All visitors of Xanthi should not miss going to Vistonida Lake with
its canals and reed thickets surrounding it as well as the small delta of the
rivers flowing into it. Lagoons such as Lafre, Lafrouda, Alyki, Elos and Porto
Lagos complete this natural beauty. In the Porto Lagos lagoon one can visit the
chapels of St Nicholas and Virgin Mary which are built on small islets.
Lake Vistonida was formulated 5,000,000 years ago. It was named after
the Vistons, a Thracian tribe living around. The area of the lake is 42 sq.km.
The size of the lake decreases and increases alternately for almost 6 sq.km.,
depending on the season. The average depth of the lake is 2 ? 2.5 m. (max. 3 m.).
It is a peculiarity of Vistonida Lake that there are great fluctuations
in the salt content of its water. Thus, the water in the Northern part of the
lake is brackish because of the influx of three rivers: Kosynthos, Kompsatos and
Travos. On the contrary, the Southern part of the lake has salty water because
of three canals connecting the lake with the sea.
All sorts of birds, in impressive numbers, dominate the area. There
is also a great variety in vegetation and fauna. The silent (for human ears) world
of fish amounts to 37 different species (including striped grey mullets and eels)
in the lake. The animals living around are either carnivorous or herbivorous at
various sizes. Wild cats, jackals and badgers seek refuge in the forests, the
bushes and the delta of Kompsatos River, whereas, at a larger scale, there are
wolves and roes.