Larissa is so closely associated to its plain that many people do not know that the prefecture extends to the Aegean, creating a series of lovely laced beaches beside the Pinios Delta, from the base of Ossa to the foothills of Mavrovouni.
The first beaches in the prefecture of Larissa lie right beside the Athens – Thessaloniki national highway. The Kastri Loutro draws in the crowds in summertime to the stretches of beach in front of the beach bars.
Pinios, at a length of approximately 200km, is one of the largest rivers of Greece. Its springs are situated on the slopes of Pindos in the region before Metsovo, and its most important tributaries are Titarisios, that flows through the Elassona basin, and Enipeas, where waters gather from the Farsala region. According to mythology, Peneius was the son of Oceanus and Tethys. In antiquity, he was worshipped as a secondary god in Thessaly. The river traverses the greatest part of the Thessalian plain and is an ideal choice for leisure or sports activities, such as rafting and canoe kayak in Vernezi, with a degree of difficulty of 4.5 – 5, due to the large volume of water and not to the river’s turbulent waters.
The wetlands at the estuary of Pinios River, are located in the eastern part of Thessaly and 1km north-west from Stomio village. It covers a total area of 2600 hectares and belongs exclusively to the State. Its flora includes over 600 types of plants. In some sections of the wetland’s perimeter, there are crops and thickets of evergreen broad-leaved plants.
The estuary of Pinios has riverine and coastal forests, scrublands and dunes. Breeding species include the little bittern, the night heron, the black stork, the white stork, the honey buzzard, the Egyptian vulture, the griffon vulture, the short-toed eagle, the lesser spotted eagle, the golden eagle, the booted eagle, the lanner, the peregrine, the rock partridge, the stone curlew, the eagle owl, the kingfisher and the semi-collared flycatcher. Other species inhabiting the area are the lammergeier, the black vulture, the osprey and Eleonora’s falcon.
Aside of water supply provisions to arable farmland and rich variations in landscape, the estuary is also a natural reserve of rare bird species, included in the European Natura 2000 Network.