… This place has its own different clock.
Here the time is measured according to the fish of each season and their growth…
Etolikon and the fish villages of Mesolongi
Six lagoons which form their own ecosystem; a huge environmental park with many different birds (270 species) and aquatic inhabitants. This place is the biggest and one of the most important wetlands of the Mediterranean. It also belongs to the Network Natura 2000 and it is protected by RAMSAR Convention.
At the lagoon of Mesologgi and Aetoliko, you will see small dry islands which change shape every day according to the will of the waters and fish that love the high temperatures here.
Fishing and cooking with the locals
An integral element of the lagoon is the “pelades”, huts made of reed with straw, build on poles in the water. There, the fishermen keep their tools. The cooperation of fishermen is willing to share the secrets of the lagoon with visitors and guide them to their everyday life. They give them lines and baits and learn them to fish around the “pelades” or they go by boat deeper into the lagoon.
Fishermen also cook their fish and help the visitors to get to know all the secrets of salted manufacturing better. Fish are left in salt for twenty-four hours and then they are cleaned and served with oil and lemon.
During the fishing and observing the calm waters, your gaze will be attracted by the dams, made of netting on poles (known as ” ιβάρια” / ivaria). This system controls the relocations of fish and helps in fishing.
Fishing villages, salt lakes & migratory birds!
Birds also find a little paradise here and a rare ecosystem which they love. In shallow lagoons or salt lakes which have not yet dried out, plenty of aquatic birds are looking, with their eyes fixed on the water, to the next moving target that will satisfy their hunger. And of course, they offer a spectacular view not only to those who wait patiently observing them but also to all ordinary visitors.
Among the fishing villages, one stands out. Turlida is a fishing village that has kept its traditional colour. Many of the houses still balance on poles in the water. Their walls are made of reed and stubble and their roof of the wild reeds. A small “Bayou of New Orleans” in the center of Greece.
Next to this small settlement, which seems to have come straight out of fairy tales, you will see the salt marshes: Black Aliki and White Aliki, with large volumes of white salt, over ten meters high.
The tranquillity and the fact that you can stand there without hearing anything apart from the birds or the sound of the water make this place ideal for anyone who wants to escape the bustle of the city, to admire the beauty of nature, or just to observe and photograph the birds on their endless journey.