The Doiran Lake
What appears to be the smallest natural lake in Macedonia has a lot to surprise you. Its perfect climate, interesting history, healing powers and a unique fishing technique.
Doiran is a small place when you usually go to so your kids could breathe the substantial amount of iodine in the air. The endemic algae species existing in the lake discharge and emit this iodine, which is essential for efficient metabolism. The mud located in this lake is famous for its healing powers as well. However, the background history of this lake cannot be omitted. It is indeed very interesting and traces back to prehistoric times.
The warmth and soothing climate of the lake’s area make it very attractive to tourists. The high air and water temperature are due to the lake’s position; its proximity to the Aegean Sea.
The Doiran Lake’s history about its creation is interwoven with legends that are transmitted from generation to generation
People living around it believe it befits such legends since it is of high natural value to them. In ancient times, the area where Doiran is located today, existed a well. People from neighboring villages filled water from this well. Once they gathered the needed amount of water, they would shut the well and lock it with nine padlocks. One day, the most beautiful girl from the area went to get some water.
Her name was Doirana. When she got there, her boyfriend, Labin, was already waiting for her. Carried off by his caresses, she forgot to lock the ninth padlock. Soon after they left, the well begun leaking and flooded the whole valley. A lake appeared and it got the name of the girl who was the reason for its creation.
In the Ottoman Era, when Macedonia fell under Turkish siege, this legend is slightly modified and supplemented. The folk tale goes like this. The Turkish pasha fell in love with a beautiful local girl, called Doirana. He ordered his soldiers to summon her in his tent. However, the girl felt devastated and didn’t want to go. She objected his order, and in order to not be dragged by force, she entered the lake waters and drowned.
In 1958 the Macedonian composer Trajko Prokopiev created the ballet composition “Labin and Doirana” inspired by the love story from the creation of the Doiran Lake.
Fishing with birds
The Doiran fishing is most recognizable for the unique way using cormorants in reed fences, so called mandras, today only used in China. The fishermen would first hunt the water cormorants and cut their primary feathers, and then keep them close to the mandras. This way the cormorants can act as fish chasers. The birds would chase the fish in the traps.
This technique is ancient and complicated, but very effective
From one trap 20 000 to 30 000 tons of fish can be caught. It is a long and patient work, lasting for six months, beginning in October and ending in March the following year. You can find the following fish species in the Doiran Lake. White fish, rudd, manlike and bleak, and seldom the crucian carp.
The decline of the lake’s water level and the deterioration of its quality had a negative impact on this kind of fishing. Fortunately, there is improvement in recent years, as the Macedonian government makes efforts to restore the lake’s previous condition.
Curative Mud – Nature’s Way of Medical Treatment
People believe that Alexander the Great knew about the lake’s healing powers. He used to bring his army in Doiran, so they could rest and recuperate in the pleasant mud.
Today, kids, adults and elders alike use the proven beneficial properties of the lake mud. It works on some skin diseases, joint pain, arthritis, bronchitis and more. Those who don’t mind the smell of oysters and algae should try the mud’s benefits even if they don’t experience any of the above health conditions.
For the mud to be most effective, it has to be applied all over the body. This process needs doing 7 days, two times daily. It is particularly useful for treating bronchitis in toddlers. Seven-day treatment with mud applied on the chest, ensures you that your child is less susceptible to catch a virus during winter time.
You can enjoy your treatment on the new beach as well. The whole shore is full with zeolite sand that is especially good for nail regeneration, bone health and battles many skin disorders.