Environment

Major Rivers Of Greece

Stretching 185 miles between the Pindus Range and the Aegean Sea, the Haliacmon is the longest river wholly in Greece.

Stretching 185 miles between the Pindus Range and the Aegean Sea, the Haliacmon is the longest river wholly in Greece. Some of the country’s rivers are trans-boundary, being shared with other nations including Bulgaria, Turkey, Macedonia, and Albania. The rivers in Greece are mostly used for agriculture, water supply, and hydroelectric power tapping. Important ecosystems have formed in the river’s basins and are adequately protected in the country.

Major Rivers Of Greece

Maritsa

The Maritsa River flows for 299 miles, and it is shared with Turkey and Bulgaria. The river is the largest river to flow in the Balkan Peninsula, and it creates the borderline between Greece and Turkey. The river has been an important source of water for irrigation throughout the centuries, and it also supplies water to the adjacent towns and cities. The river is also important for hydroelectric power generation. Historically, the river was the site of the Battle of the Maritsa, which was fought between the Ottoman and Serbian empires on September 27, 1371.

Struma

The Struma River flows for 258 miles and its source is Bulgaria’s Vitosha Mountains while its mouth is the Aegean Sea in Greece. Reservoirs and dams have been built along the river for water control, irrigation, and hydropower generation. Lake Kerkini reservoir, constructed in 1932 and fed by the river, has become an important birding site for migratory birds such as waterfowls. The medieval city of Amphipolis was situated near Struma’s entrance to the Aegean Sea. Along the river has been fought several historical wars including the Battle of Kleidion (1014) and the 2nd Balkan War.

Vardar

The Vardar River is shared with Macedonia, and it flows covering 241 miles within the country. In Greece, the river is also known as Axios, and it drains into the Aegean Sea. The river is particularly important for irrigation in the Thessaloniki region which is made up of fertile plains. Agricultural activities have however had negative impacts such as sedimentation. Some irrigation and reservoirs have been constructed along the course of the river to control water flow. A large region of the river’s basin is protected in Greece for ecological purposes.

Haliacmon

Haliacmon River flows for 185 miles to be the longest River in Greece not shared with another country. In Greek mythology, Haliacmon was a river god, son of Thetys and Oceanus. The river is also known as Aliakmonas or Aliakmon. The river supports populations of aquafauna such as carp, eel, tuna, salmon, brown trout, Mediterranean sand smelt, dogfish, and school shark. The river’s basin is an important birding site for avifauna including purple heron, curlew, and pelican. Historically, the river has been a natural defense line from northern invasions.

Other Rivers in Greece

The rest of the country’s major rivers are Arda (180 miles and shared with Turkey); Aoös (169 miles and shared with Albania); Nestos (140 miles and shared with Bulgaria); Achelous (137 miles); Pineios (134 miles), and Alfeios (68 miles). The government of Greece has initiated numerous conservation efforts to deal with threats such as sedimentation, pollution, and over-extraction of the rivers.

RankMajor Rivers of GreeceTotal Length
1Maritsa
299 miles (shared with Bulgaria and Turkey)
2Struma
258 miles (shared with Bulgaria)
3Vardar
241 miles (shared with Macedonia)
4Haliacmon
185 miles
5Arda
180 miles (shared with Bulgaria and Turkey)
6Aoös
169 miles (shared with Albania)
7Nestos
140 miles (shared with Bulgaria)
8Achelous
137 miles
9Pineios
134 miles
10Alfeios
68 miles

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