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  • Writer's pictureShiny Greece

Kerkini Lake | A Breathtaking Unique Haven of Flamingos, Pelicans and Water Buffaloes

Updated: Oct 26


George P. Papadellis | SG Head

with some good tips from AI

Kerkini, the artificial lake created in 1932 and redeveloped in 1980, stands along the migratory birds’ line of Aegean, Balkans, Black Sea and Hungary, as a serene oasis, captivating visitors with its untouched natural beauty and diverse wildlife. This hidden gem, located in the Serres regional unit, offers a tranquil escape from bustling city life and provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in nature's embrace. In this article, we delve into the captivating allure of Kerkini Lake, discover its rich biodiversity, explore exciting activities, and unveil the reasons why it should be on every nature lover's bucket list.

Kerkini Lake

Photo by: | dinosmichail

Nature Enthusiasts

Kerkini Lake, a man-made reservoir created in 1932, is nestled at the foot of Mount Belles, boasting a surface area of approximately 71 square kilometers, and fed from Strymonas river. The lake's enchanting landscapes, surrounded by lush forests and mountain ranges, create an idyllic setting for nature enthusiasts. Its status as a National Park has been instrumental in preserving its pristine environment and fostering a thriving ecosystem.

Kerkini Lake  |  Shiny Greece

Photo by: Marina Lypiridou, Admiring the landscape, CC BY-SA 4.0

Paradise for Wildlife

One of the most captivating aspects of Kerkini Lake is its remarkable biodiversity. The lake serves as a critical habitat for a plethora of species, including over 300 bird species, making it a prime destination for birdwatching enthusiasts. Among the avian residents, the Dalmatian pelicans steal the show with their impressive wingspan and distinctive appearance. Apart from birds, the lake is home to various mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, adding to its ecological significance.

Kerkini Lake

Photo by: Nikos Menoudarakos, Family in the forest, CC BY-SA 4.0


Kerkini Lake is renowned as a birdwatching paradise, attracting enthusiasts from around the globe. The tranquil waters and surrounding wetlands provide an ideal environment for numerous bird species to thrive. Visitors can witness the graceful dance of flamingos, herons, egrets, and many more as they gracefully navigate the lake's shores. The best time for birdwatching is during the migration seasons in spring and autumn, when flocks of birds make their journey, creating a mesmerizing spectacle of colors and sounds.

Kerkini Lake  |  Shiny Greece

Photo by: Paps198011, Kerkini lake (146), CC BY-SA 4.0

Exploring Kerkini Lake

Apart from birdwatching, Kerkini Lake offers a plethora of activities to immerse oneself in its natural splendor. Nature lovers can embark on a relaxing boat tour, gliding across the serene waters while soaking in the panoramic vistas. For the adventurous souls, kayaking and canoeing provide an up-close and personal experience with the lake's pristine surroundings. Additionally, guided hiking trails allow visitors to explore the lush forests and experience the breathtaking views from Mount Belles.

Kerkini Lake - Shiny Greece

Photo by: Marina Lypiridou, Afternoon riding, CC BY-SA 4.0

Sustainability and Conservation

Preserving the ecological balance of Kerkini Lake remains a top priority. The management authorities and local communities have undertaken significant conservation efforts to protect the lake's biodiversity and promote sustainable tourism practices. Educational programs, research initiatives, and eco-friendly accommodations ensure that visitors can enjoy the beauty of Kerkini Lake while minimizing their impact on the environment.

Kerkini Lake

Photo by: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, Lake Kerkini kz08, CC BY-SA 4.0

An Enchanting Sanctuary

Kerkini Lake stands as a testament to the remarkable wonders of nature, offering an awe-inspiring experience for all who venture into its embrace. From its rich biodiversity to the plethora of activities it offers, this hidden gem in Greece has something to captivate every nature enthusiast. Whether it's witnessing the ballet of birds, exploring the serene waters, or simply basking in the tranquility of the surroundings, Kerkini Lake promises a truly unforgettable experience. As we embark on a journey of exploration and appreciation, let us cherish and protect this enchanting sanctuary for generations to come.

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