Kouris Dam

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This huge reservoir, with a height of 115 meters and a capacity of 115,000,000 cubic meters of water, that stretches out from the Alassa region to the community of Souni, makes up the entirety of the Kouris Dam, the largest artificial lake in Cyprus. It is the largest of dozens of dams built on the island.

The Kouris dam stretches across an area of 3,6 square kilometers, with a drainage basin of 308 square kilometers, and its construction in 1988 took approximately 4 years to complete. Besides the water gathered by the dam itself, the waters of the Diarizos River also flow into the dam via tunnel, as do those of Limnatis and Kryos Rivers. Nevertheless, this enormous dam has only ever overflowed twice, once in 2004 and in 2012.

A large volume of water begins to accumulate in the dam in December, which is considered to be the rainiest month of the year. Following the dam’s construction, the settlement of Alassa had to be moved from its original location adjacent to the river bed. The close proximity of the settlement to the dam meant that the houses were covered by water, and thus the residents relocated north, where the village stands today.

Video: Cyprus from Air (January 2019)

The dam is accessible from Souni village, where visitors can see the large structure that stops the water flow at the riverbed.  The view is also remarkable from the area near the Alassa Bridge, where one can make out remnants of the old settlement.