The lagoon that was the first commercial port of Corfu in antiquity. Its name is speculated to come from the Doric tribe of the Hylairs, who lived on the island.

According to historical sources, it was also called Nekrothalassa (which contains the word nekro that means dead in Greek and the word thalassa which means the sea) until 1469, probably due to the existence of a cemetery in the area. Another name that the lagoon was called was Gliki Limni that in Greek translates as, the sweet lake, due to its fresh water that flowed through the ravines of Krisida and Kavalaraina.

It may have undergone several changes in its morphology over the years, with the construction of Corfu Airport, but it continues to be an important wetland.

With an area of ​​about 1,800 acres and an average depth of close to one meter, one can admire on its east side, the touristic attractions of area ​​Kanoni with the Monastery of Vlacherna and the famous Pontikonisi. On the western side of the lake, peripherally, there are the settlements of Katakalou and Chrysiida. The airport and the 280-meter narrow pedestrian bridge that connects its two sides from Kanoni area to Perama area.

The view from the bridge is magnificent, with the airplanes passing within breathing distance and the colors of the sky creating landscapes that you will not find anywhere else in the world.

The lagoon used to be a large fish farm and to this day there are many species of fish in its waters. Additionally, there are many migratory birds that visit the Halikiopoulos Lagoon every year, a significant number of rare birds such as the egret, pass through there. The lake is surrounded by several swamps and reeds on the west side, while the underwater meadows of Poseidonia, a plant that is an important habitat for fish fauna and is also found in the waters of the area ​​Benitses.

Halikiopoulou Lagoon may retain some of its naturalness, but if there was a plan for its proper management and utilization it could become an example of ecotourism management and enhance alternative tourism on the island.

It is worth exploring the area on foot, or by bike, the distance from the city center is only 2 km. Of course, the lack of proper care for the lagoon may not always give satisfactory images to visitors and many parts of it are inaccessible, yet its importance is and always be significant.

Source Coastal wetlands Halikiopoulos Lagoon

Text Composing: Marilia Makri
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