The Kitros salt works are evaluated to be among the vastest and most productive functioning salt works in Greece with an annual salt production of 40.000 tons and covering a surface of 3620 acres. The salt collection and production is extended between March and October. The wetland near the saltworks is also recognized as one of the most important in Greece, hosting during the winter hundreds of flamingos and other aquatic species, providing their food in the salt basins.
The Alyki Kitrous lagoon extents to 352 acres, with maximum depth 1.5 m and is almost cut off from the sea, as the sea water enters from a small channel width of 4 m, in which the flow of seawater is controlled by a small barrier. The use of the lagoon is the storage of seawater to be used in the salt production. The water level and the salinity of the water depend on the ebb and the tide, but also on the operation of pumping stations, rainfall and evaporation.
Between the lagoon and the sea a sand land strip with dunes is extended, very important for its flora and fauna, mostly for the Mediterranean turtle. In this area we distinguish three different habitats:
- Free water surface covers approximately 159 acres and islets to an extent less than 1 acre (west side).
- The salt -marshes, with an area of 254 acres, which are covered by water. Most of them are on the south side and used for the gradual concentration of seawater and the rest is used for crystallising salt.
- The area of salt marshes, where the dominant vegetation is halophytic, such as Arthrocnemum fructicosum, A. glaucum, Halocnemum strobilaceum, Salicornia europaea, Halimione portulacoides and Limonium spp.
The salt production is the only industrial activity within the area of the wetland.
The Kitros salt works area is ideal for visitors’ walks willing to admire the aquatic birds of the Thermaikos Gulf. Many visitors are coming to the salt works also for baths in the local mud, believed to be extremely therapeutic.
The site of the salt works is famous since the historic times due to the neighbor ancient port city of Pydna. Giovanni Maria Angiolello, a Venetian adventurer, merchant, and author, mentions in its memoirs the site of the salt works by the end of the 15th century.
The national and international protection status of the area around the salt works is rated as high. 15.000 acres form a Wild Life Reserve and 278,000 acres are included to the Axios-Loudias - Aliakmon Delta. The whole area is regarded as important for migrant and hibernating aquatic bird species, such as: Phalacrocorax pygmeus, Branta ruficollis, Oxyura leucocephala, Haliaeetus albicilla, Aquila clanga.
The main threat is the building activity in the area of the dunes and salt marshes.
There are species (Larus melanocephalus, Mediterranean Gull) not nesting any more because of the existing nuisance.
Address: Kitros Pierias
600 64 Kitros/ Greece
E-mail: [email protected]
tel: 0030 23510 71687, 0030 23510 71760 fax: 0030 23510 72162
tel. 0030 2310 794811
(for the wetland)
Lia Papadranga, responsible for press and public relations, Axios Delta Management Authority
Olga Deligianni, architect, member em. of the Technical Chamber of Greece
Διεύθυνση: Κίτρος Πιερίας
Τ.Κ. 600 64 ΚΙΤΡΟΣ/ ΕΛΛΑΣ
E-mail: [email protected]
Τηλ: 0030 23510 71687, 0030 23510 71760 fax: 0030 23510 72162 ( για τον χώρο παραγωγής της Αλυκής)
Τηλ. 0030 2310 794811 (για τον υγρότοπο της Αλυκής)