Hourly water level measurements were used to investigate the flood characteristics of a semi-arid river in Greece, the Evrotas. Flood events are analysed with respect to flood magnitude and occurrence and the performance of Curve Number approach over a period of 2007-2011. A distributed model, Soil and Water Assessment Tool, is used to simulate the historic floods (1970-2010) from the available rainfall data, and the performance of the model assessed. A new flood classification method was suggested the Peaks-Duration Over Threshold method that defines three flood types: 'usual', 'ecological' and 'hazardous'. We classify the basin according to the flood type for the most serious past simulated flood events. The proportion of hazardous floods in the main stream is estimated to be 5-7% with a lower figure in tributaries. Flood Status Frequency Graphs and radar plots are used to show the seasonality of simulated floods. In the Evrotas, the seasonality pattern of hazardous flood is in agreement with other studies in Greece and differs from other major European floods. The classification in terms of flood types in combination with flood type seasonality is identified as an important tool in flood management and restoration. © 2013 International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research.