Explore Cretan Wetlands


Because of its small width, Crete has few rivers, starting from the mountains of the island, in the central part, and ending either at the South Cretan or North Cretan Sea. Most of them have water only during the winter months, while on summer they get dry.

Almiros wetland

Almiros spring can probably most satisfactory explain the term paradox. This spring is located at the northeastern side of Psiloritis, a few hundred meters far from the sea and the city of Heraklion, and it runs off the highest water quantity in Crete directly into the sea through the homonym river of Almiros! The water of the spring is brackish because somewhere quite deep it is mixed with seawater.


Geropotamos River

Geropotamos, the sacred river of the Minoans, gathers the water of Mesara Plain and exits inside the military airport of Tymbaki, close to Kokkinos Pirgos. The coastline south of Kokkinos Pyrgos has several places where small ponds of foremost ecological importance are formed, with the nicest being at the area of Pahia Ammos (or Afratias), which can be accessed through dirt track.


Platys River

The River Platis Potamos is one of the rivers of Crete with lot of water and dense vegetation. Indeed, along the banks there are several stone bridges with arches built by the inhabitants of the area to cross the river.


Aposelemis River

Aposelemis River is one of the longest rivers in Crete, which receives the groundwater of the plateau of Lassithi from the springs of Fleges, near Kastamonitsa village. Then, it runs near the village Avdou, where it changes route and joins the river of Ambelos Gorge, continues to Potamies, where a large dam has been constructed, and it reaches the position Xerokamares, where it joins the small river of Karouzana. Then, it passes through the gorge of Aposelemis and heads towards the northern shores of Heraklion, where it exits into a small wetland near Gouves.


Anapodaris River

The River Anapodaris is located in south-central Prefecture of Heraklion and exits near the village of Tsoutsouras and Keratokambos. More specifically, it starts gathers water from east-central Heraklion and southern Dikti, with may smaller rivers (eg Baritis) flowing into it. Close to Demati village a nice arched bridge crosses the river.


Kyliaris River

Kyliaris river starts near Stylos village by Apokoronas Province and ends at the beach of Kyani Akti near Kalives. It’s 5km long and is the second largest river in water flow in Crete. The name Kyliaris means the river that carries stones away. It's ancient name was Pyknos (i.e. dense), due to the dense vegetation along its banks.


River Tavronitis

To the west of the prefecture of Chania and 20 kilometers away from the city of Chania we meet the estuary of Tavronitis. Tavronitis with Platanias are the two largest rivers in the western part of Chania. At its exit to the sea, the river forms a delta which is a very important wetland.


Almiros Wetland at Georgioupolis

The lake and the river Almyros in the area of ​​Georgioupolis form one of the most important wetlands of western Crete. In the lake, we find many aquatic birds and aquatic plants like reeds, myrtles, and oleanders. The lake is natural and is watered by the water of the White Mountains. The bank has been formed in order to assist in the operation of a small 300kW hydroelectric power station.


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