Kalochori Lagoon

Photo: © allovergreece.com

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Kalochori Lagoon

The lagoon of Kalochori is located near the village of the same name, about 8 km from the city of Thessaloniki. It covers an area of 226 hectares and its bed lies at 0.5 – 1 meter below sea level. The lagoon constitutes the northern gate of the Delta Axios National Park and is of special interest, hosting great numbers of birds and other organisms throughout the year. Large number of flamingos often find refuge there seeking for food in its shallow waters. Herons, silver pelicans, black-headed gulls, sea eagles, and ducks also live there. On the near horizon, the contrast is fascinating, with factories and the urban fabric of Thessaloniki that stands out as a background.

This lagoon is one of the newest wetlands in Greece, formed gradually from the mid-60’s as the result of the subsidence of the earth due to the excessive pumping of water from underground aquifers. During the years 1955 – 1980, the Water Supply Company of Thessaloniki performed numerous drillings in the region in order to supply the city with water. Additional drillings were performed by private companies and individuals. This resulted had as a result, the underground aquifer of the region to be dropped by 36 meters since 1976. Also due to its loose composition, the clayey soil subsided at many points in the lagoon, even reaching a depth of 3-4 meters below sea level. In the basin, a lagoon was formed from underground sea water and rainwater. The lagoon was also reinforced by the construction of a coastal embankment in 1976 in order to protect the village of Kaloxhori from potential floodings.

The so-called red path crosses the lagoon from one end to another and allows visitors to enjoy nice strolls and is suitable for cycling and birdwatching. Flamingos and other birds are at a short distance without being disturbed by the human presence. The lagoon is a pole of attraction for nature lovers and those who like to watch birds. In the area, there aren’t any tourist facilities apart a birdwatching tower.