Aliki (Salt pan) Lake

Spanning over 6000 acres, Aliki Lake is located on the northeastern side of Lemnos near the settlement of Kontopouli.

The lake is a shallow coastal lagoon filled with water in the winter period and a salt flat in the summer period when it dries.

The lake is protected from the marine environment by a 2.5 km long 100-350 meter wide sandy corridor that acts as a natural dam. The sandy “dam” running parallel to the beach is a coastal geoform occurring mostly on coasts with generally flat landscapes.

The shallow bay began to be separated from the sea 2,900–1,130 years ago today, resulting in the formation of an open lagoon. The creation of the coastal sandy dam was aided by an increase in the rate of sedimentation and a decrease in the rate of sea level rise. The salt lagoon area was a shallow sea bay, sometimes closed, with less influence from the sea, exhibiting lagoon characteristics, and sometimes open, with a stronger sea influence (Sidiropoulou M., 2016).

Sand dunes develop south of the sandy “dam” and are composed of materials generated from the erosion of molassic formations in the region.

Aliki is the only natural saltwater lake covering such a large area that has not faced human interference. The region is part of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas. A huge variety of rare and endangered species, including the kestrel and Lanner falcon, use the salt flat for rest, feeding, and breeding.