There are many reasons to visit Lake Kerkini. Wild birds, horses and animals in general on the banks, quiet and picturesque villages and beautiful lakeside forests. An alternative tourism paradise just a breath away from Thessaloniki, which is waiting to be explored.
The lake of Kerkini has not always been where it is now, because it was created due to the dam that was built at the Strymonas river in the 1930s. Since then, a lot of things have changed in the area except the natural beauty, which the locals care to keep intact. This is also the secret that has helped Lake Kerkini become a popular destination for visitors from all over Greece, whether they enjoy outdoor activities, good traditional food or just the tranquility and the serenity someone can find in the area.
Below, we will see why Lake Kerkini is considered as an excellent choice for an excursion or a trip.
It is apparent that the lake itself is the first and basic reason to visit the area. It is one of the 10 wetlands of international importance in Greece and has been declared a National Park. Lake Kerkini can be divided into two different parts, the northwest, where there are small and picturesque villages and the east, where there is the rare flora and fauna of the area. Renting a boat or otherwise ‘blava’ is a great solution to get a close up of the animals that are used to … swim on the shores, as well as the dozens of impressive birds that live in the lake.
You can’t visit the lake and not try one of the activities available there. The most notable examples are organized excursions with 4×4 jeeps, boating, horse riding, canoeing, cycling, hiking, birdwatching, archery, hiking, mountaineering, fishing and spa in hot baths.
Walking and mountaineering are one of the most popular activities in the area. Kerkini National Park includes incredible trails for hikers. Easy trips (3-5 km) start by the lake or run alongside the river. The most difficult are the uphill trails from the village of Ano Poroia to the summit of Mount Beles. On its ridge there are many options for extra-long explorations that can take up to a whole day, so tentative excursions are organized.
All of the above are organized by tourist offices of the area so that visitors do not have to worry about finding and doing the activity they want.
The surrounding villages
The village of Kerkini is a good starting point for your wanderings, as you will find the Wetland Information Center and many of the offices that have been involved in the activities we mentioned earlier. Also, worth a visit is the village of Lithotopos, which is one of the most developed tourist destinations and with the best views, as it is located next to the Strymonas dam. Finally, don’t forget to explore the Ano and Kato Poroia villages that are so beautiful and picturesque. You will stroll the streets, discover beautiful taverns and traditional cafes and get useful tips from the locals for your tours.
The forest next to the banks
Located in the eastern shore of Lake Kerkini, this forest is an incredible lakeside complex of wild and aquatic trees. The scenery includes wild buffalos swimming and even the largest population of rare species of birds in Greece, views of the opposite mountains and numerous activities, such as birdwatching. It is no coincidence, after all, that Kerkini lake is considered as one of the favorite annual meetings of observers and photographers from all over Europe.
Rent your car from Alpha Drive Rent a Car and visit the magnificent Kerkini lake, which has so many beautiful places and things to see and do!