Municipality of Volvi - Promote tourism and Culture through the water (ToCulter)
In the heart of the Macedonian land, a stone's throw from Thessaloniki, a route created and paved with water and light-- welcomes the visitor. Nature, history and folklore follow a path-- that begins in the Pleistocene and continues to the present. During this time, many things have changed.
What has not changed for sure is the uniqueness of the landscape-- and the connection between all its elements; from the shores of Koronia, to Strymonikos Gulf. Fountains, torrents, streams, there is almost no part of the area that does not have a connection to water. Both Koronia and Volvi-- part of what is also known as the Mygdonia basin.
A lake that hundreds of thousands of years ago-- had a depth of 110 meters, and an area that hosted a unique flora and fauna. Who can imagine that in this corner of the Greek land-- you could once meet mammoths, rhinos-- and hippos? And yet, fantasy and science are connected-- to the nearby Museum of Natural History of New Kalindoi, where the visitor can see and admire fossils-- of several of these species. More than two million acres is the area-- which falls under the responsibility of the Management Body of the region. And if that sounds enormous-- is because this is the largest land area under the responsibility -- of a single Management Body in the entire Greek territory. Of these, more than 75% - almost 1.6 million acres - belong to Natura 2000 Special Protection Zone.
In addition, both lakes - Koronia and Volvi - along with 9 other sites in different parts of the country, in addition to the pan-European Natura 2000 protection network, are also included in the Ramsar International Protection Treaty since 1975. Koronia, until a few years ago, was one of the most popular destinations -- for short-distance and quick getaways from Thessaloniki on Sundays. With an impressive size -with its 45,000 thousand acres, it was the 5th largest lake in Greece in terms of surface covered- it consisted a unique environment that was full of social life, and dozens of fish taverns-- -each one a special tasty destination- thanks to the plentiful fishingcatches. From the middle of the decade onwards, the landscape changed. Poor wastewater management, over-pumping of water for agricultural use and water-consuming industries-- and overfishing.
Violent and abrupt change of environment was the result. And somehow, the lake changed. But the hope for its revival is not off the books yet.
Thanks to the efforts of both the Management Body and other entities-- as well as ones by individuals, the situation tends to overturn. The goal is to regain the supply of water-- -thanks to the two torrents in Scholari and Lagadikia-- that can carry rainwater- and for Koronia to reach a depth of 4 meters again. In addition, a 4 km ditch now connects Koronia and Volvi, having already become part of the local ecosystem. Lake Koronia-- is also known as Lake Agios Vassilios, stemming from the homonymous village.
Tradition says that the Byzantine Emperor Basil I, also known as the Macedonian, would pass through the area with his army one winter. Unaware of this, he and his soldiers-- crossed the icy lake towards Thessaloniki. When he understood what he did, the danger he ran through and the way he escaped, he wanted to thank God and his patron saint of the same name, leading to the eventual naming of the lake. The geothermal profile of the area has a strong and timeless presence. In the wider area there are 3 geothermal fields-- - in Langadas, Nymfopetra and Apollonia.
Their utilisation dates to such an extent in the past, so that even today the visitor can find in Loutra Lagada-- a Byzantine water bath tank used since 900 AD. However, apart from hydrotherapy, geothermal energy is also used in agriculture, since several greenhouses in the area use the springs-- in order to heat themselves during the difficult Macedonian winter. Between Koronia and Volvi, there is Nymfopetra.
There, the visitor-- can meet a differentiated cluster of limestone formations Long and special, they deceive the eye of the visitor, resembling to human figures. This resemblance also fed a local legend. According to one version, these figures werehunters, who have been petrified by goddess Artemis-- when she caught them watch the Nymphs of the area. The other version is related to a wedding that once took place at that very spot, when the bridal march-- was transformed to stonesatthatspot, because of the curse of the bride's mother.
But as long as the stones do not speak, the secret of their origin will never be revealed. North of Chortiatis, there is the gorge of Skala Zagliveri. Carved by water and time, it hosts from end to end in the 5 km of its length, an impressive and lush vegetation. Thanks to the ravines and torrents that end here, a rich aquatic vegetation is maintained, with plane trees being predominant. Baths of Apollonia Following the Old National Road between Thessaloniki and Kavala, after about 50 kilometers-- there is the picturesque settlement of Loutra Apollonia, right next to Lake Volvi. According to Strabo, the area was famous for its hot springs since the years of Philip I of Macedon who built bath facilitiesthere for the first time in the 5th century BC.
These baths remained in use until the Byzantine years. Today, the spa features-- a steam bath, hydromassage pools, sauna, indoor pool and private baths, while massage and physiotherapy services are also provided. The water of the thermal springs-- is characterised as hyper thermic, oligo metallic and hypotonic. The therapeutic effects of water-- include a variety of ailments, from back pain and sciatica to migraines and sinusitis.
Leaving the south shore of Lake Volvi we are in the lakeside forest of Apollonia. An important wetland system, but also one of the last remaining forests of this type in the country Lake Volvi Legend says that Oceanus and Tethys had a daughter-- named Volvi. A beautiful nymph who protected the lake that took its name, while the fruit of her love with the demigod Hercules was Olynthos, the mythical king of Thrace and founder of the city of the same name.
Today, Volvi is the largest lake in Macedonia-- and the second largest in Greece after Trichonida, with an area of 68 square kilometers and a maximum depth of 25 meters. In addition to its impressive size, it is one of the most attractive wetlands in the country, with internationally protected flora and fauna. Dozens of species of fish, reptiles and birds, from the waterfowl that gather here in winter, to the grey egrets, black grouse and bee-eaters-- that come here in the spring.
In the lake, however, there are several daily small earthquakes, in the vast majority not felt by humans. To this seismic activity probably owes its previous name-- Besik-- from the Turkish beşik, which means cradle, crib. Macedonian Tempi Then we meet the river Richios.
The natural extruder of Lake Volvi-- completes the wetland system of the area, and before reaching the Strymonikos Gulf, its course crosses the straits of Rentina. Or in other words, a landscape known as the Macedonian Temples-- - a landscape of equal beauty with the homonymous Tempi of Thessaly. Along with their natural beauty, the straits of Rentina-- Rentina also feature an impressive variety-- of fauna and flora. They host many rare species of predators, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. In their very rich vegetation, apart from plane trees, willows and elms, there are also several protected species of plants.
It is no coincidence that the area is labelled as-- a Specially Protected Mediterranean Area-- and an Area of Special Natural Beauty. Being an extremely important ecosystem, both for our country and for Europe, the goal is to be guarded and protected. Stavros Stavros lies just 65 km from Thessaloniki-- in the northeastern part of the Halkidiki peninsula.
A seaside destination with unique natural beauty-- where the green of the mountain meets the blue of the sea. A sea whose waters - with a Blue Flag - are suitable for swimming, fishing, diving, and all water sports. At the exit of the Macedonian Temples and quite close to Stavros-- there is consensus that the ancient Vromiskos was located.
A settlement that owed its name to the ancient "vromo" -- - a kind of cereal like barley - or the word “voé” ("roar") -probably from the wind that blew from the straits of Rentina. Vrasna In the beginning, there was the mountain settlement of Vrasna. Subsequently, the flourishing of coastal tourism-- led to the residential development of the coast of Nea Vrasna-- from the 50s. Today, the coast of Nea Vrasna is awarded with the Blue Flag, and it contains a crystal clear and organised beach, with a magical view of Strymonikos gulf.
Asprovalta Asprovalta is located east of Thessaloniki, at the northeastern end of the prefecture-- and on the west coast of Strymonikos gulf. An area already present from the Hellenistic period-- and an important footprint during the Roman years, since the Ancient Egnatia Odos crossed the area. Its name dates back to the years of Ottoman rule-- since according to a document from the Momnasteries of Athos, it is mentioned that at the beginning of the 16th century-- the settlement of AspriValta (“White Swamp”) was built on the southern slopes of Kerdyllia. Today, Asprovalta is-- one of the most remarkable summer tourist resorts in Macedonia, with visitors from both Greece and abroad, while its coast is awarded every year with the Blue Flag. Strymonikos Gulf The area between the capes Elefthera (at Halkidiki)-- and Agios Dimitrios (at Kavala)-- is defined as the Gulf of Orfanos, better known as Strymonikos Gulf.
His name giver is the river Strymonas, which flows into it, and which is already mentioned by the geographer Strabo, while the Roman historian Livy-- names the beach of the gulf as Parastrymonia. Discreetly located, Strymonikos gulf-- is the ideal cloure of a path with the water as its predominant element, and serves as a companion of every traveller-- who wants to get to know-- the numerous unique faces of the liquid element in this outstanding corner of Central Macedonia. The Municipality of Volvi is intertwined with water at its every aspect. From the smallest stream to the most imposing beach, a unique geographical terrain, so different in every corner, retains a common element An element that invites the visitor to discover it, to listen to it, to experience it, during every season of the year. And besides, to learn how nature, history and tradition-- tradition retain their authenticity, on their own path, following the eternal current of time.