The Gialova wetland is a regional blessing of nature. It has also been as a 1500-acre archaeological site, lying between Gialova and the bay of Voidokoilias. Its alternative name of Vivari is Latin, meaning “fishponds”. With a depth, at its deepest point, of no more than four meters, it is the southernmost stopover of birds migrating from the Balkans to Africa, giving shelter to no fewer than two hundred and twenty-five bird species, among them heron, cormorant, the lesser kestrel, Audouin’s gull, flamingo, osprey, the imperial eagle and other aquatic species. It is Gialova, too, which plays host to a very rare species, nearing extinction throughout Europe, the African chameleon. This reptilian is threatened not simply by the marten, the fox and the weasel, which search for its eggs, but by the intense pressure of the human species, particularly in the summer months when there are a large number of holidaymakers. The observation post of the Greek Ornithological Society allows visitors to find out more and to watch the shallow brackish waters of this lake, designed a Natura 2000 area, and they can walk the paths that circumscribe Gialova’s various different ecosystems.
Between Palaiokastro and the hill known as Profitis Ilias, the waves of the Ionian have created the gem of this ecosystem, one unique in the Mediterranean, Voidokoilia Bay, with its astonishing circular shape, its wonderful colours, its sandy shore and its emerald waters. The ground is screened by cedars and sand grass and the dunes stay put despite the strong winds that bow across the bay. From the air Voidokoilia looks like a water mushroom with a dark blue jellyfish faintly visible in its waters.