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At Kerkini Lake in Serres
Lake
SERRES, SIDIKI, KERKINI


Lake Kerkini was created in 1932 when a dam was constructed near the village of Lithotopos. The dam was built to contain flood waters from the Strymonas (or Struma) River, and also to irrigate the plain of Serres. Even before the dam was built, there were extensive shallow wetlands fed by the waters of the Strymonas River at the site of the lake. The continuous reduction of the capacity of the lake due to sediment from the river led to the construction of a new dam in 1982. Now one of the ten most important wetlands in Greece, Lake Kerkini is protected by the international Ramsar Convention. The National Park that was established in 2006 specifies the activities that are allowed or forbidden within its limits (hunting, logging, etc.). Rare birds, large numbers of fish, and other important species live in the lake and around it. Thousands of birdwatchers, scientists, and others visit the lake and the natural environment surrounding it.





Lake Kerkini

How to Get There

Lake Kerkini is located 574 kilometers from Athens; it takes about 6 hours to cover the distance. Take the National Road (or Highway, Ethniki Odos) from Athens to Thessaloniki, and from there follow the signs for Serres. Approximately 55 kilometers after Thessaloniki, you will find the exit for Lake Kerkini. Lake Kerkini is situated 14 kilometers from the main road that heads from Thessaloniki to Serres, and 70 kilometers from Thessaloniki.

You can reach several villages around Lake Kerkini by bus from the Serres Bus Station, or stathmos leoforion KTEL (telephone 23210-22822).

You can also reach the wider region of Lake Kerkini by train from Athens, via Thessaloniki. For example, it takes about about one and a quarter hours to go from Thessaloniki to Rodopoli and 1 hour and 35 minutes for the village of Vyroneia. Information and ticket reservations are available from the Hellenic Railways Association, telephone 14511.

Getting Around

Roads

The road network in the area is in fairly good condition, apart from the main road from Kilkis to Promachonas, which has many potholes because of all the trucks that use it daily. The road that connects Sidirokastro with the Greek-Bulgarian border is brand new, although the work is not quite complete. In most of the region, the roads are convenient and easy to navigate, because they are in the lowlands. The only place you will encounter turns is in the foothills of Mount Beles and on the roads leading to the fortresses of Istimpei and Roupel.

Other Means of Transport

A bus departs daily from Serres, heading to most of the villages in the prefecture.

Useful Hints

1. The best time to visit the area is spring, when everything is green and blooming. Keep in mind, of course, that you're in northern Greece, where the weather is cool in the springtime, and even on summer evenings.

2. Because of the lake, the water, and the rice fields on the plain of Serres, the area has many mosquitoes, especially when the weather is warm. Buy mosquito repellent, close the screens (all houses and rooms for rent in the region have screens) and avoid peak times for mosquitoes, 8 to 10 in the evening.

3. Since you are so close to Bulgaria, it would be a shame not to make a visit to the neighboring country. So do not forget to bring along the new type of ID, or a passport.

4. The area around the lake (especially the lakeside and mountain roads) is full of both large and small animals. Drive carefully, especially in the evening, when visibility is limited.

5. You will find a pharmacy in almost every village, but for a bank or post office, you should head to one of the towns like Irakleia or Sidirokastro.

Useful Phone Numbers

Police Station of Poroia - 23270-22353

Police Station of Sidirokastro - 23230-22812

Hospital of Serres - 23210-94500

Health Center of Sidirokastro - 23233-50000

Regional Health Clinic of Kerkini - 23270-41222

Township of Sintiki - 23233-50200

Citizens’ Service Center of Sidirokastro - 23230-28281


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