Aposelemis dam, Sfendyli - photo © Ch. Almpantakis

Aposelemis dam, Sfendyli - photo © Ch. Almpantakis

Habitats in Crete – Aposelemis Dam

Aposelemis Dam – A Butterfly Paradise

Aposelemis Dam, a butterfly paradiseis an artificial lake in the inland area of “Lagada" of the Hersonissos municipality.

The visitor who is interested in butterflies can visit the Aposelemis Dam all year long, but best in springtime and summertime when the wild gorgeous plants and flowers are in full bloom.

More than half of the species of butterflies that exist in Crete can be spotted by walking the riparian road of the Dam and exploring the surrounding area of Lagada.

Papilio machaon – photo © K. Bormpoudaki

Aposelemis Dam – Location

Aposelemis Dam is a large artificial earthen dam located in the Municipality of Hersonissos, in the area of Lagada, near the villages of Potamies and Avdou, 32 km southeast of the city of Heraklion. The dam is the largest water management project in Crete with a reservoir capacity of approx. 30 million m3.

It creates Aposelemis lake, a reservoir that supplies fresh water to the cities of Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos and other communities along the north coast of Crete. Aposelemis River is one of the largest rivers in Crete, carrying the water of Lasithi Plateau to the dam.

The small village of Sfendili was located inside the dam reservoir and below the filling level, therefore it had to be abandoned. During the seasonal changes the level of the water is changing, so Sfendili is sinking and re-emerging several times, becoming a local attraction.

Pieris brassicae – photo © K. Bormpoudaki

Σταχτοτσικνιάς (Ardea cinerea) - photo © K. Bormpoudaki

Ardea cinerea – photo © K. Bormpoudaki

Aposelemis Dam – A Priceless Wetland

Nowadays, various species of birds have been sheltered in the Dam, turning the area into a wetland. The Dam is a source of life and a vital factor of growth in the area, as the surrounding villages and the Dam attract visitors being mesmerized by the scenery.

Visitors can also observe birds with striking colors, many of which are migratory, but also many other aquatic species such as dragonflies, fish, pond snakes, etc.