Natural Environment


The high mountain ranges in the north part of the Prefecture constitute one of the main morphological features of it. Mounts Carvounia, Titanon, Olympus, Low Olympus, Ossa, Mavrovouni, Fillihio, Halkodonio or Kinos Kefale, Narthaki or Kassidiaris, Titanio or Dovroutsi and Oxia constitute the natural borders of the Prefecture.

The eastern part of the big Thessalian plain stretches among the mountains. The Thessalian plain contains the low part of the valley of Pinios river as well as the valleys of Titarisio and Enipea tributaries. In this way the plain of Larissa is formed; the plains of Tirnavos and Xirias that are situated in the area of Elassona come after the plain of Larissa. In the north stretches the plain of Farsala and towards the Aegean Sea the plain of Agia.


Penios river flows through the Prefecture of Larissa and goes into the plain of Larissa through the strait of Kalamaki while it flows into the Aegean Sea on the spot of Tsagezi. The straits of Kalamaki, of Rodia and of Tembi have been formed as a result of the fact that the plain of Larissa began to decline (at a rate of 1.5 m every 1000 years) while Pinios river was banking up around its bed.

This is how the river kept its exit to the Aegean Sea while its southern draining network was canalized into the Karla lake until it was drained. Nowadays, the Asmaki stream is used for this purpose. During its course through the Prefecture, the tributaries Titarissio, Paliomantano, Voulgara, Sarantaporo, Elassonitiko, Xenia, Smoliotiko and Enipeas empty into Pinios river.


The lake of Vivihis or Karla that was probably as ancient as the basin of Larissa was drained in 1961. The extent of the lake had been increasing and decreasing alternately significantly until it was drained completely. Where there used to be a lake there are 180,000,000m 2 of fertile soil the systematic cultivation of which since the sixties has given Thessaly the title of the breadbasket of Greece.

The ancient lake of Askouris also known in the Middle Ages and in the modern era as the lake of Nezeros stretched for 40000000m 2 on the plateau of Kallipefki in Low Olympus, at 1,235m above sea-level and was drained completely in 1907. Nowadays, the recreation of the lake of Karla is being discussed.

Therefore, the lake of Mati of Tirnavos (‘The eye of Tirnavos’) is the only natural lake in the Prefecture of Larissa, although it is only 250,000 m 2 in extent it constitutes the nucleus of an ecosystem the luxuriant vegetation of which is threatened by extinction.

Moreover, the dams that have been constructed for the irrigation of the cultivated lands in the Prefecture as well as the dams of Karla attract a lot of water birds.

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