Small & Great Prespa Lakes

The National Park is 45 km. from the town of Florina.

The Great and Small Prespa lakes are located at the tri-border of Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece. The area is protected by Greek, European and international conventions, and the Small Prespa Lake is protected by the Ramsar Convention as a unique wetland. In 1991 the company for the protection of the Prespa lakes was created with the help of WWF who supported the efforts of the locals to protect the natural wealth of the region. Prespa Lakes have joined the network NATURA 2000.

The area is secluded because of the geography of the landscape (surrounded by high mountains) and is surrounded by traditional villages. A small fjord at Small Prespa Lake (at the community of Mikrolimni) connects Greece with Albania. The region is crossed by the international mountain path E6. The climate is mild, a combination of Mediterranean and continental. The National Park covers an area of 256 sq. km. About 83 sq. km. cover the two Prespa lakes. It is the largest of all 10 national parks of the country and includes forests which house 1.400 species of plants, oak trees, 1.200 species of fern, and alpine meadows at an altitude of 1,800 m. The wet meadows (areas with low hygrophilous vegetation) are very important for the reproduction of fish and amphibians. They also function as the main food resource of the birds of the area. In the past there used to be cattle and buffalo grazing here, too.

The fauna (reptiles and birds of the region) is very rich and rare: 11 species of amphibians, 21 species of reptiles, 45 species of mammals, over 260 species of wading birds. The National Park includes 12 villages. In the Psarades Village you will see the protected species of dwarf cow, height 1.10 m. Also, Prespa Lakes are a breeding ground of many endangered birds such as the White Pelican. The region of Plati is important because here you will see the highest stork nest of Europe (950 m.).


There are 1.200 inhabitants in the 12 villages of Prespa Lakes. They are mainly occupied with fishery, animal husbandry, agriculture and tourism. The guests can explore the lakes with special boats called "plaves". The boatmen of the Psarades Village offer all year tours on Prespa Lakes, giving the visitors the opportunity to admire the carved rock of Great Prespa. The frescoes on the rocks you can see when coming out of Fishermen Bay date back to 1455/6 and 1373. A summer ride on a boat on the waters of Small Prespa, will offer you unforgettable images as you will be rowing on countless lilies floating on the surface of the lake.

There is a suspended footbridge (650 m.) which can take you to the island of Saint Achilles located in Small Prespa. The island has few inhabitants and is one of the most beautiful villages of the area. On the island you will also see the church and the tomb of St. Achilles (10th century). The island is the center of the Prespeia festival with major concerts. The festival is held each year in the last ten days of August.

Prespa Lakes are an ideal destination for those who love nature, fishing, photography, climbing and mountain biking. From St. Germanos village you will find a 4x4 dirt road which leads to Akritas Village through Varnounta Mountains. Also, in the sandy beach of Koula at Great Prespa you can swim or go canoeing and rowing. The taverns of the region are famous for their seafood, fine local meat, pickles, cheese, beans and delicious wine and champagne.

In the area you will also find fine examples of local architecture: hostels, hotels and apartments in the villages of St. Germanos, Psarades, Mikrolimni, Pyli, St. Achilles, Antartiko, Plati, Laimos, etc.