Lake Riachovo (or Dovritsi or Sourizou)

Just before the village Riachovo, in an extraordinary location in a unique oak forest, there is the Lake Dovritsi. The lake of Riachovo is small, with an area of about 45 acres, discreetly embellishes the scenery and gives its own blue touch to the greenery of this remarkable place.

Its shape is square, with a small, water protrusion to the north and it hosts reed beds and a small beach, while its ornament is the small islet situated in the middle and it is a shelter for many important species of wading birds. In the wider water basin of the area, an important wetland is formed below the lake, full of reed beds. Above the lake two small ponds with water lilies are formed as a continuity of the area’s aquifer system.

The low plateaus of the hills, the type of the climate and the human factor determine the vegetation of the wider region to a considerable extent, as a homogeneous vegetation zone has been formed which starts from the rivers’ bed and the torrents and reaches up to the tops of the mountains. This zone includes the arable land, the riverside forests with poplars, alders, elms and willows, the kermes oak fields, the shrubberies, the extensive oak forests, the strawberry trees, the oleasters, the cedar, the dogwood, the Judas tree, the briar, etc.

Several flora species are found in the area. Prominent are the bellflowers (Campanula ramosissima, Campanula spathulata), the geraniums (Geranium nolle, Geramium robertium), the speedwells (Veronica anagallis, Veronica beccabunga), the centaureas (Centaurea calicitropa L, Centaurea solstitialis), the orchids (Orchis quadripunctata, Orchis simian, Ophrys fusca, Ophrys mammosa and Ophrys apifera), etc.

The fauna of the area is also interting, as it hosts several species of large mammals such as the wild boar (Sus scrofa), the fox (Vulpes vulpes), the wolf (Canis lupus), the hare (Lepus europaeus), the ferret (Martes foina), the weasel (Mustela nivalis), the squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), the hedgehog (Erinaceus concolor) and occasionally the roe (Capreolus capreolus).

The avifauna of the region is also rich, with the presence of several rare and endangered species, such as the European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), the Levant sparrowhawk (Accipiter brevipes), the short-toed snake eagle (Circaetus gallicus), the rock partridge (Alectoris graeca), etc.

In the waters of the surrounding streams and rivers, the crayfish (Astacus epiroticus), the trout (Salma truta) and other seven species of fish are found.

While visiting the area it is worth a tour around the lake and the small wetlands which are created around it, as they are ideal for hiking, mountain biking and horse riding.

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