Axios Delta National Park | Chalastra
  • Free entrance

Axios Delta National Park

Chalastra,Thessaloniki (District),Thessaloniki Region,Central Macedonia,Greece

General information

One of the most important ecosystems in Greece is situated on the west coast of the Thermaikos Gulf. It comprises the area of Kalochori Lagoon, the estuary of the Gallikos River, the delta of the Aliakmon, Loudias, and Axios rivers, the wetland of Nea Agathoupoli and Aliki Kitrous. All these treasures of the Greek nature were united into one National Park, where you can spend a day far from civilization.

Park description

In ancient times, the territory of Axios Delta looked completely different from the way we see it now. The time and human activity were changing this place throughout the centuries. Axios Delta National Park was established in 2009 and covers the area of almost 34 hectares. The territory of the natural reserve was taken under protection after joining the Ramsar Convention and the regional network Natura 2000. There are about 300 bird species within the area of the National Park (including the extinct ones), 40 species of mammals, amphibians, and crawlers. Among numerous inhabitants of “Axios Delta”, you can see:

  • Sea beaver;
  • Eurasian wolf;
  • Nutria;
  • Little cormorant;
  • Jackal;
  • White-tailed eagle.

The delta maintains not only the bird population of Greece but also provides the necessary fish spawning run conditions in the Aegean Sea and the Thermaikos Gulf.

Kalochori Lagoon – it is the northern gates of the National park. You can find it 8 kilometers from Thessaloniki that is why one pays great attention to the state of local ecology. The flamingo and other Axios Delta birds are living in the waters of the lagoon. The shallow waters are the source of their nutrition.

The Gallikos River was brought to life in the direct meaning of the word, thanks to the Aliakmon River water supplies. One provides favorable living conditions for cormorants and rare species of herons.

The Axios River – is the second-longest river in the Balkans. The river has its source on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia and discharges into the Thermaikos Gulf. The river is an important source of fresh water. The grey herons, ibises, and one of the biggest cormorant colonies in Europe choose local riverine forests to be their home in the spring and summer.

Loudias River was once a water flow, created by the mountainous rivers, running through Giannitsa Lake and discharging into the Thermaikos Gulf. The modern Loudias River is a flume that was officially opened in the 30s.

The Aliakmon River – is the longest river in Greece with the expanded delta. Thanks to the limited presence of people here, this area is inhabited by many species of animals. Among them are the white-tailed eagles, which belong to rare species in Greece.

Getting around

The Axios Delta National Park territory is a remarkably beautiful place, where you can spend a day alone with nature. You can find various hiking and cycling tours on the official website of the park. You should look through all the available options beforehand to choose the best way for relaxation here.

The Chalastra Information center (Eirinis Street) provides a diverse choice of materials, maps, and routes for travelers. You can also find interactive panels offering various applications, photographic materials, and documentary movies. The center works every day (except Sunday), from 10:00 to 15:00.

Here are some of the routes about “Axios Delta”:

  • “Orange” – Elli’s Dam to Riverine Forest of Axios;
  • “Brown” – the “meadow of the souslik” to the Riverine forest of Anatoliko;
  • “Green” – Nea Agathoupoli observation tower to Alyki Kitrous Lagoon to Korinos;
  • “Purple” – West estuary of Almiravlakas. This route is a great choice for birdwatching;
  • “Red” – Nea Malgara to West embankment of Axios to the Loudias River estuary. If you are lucky, you will meet wild horses on the way;
  • “Yellow” – Halastra to Mussel farmers huts to the Observation tower to the “Danio” channel;
  • “Blue” – Kalochori Lagoon to the estuary of the Gallikos River to the Axios River Delta. It is one of the most popular routes about the National Park.

How to get

You should better reach the Axios Delta National park using the rental vehicle as this reservation area is situated pretty far from the city. You will have to leave the vehicle in the parking area to continue the walk along the selected route. If you are going to travel by bus, you can use this mode of transport only for reaching the starting points of the travel route at Kalochori (the city bus №40 leaves from the railway station in Thessaloniki) or Nea Agathoupoli (from the bus stop in Thessaloniki and Katerini), where you can start a walk about the National park.

Tips

  • There are no accommodation facilities on the territory of the National park. The nearest hotels stand in Thessaloniki, Veria, and Katerini.
  • There are several taverns in the vicinity of Axios Delta. They will be glad to meet the fans of gastronomy. During the stay in this place, you should try the cuttlefish stew, stewed eels, and mussels with rice.
  • The observation tower in Nea Agathoupoli is an excellent place to admire the views of the National park and go in for birdwatching.
  • Before a visit to the National park, you should also take care of special equipment. Due to high temperatures in the summer (the majority of wetlands do not provide shaded areas), you should put on the headwear, some sunscreen, take some water, and bug sprays. You should put on the clothes made of natural materials, which can protect you from receiving burns. In winter this area is under the influence of a strong north wind known as Vardaris. Thus, you should wear the corresponding clothes for a visit here.
  • The visitors of the park must also keep to the rules: the entry to the park is prohibited for cars; be quiet not to scare off the animals and see as many of them as it is possible; smoking is prohibited; do not make fire; inform the police or the information center about illegal hunting and the fire.

Contact Info

Axios Delta National Park

(Εθνικό Πάρκο Δέλτα Αξιού, Axios Delta National Park)
  • Aftokinitodromos Pireos - Thessalonikis, Chalastra 573 00, Greece
  • +30 231 079 4811
  • Website

Similar places