience not only a part, but the whole Lake Kerkini in total!

THE PRICE OF THE EXCURSION INCLUDES:

  • Round-trip transportation to Kerkini Lake and Vironia village
  • English speaking trip attendant-archaeologist
  • Basic travel insurance (during transport)

NOT INCLUDED

  • The ticket for the one hour boat ride 10€/person
  • The cost of the horse riding 5€/person for 20΄ (upon notification)
  • Personal expenses

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-archaeologist shall wear clothing with the Ammon Express marking so that he/she will be recognisable easily
  • You should be at the departure point 10΄ before the time indicated in the schedule. The bus cannot remain at designated stops, except for boarding
  • Wear comfortable shoes to walk around the sights
  • In summer season bear in mind to have sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat
  • Please be consistent with the exact appointment times specified by the Ammon Express escort, so that the excursion will remain unforgettable to all participants
  • Have a nice trip and an unforgettable experience!
  • Don’t forget to share pictures and comments from your experience!