Lake Kerkini

A refuge for nature and birdwatchers
Sunrise on Kerkini lake
Thrace region-id="pin-13"; Macedonia Macedonia Epirus Thessaly Sporades Ionian Islands Western Greece Central Greece Attica Peloponnese Crete Cyclades North Aegean Islands Dodecanese Dodecanese Karpathos Astypalea Tilos Sitia Faistos - Matala Patmos Kastelorizo Kasos Kos Leros Halki Rhodes Symi Sfakia - Loutro Rethymno Elounda - Agios Nikolaos Agia Galini Plakias Hersonissos - Malia Ierapetra Heraklion Chania Nisyros Ikaria Lipsi Tzia - Kea Thasos Samos Lesvos Samothrace Limnos Chios Kalymnos Paros Naxos Zante - Zakynthos Lefkada Corfu Santorini Milos Kythnos Kimolos Serifos Syros Sifnos Koufonisia Ios Kefalonia Mykonos Paxi Ithaca Arta Ioannina Tinos Parga - Sivota Metsovo Anafi Sikinos Folegandros Donousa - Iraklia - Schinoussa Antiparos Zagori Mountainous Arkadia Porto Heli - Ermioni Preveza Amorgos Andros Delos Messolongi Ancient Olympia Aegina Kythira Archea Epidavros Patra Nafplio Kardamyli Kalamata Ilia Corinth Western Messinia Kalavryta Elafonissos Nafpaktos Spetses Poros Hydra Alexandroupolis Pylos Mycenae Monemvasia Loutraki Piraeus Athens Arahova Xanthi Galaxidi Mystra - Sparta Mani Edipsos Delphi Chalkida Karystos Evia Skyros Vergina Alonissos Volos Karditsa Skopelos Skiathos Kastoria Thessaloniki Prespes Agios Athanasios Edessa Serres Veria Larissa - Tempi Elati - Pertouli Trikala Pelion Meteora Drama Ammouliani Mount Athos - Ouranopolis Nymfeo Mount Olympos Katerini Halkidiki Grevena Lake Kerkini Naoussa Kozani Kilkis Kavala Pella Lake Plastira
Ecotourism at its best in one of the most important wetlands in Europe

Who was it who said that when man intervenes in nature, the results are invariably disappointing? Lake Kerkini refutes that statement 100%. It’s a lake born after a dam was built in 1932 and, with time, it has metamorphosed into a veritable Macedonian paradise. Enjoy the pleasures of ecotourism: A sanctuary for birds and humans alike, the calm, unruffled lake offers itself for birdwatching and boating, while its shores are perfect for cycling and walks. 


What to do in Kerkini

Thousands of creatures, one ecosystem

Kerkini can’t help but fascinate, as the whole setting seems lifted from a nature channel documentary. Here on holiday in Macedonia, you become part of the interaction between people and animals, birds and trees, fields and reed beds, water and fish. Taken together, they create a very special atmosphere. Everything coexists in this peaceful kingdom in a delicate yet dynamic balance.

Time for birdwatching

If you’re an ornithologist, you’ll think you’re in heaven at Kerkini. Flocks of Dalmatian pelicans, herons of all kinds, pygmy cormorants… all frequent the area. More than 300 species have been identified here, many of them endangered. For more birds of a different feather, including raptors, take your binoculars up to Mts Beles and Krousia, just north of the lake. The heart of ecotourism beats here in Macedonia.

Take to water

Grab your paddles, your friends and take to the water in a canoe (large enough for three) or a plava, the traditional flat-bottomed craft used by local fishermen, and explore the beguiling world of Kerkini. These boats are ideal for skimming over shallow water between half-submerged trees and clusters of reeds. Unsure of your skills? Join a lake tour.

Cycling around the lakeside villages

The land around the lake is flat, just right for a bike ride or gentle walk to get to know the district’s quiet villages. First stop, Kerkini, with its pleasant low buildings and broad streets. Next, Lithotopos, where you can see how the lake was created. A paved road will take you to a spot just above the dam. When you get to Lithotopos’ little port, get off your bike. The woods here are ideal for a walk.

Hidden gems of Kerkini

The forest of Kerkini

Just the place for an adventure within nature. In a 4x4 or on foot, set off to discover a place of special beauty: water lily ponds, cormorants’ nests and a rich world of birds and flowers.

Ano Poria, for a change of scene

This village, nestled amidst incomparable scenery at the foot of Mt Beles, is the most developed in this hilly area. Here you’ll find cosy hotels, cafes and tavernas. Akritohori also has hotels and is near the Timios Prodromos Monastery, which should also be on your must-see list.

Kerkini’s water buffaloes

Once a dying breed, these gentle beasts are flourishing once more. You may see them wading in the lake. Look for buffalo milk yogurt and the caramelised, custard-like sweet kazan dipi, a regional speciality.

Read More Read Less

Discover Greece Your Way

Discover authentic local experiences and secure your bookings for activities and tours with our official online rates.

Travel ideas

Shining the light on stories
Itineraries & road trip ideas around Greece for couples and families

Best day trips from Thessaloniki

Discover the best day trips from Thessaloniki, with half-day and full-day tours for history, food and nature lovers so you can get the most out of your holidays in Greece’s second city
Boat tour which give the visitor the opportunity to admire the incomparable beauty of Lake Kerkini

7 magical getaways just 60mins from Thessaloniki

One of Europe’s rising stars, Thessaloniki holds yet another ace up its sleeve. Around an hour’s drive away are experiences that are unique for European city breakers… exotic beaches, royal tombs, an ancient palace, the mountain of the gods and wetlands a
The road to Parnassus shelter

Winter holidays in Greece

Greece's bright light welcomes you to experience the most unexpected winter holidays of your life