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Vistonida Lake

Vistonida lake is located between Rodopi and Xanthi prefectures and administratively it belongs to both prefectures.
It has a shape of parallelogram with maximum side length of 10 km. Its maximum surface is around 54.000 acres and its average depth is 2.8m. The streams that supply the lake with water are Kosinthos, Kompsatos and Travos.
According to mythology its name comes from Vistones, which was an ancient Thracian tribe living in the area. The mythical king of Vistones Diomides owned man eating horses which were caught by Hercules and brought to Mycenae according to Evristheas orders. Hercules finished one of his twelve deeds here in Thrace.
The former name of the lake is Bourou and it originates from the Byzantine city of Poroi, the ruins of which where found on the south side of the lake on Bourou islet.
Vistonida is connected with the sea via artificial and natural channels and therefore its water is brackish.
According to the data known up to now, 264 bird species live in Vistonida lagoon while in the surrounding area of the wetland the number reaches to 302. In the lake you can see ducks, geese, flamingos, pygmy cormorants and many other bird species. What however, has made Vistonida water biotope famous is the unique colony of Herons. The biodiversity of the biotope is expanded through many mammal species such as wolves, otters, coyotes etc, as well as serpents. Its flora is also very rich, mainly on the lakeside or in the riverine forests and includes species such as poplar tree, willow, water elm, plane tree etc.
The Information Center of Vistonida and Ismarida lakes, which is located close to Porto Lagos settlement and from where you can observe some bird species, is of specific interest.

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