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Prespes National Park

The National Park of Prespa encompasses the lakes of Mikri and Megali Prespa- in part-, which are separated by a sandy islet of alluvial sediment and are encompassed by tall mountains. Extensive reed beds of Phragmites australis, Typha angustifolia, and Scrirpus lacustris, Carex spp. occupy the shores of the lake. There are also characteristic formations of aquatic plants which are rooted in the depths, with large floating leaves, often with a layer of underwater species (Ceratophyllum sp., Myriophyllum sp. , Potamogeton sp.).

The area has rich fauna as a result of the great variety of natural habitats and its topography. The lakes are important for the breeding of aquatic birds. In total more than 200 species have been observed at the lakes and the surrounding forest. Particularly notable are the colonies of Pelecanus crispus (wild pelicans) and of Pelecanus onocrotalus (red pelicans). The marine fauna of the lake is of importance due to the large rate of endemism. At the sub-species level, 80% of the fish are endemic. Finally, the area is rich in historic and religious monuments.

A large number of Greek and foreign visitors and travelers come to the famous lakes – water borders of Greece, of former Yugoslavia and Albania. They lie 850 m. above the sea-level and have a depth of 50 m. Their shores at many places are steep and rocky. In other places they are calm and have rich vegetation. Mikri Prespa is on the left of the central road and is separated by Megali Prespa by a narrow strip of land 1,000 m. The whole region is an attraction and has been designated as a National Park. The shores of Mikri Prespa, with thick reeds, host pelicans, wild ducks and many other species of rare birds which attract the interest of international scientific institutes. Two roads lead to Prespa. One comes from Florina and the other from Kastoria. They intersect at Prevali. In the large village, Laimos of Prespa, 50 km from Florina, the road separates once again. One of its parts leads to Saint Germanos, the largest village of Prespa and the other part to the outpost of Koulas. On the rocky shores of Mikri Prespa you can see caves with walls full of hagiography. Prespa is about 45 km west from Florina and 50 km north from Kastoria.

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