One of Corfu’s special, hidden treasures is the Antinioti lagoon located at the northeastern end of the island, between the beaches of Agios Spyridon and Almyros. It is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes and is an extremely important wetland, especially important for the ecological balance and that is why it is part of the “Natura 2000” network.
The Antinioti lagoon occupies a total area of about 400 acres and consists of the Kounoufadi swamp and the main lagoon.
Colourful orchids and lilies float on its surface, which is why it is also called “Orchid Lake” or “Lily Pond”.
The area is full of wildflowers and reeds as well as aquatic plants that are unique. The biodiversity of this area is of particular interest due to the existence of a unique bird fauna which includes, in addition to the endangered aquatic and marine species, predatory species.
More than 90 species of endemic and migratory birds have been recorded by scientists in the Antinioti lagoon, including herons and cormorants.
The rarest species found in the area is the otter. Large populations live in the lagoon and they are considered one of the rarest and most endangered mammals in Europe.
The lagoon marsh turtles belong to the families Emys orbicularis and Mauremys caspica and are important fauna elements of the Mediterranean wetlands.
In the Antinioti lagoon you can find sixteen different species of orchids such as Opphrys, Orchis and Serapias. The lagoon is also famous for its large fish farm, which uses traditional fishing methods. The species of fish caught in the lake are mainly eels, mullets, and sea bass.
The Antinioti lagoon is connected to the sea with two mouths (estuaries), while in the southeast of the lake there are springs of fresh water. Antinioti lagoon attracts tourists, especially during the summer months as it offers an excellent landscape for touring.
Antinioti Lagoon and the Durrells
It used to be the famous British Durrell family’s favourite part of the island. There they spent their summers with the then young Gerry Durrell, an avid animal and nature lover, who later became one of the most important scholars and ardent supporter of wildlife, founding the Wildlife Conservation Centre in Jersey.
eMUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY OF CORFU
eMUSEO DI STORIA NATURALE DI CORFU
real.gr (2018). “Λιμνοθάλασσα Αντινιώτη, η λίμνη των ορχιδέων, των κρίνων και της βίδρας“, https://www.real.gr/planet/arthro/limnothalassa_antinioti_h_limni_ton_orxideon_ton_krinon_kai_tis_bidras-507796/” (ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ)