Kerkini: the Pelicans’ paradise

  • Upcoming dates 9-12 February 2024 19-22 January 2024
  • Duration4 days (3 nights)
  • Sites of interestKerkini Lake, Axios Delta
  • Pricefrom 850€
  • Number of participantsMin 4
  • Tour leader Andrea Senese

A weekend of birdwatching, photography and naturalistic exploration on Lake Kerkini. Located on the border with Bulgaria, this large artificial reservoir offers some of the best opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife photography in Europe. In winter the number of water birds reaches its peak and this is undoubtedly the best time to photograph the Dalmatian Pelicans who, with their crests and their colored beaks, prepare to conquer their partners.

During our photographic excursions by boat, for an ethical but above all a scientific question, in order not to contribute to altering the ethology of the birds, we do not use baits to bring animals closer. In winter these are in any case extremely confident and the possibility of taking breathtaking shots is almost guaranteed.

In addition to the shores of the lake, we will explore the mountains to the north, which are particularly interesting in terms of forest birdlife. Although bird watching will be one of the main activities, time will also be devoted to the observation and research of Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians. Another interesting site that we will visit is the delta complex of the Axios River, located a few kilometers west of Thessaloniki. Finally, we will have a brief taste of the aforementioned city, a crossroads of cultures and second most important Greek city.

-KERKINI LAKE: The reservoir is the result of the barrier of the Strymónas River, a work that took place in 1932 to be able to irrigate the plain in front of Serre. Each winter it hosts more than 40,000 water birds, many of these being ducks (19 different species registered here), Flamingos and Great White Herons. In addition to hosting a fair number of Great White Pelicans, the lake is the most important wintering site of Dalmatian Pelicans in all of Europe, as well as an important nesting site for this species.

-AXIOS DELTA: Located on the western coast of the Thermaic Gulf, it represents one of the most interesting coastal wetlands in the country. Its lagoons are home to a large number of Flamingos, Pygmy Cormorants and many species of coastal birds, waders and birds of prey.

Birds: Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus), Bewick’s Swan (Cygnus bewickii), Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus), Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), Smew (Mergellus albellus), Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus), Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus), Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga), Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus), Merlin (Falco columbarius), Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans), Syrian Woodpecker (Dendrocopus syriacus), Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus), Sombre Tit (Parus lugubris), Western Rock-Nuthatch (Sitta neumayer).

In addition to birdlife, along the shores of Lake Kerkini it is possible to observe some of the most interesting European mammals, such as the Wildcat (Felis silvestris), photographed a few meters away in the last expedition, and the Golden Jackal (Canis aureus).

As for the herpetofauna, the possibility of meeting the species present in the area will depend on the climatic conditions present during the tour.

DAY 1: Meet at Thessaloniki airport. Moving to Kerkini Lake National Park. Birdwatching. Dinner and overnight in Kerkini.

DAY 2: Photographic boat tour on Kerkini Lake. Whole day dedicated to birdwatching, photography and exploration of the surrounding mountains. Dinner and overnight in Kerkini.

DAY 3: Whole Day dedicated to birdwatching, photography and exploration of the surrounding mountains. Photographic boat tour. Dinner and overnight in Kerkini.

DAY 4: Transfer to Thessaloniki area. Birdwatching on the Axios Delta. Free lunch in Thessaloniki and short visit of the city. Moving to the airport.

Rates from € 850.

For more information contact the organizers.

What is included:

  • Overnight stays.
  • Meals (3 breakfasts, 3 dinners – drinks not included).
  • Internal transfers by van, including fuel costs, tolls, parking.
  • 2 photographic boat tours.
  • Scientific accompaniment by zoologist for the duration of the trip, with support material for wildlife observations (binoculars, spotting scope, field guides, etc.) – supplied according to anti-Covid19 safety provisions.
  • Travel insurance.*

What’s not included:

  • Flights.
  • Entrance to the monuments and any tips to local guides.
  • Everything not mentioned in the previous item.

*The rate includes insurance designed to protect the participant even in the event of a contraction of Covid19 during the tour or before departure (with full reimbursement of the cost of the tour without any deductible).
For more information about the type of insurance policy that will be stipulated, contact the organizers.

Possibility to request a quote including airfare, with any additional nights, depending on personal needs.

The rate includes basic travel insurance.
For further information regarding the possibility of taking out additional insurance policies, contact the organizers.

Penalties in the event of cancellation: In the event of unmotivated withdrawal of the contract by the consumer, the penalties are equal to 100% of the entire participation fee, in addition to non-refundable insurance premiums.

Number of participants: Minimum 3

If the minimum group is not reached or if the organization cancels due to force majeure, the entire amount paid will be refunded.

Reservations within 30 days of the departure date.

Information regarding rates and payment methods will be communicated by email after completing the request form.


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