Bafa Lake is an arm of the Aegean cut off in antiquity by silting from the Meandros River. The lake water is less salty than the sea, and is usually crystal clear. There are many varieties of fish and eels, and over 200 species of birds have been observed, including eagles, herons, storks, and flamingos. There are some small beaches and marshes, often the boulder-strewn hills/mountains that surround the lake seem to rise directly from the waters. Bafa was the home to many small monasteries, and the hills provided caves that sheltered many hermits. There are rock paintings from pre-history, tombs carved into rock, and many signs of substantial buildings in the old Latmos/Heraklia area.