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Prespes

Prespes is the name of two freshwater lakes of unique natural beauty, located at the northwest borders of Greece with Albania and FYROM.

They are located at a distance of approximately 75km from Aghios Panteleimonas.

The region of Prespes is situated at an altitude of 855m and the highlights of this region are its two lakes: The Great Prespa and the Small Prespa. The Great Prespa Lake is divided between Albania, Greece and FYROM. The Small Prespa is shared only between Greece (43.5 km2 surface area) and Albania, which shares just a small part of the lake (less than 4 km2 surface area). However, the part of Albania has almost disappeared.

The Lakes of Prespes are located at the Municipality of Florina. They are the biggest state natural park in Greece. They are hidden behind the high mountains and this why they are one of the few remaining natural shelters (in Greece) for birds and other animals (more than 250 species), many of which are endangered. Many events take place in Prespes, in which artists from all over Greece take part. The lakes are surrounded by Mt. Varnounta and Mt. Triklarios (Sfika) and on the north by Mt. Xerovouni (highest peak: Souva Gora, 1857m.) and Mt. Galitsitsa (2,288m high), which separates Ochrida from the Great Prespa Lake. The Great Prespa Lake has an underwater connection with the Lake Ochrida and this is the reason why the water levels of these lakes change.

You will remain speechless when you view scenes which you would only see in documentaries. A fact that is not widely known is that the almost vertical rocks on the left shore of the Great Prespa Lake have been a refugee and a place of spiritual practice for monks since the 14c. B.C., being thus a religious centre during the occupation by the Turks in the region.

The islet of Aghios Achilleios is the landmark of the Great Prespa and of the whole region in general. On the islet, there are the remains of the famous church of Aghios Achilleios. It was built by the Tsar Samuel in the first millennium A.C. and it has not lost its royal identity until today.

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