Kastoria (Orestiada) Lake
Lake Orestiada or Orestida, also known as "Kastoria Lake", is located in northwestern Greece and is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Balkans. It is an aquatic site of unique beauty, an important area of breeding and feeding of rare species of avifauna. The lake spreads to a natural basin enclosed by mountains and is the residue of an enormous ancient lake of Miocene.
In the northeast of the lake there is Vitsi, in the northwest is the mountain of Triklarion and to the southwest the Mount of Voios, while the waters of Orestiada are renewed mainly by the waters that descend from Vitsi with the torrents of Xiropotamos, Thicholisti, Metamorfosi and Lakkou. To the west of the lake is located a beautiful peninsula in the isthmus of which lies the city of Kastoria, giving the lake the shape of a kidney. Almost every winter the lake's waters freeze for 2 to 5 weeks. Near the lake is Dispilio, where the remains of a prehistoric lakeside settlement have been found.
Orestiada is surrounded by hills full of forests, wet meadows, reeds, lakeside forests, meadows and fields. Among the aquatic plants here are Trapa natans, Najas marina, Potamogeton pectinatus, P. crispus, P. natans, P. perfoliatus, P. lucens, Azolla filiculoides, Ceratophyllum demersum, C. submersum, Polygonum amphibium, Myriophyllum spicatum, Nymphaea alba, Nuphar lutea, Hydrocharis morsus-nanae, Lemna gibba, Spirodella polyrrhiza, and others.
The flora around the lake and on the peninsula includes rare and beautiful species such as Lilium candidum, Iris pseudacorus, Stachys palustris, Galeopsis candidum, Leucojum aestivum, Campanula versicolor, , Althaea officinalis, Verbascum phoeniceum, Clematis viticella, Rhamnus intermedius, Alisma plantago-aquatica, Acanthus balcanicus, Butomus umbellatus, Rorippa amphibia, Oenanthe aquatica, Lythrum salicaria, Galium palustre, Veronica anagalis-aquatica, Mentha aquatica, Nasturtium officinalae, Sparganium erectum, Solanum dulcamara and Apium nodiflorum.
In the lake we found such as Anguilla anguilla, Esox lucius, Gobio bulgaricus, Rutilus rutilus, Scardinius erythrophthalmus, Silurus glanis, Squalius vardarensis, Tinca tinca, Carassius gibelio, Cyprinus carpio, Ctenopharyngodon idella, Lepomis gibbosus, Oncorhynchus mykiss and Perca fluviatilis.