The western side of the coastal front of Thessaloniki
Just a few kilometers away from the beating heart of Thessaloniki, there is an unknown to many, extensive wetland, natural ecosystem of spectacular natural beauty, integrated in the Natura 2000 areas.
Within the administrative boundaries of the Municipality of Delta are included 158,000 acres of the total 300,000 acres of the total Natura area. This unique ecosystem is the "secret" place of escape for the locals. Regardless if you’re in search of a spot to relax or trying out activities like birdwatching, there’s something for everyone in the western side of the coastal front of Thessaloniki.
The area of Kalochori is the "gate" to the protected area from Thessaloniki. Starting from the Kalochori Lagoon and the estuary of the Gallikos River that hosts the water buffalo, enjoy a 28 km coastal route to the estuary of the Axios Delta, where wildlife declares its presence. Here, we meet the authentic beauty of the west side of the coastal zone of Thessaloniki.
The “floating village” of Chalastra impresses every visitor. The huts we see in the area were created in 2000 with European funding and Greek participation to facilitate the work of the region's mussel growers and fishermen. These constructions serve for work, rest and tool storage. This area is the main source of mussels in Greece. You can watch fishermen and the mussel producers working, using the tools of their trade, but don`t miss seeing cormorants and pygmy cormorants- the real “professionals” -at work fishing under water or drying their wings in the sun.
Following the route along the western embankment of Axios river, from Kymina area, another “wooden state” lies in front of your eyes, at the estuary of Loudias river. Make a stop to enjoy the magical sunset, facing the imposing throne of Zeus and Hera, Mt. Olympus.
The Axios River Delta Information Center, located at Halastra town, provide supplementary material and eco-tourist maps of suggested routes. By visiting the Information Center, the visitors can be informed in depth and to understand the area, the biodiversity of the area, to understand the value of this small ecological alternative paradise next to Thessaloniki.