Small and Big Prespa

In the region of Florina there is a magical world of incomparable natural beauty created by retreating glaciers and a series of seismic phenomena. Two important lakes surrounded by mountains, Great and Small Prespa, provide a stunning sight, reflecting the wooded slopes of the surrounding mountains in their waters. They lie 850 m. above sea-level and have a depth of 50 m. Their shores at many places are steep and rocky. In other places they are calm and have rich vegetation.

One of the most important wetlands in Europe, the Prespa lakes are considered to be a paradise for migratory birds; hundreds of bird species, many of them endangered, nest and breed here, among them the Dalmatian pelican, the cormorant and the heron. Kit yourself out with the right bird watching equipment and visit the special Bird Observatory, where members of the Hellenic Ornithological Society will tell you all about the birds or even lend you a telescope to observe them.

The shores of Mikri Prespa, with thick reeds, host pelicans, wild ducks and many other species of rare birds attract the interest of international scientific institutes.

Don’t forget to cross the floating bridge leading to the island of Saint Achilios in Small Prespa and admire the ruins of the 10th century church of the same name. Visit the caves where hermits used to live and admire the rock paintings which can be seen at Fishermen Bay or along the shores of Great Prespa. At the end of your tour of the lakes, wander around the traditional settlements of Psarades (meaning Fishermen) and Aghios Germanos, where you can also try a meal of carp, one of the delicious fish found in the lake, Florina peppers and gigantes beans accompanied with a little local tsipouro (a clear schnapps-like spirit).

Activities: Don’t miss out on the opportunity to go on a romantic boat ride across the Great Prespa lake on traditional boats called “plaves”.

Prespa is about 45 km west from Florina and 50 km north from Kastoria. Mikri Prespa is on the left of the central road and is separated by Megali Prespa by a narrow strip of land 1,000 m. The whole region is an attraction and has been designated as a National Park.

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