Doxa artificial lake

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An artificial mountain lake with turquoise waters at the foot of the imposing Dourdouvana peak and surrounded by the colourful forests of Corinthia. Doxa lake is located at the western edge of the prefecture of Corinth, a few hundred meters from the border with the prefecture of Achaia. To the west lies the pass of the Hunter separating Dourdouvana from the rest of Helmos mountain, to the north rise the peaks of Gaidourorahi, Aetofolia and Profitis Elias and to the east and south spreads the big valley of Feneos. Doxa lake is situated at an altitude of 900 meters, covers an area of 120 acres and its capacity reaches 5 million cubic meters of water. Its perimeter, distinguished by rocks, wetlands and reeds, reaches 3.8 km. It is a relatively deep lake for its small size, with a depth of 40 meters. The lake was created in the mid-1990s after the build of a 225 m long dam upon Doxa stream and was constructed for the protection and proper irrigation of the Feneos valley. Until then, the stream joined the waters of Olvius river and often flooded Feneos valley, destroying the crops. In the center of the lake lies a narrow strip of land leading to the picturesque chapel of Agios Fanourios, while on the northern slopes stands the famous monastery of Agios Georgios of Feneos. From the shores of the lake begins one of the most beautiful paths of mountainous Peloponnese that passes through a dense fir forest and reaches the top of Dourdouvana at 2.109 meters. Doxa lake, though artificial, is considered one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in Greece, as the autumn colors of the forest reflect in the emerald waters and create a unique landscape. Over the years, the lake has evolved into an important ecotourism attraction. At the same time, it is an ideal spot for wildlife, while in the forests and nearby peaks there are many rare and endemic plants of the Peloponnese.

A dense forest of greek firs and black pines surrounds the lake, which in some places is mixed with forests of oaks, chestnuts, elms and turpentine trees. Meadows with pubescent oaks, poplars, willows, oriental planes, almond-leaved pears and maples are close to the shores. The flora of the area includes many hydrophilic plants and species of the surrounding mountains. These include Ficaria ficarioides, Schoenoplectus lacustris, Verbascum macrurum, Melittis melissophyllum subsp. albida, Geranium macrostylum, Crocus olivieri subsp. olivieri, Gagea villosa and Dichoropetalum vittijugum. Other plants of the surrounding area are Primula vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, Romulea bulbocodium, Symphytum bulbosum, Digitalis laevigata subsp. graeca, Anemone apennina subsp. blanda, Iris unguicularis subsp. carica, Scilla subnivalis, Cirsium eriophorum, Campanula spatulata subsp. spruneriana, Ligustrum vulgare, Lemna minor, Viola odorata, Colutea arborescens subsp. arborescens, Lamium garganicum subsp. garganicum, Asplenium ruta-muraria, Epilobium hirsutum, Convolvulus betonicifolius subsp. betonicifolius, Galium verum subsp. verum, Rosa agrestis, Tussilago farfara and Asyneuma limonifolium subsp. limonifolium. Orchids include species such as Cephalanthera rubra, Cephalanthera damasonium, Epipactis heleborine, Dactylorhiza romana, Dactylorhiza saccifera, Limodorum abortivum, Orchis simia and Orchis pallens.

Although the lake lies at high altitude and is surrounded by mountains, it is regularly visited by many birds, such as grey herons, little egrets, squacco herons, night herons, little grebes, great crested grebes, mute swans, mallards, coots and moorhens. The predators in the surrounding mountains and near the lake are golden eagles, short-toed eagles, honey buzzards, common buzzards, sparrowhawks, goshawks, peregrine falcons and kestrels, while the nocturnal predators include eagle owls, tawny owls and little owl. On the shores of the lake live kingfishers, grey wagtails, yellow wagtails and sandpipers. Birdwatching around Doxa lake is enjoyable with birds such as wrens, dunnocks, robins, nightingales, Cetti’s warblers, redstarts, northern wheatears, whinchats, stonechats, blackcaps, orphean warblers, whitethroats, subalpine warblers, wood warblers, spotted flycatchers, firecrests, goldcrests, wood nuthatches, short-toed treecreepers, great tits, coal tits, sombre tits, long-tailed tits, chaffinches, serins, siskins, goldfinches, greenfinches and hawfinches. Other species of the area are woodcocks, woodpigeons, turtle doves, cuckoos, nightjars, alpine swifts, hoopoes, middle spotted woodpeckers, woodlarks, swallows, red-rumped swallows, water pipits, song thrushes, mistle thrushes, fieldfares, red-backed shrikes, jays, golden orioles, cirl buntings, reed buntings, rock buntings and corn buntings.

The amphibians include alpine newts, fire salamanders, common toads, green toads, tree frogs, balkan frogs and greek frogs. Herpetofauna is particularly rich and consists of Hermann’s tortoises, marginated tortoises, Peloponnese slow worms, glass lizards, greek algyroides, Balkan green lizards, Crimean wall lizards, Peloponnese wall lizard, smooth snakes, four-lined snakes, Balkan whip snakes, Levant montpellier snakes, grass snakes, dice snakes, Dahl’s whip snakes, cat snakes, leopard snakes and nose-horned vipers. It is striking that in recent years golden jackals appeared again in the dense forests above the lake, while occasionally roe deers visit Doxa. Other mammals are foxes, weasels, badgers, wild boars, hares, hedgehogs, blind moles and many species of bats. It is believed that otters live here, something that waits to be confirmed. In the waters live an endemic fish of the Peloponnese, the Stymphalia minnow (Pelasgus stymphalicus), while there has been an enrichment with common carps (Cyprinus carpio). Big numbers of the crayfish Astacus fluviatilis and the endemic crab (Potamon pelops) are found here. A rare species of scorpion-fly, Panorpa rufostigma, lives nearby.


Πως θα πάτε

Doxa lake is 179 km away from Athens. From Athens-Patras national road, turn to Stymphalia at Kiato. After Stymphalia lake, the road rises uphill and shortly after comes to Feneos valley. The lake is just 1 km from Ancient Feneos on the opposite slopes. All seasons are ideal for a walk on Doxa lake. Just avoid festivals and sunny weekends because the place becomes crowded.

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(Latitude: 37.929218106754014, Longitude:22.285743913594754)

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