Lagoon of Messolonghi
The National Park of Messolonghi-Etoliko Lagoons is located in Etoloacarnania prefecture, in the south end of Sterea Ellada where Patraic gulf meets the Ionian Sea and where Evinos and Acheloos rivers fall. This location includes lagoons, land and fluvial areas of the southern part of Etoloacarnania prefecture and the island complex of Echinades of Kefallinia prefecture. These areas are distinctive for their great biological, ecological, aesthetic, scientific, geological / morphological and environmental value.
The park includes:
The extensive complex of wetlands and lagoons of Messolonghi-Etolikou and Evinos and Acheloos river outfalls. Distinctive features of this complex are the fluvial and riverside areas, lagoons, swamps, mud flats and forests full of running forests.
The overland part which includes:
- Hills that can be seen in different parts of the wetland and most of which used to be part of Echinades islands, but the sedimentary movement of Acheloos river unified them with the land.
- Barasova mountain (shelter for many preys) which is part of Arakinthos mountain.
- Sand fields created by the substances brought by rivers and which delimit the lagoons from the sea.
- Klisoura gorge which is considered to be of unique natural beauty
- Fraxos Forest proclaimed as “Preserved Monument of Nature”
- Cultivated areas
- Echinades island complex which is interconnected with Acheloos outfall system.
Central role to the formation of this wetland area have Evinos and Acheloos rivers which also constitute its natural boarders on its west and east side respectively.
The Messolonghi-Etoliko lagoon is the largest in Greece and one of the largest in the Mediterranean. Because of the geomorphology of the area that has been changed after human intervention in the period of 1960-1995, nowadays the area consists of a system of six separate lagoons that present different natural and chemical characteristics. They extend over 15.000 ha. while the broader area of the biotope includes coastal ecosystems, swamps, salterns and reclaimed areas which are now used for cultivation.
The six units of the complex of lagoons:
- North Channel of Klisova lagoon
- Klisova lagoon
- Central lagoon, where many fish farms are located (fishing locations): Tourlida, Vasiladi, Schinias and Prokopanistos.
- Tholi lagoon
- Paleopotamos lagoon
- Etolikos lagoon (Etolikos Channel).
The lagoon, as far as the production is concerned, is not famous for the great variety of commercial fish but for the large quantities it can host. The lagoon produces some species such as: gilt-head seabream (Sparus aurata), sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), eels (Anguilla), gudgeon and some striped mullet species (Mugilidae). From the female striped mullet (Mugil cefalus) people extract the famous caviar of Messolonghi also called 'bafa’ the only Greek fishery product with Controlled Appellations of Origin (CPO).
For your stay in Aetoloakarnania, Agrinio town, Messolonghi and the rest areas of the prefecture, you can book a room in one of the hotels and Bed & Breakfast inns.
In Agrinio, Messolonghi as well as in many other areas of Aetoloakarnania County, there are hotels and accommodations of various categories and types (rooms to let, residences, Bed & Breakfast inns, studios, hostels, guesthouses and furnished apartments) that can satisfy every visitor's demands and needs for a pleasant and enjoyable stay.
You will find wonderful hotels, rooms and apartments to let of all categories and price ranges.
You can access Aetoloakarnania by car using the road network.
The best way to explore and wander around in Aetoloakarnania, known for its many natural beauties and major attractions, is to have your own transport. It is worth visiting places that the local transport and tours do not reach.
Indicative distances and routes from Messolonghi:
Agrinio: 37 km
Athens: 244 km
Thessaloniki: 424 km
Patra: 49 km
Ioannina: 181 km
Preveza: 123 km
Regular Aetoloakarnania Intercity bus routes connect the main and major cities of the prefecture to Athens and capitals of other prefectures.
There is also regular connection of areas, villages and regions of the county.
The region of Agrinio has a good road network which makes transportation easy through all villages and settlements.
In the city of Agrinio you may also use the urban bus. tel (+30) 26410.57.851.