Bramiana Dam Lake
The artificial lake of Bramiana was built in 1986 at Bramiana to meet the 30.000 of the greenhouses of Ierapetra. It is located 5km northwest of the town, in the road connecting Ierapetra and Kalamafka village. The lake covers an area of 1050 acres and has a capacity of 15 million m3, making it the second largest wetland of southern Greece, after Potami Dam at Amari valley.
The water is supplied mainly from sources in Kefalovrysi by Kalamafka, Krygios River that comes from Selakano Wood and Males area, from the springs of Malavra and from the springs of Korakas Gorge by Meseleri.
This artificial lake, in the middle of an arid area, has become an important wetland and a stopping point for migratory birds. Today, it attracts the largest populations of waterfowl in Crete. According to Natural History Museum of Crete, over 218 different bird species have been recorded in the region (2010), a very large number for such a young lake. All these reasons have contributed to the characterization of Bramiana as a national park.
Mallard ducks that had disappeared from the island since 1975, have started nesting in the dam. Ferruginous ducks, moorhens, herons, pewits, gulls and terns are some of the waterfowl species of the lake. Apart from these, there have been observed eagles, falcons, partridges, turtle doves, larks, swallows, etc. During spring and autumn, Bramiana dam is overwhelmed by thousands of migratory birds. In winter, the lake is a haven for birds wintering there, many of which are threatened with extinction worldwide (ferruginous duck, black stork, lanner falcon, kestrel etc). Other animals such as frogs, hares, hedgehogs, bats, shrew, turtles, water snakes and lizards are met in the area.
The vegetation around the lake is characterized by reeds, plane trees, pines, poplars and tamarisks.
A walk around the lake
The local authorities have recently constructed observation towers, benches, floating nests for birds, information signs, etc. You can walk around the lake on foot. The best time to come in Bramiana is spring, when the water are at the highest level, since you will see many migratory birds.
Moreover, in summer that the water level falls, you will see the ruins of a church coming into view in the middle of the lake, reminding of the past.