Wetlands

CRETE HAS LIMITED WATER RESOURCES, DUE TO ITS GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION AND WEATHER CONDITIONS.

Dams and artificial reservoirs have been built at several sites of the island in order to meet the increasing needs for water supply. After their construction, all of them soon were transformed into very important wetlands, enriching the biodiversity of the island.

The largest natural lake in Crete is located at Kournas by Georgioupolis, where visitors can watch birds from the local watch tower. Small but important natural ponds with water all year round are also located at Tersanas by Chania, at Mohos and Thrapsano while seasonal ponds are met at Orne, Parakalouri, Ziros, Omalos by Viannos, Achendrias, Stroumboulas, various plateaus of the northern province of Mirabello, Gergeri and at several more places. Artificial lakes where one can observe birds are located at Ayia by Chania, at Votomos by Zaros, at the large dams of Bramiana, Aposelemis, Faneromeni, Potami and the numerous small dams in the hinterland of Heraklion.

Rivers and wetlands that are home to large populations of wading birds are also found in numerous sites of the island. The most famous include the estuaries of the rivers Aposelemis, Anapodaris, Almiros by Gazi, Preveli, Platys, Almiros by Agios Nikolaos, Kyliaris and the four rivers of Georgioupolis. Other extremely important locations are the saltpans of Xerokambos, Gavdos, Chrissi and the marshes of Malia, Katalyki and Falassarna.

TipBIRD WATCHING AT THE WETLANDS OF CRETE IS A GREAT ACTIVITY, ESPECIALLY DURING THE SEASONS OF BIRD MIGRATION: AUTUMN AND SPRING.